By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
School supplies have been loaded into backpacks, students have finished their summer reading, and teachers and staff are ready for the start of the school year as doors swing open for the first day of school.
Students are finding many changes as they return to their classrooms, including shuffled teachers, new or closed schools, and in some cases, healthier food.
On the positive side, the city's public school are is installing salad bars so children will have access to fresh vegetables on a daily basis. To help, Whole Foods’ Whole Kids Foundation donated 57 salad bars last week, valued at more than $300,000.
In another positive development for kids in Brooklyn Heights and Downtown Brooklyn, P.S. 8’s long-awaited new middle school opened its door on Tillary Street in the Westinghouse complex.
Now for the hard part: Standardized tests are getting harder. The 2013 state math and English exams this year will reflect the new Common Core standards and require students to read more complex texts, develop written arguments and problem solve. In math, the tests will focus on a narrower range of topics.
Special Ed is changing too: A study by the Fund for Public Advocacy found that the city did a good job preparing for the comprehensive reforms — but expressed concern about whether schools have enough money and training to carry out the changes.
More change: Nine new Brooklyn charter schools opened their doors in neighborhoods across Brooklyn this fall. Some of the charters were welcomed by parents, while others were opposed.
Sure to cause more disruption this year, state education officials say that more than a hundred low-performing city schools must undergo major overhauls or be closed by the 2014-15 school year, including about three dozen in Brooklyn.
Confused? The city has installed a new Back-To-School information page to help parents cope with the start of the school year.
September 7, 2012 - 10:04am