Archive for Thursday, April 7, 2011

First Bell: Single-sex lunches on middle school menus in Wichita; student survey calls for cell phones in class; administrator cites Paraeducator Appreciation Week

April 7, 2011, 1:55 a.m. Updated April 7, 2011, 11:31 a.m.


A few education-oriented items from around the area:

Monday night, members of the Lawrence school board will consider changing the names of the district’s four junior high schools, and there’s one thing for sure: All four, at the very least, will be renamed as “middle schools” for the coming school year.

In checking around about the transition to middle schools — the Lawrence district is switching from having grades 7, 8 and 9 in junior highs to, beginning next year, having grades 6, 7 and 8 in middle schools — I came across an interesting change for some middle schools in the Wichita area: Separating girls and boys at lunchtime.

That’s right: Some schools are conducting separate lunches, based on students’ gender. Boys in one session. Girls in another.

Among the reasons: Reduce fights. Cut back on socializing. Increase actual ingestion of food. Here’s a story about the change, from the Wichita Eagle.

Such plans aren’t part of transition plans in the Lawrence district, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen here.

I’m wondering: Anyone have thoughts about the idea?


Sounds like kids sure would like to have their wireless phones in school.

A survey conducted for Project Tomorrow determined that 53 percent of students in middle school and high school reported that their inability to use cell phones, smart phones or MP3 players represented the largest obstacle when using technology in school.

Also, 71 percent of high school students surveyed and 62 percent of middle school students surveyed noted that the best way for schools to make it easier to use technology would be to “allow greater access to the digital content and resources that Internet firewalls and school filters blocked.”

The survey has some interesting insights. You can get more information and see the full survey here.


Bob Arevalo, division director for human resources in the Lawrence school district, encourages educators and others to recognize the district’s 350 paraeducator during this, Paraeducator Education Week.

Such paras “play an integral role in our teaching and learning process,” he said, as a majority work directly with students at all levels. Most have job responsibilities that relate to academic achievement, providing support for students and school safety.

“Hats off to all paraeducators for supporting our students and staff in the teaching and learning process,” he said. “Your hard work and commitment are appreciated this week and throughout the school year!”


gsxr600 7 years, 1 month ago

Ya it's grades 7,8,9 and not 8,9,10....

MISTERTibbs 7 years, 1 month ago

But still no adequate reason for changing the name from junior high to middle school.

Take_a_letter_Maria 7 years, 1 month ago

The question will never be asked. He's afraid of Mary.

Gary Denning 7 years, 1 month ago

Kids want to have their cell phones in school!!! Shocking. Just shocking.

sonnesun 7 years, 1 month ago

Cut back on socializing at lunchtime? Not only does this seem a little draconian, socializing plays a very important role in childrens development. This idea also risks decreasing student grades as they will all be catching up more with each other during lesson times instead of lunchtime. They may say it works now, but in the longterm it's bound to fail eventually because kids aren't stupid and will eventually start rebelling against the segregation. It just won't work in mixed schools in the longterm.

What are they thinking?

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