Little Rock desegregation
A federal judge has released the Little Rock (Ark.) School
District from decades of court monitoring of its desegregation efforts.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the judge's order
declares that the 26,600-student district is "completely unitary in all
aspects of its operations." In 1957, despite a U.S. Supreme Court
desegregation order, Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus tried to thwart black
students from enrolling at Central High School, setting off one of the
biggest crises of the civil-rights era.
A teacher at a Philadelphia high school is recovering from a
broken neck after being assaulted in a hallway by two students when he
took an iPod device from one of them during class. The Philadelphia
Inquirer reports that Frank Burd, 60, was confronted in the hallway
by a 17-year-old student who brought the iPod to an 11th-grade math
class. A 15-year-old student joined the confrontation and either punched
or helped to trip Burd, who hit his head against a locker. Burd suffered
two broken bones in his neck and a gash to his head.
The last Catholic school in Northern New Hampshire will close
its doors in June. The Manchester Union-Leader reports that
enrollment at St. Michael School in Berlin, N.H., has dropped by
more than 50 percent since 2000, and the decline was expected to
continue. This year, it has 52 children in pre-school to grade 5. Berlin
once had seven Catholic schools.
School planners in Wake County, N.C., say if they want to
avoid year-round calendars for new elementary and middle schools, it
will cost about $285 million in additional funding. The Raleigh News
& Observer reports that the district would need to build nine
additional schools by 2010 to create more traditional-calendar options
for families. The money would be in addition to the $970 million bond
issue voters approved last year to combat Wake's climbing student
enrollment. Opponents of mandatory year-round schools say they plan to
sue the district over its plans to convert 22 schools to a year-round
Want more of the latest news in education?
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15: Percentage of public school principals who in 2005
described their school as overcrowded.
- 78: Percentage of principals with overcrowded schools who
said they were using portable classrooms to deal with crowding.
- 53: Percentage of principals with overcrowded schools who
said they were converting non-classroom space to classrooms to deal with
- 44: Percentage of principals with overcrowded schools who
said they were increasing class size to deal with crowding.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics, "Public School
Principals Report on Their School Facilities: Fall 2005"
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Enter Your Projects in the 2007
Educational Interiors Showcase
American School & University is now accepting entries for the
17th Annual Educational Interiors Showcase. Entry deadline for this
competition honoring educational interiors excellence is March 5.
Portfolios are due April 4.
for the official 2007 Educational Interiors Showcase Call For
- Showcase your outstanding projects in the August 2007 Educational
Interiors Showcase issue.
- Unmatched national recognition for you and your project.
- All photographs and entry materials can be sent as digital
- Your project is featured free on AS&U's newly remodeled SchoolDesigns.com site with a link
directly to your project.
Email Molly Roudebush or
call her at (913) 967-1959 for more information about the Educational
Interiors Showcase, including new options for 2007. Ask for a
complimentary copy of the 2006 issue.
Last week, we asked what you thought about a proposal in the
Illinois legislature that would legally require students in Chicago
public schools to wash their hands before eating. Here is some of your
- "It never ceases to amaze me that our legislators, with all the real
problems we face, continue to look at these (matters) instead of
debating real issues," says an administrator from Ohio. "This would be
an impossible law to enforce, and what are the penalties? Get real,
Illinois, and focus on some issues like adequate and fair school funding
that you can do something about."
- "Oh my goodness...isn't this just common sense?" says a reader from
Texas. "Why does it have to be a law? What would the punishment for
breaking this law be?"
- "The schools do not need a law," says a reader from Illinois.
"Educators as well as health-care providers are all in agreement on the
benefits of hand washing. (Some) schools have a challenge keeping
supplies such as towel and soap dispensers protected against vandals.
Students can't wash hands if the dispenser for the soap is gone. Laws
won't change that."
This week, a Washington Post article says that many
middle school students complain about their lockers being too small. Do
you think middle and high schools should provide students with larger
A. Yes. Students need more space to hold
larger textbooks and more school materials, not to mention coats and
other personal belongings.
B. No. Students already bring too many
non-essential items to school, and they do not need more excuses to
visit their lockers during the school day.
What do you think?
E-mail your answer and any other comments HERE
and we'll publish them in next week's Schoolhouse Beat.
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School of the Future Symposium Featured at TechEd
An in-depth panel discussion of the School of the Future will be a
featured part of TechEd 2007 in Ontario, Southern California. Panelists
include Casey Green, The Campus Computing Project & Roz Chivis,
Philadelphia School District, among others... MORE
Register for TechEd 2007 online at www.TechEdEvents.org/2007
Addition planned at
elementary school in New York
The Schodack (N.Y.) Central School District is planning to
build an addition to Castleton Elementary School. The Hillsdale
Independent says that the district will demolish a section of the
existing school, then construct an addition, which will have 24 larger
classrooms, a new gym, library and cafeteria. The project also calls for
a new playground, two tennis courts and a basketball court. The
architect is Stieglitz Snyder Architecture.
