Free Transcripts Webinar

The Semester will end soon and grades will be posted to the transcripts.  The process will go smoothly if the credits, grading scales, and grades are all correct at the time of posting. If you’re a veteran Lumen Touch user and need a quick refresher you can visit Help Center -> Transcript Management -> Transcript Check List for information on posting the grades to transcripts.

– OR –

Attend one of our free webinars on transcripts:

Wednesday, January 6 at 10:00 am CST

Thursday, January 7 at 2:00 pm CST

Please select the day you would like to attend and send or email your preference to kwaller@lumentouch.com.  A link to join the meeting will be sent to you.

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A Most likely to succeed MOVIE!

ShiftED, Lumen Touch, & KCedu presents…

A screening and discussion of Most Likely to Succeed that is free & open to the public!
A lot of things have changed tremendously since 1890 for the better, except for schools. We have had the same model and expectations for our students for centuries (literally). This movie exposes the outdated flaws and issues we are still facing today. Not only do they find the issues, they already have the answers. In fact, their solutions are so good that they’re named “most likely to succeed”.
We invite everyone who can possibly attend to come see this film. It’s completely free to see and is appropriate for all ages. Come see what will probably change everybody’s lives in this country and maybe even the world. After the screening, we will have food, drinks, and open conversations about the movie. 
Sal Khan from Khan Academy said, “the 21st century is going to be all about building, creating, and innovating. This remarkable film shows a path of how we can empower all of our children to do that.” For more information on the movie, please visit http://mltsfilm.org/. We are looking to move KC education forward from this screening with goal-oriented action tank groups.
WHEN:Wednesday, December 9, 2015 from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM (CST)
WHERE: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation – 4801 Rockhill Road Kansas City, MO 64110
RSVP: http://tinyurl.com/kcedumlts
We hope you are able to join us to preview one of the “best edu-documentaries ever produced” (Education Week).

Stress Relief In Sports

Our intern Chris talks below about how his access to sports has helped him in all areas of life, especially academically. Given that physical education programs are constantly being cut, and kids find less and less time to be active at the behest of test prep, we think it is very valuable to share this view point. It is not only for the psychological benefits of students that we share this story, but also because of the affect it is having on our kids’ long-term health. To help fund physical education, check out the American Heart Association‘s campaign “Let Them Play“. 

Throughout all my years I was never the most athletic nor the smartest, but I was almost always the strongest and toughest, and I was able to take advantage of that through certain sports. I began my first, and last year, in football for fun and exercise. I was either a left end or right end, Which meant I was on the line of scrimmage, trying to hit first and hard to rush the quarterback. At some point I noticed that I began to feel better. I would not get as mad as I would have usually. Plus I even enjoyed school more!

One of the most stressful times in my life was in 2012, when my great grandma had just broke her neck from a fall, and my family had to take care of her. It was an extremely emotional time. Football was probably the one thing that kept me from depression. Football was probably successful at relieving stress for me because it occupied my mind, and it feels therapeutic when I am physically hitting something.

However, my mother had me stop playing football because she was worried I would get concussions. Since that moment, I became angrier and agitated, constantly talking back or yelling. I almost always got myself in trouble and it made me feel bad afterwards. Once I realized how I was reacting I tried helping myself, but it didn’t work very well, so the best solution for me would have to be doing something physical. I just feel clear minded, happy, and even healthy, which reflects on my attitude.

So I started boxing. I knew I always liked boxing; it’s in my blood. The men on my mother’s side of the family used to box. My great uncle was even the featherweight champion of the world when he was in his prime. So naturally, I have an interest in boxing. I began boxing to get in better shape, but also to relieve stress.

This, in my opinion, is the best way to keep a kid worry-free. I don’t mean just boxing or football; I mean all sports: baseball, soccer, basketball, tennis, etc. It is not the greatest idea to force someone into a sport, especially if they clearly say they don’t want to. Being in a sport or extracurricular activity by someone else’s will can cause stress, so if you know someone who needs a extra activity suggest one, but don’t force them.

Some people just aren’t sports fans. I used to hate sports and never really had any fun playing in games. But once I actually began to try and enjoy sports I began to love them. If you have the same outlook on any activity, try and enjoy it. You may actually liked it if you keep an open mind!

