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Parents, students adjust to changes | News, Sports, Jobs

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Parents and students attending local schools, like many others, all have been making adjustments to schools being closed.

For Melissa and Robert Liste of Warren, having their 10-year-old daughter, Allison, home doing her fourth-grade school work has been a challenge.

The Howland student has been receiving packages of regular school homework she is responsible for doing, and in recent days, the school has added journals for the students to write.

“She is not used to doing so much of her work at home,” said Melissa Liste, who is a dialysis nurse. “I’m still working, and now I am trying to do even more homework with her.

“It is hard,” she said. “My daughter wants to go back to school to be with her friends and with her teachers. It has been an emotional adjustment.”

Getting Allison motivated to do the work has been one of the family’s biggest concerns.

“I have no idea how to make the lessons interesting,” Melissa Liste said. “She is doing things, like geometry, that I did not like when I was in school. We are reading the lessons and doing the best we can.”

Melissa said her daughter already thinks she’s on an extended summer vacation, but is frustrated she still has homework to do.

“There are so many distractions, such as pets, phones and other things that can distract even the best student,” Melissa said.

“Her teacher has been awesome,” she continued. “She reached out to us. The school has called several times to make sure we know where to pick up stuff and what is available.”

Robert Liste acknowledged this has been new territory for everyone involved.

“Hopefully, schools will reopen on May 1,” he said. “I know they are busy, but it would be great if tutors could be provided.”

Theresa and Stan Kosinski live in Youngstown. Their three children, Madison, 18; Jordan, 16; and Erin, 14, however, all attend Austintown schools as open enrollment students.

“We are fortunate,” Theresa Kosinski said. “Our kids are older, so they are doing their homework themselves. We have to remind them, but they’re pretty independent.”

Madison, a senior set to graduate soon, describes not being able to go to school every day as stressful.

“There is no day-to-day schedule that I have to follow at home like I do at school every day,” Madison said. “I have been having trouble communicating with my teachers. There is only so much emailing my teachers can do when it comes to online work.”

Theresa said she feels particularly bad for Madison because she is a senior and a member of Austintown Fitch’s concert choir.

The school’s annual Cabaret on March 21 was canceled on the day the state closed all schools. The district also canceled the choir’s scheduled Chicago tour that was to take place during its spring break, at which the choir was to sing at VA Clinics.

“Personally, I am disappointed, but I do understand why it was canceled,” Madison said. “I wouldn’t want anyone from both the choir and VA clinics getting sick.”

Theresa said she tries to help when she can.

“The district has been great,” Theresa said. “Their teachers have been very responsive to our questions and have been helpful. I’ve always had respect for teachers. I know it is not an easy job.”

LUNCHES HELP

Warren resident Todd Johnson, pastor of Second Baptist Church in Warren, has three school children, London, 11, a sixth-grader; Elias, 10, a fourth-grader; and Ethan, 6, all of whom attend Warren City Schools. Todd said his family has been using available online resources and homework packages.

“We are, in fact, setting up an appointment to obtain a laptop for my daughter,” he said. “The lunch program has been helpful. Not only on parents’ ability to save on food costs, but the lunch programs have helped our students to keep their schedules to make them feel safe.”

Todd and his wife, Shameika, have carved out time to work with their children to keep up with their school lessons.

“We are not able to do the six hours of school work the children are used to, but are able to spend 90 minutes or more every day,” Todd said. “We have had to relearn some subjects.”

London, 11, said she misses school because there is more to do.

“It is kind of boring at home,” she said. “I don’t want to forget what I’ve learned in school.”

The Johnsons have been able to get tutors for their children.

KEEPING UP

Warren G. Harding seniors Cardae Clay, 17, and Chardae Clay, also 17, said they are struggling to keep up with all of the lessons they are required to do online.

“We are getting three lessons per class, and we have seven classes,” Cardae said. “It is hard because you can’t just directly ask teachers how to do the work.”

Cardae said some teachers are better at doing online lessons than others, which can make it even more frustrating for students trying to grasp concepts while on their own at home.

Chardae added she has reached out to friends and classmates to see if they can help, but, often, they are having the same difficulties in grasping subjects.

The sisters add that when the Class of 2020 ends this school year, it will not be able to do some things that every other class before has done, including walking across stages during graduation ceremonies and going to proms.

“There are some of our classmates who were planning on getting academic and sports scholarships, who don’t know if they will get the scholarships,” Chardae said.

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Harbaugh has two years left | News, Sports, Jobs

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Usually, college football coaches at major programs have many years on their contract that helps them persuade recruits to sign with the school.

Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh enters his sixth season as coach with just two years left on his deal that pays him about $7 million per season, adding another layer of interest to the 18th-ranked Wolverines as they kick off the season this week at No. 21 Minnesota.

Harbaugh said in July that he was closing in on a contract extension earlier this year before dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic became a top priority for him and the school.

Harbaugh was on a Zoom call with reporters on Monday, for the first time in three-plus months, and said there was no update on contract talks.

What his message to recruits, who may hear other coaches question Harbaugh’s commitment to the school or vice versa?

“Go Blue,” Harbaugh said.

