Browsing category: Education

Partnering to build a better baltimore

Originally published in, August 3, 2015 On a blindingly sunny day in June, at precisely 8:15 am, a couple of packed school buses pull up to the curb of St. Paul’s Middle School in Brooklandville and deposit around 110 elementary- and middle school-aged children onto the sprawling bucolic private school campus. As they file out, the riders are greeted by several volunteers—high school students from St. Paul’s—and counselors who they animatedly “high five.” The ritual marks the start of each day at Bridges, a five-week summer enrichment program that includes breakfast, academics, and lunch, followed by activities like swimming, art, games and athletics and ending with a bus ride back to stops near the students’ Baltimore City neighborhoods. There are also weekly field trips, motivational guest speakers, and team-building exercises. In essence, the summer segment of Bridges—a year-round educational support program—makes for a stimulating experience that any

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Year-round school would benefit kids, economy

Originally published in the Baltimore Sun, August 27, 2013 The office of Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot recently released a report suggesting that Maryland students start school after Labor Day so that families can take one last summer-fling vacation, thereby giving the state a nearly $75 million economic boost. I haven't crunched any numbers on the topic but, as a parent with school-age children, I believe the report's glowing financial projections fail to take into account several factors that work against this predicted surge in tourism-related dollars. Here's why, as well as an alternate suggestion. For starters, the average family's state of mind before Labor Day — one consumed with back-to-school preparations — contrasts sharply with a relaxed mindset conducive to kicking back on vacation. Parents are anxiously clutching school supply lists while trolling the aisles of office supply stores. They're ticking off other pre-school "to-dos": new shoes, backpacks,

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Into the arctic: park school program takes students on research adventure

Originally published in Baltimore Fishbowl, April 10, 2014 Picture this: You’re crouched low in a tundra buggy, in the middle of Canada’s Wapusk National Park, an isolated area near the edge of the Arctic Circle where the ratio of polar bears to humans is about 19 to one—950 polar bears live in the area; only 50 or so humans traverse this sparsely populated region each year. One of the privileged few, you’re waiting for a polar bear to come lumbering along within close enough range for you to snap its picture, which will then be used in ground-breaking research measuring the effect of climate change on this animal species. Incidentally, you’re a rising junior in high school. Park School junior Annika Salzberg is one of a very few teenage student-researchers who has made the trek into this remote area to collect data on the permafrost, polar bears, and plant life in the Arctic to better understand how climate change is affecting this fragile ecosystem. It’s changed her whole

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