Hidden Treasures

Wired has a wonderful little slide show featuring hidden treasures Behind the Scenes at Harvard’s Museum of Natural History, including a Carolina parakeet, a trilobite fossil unearthed by the discoverer of the Burgess shale, a gynandromorph butterfly, a southern gastric brooding frog, and more.

Published in: on August 19, 2009 at 3:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Back to School


Yesterday (for grades K-6 and 9) and today (for grades 7-8 and 10-12) are the first day of school in Haysville USD 261.

If the first day of school has you thinking of sending an apple along with your child for his or her teacher, you may be interested to learn that 9.9 billion apples were produced last year, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, up from 9 billion in 2007. (Nearly half of all these apples were grown in the state of Washington).

There are a few other facts you may also find of interest:

Students — In October of 2007, the latest year reported by the US Census Bureau in Student Enrollment in the Current Population Survey, 76 million children and adults were enrolled in schools from nursery school to colleges and universities, 27 percent of the entire population aged 3 and older. 56 million were attending classes in elementary through high schools (grades K-12). Among 3 and 4 year-olds, 55% were enrolled in schools. Among 3 to 6 year-olds enrolled in kindergarten, 71% attended all day. And an average of 31 million children each month participated in the national school lunch program last year.

Back-to-School Shopping — Last August, according to the US Census Bureau’s report on Monthly and Annual Retail Trade, bookstore sales totaled $2.4 billion (more than in any month other than January), while spending at family clothing stores reached $7.6 billion (exceeding every month except December).

Colleges – 19 million students are projected to be enrolled in American colleges and universities this year, up from 13.5 million 20 years ago. 15% of these students will be age 35 and older, while (in 2007) 49% of all 18 and 19 year-olds were enrolled in college. Among these students, 55% of all undergraduates and 60% of all graduate students are women.

Teachers and Schools – In 2008 there were 7.2 million teachers in the United States, 2.9 million teaching at the elementary and middle school level. They taught at 98,793 public schools (in the 2006-2007 school year) and 28,213 private schools (in the 2007-2008 school year). In 2007 4,352 institutions granted college degrees.

Expenditures – In 2007, public expenditure on public elementary and secondary students was $9,666 per pupil. Kansas expenditures per pupil were $8,988 that year – 29th in rank. (For a full 144-page report, see Public Education Finances 2007.)

Published in: on August 19, 2009 at 10:50 am  Leave a Comment