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TECH PREP—Building digital roller coasters and designing other prototypes introduces elementary students in Utica Community Schools in Michigan, above, to the virtual reality tools that they will likely use in college and their future careers in local industry.
5/24/2017

In four Utica Community elementary schools in metro Detroit, students as young as 10 manipulate and pull apart the organs of the body, build roller coasters, and design and test 3D prototypes.

From DA

CSI effect livens up science education

Ray Bendici
May, 2017
LAB WORK—Aspiring forensic biologists at Enochs High learn how to analyze fish DNA.

The forensic biotechnology pathway at James C. Enochs High School in Modesto City Schools, California, incorporates the science behind the popular CSI TV show to excite students about a career in the science behind criminal investigations. 

Vincent Matthews is K12 superintendent of San Francisco USD

DA Staff
May, 2017
Vincent Matthews, the new superintendent of San Francisco USD, previously served as state-appointed superintendent of Inglewood USD, as superintendent of San Jose USD and Oakland USD, and as area superintendent for San Diego City Schools.

Vincent Matthews has been named superintendent of San Francisco USD.

A home-like center to address suicide in K12

Shawna De La Rosa
May, 2017
WELCOME RESPITE—Wellness centers at Gunn High School, left, and Palo Alto High School, right, are designed to stem the number of teenage suicides in the U.S. The centers work to teach students certain skills to help cope with stress and personal problems.

There’s a new tool in the battle against student depression, anxiety and suicide—the in-school wellness center.

Start a preschool STEM education program

Jessica Ablamsky
May, 2017

Look for role models. Districts should find preschools that are already teaching STEM, consider what elements make it a strong program, and think about ways they could modify instruction for their own classrooms, says Phil Hampton, network director of VC STEM, an alliance of organizations working to enhance STEM instruction for students of all ages.

Education in ABCs and density

Jessica Ablamsky
May, 2017
PRESCHOOL AND PINE CONES—A preschool student at Hopkins Public Schools, above, is already learning how to inspect a pine cone with a magnifying glass as part of a lesson in STEM subjects.

Preschool math performance predicts future academic achievement more consistently than reading or attention skills, according to new research from New America and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop.

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Champaign Unit 4 School District in Illinois wanted to give its teachers a very clear pathway to evolve their math instruction to meet rigorous, Common Core state standards. 

District leaders were very happy with earlier results from McGraw-Hill’s Everyday Mathematics and saw Everyday Mathematics 4, its latest iteration, as an enticing solution, especially in teaching the Common Core state standards, according to Susan Zola, assistant superintendent for achievement, curriculum and instruction. 

Teachers at Calusa Elementary School in Boca Raton, Florida, are committed to making sure students meet rigorous state standards. Nevertheless, Calusa, which serves about 1,200 students in grades K5, was still struggling to monitor state standards. 

District Administration welcomed education policy expert Robert Balfanz for this web seminar about what the last 10 years of research has found when it comes to improving the most challenged and lowest-performing schools, as well as the implications of the Trump administration and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on these efforts.  Balfanz is research professor at the Center for the Social Organization of Schools at Johns Hopkins University School of Education, where he is co-director of the Talent Development Secondary reform model and director of the Everyone Graduates Center.&

Stacey McNinch-Curschman, the secondary curriculum director for Visalia USD in California, knew that as her district was ramping up its training efforts around Common Core standards for mathematics in 2013, as well as its own district-level curriculum changes, both administrators and teachers would need to be continually learning and improving themselves.

“If we work effectively as adults and we’re continually learning and continually improving, that’s going to net better results for kids,” says McNinch-Curschman, whose district has more than 27,000 students.

In the Wright City R-II School District in Missouri, the Wright City Academy provides online alternative education and credit recovery programs for at-risk high school students attending Wright City High School. In 2013, the academy began using Fuel Education original credit courses and credit recovery courses, helping the school meet a wide range of intervention and improvement needs while turning frustrated and unsuccessful students into motivated learners who take pride in their work and aspire to earn their high school diploma.