Middle School - Classes IV to VII

Our middle school curriculum is broad-based and accords students a well-rounded education both academically and socially. We believe that holistic education, which considers all aspects of childhood development, is indispensable in today's world. Our curriculum is planned and developed by incorporating modern teaching methods while taking each child's learning needs into account. The curriculum is learner-centred in design to ensure that students actively participate in the learning process.

Rather than rote learning just before exams, we ensure that our students understand every concept and are able to apply them effortlessly. To reduce their reliance on readymade notes, children are encouraged to take their own notes during class discussions. We have eliminated the question-and-answer format of classwork in subjects such as science and social science.

Subject coordinators hold many brainstorming sessions prior to the start of the school year to develop a thorough curriculum plan. They discuss various crucial components such as lesson plans, assignments, and assessments in detail during these meetings before they are applied in the classroom. The curriculum guarantees that students' core skills, such as understanding, analysis, and application, are improved. To relate classroom learning to the actual world, we use hands-on learning approaches.

The subjects taught include English, mathematics, science, social science, languages, computers, and art. From Class VI onwards, history, geography, and civics are introduced as separate units. From Class VII onwards, students learn biology, chemistry and physics separately.

Science and mathematics are taught using a hands-on approach. Practical work in the lab, model making, projects, role-plays, poster making, and discussions are all part of the activity-based learning. Audio-visual inputs are included in teaching social science to give pupils a real feel of the idea they are learning. The languages, including English, are designed to help pupils improve their core skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The sessions are participatory, allowing pupils to use the language confidently.

Students get regular homework in mathematics for practice. For other subjects, homework is given at the end of the unit/ lesson to enhance concept clarity. We encourage students to do their homework on their own to serve the purpose of applying classroom learning at home.

Language development is an important element of a child's education, and our curriculum emphasises improving speaking, listening, comprehension, and writing skills in all languages. While English is the language of instruction, we also offer Kannada, Hindi, Sanskrit, French, and German as second or third languages.

Kannada is given special attention, as mandated by the Kannada Language Learning Act, 2015, which requires schools in Karnataka to teach Kannada as either the first or second language from Class I to X.

While Kannada is not the native tongue of all of our pupils, we begin teaching it at a young age so that the child has a considerable advantage.    Sri Kumaran Children's Home gives its students a head start in learning Kannada by introducing it in Class I. Students who do not speak Kannada at home are provided additional support. We follow the education department’s textbook Savi Kannada to teach the language as it is learner-friendly. New students are introduced to the textbook only after they have learned the fundamentals such as the names of fruits, vegetables, and everyday things.

The following are the languages that students of Classes IV to VII can opt for:

Classes IV to VII

  • Language II - Kannada
  • Language III - Hindi / Sanskrit / French / German

Teaching Languages

Through innovative teaching approaches, facilitators focus on all four areas of language learning: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. Our main goal is to achieve the intended learning outcomes through activities that are enjoyable, effective, and intriguing. What students learn in class is used in practical work to help them build their application skills. Other techniques, which include PowerPoint presentations, field visits, and exchange programmes, are used to spark a student's interest in a language.

Crossword puzzles, anagrams, and homophones help students increase their vocabulary, improve their spelling, and encourage problem-solving and critical-thinking. Reading comprehension, and book reviews, in addition to textbooks, develop students' appreciation for tradition, arts, and history while also improving analytical skills. Memory and fluency are improved by recitation and storytelling. Role play, debates, quizzes, and declamation, as well as listening to music, stories, and creating speeches, help children build their confidence, expression, and pronunciation while speaking. Making posters, greeting cards, and writing letters, notices, diaries, stories, dialogues, and essays help to improve one's writing skills. Students gain practical experience by playing games while learning grammatical fundamentals. Assignments requiring interaction with people and data collection (group activities) are given to supplement the textbook.

The Sri Kumaran Children's Home grades pupils on their overall performance during the academic year rather than on one or two exams. Our assessment is to determine whether the desired learning outcomes have been met across all subjects. Teachers, students, and parents are able to identify strengths and areas for improvement through our methods of assessment. Our evaluation methods are based on subject-specific objectives such as concept understanding and skill development.

An overview of assessment methods we use:

Class IV and V

We do not hold formal exams for pupils in Classes IV and V since we do not believe in putting such young children through the stress of exams. Our assessments emphasise the child's participation in class, the expansion of concepts learned, and skill development.

