Hudson Valley Parent

HVP January 2016

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4 Hudson Valley Parent n January 2016 ON OUR COVER In this issue COLUMNS FEATURES 6 Publisher's Journal: Seeking cute kids with great smiles 32 Calendar: Great places to go and things to do 38 Marketplace: Hudson Valley products and services HV PARENT READER FEEDBACK Did you or do you plan to opt out of state testing? Tell us why! My daughters take the tests. My middle school daughter does not make an effort since they (teachers) keep telling students that it does not count for her grades. I think that is totally wrong of them. My 5th grad - er took the tests last year and the results were pretty good. Why not to take them? I think its a good way to see if your kids are learning. — Cristina Colon Bottom line. If you think common core is the wrong way to educate your children, opt out of it via the tests. — Christina Matthew I've refused the tests on behalf of my children for the last couple of years. Our school district had over 50% opt out this past spring. The local assessments are not very infor - mative nor are they valid, the state tests are even worse. — Lori Tutt Not only did I refuse the tests for several years, I also refuse to allow my child to suffer through a CC education. As of last year, we pulled her from her NY Arch. Common core Catholic school. — Tara Shoureck I opt out as it's my only legal means to protest common core. — Bernadette Stretz While we hope our children are doing ok with this .. their not. My child has refused since 4th grade and will again and again . — Lala Burger 8 I am a Hudson Valley Parent Nicole Fenichel-Hewitt: Lighting the spark BY BRIAN PJ CRONIN 10 Early education guide 4 of the best schools for your child 12 Educated options Searching for alterntives to public schools BY DAWN GREEN 16 The IEP – Individual Education Plan How it works, how to make it work for you and your child BY ELORA TUCCI 18 Indoor play spots Thanks to Bounce of Poughkeepsie and Quinnz Pinz of Middletown for sponsoring the photo spread of our smiling kids 20 Testing patience How did the Common Core debacle begin BY TIMOTHY MALCOLM 24 Heart to heart Local mom shares her challenge to get heart healthy BY MERLYN AKHTAR 26 7 ways to entertain a sick kid (or two) while you are sick BY ROXANNE FERBER 29 Head Start Preparing parents and their children for a better life JEFF SIMMS This month's cover kid is Ayanna , 2nd grader from Monroe. She loves to swim, play pretend and read. Bounce in Poughkeepsie with its trampoline sports is a wonderful outlet for Ayan- na. The foam pit, shown on the cover, is great for kids to enjoy the freedom of flying through the air. Photo by Michael Bloom

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