Thursday, January 3, 2008

MHA and the Herald Tribune

On January 1st the International Herald Tribune ran this story about the growing awareness amongst educators of the need to provide Middle School boys with training in organizational skills - something known in the educational world as Executive Functioning Skills. Here is a excerpt from the article:

With girls outperforming boys these days in high school and college, educators have been sparring over whether there is a crisis in the education of boys. Some suggest the need for more single-sex schools, more male role models or new teaching techniques. Others are experimenting with physical changes in classrooms that encourage boys to move around, rather than trying to anchor them to their seats.

But as they debate, high-priced tutors and college counselors have jumped into the fray by charging as much as $100 an hour and up to bring boys to heel.

The tutors say their main focus is organizational skills because boys seem generally to have more difficulty getting organized and multitasking than girls do.

I'm rather proud of the fact that here at the MHA we not only provide single sex education part-time at the Middle School level and full-time at the High School level, but as of today - January 3rd - and as the culmination of weeks of student assessment, curriculum development, and teacher training by our Assistant Principal for Guidance Mrs. Melissa Perl, we have implemented a special Executive Functioning Skills program for our Middle School boys who most need such help. The program addresses the precise issues referred to in the article, but does so within the context of the school day, thereby obviating the need for tutors and their $100 an hour fees.

We don't yet have the manpower nor the funding to implement similar cutting edge services for all of our students with special needs, but this is a great first step. If you'd like to help us take the next one, click here and under "Donate to" select the Louis A. Fineberg Special Education Fund. Doing so will facilitate our ability to continue creating new paths toward success for each and every one of our children.

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