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The Champaign (Ill.) Community Unit School District #4 serves more than 9,600 students at 18 school sites, and includes more than 1,400 staff members. Trevor Nadrozny has been the director of curriculum for the last three years and was an elementary school principal in the district for 11 years. When Nadrozny first came to the position, of primary concern was the district’s K5 English language arts curriculum.

Chromebooks and Google for Education enable schools to use the power and simplicity of the web for unlimited teaching and learning opportunities, engaging stakeholders and creating dynamic learning environments that align with district curriculum and student achievement goals.

Many districts are beginning to implement some form of personalized learning in blended and online programs, but it is often a time-consuming and manual process that is difficult to duplicate across classrooms. In this web seminar, originally broadcast on March 13, 2014, education experts discussed the benefits of personalized learning, common challenges when it comes to implementation, and the keys to creating an effective district strategy.

When best practices are engaged in blended learning, authentic personalized learning can happen for all students. Understanding ten key trends happening in the blended learning space can help educators achieve optimal results for students and schools. This web seminar, originally broadcast on March 20, 2014, featured education experts who discussed these trends and how blended learning can be successfully implemented.

Administrators at Greenwich Public Schools, in southwestern Connecticut, had been looking for a content management system that would bring all their existing online tools together for their instructional staff and 8,500 students. They also wanted to provide new online tools to their youngest students to help them develop digital literacy skills.

Developing 21st-century skills are essential for today’s students to meet state standards, perform on assessments, and be college and career ready. When a project-based approach is used, educators can incorporate 21st-century skills into everyday teaching and learning. These digital skills also help to improve the critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity of students.

The latest notification systems enable district administrators to communicate instantly and across a variety of platforms to parents, teachers, staff and communities, from any location and in multiple languages.

The upcoming PARCC and Smarter Balanced online assessments require students to use secure, locked-down machines. When district leaders invest in this equipment, they should also consider selecting devices that will support increased student achievement and college and career success, such as Google Chromebooks.

Since Lancaster School District (Calif.) is a K8 school system, Rebecca Cooksey, director of IT, knows that none of her students have optimal listening skills yet. “Students’ audio processing tracks are not fully developed until they are 15,” Cooksey says. And the 25 percent of Lancaster’s 14,000 students who are ELL face additional challenges in listening to and processing information presented orally by teachers.

Giving every student a more personalized learning experience is made possible through blended learning. The use of rigorous, engaging learning technology can help increase student achievement in mathematics.

A video surveillance system, a necessity for districts today, must be properly managed to reap its greatest benefits. Disturbance alerts and mobile device access are two features that can help district leaders utilize their surveillance system effectively.

Whether assessments administered in a district are producing useful data can be determined through establishing a comprehensive assessment plan. Assessments should support a district’s strategic plan and determine student progress according to Common Core State Standards.

High-quality before- and after-school programs have the potential to enhance student engagement and improve academic achievement, by extending the school day in a fun, safe and relaxed environment. However, there are important factors to consider in selecting programs for a district, as well as determining the quality and effectiveness of existing before- and after-school programs.

Fort Bend ISD is the seventh-largest district in Texas, serving over 71,000 students and employing over 9,000 staff members. Fort Bend is also one of the most diverse districts in the country, with a student population that is 29 percent African-American, 19 percent white, 26 percent Hispanic and 22 percent Asian, comprising a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds.

The Garland (Texas) Independent School District serves some 58,000 students on 71 campuses outside of Dallas, and is the twelfth largest district in the state. Alan Smith has been the risk manager for the district for the last 22 years. Smith was hired to supervise and investigate workers’ compensation claims, which had at that time become a significant expense to the district.

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