Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Changes to the Forge Flyer

The Forge Flyer is on hiatus.

I started the site when I was a former Sun reporter and a stay-at-home-but-freelancing-too mom. The site grew to be bigger than I'd imagined, and it was fun but very time consuming.

Then a year ago, I returned to The Baltimore Sun as an editor, and that made it even harder to keep up with the Flyer. The job at the paper involved a non-compete clause (regarding news content and advertising). But more importantly, the job is demanding and involves far more than 40 hours per week. And now that my kids are in various sports, taking music lessons and in other activities, I can barely find the time to make a halfway decent meal or clean the bathroom let alone blog for fun.

I'll continue to post things to the Flyer's Facebook page from time to time, but this site won't be updated. I might turn the Flyer over to a friend or sell it -- it's unclear at this point but I'll keep you posted.

(Of course, the Sun is for sale and it could be that we get delusional new owners who think it's overstaffed and I'll be laid off, or end up quitting in frustration, and take up the Flyer again.)

Thanks for everything!

-Kris


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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Role of AP classes in Baltimore County, and the nation, is questioned

Stock photo via MorgueFile
Did you see this story in The Baltimore Sun about AP classes and the demands placed on high school students? It does seem like we need to step back and evaluate what exactly we're doing here.

"The relentless marketing effort by many principals to place a greater number of kids into a greater number of AP classes — all in a single semester, as early in a student's career as possible — is backfiring," said Mary Ellen Pease, a co-founder of Advocates for Better Course Choices in Baltimore County Public Schools [choicebcps.com] and the parent of two recent county graduates.

Such protests represent a minority voice, and educators and parents say they have little influence over such a national juggernaut. Most education leaders across the nation have embraced the expansion of AP, seeing it as a way to raise achievement and provide educational equity to students in poorly performing schools.
 
But its ever-expanding use has meant that high-achieving students are loaded with the courses while some unprepared students at low-performing schools flounder and fail. A Baltimore Sun investigation last year showed that many students are given high grades in the AP classes but then fail the exams.


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Sunday, January 19, 2014

$5 to join new Towson Y


A bargain at twice the price.


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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Art camp this Monday and Tuesday

If you need an activity for your kids (or somewhere for them to be while you go to work), The Painting Workshop will offer art camp this Monday and Tuesday.

http://www.thepaintingworkshop.com/


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Monday, January 13, 2014

It's time for the Walking School Bus Doughnut Challenge

From Will Morton: 

For Jan 15, 22, 29 and Feb. 5, whichever route gets the highest total ridership will get fresh, delicious Dunkin' Donuts delivered to you at the start of your route on Wednesday, February 12. Ridership counts children "on the bus" by the time you reach school plus adult drivers. 



So who's gonna win bragging rights? Throughout the fall, the Dorking route consistently topped the ridership stats, but the Heathfield South route took the lead more than once. Or will the Pinehurst route pull it together and leave the others in the dust? Maybe sleepy Murdock will rally the southwest corner of the 'hood and win an assortment of cruellers and chocolates and jelly-filled treats! 



Just in time to deliver your little darlings to school all hopped up on sugar. (Sorry, Principal Fanshaw.)



Led by adults, Walking School Buses travel every Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. along four fixed routes from the edges of the neighborhood to Rodgers Forge Elementary School. Routes follow Heathfield, Dorking, Pinehurst and Murdock roads. (See route map at http://walkablerodgersforge.blogspot.com.)

Because of low "ridership" and adult participation, the Lanark route is canceled, and the Heathfield North route is suspended until after spring break. 

If you and your child/ren would like to take a turn "driving" the bus, visit signupgenius.com and search under rodgersforgebus@gmail.com. Even if it doesn't suit for you to "drive the bus," you can send your child every week on Walking Wednesday. 



There's no need to RSVP. Just get on the bus!


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Friday, January 3, 2014

iPad-y devices for all Rodgers Forge students

What do we think of this?

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-county/towson/ph-tt-digital-pilot,0,3294535.story


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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Groupon for Stoneleigh Lanes





(Short and sweet from my phone.)


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Towson Tigers and Coach Ambrose in the New York Times

TOWSON, Md. — When Coach Rob Ambrose arrived at Towson University in 2009, he had one goal for the Tigers’ moribund football program that he would not mention.

“For two years, I never said the word ‘win’ on purpose because we were in no position to have that discussion,” Ambrose said. “We had to coach effort. We had to get kids to actually play hard.”

He introduced 5:30 a.m. spring practices. He tried to make players quit if they were not dedicated to the program, and he sometimes succeeded. With a renewed commitment from the university and more resources, the Tigers cannot stop talking about winning now. 

Read full article here: 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/07/sports/ncaafootball/win-returns-with-a-vengeance-to-towsons-vocabulary.html?_r=0


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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Baltimore County teachers file grievance over workload from Common Core

Liz Bowie of The Sun reports: "In an unusual move, Baltimore County teachers filed a grievance this week against the county school board saying new education initiatives are forcing them to work long hours beyond their normal day."


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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Two more Towson U students robbed at gunpoint

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-county/towson/bs-md-towson-robbery-20131117,0,2913337.story


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Movies are now free at Baltimore County libraries



(Short and sweet from my phone.)


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Friday, November 8, 2013

No uniforms for RFES

At least for now.


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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Are you missing a white dog?

From a friend on Yorkleigh: This dog is wandering around Yorkleigh Road.  He has tags and seems older but does not like to be approached.  Several neighbors have tried to take him before he wanders onto York Road but he would have none of it.


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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What do you think of Common Core?

A reader suggested a discussion here about the new Common Core curriculum. I've posted about it before but maybe we have more insight now.

I would find it very helpful if a teacher or administrator would show us before and after lessons. "This is a typical fourth grade math lesson under the old curriculum,and this is the same thing using Common Core. They differ in the following specific ways ..."

Then again, I have lots of issues with the way schools are structured in general -- not enough room for creativity, not nearly enough recess, etc. -- and I don't think modifying the curriculum a bit is going to make much of a difference.

What do you think?


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Plans drafted for renovation of Dumbarton Middle

See what they're planning
here.


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