Posts written by Stella M. Chávez

A Look At School Supply Costs — From Arlington to Alaska

On the left, supplies on the back-to-school list for third-graders in Arlington, Texas; on the right, the items fifth-graders need in Palmer, Alaska. How much are parents around the country spending on back-to-school supplies? According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Americans will drop about $8.6 billion this month on pens, notebooks, lunch boxes and more. NPR’s new education blog took a closer look at those costs by surveying nine schools around the country, including Atherton Elementary in Arlington. It checked each school’s recommended “supply list” for first, third and fifth graders. The verdict? Arlington tops the informal survey — supplies for an Atherton third grader will cost $122.

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Arron Cao and Sam Wang just arrived from Shanghai, China and will be attending high school at International Leadership of Texas, a Garland charter school.

Class of ’17: Chinese Students Will Study And Live At Garland Charter School Campus

The first day of school is a week and a half away, and 20 new students who just arrived from China are already settling in at International Leadership of Texas. Each kid will be assigned a student mentor at the Garland charter school. One of those mentors is a member of KERA’s Class of ’17 project.

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Class of ’17: A New School And A Second Chance On The Court

Phantasia Chavers has been practicing her volleyball skills this summer. This week, she's trying out for the Cedar Hill JV girls volleyball team.

Stella M. Chávez

Phantasia Chavers has been practicing her volleyball skills this summer. This week, she’s trying out for the Cedar Hill JV girls volleyball team.

Classes at most North Texas schools begin in a few weeks. When Phantasia Chavers starts 10th grade at Cedar Hill High School, she hopes to be spending time after school on the JV volleyball team. Phantasia’s one of the Class of ’17 students KERA’s been following as part of the American Graduate initiative. And for her, a new school year means a new school and a second chance on the court.

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A Teacher’s Reflection On The Kids Who Drive Everyone Crazy

The Washington Post recently published an interesting piece about the kids who can make teaching and learning nearly impossible. It’s written by a teacher, Ellie Herman, who’s been chronicling her experience on her blog Gatsby in L.A. Many teachers can probably relate. Her story is worth reading till the end. If you’re a teacher, we’d love to hear about your own experience and what you’ve learned from those difficult teaching moments. Chime in below in the comments section.


Pilot Project Will Teach Fort Worth Pre-K Kids How To Tackle Stress

A student at Momentous Institute shows off a glitter ball. These balls help teach children how to cope with stress and anxiety.

Momentous Institute

A student at Momentous Institute shows off a glitter ball. These balls help teach children how to cope with stress and anxiety.

Here’s a question. Do you know the difference between your amygdala and the hippocampus? There’s a group of 3 year olds in Oak Cliff who do. And soon, pre-K children in Fort Worth may know, too. The district is teaming up with Momentous Institute in a new partnership aimed at teaching young children how to take care of their social and emotional health.

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Texas Teachers Face Financial Strain

On Friday, The Texas Tribune published a story about teacher pay and the challenges educators face in Texas. According to the piece, the average Texas teacher makes about $49,000 a year, which is about $8,000 below the national average. During the 2010-2011 school year, teacher pay in the state ranked 30th in the country, and two years later, it dropped to 35th in the nation.

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Patricia Martinez and Zharkynay Christian of the Nanotechnology Department at UT Dallas introduced a group of middle school girls to nanotechnology. The girls, who are in Girls Inc., participated in a two-week summer camp at Richland College and UT Dallas.

Middle School Girls Geek Out On Science At UT Dallas

About half of the U.S workforce is female, but only 1 in 4 jobs in STEM fields go to women. We checked out a summer camp at the University of Texas in Dallas that aims to get girls excited about science, technology, engineering and math.

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In Garland: Books, Games and Tips For Parents Help Kids Avoid The ‘Summer Slide’

Backpack & books

On Monday, we learned about how a kid’s knowledge and skills take a hit during the summer break and what Dallas is doing citywide to tackle that problem. Today, we look at how one school district – Garland – is fighting the “summer slide” by arming its kids this summer with more than 50,000 books.

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Keeping Kids Learning And Not Going Down The ‘Summer Slide’

Research shows that the summer break takes a toll on learning. Either kids aren’t doing much of it at home or they don’t have access to education programs or activities. In the first of two stories, we look at the “summer slide” and how Dallas is tackling it. Also, on Monday’s second hour of Think, host Krys Boyd spoke with a couple of education experts about this issue. You can listen to the podcast here.

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SMU’s Dedman College Gets New Dean

Southern Methodist University has named Thomas DiPiero as the new dean of SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. DiPiero, who begins Aug. 12, will be a professor in the Departments of English and World Languages and Literature.

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