Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

#LGBT History Summer Webinars

HistoryisQueerSignLearn more about your LGBT history with these webinars.  Webinar Sign Up, Link and Recordings


  • June 5: Intro to LGBT History
  • June 12: Social Movements and Teaching LGBT History 
  • June 19: Harlem Renaissance (1920s) and the Lavender Scare (1950s)
  • June 26: Legislation, Laws and Amendments related to LGBT History
  • July 10: Transgender History
  • July 17: Presentations

Webinar Sign Up, Link and Recordings

California adopts #LGBT inclusive history textbooks. List of articles.

Here is a list of the various perspectives written about the approval after the California State Board of Education approved LGBT history inclusive textbooks on Nov. 9, 2017.

NBC News (Nov. 22, 2017) “Was Walt Whitman ‘Gay’? New Textbook Rules Spark LGBTQ History Debate”.

Daily Californian (Nov. 16, 2017) “California Becomes 1st State to Approve LGBTQ+ inclusive K-8 history textbooks.”

KQED / NPR (Nov. 15, 2017). California Becomes First State to Adopt LGBT-Inclusive Textbooks.

Time Magazine (Nov. 14, 2017) “California is Adopting LGBT-Inclusive History Textbooks. It’s the Latest Chapter in a Centuries-Long Fight.”

Daily Beast (Nov. 14, 2017) . California Leads the Way Teaching LGBT History to Schoolchildren.

Vallejo Times Herald (Nov. 11, 2017). “State Ed Board oks new K-8 history social science curriculum”

SCTV Santa Clarita (Nov. 10, 2017). “State School Board Ok’s new emphasis on history social science.”

California Department of Education Press Release (Nov. 9, 2017) –

EdSource (Nov. 9, 2017). “After hours of testimony, California State Board rejects two textbooks; approves 10 others.”

KSBW TV (Nov. 9, 2017). “History classes begin teaching LGBT history.”

San Diego LGBT Weekly (Nov. 10, 2017). “California State Board of Education approves LGBTQ inclusive textbooks.”

The Hindu News (Nov. 9, 2017). “Controversial U.S. textbooks get nod.”

Publisher New Releases:


Is #LGBT History Important?

HistoryisQueerSignIn a word, yes.  LGBT Americans have a history in the same way people of other social movements are important. Early in America, one of the first big social movements was the fight for independence – and although not all early colonists agreed on the direction – America eventually gained its independence from England. The early documents – the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution – framed the structure for the government of the U.S.  Within these documents, it guaranteed all Americans life, liberty and happiness.  These documents don’t say that you only get life, liberty and happiness if you are not an immigrant or if you are not a certain religion or if you are not a certain gender or have a certain sexual orientation.  LGBT Americans fought alongside all Americans in every war and in every social movement in America.  So, it makes sense that LGBT Americans also have a history – and a story to tell. Alongside, the American Revolution, women’s rights, civil rights, African American rights, and Latino rights is the LGBT rights movement.  The history of the LGBT rights movement began many years ago but can be most tracked back to the 1950s that began with the signing of Executive Order 10450 by President Eisenhower – and along with the Red Scare, there was the Lavender Scare. This set in motion a series of actions that has moved America towards a more inclusive country. This is an important history and in California and other states, it is now being taught as part of what all students in school will learn.


Five Ways that Running the Santa Cruz #WharftoWharf is like Applying to College. #collegeadmissions #reachhigher

wharttowharf1988.dadblairandychristyThe annual Wharf-to-Wharf Run takes place in Santa Cruz, Ca on the fourth Sunday in July and this week is no exception. This is the 44th year the race has taken place. I’m proud to say that members of my family have been part of the run for about 20 of those years. It has become a family tradition for us that started with running the race when my dad was in his 60s. Our family tradition continues this weekend when 3 out of 5 of us siblings will be in the run as well as various cousins and other extended family members. Added into our family this year will be my 10-year-old nephew who will be running it for the first time with his parents. Here are some photos of our family at past runs.


How is running a race like applying to college? Here are five ways:

1. There is a Start and a Finish:

A run has a start and a finish, just like applying to college has a start and a finish. To run well, you have to practice ahead of time so you are in good shape to run. In applying to college, the earlier you start the better, because those who prepare themselves to apply to college do better than those who don’t.

2. Be Systematic / Create Your Plan:

During a run, there are times when you aren’t sure you can make it. But if you have trained for the run and focus on your plan and breathe right, then you can make it to the end. In applying to colleges, it may seem overwhelming, but getting things done in a systematic way can provide you with the time and energy needed to get everything finished on time for your college applications.

3. Enjoy the Run!

There are 15,000 people who run the Wharf-to-Wharf Run. Along the way there are bands playing throughout the run to entertain the runners. In addition, the run is along the ocean, which provides wonderful morning views. Similarly, enjoy the process of applying to college. Visiting colleges, talking with others in college and figuring out the right colleges to apply to should be fun and adds to your growth as an individual.

4. Wear the Right Clothing:

When running a 10k Run or a marathon, your shoes are the most important part of what you wear. Shoes that are not running shoes or have holes in them will result in sore feet and legs by the end of the run. The same is true for applying for college. If you equip yourself with the right tools – getting good grades, writing out a plan, and then following a plan – the end result is a college acceptance .

