Showing posts with label In the news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label In the news. Show all posts

Monday, June 8


 STEM is a new buzz word in the education field. But what exactly is it? Simply defined, STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The STEM Education Coalition states that incorporating a STEM-based curriculum is critical if the United States wants to remain a global economic and technological leader.

The goal of this education initiative is to create a STEM-based curriculum for all students. However, Fairmont Private Schools is proactive in providing students with a STEM-rich curriculum. Fairmont currently boasts robust, competitive robotics clubs at the junior high and high school levels, as well as advanced mathematics programs, and the Advanced Science and Engineering Program (ASEP) for high school students. A total of 24 awards were earned by Fairmont junior high students at the 2014 Orange County Science and Engineering Fair. Fairmont students are also introduced to technology in the classroom, working with iPads and Interactive Whiteboards from preschool through high school.

Despite the national push for more technical training required for STEM-related jobs, it is important to maintain a balance between study of the humanities and study of the technological fields. During the 2011 release of a next generation iPad, Steve Jobs explained that “it’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough — that it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing.” Fairmont believes that both liberal arts and STEM focuses are important, thus, Fairmont students are enriched with opportunities to learn musical instruments, participate in theater productions, read classical literature, create wonderful works of art, and engage with curriculum that examines history, sociology, and more! 
After graduating from Fairmont Preparatory Academy, 87% of Fairmont seniors are accepted to US News & World Report’s list of top 100 American colleges and universities, many entering the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These successful outcomes result from a well-balanced education that enable students to flourish academically and artistically.    
Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools

Image by Teacher Reboot Camp

Wednesday, April 29

FAIRMONT FIVE: planning a kid-friendly vacation

One of the rites of spring is figuring out this summer’s family vacation. Planning can be as simple as loading up the car for a fun road trip, or as complicated as making airline and hotel arrangements around busy schedules for a trip across the country or overseas. Either way, we have provided some tips to make your next vacation extra-memorable for your children.

1.       Avoid over-planning and focus a little more on being flexible—Arranging a tight travel schedule might squeeze out unexpected pleasures such as visiting a country fair, shopping at a farmers market, or attending a concert in the park. Block out a couple of days to be spontaneous and experience life as a local.

2.       Involve your child in the vacation planning process—While mapping out the itinerary, discuss possible places of interest with your child. Encourage them to practice geography skills and test their knowledge of history as they research potential sites to visit. Math skills can be exercised while determining the distance and the time it will take to drive to a particular destination.

3.       Follow the 15-minute rule—For every one hour on the road, plan 15 minutes to stop and get out of the car. If pulling over every hour is not practical, drive three hours and take a driving break for half an hour. This offers opportunities to stretch the legs and fully appreciate scenic spots along the journey.

4.       Take a break from the screen—Provide alternative traveling activities for children to prevent them from being completely glued to their smartphones and iPads. Encourage them to pay close attention to points of interests during the drive. Have them create a photographic journal of the different sights along the trip. Bring books, puzzles, and word games to occupy their minds while on the road. When visiting relatives, ask your child to put on a reporter’s cap and interview grandparents, aunts, and uncles. This will open the door to some great storytelling and provide the child with fascinating insights related to their family’s heritage.

5.       Don’t leave healthy habits home alone—Be sure to bring a bag of snacks for the road that includes nuts, carrots, string cheese, fruit, and crackers. Sometimes vacations bring out the desire to indulge in junk food that is not common fare in the home. Keeping candy consumption to a minimum will prevent kids from getting too “sugared up” in the back seat.

By the end of vacation,  your child will have a detailed journal of wonderful memories, stories, and discoveries.

Please note If you are planning for your child to join the adventure at Fairmont's Summer Programs, enroll by April 30th to save 10% on summer camp and school. 

Contributed by Doug Fleischli, Fairmont Private Schools

Image credit: fueld

Monday, April 27

HOW TO: backing up your student’s work

As the school year winds down, now is a good time to think about the best way to save your student’s work.  If you have not been backing up regularly, summertime offers a great opportunity to clean up your student’s iPad and computer by backing up the data to an external drive.  To save work and projects, we recommend backing up data from your student’s iPad using one (or preferably several) of the methods outlined below.  Once the data has been backed up to a hard disk, it can be deleted from the iPad.
Since iCloud will save only the most recent backups, if you delete data from your iPad, the newer back up will not contain that data.  It’s recommended to use both a cloud-based and hard disk backup to protect and save your data, which will enable you to wipe your iPad clean for the next school year.  If you so choose, be sure to wait until after the school year is over, as teachers may have projects, assignments, and assessments that utilize school work completed earlier in the year.


The bottom line is to always remember to back up your computers and mobile devices regularly!


Perhaps the easiest way to back up your data is by using Apple’s iCloud feature.  With this feature enabled, your data will be backed up automatically when your iPad is plugged in, locked, and connected to the Internet.  This form of backup takes place when the iPad is charging and not in use. To activate iCloud backup:

  • Go to Settings > iCloud > Backup
  • Toggle the iCloud Backup switch to “On” setting
  • You can choose the “Back Up Now” option to create an immediate iCloud backup of your data
If you require more than the free 5 GB of storage, Apple offers additional storage space starting at 99 cents per month for 20GM


Another great option to back up your iPad is to plug it into your computer and sync it with iTunes.  If you have iTunes installed on your computer, it should automatically open when you plug in your iPad.  If not, simply open iTunes manually with your iPad plugged in. To back up your data:
  • Click on the iPad icon near the top of the iTunes window
  • Under the Backups box, click on “Back Up Now” to create a backup of your iPad

You can select how your iPad will generate automatic backups by selecting the "iCloud” or “This computer” option.  You can always create a manual backup of your iPad using iTunes even when your auto backup is set to “iCloud”

Google Drive

Google Drive is a convenient way to back up files, images, and videos.  However, Google Drive will not save your iPad apps or settings.  
To save apps or settings, you will need to use one of the above options  (iCloud or iTunes).
Many apps, such as iAnnotate and Explain Everything, give you the option to save directly to Google Drive.  You can also upload any video or picture from your camera roll to your Google Drive using the 
free Google Drive app. If your iCloud storage is getting full, the main culprit is usually the large size of your camera roll.  You can choose to back up your camera roll to Google Drive on a regular basis to free up some of your iCloud storage space.  Note that your drive has a capacity of 30GB while the free iCloud storage is limited to 5GB.  


Dropbox works  similar to Google Drive, but the free storage is smaller (only 2GB).  Dropbox will allow you to create an automatic back up from your camera roll.  To enable this feature, open the Dropbox app on your iPad then click on the Settings tab at the bottom left side of the screen.  Tap the “Camera Upload” option and toggle it to “On”  setting. 

Computer: External Hard Drive and Off-site Backup

It’s essential to back up your computer regularly to an external hard drive using Time Machine on a Mac or a number of programs on a PC.  It can be devastating to lose work and personal files if your computer becomes damaged or is stolen.  Establishing a routine to plug in the drive at the end of the week is an effective measure to back up data.  This ensures you will never lose more than a week’s worth of work.  And if you are using Google Drive or Dropbox to back up some of your files, you are creating even more insurance for protecting your data.  Other off-site options for backup include Crashplan, Mozy, and Carbonite. The best backup plan includes a local backup to an external hard drive and an off-site backup to the cloud. 
Backing up your student’s work ensures peace of mind. This protected resource of information will be useful for the upcoming school year.   It will also enable your student to safely free up space on his/her iPad in anticipation of new projects.

Contributed by the Marketing Department, Fairmont Private Schools 
Image by It's All About Laptops!