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Articles: Facilities

Tina H. Weaver is the director of administration for Madison County Public Schools in Virginia.

Five considerations for successfully incorporating transportation employees into behavioral intervention systems.

UPGRADED LEARNING SPACE—After being used for 16 years to teach photography, this classroom at Sunnyside High School has been transformed to accommodate CTE. Student collaboration is encouraged with easily movable and adjustable chairs and workstations.

When coursework shifted to a multimedia focus, Sunnyside High’s CTE classroom was remodeled to accommodate it and promote hand-on learning. The project included replacing traditional tables and chairs with movable workstations. 

Districts are building supports for students in foster care—from raising awareness, providing PD and creating special programs to adding specialized staff and even running permanent group homes.

What does the routing process look like at First Student?

At first, the class was like any other at Georgia’s Quitman County School District. Kids sat at desks while an adult lectured. Despite appearances, this was no ordinary lecture. Schneider Electric organized STEM activities for the kids in this Quitman County high school class. These activities are part of Quitman County’s energy performance contract with Schneider Electric and are designed to engage students in a STEM-inspired engineering shadowing program focused on energy conservation.

To prevent lunch debt from adding up, Diane Pratt-Heavner of the School Nutrition Association recommends:

Districts providing meals for any student who cannot pay may face an unintended consequence: massive debt, sometimes reaching into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

A1,100-student school district in Minnesota had been purchasing food supplies through a buying group of five other school systems—but it wasn’t efficient. “We would have to meet quite often,” says Director of Food Service Sandie Rentz of Wadena-Deer Creek Public Schools. “We wrote our own bids and market basket. Then we would go out for bidding and tabulate the results ourselves.”

To engage students with diverse interests, high schools are adding nontraditional sports such as flag football, bass fishing, sand volleyball, Ultimate Frisbee, orienteering and esports, to their lineups.

The recent shooting, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, has rekindled the hot debate about gun control in the United States.  Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), a proponent of more restrictions on firearms, argued, "This happens nowhere else, other than the United States of America. It only happens here not because of coincidence, not because of bad luck, but as a consequence of our inaction. We are responsible for a level of mass atrocity that happens in this country with zero parallel anywhere else."2

What are the top transportation challenges at school startup?

The biggest challenges are routes, drivers and buses. School bus routing is more complex than other routing. District routes can be affected by ongoing school enrollment and by families moving. During the summer, districts experience higher turnover in bus drivers, which can impact startup. Lastly, readying vehicles for service after sitting through the summer and preparing new incoming vehicles for service presents additional challenges.

The reach of K12 bulk purchasing and co-op agreements has expanded substantially as more districts join to save substantial amounts on everything from software to playground equipment, according to a recent AASA report.

To accommodate growth in enrollment, a renovated, expanded library and a new 8,840-square-foot wing with four classrooms now stand at Donaldson Primary School.

Looking to illustrate an abstract concept from a novel she’d read, an Oklahoma high school student turned to her building-level school librarian. Then, with the school librarian’s encouragement to tinker in the makerspace, the girl sculpted a clay model of a kneeling woman balancing a 3D-printed replica of the earth on her back.

Roberto Padilla is superintendent of the Newburgh Enlarged City School District in New York. Nancy Gutiérrez is chief strategy officer for the NYC Leadership Academy.

Turnaround leaders need to respond with urgency and make key changes quickly while establishing a vision and a strong team to carry out that vision.

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