Planned Activities

These activities are done in pairs, groups, or individually twice a year with the goal of increasing the student's creative abilities.

Formative Assessments

Individual work-sheet-based assessments assist facilitators in determining how well a student understands and retains concepts taught in class. Teachers can discover learning gaps and bridge those using new teaching strategies and novel learning approaches.

Continuous Assessment

This is done all year round in the form of classwork and homework

Class VI and VII

Examinations and tests are offered in these classes to prepare students for higher level classes. We continue, however, to evaluate students based on their overall performance rather than a few examinations.

Enrichment Activities

They are held twice a year in the form of projects, role plays, group activities, and individual activities. The goal is to assess the student's overall growth using creatively developed assessment methodologies combined with subject-specific skills.

Periodic Tests

Periodic tests are scheduled at regular intervals during the academic year and are administered in the form of individual worksheets or through online platforms. The primary goal is to assess a student's learning outcomes and provide constructive comments to bridge learning gaps.

Continuous Assessments

These come in the form of submissions and are monitored throughout the year. The goal is to assess a child's learning based on the application of classroom instruction, skill growth, and the quality of written output.

Summative Examinations

These are exams given at the end of each term twice a year. It encourages students to retain and remember concepts taught in class. These exams serve as incremental training for larger areas of the syllabus, as well as distinct markers of a student's knowledge, skills, and proficiency.


Middle school students have a library period once a week, and book fairs are organised regularly to inculcate the habit of reading in even our youngest students. The library boasts a variety of books on various genres and topics that our students can choose to read. It serves as a hub of information through a variety of media like maps, journals, and periodicals that both students and teachers can access. Students who are fond of reading look forward to these library visits while other students gradually cultivate a love for reading.

Life Skills

We run a life skills programme called EQUBE with Arpitha Associates. EQUBE is a short form for Enabling Evolutionary Excellence and is intended to address the needs of children during their formative years. In each academic year, approximately 20 to 22 classes of 40-minute duration are held for students in Classes VI and VII. These classes assist students in comprehending their personal values, developing the ability to make conscious, informed decisions, and gaining clarity on their personal life vision.

School Cinema

To make learning more enjoyable, the Sri Kumaran Children's Home implements School Cinema, an innovative learning concept developed by Lxl Ideas, an education consulting firm. It is a film-based learning module combined with a fun and entertaining workbook designed to reiterate principles and morals while providing youngsters with skills to deal with everyday challenges. This is an endeavour to educate pupils in Class IV and V on life skills through the use of age-appropriate and self-explanatory video lectures. It is a great combination of entertainment and teaching, and it employs language that children understand. School Cinema plays a role in shaping young minds to make better decisions for themselves as young adults, as well as to strengthen the role of parents and teachers in the holistic development of children. After significant research, the module was designed specifically for youngsters and is taught through short films and thought-provoking workbooks. Each film is followed by activity-based writing that students complete on their own. Values such as respecting the elderly and connecting with family members are easily assimilated in a fun way.

Math Lab

Our well-equipped math lab allows students to apply what they learned in the classroom. This aids the pupils' comprehension and retention of concepts. Students practice concepts such as mensuration, perimeter, area, volume, fractions, and decimals, among others. The properties of geometric objects are explained using various kits, such as a square-geo board, parallel lines, transversals, and tangrams. Students receive practical demonstrations of mathematical topics and develop their own mathematical formulae.

Science Education

Science is a discipline in which practical learning is essential for developing fundamental concepts. We teach science through a variety of hands-on activities in a well-equipped laboratory designed specifically for the middle school curriculum. Several natural phenomena occurring in the school ecosystem are used to teach science. The rainwater collection system and sewage treatment plants on the school grounds, for example, are utilised to demonstrate scientific concepts. Garden tours help explain basic botanical ideas. Some of the hands-on activities used to introduce and reinforce scientific concepts include conducting tests to check for physical and chemical change, creating solutions under different conditions, testing different food samples for the presence of nutrients, germinating seeds and growing them in soil, and measuring growth rate.

