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Superintendent Casey Wardynski says students' social media accounts are review only if the district receives a tip.

Superintendent Casey Wardynski of Huntsville City Schools in Alabama said in September the district has reviewed social media accounts of some 600 students since January to respond to potential threats.

Students are investigated only if school officials receive a tip, he says. The monitoring came to light after the National Security Agency alerted the district to a potential threat a student made against a teacher on Twitter.

Superintendent Grayling Tobias of the Hazelwood School District in St. Louis County, Mo.

Superintendent Grayling Tobias of the Hazelwood School District in St. Louis County, Mo., started school as planned in August, despite the recent death of an unarmed 18-year-old who was shot multiple times in a confrontation with police in Ferguson, Mo.

Tobias arranged for extra police patrols at all buildings, and asked principals, social workers and counselors to be visible for students who need to talk or express their feelings.

Frank DeAngelis had been principal of Columbine High School in Colorado since 1996. After the shooting of April 1999, he promised the then-ninth grade class he would not leave until they graduated.

Frank DeAngelis, principal of Columbine High School in Colorado, retired in June. He had been the principal since 1996. After the shooting of April 1999, he promised the then-ninth grade class he would not leave until they graduated. In 2012, he graduated students who were in kindergarten at the time of the shooting.

New Hartford Superintendent Beth Schiavino-Narvaez was formerly deputy superintendent in Montgomery County Schools in Maryland.

Beth Schiavino-Narvaez, a deputy superintendent in Montgomery County Schools in Maryland, was named superintendent of Hartford Public Schools in Connecticut in April. She has worked in Montgomery County since 2011, where she oversees the district’s 202 schools and supervises principals. She will start the job in Hartford on July 1.

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?

In "Reading in the Wild," author and reading expert Donalyn Miller focuses on how to instill lifelong reading habits in students.

Reading in the Wild: The Book Whisperer’s Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits

Jossey-Bass

In this follow-up to her best-selling book “The Book Whisperer,” author and reading expert Donalyn Miller focuses on how to instill lifelong reading habits in students. Based in part on survey responses from adult and student readers, this book offers strategies on how to develop and encourage the key habits that lead to a lifelong love of reading. Also included are lesson plans and recommended book lists for students.

Matt Saferite, principal at Ramay Junior High School in the Fayetteville Public Schools, meets with ninth grade teacher Susan Whitley, using a new teacher evaluation system to start beneficial conversations with teachers.

As secondary school principals guide their schools and teachers through a myriad of changes, it’s becoming necessary for these leaders to reinvent themselves. No longer can principals succeed by operating only as a manager—the evolving school environment requires a more extensive approach.

To develop the skills necessary to be effective in the evolving environment of today’s schools, principals have several places to turn. Here are some ideas:

A principal’s job is only getting harder, according to the latest MetLife Survey of the American Teacher. A whopping 75 percent of principals feel the job has become too complex, and job satisfaction rates decreased nine percentage points in less than five years, to just 59 percent. And seven in 10 principals say their job responsibilities are very different from what they were five years ago.

The American Association of School Administrators is doing its part to improve leadership development. Between January and May, AASA consultants are providing professional development for principals and assistant principals in the Prince George’s County (Md.) Public Schools.

“People are thirsty for an opportunity to learn everything that belongs to their jobs, from budget and finances to curriculum and instruction to school operations,” says AASA Director of Leadership Development MaryAnn Jobe.

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