March 2008 Archives

This is the time of year when students begin to select courses for the next school year. Students at the Center classes have always been open to any student at the school. In some cases students choose our classes. In other cases, counselors simply place them in our classes for reasons we as teachers never know. Today’s blog features an essay by Nantrell Malveo, who will graduate this spring from Frederick Douglass High School. In the essay Nantrell explores how she found herself in a Students at the Center class and how her thinking about the class and the ...


Our students at both Douglass and McMain have read Toni Morrison’s Beloved this spring. Many of them are in the middle of working with some of our staff and graduates to develop a play that incorporates their writing about violence against women and their reading of Beloved. Hearing them talk about the writing they are doing calls to mind a writing that Brittany Philson, a 2007 graduate of Douglass and Students at the Center, completed last year when we were discussing Toni Morrison’s novel. Brittany’s essay, featured in today’s blog, represents another of the many ways ...


Today’s blog introduction is written by Jennifer Harden, an 11th grade student at McMain. Reading The Scarlet Letter Jennifer Harden “Wow!” The first thought that came in my mind when I heard my classmate Ayrion Miller’s essay about her mother and inspired by The Scarlet Letter. I’ve done lots of things after reading a book: journals, book reports, outlines and analysis papers, all the typical things you would do in an English class. I have never really heard things so personal relating to our topics in any class since I started school. I always thought literature was ...


In Students at the Center, we have long advocated that it’s not enough just to have quality teachers, rigorous curriculum, safe schools, and any other items on the list of strategies to improve education for the young people struggle with school. For the last twelve years, we have demonstrated through the students we teach in these most challenging schools that strategic additional resources are necessary. In our case, the major structural changes and funding resources we have brought to our small model include a) classes with a 15:1 student teacher ratio and/or an additional resource teacher in ...


Here is another essay in our series of student writings about parents. Dan Vy, a senior at McMain, is in our Advanced Placement English and creative writing classes. This essay is also part of a book entitled Men We Love, Men We Hate that SAC will publish soon. A Question Never Answered Dan Vy Tran How was your life back in Vietnam? That question was always on my mind every time I talked to my dad. Every moment he sat down to rest, I would be there, waiting to pop the question. But at my every attempt, he would always ...


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