Spotlight Story

WEB WISDOM—Educators in the Central Valley School District in Washington realize students can’t be kept off the internet or social media forever. The goal at the district—and in an increasing number of school systems—is to show students how to behave responsibly in the digital world.
7/21/2017

Fast disappearing from schools are internet “lock and block” policies that keep students off social media and restrict them to carefully curated websites. Even with sophisticated filters and firewalls, today’s learners carry all the access in the world in their back pockets.

From DA

Angela Pascopella
July, 2017
In Districts of Distinction, honored districts from 23 states were chosen for the national recognition program for their innovative and unique twist on traditional programs.

From providing a range of innovative initiatives, including social-emotional learning programs to giving English language learners quality support, 54 school districts have been named among DA’s newest batch of Districts of Distinction this year.

Amanda Martinez
July, 2017
The future of fidget spinners remains uncertain for the 2017-18 school year. (Gettyimages.com: J2R).

Whirling fidget spinners invaded classrooms across the country this past spring, but with many schools banning them as a distraction, their future as a potential remedy for students with attention difficulties is in doubt.

DA Staff
July, 2017
Superintendent of School District of Clay County Addison Davis appointed 12 new principals.

Addison Davis, superintendent of the School District of Clay County in Florida, appointed 12 new principals for eight elementary schools, two junior high schools and two high schools to improve teaching and learning.

Jessica Ablamsky
July, 2017

The growing and dangerous perception among some that America is a post-racial society is fueling the transition back to separate but equal schools.

Jessica Ablamsky
July, 2017

A federal judge ruled last spring that the predominantly white city of Gardendale, Alabama, may secede from its more diverse county school district—even though the judge saw racial motivations behind the city’s efforts.

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Hopkins Public Schools, with 7,200 students in K12 near the Twin Cities in Minnesota, was having a problem with an increasing demand for substitute teachers during the 2013-14 school year and being unable to maintain a steady supply of candidates.

Human resources staff from the district had to recruit, hire, train and manage substitute teachers, according to Nik Lightfoot, assistant superintendent and director of administrative services.  

When Teasley Middle School in Cherokee County, Georgia, opened for the 2013-14 school year, teachers and administrators were looking for an opportunity to help students in grades 6 through 8 better understand STEM learning content. 

Teasley is a Title I school with more than half of its students receiving free or reduced lunch. It also has the highest percentage of English language learners and students with disabilities among middle schools in Cherokee County School District, which has 41,800 students and is 40 minutes north of Atlanta.

Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District, near Madison, Wisconsin, was facing the potential loss of a large number of substitute teachers about four years ago. The pool of substitutes was filled with retired teachers. Due to changes in retirement benefits, retired teachers would not be able to concurrently collect retirement benefits and work as substitute teachers in Middleton-Cross Plains. 

Best practices in reading instruction are always evolving, as researchers are constantly learning how to better support early literacy, particularly for young readers and struggling readers. Recent years have brought more changes to how phonics instruction is emphasized in reading curriculum. Many educators who taught during the Reading First era and later within the Common Core are uncertain about how to best support strong phonics instruction, and thus how to lay the foundation for reading success in their districts.

Literacy is essential for success in school, but when students at the middle and high school levels continue to struggle with reading, the consequences can be lifelong. Struggling adolescent readers are more likely to have discipline or behavioral issues, to have lower academic achievement overall and to drop out of school.