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Granbury ISD students celebrate the groundbreaking of a high school remodel that includes a new ninth grade wing and a fine arts center expansion.
 Granbury ISD’s remodel includes a new ninth grade wing and a fine arts center expansion.
Granbury ISD’s high school renovation project is projected to be completed in August.
A renovated Methuen High School, part of Methuen Public Schools in Massachusetts, features a new auditorium.
Fluvanna County Public Schools in Virginia built a new state-of-the-art high school due to both aging facilities and enrollment growth.

State-of-the-art science labs, green buildings and internet upgrades are among major trends in school construction this year, as districts break ground on large projects that address aging facilities, increased enrollment and technology needs, according to the first annual DA School Construction Survey.

The above chart, from United Educators’ “2011 Public Schools Claims Report,” shows the dollar cost of claims for each category of bodily injury among district employees across the nation. (Click to enlarge)

A few years ago, San Francisco USD had questions about the hundreds of community-based organizations teaching reading to students and growing school gardens, among a wide range of other activities. Administrators wanted to know the risks of outside groups using school facilities.

Neuroscience-based software has helped educators in Kentucky’s Boone County Schools better pinpoint students’ strengths and weaknesses.

Educational neuroscience empowers teachers with new insights into how all students learn and holds promise for enhancing special ed, but myths and exaggerations sprouting up around the burgeoning field could lead to children being labeled, which could limit their abilities, experts say.

All preschool students within Washington’s Bremerton School District boundaries receive the same math and reading curriculum for kindergarten readiness.
Dallas ISD teachers undergo rigorous evaluations.
Art projects within the Humanities Research Program at Montville schools in New Jersey ignite passion in students.
The Employee Health Clinic at Independence School District in Missouri is convenient and cost-effective.

From early-learning to entrepreneurship to the environment, innovative instruction propels students to meet more rigorous standards and graduate high school better prepared for their next steps in life.

A homeschool student in Kyrene School District shows off art she created via Community Assisted Schooling Alternatives, a weekly enrichment program for K6 students.

Driven by a commitment to serve all students, or by a desire to maximize state funding, some districts are offering families that educate their children at home everything from free computers to curricular guidance.

Two students at the Shaker Heights City School District help tend to their high school garden project—part outdoor learning lab and part “market” for their school lunches.

Students ease stress with stretches in elementary school yoga sessions. In another district, students taste vegetables they’ve never tried before after growing produce in a school garden. Elsewhere, more students eat healthy breakfasts they’ve grabbed from convenient to-go carts in the morning. This kind of innovation is evident across the country, as district leaders find new ways to promote health and wellness.

Students at Thurgood Marshall High School in San Francisco USD celebrate Gay-Straight Alliance Day to promote a positive climate for transgender students.

As transgender students win sturdier legal protections from state and federal laws, more district leaders have given members of this growing population rights to choose the names they’ll respond to at roll call, which bathrooms they’ll use and which athletic teams they’ll join.

Gifted students from Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia study a local pond ecosystem and its feeder stream.
Fairfax County Public Schools gifted students test water samples from a nearby stream to determine its health. Teachers work with Young Scholars to build basic skills and provide challenges.
Students in a Fairfax County Public Schools gifted classroom use scientific inquiry to conduct an experiment and record results.
Fairfax County students examine leaves, pinecones and other objects to learn observation skills, classification and the importance of thinking like a scientist.
31 states require districts to identify gifted students and provide gifted programs.

The U.S. public school system’s focus on struggling students leaves high-achievers—especially minorities, the economically disadvantaged and English-language learners —without a challenging enough education, experts say.

Students at Cherokee County School District use Pearson’s WriteToLearn to help them become better writers.

As Common Core standards require students to write extensively across the curriculum, more districts are using automated assessment tools to save teachers time and give students immediate analysis.

Giving students a chance to practice academic English can be a part of any subject lesson, she says. And that’s where ESL instructors can play an important role by becoming peer coaches for classroom teachers, says John Segota, TESOL’s associate executive director for public policy.

The biggest changes in reading instruction center on embedding literacy across all subjects. Engineering concepts, for example, can be used to break down the plots of stories and analyze characters. And ESL specialists should collaborate with subject teachers to align instruction so students are learning the same words and concepts.