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January 16, 1998     Cape Gazette
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January 16, 1998
 

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, January 16 - January 22, 1998. 41 SCHOOL & EDUCATION Local control key with state's education reform initiative By Kerry Kester The Delaware Department of Education is encouraging school districts to maintain local control of curriculum as they meet the new state standards. How to approach the standards through curriculum, however, may seem overwhelming to some districts. The Cape Henlopen School District may be characterized as one of the leading school districts in the state for embracing the educational reform movement. Dr. Steven Adamowski, assistant secretary of education, while addressing the board of education during its Thursday, Jan. 8, meet- ing, commended the district for its "great leadership" and for providing "lots of sup- port" on a statewide level. The district, he said, is one of six in the state that has already devel- oped performance indi- cators of the state stan- dards. The indicators, he said, outline what ADAMOWSKI students should know and be able to do at the end of a grade. Adamowski showed a structural model schools may follow to align themselves with the state content-area standards. From the top of the model where standards are the goal, stem the performance indicators, or scope, and the topical path, or sequence. Both lead to curriculum, where scope and sequence meet. The model further breaks into the areas of unit development and the instructional man- agement system, which in Delaware is an online assessment. Adamowski said that the department expects each of the state's 19 school districts to prepare their own pathways to the standards composed of their own units and curriculum. "There is not only a national, but an international, curriculum developing," said Adamowski. There is a certain body of knowledge that he said everyone should have, to compete in a global economy. However, he said once units of instruction are developed, teachers should retain auton- omy in how they approach instruction. Adding to teacher resources, he said, is the state's plan for instructional manage- ment system. Basically, he explained, the Continued on page 42 Collins excells in Rehoboth Elementary Geography Bee Cape Henl0 School District menus Angie Moon photo Sixth grader Greg Collins, won the Rehoboth Elementary School National Geography Bee on Jan. 6. First runner up was fifth grader Kathryn King. Greg Collins, a sixth-grader at Rehoboth Elementary School, won the school-level competition of the National Geography Bee on Jan. 6. The school-level contest is the first round of the 10th annual National Geography Bee. The event is sponsored by the National Geographic Society and Sylvan Learning Centers. The following students qualified to participate in the school-level bee after competing in a prelimi- nary competition in their social studies classes: Grade 4 - Ashley Harris, Alex Lantz, Ellery Matthews, Maria Mendoza, Dina Roussos, Cheisie Sanchez and Josh Weidin; Grade 5 - Bethany Adkins, Brandy Baker, Richard Brooks, Tristan Edmondson, Amber Gallery, Kathryn King, Christian McDowell, Malissa Rasely, Brock Shaeffer and Amanda Thomas; Grade 6 - Jessi- ca Bradford, Greg Collins, Brett Hertel, Brian Lee, Rachel Oody, Arin Richter, Mike Vignola, Nel- son Warren, Katie Weldin and Trevor Wiberg. The championship round was between Collins and fifth-grader Kathryn King, and consisted of the following three questions: The return of a cyclical warm- ing of the waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean has affected world weather patterns. By what name is this warming phenomenon known? (El Nifio). In May 1997, what country changed its name to the Democra- tic Republic of the Congo? (Zaire). Many people in Central Amer- ica are of mixed Spanish and Native American ancestry. What is the term for the people who make up this ethnic group? (The mestizos). Collins won by correctly answering all three questions. Collins, along with other school-level winners, will next take a written examination to qual- ify for the State Bee, which will be held at the University of Delaware on April 3. The National Geographic Soci- ety will provide an all-expense- paid trip for state champions and their teacher-escorts to participate in the national competition on May 19 and 20. The first-place winner will receive a $25,000 col- lege scholarship. Alex Trebek, host of "Jeopardy !" will moderate the national finals on May 20. The show will air on PBS stations. The Cape Henlopen School District Menu for the week of Jan. 19-23 includes the following: Elementary and middle schools: Monday, Jan. 19 - Martin Luther King Jr. Day. No school. Tuesday, Jan. 20 -Chicken patty on bun, hamburger on bun or sand- wich choice; choice of two sides, including sweet potatoes, winter mix, turnip greens, diced pears, fresh fruit, orange or apple juice. Wednesday, Jan. 21 - Spaghetti with meat sauce, pizza or sandwich choice; choice of two sides, including green beans, apple cobbler, fresh fruit, orange or apple juice. Thursday, Jan. 22 - Chicken nuggets, Italian sub, or sandwich choice; choice of two sides, including vegetable soup, french fries, tomato/lettuce, school-made hot roll, fresh fruit, orange or apple juice. Friday, Jan. 23 - Wafered steak on bun, beefaroni casserole or sand- wich choice; choice of two sides, including cream of broccoli soup, corn, lettuce and tomato cup, fresh fruit, orange or apple juice. Don't be afraid to take the dive into computer competency So you bought a computer for Christmas and you haven't a clue how to get it to do what you want it to do. Your children get impa- tient with you, as they point and click their way through a maze of games. You have trouble just going from one screen to another. Remember when windows were something that you cleaned in the spring? If you are just getting started on computers, don't despair. The Cape Region offers lots of help if you are willing to spend a little time in a computer lab. Once you get the hang of some of the basics, you may be bitten by the computer bug and go onto create untold masterpieces ! ..... SCHOOL JOURNAL Diane Albanese In the world of technology remember these truths: kids usual- ly .know more than beginning adults; kids learn about computers by not being afraid to tinker around; people who tinker around learn faster. Ready to start tinker- ing? Learning about computers can come from four sources: what you learn from a class, what you learn from self-discovery, what you learn from a friendly knowledge- able neighbor, and what you learn from a helpline (a.k.a. technical support). I use all four in liberal doses. I find that I learn a new comput- er skill, and if I don't use it, I lose it. I am constantly learning things about my computer. It's not a des- tination; it's a journey. T O increase your confidence and skills, I suggest that you take a winter computer course or two. Cape Henlopen School District residents can sign up for winter computer courses that are being offered at Cape Henlopen High School during the winter months. Lori Roe, the Cape Henlopen computer wizard, tells me that the district is offering courses on Win- dows 95, the Internet, Web page creation and Microsoft Word, to name a few. Registration information is available at the public libraries and the schools. Classes are a bar- gain, only $10! A Microsoft Office 97 series will take place at Dei Tech in Georgetown. The Micros0ft pack- age that includes wordprocessing, spreadsheet and database software begins soon. Many other courses are avail- able. They are suited to the needs of adult learners. Registration is easy; just call 855-1617 or stop by the campus to receive a course listing. Always remember that learning how to use your computer takes time. Get started by getting hands- on experience in a computer lab. It's the beginning of an exciting journey. Diane Saienni Albanese is a parent and an educator in the Cape Henlopen School District and at Delaware Tech in George- town.