Entering high school math can bring up anxiety for both the student and the parent. Algebra, geometry, trigonometry — the course titles are the same, but believe it or not, the way these classes are now taught in school can look a lot different from what you might remember. Here are a few ways to prepare yourself — and, more importantly, your student — for a successful school year:
The best way to support your student as he transitions to these upper-level math courses is to keep an open dialogue with him about it.
"When Common Core came in, it shifted the focus to include an understanding of everything," said Amy Lee Kinder, who has worked as a math specialist at the Bridgescape Academy in Humboldt Park. "It's more about the process to get there. That's very foreign to how people were taught in the past. It's more about investigative learning and students going through a scenario and understanding a concept completely."
Kinder said students are now asked, "Why do you think that?" and, "Where does that come from?" They are required to explain how they came to the answer, instead of just spitting out a number.
A great way to prepare your student for the classroom is by asking the same types of questions at home.
"Question, question, question," Kinder said. "Stay involved, as hard as it may be. From the teacher's perspective, it takes a team of people to assist these kids, and support outside the classroom is huge."
If your student is nervous about a new math class, try building up his confidence by revisiting basic concepts, such as addition, subtraction and fractions.
"The issues kids face in algebra aren't necessarily about algebra, but a lack of understanding about what a fraction is — things that precede that higher-level class," said Mark Kriston, owner of two Mathnasium learning centers in Chicago.
It's always good to know when to ask for help. And with more difficult courses that build upon previous concepts, it's probably best for your student to get help sooner, rather than later, if he needs it.
"We don't get calls for tutoring until October or November," Reber said. "That's usually when they've had their first hard test."
But Kinder, who also works as a private math tutor, cautioned: "Once a kid gets behind, it's way harder for them to get caught up." She suggests going over the syllabus with your child as soon as school starts. She said students should be presented with a calendar of what's going to be expected of the class; some teachers will post this information online.
"The more proactive parents can be about getting involved, the better," she said.
The following are Thom Jackson’s remarks to the Ohio Bridgescape educators on August 3 in Columbus.
This morning marks the beginning of the new school year. Wow! Think about that for a moment...a new school year.
I have not known what that means as a teacher, counselor or instructional leader. I do remember what it meant as a student.
For much of my primary and secondary education, a new school year meant three words: Breakfast and Lunch. It meant that I could get two regular meals each day, which I saw as the real reward for showing up. What happened in between -- classes, quizzes, tests and homework, well that was a necessary by-product until...until wonderfully committed teachers, like you, helped me to realize that I had it backwards.
The best meals were served over Shakespeare, Emerson and Frost. Following the drinking gourd was not just a song, but a lens into the strength, character and culture of a people and a nation that really is pregnant with opportunity and potential. Conquering Polynomials and understanding Pythagorean built mental toughness.
Many of the students with whom you will work will not have such an idyllic view. Some have failed of their own volition; others have frankly failed because they have been failed. All, however, will look to each of you to give them one thing...hope – an enduring belief that they are in the right place --- the place where they can turn things around, where someone believes in their innate ability to learn.
I have often said that "Education is the hardest job you'll ever love." It is hard not just because our country has yet to truly commit the resources necessary to ensure educational equity regardless of a child's socioeconomic circumstances. It is hard not just because of the adult agendas that generate polices which frustrate academic progress and perpetuate dropout factories in our communities.
It is hard because of the cumulative effect of each of these and the sheer battle ground of issues our children face even before they walk through our doors: personal safety, extreme poverty, verbal, physical and emotional abuse, and failed schools.
These are the issues our students carry through our doors. They are the issues that only a profound sense of hope can help them overcome. And so, they look to you....to each of you.
As I thought about my remarks today, it occurred to me that your job not only underscores the importance of our 8 Core Values, but actually exposes their incompleteness. Think about it. As you succeed in creating an environment of hope, our students learn how to endure, how to work from “I can't” to “I can”. In progressing from drop out to drop in to graduate, they not only learn hope, they become resilient.