To combine scientific knowledge with other subjects, several multidisciplinary activities are implemented. For example, asking pupils to prepare a day's worth of balanced meals using Rs. 100 given to them to purchase the appropriate food supplies combines science and math. Incorporating science with English by having pupils write a description of the lab after visiting the chemistry lab at school.

Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

In today's world, teaching our pupils the foundations of how technology works has become critical. Those who wish to pursue the subject further will find this to be a solid foundation upon which to expand. Every year, students learn one application and one programming language as part of the programme. Scratch 3, Logo, and QBasic are among the languages they study. Computer education, like most subjects in our curriculum, combines practical and theoretical understanding.Students also use their computer skills to organise games.

Financial Education

We have added financial education as a curriculum module to help our students make better financial decisions. This is done in collaboration with Prep My Skills, a Bangalore-based online learning organisation. The curriculum was created by experts with extensive experience in the talent and management sectors. This module is critical for learning how society functions. Students assimilate course knowledge at their own pace through the use of age-appropriate online modules, which are followed by an assessment. These online lessons are accessible for students in Classes VI through IX and cover a variety of topics such as the history of banking, the purpose of PAN and Aadhar cards, and the value of saving, understanding credit and debit cards, taxes, inflation, and banking instruments.

Hobby Clubs

The programme's primary goal is to provide students with the opportunity to follow their interests while being guided and trained by dedicated professionals in each discipline. Some classes are taught by school teachers, while others are conducted by outside professionals. In addition to gaining the abilities required for each activity, the classes assist youngsters in developing social skills, problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and creativity. The Hobby Club provides a variety of enriching possibilities for students to broaden their perspectives. These classes have also served to break down gender stereotypes about certain professions and instil a feeling of gender equality in our students. For example, more boys have been joining cooking clubs, while many more girls are enrolling in ship modelling and aero modelling clubs. Other hobby classes available to students include quizzing, gardening, and western dancing.

Global Awareness Programme (GAP)

The Global Awareness Program (GAP) is a general knowledge initiative that aims to raise, improve, and sustain awareness of global happenings and current events among students. It seeks to inspire curiosity in the students' young minds. The GAP classes for IV to VII provide students with a wealth of knowledge and information, and they thoroughly enjoy it. Every month, children are given a new book with information that is pertinent to that month.

How GAP helps students:

  • Makes students more globally aware
  • Builds conversation ability
  • Learning the art of asking questions
  • Increases student confidence
  • Need for continuous non-academic inputs


Mindspark Math is an interactive math programme for Class IV and V students. Overall, students gain conceptual clarity, procedural fluency, and extensive practice at their own speed. This is accomplished through tailored modules based on the academic year's course plan, which may be accessible through the online portal. Mindspark provides teachers with insights into their students’ learning, allowing them to improve learning levels in their classes. Students are rewarded with sparkies for their accomplishments and guided if they require assistance.

Language Lab

Not just scientific subjects, we teach languages through hands-on practical experience as well. German, which students can take up as their Language 2, is taught in the German Lab. We use cutting-edge technology to provide a holistic learning experience, especially since it is a foreign language and students may not be exposed to it in their daily life. A smart board with a touch screen and a built-in speaker benefits both teachers and students. The touch screen enables the instructor to use it as a traditional board to write or draw on, or as a screen to project PowerPoint presentations and audio-visual aids such as dialogues related to any topic, music clips, and movies. Audio-visual aids assist students in listening to, comprehending, and understanding the native speaker's accent, which is a critical part of foreign language learning. These tools provide first-hand experience for students to see and learn about German culture and the environment. This, in turn, increases their speaking abilities, leading to improved communication.

Be2 Aware Club

Be environmentally aware (Be2 Aware) is a club that educates Class 7 pupils on various environmental issues through an interesting array of activities that helps every child share a special connect with Nature. The emphasis is on sustainable development, efficient use of natural resources, food loss reduction, waste reduction, employment generation, and promotion of local culture and products.The activities are well documented on a blog.

Expert talks, field trip, art, storytelling, DIY are all included in the curriculum. Students record their reflection in a journal at the end of every session.

External Examinations

External examinations give pupils a healthy sense of academic competition and evaluates their performance with students from other institutions. Students can practice and enhance their application skills while building confidence. Feedback is given to students on a regular basis, and difficult problems are discussed in the classroom. These exams provide a platform for challenging oneself and aiding in self-improvement. Students at the Sri Kumaran Children's Home have taken various external examinations for nearly a decade, and some students have fared exceptionally well. Some competitive exams are compulsory, like the ASSET examination, while the Olympiads and Green Olympiads are optional. In addition, the school holds the National Genius Search Examination and the National Talent Search Examination for students to evaluate themselves at the national level.


