Monday, February 1, 2010

Lots of Stuff to Ponder

this is a LONG post with many items for you to review I have separated each by either italics or Bold, so when you get bored you can skip to the next thought.

Sustainable Forestry Teachers’ Academy - K-12 teachers in all content areas are eligible to apply for the Sustainable Forestry Teachers’ Academy, a four-day residential program that focuses on the social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainable forestry. Teachers will visit a variety of forests and mills learning about forest management and the manufacturing of various wood products such as paper, furniture, plywood and lumber. Teachers participate in tours and hikes in forests under a variety of ownership and management plans. Excursions to museums, state forests, experimental forests, and environmental learning centers round out the experience. There is no cost for the Academy as all costs including lodging, meals, and transportation are covered through grants and sponsorship. Further information, including 2010 dates for the Coastal and Mountain Academies and a link to the online application, can be found at

Joe Lopina will be here on Monday, March 8 in the MC to meet with all who are interested in using puppetry to enhance their students' learning experiences.

Music Rehearsals for the Feb. 11 PTA Program

Monday, Feb. 1….all 4th grade………..11:45 to 12:15
Friday, Feb. 5……all 3rd grade………..11:30 to 12:15
Monday, Feb. 8….all 4th grade………..11:45 to 12:15
Tuesday, Feb. 9….all 3rd grade… ..1:10 to 1:45
(Butler to art… 1:55 to 2:35)
Thursday, Feb. 11..all 3rd & 4th grade….1:15 to 2:30
(Mason & Fusco miss art; Gaillard misses Spanish; Butler misses PE)
(Feb. 11: Ms. Zárate’s class will come to music, 9:10 to 9:50, with Ms. Londono’s class)

If these times do not interfere with your planning time, please stay in the gym during the rehearsals to assist in organizing the troops.
Teachers, Many thanks for your assistance and support. Without you, we couldn't’t do this! -Betty and Darrick-

I’m writing in regard to a problem that has developed recently with attendance in our field trip program for K – 5 students, in the hope that you can help us resolve it. I understand that the principals make the final decisions on field trips, and I hope you will ask them to consider encouraging teachers to participate in the field trip programs offered by Reynolda Gardens.

Reynolda Gardens of Wake Forest University consists of 129 acres that remain of the early twentieth century estate of Mr. and Mrs. R. J. Reynolds. It includes woodlands, wetlands, meadows, formal gardens, a nature education center, and greenhouses. Science-based, seasonally oriented programs educational programs for schools have been offered here for almost forty years. Highly educated, dedicated Education Volunteers lead small groups of students on walks and in hands-on activities, ensuring that each child receives personal attention, information, and direction from a caring, knowledgeable adult. Programs are offered in the fall, winter, and spring, and all programs are aligned with the NCSCOS and meet National Science Education Standards. This website gives details about the program, as well as some of the resources we offer for teachers beyond the field trip experience
Until the past year, these field trips were an integral part of the school year for many students and teachers. We consistently served about two thousand students each year, with a waiting list of approximately the same number each year. Almost all came from the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. In August of 2008, numbers of reservations dropped suddenly, and we had very light attendance in the autumn program, with attendance improving in the late winter and spring. This autumn, our attendance was less than half of the norm before 2008. The factor that has been especially disturbing this year has been that teachers made reservations and then, one by one, for a total of five WS/FC schools, they either cancelled completely or reduced the number of days they were able to bring students, citing problems with getting buses and/or stating that their principals would not let them come without bringing the entire grade level at on a single day, a request that we cannot accommodate.

I have asked for help from others in the school system. K – 12 Science Program Manager Kia Netter has observed the program and has expressed her strong support. She has had correspondence with Rhonda Fleming in the Department of Transportation, who referred her to the individual schools and outlined the general costs of buses. Even with this information, I have not been able to determine what may have changed in school policy to cause such a precipitous decline in participation or how the situation might be ameliorated. At this time, we have a full schedule for March through May of 2010, but I fear a repeat of the experience we had in the fall and so I am turning to you for assistance before the season begins.

