Grand Traverse Academy 6th Graders Win Third Prize Tracking a Bear

Thursday , 14, May 2015 Leave a comment

After over a year of negative news about Grand Traverse Academy, it’s probably a welcome respite to have some positive news about the for-profit charter school currently in need of an accountant and an attorney. That good news arrived today with the announcement that Mr. Lazur’s 6th grade class won third prize for their report on a Michigan black bear they tracked through the school year. The prize includes $250.

A Year in the Life of a Bear is a program designed for middle school students to track and report on a radio collared Michigan black bear. It’s available to any school in Michigan provided the teacher who wants to sign up their class must do so by August 1. Other requirements include:

Educators will need to have access to a computer lab and the Internet for the students to be able to use the mapping application to follow the bear. Educators also will need to be able to access the Internet (YouTube) in their classrooms. An Educator Guide with activities and video lessons is provided to participants.

That might be difficult for teachers in public schools, where months of the school year are now spent testing students, or even if they have computers available for their students to participate. Tracking a bear sounds like fun, except there are no standardized test questions about bears, and standardized test prep is a priority for public schools.

Winning $250 will be a nice distraction for GTA, what with problems finding and keeping qualified people to work for the school, as well as closing school board meetings to discuss legal issues with their for-profit charter school authorizer. Perhaps the 6th graders could use their new bear tracking skills to track down qualified people to work for them?

Congratulations to Mr. Lazur’s 6th grade class. You worked hard and deserve your prize.

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