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The business of school air conditioning

When a classroom is sweltering, nobody is productive. More and more teaching days are being lost to hot, humid weather even though there is a way to mitigate the problem: air conditioning. But the challenge is justifying the cost of installation and maintenance at a time when competition for budget money is fierce.

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On alert, online

Only a handful of school districts attempt rigorous, round-the-clock monitoring of social media traffic to spot threats against their schools or students. Leaders in these districts say the extra level of security acts as an early-warning system that can prevent young people from hurting themselves or others.

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Go after college-and-career readiness grants

Data shows that nearly every racial and ethnic subgroup has seen a growth in graduation rates. There are lots of grants out there to continue the progress—make sure your district is ready to go after them.

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Teaching as it should be

In The Teaching Brain: An Evolutionary Trait at the Heart of Education, Vanessa Rodriguez and co-author Michelle Fitzpatrick go to the intersection of education, neuroscience and daily experience to explore how the mind of a teacher works, and more important, how it can be made more effective.

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Arizona students immersed in Spanish and Chinese

Immersing students at Cave Creek USD with foreign language catapulted them above state average test scores. Superintendent Debbi C. Burdick and the governing board launched a world language program that included Spanish and Chinese programs beginning in elementary school.

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A success story just outside Detroit

A mentorship program’s $200 incentive for academic achievement is motivating students in a district located in the heart of the declining automotive industry. "Champions of Wayne" was created by a school psychologist who mentored a handful of students and engraved their names on a trophy if they achieved an academic goal.

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Shift to anonymous apps creates new challenges

Parents have taken over Facebook and, to a lesser extent, Twitter. This has sent device-laden students flocking to social media apps such as Instagram, SnapChat and Yik Yak, and the shift has created new challenges for administrators trying to root out cyberbullying and threats of violence.

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Superintendent harnesses technology in Presidio ISD

Presidio ISD, a remote, Title I, poverty-stricken Texas border district with a 98 percent Hispanic population, didn’t let limited financial resources block its goal of cultivating college-going ambitions among its nearly 1,400 students.

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Enterprise learning advances achievement

When four South Carolina districts joined forces in 2013 to compete for a federal Race to the Top grant, their shared educational vision was clear: Teach students to be creative innovators and independent learners. The challenge was finding a model to encompass all the sweeping changes they wanted to implement.

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Forging strong school relationships

Although a strong partnership between the school board and superintendent is widely seen as crucial to district success, administrators and the non-educators filling board seats do not always receive training in how a disparate group of individuals becomes an effective team.

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