Learning From My Personal Histories, Both African and American

Africa is the second largest continent on earth, approximately 11.7 million square miles. Africa has 54 countries: my family is from 3 of them. My mother, Kebeh Telar, was born and raised in Monrovia, Liberia. My mother’s grandfather was from Guinea which is a French speaking country. Liberia and Guinea are on the west coast of the continent. My father, James Telar, was born and raised in his ancestral homeland of South Sudan, which is a Dinka speaking country. My parents grew up very family oriented, so they have always been supportive, loving, hardworking, motivational, encouraging, respectful, spiritual and open minded.

My parents feel that in their generation, adults had the first say, and children were silent. Now, they say, children have more of a voice than adults! They were brought up in a time and place where children were held accountable for their actions and it was okay for them to get disciplined.

I also have noticed the difference between their generation’s attitudes and mine. For them, I feel kids were more appreciative because they didn’t live for material things, as we do now. They also didn’t have social media, which made them appreciate seeing their family and friends when they were able to. But there are a lot of positive things in America too: the safety, group activities, sports, jobs, clubs, organizations and opportunities.

Initially, my mom wanted me to experience not having to work in high school and college. She liked how her parents could provide for their children until the age of college graduation. Now, both my mother and father believe responsibility starts young, so they want me to use my talents to find a job or a way to provide for myself. This is also because things work differently here. In Africa, if you want something, you might not have to pay for it with money; you could work off the cost by providing labor. Here, no one accepts labor. You have to have a job so you can get money to pay for goods.

My parents feel proud that I am an African American in the United States. I know my roots and my culture and I have homes and people to visit when I go back to Africa. I’ve also been taught by my parents how to interact with other Africans in the United States and to have a tough skin while also respecting the cultures of others. They’ve also told me that not everyone is going to like or know about our culture. Some people assume Africans are uneducated and illiterate. My parents don’t like that label, but they enjoy the surprise on people’s faces when they speak.

Since I am African, I am pushed to succeed and create a name for myself. My culture has high expectations, so I won’t have any problems later on in life. Their high expectations are why I am at Cristo Rey. My parents want me to have the experience of meeting different cultures. They feel that once I learn about different cultures I will know how to interact with others outside of my race. This way, I will overcome the stereotypes of being black/African/African American. They know I present myself in a respectable manner.

The way my parents raised me makes me feel different than most Americans. My parents are very conservative and keep issues to themselves, but they are also very social about the good things. I did not grow up going to a Baptist or Catholic Church; I went to Sudanese church.

Because my parents are African and have raised me with the experiences of both Africa and America, and bring with them the experiences of their generation, I don’t rely on material things to make me happy. Money isn’t happiness to me; money is a resource to get what I want to be happy, to make memories. I value the little things in life, especially the freedom I have growing up in America. My talent is universal here; I have no limit when it comes to success. There are steps that I have to take to reach my peak. My parents also see me as more than a child, which they might not have, had we stayed in Africa.

In my mom’s country, an old lady who brings everyone together as the leader of her family is called “Amer”. In my dad’s country, “Amer” means valuable. It describes me perfectly! I feel being African American has molded me to not be a shadow. I know where I come from, I know my culture, and I know who I am and what is expected of me.

Enhancement Update: Progress Reports & Report Cards

Progress Report and Report Card Information Text

These applications have been enhanced.  Information for specific grade levels can be defined and saved.  Information can also be stored for later use by not applying grade levels until ready to include in the report.

EzStart -> Lumen Touch – District Admin -> District Grade Processing Setup -> District Grade Processing Setup -> Progress Report Information Text
EzStart -> Lumen Touch – District Admin -> District Grade Processing Setup -> District Grade Processing Setup -> Report Cards Information Text

Conversations with My Mother

This week, our intern Dion writes about a conversation he had with his mother about diversity and identity and what it means to both of them. This is the second post in our Intern Blog Series. Catch the first one here!

Dion photoMy mother, Sabrina Smith, was born is her hometown of Kansas City, Missouri. My mother’s ancestors are from the United States. It made her want to raise her son better than she was raised, to provide a better life for me as a child. She says she would change the way parents are raising their kids nowadays because they are becoming their kids’ friends, instead of acting like their parents. She says she wants me to go through the struggle. “Only because nothing in life will come open handed so you have to go out and grind for everything you want.”

