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Articles: Teaching & Learning

Research regarding the effectiveness of random drug testing of students at school is scarce and inconsistent.

About 27 percent of high schools nationwide have a form of student drug testing. Some schools also perform “reasonable suspicion” testing on students who show evidence of illegal drug use, which can include abnormal behavior or physical symptoms.

In Monroe County School District in Mississippi, the superintendent is elected. But the board, above, has a working document in place, which means whoever is elected immediately becomes familiar with the district’s past work and future direction—and is ready to lead.

In many school districts today, hiring practices for administrative leaders often consist of “replacement filling”—or, waiting for a position to open up before searching for candidates. But a successful succession often requires more proactive planning.

Matthew Peterson, CEO and co-founder of Mind Research Institute, is intent upon transforming the perception of math from intimidating to something that’s exciting and approachable. And the Math Fair is integral to this effort, giving attendees plenty of fun, hands-on mathematical experiences.

Clark County School District Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky has tasked successful principals with the management of multiple schools.

Pat Skorkowsky, superintendent of Clark County School District in Nevada, has expanded a franchise principal concept in which successful principals take over management of multiple schools, replicating the same educational approach in each.

Following a successful pilot last year with two principals, the initiative involves training a core of administrative leaders who can continue to implement the policies and goals that have been working at each school.

Most students perform either above or below grade level—rather than on it. (Click to enlarge)

A leading gifted-and-talented expert once believed the number of students who performed above grade level was between 5 and 15 percent. But a new study shows the number is much higher.

The maker movement is poised to transform K12 learning. Makerspaces—workshop areas that provide tools and raw materials for students to invent, create, collaborate and learn—reinforce STEM skills and enable more authentic learning. While there are a variety of ways to design and build makerspaces, there are some key strategies administrators can employ to ensure their program is successful.

Built on proven best practices, and based on decades of firsthand instructional experience, the Dixon Nolan Adams Mathematics resources from Solution Tree focus on taking approaches to professional development that can enhance the knowledge, skills and effectiveness of mathematics teachers, promoting deeper student understanding and improving student achievement.

Is it possible to help low-performing high school students avoid remedial classes in college reading and writing? Leaders in many states believe it is indeed possible and are now offering or requiring “college prep” or “college transition” courses in high school. These courses are designed to ensure that low-performing students will have the reading and writing skills they need when they graduate from high school.

 One child in five has had or will have a “seriously debilitating mental disorder,” according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Educators in Virginia’s Fairfax County Public Schools intend to remove the obstacles that prevent students who have severe social anxiety from attending school, a phenomenon known as “school refusal behavior.”

Serious shortages in math, science and special education teachers have been reported in more than 40 states, and more than 30 states are seeing serious shortages for ELL teachers. The biggest shortages are in schools that serve low-income and minority students.

There is an increased demand nationally for dual-language programs in Portuguese, German, French and Mandarin. (Gettyimages.com: nito100)

Foreign language instruction is moving toward a proficiency-based approach. Today’s students need to develop interpretive, presentational and interpersonal skills, moving beyond conjugating verbs and memorizing vocabulary.

Teacher Ron Hustvedt is selling a smart product.

In his classroom at the Salk STEM Magnet School in Elk River School District in Minnesota, Hustvedt encourages his history students to buy into his brand of inquiry-based learning.

This year’s National Council of the Social Studies Outstanding Teacher of the Year at the middle school level says his students are learning about people, places, viewpoints and character, among other lessons.

Inquiry-based instruction allows teachers to translate the C3 framework for social studies standards into hands-on classroom lessons (Gettyimages.com: Henrik Jonsson)

Technology is quickly becoming a popular tool in social studies classrooms as teachers find ways to make history come alive for their students, who simultaneously learn about content and improve their technology skills.

Tim Long is superintendent of Jay County Schools in Indiana.

The Jay County Promise program encourages our district’s young people to continue their education beyond high school by providing a 529 college savings plan to each K3 student. Since launching the program, about 70 percent of our kids now start school with their own college savings account.

Young adults in Fulton County, Georgia, who have learning and developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy and autism, continue to gain career support from their school district even after they’ve completed high school.

The Learning Independence for Employment (LIFE) program connects students age 18 to 22 with jobs at Atlanta-area employers, such as Georgia State University, Verizon Wireless, Kimberly-Clark Corporation and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.

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