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Dec 3, 201211:05 AM

Cheat Sheet: December 1-2, 2012: Weekend Roundup

5 states will increase classroom time

Five states are going to add at least 300 hours of learning time to public schools starting in 2013. Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Tennessee will all take part in the new initiative. Their goal is to boost student achievement and make U.S. schools more competitive on a global level. The pilot program will last three years and will affect almost 20,000 students in 40 different schools. The schools, working together with districts, parents and teachers will decide whether to make the school day longer, add more days to the school year or both. Funds to cover the costs of expanded learning time will come from a mix of federal, state and district budgets. There are long term hopes to expand the program to include additional schools, especially those that serve low-income communities. (Source)

VB SPCA to fight juvenile animal cruelty

The SPCA is creating a new program designed to address the behavior of adolescents who have shown violence against animals. Shown by 16-year-old Shawn Novak who, before slashing the throats of two boys in a wooded area off of General Booth Boulevard in 1991, collected animal bones and wore a necklace adorned with a cat’s paw, juvenilles who have shown violence against animals are capable of violence against people. The course will incorporate pets from the society’s shelter to teach empathy, accountability and proper animal care to juveniles who have been convicted of lesser forms of animal abuse. The goal is to begin in the spring with referrals from juvenile court judges, Court Services Units, therapists and even from parents, and school staff. The Virginia Beach Animal Control is partnering on the project. Other SPCA programs have already successfully addressed issues such as bullying. (Source)

9 bodies recovered from tunnel collapse in Japan

Eight out of the nine bodies that were pulled from vehicles crushed in a tunnel collapse 50 miles west of Tokyo on Sunday were burned. Because of this disaster, Japanese authorities have ordered emergency checks on dozens of other tunnels across the country that have a similar design. Questions have been raised whether or not aging parts contributed to the collapse. Five of the bodies were recovered a charred station wagon, three others in a burned vehicle, and the last fatality in a truck. (Source)

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