How The Head Start Program Is Helping Young Children Grow

As of 2011, over one million children have been enrolled in the government-funded early childhood Head Start program. What began as part of President Lyndon B Johnson’s Great Society campaign that sought to eliminate poverty and racial injustice, the Head Start program “promotes the school readiness of young children from low-income families through agencies in their local community.” As further explained by the program’s official website, the Head Start and Early Head Start programs support the development of children up until the age of 5; in centers, child care partner locations, and in their own homes. Of the many responsibilities of the Head Start program, the program aims to provide early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and families.

A large part of making this entire program come together relies on the help of countless Management Analysts that coordinate training and education programs for teachers and staff. In order to ensure that standards for the program are met, teachers and staff are required to take part in training sessions prior to starting with the Head Start program. The sessions are offered throughout the month, but vary in location due to the multiple districts the program covers. In addition to coordinating these training sessions, Head Start is also responsible for coordinating care services throughout the duration of a family’s involvement with the program. Social Workers will regularly make home visits to assess the specific needs of a child and their respected family. These visits, which are more commonly known as ‘case studies’, are arranged throughout the month in accordance with any parenting or counseling classes the Social Worker deems necessary. It’s the responsibility of the department’s Management Analyst to guarantee that training events and case studies are arranged accordingly, with a sufficient number of events available on a month-to-month basis.

You may expect that branches keep track of these events with the help of electronic files and project management software, but as it turns out, that’s much easier said than done. After speaking with a Management Analyst that’s been invested in the program for over a decade, we found out that new policy standards mandate reviews for both teachers and principals in the program must be done on a more refined basis.

The updated policy standards are designed to reflect best practices and latest research on early childhood development and brain science—which also brings along an increase in government funding. The only issue is that with standards heightened to increase the quality of the program, more hours are required for Management Analysts to accurately coordinate events across the multiple districts they serve. If the standards are not met in accordance with the new policies, the program can lose funding for the duration of the program year. Continue reading How The Head Start Program Is Helping Young Children Grow

Q&A With a Visual Systems Specialists: Why Schedules Are The Educator’s Best Friend

The end of the year is an incredibly busy time for educators across the nation. With the months of December and January marking the halfway point of the school year for many districts across the US, our sales team frequently meets with District Administrators and Guidance Counselors during the winter seasons to help educators prepare to enter into the second half of the academic calendar with their best foot forward. I recently caught up with Jessica, a veteran member of our sales team, to see what educational product most educators are calling about right now. 

How long have you worked here at Magnatag?

Twelve years!

Is there a particular whiteboard system that is in great demand during this time of year?

There are always the few products that are popular regardless of the time of year, but recently I’ve received a number of quotes for our 9-Period Master-Class Schedules. December is one of those months that we see an uptick in school spending, as the end of the year is just around the corner and educators are looking to go into the new year fully prepared; so I can’t say I’m all that surprised by the popularity of the system.

Can you tell me how people are using the scheduling system? Continue reading Q&A With a Visual Systems Specialists: Why Schedules Are The Educator’s Best Friend

How To Prevent Important Tasks From Being Forgotten

The Easton, Redding, and Region 9 school district is a tri-district located in Easton, Connecticut made up of five schools: Redding Elementary, Samuel Staples Elementary, Hellen Keller Middle, John Read Middle, and Joel Barlow High School—all of which fall directly under the supervision of Walter Czudak.

Working as the Director of Buildings and Grounds, Mr. Czudak is responsible for at least 250,000 square feet of educational facilities. With jobs ranging in difficulty from changing a few light bulbs, to overseeing the installation of a centralized air unit, the typical day for your average Director of Buildings and Grounds is anything but relaxed.

Earlier this year, the district came under hot water when two separate boilers located in the elementary and high school were installed and inspected, but local permits for the units were never acquired.

While the boiler issue was solved quickly, Mr. Czudak believes the issue could have been avoided if his team was better prepared to handle the multiple step process.

“The boilers came in, but our local inspection never came through. There are so many steps to the entire installation process and we let the permits slip through the cracks. When you’re dealing with two entirely different facilities, it’s easy to have actionable items fall off the radar in favor of one thing or another. ”

As a precautionary measure, Mr. Czudak recently contacted our team at Magnatag Visible Systems to help create a reliable means of tracking actionable data for his facility. Using the working concept of a Work-In-Progress board, the goal was to design a visual display board that would prevent a similar accident from occurring in the future.

With the help of one of Magnatag’s many Visual Systems Specialists (life-long Magnatag employees that specialize in creating visual systems that work), the school district was directed towards the company’s Do-Done StepTracker Whiteboard.WalterDDXT

The StepTracker whiteboard provides users with the ability to actively track projects in real time as they progress along a series of steps in a project. Using red/green double-sided magnets to mark when a step has been completed, the system enables users to accurately standardize project communication status.

“I wanted to create something that could keep everyone on the same page. With so many things going on across all five schools at any given time, the real challenge is keeping everyone up-to-date on the latest progressions. Ideally, a Principal or Superintendent should be able to walk into one of our facilities and know exactly what is going on.”

