Relying on data in a nonjudgmental way and without comparing students with each other is key to bringing students' academic knowledge up to speed this year, writes Jen Schwanke, veteran educator and author of "You're the Principal! Now What?" Equally as important is addressing students' social and emotional needs and ensuring each student can thrive at school, Schwanke writes.
On the Rise Academy is a first-of-its-kind alternative teacher certification program in Michigan designed to give mentored classroom experience to incoming teachers -- many of whom previously held support roles in Detroit schools -- and coach them through student challenges specific to the city. Many US school districts are offering similar programs designed to foster teacher success, Shannon Holston of the National Council on Teacher Quality says.
High poverty rates in many rural school districts leave some students with no school transportation alternatives as bus driver shortages spread across the nation, according to rural education expert Mara Tieken of Bates College in Maine. Fifty-one percent of school officials say their bus driver situation is "severe" or "desperate," while 78% say the shortage is becoming "much worse" or "a little worse," a survey by the National Association for Pupil Transportation and two other groups in August found.
Academic mastery, career and post-secondary readiness, plus financial, civic and digital literacy are among the new ways Indiana is measuring students' success, along with a solid work ethic and skills in communication and collaboration, the State Board of Education said Wednesday. A state law passed earlier this year tasked state education officials with creating a performance dashboard with a variety of measures.
Kansas schools' enrollment declined, while chronic absenteeism and truancy rates increased between 2019 and 2021, according to a Kansas Department of Education report presented to the State Board of Education. A separate report showed that teacher vacancies have risen by 62% in the past year, particularly in rural schools and among elementary- and special-education roles.
Students at a Catholic school in Massachusetts are using hydroponics to grow two varieties of lettuce inside their school as part of a project with Johnson & Wales University. Like last year's crop of kale, the lettuce grown by students will be used in school meals.
The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency will provide K-12 schools with guidelines and a toolkit for protecting student and employee data and safeguarding against ransomware attacks under a bill signed last week by President Joe Biden. The first step will be an evaluation of schools' cybersecurity challenges, which must take 120 days.
An authentic, "two-generation" communication model that builds connections and offers supports is among recommended strategies for school leaders to build better partnerships with families, according to a recent Christensen Institute report. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of a trustworthy, transparent relationship with students' families that goes beyond basic information dissemination, the report's author, Mahnaz Charania, explains.
Students at an all-boys Catholic school in Kentucky this year are using a renovated media center and student center -- part of a $7 million project. The media center was modernized with a focus on student needs and includes a TV production studio, collaboration and research spaces, along with areas for quiet study.
Students at a Catholic school in Michigan are marking October as the Month of the Holy Rosary, which will include lessons on the rosary and how to pray the rosary. The school recently recognized National Bring Your Bible to School Day as part of the celebration.
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