5. Goodie Bags at the End!

At the end of the run, there is a photographer and then every runner gets a goodie bag filled with various healthy food snacks as well as the annual Wharf-to-Wharf shirt. In applying to college, the college acceptance is the “goodie bag” because selecting the right college provides you with the right knowledge that leads to a successful career in the future.

Get help in training and planning with your college application “run”, contact us at ForwarDirections !

What do you want to be when you grow up? #collegeadmissions

What do you want to be when you grow up?

familygroup2This is the question many adults ask young people of all ages. Simply asking this question and related questions like it help student to start thinking about and planning for college and the future. In my family, this question was asked by my parents, my grand parents and almost anyone who walked into our house. We grew up knowing we would attend college. When my family went on vacations, we would at least drive through colleges. And, because both my parents graduated from U.C. Berkeley, we would especially tune in during football season and the “Big Game” against Stanford.

College Education Equals More Money

In my family, there was never a question about attending college. In my own research and experiences, I know that it is better to have a college education than not. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, those with a college education earn almost double what a high school graduate earns. Look at the chart below to see the earning power of different types of college graduates.



Now, as an Independent College Admissions Counselor, I know that getting into college involves planning and that planning can never start too early. College going families always talk about college. In addition, parents can do simple things to help their children think and plan for college by talking about college, visiting college websites, and visiting colleges as a family.

In my family, we would talk about our goals, but would not necessarily write down our goals. I now know it is helpful to encourage everyone to write down their goals.  This is another way to make a commitment and learn how to identify the action needed to achieve it. These goals can be simple goals like making a new friend or playing on a sports team or writing in a journal. Or they can be more challenging goals like saving a certain amount of money each year or learning a musical instrument. Successful people write down their goals and have a system for reviewing their goals. Finally, celebrating when goals have been achieved is important as well.

Doing well in school was another expectation in my family. This, of course, helped with getting admitted to a college.  It is important to note that today, the average GPA for students to be admitted to college is a 3.0 or B average for the courses needed to apply to college. Setting those expectations and study skills early such as a school study routine and a quiet study area are two ways to help meet those expectations. If needed, find tutors who can help your child to be successful in difficult subjects. Everyone needs a little help from time to time.


Listen to your child talk about the things he/she likes. Most children indicate a preference at an early age. One student I have worked with talked about how his parents put him in many different sports before he found that he most enjoyed football. Help your child learn about what he or she likes to do by talking about it or encouraging reading about a variety of careers. In my family, each of us charted our own path and ultimately became successful in our own ways. We are now passing that on to our own children.

Finally, it is never too early to start saving money for college. Teach your children the importance of saving money over time and how that money can be used to invest in college in in their future. This can be accomplished by setting up a savings account for your child and visiting your local bank to listen to different ways to save money for college. Here are some ways to save for college.

Top Tips to Help Your Child Plan for College:

  • Talk about college
  • Visit colleges
  • Write down goals
  • Encourage good grades
  • Identify interests
  • Start saving for college now

ForwarDirections can help. Just fill out this form.

#CollegeApp Help: Got a College App Question? Tune In Tonight (Nov. 16, 8pm PST)

Many high school seniors are completing college applications this month. The California State University and University of California college applications are due Nov. 30.

Join the ForwarDirections team online TONIGHT, November 16, between 8 and 9 P.M. (PST) and ask any college-related question for free!


Any student or parent interested in asking questions about applying to college are welcome to join. Have a quick question about a college application? Want ideas about which colleges to apply to? Qualified college counselors will be available to answer your questions regarding applying to college. See you online: 8-9 P.M., Monday, November 16.

For information about how to participate:

California CTC Updating Ca Standards for the Teaching Profession #caedchat

It was a pleasure to testify as part of the Commission on Teacher Credentialing online for the draft of the updated California Standards for the Teaching Profession and the Teacher Performance Expectations. There was a group of people physically in the room and 25 people and groups who joined the meeting online from a distance. Here is what it looked like from my computer.


With several colleagues in California, we emphasized the importance of the difference between designing a technology rich environment and integrating technology (e.g. blended and online learning) into the classroom on a daily basis. Some of the comments I shared were the following:

In the 20th century it was fine to design and implement technology-rich environments.

But in the 21st century, teachers should be integrating technology on a daily basis with their students. No longer should technology be confined to a once a week visit to the computer lab to do something that does not directly align with what is being taught in the classroom. Our students deserve more than that.

I would encourage you to consider these documents as you update the California Standards for the Teaching Profession:

  1. CUE’s Leading Edge Certification Standards
  2. The iNACOL Teaching Standards for Blended and Online learning
  3. The ISTE NETs Standards
  4. The Christensen Institute work in Blended Learning

Teachers throughout California want to be prepared to meet the needs of what is being termed “Generation Z” who are people who are today ages 0-20. We want to make sure the teachers of Generation Z are truly prepared with the digital tools and pedagogy to adequately meet their needs.

CSTP #4 addresses “Planning Instruction and Designing Learning Experiences for All Students”. In conversation with the committee members, we examined #7 principle that states: “Using content pedagogy, subject matter, and educational technology knowledge, teach students how to use digital tools to learn, create new content, and demonstrate their learning.”

I believe that educational technology, blended and online learning should be specifically addressed with a #8 with wording such as:

#8: Teachers effective integration of technology is achieved when teachers and students utilize it on a daily basis for teaching and learning which includes knowing which technology to use when, when to utilize blended and online learning tools, when to use other technologies such as hand-held devices or phones, and how to present and interact with online technology tools.

Flickr Photos