Prior to contacting Magnatag, Mr. Czudak did not have a visual system for tracking steps of internal projects. Project status was kept within multiple files spread across all five buildings making status updates a nightmare.

With an updated form of tracking—and customized headlines built to cover every step of the state and local government’s guidelines—Mr. Czudak’s newest addition to the district’s permitting process will provide his staff with an added measure of assurance.

Visit our website for more information on how you can design a StepTracker whiteboard for your own use.

 

Showing Appreciation On World Teachers Day

Teaching plays a fundamental role in the upbringing of our youth. We’ve all met that one person that we view as a positive influence; perhaps it was a parent, teacher or close friend—someone you could count on. With October 5th recognized as World Teachers Day, we wanted to give the spotlight to those that make a difference. We asked you to share personal stories of teachable moments in your past, highlighting individuals that strive to make a difference every day. Here’s a few of our favorite stories:

Continue reading Showing Appreciation On World Teachers Day

How To Discreetly Track Student Performance

How do you know when your students are falling behind on grades and struggling with a specific subject?

The answer to this question is always met with a variety of responses ranging from the sarcastic, “Of course, I’m the best educator in the world! How could I not know which students of mine are falling behind?” to the less enthusiastic, “I try to.”

The truth of the matter is that no educator can always know how every one of his or her students is performing. Sure, you may have an idea of perhaps a handful of students that may be falling behind, but in order to prove that theory you are forced to dig through a plethora of binders just to validate your belief.

Every teacher would love to be able to keep constant tabs on the effectiveness of their lesson plans and the status of their entire roster of students, but when there are papers to grade and lessons to be planned, you cannot possibly be on top of everything.

Or can you?

Continue reading How To Discreetly Track Student Performance

6 Magnatag Whiteboard Systems School Administrators Find Most Useful

Our visual systems specialists at Magnatag frequently receive calls from school administrators asking for help on how to display, communicate, plan, and track everything from Student Progress, to Master Class and Course Schedules. With the help of whiteboards, students and staff are encouraged to come together in an effort to collaborate, ultimately resulting in better classroom cohesion. With such a variety of products to choose from, it can sometimes be difficult to decide what works best for you. Here is a brief overview of magnetic whiteboard systems that administrators tell us work best for them.

EXSRA

Continue reading 6 Magnatag Whiteboard Systems School Administrators Find Most Useful

4 Ways to Simplify Your Method of Tracking Student Progress

 

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With all of the recent changes in education relating to common core, there is constant pressure put on administrators and teachers to have students meet standards. To complement enterprise software, forms and charts to track student progress, some administrators, counselors and academic coaches use a whiteboard as a visual representation for tracking. Based on my conversations with administrators, counselors and academic coaches, I have found several reasons why a whiteboard is a complementary tool for tracking students:

1. It encourages collaboration and ensures that the school’s mission and goals are aligned among administrators and teachers. By recording and showing progress, it allows administration to keep track of how the students are progressing individually and as a whole.
2. It helps to allocate resources and execute strategies as a group for students who need one on one instruction, group instruction or extra attention before exams.
3. Because it is “always on” and always available to view, a whiteboard is a constant reminder to administrators and staff of how their students are doing in specific subjects.
4. A whiteboard allows administration to group students by subject, grade, progress, testing and behavioral issues. The color-coding system (red, yellow and green magnets) is easily understood and shows immediately how the school is doing.

As an educator, it is important to keep up with technology and the latest advances in software; however, considering a hands-on, visual tool for your team to collaborate could help communication and the execution of strategies in your school. Administration and staff need to communicate and collaborate effectively in order to successfully work toward the school’s mission, goals and objectives.

Biggest Benefits & Reasons to Track Student Progress

 

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Click Image to Watch Video

 

As technology becomes more dominant in the educational setting, it is important to have a system that will work cohesively among a number of areas to enhance communication and productivity. The implementation of whiteboard systems has been a welcome advantage in assisting teachers and administrators in the identification of student and district-centered solutions.

Continue reading Biggest Benefits & Reasons to Track Student Progress

Teaching Spelling with White Boards

When children begin school, they are often overwhelmed with new information. They quickly begin to learn to read, and initially, children are often taught to spell and write words in a kid-friendly manner where everything is spelled the way it sounds. Unfortunately, however, many times words are not spelled exactly as they sound. As children become more advanced with reading and writing, they eventually learn the basic rules of the English language and begin to spell words properly. Continue reading Teaching Spelling with White Boards

Study Tips Using a Whiteboard

Whiteboards or dry-erase boards are a wonderful addition to every learning environment. Whether in the classroom or for individual study, whiteboards enable students to write, draw, practice, or create lessons in an easy, fun, and convenient manner. Students can easily erase mistakes and rewrite problems or diagrams until they are correct, which saves on total paper costs. Continue reading Study Tips Using a Whiteboard