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Smarter Schools

Special report: Smarter education

Predictive analytics can help schools quickly identify at-risk students — so they can intervene before it’s too late

The title for this post was taken from a special report from November 4, 2011 on how children at-risk drop out of school. If schools could get smarter about identifying children at-risk, they could intervene before the problems led to a crisis and a dropout. Fathers are needed for so many aspects of a child’s life. One of the easiest ways to identify children at-risk is to look for those children who are living apart from their father. Twenty four million American children live apart from their biological father. That is one out of every three or 33% of children in America. Nearly two out of three (64%) of African American children live in father-absent homes. One in three (34%) of Hispanic children and one in four (25%) of white children live in father-absent homes. WE’VE ALL GOT WORK TO DO TO HELP OUR SCHOOLS GET SMARTER!

The fatherlessness statistics I have presented above come from U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee, a Democrat, who represents the 18th Congressional District of Texas. I have never heard a Canadian politician speak with this compassionate concern about fathers and their families or even mention men’s issues. Her video in support of fathers and children is AMAZING!

Operation Lodestar: Abbotsford Police Department

Parents Play A Crucial Role In Public Safety

Approximately thirty percent of Abbotsford’s population is of South Asian heritage. I am proud of my attempts to learn about children’s issues and laws from french-speaking countries and around the globe, and I want to recognize the hard work and production quality of Abbotsford Police Department in translating their Operation Lodestar campaign into a Punjabi-version video. For the English version, please click here.

On September 14, 2010, the Abbotsford Police Department unveiled another part of their Anti-gang Campaign called, “Operation Lodestar,” which targets mentors and parents in the community. Constable Kowalaski, reported on Global TV, that School District #34 had surveyed 5,300 students about what was missing in their lives and they reported:


It was back in December, 2007, when the Abbotsford School Board outright refused to allow School District students from participating in a Province-wide survey about sex, drugs, suicide and other social issues facing our youth.

At the time, “Trustee Gerda Fandrich said, upon review, Board members found some of the questions “very intrusive” and the ‘DATA IN THE SURVEY WOULD UNLIKELY CHANGE EDUCATION WITHIN THE DISTRICT.”

Cindy Schafer, the newly appointed School Board chairperson in 2009 said, she was “concerned students as young as 12 would be considered “world wise or street smart” enough to answer some of the survey’s sensitive questions.”

Clearly, the drug related crime and dysfunction in our community, which included the death of students in our schools, linked to the Drug Trade, however, “HAS CHANGED EDUCATION IN THE DISTRICT.”

B.C. Education Minister Don McRae:

“Everything’s a possibility.”

Vancouver Sun reporter, Janet Steffenhagen, just left on a three-week vacation. But before she did, she sent us the first photograph of our new Education Minister, Don McRae.

Fathers4Justice PSA Parental Alienation is Child abuse/ Children need both parents from Fathers4Justice on Vimeo.

Meanwhile, our sauce is available everyday here. >>>

Moms Like To Blog

I read an amazing article about Westcoast Mom’s who were all learning to blog together. And they were NOT a bunch of grumpy feminists. They have some swag for families with babies for the first 20 moms (or dads) who contact them. Their web pages are so professional they look like they must cost thousands of dollars to produce. And they have huge lists of cool events for moms and families. When I looked for images of Westcoast Dads, all I found was hot sauce, but it does sounds like pretty spicy stuff. I know a half dozen dads who make a living creating websites, but they don’t create any websites about themselves or their parenting. Modern Mamas are specifically learning to create websites to be writers themselves.

The Parent/Teacher Partnership

The first place I heard people talking about the relationship between parents and teachers was on a re-broadcast of the CBC Radio Special Forum on Education in Vancouver on September 12, 2012. First, at 30:40 on the time counter Rod Allan, from the BC Ministry of Education, talked about upcoming curriculum changes. BC students score among the top jurisdictions in the world on OECD testing, but all nations are asking themselves what tests will be needed in the future. Many teachers got up and spoke of the need for more funding for education. But at time 2:17:00 Ann Whiteaker, the recent past President of the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils, was a ray of hope when she spoke of the need for a better relationship between parents and teachers. Ann said parents are having a challenge having their voices heard in our school system and being part of the education partnership. Parents cheered for her. When I heard the recording of Ann at the Forum, I cheered too. Thank you to Janet Steffenhagen, from the Vancouver Sun, for posting the CBC Radio forum recording on Twitter.