This development has been devastating to our program and a cause of deep concern to me and to the rest of the Reynolda Gardens staff and Education Volunteers, who are prepared and waiting to devote time to the children and teachers. Having served as Curator of Education for almost thirty years and worked very closely with students and teachers throughout that time, I have observed major changes in how children perceive nature. I am, frankly, alarmed by how little they know and how weak the connection has become. In contrast with children who visited here even a few years ago, now very few of our student visitors have prior experience with nature, and they are often as much in need of comfort as much as information as they enter the natural areas here. I am deeply concerned that, having lost the opportunity to learn about nature under the guidance of experienced and knowledgeable adults at Reynolda Gardens, they will not have another chance later.

We at Reynolda Gardens have demonstrated our commitment to the education of children not only in dedication of staff and volunteer hours but also by keeping the cost extremely low. Thanks to the support of Friends of Reynolda Gardens, the cost remains at $2.00 per child, the same as it was in the 1980s. We have offered countless continuing education programs for teachers through the years and continue this commitment as well.

We understand that there are many demands on time and resources in the schools, but we hope you will agree that this field trip is time and money well spent and encourage principals and teachers to participate. I would be happy to meet with you and any others to answer any questions. Please feel free to forward this e-mail and to invite others to contact me directly. I look forward to a continuing the long partnership we have enjoyed with our schools. Thank you for your help.

Camilla Wilcox
Curator of Education
Reynolda Gardens of Wake Forest University
100 Reynolda Village
Winston-Salem, NC 27106

I am writing to give each of you an opportunity to allow your teachers to participate in an event sponsored by Salem College. Because of your relationship with us here at Salem I want to offer you this staff development opportunity before we offer it to other schools.

On October 20, 2010 Salem College will be hosting Laurence Peters for a staff development session for teachers in grades K- 8.
The session will be held on our campus from 12:00 noon - 4:00 PM.
Dr. Peters has done extensive work in the area of Global Education and the use of technology in the classroom.
Dr. Peters website:

I am inviting each of you to send up to six teachers to this presentation on October 20, 2010. I know it is quite a long time in the future, however I feel his presentation will be very popular in the education community.
The cost to send 6 teachers in $300.00.
As you plan your staff development for next year please consider this opportunity. Before we offer this program to other educators I would like your feedback on interest in sending 6 of your staff. Please e-mail me if you are interested and I will reserve slots for your staff.

March is National Nutrition Month and we are celebrating with our Eat. Learn. Live Deliciously- Savor the Flavor of Herbs and Spices Promotions.
Nature created herbs and spices with a two-fold purpose- to make our favorite foods taste great and promote health and wellness. New research is showing that a spicier life may be a healthier one! Seasoning foods with herbs and spices is a great way to add flavor to foods without adding salt, sugar, and extra fats. Scientists are also exploring the therapeutic use of herbs and spices in cooking. Our EAT. LEARN. LIVE Deliciously National Nutrition Monthâ Promotion will encourage students to choose foods flavor-charged with healthy herbs and spices, and educate them about this hot trend.
We will have supplies available to Elementary children to plant parsley seeds in recycled milk cartons as a fun and educational classroom activity. This activity will reinforce the message that herbs and spices are healthy ways to season foods, as well as provide participating.

This will be available to 220 elementary classes in our District (hopefully that will come to 5 classes per school). Please provide this letter (attached) to your teachers and have them respond to me by February 12th to save their supplies for this event.
Hope you have a great weekend.

Katie Russell
Marketing & Merchandising Manager
Chartwells - WS/FCS
phone 336.771.4526

Second Phase Essential Standards’ Drafts Available for Review - The first drafts of the second phase of Essential Standards are available for review and comment at . Also at this site are directions and tools for providing detailed input on the drafts. Input on the 1.0 version is due by Feb. 15. Following are the Essential Standards available for review:
- Occupational Course of Study: Social Studies I and II
- Second (Foreign) Languages: Classical, Dual & Heritage, and Modern
- Guidance K-12
- English Language Arts K-12
- Social Studies K-12
- Arts Education: Dance, Music, Theatre Arts, Visual Arts
- Healthful Living: Physical Education and Health Education
- Social Studies Electives

Draft 4.0 of K-12 Science Essential Standards Now Online - Draft 4.0 of the N.C. Standard Course of Study Science Essential Standards are available online at for review and feedback. Feedback from educators will continue to be reviewed and incorporated as appropriate prior to going before the State Board of Education for approval in the next few months. These science standards are the latest deliverable in North Carolina’s Accountability and Curriculum Reform Effort (ACRE) and will be implemented no later than the 2012-13 school year.

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