From DA

Sheila M. Harrity is superintendent-director of Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School District in Massachusetts.

When Sheila M. Harrity leads, she makes an impact.

Education professor Cathy Vatterott says that grades have come to reflect student compliance more than student learning and engagement.

Once used to reflect successful memorization of facts and figures, the process of grading has transformed into a near meaningless code, often fogged by a variety of factors that have nothing to do with learning.

Students from Burton Hill Elementary School, part of Forth Worth ISD in Texas, get hands-on learning opportunities for all academic subjects using an outdoor garden and classroom.

School gardens used for instruction are on the rise nationwide, and with them, student engagement and test scores, according to a recent study.

Most school districts back up student, human resource and finance records and other essential administrative data every night.

From hurricanes to software viruses to accidental keystrokes, many dangers threaten to corrupt school district data or impede access to it. To prevent loss of critical information, districts back up data routinely, on location and off-site.

Kate Ford is the area superintendent in Los Angeles for Aspire Public Schools.

Building a strong, empowered community is at the heart of any successful education institution and is transformative in the lives of students, educators and parents.

Little Kids Rock, a national organization dedicated to ensuring music ed through modern bands, partners with Nashville Public Schools’ guitar students one day last spring.

Some districts can’t find or hire music teachers while others struggle to buy and maintain instruments. Many administrators, meanwhile, must cut music classes to prepare students for testing.

Ken Donovan, facilities/security manager at Stonington Public Schools in Connecticut, shows off a school’s lockdown emergency button. When pushed, the button will lock the doors, bar access to other floors, issue an audible warning that an intruder is present and alert to local police cruisers.

Three years ago, Tom Brabson, business manager of Plain Local Schools in northeastern Ohio, heard the superintendent of a district 60 miles away describe how his life had changed in 22 seconds.

Low-income students are more likely to have uncorrected vision problems. (Click to enlarge)

Millions of youth are disproportionately affected by health problems that impair their motivation and ability to learn, according to the August Education Commission of the States report, “Heath barriers to learning and the education opportunity gap.”

Students attending an Internationals Network-supported school learn English language skills.

Despite fewer unaccompanied minors arriving from Central America, many U.S. K12 schools still struggle to adapt to the challenges of educating this diverse set of immigrant students.

A staff member and students in the Upper Moreland Township School District in Pennsylvania take a walk as part of the intermediate school wellness initiative. The program keeps all staff motivated to be fit and healthy.

Biometric testing and nutritionist appointments aren’t the usual benefits for school employees, but Upper Moreland Township School District in Pennsylvania wants everyone to focus on wellness.

Albemarle County Public Schools removed hundreds of high school lockers and replaced them with benches for students to charge mobile devices.

One central Virginia high school replaced hundreds of lockers with device charging stations this fall to bolster its 1-to-1 program.

Brevard Public Schools changed principal PD in 2014-15 to focus intensively on building principals’ skills working with teachers in the modern classroom.

Some say that for principals, every day is their first day on the job. Alongside day-to-day building management issues such as hiring teachers, overseeing finances and student discipline, principals now guide teachers through new state standards and testing.

Students from a pilot school, Cowan Fundamental Elementary in Sacramento, California, examine hungry pests. (Photo: Amy Karle)

A new curriculum released by the USDA teaches middle school students about the most dangerous invasive species threatening the nation’s trees, plants and crops.

Chrys Sweeting is assistant superintendent and Tim Yeomans is superintendent of the Puyallup School District in Washington.

Following a change in leadership in the Puyallup School District during the summer of 2012, we committed to align the work of the district with professional learning for leaders and staff to serve each student.

Students in Newark Public Schools in New Jersey have taken advantage of an abandoned reservoir to build solar-powered mosquito control units, eradicate invasive plants and breed crustaceans that can eliminate toxic algae blooms.

Environmental education is not just a walk in the woods anymore. It’s a project-based walk in the woods with an iPad.