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May, 2014

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.

April, 2014

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.

April, 2014

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.

April, 2014

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.

April, 2014

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.

April, 2014

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.

April, 2014

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.

April, 2014

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.

March, 2014

Administrators and teachers at Deer Park Middle School in the Deer Park (Wash.) School District have been challenged in the past by the school’s multiple feeder elementary schools. “We have a lot of students coming from these very small schools with a low level of reading proficiency,” says Cassandra Kauppi, the learning assistance program teacher at Deer Park Middle School. Many were scoring below grade level on both state and district assessments.

March, 2014

A successful student-centered learning environment engages students in rigorous activities where they are able to try out their own ideas, make their own mistakes, and then learn from them. ST Math is designed to precisely deliver this type of individualized learning experience.

March, 2014

At Phoenix Academy located in southwest Detroit, children in Ms. Tanner’s Level 3 class are busy learning math. In one corner of the room, a half dozen students are sitting at computers. Over on the right, a small group of students are sitting on the floor with the teacher at the center. In the middle of the room, some students work in pairs, while others work independently.

March, 2014

At the Henry County (Ga.) Schools, the only constant over the past decade has been change. A booming economy in the Atlanta area has resulted in the district more than doubling in size. “We went from 19,000 students in the year 2000 to 41,000 today,” says Aaryn Schmuhl, assistant superintendent for learning and leadership services since 2011. “We’ve built 25 new schools during that time.”

March, 2014

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.

March, 2014

Jim Handschuch has been the principal of Lacey Township High School, which is part of the Lacey Township School District in Ocean County, New Jersey, since 2012. During his first year as principal, Handschuch found a steady stream of seniors wanting to drop out. With little to offer struggling students who simply did not have enough time to retake full courses required for graduation, Handschuch could not convince many of them to stay in school.

March, 2014

Teaching and learning have been transformed by a Digital Conversion at Mooresville (N.C.) Graded School District. Creating a blended learning environment has resulted in personalized, standards-based instruction and an increase in student engagement.

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