Sports Day

We hope to demonstrate the effort and dedication among our pupils on the annual Sports Day. Sports are part of the Sri Kumaran Children's Home curriculum, and pupils are regularly trained to help them improve stamina and strength. As they prepare for the event, our physical educators assist students in achieving and maintaining physical and emotional wellness. The day's highlights include school band performances, drills and presentations and inter-house sporting activities. Inter-house competitions in various sports, such as cricket, football, volleyball, basketball, badminton, and table tennis, are held prior to Sports Day. On Sports Day, students put up a well-choreographed show of march past, gymnastics, acrobatics, and yoga, among other events. The winning teams receive trophies in the presence of a chief guest and the principal.


Information and Communication Technology, Languages, and Science Exhibitions provide students at Sri Kumaran Children's Home with the opportunity to conceive and construct projects and presentations using skills learned as part of their curriculum. These projects educate students on how to think critically, and work in a group in order to identify and display their learning process and output.

Hobby Day

Hobby Day is typically observed on the third Saturday of February when students demonstrate the skills they have learned throughout the academic year. It is the conclusion of their weekly hobby lessons, which include cooking, quizzes, theatre, dance, karate, shipbuilding, and aeromodelling. Parents, grandparents, and siblings who are invited to the event enjoy and appreciate the students' achievements.



The Sri Kumaran Children's Home has a state-of-the-art swimming pool that allows students to learn to swim on campus. Swimming is a great hobby for young children, and benefits their overall health. Swimming lessons for middle school children last approximately 80 minutes per week. After the basic "learning to swim” sessions in Class III, students in Class IV are introduced to more advanced levels of swimming. During their classes, students learn the backstroke and freestyle. Students train all year for inter-school tournaments between Kumaran schools as well as cluster-level competitions. During Sports Day, inter-house swimming matches are organised. Students participate in water aerobics at the end of each month. The swimming classes are conducted with the utmost safety precautions and under the watchful eye of teachers and swimming coaches.


We provide weekly yoga classes as part of the school curriculum to promote their general health. Yoga provides numerous advantages for students of all ages. As part of their yoga lessons, students learn Surya Namaskar, pranayama, and meditation. Yoga improves overall bodily functions, relieves stress, calms the mind, boosts immunity, and improves focus. We believe that yoga practice benefits students' scholastic learning as well.

PT and Games

We have a comprehensive physical education curriculum that incorporates physical training as well as game sessions. Fitness activities, free-hand and body weight workouts are undertaken during PT classes in March. During games classes, football, basketball, volleyball, kho-kho, and kabaddi are played. Students learn the fundamental rules and techniques of the game in these lessons. Children in 3B courses can choose from a variety of sports such as tennis, handball, kho-kho, and basketball.

After School Activities

Students can enrol in a variety of after-school sports classes that must be paid for independently. Some of the sports available after school include badminton, swimming, football, and tennis. These lessons are designed for individuals who have a natural talent for certain sports or who want to improve their capabilities. Our physical education teachers or other external resource people conduct these classes. Physical education teachers select promising students to join school sports teams and coach them after school. This training takes place four days a week. The school forms a sports team in many categories during the year, and students represent the school in numerous inter-school, inter-district, state, and national tournaments. They also compete in inter-house and inter-school sporting events.


Literary Fest

Our annual literary fest provides an opportunity for our students to put their classroom skills and talents to use. Students participate in individual and group activities to demonstrate their skills, guided and trained by enthusiastic professors. Quiz, art & craft, light music, dancing, pick and speak, declamation, and creative writing are some of the competitions held at the literary festival. During the fest, students from Classes IV to VII compete in several co-curricular competitions. It is a thrilling occasion that students from all classes eagerly anticipate. The winners are awarded prizes and certificates to recognise their accomplishments.

