Sections    Saturday August 18th, 2018
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What we’re watching: AZ students compete in National Spelling Bee, nearly half of fourth graders say they’re happy in school


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  • Lisa Irish/ Arizona Education News Service

Kelly Haven Waits To Compete During The 2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee. She Also Qualified For The 2018 Competition. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Four Arizona students took part in the third round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee today, according to a story on KTAR News 92.3 FM. The final rounds can be watched on Thursday from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Arizona time on ESPN2 and from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on ESPN.

Results from a survey by the National Assessment of Educational Progress found that while 49 percent of fourth-graders say they are happy in school all or most of the time, but just 26 percent of eight-graders say they are, according to an article in The Washington Post. Also, black fourth-graders were twice as likely as their white peers and three times as likely as their Asian peers to say they felt awkward and out of place all or most of the time in school.

The Yuma Sun reports that middle school social studies teacher Judy Toensing attended her former student Christin Gilmer’s graduation from Harvard University on Saturday, more than 20 years after Toensing wrote a note on Gilmer’s report card that said “It has been a joy to have you in class. Keep up the good work! Invite me to your Harvard graduation!”

Walmart has teamed up with Guild Education to help employees interested in earning a bachelor’s degree in business or supply-chain management to do so for $1 per day at one of three online programs offered by the University of Florida, Brandman University and Bellevue University and later it plans to expand this program to include more types of degrees, according to a story by The Associated Press.

Bouse Elementary School third- through eighth-grade students built their own miniature versions of a Mars Rover and remotely drove them over a course they couldn’t see using their amateur radios thanks to a $2,000 STEM grant from Arizona Public Service and a partnership with My La Paz, according to a story in the Parker Pioneer.

A group of parents and students are trying to raise recess time for students from 15 minutes a day to a minimum of 40 minutes a day, saying that the unstructured, free time students have at recess helps them be more attentive, productive and better behaved during class, according to a Loudoun Times-Mirror article.

Fort Worth Independent School District has put up ads on five billboards in the Phoenix area to lure Arizona teachers to the Texas school district led by Dr. Kent Scribner, former superintendent of Phoenix Union High School District, saying their starting salary for teachers is $52,000, according to a story on NBC 12 News KPNX Phoenix. The district did the same thing in Oklahoma earlier this year and they’ve already hired several teachers from there.

Schools across the nation are looking at Oakland International High School’s program that helps refugees and students from all over the world learn English, math and how to navigate their new lives in a place far from where they were born as the prepare for graduation and post-secondary education, according to an EdSource article.

Leaders of Arizona schools labelled a D schools under the state’s A-F School Accountability system asked the State Board of Education to provide support for struggling schools instead of shaming by those schools being required to notify community members about the rating or risk losing funds, according to an article in The Arizona Republic.

As the second season of Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” premiered earlier this month, school leaders provided middle schoolers with lessons on depression awareness and suicide prevention, while offering parents a free class at the same time and retraining teachers on spotting risk factors, according to a National Public Radio story.