Resilience is the ability to overcome and ultimately be strengthened by life’s challenges. My great grandmother used to say, "Trouble don't come all ways, but it always comes." Each day during this new year, you will help our students develop the academic tools that will become the life skills they will need to overcome many and varied challenges they will face throughout their lives.
Therefore, I find it no better setting than today, here in Columbus, to announce a 9th Core Value. Resilience: The ability to overcome and ultimately be strengthened by life’s challenges.
When we announced our 8 Core Values nearly a generation ago, we recognized that indelible link between character and education, or as Aristotle said: "Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all."
Each day, in our Bridgescape Learning Academies across the country, we are educating mind and heart, teaching and building grit and determination -- helping our students to mature into strong, resilient adults. Indeed, even as we teach them, we, too, become more resilient.
As you plan and prepare for the new school year, I ask that you think intentionally about this new core value. Indeed, you may conclude, even as I did, that it is not only an appropriate Core Value, but that it is the end product of successfully teach its 8 predecessors.
Thank you for your time, and in advance, I thank each of you personally for what you will do for our students throughout this new year.
Dayton, OH -- With the number one predictor of success in life being a high school diploma, the leading alternative learning program for students who are at risk of leaving school or have already left school, is now open to young people in Dayton.
The Bridgescape Learning Academy of Dayton, located at 3237 W. Siebenthaler Avenue, will provide an effective and personalized educational option for those students who want to earn a standard high school diploma.
Dayton-area students interested in learning more about Bridgescape should visit the website at: www.bridgescape.com; or call an enrollment counselor directly at 937-639-3192.
During the recently concluded school year, more than 2,000 high school dropouts and at risk students attended Bridgescape Learning Academies in Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Norfolk, Durham, and Bridgeton, NJ.
Understanding that personal issues and challenges may have interfered with a student’s academic progress, Bridgescape offers a flexible program so students can attend on-site classes in the morning, afternoon or evening to suit their needs.
Unlike a traditional school setting, the Bridgescape program is a blend of one-on-one and group instruction, infused with interactive online offerings specifically tailored for each individual student. Each Academy is staffed with on-site education teams to assist students in their daily studies. Two-thirds of the student’s instruction is provided by EdisonLearning’s eCourses and eSchoolware.
With the 2016-17 school year, Bridgescape Learning Academies will be adding a project-based learning curriculum, developed by Global Learning Models (GLM), to help students capitalize on their own strengths, learning styles, and interests by applying them to coursework. The 48 GLM project-based learning courses in English, Math & Science core curriculum for grades 9 – 12 will be integrated with the existing EdisonLearning eCourses.
Since its inception in 2010, Bridgescape has awarded diplomas to 2,000 at-risk and dropped-out high school students, and helped prepare them to enter college or receive the necessary credentials to get a job upon graduation.
Eighty-two percent (82%) of students, who enroll in Bridgescape, complete the program and earn their diploma - which is higher than the national graduation rate for all schools.
On June 14, the five Chicago area Bridgescape Academies held their third graduation ceremony at Roberto Clemente High School. Before a packed audience of more than 800 parents, guardians, family members, friends, and Bridgescape staff, Ms. Tara Lawrence conferred high school diplomas upon 203 graduates. It was an evening of excitement, tears, smiles, and so many positive emotions. These students, who were on the verge of not being successful in achieving their high school diploma, have been given the chance to progress forward through Bridgescape Learning Academies.
The graduates were encouraged through an inspiring commencement address given by Dr. Sabrena L. Davis, Student Success Director of EdisonLearning’s Theodore Roosevelt College and Career Academy in Gary, Indiana. She told them her personal account of how she overcame the struggles of her youth as she matriculated through school to ultimately obtain her post-secondary and post-graduate degrees. Dr. Davis told the graduates that “Tea Bags Live on Bridges”. The central theme of her message was one of hope, determination, and faith.
