School Administration, Specialty Programs & Camps, Students & Parents, Teachers & Teaching, Uncategorized

Records Management for Educational Programs

Many wonderful educational programs take place outside of the regular school day. Whether these are religious sunday schools, after-school sports and martial arts schools, or private art classes, there are limitless possibilities. Though at first it may seem that a school management system is cumbersome and unnecessary, a SMS/SIS that is both flexible and properly tailored can actually be extremely helpful and time-saving.

Educational programs need to keep track of details about their students and their course offerings, for general record keeping, reporting, and future planning. As a result, it’s very important to have a streamlined organization system that is simple to use and highly customizable to the specific needs of an educational extracurricular program . Here are some of the many areas a school management system can make a difference.

  • Student Information Records
  • Emergency Contacts
  • Allergy/Allergen and Medical Information
  • Attendance Data
  • Current and Past Class Enrollment
  • Admissions
  • Tuition, Fees, and Payment
  • Attendance
  • Email, Voice Call, and Text Messaging Parents/Guardians
  • Teacher Records

Because QuickSchools is great for small and large programs alike, can be tailored easily to your program, and has no startup or maintenance fees and costs, it’s a great fit for educational and extracurricular programs. If you’re on the look out for a great system for organizing student and class data for your sunday school, martial arts school, soccer program, music school, tutoring center, or other program, QuickSchools is a great way to go!

photo credit: www.svsu.net/departments/after-school-programming/index.php

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Education philosophy, General Learning, School Administration, Specialty Programs & Camps, Uncategorized

Service Learning for All Students

More schools and educational programs now than ever appreciate and encourage their students to take part in Service-Learning projects. Service-learning is a wonderful instructional method that combines in-classroom instruction enriched with the experiences of applying the learned concepts to help others. The benefits of these courses are well-known, and there are all sorts of ways to implement a Service-Learning program. Whether your lessons are in the humanities or STEM fields, in vocational or technical fields, here are just a few ideas for your school’s new Service-Learning classes.

Photo Credit: http://bcservicelearningcenter.blogspot.com/

Photo Credit: http://bcservicelearningcenter.blogspot.com/

  • Paint a Mural – A public art project can make a big difference in a neighborhood that gets a lot of graffiti or could use a boost to it’s community identity. Art students can put their new skills to use to cover up an unsightly surface such as a building, a wall, or even under a bridge. Of course, it’s extremely important to get permission from any and all owners or town property overseers before beginning a project.

  • Build a House – Many organizations such as Habitat for Humanity build homes for people who cannot afford to build or buy by themselves. Vocational students – especially plumbing and electrical students – might be able to make a huge difference in these sorts of projects. Whether your school organizes building a home by itself, or through a partner organization, it is a rewarding and practical learning experience for many students to be able to help someone else start their own home.

  • Volunteer at a Hospital or Animal Shelter – Medically-minded students can make a big difference helping people or critters get access to good care. Whether a student is interested in the medical fields, or pursuing higher education, contributing to organizations, and supporting their operations with the essentials can make a huge difference. Not only do students get to see how the process works at the basic level, they can make a huge difference, freeing up staff to handle more specific cases.

  • Tutoring – For traditional academic students (especially students also studying education), tutoring fellow members of the community is a fantastic way to help others while gaining experience with interpersonal skills and experiences that may not be able to be taught directly in the classroom. Not only do tutors need to know their fields inside and out, they can be a life-saver for their students.

Though these are just a few ideas to start off a Service-Learning program, there are of course, as many others as there are different types of students. Whether your new initiatives supports studies in academics, ministry, vocations or the arts, an awesome school management system can make a huge difference. Service-Learning programs are fantastic, but they do require some support in a few key areas, such as…

Of course, if you’re interested in QS for your school, please do let us know – we’d love to help you set it up to support your traditional and Service-Learning classes. Through Service-Learning can be quite the project to implement and manage, it’s a fantastic and rewarding method of instruction for so many students – as well as a wonderful way to support the communities your school loves.

Do you have Service-Learning classes at your school? What do you or your students think about them?

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Education philosophy, General Learning, Specialty Programs & Camps, Teachers & Teaching, Uncategorized

Adult Literacy Education

It’s well known that low literacy rates have an impact at the national level, but for the individuals who struggle with basic reading and writing, the picture can feel far bleaker.

Finding stable and productive work – let alone career advancement – is very difficult to find. In addition, children of illiterate parents have a much higher likelihood of being illiterate themselves.  There are plenty of reasons as to why it’s imperative to become fully literate, even for someone who has been out of school for some time. Luckily, many organizations are aware of the issue, and supporting adult students in their effort to learn to read and write.

 

Finding literacy classes may be difficult, but helpful sites such as these directories in the US and in Canada, can make the process a bit easier. In addition, friends, family, employers, and other community resources can help students search for classes in their area. It’s important to find a class at a good time and the right level, so that it is possible for a student to attend regularly, and get the most out of their time.

