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Districts of Distinction March 2016: Creative collaboration

Educators constantly face challenges that require resources that may be in short supply. But this round’s Districts of Distinction honorees show a surplus of creativity, innovation and problem-solving skills that are increasing student achievement and graduation rates and, most importantly, facilitating education.

New classroom tools aid STEAM lessons

With the ever-increasing reach of technology and the corresponding growth of STEAM-related curricula, it is challenging to find the right tools to help bring such concepts into the classroom in engaging, student-friendly ways. STEAM-focused classroom products also must easily integrate into existing lesson plans.

"The Superintendent and the CFO" and other reading picks for district leaders

Other recommended books focus on rewiring the brain for critical thinking, how principals can hone leadership skills and how to teach energy concepts across all science disciplines.

State laws impact bullying rates

Students living in states with an antibullying law that includes at least one U.S. Department of Education-recommended legislative component had lower reported bullying and cyberbullying rates compared to students living in states without such legal provisions, according to recent research. 

Photo Essay: Pairing soccer and poetry on a new field

Kicking a soccer ball might feel a bit like poetry—the power of your foot sending the ball curling through the air to a teammate or into the back of a net. Washington, D.C., teacher Julie Kennedy has for the past 20 years paired verse with the world’s most popular sport to provide a safe haven for thousands of urban students.

Texas schools test brain benefits of recess

Multiple studies affirm the importance of play in children’s physical and mental health. At four Texas elementary schools, students have more time for swings, monkey bars and outdoor games after administrators adopted a Finnish model structured around four short recess periods each day.

Administrators cancel school trips after terrorist threats

The November terrorist attack on Paris and ensuing threats to major U.S. cities led many administrators nationwide to cancel class spring break trips in efforts to keep students safe. The decisions, in many cases, disappointed students, parents and city officials in popular tourist destinations.

Court decision clarifies compensatory services for students

A recent federal court decision on the statute of limitations for families to take legal action against schools sheds new light on compensatory services provided to special education students when IEP goals are missed. Parents may now seek several years’ worth of special education services

Collaboration and communication: More important than ever in schools

Teachers and administrators face tough challenges in education. Politicians are constantly trying to micromanage our practices, while accountability measures are abundant and budgets are tight. Coming to work isn’t always pleasant when it feels like the odds are stacked against us.

Fueling education’s digital shift

More than 50 percent of curriculum directors anticipate a significant conversion from print to digital materials within the next three years. And it appears this shift is about to get a big boost from the Every Student Succeeds Act.

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