The second place, I heard people talking about the relationship between parents and teachers was in the U.S. Teacher’s Strike which was suspended September 18, 2012. I read news reports of parents complaining that the U.S. teachers’ strike was hurting children just as the B.C. teachers’ strike had done.

The third place I heard this discussion was Sunday night on a re-broadcast of a September 18, 2012 recording of a University of British Columbia panel of education experts, examining the question: Who is responsible for our children? This podcast was recorded before a packed house at the Creekside Community Recreation Centre in Vancouver.

Grading English 101 Essays

By Sam Pierstorff

Eight done and I can’t bear anymore—
can’t bear the fragments, sentences with broken legs,
crawling through each paragraph without the crutch of verbs.

I’m usually awakened by the poetry in at least
one student’s line—the girl with wild black hair,
plum lips, nose pierced like a dartboard’s bull’s eye—

to see more of Grading English…

The Parent/Teacher Disconnect

This next link is a little more difficult for me to offer. I have drawn a red arrow on the screen shot to the right to show you which video to watch. The video is at the bottom of the linked page. I have posted the actual link at the bottom of the next paragraph.

I am trying to direct you to a Huffington Post Video by Dr. Rene Hackneye, a child developmental psychologist. Dr. Hackneye talks about a study that shows that 80% of parents think that knowing your letters is important for Kindergarten readiness but only 20% of Kindergarten teachers think that this “readiness” discussion is important. The teachers felt teaching was their job, and they could teach any child. Of course, knowing your letters and being able to sit co-operatively in a circle are key advantages for any young child and for everyone around that child. Huffington Post Video by Dr. Rene Hackney on Kindergarten Readiness

Do You Support Men’s Centers?


In my last post, I was amazed to discover that some of the Canadians on the Web supporting other Canadians through divorce were actually doing this advocacy work years ago when I first got divorced. I wrote that this effort had been going on for fifteen years. But I undervalued the hard work and dedication of my fellow Canadians. Glenn Cheriton was one of the founders of Everyman, back in 1989, along with Andrew Macdonald, Dave Stevenson, and Paul Lemay. This is NOT 15 years. This is TWENTY THREE YEARS!

The Men’s Movement was born in the 1980’s when Robert Bly wrote about the male condition in essays like Iron John (Jean de Fer), which was translated into french as L’Homme Sauvage Et L’Enfant (The Wild Man and the Child).

These Canadian leaders, like Glenn, have been advocating on behalf of Canadian men almost since men started responding to our changing family structures. Keep up the good work.

Check Your Prostate!

Today I went for my PSA screening test because it’s important. And for Septembeard, Octobeard, and the month known as Movember, I hope you will join me by encouraging the men in your family to take care of themselves. Let’s nurture and encourage men, youth, and boys to change the face of male health.


Father Hunger (Not Only Dad’s Food Needs)

Father Hunger: Boys Need Guidance Into Adulthood

Supporting Our Children

As students in Delaware prepare to return to school this fall, educators, mental health workers, and others are preparing to lend extra support for kids who may need it. Over the summer, Maureen Underwood, clinical director at the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide, provided suicide prevention and crisis response training to many Delaware professionals who work with youth in the schools. According to Underwood, establishing good communication as soon as possible is an essential step as students begin the school year. “Parents may be reluctant to share information with the school,” said Underwood. “It’s very important for them to understand they have control over what the school can know about their child’s mental health needs. …But it’s important for families to recognize that schools want to be part of the team.” Underwood and Harvey Doppelt (director of specialized services for the state Department of Services to Children, Youth and Their Families) also emphasize how important it is for kids to speak up if they are struggling. Said Doppelt, “The message we’re trying to get to kids: Talk to any adult you trust…We have to let them know it’s OK to have problems and it’s OK to ask for help.”

Here is the original Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) website.

La fête des bulles d’amour – 25 avril, 2013
Ensemble, nous sommes capables de beaucoup.
Il n’y a que 208 jours avant la journée de sensibilisation!

Bubbles Of Love Day – April 25, 2013
Together We Can Make A Difference
Only 208 days till Awareness Day!

Favourite Links

Dr. Richard Gardner.com via Dr. Richard A. Warshak.com

COCHEM, GERMANY: The Cochem shared parenting model

L’Action des Nouvelles Conjointes et Nouveaux Conjoints du Québec



Canadian Children’s Rights Council – Conseil canadien des droits des enfants





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  1. October 5, 2012 at 2:56 PM

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