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Articles: Teaching & Learning

Sandy Grove Middle School, part of Hoke County Schools in North Carolina, is the first energy-positive school in the nation to be financed by its own expected energy savings.

The 74,000-square-foot school opened to students in fall 2013, and was designed as a net-zero facility that produces more energy than it consumes. It will also meet LEED Gold standards.

3D printing offers multiple ways for students to get hands-on experience and to gain marketable skills before leaving high school

3D printing offers multiple ways for students to get hands-on experience and to gain marketable skills before leaving high school. Administrators must find ways to integrate the technology into existing courses or to enhance new class offerings.

Hiring and retaining talented teachers can be a challenge in any district. But finding recent teaching college graduates who are ready to excel in the classroom their very first year can be even more difficult.

Cave Creek USD had three unfilled teacher positions last year. This year, administrators are offering a signing bonus to attract new teachers to the area.

Many classrooms will remain without a permanent teacher this fall, as the teacher shortage becomes more severe in some states. Major enrollment drops in teacher prep programs signal worsening conditions in the coming years.

By the time a 220-pound linebacker gets in his way, a high school running back has built significant momentum. The resulting collisions have been described with metaphors involving rams, brick walls and Mack trucks.

Elizabeth Rose’s new book tells the story of a substitute teacher moved between schools each week in New York City.

When Elizabeth Rose’s teaching job was cut, she was presented with two options: leave the profession or substitute in a different Manhattan public high school each week. Rather than give in, Rose—who’s also a musician, writer and actor—took on the substitute challenge. It was “a temptation no storyteller could resist,” she says.

Dan Domenech

Collaboration is a 21st-century skill school leaders are trying to instill in students. What kind of collaboration can superintendents engage in to help run their districts at optimal effectiveness?
Collaborating with peers is one of the best ways a superintendent can gain insight into their own position. At AASA, the School Superintendents Association, one of our core goals is to connect school leaders who are dealing with similar issues so they can discuss shared problems and potential solutions.

Des Moines Public Schools Superintendent Thomas Ahart strives to bring equity, pride and higher achievement to a once-struggling district that is far more diverse than the rest of Iowa. A garden of multicolored poles students have installed outside one low-income school taunt would-be vandals and represents Ahart's belief in the transformative power of education.

Clockwise from top left: Kara S. Finnigan, Lesli C. Myers, Kevin McGowan and Shaun Nelms

Although the country is becoming increasingly diverse, our schools remain racially and economically segregated. High poverty schools with large proportions of students of color often have less experienced teachers, more transitory populations and challenges in providing a safe environment.

Rosetta Stone

English-language learners now comprise more than five percent of Cincinnati’s school population—which has grown more than 500 percent in the past five years.

Curriculum Associates

Improving the writing skills of all 6,500 students emerged as a top priority for the administrators of Mississippi’s Gulfport School District beginning in fall 2014. “We needed a resource that addressed the rigorous writing requirements of the Common Core, as well as one that would allow educators to teach writing in a systematic way,” says Patty Cooper, ELA Curriculum Specialist for Gulfport.

Audio Enhancement

Like most districts, increasing the graduation rate is a top priority in the School District of Palm Beach County. And with 187 schools and 183,000 students, the Florida district has a large challenge.

Since January, 19 states introduced legislation to require students take basic history exams. (Click to enlarge)

More states adopted legislation this term requiring high school students to pass a U.S. citizenship test in order to graduate, according to a June report from the Education Commission of the States.

Since January, 19 states introduced legislation based on the Civics Education Initiative, a project from the nonprofit Joe Foss Institute with a goal of requiring all high school students to pass a 100-question test on basic history and civic facts prior to graduation.

The 2014 annual survey of the American Psychological Association found that teens reported stress greater than did any other age group.

With that in mind, a new pilot study, published in the spring issue of the journal Advances in Mind-Body Medicine, describes how a stress-reduction/resiliency-building curriculum developed by the Benson-Henry Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital helped a group of Boston-area high school students significantly reduce anxiety.

STEM came alive in a rural Arizona district after a state grant led to a culture change.

Congress Elementary School District has just 115 students and is located 80 miles northwest of Phoenix. Superintendent and Principal Stephanie Miller received a three-year grant of $42,500 from Science Foundation Arizona and the Arizona STEM Network in 2012 to develop STEM programs and activities in the district.

The 1-to-1 district embarked on a STEM program that includes:

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