The “Magic Award” was bestowed upon five of the graduates, who were honored and recognized by their principals for reaching their high school educational goals despite having to overcome various obstacles in their personal lives. Like many of the students who seek out Bridgescape, these outstanding students also had stories, ones of travailing, persisting, and triumphing. The graduates were Shermaine Sewell – Brainerd Campus, Telan Lucas – North Lawndale Campus, Titochie Figures – Englewood Campus, Tatiana Brown – Roseland Campus, and Martin Ovalle – Humboldt Campus.
The success of Bridgescape Learning Academies in Chicago has been realized through the support of our many partners. Each year during graduation, Alderman Carrie Austin, alderman of the 34th Ward, where our Roseland Campus resides, recognizes two of our outstanding students: Jayla Lott and Tatiana Brown. Each student received a plaque and monetary gift from the Alderman’s Education Foundation. These gifts were presented during the graduation ceremony by a representative from the Alderman’s Office.
From their opening in 2013, Chicago Bridgescape Academies have graduated 320 students who, otherwise, may have been unsuccessful in the traditional high school environment in achieving their high school diploma.
EdisonLearning Enhances Alternative and Virtual Education Solutions with Innovative Project-Based Learning Curriculum
EdisonLearning, the leading international educational solutions provider, is enhancing its alternative and virtual education solutions with the addition of a new project-based learning curriculum. This initiative is being advanced in partnership with Global Learning Models (GLM), and the Capital Area Intermediate Unit (CAIU) – a regional educational service agency in Pennsylvania serving 24 member school districts.
With the 2016-17 school year, project-based learning curriculum, developed by Global Learning Models (GLM), will be incorporated with EdisonLearning’s eCourses and utilized throughout its partnership school network to help students capitalize on their own strengths, learning styles, and interests by applying them to coursework.
“This new project-based learning curriculum highlights our sincere belief that it is only through collaborative partnerships that we will advance the goals of education – specifically in raising academic achievement and preparing students for college and a career,” said Thom Jackson, EdisonLearning’s President and CEO. “Both Global Learning Models and CAIU are among the most competent and committed working in education today, and we are proud to have them as our partners.”
In addition, EdisonLearning is re-establishing the original brand name to its alternative learning program that provides an effective and personalized educational option for those students who want to graduate from high school. Bridgescape Learning Academies have, since their inception in 2010, awarded 2,000 at-risk and dropped-out high school students their high school diplomas.
“With as many as one quarter of our students not finishing high school,” said Mr. Jackson, “Bridgescape Learning Academies continue to advance our belief that every student – given the right tools, support and environment – is capable of exceeding their expectations, and complete their high school education, giving them the ability to continue onto college, attend vocational school, or enter the workforce.”
As result of a 2011 strategic alliance with Magic Johnson Enterprises, Bridgescape Centers were re-branded as Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academies. “We are honored to have partnered with Mr. Earvin Johnson, who helped to increase public visibility of the Bridgescape program, and boost public awareness of the dropout crisis in our country,” said Mr. Jackson.
Bridgescape Learning Academies are designed for high school-age students who have already left school, or who are at risk of leaving, and want to earn a standard high school diploma. Unlike a traditional school setting, the Bridgescape program is a blend of one-on-one and group instruction, which will now be infused with the new project-based learning interactive offerings specifically tailored for each individual student.
Bridgescape Learning Academies in Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Norfolk, Durham, and Bridgeton, NJ helped more than 2,200 high school dropouts and at risk students during the current school year complete their education, earn their diplomas, and prepare to enter college or receive the necessary credentials to get a job upon graduation. New Bridgescape Learning Academies will be opening this year in Dayton, Ohio and Gary, Indiana.
Eighty-one percent (81%) of students, who enroll in Bridgescape, complete the program and earn their diploma - which is higher than the national graduation rate for all schools.