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Tuesday, August 25, 2015


2015-16 Course Schedules Available on Power School

With the first day of school taking place tomorrow, students may access and print their schedules on Power School for the first few days of school or even transfer their schedules to a mobile device they can use (to avoid using paper).  For those who may need a schedule, they will be available for pick up in the LMC prior to the start of school or in the Guidance Office during the day.
Any requests for schedule changes should be made to the student's counselor via email.  Using this medium will help to expedite student requests for changes and for counselors to keep records of these changes.

On the first day of school (Wednesday, August 26th) - If you find a mistake on your schedule and did not address it with your counselor prior to the first day of school, you can complete a form (available in the Guidance Office) or email - as mentioned above - describing the mistake and what needs to be corrected. List your counselor's name on the form. Follow your schedule as is and your counselor will correct the mistake ASAP. S/he will then email you an amended schedule. You may also print a new copy on power school. If you wish to make a change in your schedule, follow the same procedure as described above.

Important Information About Registering for ECE Courses

This note is just a reminder that the Compass Online Application and Enrollment System reopened on Saturday.  Any students that need to either apply and enroll in ECE classes or to drop classes may do so at this time.  The deadlines are as follows:
New Online Applications- Any student that has not already submitted an online application may do so until September 15, 2015.
Course Enrollment and/or Course Drops- Students may add or drop courses from their schedule until September 30, 2015.
There is a one-time, non-refundable $25 add/drop fee in addition to the regular course fees that is waived for EOS students.
The procedure during the add/drop registration period is the same as the regular term.  Please see either the paper Registration Guide and Consent Form, or the ECE website: www.ece.uconn.edu for details.  An additional supply of consent forms are available in the Guidance Office this week. You may also print these forms from the PDF found on the ECE website under: Administrators Tab >Registration Tools.
The ECE Office will consider extending office hours during the last two weeks of September depending on volume.  In the meantime, anyone needing assistance can reach the ECE Office from 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F.  The toll-free helpline number is: (855)382-UECE.

Important Information About Registering for ECSU Courses

Students enrolled in ECSU Human Anatomy & Physiology, ECSU Calculus A, and/or ECSU College Algebra may earn college credits while also earning EOS credits.  Students wishing to earn dual credits need to complete an ECSU registration form that is available in the EOS Guidance Office.  ECSU charges a nominal fee of $25 per credit.  Each of the available courses is worth four credits.  Thus, each course costs $100.  Checks should be made payable to EOSHS.  Deadline for registration is Friday, September 4.

Important Information About UConn Campus Courses

For those students selecting courses on campus, a separate application form is required. This form, too, is available in the Guidance Office.  Per policy with the university, EOS students have access to courses on the UConn campus provided they meet eligibility criteria and provided there is a seat in the chosen course on the first day of the semester. Once again, courses are free, but students are responsible for purchasing their own textbooks.  

NOTE: Classes at UConn begin on Monday, August 31st.
Contact Doug Melody (dmelody@eosmith.org) with any questions about this.

How Much Time Should Students Spend on Homework?

This is a question often asked by parents/guardians, particularly those new to EOSHS.  It's a question that's never had an easy answer - at least until now. 
 It's easier to answer this question for yourself now simply by logging on to Power School and clicking on Quick Look Up.  When you click on a grade, the "grade book" will open and there you will see the wide assortment of assignments/tests/quizzes that contribute to the grade.  Task management, and not time management, should be the priority.  If the results are satisfactory, then a sufficient amount of time is being devoted to homework.  If not, then both the time and task management need to be reviewed and re-evaluated.
The better way to answer this question, then, is by measuring results and not hours.  The link below will bring you to an article that addresses this issue.

How to Use Power School

When student grades became accessible a few years years ago through Power School, it opened a whole host of issues that accompanied the opening of teacher grade books. What was surprising to many is that the data revealed students accessing grades at the rate of twice that of parents. What wasn't known, though, is to what degree students were/are accessing grades through their own portals in the presence of their parents or if parents were simply using student accounts to check. What we did learn in the process is that access to grades can be both a benefit and a liability, depending upon how this access is used.

