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Professional Opinion

Michael G. Shoaf is superintendent of Rocky River City School District.

With violent events seemingly on the rise in schools across the country, district leaders must develop fluid and thorough safety plans.

To address the variety of individual circumstances that may accompany these events, fluidity must be coupled with authentic practice and the engagement of stakeholders and experts. Practicing the plan, constantly considering best practices, and giving staff and students flexibility to adjust actions during an emergency are essential for a quality school safety plan.

Ken Royal is a former teacher and DA editor. He blogs at connectlearningtoday.com.

If you’re an educator, at any level or grade, sitting back and expecting education change to happen, without you getting involved, you need to stand up now. If you think that you can’t do something, or start change, you’re mistaken.

Kenneth Goldberg is author of The Homework Trap: How to Save the Sanity of Parents, Students and Teachers.

Few topics generate as much debate in education as homework. Experts disagree on its educational value, and research offers little clarification. Teachers and parents vary in how much homework they think children should do. So where do principals fit into the homework system?

Gary Shattuck is the director of technology and media services for the Newton County School System in Covington, Ga.

When planning the implementation of a huge technology initiative, where audio enhancement and camera technologies would be placed in 552 classrooms over the summer of 2013, I knew that the key to success was rethinking how we deliver professional learning.

My experience with the traditional professional learning model of training-the-trainer has not been pleasant or successful. The problems I experienced were three-fold.

The Littlestown Area School District is a rural School District located in south central Pennsylvania close to the Gettysburg National Park. The District has a student population of 2,100 students with four buildings located on one campus. Over the past four years as the economy experienced difficulty and State and Federal resources have declined, the District put in place a focused strategy that has resulted in continued financial resources to support improved academic results. How has the District done it, and what are the results?

Kathy Cook is the director of educational technology and a faculty member for the College of Education at University of Phoenix.

A recent survey from the College of Education at University of Phoenix reveals that K12 teachers struggle to integrate social media into their classroom lessons, and also to connect with students and parents outside their classrooms.

Jason E. Glass is superintendent and chief learner at Eagle County Schools in Colorado.

All across the country, discussions around improving educator effectiveness and evaluation have become synonymous. Forces from state houses and federal agencies compel us to engage in the work of redesigning evaluation systems and to devise ways of using student outcomes as a significant part of that effort.

Superintendents and the evaluations they use are coming directly into the crosshairs.

Scott Kinney is senior vice president of education partnerships at Discovery Education.

School district leaders must keep a diverse audience of teachers, principals, parents, local community leaders and other stakeholders informed of important district activities and learning initiatives.

Sometimes it can be a challenge for administrators to convey to a broad audience how a school district is transforming teaching and learning with educational technologies and digital content.

Consultant Jeff Marshall is the former risk manager for the School District of Philadelphia.

Education in crisis. To you, the phrase may evoke financial crisis, perhaps high dropout rates or maybe issues involving falling tests scores. But I am a risk manager. To me, when a school cannot open for a day, for a week, for a month or longer—no matter the reason—that is the essence of a real educational crisis.

Paul Finch is the superintendent of the Red Hook Central School District in Red Hook, N.Y.

What happened? This is what we at the Red Hook Central School District had to ask when we looked at our student achievement data.

In some cases, there was a mismatch between our beliefs about certain teachers and actual performance, as measured by student achievement data. Ultimately, our personal biases were exposed and this led us to rethink our hiring practices.

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