Adult literacy classes utilize all sorts of techniques in order to teach their students to read and write. Depending on the student’s level of comfort and skill, organizations will use programs including private lessons, small classes, and reading groups. Many organizations will build personalized learning plans that include some or all of these structures at different times. Others have tried and true curricula that they rely for all students. If students have preferences for how their education will work, it might be helpful to have a conversation or build a plan with the organization before starting classes.

In addition, finding a class specifically for language learners is very important. Classes that cover the basics of alphabet, pronunciation, idioms, and other fundamentals geared toward learning the structure of the language, as well as how to read and write it, will be much more helpful. A simple google search will often yield names of organizations and classes that teach to language learners. These classes can open all sorts of doors for students – whether these are jobs, opportunities for further education, or better communication with friends and neighbors.

Though it can be difficult to find and complete literacy classes, due to all sorts of factors ranging from work and transportation to the amount of time it takes to become fully proficient, adult literacy students find that their investment did not go to waste. Practice, perseverance – and the help of good teacher – can lead to life-changing opportunities.

Have you had any experience with adult literacy education? Whether you are a teacher or a student, please feel free to share how it went.

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Education philosophy, General Learning, Specialty Programs & Camps, Teachers & Teaching

Becoming A Special Education Teacher

Things to know about before becoming a Special Education Teacher…

First and foremost, being a Special Education Teacher takes someone who is passionate about teaching and has an ability to work well with children who have special needs. Children with learning, mental, emotional, and physical disabilities can truly benefit from working with special education teachers, as special education teachers ensure that the lessons and teaching strategies are specific to their students’ learning abilities. Special education teachers can teach a range of subjects depending on the severity of the student’s disability, subjects such as English, math, science, social studies, foreign languages, art, independent living skills, etc.

woodleywonderworks / Foter.com / CC BY

woodleywonderworks / Foter.com / CC BY

The education requirements for a special education teacher vary by state. Generally, most school districts require at least a bachelor’s degree with a minor in special education, but most prefer a bachelor’s degree specializing in special education, and some states require a master’s degree specifically in special education after earning a teaching certification. You can check out your state’s special education teacher requirements by visiting their Department of Education website.

After graduation teachers can find work in both public and private school settings, all states require public school teachers to be licensed. However, this is not always a requirement in private schools. Public school teachers are also sometimes required to complete annual professional development courses to maintain their teaching license and most states require all teachers to pass a background check.

Special education teachers can teach at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. With further education they can advance into careers as school counselors, librarians, or principals. Veteran teachers can also become mentors or lead teachers to help less seasoned teachers improve their teaching skills.

But, before you consider becoming a Special Education Teacher you should ask yourself if you have these essential qualities…

  • Proficient Communication Skills – Special education teachers must be able to communicate with the student’s general education teachers, parents, and school officials and counselors.
  • Ability to Think Innovatively – Special education teachers often need to think creatively to effectively teach their students in a way that meets each student’s individual learning style. At the same time, they must also be able to think in a methodical manner in order to properly analyze a student’s progress or lack thereof and to develop new approaches to teaching if the current ones aren’t successful.
  • A High Level of Patience – Teaching students’ with special needs or disabilities can be challenging and requires a lot of patience. Special education teachers must be able to remain calm when a student struggles or becomes frustrated with their ability to learn.
  • Good Interpersonal Skills – To be a great Special Education Teacher you must really love working with children! Children are not always cute and cuddly, they can be quite messy and noisy at times, add this with the child’s disability and you can easily become overwhelmed. That is why it is essential for special education teachers to have all of the above qualities. But, in the end you will find being a Special Education Teacher to be one of the most rewarding careers ever!

Are you a Special Education Teacher?

If so, we would love for you to contribute in our comments section.

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General Learning, Students & Parents, Uncategorized

The Difference Between ACT and SAT

The ACT (American College Testing) is an achievement test that tests what the student has learned in school and the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test or Scholastic Assessment Test) is an aptitude test that tests reasoning and verbal skills.

Photo credit: © 2006-2013 Pink Sherbet Photography / Foter.com / CC BY

Photo credit: © 2006-2013 Pink Sherbet Photography / Foter.com / CC BY

The ACT test consists of up to five parts:

•             English

o             Includes the usage and mechanics of punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure, as well as rhetorical skills.

•             Mathematics

o             Includes arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and trigonometry.

•             Science

o             Includes biology, chemistry, physics, and Earth/Space sciences.

•             Reading

o             Includes four reading excerpts on prose fiction, social studies, humanities, and natural sciences.

•             Writing

o             Includes an optional essay taken only if required by the college. (Most colleges require this writing essay, so be sure to check when applying)!

The ACT test is a multiple choice test with questions having four answer choices, except for the math section which has 5 multiple answer choices. Each section is scored from 1-36 and averaged to get the final score, except for the writing section which is scored from 2-12. The highest possible score is 36 and students are not penalized for guessing. Students can choose what scores are to be seen by the schools receiving their score reports. ACTs are administered six times a year.

The SAT test consists of three parts:

•             Mathematics

o             Includes arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and Student Produced Responses (or “Grid-Ins”).

•             Critical Reading

o             Excerpts are not related to any specific topic.