Like several tools, Power School can be an effective tool if used properly - and not so if used improperly. Proper use is subject to personal interpretation, but it may be safe to say that overuse may be just as detrimental as no use at all. Checking grades frequently (every day, if not every hour) can cause frustration because the pace that teachers use to input grades differs across the faculty. Likewise, there are occasions when human error results in incorrect input (in such cases, students should simply consult the teacher). But when parents check so frequently that it robs the sense of responsibility and ownership from students for the latters' grades, then the result is distrust and dismay. 

Clearly, the parent portal to grades is a potentially effective tool for communication, and it may be used for a springboard to constructive conversation about academic performance, engagement, and the like...if done so in good measure. But what can we call good measure? 

Here's one suggestion - set aside one time a week (make it consistent from week to week) to sit down with for a parent-child session during which the "book" is opened. Set ground rules for discussion. And set a time limit, too. If there are any issues that remain unresolved, resolve to address them during the next weekly meeting. Be sure to examine the effort behind the grades - meaning homework and project completion as well as quiz/test performance. Reinforce effort made.

Proper use of this tool can enhance conversation about the school experience. Improper use, on the other hand, can lead to distrust. It may take some time to figure out what works for parents and children. It's work well worth doing.

Set Your GPS

Set Your GPS in the upper right corner is a website that can help you get on a path for growth and keep you on it.  Based upon Carol Dweck's book called Mindset, there are several resources, videos, and links that provide a map to get you where you wish to go.  If you believe that challenges present possibilities for growth, then you'll want to check out this link.  If, on the other hand, you believe that obstacles are immovable, then guess what?  You need to click the link, anyway, in order to clear those obstacles from your path.

Why Do I Need to Learn This?

"Why do I need to learn this?" Counselors and teachers have heard students express this sentiment at least a few (hundred) times in their careers.  It's actually a worthy question to sometimes ask, and not always an easy one to answer. It seems to be asked around this time of year when students are beginning courses and/or choosing courses they'd rather not take (but are required to) during this next school year.

"Why do I need to learn this?"  Often, it makes sense to decode the motivation behind the question.  After all, if we understand why the question is being asked, it may help to provide a satisfying answer.  And sometimes kids ask this question not because they wonder why they need to learn something but because they're frustrated with not being able to learn it.  So, an easy fix for their frustration is to simply blow it off and minimize the importance of what they're so frustrated trying to understand.

"Why do I need to learn this?" Well, you know teachers sometimes ask the question in a different way - "Why do I need to teach this?" - although they may not always express it outwardly.  And students may never know that teachers feel this way.  Of course, the motivation behind this question may  have - just may have - something to do with teaching to a test (or, stated another way, teaching with a test in mind).  In any case, it seems like everyone - students and teachers alike - sometimes wonders why they're learning/teaching the material they have in front of them.  It's a worthy question to ask, and not always a simple one to answer.

"Why do I need to learn this?"  Well, here's why.

Although you may not need to know it now, there may come a time when you do.  By then, it may be too late.  For instance, students go to switch majors in college, only to discover they don't have the necessary coursework to continue in it.  Adults go to switch jobs, need to take a math placement test or something similar, and sometimes realize - "This is why I need to know it."

How will you ever know it's useful or not, interesting or not, if you don't ever learn it in the first place?

"Why do I need to learn this?"

Because it may make you a more educated and well-rounded human being.  Really.

Because the struggle involved in learning it is a lesson in itself.

Because it may help prevent you from being taken advantage of by another individual who may otherwise know more than you.

Because colleges want you to know it, and they measure your knowledge by the grades and test scores you earn.  They want well-rounded learners, students who connect seemingly disparate dots among the different disciplines.

Because you may be on a  television game show someday.  You could win lots of money.

Because it may help you to see the world in a different way.

Because it may help you to see yourself in a different way.

Because it may lead to more learning and more discoveries.

Because you  have the chance to learn it - and others in this world may not.

Because it may make you a freer human being.

After all, it's what the liberal arts were meant to do - to liberate one's mind.  

"Why do I need to learn this?"

Because...just because there are some things you need to do in life, like it or not.  It's like eating the vegetable you really don't like, performing exercises that will keep you healthy but you'd rather not do, folding the laundry or putting out the garbage or cleaning your room or emptying the dishwasher.

It may be the very positive behavior you don't like doing but are glad you did.

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