Scoop On Schools Links Page
This page lists the links indicated by the "Apple" on several pages throughout the Scoop On Schools site. The links on this page will refer you to other sites for further research or additional resources. (Looking for the Link Exchange page?)
A note on doing further research, especially on anything that is subject to varying opinions (e.g. private vs. public, the method or philosophy of education, etc): We strongly suggest that when you search your topic of interest that you add words like “criticisms,” “pros cons, “positive negative” etc. in order to ferret out any discussions or articles that will balanced out the rosy views you’re sure to find.
From Step 1: BEGIN - The Fundamentals
Links on charter schools:
- USCharterschools - basic overview on charter schools, what they are, etc.
- DemocracyNow Roundtable - interesting debate on the merits & drawbacks of charter schools (in NYC)
Links on Public vs. Private:
- Berkeley Parents Network - rich discussion albeit in Bay Area, still pertinent to Portland
- Education Department 2006 study - summary of a big study that shows the statistical difference, if any, of academic scores in private vs. public school
Links on Homeschooling:
- Oregon Home Education Network - resource for Oregon homeschoolers
- Village Home - resource for local homeschooling families, with centers both in Beaverton and NE Portland
From Step 1: BEGIN - School Setups:
Links on PPS PreK:
- PPS Pre-K programs - PPS PreK general info (check new info avail. In January)
- PPS Pre-K options - a list of PreK options within PPS
- PPS Japanese Pre-K option - Richmond Japanese preschool program
Links K-5 vs. K-8:
- K-5 vs. K-8 thoughts - Bay Area discussion, but still pertinent
- SEDL article on K-8 schools - Not sure what SEDL stands for since they don't say (!), but they published this comprehensive article on the trend towards k-8.
- Another article - pros & cons of middle schools vs. K-8
Links High School Redesign:
- PPS High School redesign - the latest news
From Step 1: BEGIN - Schools with a Specialized Approach:
Links on Language Immersion:
- Center for Applied Linguistic's resource - comprehensive article for anyone remotely considering language immersion
International Baccalaureate Programs:
- IBO - Learn all about International Baccalaureate programs & schools here.
- OpenWaldorf - homegrown site from a Waldorf parent who is more open about some criticisms of the method
Project Based/Thematic Learning:
- BIE.org- a non-profit that promotes Project Based Learning offers a basic yet thorough overview
- Project Based Learning Network - This site explains what Project Based Learning looks like, how it works.
- Religion in Schools - a clickable essay that explores a few aspects, positive & negative about attending a religious school
- Public Schools vs. Private, including religious schools - same study that compares public vs. private also had some interesting variance between Catholic, Lutheran and Conservative Christian schools. For research geeks, you can get the minutiae from clicking on the pdf attachment to the article (on left)
From Step 1: BEGIN - Unique Needs:
- PPS Early Childhood Team - This team will assess your child to see if s/he qualifies for special services.
- Integrated Student Support - Integrated Student Services (formerly SpEd) for PPS site. Look in right nav bar for links to continuum of 'focused classrooms' (more euphamisms!) to see range of options.
- Special Ed PTA of Portland - a parent & community network for SpecialEd in Portland
- Factoregon.org - a great community/family resource on disability issues in OR
- PPS Talented & Gifted Forms and Tools - TAG Identification & Assessment information
- Do You Have A Gifted Child? - good article on gifted children, how to tell whether your child is one of them
- Oregon Association for Talented and Gifted - Statewide non-profit association for TAG community; and a local, barebones group: TAGpdx.org Both links are rich with further resources.
- Recent blog on the dearth of TAG options & funding - Author poses question on whether parents have any legal recourse…
From Step 1: BEGIN - Lottery Basics
- PPS school choice page - a “catch-all” for all PPS lottery info
- PPS’ explanation of lottery priorities - how it works
- PPS School Choice Data from Past Lottery Cycles - available slots & how the lottery shook out in previous years in terms of how many applied for number of openings in various schools
- Contact info for PPS school choice - if you have questions
From Step 2: REFLECT - What Makes My Child Thrive?
Readiness & Redshirting:
- Basic Kindergarten Readiness Checklist - Scroll down the page to see skills & checkboxes for the Pre-K year.
- Academic Redshirting & Young Children - Article offers pros & cons, as well as questions to ask when making the decision.
