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Maren Holmen

Helpful Hints for Speaking with Teachers

I’ve been an educator for 13 years, and have been asked by numerous friends how to deal with a conflict that crops up in their child’s school.  Students come home at the end of the day filled with social and academic stress.  With growing classroom sizes and increasing curriculum demands in many schools, teachers are less likely to be able to stay in constant contact with parents about what happens while their children are at school.

What it Takes to Learn Your Way: Getting To Know You

This post is part of a series inspired by Dream School: NYC, a SundanceTV docu-series that follows 15 New York City teenagers who left high school and are now trying to get back on track to graduate. The Beekman School partnered with the show to help customize the learning experience for the students.

I Love Graduation!

I’ve attended dozens of graduations in my lifetime.  They often follow the same format: a couple of prominent speakers (relative to the audience), a little laughter, a few tears, and graduates who don’t remember much about the ceremony a year, a month, or sometimes even a day after the fact.  Yet every once in a while, there’s a moment that stands out from the rest, ensuring that you’ll carry part of that graduation with you for a long time.

The End of the GED

It happened without a lot of fanfare.  As of January 1, 2014, New York State stopped administering the GED  (General Education Development test).  This well-known acronym was synonymous with High School Equivalency (HSE) for decades, so why the sudden change?  And what does this mean for all of the people who have spent significant time (and money) preparing for it?

Mentoring: The Added Benefit of a Small School

As a child of educators and as an educator myself, I’ve always had an interest in the topic of education.  Even before I became an administrator, I would read any article or snippet about teaching that caught my eye.  Recently, the subject of teens and mentoring seemed to be popping up everywhere I looked.  From a study done by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health  to a

Changes to the SAT: What Does It Mean?

If you’re reading this blog, you have probably already heard about the College Board’s changes to the SAT.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the changes, here’s a summary:  Starting in Spring 2016, the SAT will go back to the 1600-point format.  They’re getting rid of vocabulary words that are largely out of use and hard-to-understand math questions, the essay is becoming optional, and the overall focus of the exam will be on decoding the presen

What Should You Look For in an Alternative High School Program?

There’s a lot of buzz around the term “alternative high school.”  Students (and their parents) who are not performing well in a more traditional setting are looking for other educational options that don’t sacrifice instructional quality.  But what should you be looking for when researching alternative education?

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