Spotlight Story

Since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, K12 students face suspension before expulsion when found in possession of the drug. (GettyImages.com: Traffic_Analyzer)
12/9/2016

Superintendents in states that passed referendums legalizing marijuana in November are pressing for more clear legal guidance on how to best address issues like drug possession. They also say more research is needed on the possible impacts of marijuana legalization on K12 academic achievement.

“I don’t think anyone has any clear answers at this point—there’s a lot to learn,” says Tom Scott, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents. “What are the rights schools have toward students or personnel who might have used during the day or prior to the school day? Is it treated the same way as alcohol? What are the legal options?”

From DA

Sketch of School Life: Inspiring medical career dreams

Ariana Fine
December, 2016
Dr. Niloufar Tehrani discusses the cranium and the location of the bones on Walden, the class skeleton. (Photo: Marcia Reed)

LAUSD’s 186th Street School jumps at a chance to expose primarily low-income students to the possibilities of a medical science career when a local health care provider offers a science enrichment curriculum for gifted-and-talented fifth-graders.

Spotlight on school solutions

Ray Bendici
December, 2016

This year, District Administration’s Readers’ Choice Top 100 Products features selections from more than 1,500 nominations that range from cutting-edge student information systems and cloud-based security to innovative gamification software and state-of-the-art classroom projectors.

A superintendent's advanced aspirations

Angela Pascopella
December, 2016
Superintendent Yolanda Valdez rallied community support in raising the graduation rate in her Central California district from 76 percent to 92 percent.

Superintendent Yolanda Valdez takes messaging seriously. Not emoji-filled texts or IMs, but messages that convey a goal for 4,000-plus students at Cutler-Orosi Joint USD in rural California: That they will attend college.

Product Focus: Life skills 101

Ray Bendici
December, 2016

K12 educators increasingly embrace life skills curricula that promote social-emotional learning, mindfulness, problem-solving and other soft skills. Many districts no longer view such programs as “nice to have,” but as essential components of overall instruction.

Sponsored content

Classrooms in Missouri schools use PowerGistics towers for convenient storage of 1-to-1 technology

An in-school Chromebook 1-to-1 program allows the 3,500 students of Confluence Academy Charter Schools in Saint Louis—only 6 percent of whom have internet access at home—to have access to more personalized learning. When Marcy Dotson, instructional technology coordinator, began planning in spring 2014 for the initial rollout, she knew she needed a practical solution for storing the devices in the classrooms.

Is it possible to help low-performing high school students avoid remedial classes in college reading and writing? Leaders in many states believe it is indeed possible and are now offering or requiring “college prep” or “college transition” courses in high school. These courses are designed to ensure that low-performing students will have the reading and writing skills they need when they graduate from high school.

Built on proven best practices, and based on decades of firsthand instructional experience, the Dixon Nolan Adams Mathematics resources from Solution Tree focus on taking approaches to professional development that can enhance the knowledge, skills and effectiveness of mathematics teachers, promoting deeper student understanding and improving student achievement.

The maker movement is poised to transform K12 learning. Makerspaces—workshop areas that provide tools and raw materials for students to invent, create, collaborate and learn—reinforce STEM skills and enable more authentic learning. While there are a variety of ways to design and build makerspaces, there are some key strategies administrators can employ to ensure their program is successful.

Educators in the Clark County School District in Las Vegas find success using Everyday Mathematics every day

When the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada, wants to turn around elementary schools, it looks to Principal John Haynal. He’s already improved outcomes at two elementary schools in this, the country’s fifth largest school district. In Clark County’s Franchise School program, principals who have demonstrated academic growth supervise an additional school using the same or similar practices that have led to success while continuing to supervise their original or “flagship” school.