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College and Career Readiness through Blended Learning

Life Preparedness
Life Preparedness

Tragedy and Triumph, The Highs and Lows of Working in Schools

The Highs and Lows of Working in Schools

by Cathie Maglio, Blended Learning Specialist

The schools I work in have been back in session since the beginning of September. I was excited to get back to see teachers I have worked with for years, to meet teachers who are new to the JFYNet program, and to see all the students, new and returning. I have also gone to new schools, giving presentations on the JFYNet blended learning program. I enjoy doing these demonstrations since it gives me a chance to meet other teachers and principals and to show them a program that I know helps raise students’ skills and scores on MCAS and college placement testing.

What educators can learn from the Red Sox, Good of the Student

Humans do not always perform according to algorithm

by Greg Cunningham, Blended Learning Specialist

The Red Sox won the World Series this fall for the fourth time in fourteen years. If any of my friends had told me in 2003 that the Red Sox would collect four World Series championships in the next decade and a half, I would have told them they were crazy. (Disclosure: I strongly believe most of my friends to be crazy anyway.)

Astronomy in the Fenway

Reading the Red Sox’ Stars

by Greg Cunningham, Blended Learning Specialist

    “I’m amazed you can see Venus with all the lights around Boston,” my friend Tyler commented as we walked back to the car after a Red Sox win at Fenway Park.

    “That’s not Venus,” I assured him. “That’s Mars.”

    “It can’t be Mars. It’s too bright to be Mars.”

    “Actually, Mars is at its brightest point in 50 years right now. And the only time you can see Venus is right after sunset or right before sunrise. It’s too late for Venus.”

Is access to literacy a constitutional right?

Of Literacy and Democracy

Is access to literacy a constitutional right?

by Eileen Wedegartner

On July 5, 2018, Thomas Birmingham and William Weld co-authored an opinion piece in the Boston Globe titled, “Mass. has to return to its high standards for education.” The former governor and senate president re-visited the 1993 Education Reform Act on its 25th anniversary, praising its successes and making an argument to raise the ante and not relax the push for high standards that has brought Massachusetts success in education.

How teachers and coaches help students find their own success

How teachers and coaches help students find their own success

By Greg Cunningham, Blended Learning Specialist

“You have a great ability to quickly develop an analysis of the topic. If we can teach you how to speak, we might have something here.”

These were my first comments to Jackson, a new student, almost three years ago after he gave a practice Impromptu speech. “Impromptu” speaking gives the student a random topic on which to speak for four minutes after ninety seconds of preparation. Thus began a journey which would culminate in a way often found in my daydreams, but never allowed to creep into conscious thoughts for fear of jinxing the whole thing.

Predictions: Snow days! School delays! Red Sox win! WHen?

It will snow. Just don’t ask me when.

by Greg Cunningham, Blended Learning Specialist

I would never want to be a weather forecaster in Boston. The changing jet stream winds, the effect of the warm ocean on a snow or rain line, and the pressure of predicting whether rain will hold off long enough for the Red Sox to play would be too much for me. Engineers were thinking about traffic when they built Routes 128 and 495, but those lines on the map are now rain and snow boundaries. Making those storm calls may be the most thankless job in the region– after predicting the Red Sox finish.

The Magic of Opening Day

Today is Opening Day at Fenway Park

by Greg Cunningham, Blended Learning Specialist

It’s the worst-kept secret in offices, boardrooms and schools anywhere within striking distance of Fenway Park: people play hooky the day of the home opener. And why not?

In early April, young baseball fans find more to learn at the ballpark than in a classroom, and older ones more to do than in an office. In schools students are told to dream big, to imagine the impossible. Walt Whitman in Song of the Open Road sings “These are the days that must happen to you.” Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland asks “’Who in the world am I?’ Ah, that’s the great puzzle.” Exploring Wonderland, Alice realizes it is she who’s changing, not the world around her. She grasps to hold on to the innocence of childhood, a yearning all adults can relate to on opening day. What is the ballpark but a scene of eternal childhood?

Puerto Rico: Hurricane’s Children Make Landfall

Maria to Massachusetts

by Eileen Wedegartner, Blended Learning Specialist

On Wednesday, September 20, 2017, while life here in Massachusetts was proceeding as any other fall day would, Puerto Rico was devastated by a hurricane named Maria that still leaves 30% of the island without electricity.

Like many other people, I expressed my concern for my fellow Americans by contributing to agencies that could help the recovery. I was proud to see members of my local electric company go down to help, and proud to see how many states, including Massachusetts, responded to the need.

The School Year Starts: Nothing but Net

by Eileen Wedegartner, Blended Learning SPECIALIST

It’s that time of year again when beach balls are traded for book bags. For many students, fall is a season of excitement: a new term, a clean slate and an opportunity to make new entries in the growing ledger of successes. But for others it’s a time of angst with the shadows of past failures dimming their vision and shrouding their hopes and expectations in nervous gloom. My task is to help these students acknowledge the past but find a way to embrace the new school year as an opportunity to write a new narrative on that fresh slate.

Seeking the balance; planting the seed for success

There will always be joys and tragedies.

by Cathie Maglio, Blended Learning Specialist

Another tragic and senseless loss. A Haverhill High student who had just graduated was shot and killed last month when he answered a knock on his door. This student participated in the JFYNet program at Haverhill High last year. I did not know him personally, but having spent many hours and days at Haverhill High I know the principal, many teachers, and dozens of students I have worked with over the past two years. I feel the loss of this young life too.