Michigan linebacker James Ross got to know Harbaugh when his brother, James, played linebacker for him in 2015 and his first impression of him has not changed over the years.

“Coach Harbaugh was a very passionate guy, very motivated guy,” Ross said. “He rallies all of us together as one. I love that guy and I’m glad he’s in my head coach.”

Harbaugh is 47-18 overall with the Wolverines and 32-12 in the Big Ten, including an 0-5 record against the Buckeyes. Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel has said repeatedly that he wants Harbaugh to lead the Wolverines until he chooses to retire from coaching.

Harbaugh did not appear to be pleased that the school he works for was among the Big Ten institutions that were in favor initially of punting football season to early 2021.

The Big Ten reversed its decision in mid-September less than five weeks after the conference announced it would push football and other fall sports to spring.

Harbaugh was an outspoken advocate for playing this year despite the pandemic. He pointed to protocols that have kept players and staff safe along with the fact that the young men on his team have been training for years to compete in 2020.

“They’ve put themselves in a position to have their chance, have their opportunity, to show what they can do and that’s the biggest thing I’m excited about,” he said. “There’s challenges, but the opportunity is the thing that means the most.”

Harbaugh said the program has had some positive COVID-19 tests over the last month, but that everyone had negative results as of Monday.

While Harbaugh said quarterback Joe Milton has been practicing with the first-string offense, he said it is difficult to name starters due to testing. He said players have to have negative tests Friday to travel with the team and again on Saturday to play that evening against the Golden Gophers.

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Australia cuts jobs, overhauls migration plan | India News

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In what could upset the plans of Indians seeking greener pastures, Australia has drastically restructured its migration planning programme for 2020-21 in the wake of the pandemic, reports Uttara Varma.
Under the migration programme, jobs for overseas people have been cut drastically as the government wants to offer more jobs for native Australians.
The programme envisages priority to certain professions like IT and healthcare over others like in the US. This year, only 79,600 placements have been allocated under the skill stream, a fall from 1,08,682 placements allocated in 2019-20. Skilled independent visas, which allow outsiders to settle and work anywhere in the country, have been reduced to 6,500 — a sharp fall of 65% from the previous years. Employer-sponsored visas are set to decline by about 27% to 22,000 spots.
In an email response to TOI, a spokesperson from the Australian department of home affairs said: “The focus for the permanent migration programme 2020-21 is to support our economic recovery, growing Australian businesses and creating jobs for Australians.” The areas that are seeing a rise are ‘global talent’ bracket and the ‘business innovation and investment program (BIIP)’. The first allows only experts in their field to fill gaps that cannot be filled by Australians, while the latter will be used for job creation.

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“Jobs for Nature” skydivers upgrade historic glacier view track

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As a part of the Jobs for Nature programme, DOC has allocated $13 million of Kaimahi for Nature funding to the West Coast and is working closely with its partners in the Kotahitanga Ki Te Uru Alliance, to establish initiatives designed to help distressed businesses affected by the economic downturn of Covid-19 to retain their staff.

The skydivers, from Skydive Franz and Fox Glacier, have been affected by the lack of international tourists, and have quickly turned their hand to track building and are making good progress on upgrading the historic Alex Knob track.

‘Alex Knob’ is a 17.2 kilometre return track located in the Franz Josef Glacier valley. It saw a 17 per cent increase in visitor numbers (a total of 3800 track counter hits) in the year to June 30, as visitors sought new ways to view the Franz Josef Glacier, which has retreated markedly in the valley.

The new track building crew are upgrading the surface of the track, which over time has become rough and rutted as water has eroded sections and debris has fallen on the track. The upgrade means the track will be more suitable for a wider range of visitors. At present it is classified as a “tramping track”.

Senior Heritage and Visitor Ranger Ian Singleton says, “We showed the crew the ropes and have worked alongside them to be sure they are working safely, and now they are working autonomously with input from us when needed. Working with skydivers gives you the confidence that they’ll follow good processes to ensure safety as they have that culture in their workplace already.”

Robbie Stewart, Skydive Franz and Fox Glacier Base Manager says, “Without this opportunity from DOC it would have been difficult to continue operating in the current economic climate.

“A skydiving operation requires a range of highly skilled staff including tandem instructors, pilots, ground crew and front of house staff, all of whom are critical to the operation. The project means that we at Skydive Franz and Fox Glacier have been able to keep all these critical staff employed – without which we would have been forced to close the operation. This opportunity not only allows us to continue operating but also means that, as one of the top nine skydiving venues in the world offering New Zealand’s highest skydive, we can continue to attract visitors to the district thereby making a contribution to the sustainability of the overall community including other operators in the tourist trade, hotels, restaurants and the hospitality industry in the region.”

The track was originally built by the Graham Brothers who developed a Franz Josef guiding business and hotel for tourists who wanted to experience the beauty of this area. Although the track climbs to 1303m, the zig zag construction means it has a relatively gentle gradient up the hill and is suitable for most well-prepared people with average fitness.

Ian Singleton says, “The Alex Knob track is a great example of the type of track you can walk if you take a bit more time in South Westland, and the view from the top is world class –you have a marvellous 360 degree view out to the coast, north and south, and a panorama of the glacier and Southern Alps.”

/Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.

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