•             Writing

o             Includes required 25 minute essay that presents general questions in which students may use historical or literary examples to answer.

The SAT is a multiple choice test with questions having five answer choices. Each section is scored from 200-800, with 2400 being the highest possible score. All scores on every SAT taken are seen by the schools receiving the student’s score report unless the student chose Score Choice. SATs are administered seven times a year.

Colleges accept either ACT or SAT scores, but there is a growing amount of students taking and submitting both.

Here are a couple of tips:

•             ACT questions are more straight forward and easier to read but have more advanced math questions.

•             SATs have a stronger emphasis on vocabulary.

•             Generally speaking, on ACT tests colleges care about your scoring in each section, whereas with SAT tests they are more concerned about your overall score.

•             Individual strengths do play a role in how well you score on one test over the other.

•             You always want to check to see what test(s) are required by the schools you are applying to.

Whether you take the ACT or the SAT test QuickSchools wishes you the best of luck and success in your studies!

Please feel free to share your personal experiences or thoughts on the ACT and SAT tests in our comments section.

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Education philosophy, General Learning, School Administration, Specialty Programs & Camps, Students & Parents, Teachers & Teaching

A Primer on Adult Basic Education

While education often focuses on children, many adults also need basic literacy, mathematics, or vocational training. There are all sorts of reasons why a student might need remedial or new basic education skills: immigrants may need to learn the language of their new country, students who dropped out of school may need to go back to those classes, or students who were in school but missed instruction may wish to fill in the gaps in their education. Adult students come from especially diverse backgrounds and situations, and as a result, the needs of the agencies, schools, and organizations that serve them are similarly multifaceted.

Photo Credit: http://www.civilbeat.com/voices/2013/07/12/19461-lets-change-how-we-change-public-education/

Though there are many reasons to attend adult basic education classes, most often, students take courses in literacy, math, and vocational training. For many native english-speaking students and ESL students, the main reason they attend adult basic education is help with reading and writing clearly and fluently. Many adult education centers conduct reading groups for their adult students in addition to basic literacy classes or one-on-one tutoring. Because improved literacy skills are an important way adult students can better their employment prospects, adult education centers play a key role in equipping students with the skills they need to succeed.

Many students study mathematics and arithmetic with a tutor, while others prefer small group, or a large class. For many adults, math skills are also a barrier to job entry, so for many it is imperative to learn basic math and arithmetic. In addition, more math training can help inform better choices in personal finance, which can be an additional boost if times are tough or money is tight, as can be the case for many students. Whether a student’s goals are to develop the skills necessary for employment or other reasons, adult basic education provides a key service to many.

In addition to basic education academic classes, another major area of focus in adult education is vocational training. For many students, getting licensed in a trade or improving one’s skills, are very significant steps toward building a sustainable career. Sometimes students pursue vocational training alongside literacy or mathematics classes, sometimes instead. At the same time, because vocational classes can make such a significant difference for students, many adult education centers focus on these courses exclusively.

Because adult basic ed. is a such a broad area of education, schools and ed. centers have many logistical requirements to juggle in order to serve their students. A school management system such as QuickSchools can make a huge difference in keeping all these peices in place. Because of QuickSchools’ great channels for communication between teachers and students, multiple-language support and translation, the new Self-Paced Gradebook, and a clean layout that is suitable for adults, it can be a very helpful addition to the management process of an adult ed. center. However, the greatest credit goes to the amazing educators who work with such a diverse population and make so much of a difference. Adult Ed. centers and teachers open up so many opportunities – it’s amazing  what can be accomplished with good basic education!

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Uncategorized

QuickSchools – School Management Software

QuickSchools school management software is the best way to keep track of students’ grades, schedules, addresses, parents’ contact information, disciplinary records, extra-curricular activities, and report cards. The QuickSchools school management system was designed to work best with small schools. When small schools use a student management system it allows them to have better communication with teachers, students, parents, and school administration.

QuickSchoolslogo

The student management system can be used from the student’s recruitment and enrollment process, through their academic career, and beyond student’s graduation. It’s an effective, easy-to-use, and affordable school management software program for all types of small schools. It can be used by public schools, private schools, boarding schools, charter schools, Montessori schools, and more. Plus, QuickSchools offers FREE 24-hour access to training material to all teachers, administrators and parents who use the system. Yes, that’s right they get FREE support! As well as by phone or through email.

But you might be thinking…

think-balloon

We don’t want you to hire an expensive IT Administrator and that’s why QuickSchools installs and manages all of the software backups and updates ourselves. All we want you to do is enjoy the ease of using the system. There is no expensive hardware involved or intensive time consuming data entry of existing student information because we keep it simple. As a part of all of our school management software packages we include the entry of all existing student information. Sounds too good to be true, right?

That’s why we want to show you it’s not too good to be true by offering you:

  • A Free Demo
  • A Free 30-Day Trial
  • Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
  • And, Answers to Any Questions You May Have

See what plan is right for your small school by visiting http://www.quickschools.com/quickschools/pricing and sign up for your 30-day free trial today!

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