• Exchange Student

    Exchange students from around the globe got the chance to take a look around at Missouri Southern | KSNF/KODE

    JOPLIN, MO – Even though classes at an area university don’t start for a few more days, many students are already getting settled in for the fall semester. But for one group of students, that’s a much bigger task than most. A student’s first semester in college can be a daunting one, even for people from outside the four state area. Just imagine what that’s like for someone from outside the country. Tuesday was orientation for international students on the campus of MSSU. “We feel like we, we take on a parent role, the way we treat these students, or at least the way I try to treat these students…

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  • Education

    Covid Provides a Rare Chance to Transform Public Education

    The Covid-19 pandemic has brought into focus a stark choice: Will we respond to the enormous disruption of schools by rethinking education, or will we double down on an outdated industrial-age system created to prepare kids for the last century? New Orleans faced a similar dilemma after Hurricane Katrina struck in August 2005. Louisiana’s Legislature had in 2003 created a Recovery School District to turn around failing schools, but the storm’s devastation accelerated the process. The RSD was responsible for dozens of schools, which became charter schools. Students were freed from traditional attendance zones and allowed to pick their schools. Thousands of teachers were asked to reapply for their positions.…

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  • Education

    Is The Pandemic A Chance To Reimagine Special Education?

    Single mom Nicole Vaughn has spent the better part of her adult life advocating for her five adopted children with disabilities. But when schools shuttered for the coronavirus last spring, Vaughn gained a slew of new responsibilities, like helping her kids access virtual classrooms and coordinating the special education services they receive. “I had to send emails to the speech and language provider saying, ‘Hey, they haven’t seen you, I haven’t seen you. What’s going on?’” said Vaughn, who lives in the Detroit metropolitan area. Once those services resumed, Vaughn said sessions were shorter than the time mandated by her children’s individualized education programs. Known as IEPs, these plans are…

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  • Education

    YEAR-AHEAD SERIES, DAY 11: Duluth schools / COVID a chance to rethink education

    This may sound odd considering the heartbreaking struggle of so many students, families, and staff members. As both a parent and an educator, I empathize deeply with the challenges and pain resulting from the pandemic. Yet I am filled with a profound sense of promise that the future of teaching and learning will be better than the pre-pandemic schooling we knew. Last year exposed many hard truths that were always before us in education but never fully acknowledged. These inequities were obscured by a lack of voice, fear of change, and inadequate resources. Despite monumental efforts, education has remained the same for generations. COVID-19 did not create the inequities, but…

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  • Education

    ‘Equity hubs’ give families struggling financially a chance at pandemic pods

    “This has been a blessing for us,” said Lindsay Montgomery, a single mother of three who lives in Rockville, Md., and said the program has allowed her to work in the afternoons without bringing her 5-year-old along. It also has helped him keep up in kindergarten, she said. “He loves it,” she said. “He was having a lot of trouble at home focusing.” The program, located at roughly 45 public schools in the Maryland county, opened in mid-September with a handful of students and grew steadily. More than 1,050 students are now enrolled. Among those who participate, the average family income is less than $30,000 a year, and nearly all…

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