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Stories tagged: WHYY/NewsWorks

Students find calm through mindfulness and guided meditation

By Stephanie Marudas for NewsWorks on Jul 24, 2014 04:51 PM

Mindfulness meditation might be the new yoga, but does it have a place in the classroom?

Skipping recess to meditate might not be what most kids would choose to do. But in the lunchroom at Isaac Sheppard Elementary School in North Philadelphia, a loud bunch of 3rd and 4th graders are about to get quiet. They gather around teacher Jamie Roberts. She's going to take them to her classroom for meditation club and gets their attention.

Appeal hearing delayed in case of MLK student's football eligibility

By Brian Hickey for NewsWorks on Jul 23, 2014 11:59 AM

Wednesday's scheduled appeal hearing to determine the football eligibility of a student who transferred to Martin Luther King High School in March has been postponed until next month.

Robert A. Lombardi, executive director of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA), told NewsWorks on Tuesday that scheduling conflicts for the principals of MLK (William Wade) and George Washington High School (Gene Jones) led to the delay.

Teacher designs app to help educators meet Pa. evaluation requirements

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Jul 21, 2014 10:39 AM

Katy Morris, an 8th-grade algebra and geometry teacher at Welsh Valley Middle School in Narberth, is out to revolutionize how teachers experience the evaluation process.

This past school year, Pennsylvania adopted a new statewide teacher evaluation system – due in part to an incentive in the federal Race to the Top school accountability competition.

Special ed cuts won't hurt students, Philly school officials say

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Jul 15, 2014 09:31 PM

The Philadelphia School District laid off 157 special education classroom assistants and one-to-one aides last week in a move that officials say won't negatively affect children.

School advocates in the legal community, though, remain highly dubious.

Chief Financial Officer Matt Stanski explained the District's rationale to the School Reform Commission at a June 30 meeting.

"We believe we can maintain existing services for our special education students and, in fact, enhance them through management efficiencies and still see this expenditure reduction," Stanski said.

Philly youth of color discuss struggles and successes with Arne Duncan

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Jul 12, 2014 12:15 PM

Drug abuse. Violence. Incarceration.

Those are the pitfalls that plague far too many young men of color in America, according to the White House.

In order to steer young men away from that fate, President Obama has started the initiative called My Brother's Keeper, a federal effort to call special attention to the plight of young Black and Latino men and develop best practices to help them fulfill their potential.

Teachers' union head rejects Corbett's call for concessions

By Tom MacDonald for NewsWorks on Jul 10, 2014 03:47 PM

As Gov. Corbett asked for contract concessions from the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers on Thursday morning, 300 layoff notices were on their way to School District employees.

The head of the city teachers' union says, "No way."

Without cigarette tax, Hite says, layoffs would begin Aug. 15

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Jul 9, 2014 05:59 PM

After winning a major victory in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives last week, the proposed cigarette tax for Philly schools appears stalled in a game of legislative pingpong.

On Tuesday, the Senate sent the bill back to the House by adding amendments, and now the House isn't scheduled to reconsider the measure until Aug. 4.

School leaders say that leaves plans for opening schools in September in total disarray.

Young football star's transfer stirs bad blood between two schools

By Brian Hickey for NewsWorks on Jul 9, 2014 11:04 AM

The clock reads 5:45 a.m. on a school day in early June, and the sun has just peeked over North Philadelphia's horizon.

Annette Thomas rushes down the creaky steps of her rowhouse near 10th and Glenwood. She's out the front door within seconds. Her shift as a Genesis HealthCare home nurse will soon begin.

Once that door closes, her son Dawayne Young bears full responsibility for ensuring that his preteen brother and sister, Dequan and Dainyah, board a yellow school bus for their five-mile ride to West Oak Lane Charter School.

Philly cigarette tax for schools stalled in legislative pingpong match

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Jul 8, 2014 09:00 PM

The passage of the Philadelphia cigarette tax hit a major setback Tuesday.

The Pennsylvania Senate approved the tax, but added provisions as part of an omnibus package that will yet again need the blessing of the House of Representatives, which is not scheduled to return to a voting session until the fall.

The Philadelphia School District had been desperately hoping the Senate would allow the House version of the cigarette tax – approved in dramatic fashion last week – to pass unscathed.

But Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware, added an amendment to the bill that would "sunset" the tax after five years and prohibit the School District from borrowing against cigarette tax proceeds.

Philly lawmaker cautions that cigarette tax for schools not a done deal

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Jul 7, 2014 09:27 PM

Last week, the Republican-held, tax-averse Pennsylvania House of Representatives gave its blessing to Philadelphia's $2-per-pack cigarette tax.

The tax is expected to generate $40 million to $45 million for the struggling schools this year and double that for years to come.

But the measure still must win approval from the state Senate before moving to the governor's desk.

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