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Districts must start crunching the numbers based on their state regulations to meet the ESSA mandate. (Gettyimages.com: alex_doubovitsky).

In light of a looming ESSA mandate to increase transparency around education spending, district leaders have been struggling to calculate per-pupil spending by school in accordance with state and federal requirements.

FINDING THEIR VOICES—Students from the New Haven Urban Debate League in Connecticut are among those across the nation who have been learning the speaking and presentation skills necessary for productive public engagement.

A number of schools nationwide are committed to teaching skills coaches say will last a lifetime, including how to maintain eye contact and ask meaningful questions.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids hopes the federal government will take stronger action to restrict sales of the devices, such as raising the legal purchasing age to 21. (Gettyimages: martinedoucet).

District leaders have taken a wide range of responses to curb the alarming increase in students’ use of vaping devices and e-cigarettes.

Here’s how schools and districts overcome six potential pitfalls after adopting self-paced learning.

Sam Frenzel is a writer for Teach.com based in upstate New York. He covers topics including education policy, teacher welfare and classroom technology.

Many teachers are forced into using technology they are unfamiliar or uncomfortable using. Administrators should do all they can to help teachers overcome this. Here are four keys to supporting and engaging teachers.

There’s no shortage of programs that can help make your district’s busing routes more efficient.

The best part is that you don’t need a supercomputer to use them.

BusBoss Professional


Link to main story: Schools pursue better directions

Turning right on a red light is part of the driving landscape in all 50 states, but school buses generally wait for green.

Many states prohibit a right turn on red for a school bus, but Florida’s Manatee County just started a pilot program that lets drivers of the district’s 150 buses go right on red, potentially saving 10 to 20 minutes per route.

While this one change might cut valuable minutes off a bus route, in some places it’s not as simple as it sounds.

LEANER & GREENER—An MIT supercomputer remapped bus routes for Boston Public Schools (above). The district trimmed its fleet by 50 vehicles, saved about $4 million and cut carbon dioxide emissions.

The techniques for streamlining bus transportation range from a variety of off-the shelf routing programs to relying more on an administrator’s experience with local conditions.

Monica Burns is an edTech and curriculum consultant, author, and former classroom teacher. Her book "Tasks Before Apps: Designing Rigorous Learning in a Tech-Rich Classroom" was published by ASCD in 2017.

As you consider using social media to connect with students and families, or look to refine your current commitment, here are four tips for connecting with your school community through these online platforms.

PROOF OF PURCHASE—Educators at Dysart USD must justify the learning value of all technology purchases, such as the laptop (above) being used by a student at Sonoran Heights Elementary School.

Administrators now strive to align strong technology plans with district strategic goals.

All districts face employee issues. Some have learned better than others how to address problems early, before they erupt.

Educators and psychologists propose a host of explanations for the apparent uptick in student anxiety. Some point to public events – terrorism, school shootings, opioid addiction, the coarsening of political discourse in the age of Trump.

Others blame technology—devices that substitute electronic contact for face-to-face interaction, and social media that transform school-hours drama into a 24-7 preoccupation.

Still others look to family dysfunction, or pressure to match parental achievements. “The anxiety comes from so many different sources.

the best medicine—A “laughter yoga” session reduces student stress in the West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District in New Jersey. The district has also provided PD to show teachers how to conduct meditation and breathing exercises to ease their own and students’ anxiety.

Across the country, districts are grappling with rising levels of student anxiety attributed to everything from academic pressures to larger social forces. 

Daniel Koretz, one of the nation’s foremost experts on education testing, is the Henry Lee Shattuck professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and author of "The Testing Charade: Pretending to Make Schools Better."

In The Testing Charade: Pretending to Make Schools Better, Daniel Koretz says the pressure to raise achievement test scores often leads to outright cheating.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy / Source: Orlando Utilities Commission

Faced with tight budgets and the expanding use of electricity-hungry technology, districts are turning to energy efficiency solutions that don’t sacrifice learning power.

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