Tag: School

Royal High School hotel bid rejected in Edinburgh

How the hotel would have looked on Calton Hill. Image: Gareth Hoskins Architects
How the hotel would have looked on Calton Hill. Image: Gareth Hoskins Architects

Duddingston House Properties and Urbanist Hotels had appealed against the refusal by Edinburgh City Council of two schemes for the former Royal High School building on Calton Hill in December 2015 and August 2017.

International hotel chain Rosewood had been lined up to operate the hotel, which would have housed public bars, restaurants, an art gallery and performance spaces..

The £75m project for the city council-owned building, which was long touted as a home for the Scottish Parliament, was expected to create more than 260 jobs and estimated to be worth more than £35m to the city’s economy had it gone ahead.

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But the scheme, which was instigated after the city council staged a competition a decade ago to find a luxury hotel operator for the building – involved the creation of two controversial “Inca-style” stepped extensions, one on either side of the main building.

The developers said the extensions were essential to make the hotel project viable, but critics likened them to putting “Mickey Mouse ears on the Mona Lisa”. However their plans were twice rejected by the council’s own planning committee.

The government’s ruling on the development stated “Overall the proposal does not represent the right development in the right place.”

It described claims by the developers that the development would be “nationally significant” once it was up and running as “a stretch.”

The government’s ruling added: “Ministers conclude that the proposed development would not preserve the former Royal High School building or its setting and would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the Edinburgh New Town Conservation Area.

However Urbanist Hotels chairman David Orr said: “This is a deeply disappointing decision for us, our investors, and our hotel partners. It is a poor day for inward investment in our vital tourism sector.

“It is now 50 years since the old Royal High School had a proper use and we still do not have a solution that safeguards its future. This decision leaves a magnificent building more at risk than ever.

“As a globally significant city, Edinburgh would have been ideally suited to host a Rosewood hotel.

“It is extraordinary that during a national crisis, at a time when it has never been more important to support Scottish tourism and jobs, our country has been denied a world-class hotel to put it on a level with other European capitals.

“This will not help attract the scale of visitors that Scotland desperately needs as a nation or help to drive economic growth when recovery comes.

“We will be gathering our thoughts as to what we do next. “

Alternative proposals to develop the site for St Mary’s Music School were given the green light in 2016 with a seven-year expiry date on consent due to the unique situation with the hotel plans being appealed.

Despite the approval of the music

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N.J. district delays school reopening date to Feb. 1 for most students citing holiday travel, staffing concerns

Find all of the most important pandemic education news on Educating N.J., a special resource guide created for parents, students and educators.

A Morris County school district announced high school and middle school students will remain all remote and not return to in-person classes until Feb. 1 – among the latest reopening date announced so far by a New Jersey district due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Boonton High School students and those in grades 6 through 8 at John Hill School will return to classes Feb. 1, while students in kindergarten through fifth grade will start two weeks earlier on Jan. 19, said Boonton Public Schools Superintendent Robert Presuto.

Boonton is the latest district in New Jersey to delay a return to the classroom until 2021 as the state grapples with a recent increase in coronavirus cases. Newark, the state’s largest district, announced Monday that students will return Jan. 25, six days after the resumption of in-person classes in Paterson.

Presuto cited several reasons for the school board’s decision Monday night, at his recommendation, extending all-remote learning beyond the first marking period, which ends Nov. 6.

In an email Wednesday night, Presuto said a “sizable portion” of the district’s teachers had declined to return, due to being at a higher risk for COVID-19, and there are not enough substitute teachers available.

Presuto also cited the decision by other districts to remain all-remote learning amid rising coronavirus cases and the expectation that families and staffers may travel during Thanksgiving and the winter holidays, likely necessitating two-week quarantines that would disrupt a return to school.

He added that some school districts where in-person classes have resumed have already decided to switch to all-remote learning around the holidays, and that his district wanted to avoid potentially having to start, and then stop.

“All of these factors together were considered in the recommendation and decision. Many schools, particularly N.J. high schools, have reverted to virtual instruction multiple times in Morris County alone since September,” Presuto said.

Approximately 1,400 students are enrolled in the district’s schools.

When in-person instruction resumes, Boonton Public Schools will use a hybrid schedule.

Presuto said students will be divided into two groups, or cohorts. Students will attend classes on two days, for four hours per day, and use remote learning the rest of the week.

He said the goal is to limit attendance at the three schools to 50% or less of capacity in order to accommodate social distancing.

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Rob Jennings may be reached at rjennings@njadvancemedia.com.


©2020 NJ Advance Media Group, Edison, N.J.

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Virtual school allows families to combo vacation amid COVID-19


A high school junior shares a glimpse of what digital learning is like during the coronavirus pandemic.


NEW YORK — In RVs, rental homes and five-star resorts, families untethered by the constraints of physical classrooms for their kids have turned the new school year into an extended summer vacation, some lured by the ailing hotel industry catering to parents with remote learners through “roadschooling” amenities.

With the coronavirus pandemic ongoing, the change of scene for desperate work- and school-from-home families boils down to “risk versus reward,” said Amanda Poses, a travel consultant and mother of two teenagers in Austin, Texas. “God willing, we don’t have the opportunity to do this again.”

