Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Turtle Team Volunteers Help Nesting Turtles on Isle of Palms

Most recently an assistant principal at Holston View Elementary within the Bristol Tennessee City School District, Dr. Cherith Roberts received her EdD from Eastern Tennessee State University. Aside from dispatching her professional obligations, Cherith Roberts, EdD, enjoys spending time with her family at Wild Dunes on the Isle of Palms, South Carolina. With miles of sand dunes and beaches, the island is an ideal spot for loggerhead sea turtles to nest.

The loggerhead sea turtle nests along the Atlantic Ocean shoreline of the Southeastern United States. South Carolina alone is home to over 3,000 turtle nests annually. Due to the vulnerable status of loggerhead sea turtles, the Isle of Palms has formed a Turtle Team. Throughout the spring and summer months, team volunteers walk the beaches of Isle of Palms, searching for evidence of loggerhead nests.

Each year, female loggerhead turtles make their way out of the waves to dig nests along the shoreline. The female will lay approximately 120 eggs in each nest she digs. The eggs incubate for 55-60 days until the turtle hatchlings dig themselves out of the sand and make their way to the ocean.

From their earliest beginnings, the hatchlings face threats. Coyotes, raccoons, feral hogs, and ghost crabs all prey on turtle nests. Then, after they have hatched, baby turtles face the possibility of becoming disoriented on their way to the ocean and perishing on the shore.

When Turtle Team volunteers spot evidence of a nest, they alert certified professionals to come to the site and perform an assessment. These professionals will determine if a nest needs to be relocated, perform DNA analysis, and mark the nest within a GPS system. All of these steps help to ensure the protection of turtle nests and their hatchlings. As a result of the efforts of volunteers along the Atlantic shoreline, scientists have observed an increase in loggerhead populations.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The 2018 ASCD Legislative Agenda

Cherith Roberts is an award-winning school administrator who most recently served as an assistant principal with Holston View Elementary School in Bristol, Tennessee. To augment and inform her professional endeavors, Cherith Roberts holds active membership in the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).

Representing approximately 115,000 members, ASCD strives to help superintendents, principals, instructors, and other educational advocates promote excellence in teaching. In its recently-released 2018 Legislative Agenda, the organization calls upon educational professionals of all designations to increase engagement with leaders at every level in an effort to shape policies that support inclusive and holistic learning.

The Legislative Agenda makes recommendations in three key areas. In an effort to address gaps in professional development, the ASCD stresses the importance of providing educators with the continuing education and leadership training opportunities that they need to succeed. The ASCD also makes a series of resource equity recommendations to reduce the educational disparities that currently exist between high-income and low-income families. Last, the Legislative Agenda’s “Whole Child, Whole School, Whole Community” itinerary encourages families and communities at large to join forces with teachers to ensure that every generation is well educated.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

South Holston Lake in Tennessee

An education professional who has worked for the Bristol Tennessee City Schools for more than 15 years, Cherith Roberts has served as an assistant principal and as a teacher of fifth and sixth grade students. In addition, Cherith Roberts enjoys spending time with her family on South Holston Lake on their pontoon boat.

A reservoir that covers nearly 7,600 acres, South Holston Lake is considered one of the top lakes in Tennessee. Moreover, the 640,000-acre Cherokee National Forest, which hosts many hiking trails, including part of the Appalachian Trail, borders more than half of the lake’s shoreline.

South Holston Lake is home to numerous fish species, including black bass, catfish, bluegill, sunfish, and walleye and is a favorite of fly fishermen. Aside from fishing, visitors can enjoy activities such as canoeing and jet skiing, as well as riding horses and caving in nearby areas. The lake also offers opportunities for a variety of organized recreational events that range from boat races to the annual Independence Day fireworks display.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 - A Brief Overview

For 10 years, Cherith Roberts served as assistant principal of Holston View Elementary School in Bristol, Tennessee. While serving as assistant principal, Cherith Roberts held responsibilities as the school’s Section 504 coordinator. 

A federal statute contained in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504 prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. The law applies to all federally funded activities, programs, and organizations, including public schools. Disabilities defined under Section 504 include any physical or mental impairment that limits a person’s ability to take part in at least one major life activity. 

In an educational setting, Section 504 is applied using a school-created blueprint commonly referred to as a 504 plan. The ultimate goal of the plan is to remove barriers to learning so that students with disabilities can attain academic success while working alongside other students. 

To meet this goal, students under 504 plans are given accommodations that can include extra time on tests and assignments, visual aids, and flexible settings. Some students also receive special services such as speech therapy or behavior interventions. Students with 504 plans are always instructed in a regular classroom with the rest of their peers.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Education Trends to Watch in 2018