Archives for the month of: June, 2014

Currently the director of curriculum for Confluence Academy Schools in the St. Louis area, Louise Losos cares about issues that affect students. In October 2013, she wrote an op-ed on cyber-bullying for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Cyber-bullying is much more serious than the face-to-face threats students faced in the past. Today’s bullies use the wide reach of the Internet as a tool of intimidation. According to a 2004 study by i-SAFE America, 42 percent of children in grades four through eight have experienced online bullying.

There are, however, ways to reduce this problem. School districts can train teachers and parents to recognize signs of bullying or cyber-bullying. Students might be experiencing cyber-bullying if they ask their parents to drive them to school so they won’t have to walk or take the bus. Affected children might also pretend to be sick, avoid friends, or refrain from attending school activities.

If parents suspect bullying of any kind, they should alert school officials, and if needed, the police. Websites such as the Megan Meier Foundation’s contain useful information. Most importantly, parents should communicate with their children with understanding and sympathy. Helping children express their feelings may help heal them emotionally.

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Experienced educator Louise Losos currently serves as Director of Curriculum at Confluence Academy Schools, a struggling school district in the St. Louis, Missouri, area. A former high school principal, Louise Losos is dedicated to helping at-risk students succeed academically.

According to data from the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment, the United States ranks 14th in science, 17th in reading, and 25th in mathematics worldwide. For many experts, poor academic performance lies not necessarily in student motivation, but rather in a lack of research. In order to achieve educational success, teachers and administrators must be given the necessary tools to identify at-risk students and ways to adjust instruction methods accordingly.

Research conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development shows that while one-on-one student instruction is the highest in the United States, the country has the highest rate of impoverished students (38 percent). Much of the problem lies in educational resources in low-income areas. In addition to giving schools in these areas access to better resources, other methods can be implemented to help at-risk students succeed. These include childhood education, success-based bonuses for teachers and students, and a reduction of class size.