You are here


Stuients at El Monte Union High School District in California benefit from AP programs, which just earned College Board recognition this year.

Careful use of data can guide school administrators as they deploy limited resources to promote college readiness for all students.

A senior in the biotechnology program at Miami Valley Career Technology Center is is pursuing a college education in chemical engineering.
Miami Valley Career Technology Center in Ohio offers an aviation maintenance program as well as precision machining and HVAC.
The New Castle County Vocational Technical School District offers a Building Automation Systems program. Above, students at Howard High School of Technology in Wilmington, Del., work in a lab. The unique program has 40 business partners that help connect students with job shadows and equipment.
A culinary arts junior learns knife skills with an instructor at Miami Valley Career Technology Center.

Students in Maryland’s Anne Arundel County Public School System learn to make drones in a career technology class developed with a local engineering company. At Mississippi’s Ocean Springs High School, students in the robotics and engineering program design about 40 robots. Tempe Union High School District in Arizona has created living labs in solar thermal, fuel cell and other types of power.

Students in a Sodexo-run “Kids Way Cafe” cafeteria chose from a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. All furniture and food are designed with bright primary colors, which can entice young children to eat up.
Students at Colonial School District in Delaware, left, learn the origin of some of their food by tending to the district’s garden, which supplies fruits and vegetables for the district’s school cafeterias.
The design of ARAMARK’s 12 Spot cafeteria for middle school students incorporates what many children this age value: sports and having fun with friends. Market research determines what food is offered, based on trends of what students like to eat.
ARAMARK’s u.b.u cafeteria for high school students is styled like a lounge, with comfortable seating for students to not only eat, but also come together to socialize or collaborate on school work.
A student at Minneapolis Public Schools selects a meal from among several healthy options, including a salad and a banana.
All furniture and food in Sodexo-run “Kids Way Cafe's are designed with bright primary colors, which can entice young children to eat up.

Students can be picky customers. And when they expect their cafeterias to serve a wide variety of attractive, fresh food, there is great pressure on food services staff to deliver. For some districts, the best way to please students and thereby increase participation is to maintain total control and keep all food service operations in-house.

At POLYTECH High School, Delaware students take an EMT training course, something that was recently added because the region needed more EMTs.

Delaware’s New Castle County Vocational Technical School District offers 41 career programs in four technical high schools. And while some programs are in cutting-edge fields, like biotechnology, robotics and athletic health care, many are the same programs that have been offered for decades.

Second graders at William Green Elementary School in Lawndale, Calif., stretch and move in between learning in what is called Instant Recess (IR).
As part of Activity Works programs, third-graders at Alexander Street School in Newark stretch after taking a virtual 10-minute tour of the United States.
At the Nexus Academy of Indianapolis, students complete coursework online or at the school, and work at their own pace. Above, a junior is jumping rope while other students stretch on mats and pull rubber bands for a quick physical break during the day.
Another class exercises between lessons at  at William Green Elementary School in Lawndale, Calif. Teachers received special training for the program.

Each afternoon between social studies and math, Marilynn Szarka’s third-grade students start to get droopy. Szarka instructs everyone to stand up and spread out while she dims the lights, closes the door and flips on the interactive whiteboard that will take them on an aerobic adventure.

At Sells Middle School in the Dublin City School District in Ohio, school administrators are using the Complete Student Safety and Behavior System technical tool to track student tardiness and how it might relate to school fights.

It was a lunch hour more than 10 years ago when Terri Lozier, now a principal in another district just outside Chicago, was sucked into the violence of a school fight. Then a teacher, she was supervising the cafeteria when one girl tried to strangle another.

An AT&T employee volunteer, above left, helps a student in the Boys & Girls Clubs navigate a creative obstacle course to help motivate youth to be ready for successful transition into the upcoming school year.

Some of the world’s most powerful companies are increasing their influence in K12 education by funding programs that blend workforce development with public service. Corporate initiatives range from retail giant Target’s $1 billion plan to fund literacy programs to IBM’s high school STEM programs that aim to prepare the workers the company needs to fill its ranks.

Global defense company Raytheon has invested $100 million in education initiatives since 2005


The Aetna Foundation will provide more than $1.2 million in grants to provide health and wellness technology to disenfranchised and minority populations, including those in schools. Efforts include a K12 digital health curriculum that teaches diet and nutrition, exercise and disease prevention. Students can collaborate on projects using social media and access the curriculum digitally.

As part of Activity Works programs, above, students in the “Food on the Farm” episode demonstrate how to be popping popcorn kernels for 10 minutes.

Keep activities short so teachers can easily incorporate them into busy school days. “Once teachers experience the rewards from just a few minutes of activity, they realize it’s worth it,” says Marilynn Szarka of Loesche Elementary School in Philadelphia.

Give students the reins. “Younger kids like to be led by older students. Let students choose music and activities. Let them take ownership,” says Jesus Mejia of Creating Opportunity for Physical Activity in California. “Increasing options to be engaged increases motivation to participate.”

Some administrators are analyzing student traffic patterns to eliminate the bumping, pushing and shoving—and in turn, the fighting—that occurs in overcrowded hallways and stairwells.

Randy Boardman of the Crisis Prevention Institute says that one middle school with particularly narrow hallways solved the problem by cutting down on hallway traffic.