Alison DeNisco

Associate Editor

Articles by Alison DeNisco

District Administration, July 2014

Common Core test tools enhance accessibility for students with disabilities while keeping them in the classroom with their peers. (Photo: Smarter Balanced)
Exams include on-screen calculators and read-aloud instructions
North East ISD in San Antonio banned all but clear or mesh backpacks after a  student allegedly brought three loaded guns and a knife to a high school in April.
In 2010-11, 21 students died violent deaths in schools, and among 15-to-18-year-olds, 14 out of every 1,000 students were victims of violence
Preschool students in the Granite School District receive Common Core-aligned instruction to prepare for kindergarten.
Granite School District receives first-of-its-kind, $4.6 million social impact bond from Goldman Sachs
Students with autism will no longer be transferred from one school to another without parental input
The main goal of President Barack Obama’s ConnectED initiative is to shift funding from outdated technology to build broadband and Wi-Fi networks to give all schools high-speed internet access.
What administrators need to know to boost access
Frank DeAngelis had been principal of Columbine High School in Colorado since 1996. After the shooting of April 1999, he promised the then-ninth grade class he would not leave until they graduated.
Also: Dan McMinimee was named superintendent of Jefferson County Schools in Colorado
Old computers await recycling at the certified Capital Area Corporate Recycling Council in Baton Rouge, La.
Electronic devices represent the fastest-growing part of the world’s waste stream

District Administration, June 2014

The ACLU says more than 130 New Jersey school districts may be violating federal law.
District sued for requiring parents to show photo ID to enroll students
Nationally, there are very few hands-on cadaver labs at the high school level.
Program meant to encourage students to explore medicine, dentistry or other STEM fields
Schools that don’t follow prayer guidelines included in No Child Left Behind risk losing federal funds.
Laws passed in South Carolina in 2012 and Mississippi in 2013 allow students to pray at assemblies, athletic events and other school functions
At the May Center School for Autism and Developmental Disabilities in Randolph, Mass., individualized classroom activities emphasize all areas of a student’s development, including communication and social skills.
Boys almost five times more likely to be identified with autism spectrum disorder
$126M Bridgeport high school has 10 wind turbines, several solar panels and green roof
Students use ed-tech startup Edmodo to communicate with teachers and classmates through a closed social network.
99 new companies raised over $500 million in the first quarter of 2014
The first day of practice testing at Greer Elementary School in the San Juan USD in California in March.
Technology, test questions and scheduling challenged some schools
Students used anonymous message board to ridicule classmates and teachers

District Administration, May 2014

Changing laws weaken unions and give districts more control
Recovery School District Superintendent Patrick Dobard visits with students at lunchtime.
Orleans Parish School Board and the Recovery School District will share facilities and citywide educational services
Students in a Responsive Classroom school greet one another during the daily morning meeting (left). In another class, after the greeting, students have the opportunity to share their feelings and experiences with their peers (right).
Teachers use Responsive Classroom to foster cooperation and create sense of community
Some 93 percent of teachers believe that technology has a positive effect on student engagement.
46 percent of teachers say they lack the training needed to use technology effectively with students
Two schools on California Navy base build "fitness zones" with high-tech activities
Before moving to Atlanta Public Schools, Meria Carstarphen superintendent of the Austin ISD.
Also: Steve Staples appointed Virginia state superintendent of public instruction
Gifted students in the Navigator Program at Minnetonka Public Schools take fast-paced courses with gifted-certified teachers.
In 2004, only two districts had full-time gifted programs; today, 15 districts offer these services
There were 28 shootings in K12 schools and 16 on college campuses between December 2012 and February 2014
School systems in at least 10 states used up the year’s snow days by mid-February
Districts in several states are turning to online learning to make up for missed class time.