Special Assemblies

Throughout the school year, plays, talks, singing, and other programmes highlight the several special assemblies held at the Sri Kumaran Children's Home. Among the events observed are World Environment Day, Hindi Day, Kannada Rajyotsava, national holidays, and harvest festivals. Several engaging activities help youngsters understand the significance of the occasion and improve their confidence as they have the opportunity to perform on stage. On World Environment Day, for example, those responsible for organising the presentation emphasise the necessity of conserving the environment in which we live through sustainable growth and living. There is a discussion about composting, water conservation, and environmentally responsible festival festivities.

Bulletin Boards

The middle school corridors are a sight to behold for everyone. It is a vivid representation of concepts learned in class. In addition, students' subject-specific work and creative areas are showcased. Our school believes that displaying student work not only motivates and recognises student effort but also serves as an effective tool for visual learning.

School Day

The School Day, is a much-anticipated occasion conducted every two years in November. It gives students another chance to showcase their talents through a range of programmes such as folk dance, dance dramas, singing, and plays. Students prepare for the performances, which usually have an overarching theme. Teachers encourage all children to participate and make certain that everyone has a role in the event. Students are trained by teachers and, occasionally, resource people. Parents and grandparents gather to watch the youngsters perform, making it a great day for both the school and the students.

Cover Page

Every year, the cover of the school magazine, Gnanamanthanam, displays a drawing by a student. The annual theme-based drawing competition is open to all students, and the winning submission is featured on the front cover. Students' artwork features on the cover pages of notebooks, in-house workbooks, and the school diary as well. To make the artwork more meaningful and interesting, captions or quotes are added. This activity encourages our students to develop their artistic abilities.

School Magazine

Middle school students submit drawings, paintings, stories, poetry, and articles for the Gnanamanthanam every year. The magazine is a fantastic platform for students to demonstrate their writing and artistic skills, and each and every student is encouraged to contribute. The process of gathering articles, editing, designing, and publishing is done by the Kumarans Student Editorial Entity or SEEK. The team of high school students comprises a talented group of authors, artists, photographers, and computer enthusiasts handpicked by the high school instructors.

School Band

Musically inclined students are chosen by the relevant facilitators to be a part of the school band. It is one of the most coveted extracurricular activities that promote discipline and teamwork. The flute, trumpet, snare drum, bass drum, cymbals. sleigh bells, musical triangle, and maracas form the basis of the elementary band. Students learn to play these instruments in weekly classes. A certificate of participation is given to every student at the end of each level. On Sports Day, the school band plays the beats to which the march past is performed. They perform an instrumental version of the national anthem.


Waste Segregation

We have streamlined the waste collection process by installing colour-coded bins for organic, dry, and electronic waste disposal at school with the goal of instilling the practice among our pupils. From an early age, students learn about the importance of waste segregation and how to execute it. All waste is collected in designated and easily accessible collection areas. At the Sri Kumaran Children’s Home, we lead by example. Our organic waste converter facility not only allows us to handle organic waste, but it also creates compost for our lawn. We have our own sewage treatment plant and recycle water for gardening. Our waste is separated into wet and dry bins.

Food Waste Campaign

To reduce food waste in our cafeterias, smart lunchroom strategies have been implemented. Members of the student council encourage all students to eat their food without wasting any of it. Food waste that is unavoidably created is collected in designated bins. Throughout the school year, the quantity of food waste is monitored by weighing the garbage every day. Over the course of this campaign, waste measurements have been steadily decreasing.

Exploratory Learning

Outbound Programmes

The Sri Kumarans Children’s Home, in collaboration with Woody Adventure, conducts trips to provide the exciting opportunity of exploration to its students. These trips are an opportunity for personal growth. Travelling without parents helps the children become self-sufficient. Travelling in a group sensitises them to the needs of others. It also opens their minds to news experiences. These trips include activities such as trekking, mountaineering, camping, and water sports. Our students have visited the Antargange caves, the Chennarayana Durga hill fort, and Sharavathy Valley for a ghat to sea trek and have cycled cross-country between Ramnagaram and Savandurga. Outward bound trips are voluntary and are scheduled during holidays or weekends.

Field Trips

School field trips provide pupils with a new perspective and hands-on experience of what they have studied in the classroom. It aids in experiencing learning and has an impact on young minds. Our students have explored all of the following: Prani, a pet sanctuary, the Venkatappa Art Gallery, the Planetarium, and Madhuvana. During these excursions, children spend time applying what they have learned in the classroom to real-life circumstances. Field trips are wonderful events that provide students with cherished memories.