The University of Hartford is scheduled to break ground in
April on a new performing arts center. The University of Hartford
Informer says that the project calls for renovating the former
Thomas Cadillac Building so it can house the dance and theater division
of the university's Hartt School. The center will also feature two
performance studios with an audience capacity of 200 and 120 people. The
center will be open to the public and will include a bank and coffee
shop. The architects are Smith Edwards Architects and Howard
The Cherokee County (S.C.) school district is planning a $6.3
million addition at Blacksburg High School. The Gaffney Ledger
says the two-story addition will house ninth-grade students and is being
built on the former faculty parking lot adjacent to the school
cafeteria. The project includes 12 regular classrooms, two physical
science labs, special education classrooms and an addition to the band
room. The architect is Southern Management Group.
Would you like to see your school construction
project featured here? Send information via e-mail to
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Architects & School Facilities Planners Will Gather at
School Building Expo, March 6-8, in West Palm Beach
The nation's largest expo of school building products, and a conference
co-sponsored by AIA, is March 6-8. AS&U is among the sponsors.
Hundreds of architects and school facilities planners will attend the
School Building Expo, March 6-8, in West Palm Beach, Florida. It
includes over 150 exhibits. Expert sessions cover LEED for K-12,
pitfalls in green construction, and designing spaces to teach science
and technology. Jeff Lackney, Bob Kobet, and Mike Nicklas are among the
Register at www.schoolbuildingexpo.com
or call 800-746-9646.
Bonds & Levies
Wisconsin district wins
funds for high school upgrade
The Greenfield (Wis.) school district has won approval of
a $37.8 million bond proposal that will pay for renovation of the
district's aging high school. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says
that the district needs to upgrade the 49-year-old facility to address
inadequate mechanical, heating and electrical systems and to improve
security and accessibility. District voters also approved a second $4.35
million proposal to build a new school auditorium. The district tried
unsuccessfully in 2002 and 2003 to pass a bond issue that would have
paid for a new high school.
Voters in the St. Francis (Minn.) Independent School District
15 have rejected a $19.89 million bond proposal.The Coon Rapids
Herald says the vote was the fourth time residents had repudiated a
request for funds to build an 800-student elementary school. Without the
new building, the district has to rely on 30 portable classrooms. The
district also may explore year-round calendars as a way of alleviating
elementary school crowding.
The College Station (Texas) district has placed a $67.42
million bond proposal on the May 12 ballot. The Bryan College Station
Eagle says the money would enable the district to build two
elementary schools, renovate high school athletic facilities and make
The South Kitsap (Wash.) district is asking voters to approve
a $163.2 million bond proposal. The Kitsap Sun says if voters
approve the March 13 mail-in ballot question, the district will be able
to build a second high school, replace an aging elementary school, and
repair and upgrade other facilities in the district.
For more news on school bonds and referendums,
visit American School & University online.
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Be a part of a comprehensive collection of data, facts, and
statistics about the physical size and growth patterns of colleges and
universities. Participate in the Society for College and University
Planning's 2007 Campus Facilities Inventory (CFI) Survey. Only
participants receive current datasets (2006 & 2007). Deadline: April 27,
2007. Learn more at: www.scup.org/knowledge/cfi/
Feb. 28-March 2: National
Association of Independent Schools, annual conference, Denver
March 1-4: American Association
of School Administrators, 2007 National Conference on Education, New
March 6-8: National
Roofing Contractors Association, 120th Annual Convention and
Exhibit, Las Vegas.
March 15-17: International Technology Education
Association, 69th annual conference, San Antonio
For more upcoming education-related events and
conferences, visit our online
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In February's American
School & University magazine:
Weight rooms. Exercise bikes. Basketball hoops. A jogging track.
Racquetball courts. That's what you'd expect to see at a recreation
center on a college campus.
But wait a minute--what's this? Jumbo flat-screen TVs lining the walls?
Sushi bars? Coffee bistros? Whirlpools? Massages? Climbing walls?
Multiple swimming pools? Water slides? Tanning parlors?
Is this a college campus or a vacation resort?
Colleges and universities hope the answer is some of both. Many schools
have spent millions of dollars to create recreation spaces with lavish
touches that are appealing enough to satisfy existing students and lure
Look for the entire article, "The Good Life,"
in February's American School & University magazine or on
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