Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Dear Parent or Guardian –
You are receiving this Email from Iron County School District because you are currently assigned as a parent, legal guardian, or custodian of one or more students within the district.
This is to inform you that the school district is currently implementing a new Parent/Guardian Notification system.  The product selected by the district isSchoolMessenger.  This system will make it possible for schools to send emergency information, transmit secure student report cards, and provide prompt/daily attendance reports.  Notifications will also be available in multiple languages to support our growing and diverse community.
The Notification System will be fully enabled as of Monday January 5, 2015.  Prior to that date, it will be necessary for all parents/guardians to take a few minutes to update your Parent profile in PowerSchool.  You will have the option of selecting your preferred contact method (Phone, SMS Text, or Email), and selecting or de-selecting the types of notifications to receive.
District and school websites will provide detailed instructions with links for updating your Parent Notification profile (available December 19).  It is important for this to be completed before the [January 5, 2015] activation date as schools will be using this new system to Email report cards starting mid-January.
If you have any questions or encounter any problems, please contact your school and they can assist you in getting this completed.  **Please Note:  Some parents may not (yet) have a Parent account setup in PowerSchool.  This must be created before you are able to activate your Parent Notification settings.  For those without an existing PowerSchool Parent account, our webpage will also include information for contacting the school to create your initial Parent account.
We are excited to be introducing this new Parent Notification system and know it will greatly enhance communication between schools and parents.
Best Regards,
Troy Lunt
Iron County School District Technology

Friday, August 22, 2014

Memorize Those Basic Facts

Here is an article to notice
Why is math easier for some kids than for others?
BY ANNA CHRISTIANSEN  August 18, 2014 at 3:09 PM EDT
The sooner kids stop counting on their fingers, the better they are at math later in life.
Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine found that when kids begin processing mental math, the brain reorganizes itself to use its short-term memory center, the hippocampus.
The results, which were published Sunday in Nature Neuroscience, suggested that switching from procedure-based strategies like use of counting to memory-based retrieval methods offers a more stable improvement in problem-solving skills in the long run.
Vinod Menon, senior author and Stanford Psychiatrist, equates the change to “providing a scaffold for learning and consolidating facts into long term memory in children.”
Mann Koepke of the NIH, who funded the study, said that if the child’s brain does not have to labor over simple math, there is more short-term memory space to learn new concepts, so they catch on earlier and faster. It appears they have a competitive advantage because of the cognitive structure, and are more likely to outperform their peers.
Researchers studied the brain activity in 28 children between ages 7 and 9 while they were solving arithmetic questions under an MRI, focusing on which parts of the brain would light up. They also tested the kids in person, looking to see if they moved their lips or counted on fingers. When the experiment was repeated a year and a half later, it showed that children who had switched to memory-based retrieval methods were solving the problems faster and more accurately.
Overall, activity in regions associated with counting, the prefrontal and parietal, was reduced, but the number of connections made by the hippocampus had greatly increased. With more information being sent to long term storage sooner, a child will have built a better “schema for mathematical knowledge,” says Menon. She concludes the study is a key launching point for future understanding of math-based learning disabilities.