North Kansas City Schools has focused on staff support this fall, including tracking time and leave using a districtwide workforce management system that needed six pandemic pay codes added, writes Tanya Hirsch, the district's payroll coordinator, and Rob Tibbs of the Ultimate Kronos Group. The district's leave specialist has reached out to employees to navigate the changes, and payroll specialists are checking timecards to make sure workers aren't using personal time for coronavirus testing, they write.
First- and second-grade students at an Iowa Catholic school are using kits to study the weather. Teacher Maxine Gaul said this is the fourth year she has introduced the kits as part of science lessons.
The student council at Holy Rosary Regional Catholic School in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., recently led a collection of food for the Patrician Society. The school donated 3,500 nonperishable items during the food drive.
Colorado officials are concerned about a cascading effect of three superintendents in large districts who have resigned this semester. One district board member said the candidate search might even go beyond the education field to tap into how other industries have managed crises such as the pandemic.
Public-school enrollment in Massachusetts declined by 4% this year -- attributed largely to effects of the coronavirus pandemic and a shift among some families to private schools. While overall Catholic-school enrollment in Boston has declined, Catholic Schools Superintendent Thomas Carroll reports that across 100 schools, 4,300 new students were welcomed this year.
Schools report a 28% drop in the number of students identified as homeless since last fall -- potentially as many as 423,000 students nationwide -- according to a report from the nonprofit SchoolHouse Connection. Advocates say they are concerned this decline means that many students are not receiving the resources and support they would if they were identified as homeless, including food and health care access.
The coronavirus pandemic has increased the need to prioritize relationships among families, students, schools and policymakers, according to Heather Wolpert-Gawron, a middle-grades English-language arts teacher. In this article, Wolpert-Gawron writes about ways to engage with parents and others -- even remotely -- and make them partners in learning.
Some school districts and organizations, such as the American Federation of Teachers, are offering grief training to educators to help them support students coping with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Alexandra Hinkson-Dutrevil, a fourth-grade teacher, recalls stopping a lesson and shifting to give students time to express their feelings after a classmate who experienced trauma broke down in tears during a Zoom lesson.
A Massachusetts middle school program is training students to become better listeners and seekers of information as they engage in Q&A's with journalists, elected officials, authors and others as part of the school's speakers program. Some social studies teachers have students expand on the program's lessons by researching and interviewing other people for civics projects, while some English-language arts teachers have students write profiles.
Louisiana must prioritize kindergarten through second-grade education, says state Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley and others who point, in particular, to the concerning number of young students who are unable to read at grade level. The state is increasing literacy efforts and accountability as its data shows only 36% of Black kindergartners can read at or above grade level, compared with 52% of their white peers.
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