Poses and her husband let 13-year-old Addison attend school from Park City, Utah, for three days of a five-night stay in early September. In search of a flight of three hours or less, they rode horses, hiked and zip-lined. They went tubing and enjoyed an alpine slide. And, yes, there was a bit of logging in to school.

“I ended up skipping like half of my classes,” Addison smiled. “It was nice. It was like a new start.”

Addison’s 16-year-old brother sat out the trip. “He was concerned about being distracted,” mom said.

One of the places the family stayed, the luxury Montage Deer Valley mountain resort, now offers “Montage Academy” for distance learners, complete with an all-day monitored “study hall” and access to virtual tutors. Other hotels are offering on-site tutors and tickets for “field trips” at area attractions.

Anna Khazenzon, a data and learning scientist for the online study platform Quizlet, said the monotony of weeks stuck at home for school on top of six months of pandemic restrictions risks bringing on burnout for distance learners.

But there are dangers lurking in schoolcations, as well.

“Formal schoolcation programs have the potential to create further achievement gaps between high- and low-income families, and more cost-effective versions should be developed, but overall there are many learning benefits for taking children on schoolcations,” Khazenzon said. “If students are burnt out and under-stimulated studying at home, then they may not be engaged in class at all.”

Jennifer Steele, an associate professor of education at American University, said that if distance learners don’t show up for class during schoolcations, “we would expect them to lose some knowledge and skills.” In addition, she said, the idea “exposes socioeconomic inequities in terms of people’s inability to leave and go to difference places.”

Since the start of the pandemic, families of means have decamped to second homes or taken long-term rentals in vacation spots around the world. With summer over, schoolcations offer others similar experiences, whether they’re roughing it on the road for extended periods or spending on hotels and resorts trying to make up for a summer slump.

For Jayson and Tammy Brown, schoolcations for their three kids have been both ongoing and life-affirming over the past five years. The parents and 11-year-old Jayde, 13-year-old Jay’Elle and 14-year-old Jayson are used

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After School Program to being at rec centers in Greensboro

Lindley Recreation Center will open Tuesday, October 20. A few others will open on November 9.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Greensboro Parks and Recreation Department is planning to hold an After School program for kids ages 5-12 next week.

Kristen Herndon, Facilities and aquatics coordinator, said safety is top of mind.

“We are definitely taking the safety of all of our participants to the extreme,” Herndon said.

Beginning Tuesday, October 20th, the program at the Lindley Recreation Center is set to begin. The program will run Monday-Fridays from 2-6 p.m.
Only 8-15 students will be accepted at a site each week. It costs $30 per student.

“We miss the community just as much as the community misses there being something for kids to do. And I know that kids need a space for their kids to go where they can trust that they are not only having fun and doing their homework but they are safe,” Herndon said.

Brown, Leonard, Lewis, and Griffin recreation centers will also serve as sites beginning November 9th. Herndon said students will be screened before entering the building. Everyone will be required to wear a mask, and social distancing is a must.

“There will be handwashing and sanitizing times for the participants and staff as well,” Herndon said.

Herndon said transportation won’t be provided by parks and rec so it’s up to parents to arrange that. She suggests reaching out to your child’s school.
Parents are also asked to send the following with their kids.

“We are asking them to send you know maybe they’re own jacket and then any supplies for homework, also a pre-packaged snack and also a water bottle with their name on it,” Herndon said.

The After School Program will only start when Guilford County Schools return to in-person instruction. So if GCS pushes their October 20th start date back, the start of the After School program would be pushed back as well.

For more information and to register head to the city of Greensboro’s website.

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Is it ok to miss school for vacation?

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I know it seems like right now nobody is traveling anywhere, but today I wanted to talk about a topic that’s near and dear to my heart – traveling with kids during the school year and having them miss school. We have traveled quite a bit with our family, both as an entire family of 8 as well as individually with a parent traveling with one or more kids.

Benefits of traveling with your kids during the school year

There are a ton of benefits of traveling with your kids during the school year. First of all, you’re likely to have fewer crowds if you can avoid traveling during peak travel times. Everyone is traveling during the summer, or on spring break or over holiday weekends.

Disney World for a family vacation in November is a whole different experience than Disney World in June, July, or on school holidays! Along those same lines, you’re likely to save money if you can travel in the off-season or during shoulder season. Hotels, airfare, and attraction costs all rise during peak travel time since those places know that is when everyone is traveling! A possible additional minor side effect is that your kids might think it’s “cool” to blow off school attendance to go on a family trip 😉

And these are on top of all of the great benefits that traveling has in general. What better way to learn about the world and history than by actually EXPERIENCING the world! Is it better to just READ about the Roman Empire? Or see actual Roman Ruins on the coast of Spain?

Family trips aren’t just school breaks. They can also be a way to enhance a child’s education even if that’s not how your child’s teacher sees being a student.

Multiple generations of a family walk on a beach.

Multiple generations of a family walk on a beach. Image source: Getty Images.

Challenges of having your kids miss school for a family vacation

A lot of the challenges of having your children miss school for vacation depend on the age of your child and your school district. It’s certainly true that some schools and school districts are stricter about attendance than others. We have been lucky in that our kids have been mostly younger and in school districts that were less strict about kids missing school during the school year.

Student attendance policies can vary. Some schools have compulsory attendance while others have a more flexible attendance policy.

Generally, they would send a small packet of work home to be completed over the duration of the trip. For younger students, the teachers would ask our

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