Breaking News


September 21, 2012

Program aims to keep students on track

The issue: Caston Elementary School has added a new program for fifth- and sixth-grade students who had been performing below expectations.

Our view: The program has the potential of becoming a model for other schoolcorporations.

Caston Elementary School has introduced an experimental classroom it hopes will help struggling students stay focused on learning while they’re working on a computer.

The Learning Opportunity Center is designed for fifth- and sixth-grade students who were not succeeding at the level teachers thought they could.

It’s aimed at kids whose minds sometimes wander in a standard classroom, youngsters who might have their attention diverted by something outside the window or out in the hall.

This special classroom is set up to keep students focused. It’s equipped with 15 MacBook Air  laptops — two for a teacher and an aide and 13 for students — and its curriculum is drawn entirely from an interactive digital learning system called OdysseyWare.

The school’s federal Title I funding more than tripled this year to $299,000. Nearly a third of that went toward buying equipment and paying teacher salaries for the Learning Opportunity Center.

In selecting students for the new classroom, the staff tried to identify children at risk of falling through the cracks based on behavior, test scores and attendance.

The curriculum is customized for the individual students.

Students take an initial assessment so the software can give them instruction and assignments tailored to their skill level. It divides up the year’s work into units with daily assignments and activities.

Each day’s work takes about half an hour per subject, and at the end of the day, teacher Bryce McDonald has a “flex period” where he can work with students who need more time on an assignment while others work on enrichment activities or reading.

The early reviews have been positive. Both parents and students say they have high hopes for improved performance.

In some ways, the approach is similar to the one taken by Logansport High School in its beginning algebra classes. Students can’t take a quiz until the teacher gives them the go-ahead, and they can’t move ahead to the next section until they have mastered the previous one.

The approach also gives students the one-on-one attention they need when they’re struggling with a particular lesson. It also allows them to learn at their own pace.

It’s great that the school corporation has been able to develop such a class. Assuming the new classroom produces the expected results, this is an approach other school corporations might want to copy.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • FREY: An ode to service days gone by There were many times in the past year that I walked by the small glass corner curio cabinet.I often glanced at the photographs from the corners of my eyes as I made my way past the nurse’s station and out the pass-coded locked doors.It is one of man

    August 22, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Looking out for youth and e-cigarettes Technology, it seems, finds solutions for just about everything. So it should surprise no one that the tobacco industry, under siege for years for marketing and selling unhealthy products, found a way around the anti-smoking fervor through a smoke-le

    August 22, 2014

  • WOLFSIE: A matter of bad habits Mary Ellen and I have been happy together for so long that we sometimes forget how much we annoy each other, so on the trip back home from our recent vacation, it was time catch up on our bad habits.For example, I told Mary Ellen that she is a relent

    August 22, 2014

  • WILLIAMS: Life is not all choices There is a post on Facebook that says, “Everything you do is based on the choices you make. It’s not your parents, your past relationships, your job, the economy, the weather, an argument or your age that is to blame. You and only you are responsible

    August 21, 2014

  • PUBLIC FORUM: Reining in unlimited farm subsidies Reining in unlimitedfarm subsidiesIn January, President Obama declared that despite Congressional logjams, “America does not stand still — and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for Ame

    August 21, 2014

  • HAMILTON: Why government openness matters One of the fundamental lessons of the 9/11 tragedy was that our government carried a share of blame for the failure to stop the attacks. Not because it was asleep at the switch or ignorant of the dangers that Al Qaeda posed, but because the agencies

    August 21, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Continue work of modernizing courts Indiana’s new chief justice, Loretta Rush, has a lot on her plate. She not only has to preside over the Indiana Supreme Court, but also to modernize the state’s other courts as well.Indiana is well on its way toward bringing courts into the 21st cent

    August 21, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Mo-ped law long overdue We’ve all seen them on the streets, and their popularity is only growing. Mo-peds have coasted in a legal grey area for years in Indiana.A lack of registration, testing and licensure allowed those without other means of transport to join other vehicl

    August 20, 2014

  • KITCHELL: Quality of life and leaders both matter It was with some astonishment and much disappointment I read in the Aug. 5 edition of the Pharos-Tribune that one of our local city councilmen was quoted as saying that previous efforts in Logansport to use Tax Increment Financing money for quality o

    August 20, 2014

  • RAMPELL: Here comes Entrepreneur Barbie WASHINGTON — Lego’s groundbreaking female-scientists set sold out almost immediately after it was released this month. But never fear, fans of feminist toys: A new Barbie doll, now in stock, is also shattering the plastic ceiling.Yes, that swan-necke

    August 20, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Does Indiana need a statewide water management plan and an administrator to implement it?

     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Furry Roommates: Dorms Allowing Cats and Dogs Chase Rice Defends Bro-Country 'Jersey Shore Massacre' Pokes Fun at MTV Series Raw: Wash. Mudslides Close Roads, Trap Motorists DC's Godfather of Go-Go Honored Ukraine Calls Russian Convoy a 'direct Invasion' Girl Meets Her 'one in the World' Match Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.