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News Update

Students from the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders in Austin walk at graduation.

Two of Austin ISD’s middle schools will begin operating as single-gender schools next fall. The Young Men’s Leadership Academy at Garcia Middle School and the Young Women’s Leadership Academy at Pearce Middle School will enroll 600 sixth, seventh and eighth graders, and will focus on college readiness.

The rollout of the Common Core State Standards in classrooms nationwide this school year has been “bumpy” as states struggle to provide professional development for teachers, align curricular materials and create assessments that adequately measure the standards, according to a February Fordham Institute report.

Philadelphia Public Schools special education teacher Michelle McKeone developed Autism Expressed in 2011, and now uses the platform to teach digital media skills to her high school students.

A first-of-its-kind online learning platform is bringing critical digital and life skills to Philadelphia students with autism and developmental disorders.

International students and their U.S. classmates from Newcomb Central School District in New York go for a hike in the nearby Adirondack Mountains.

Districts hurting financially are recruiting tuition-paying foreign students to increase enrollment and diversity.

The number of international high school students coming to the United States with an F-1 education visa increased to nearly 65,500 in 2012, up from 6,500 in 2007, according to federal data.

The redesigned SAT, set for spring 2016, will measure college and career skills.

Administrators in coming years may feel less stressed about adding SAT prep to students’ regular coursework. The newly redesigned SAT, which students will start taking in spring 2016, will be more in line with the Common Core standards being rolled out in schools nationwide.

Students in the Centennial School in Bethlehem, Pa. are rewarded for good behavior rather than punished for misconduct.

Disabled students in wealthy, less-diverse districts are twice as likely as their low-income peers to be restrained or placed in isolation in school, according to new research by the University of New Hampshire.

Restraint and isolation have been used primarily on students who pose a threat to themselves or others. And few schools resort to these physical solutions: Some 95 percent of districts reported fewer than 10 instances of restraint or seclusion per 100 students with a disability in 2009-10.

Cafeteria commons: Students at East Middle School will enjoy breakfast and lunch in their new commons area. The space is flooded with natural light and designed with special touches including booths, high-top tables and outdoor seating.
Glass-paneled library: As students enter the new Irving Elementary, one of the first rooms they see is the light-filled media center and library. The colorful space includes soft-seating areas where students can lounge with a book, quiet workstations, and areas for teachers and students to collaborate on projects.
Open spaces: Instead of hallways, students at the new Irving Elementary enjoy open spaces between their classrooms called “learning parks.” The fourth and fifth graders’ learning park mimics outer space, complete with planets and comets. The learning parks are used for collaborative lessons and activities between classrooms and provide a space for indoor recess when necessary.
Safe rooms: All schools will have safe rooms built to meet Federal Emergency Management Agency guidelines. The safe rooms also serve as gymnasiums and are designed to provide shelter for students, staff and residents living within a five-minute walking distance during severe weather.

Joplin, Mo., lost three schools to one of the deadliest tornadoes to strike the nation in May 2011. And nearly three years later, in January, three new schools opened their doors for 1,300 students who had been attending classes at temporary facilities since the disaster.

Snow days are melting away as schools increasingly take advantage of online curriculum to keep students learning virtually during weather closures.

Students in the app development class at Grover Cleveland High School in Queens, N.Y., met with hearing-impaired community members.

Students in a STEM pilot project at Grover Cleveland High School in Queens, N.Y., have developed a number of innovative mobile apps to help the hearing impaired.

Kevin Kinker of K-9 Interventions brings his search dog Anna to Mona Shores Public Schools. Anna can detect drugs, alcohol and guns.

Students in a Michigan district say they feel safer this year thanks to dogs that regularly search schools for weapons and illegal substances, a new survey shows.