Herb Garden

The herb garden allows our students to connect with nature while also learning more about plants. The Hasiru Usiru project aims to make pupils ecologically sensitive and to encourage them to make conscious efforts to expand the green cover around them. Students plant different species of plants like Tulsi, Brahmi, Doddapatre, coriander, and spider plants. The experience teaches them to identify local medicinal plants, understand the benefits of each plant, create a sense of responsibility, and strengthen their nurturing capabilities.


Our photography classes aim to teach our students fundamental skills, beginning with an introduction to macro photography. They work with feathers, water droplets, wild berries, bugs, toad skin, fungi, and caterpillars. Architectural photography sessions focus on the school's façade and interior, as well as the courtyard spaces. Students look forward to this session because it allows them to connect with their environment and go outside of the usual classroom setting.

Bird Watching

Bird watching is popular among our nature loving students as there are over ninety species of birds on and around the campus. Winter visitors such as rose starlings, yellow wagtails, and asian paradise flycatchers have been spotted on campus in recent years. The wire-tailed swallow, drongo, shikra, kite, flowerpecker, and silverbill are among the bird species that are frequently seen.

Beyond the Classroom


The middle school art curriculum promotes holistic development by integrating it with the core disciplines. Art has been proven to improve children's growth and development. Visual arts allow students to learn new skills and freely express themselves.  Learning through visual and graphical representations fosters creative thinking skills. Art and craft have been made a mandatory subject for all students in order to instil an appreciation of the arts in them. Once a week, during their art class, students learn many forms of art, such as doodling and zentangles. They use different materials to create art. This boosts concentration, memory, patience, and creativity.

Social Service

Seva Day

Seva Day is observed in the memory of our beloved former director and 'Mother', Smt Meenakshi Balakrishnan, on October 1st, her death anniversary. Students clean their classrooms on their own, and student representatives serve food to all the support staff of the school to learn the value of service. This is to carry on the legacy of our mother, whose motto was ‘Service to man is service to God.’

Donation Drive

Our students carry out several donation drives throughout the year to help out the needy. They donate their old notebooks and textbooks at the end of the year. They give away old school uniforms, among other things. For a month, each student collects a fistful of rice every day, which is donated to the underprivileged at the end of the month.

Sadhanam: Kumaran’s Resource Centre

The Sri Kumaran Group of Institutes is proud to be one of the first in Bangalore to have resource rooms to cater to the needs of students with learning difficulties. Sadhanam, the resource room at Kumarans, was the brainchild of our former director, Smt. Meenakshi Balakrishnan. The initiative continues under the guidance of our current director, Smt. Deepa Sridhar. The resource room helps students from Class I to VI with specific learning difficulties to cope with the challenges of learning. Based on teacher feedback and an informal screening by the resource room's special educators, students are referred to the resource room. The screening results are reviewed with the parents, and approval is obtained for their inclusion in the resource room. Specially trained educators help bridge the learning gaps in our students. Aside from academic help through individual attention, the special educators also help the students with behavioural or emotional struggles that may hinder their learning. The students are supported in the areas of reading, spelling, comprehension, study skills, reasoning skills, organisational skills, and behaviour management. The students attend the resource room one period per day during one of their leisure periods, like art or music.

Life Skills and Counselling

At Sri Kumaran Children's Home, we strive to understand and meet our students' mental and emotional needs. The challenges that the current generation faces are numerous. Counsellors at the school assist pupils in dealing with the stresses and problems of growing up. Coping with a loss, bereavement, family conflict, emotional instability, gadget addictions, low self-esteem, and the early onset of puberty are just a few of the challenges for which students seek assistance. Teachers and parents can also make a referral. Aside from therapy, life skills sessions are held to provide our students with the tools they need to deal with life's challenges. Some of the topics covered include self-care, anger management, conflict resolution, stereotypes, and empathy. Self-reflection activities are conducted on a regular basis, and family counselling is done if needed.

Parent-Teacher Meetings

Parents and teachers both play a significant part in children's growth and development. We can only hope to bring out the best in our students if we all work together. Parent-teacher meetings are held on a regular basis in middle school, particularly following assessments, to address students' strengths and areas for improvement. Teachers discuss concerns and offer suggestions for improvement.