From Step 3: RESEARCH - Safety & Environmental Concerns
Earthquake Safety & Prep:
- Multnomah County Seismic Assessment Reports - For each report, which covers both retrofitted & non-retrofitted buildings, look at the FEMA number to understand collapse potential of a school. If you still need clarity (it took us help from a geologist to really understand the report!) the FAQ might help.
- Portland Monthly interview with national expert – Eye-opening article on Portland’s earthquake zone and school safety
- Quake-Up Call - Willamette Week article mentioned on page
- Toxic Air & America's Schools - USA Today article & database mentioned on page
- WhatsInOurAir.org - Learn more about Portland’s air and what you can do from this local group’s efforts.
Cell Tower Signals:
- Electromagnetic Fields – a cleanly organized, but thorough site that explains EMFs in various forms, studies that have been done, etc.
- FCC Registered Cell Phone towers in Portland - scroll down to see google map which shows all FCC registered towers (note that not all towers are registered with the FCC…)
- Portland Cell Tower Map - another Portland cell tower map
- How to Find Cell sites - for the serious research dectective…
- HuffPo review of the movie Full Signal - which we haven’t seen yet, BTW. And if you’re curious to see the film, since it’s not yet available on Netflix, learn more at Fullsignalmovie.com
Crime & General Safety:
- PPS Page on Health & Safety at Schools - It has contact info for questions & links to left on various aspects of safety & health within PPS.
- PortlandMaps.com - as mentioned on page, type in the address of a school (or any Portland location) to see a map of criminal acts committed at or near the spot. You can also see if registered sexual offenders live nearby, as well as other environmental indicators.
- Teaching Your Kid Street Smarts - article for parents
- Do You Know How to be Street Smart? - article written for kids
From Step 3: RESEARCH - Crunching the Data
Scores & Standards:
- State Standards by Topic & Grade Level - Find Oregon and other states’ standards for various subjects here (requires some clicking around & not necessarily easy to compare state to state).
- Oregon's move to higher math standards - This was passed in a split vote and affects mainly elementary schools. Article offers insight into the complicated nature of standards, scores and how it all works.
- State Standardized Test Scores: Issues to Consider – very basic article about test scores, standards, comparisons. It has some good follow up questions you can ask the school regarding testing.
- 7 Myths About Class Size - great article with research-based evidence to back up claims about the benefits of class size reduction
From Step 6: SETTLE IN - Supplementing
Math & Logic:
- CoolMath4Kids.com - billed as an “amusement park of math and more” and appears to be just that. Endless opportunities for math exploration…
- MathPlayground.com - another site with a plethora of math activities. Seems to be a little more “gaming” like, so if your kid wants to play some online games, might as well be educational…
- IXL - Lots of practice for specific skills at every grade level. Check it out for free every day, but unlimited use requires a memberhsip.
- Math Activities for Kindergarteners - These activities for kindergarteners are appropriately “offline” but require the effort of printing, cutting, and possibly laminating.
- Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) Literacy Resources - good jumping off point for lots of activities & ideas around reading
- Scholastic's Interactive Learning resources - designed for teachers, this page leads to lots of online reading activities, organized by age group.
- Help Your Child Build Writing Skills - strategies to help build your child’s writing skills
- Helping Your Child with Writing - another basic page & jumping off point to more suggestions
- Guide to Literacy - good overview on supporting your kid’s writing with some activity ideas on this less-fancy web page
- Writing Activities and Games - Use this interactive tool to find some good writing activities & games, labeled by age group
- KinderArt.com - This site has some great, easy-to-follow ideas for guiding your kid (most ages) through various types of art projects.
- Art-made-easy.com - This site offers easy, step-by-step lessons & projects for your kids - and even has contests they can enter.
- TheAccidentalArtist.com - This Art for Kids page has some more creative ideas for you & your kiddos.
- Playmusic.org - This simple but colorful site encourages kids’ love of music and curiosity about listening as well as creating their own.
- Boopadoo.net - Scrolling down on this page will get you to lists of activities that may develop and foster your kids’ music abilities.
These web pages are all rich with ideas & further resources relating to science:
A Mix of Subjects:
Kidsclick.org - This site, designed for kids by librarians, is a collection of links from a vast array of sources, and on countless subjects. Many sites they link to are interactive, or created by kids themselves.
ABCteach.com - This not-too-expensive membership site offers a bunch of freebies on the left hand side (more along the lines of printable worksheets and puzzles that might be useful to a kid lagging in a certain area).