February 7th, 2012
12:30 PM ET

L.A. elementary school, at center of abuse probes, replaces staff

Jaqueline Hurtado, CNN

Lea este artículo en español/Read this article in Spanish

(CNN) - Students at Miramonte Elementary School will return to class later this week to a new staff because administrators do not want any more "surprises" at the Los Angeles school that is at the center of two child abuse cases.

The school will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday to "take a break," the Los Angeles Unified School system said.

When classes resume Thursday, a new staff and social workers will be at hand to receive them, said Los Angeles School District Superintendent John Deasy.

"I can't have anymore surprises at Miramonte," Deasy told an auditorium packed with parents Monday night. "And if there are more, then we'll have to deal with that."

Everyone from current custodians to teachers at Miramonte will be removed, he said.

Those staffers who are not being fired are expected, after undergoing special training, to resume work at another location, he said.

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Filed under: Issues • Policy • video
February 7th, 2012
10:10 AM ET

Students go at own pace at school without boundaries

By Sonya Hamasaki, CNN

Los Angeles (CNN) - After spending 20 years in a midlevel job at a Southern California credit union, Dawn Moore wanted a promotion. But to move up in the company, Moore needed a bachelor's degree. So what stopped her from going back to school? A full-time job, a family and a tight budget.

"I needed a university that was accredited, would work with my schedule, and I could do from home," said Moore, 55. "I just felt at my age and with everything I had going on in my life, I didn't feel like walking to a campus, sitting in a classroom and doing the traditional brick and mortar."

But then she discovered Western Governors University.

The university was started by a group of governors from the West who wanted to make education accessible to adult students with busy lives. It's an online, nonprofit, fully accredited university, a distinction not granted to all online campuses. It's a school without boundaries - there aren't any teachers, curriculums are personalized, and students can go at their own pace.

This type of flexibility draws adults who are strapped for time. The average student is 36, and 70% of them have full-time jobs.

Can music improve behavior?
February 7th, 2012
07:30 AM ET

Can music improve behavior?

By Cheryl Castro, CNN

Listen to CNN Radio's podcast on music in the classroom from Cheryl Castro.

(CNN) – There is much research to show that music can improve academic performance. But what about behavior? Kindergarten teacher Shelvia Ivey sees the effects every day in her classroom.

"It's fun to see the shy ones blossom and music is a way for them to do that," Ivey said. For "some of the more aggressive children who have a hard time controlling their instincts, it's a time for them to express themselves, too and it's easier for them to control their instincts. And they're allowed to be expressive, and be unique."

The kids in Ivey's class are bright-eyed and about as focused as you can expect from 5-year-olds and younger. About a dozen of them hop, dance and clap along at a metro Atlanta Primrose school, a private school that offers programs for infants through kindergarten.

Over the fall, Primrose added The Music Class to the curriculum at all 240 of its schools spread across 16 states. Jason Caesar’s two active young sons, 2-year-old Kingston and 3-year-old Phoenix, attend the school. "The music definitely tames the savage 3-year-old," Caesar said.

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Filed under: Behavior • Early childhood education • Music • Podcast • Practice