My mother feels that, with her son being black, it can go two ways. It could turnout well depending on me and my actions. Or it can turn out poorly because of my skin color and the area I come from. But she feels like I shouldn’t let my skin color affect me or let it get in the way of what I want to do or be in life. However, I think my skin color affects who I am, but not what I want to do. We both believe that a locally diverse school will help my future and will prepare me for college.

My mother feels that being stereotyped and racially profiled is a part of life. I think some things will never change and sometimes it’s okay not to think about what others think about you. I learned that being racially stereotyped is something all people go through. But the more I achieve, the less it will affect me. Now I’m not saying that we have to deal, or put up with racism, but my mom says that I shouldn’t let that knock or bring me down.

My mother is a nurse. She helps people who are not feeling too well. She thinks that her role in society today has no effect on me because she’s helping out people who can’t take care of themselves. But her role is actually very important to me, because I watched her take steps to get where she is now and it just shows me that my skin color doesn’t have to hold me down. She says she hopes I follow her path in “helping and doing for others.” My mother always gives back and helps out people in anyway she’s able to.

She pushes me to do better and even supports choices I make on my own. She expresses her opinion and even lets me know when she disagrees with something. She says “you get to enjoy your freedom as any other human being.” There are a lot of people talking about the gap between white people and black people, and a lot of people saying we are not as advanced or advantaged as white people. I think this sometimes becomes a mindset, and I think that as a black person I can prove them wrong.

All That Diversity Has Given Me

Our first post in the Intern Blog Series is written by Amer Telar, currently a junior at Cristo Rey Kansas City and beloved intern here!

Amer photo

In 1954, the Supreme Court decided the case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. This ruling allowed people of color or any nationality to attend any public school. In 2015, 61 years later, our culture and ways of education have changed. I have experienced both sides of going to a diverse and non-diverse school. As an African American child, I grew up with three different cultures. My father James is from Sudan and my mother Kebeh is from Liberia. They both graduated with degrees in accounting and after working as in the same Liberian department of accounting, they met and started a family. But between that time, in the late eighties and early nineties, a war broke out in Liberia. The war was continuously getting worse, so the U.S. embassy sent my family to America in 1995.  From 1996 to 2000 my two brothers and I were born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. In the early years 2000s, I went to an elementary school that was predominantly Latino.

As a young child, I was made more aware of Latino culture, and was also made to think in various ways. It helped me to understand. When I reached the 7th grade, another black female student enrolled. I was excited because I felt that I wouldn’t be alone or that I wouldn’t stand out anymore. Growing up in an immigrant African family, I grew up differently than most black American people, so I was really excited to meet someone new. It turned out we weren’t different in a lot of ways. For example, we shared similar foods, like hush puppies (kalla), potato salad, fried fish, collard greens and ribs. But we had some differences. We dress differently, dance differently, and listen to different music. I’ve learned more about what it’s like to grow up black in America, and how we are sometimes easily stereotyped and judged.

When I graduated middle school and moved to a Catholic high school (Cristo Rey Kansas City), it was totally different. The school had a mixture of many nationalities. Cristo Rey made sure to celebrate, or bring to attention to, every culture and community. I also learned about inequality, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, financial status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, and idols. Education is more than what books teach you; having a diverse school increases our ability to collaborate, and our chances to achieve. Because my school is diverse we have respect for other people’s cultures, traditions and beliefs.

In As Diversity Grows, So Must We, Gary R. Howard states that to have a successful, diverse school you should “(1) build trust, (2) engage personal culture, (3) confront issues of social dominance and social justice, (4) transform instructional practices, and (5) engage the entire school community.” We build trust by partnering with different people. We bring culture to school by bringing in performers, artists, speakers; we bring up difficult topics and let the students voice their opinion. We create and distribute new ideas and values in school and daily life. We engage the entire school community in pep rallies, class retreats, fundraisers, sporting events and movie nights. Currently, I am a junior at Cristo Rey, and diversity has brought me wisdom, knowledge, respect, faith and love. I can’t wait for more diverse experiences in the future.