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Articles: Teaching & Learning

Erich May is the principal at McConnellsburg Middle and High School in Central Fulton School District in south-central Pennsylvania.

There is a kind of professional development that we rarely see but that many of us in school leadership could use. Some would call it coaching or mentoring, but what I’m describing is more specific—individualized instruction in an alternative setting off campus.

More and more districts are looking for ways to keep children of incarcerated parents from falling behind in class or winding up in the discipline pipeline.

MUCKING STALLS IN THE BIG CITY—Agriculture students at John Browne High School care for livestock, maintain a flock of laying hens, and grow food and ornamental plants when they’re not studying the details of agriculture. (Julie Fritsch)

Schools are increasingly adding agriculture education, or “ag ed”—about 12,000 agriculture educators teach programs in the U.S., says a National Association of Agricultural Educators survey.

Los Angeles USD and the New York City Department of Education both received electronic bomb threats on December 15, 2015. LAUSD called off school. New York students remained in class. Which district made the right call?

Serving Students Who Are Homeless is one of the four books on education DA promotes in this month's Noteworthy Books feature.

DA promotes four books about serving homeless students, inspiring disengaged kids, improving communication skills and studying personalized learning in K12.

Jon Saphier says policy-makers could create regulations that positively affect the levers of influence on what teachers do, such as teacher education and teacher certification.

As founder of Research for Better Teaching— an organization dedicated to improving instruction and leadership— Jon Saphier says underperforming students need to believe that “smart is something you can get.”

High school students in the tiny Magazine School District in Arkansas receive three hours of sex education a year in grades 9 through 12—an approach that Superintendent Brett Bunch acknowledges is inadequate. 

A variety of research indicates that an engaged and motivated student is more likely to be a high-achieving student. But what does student engagement look like in a digital environment? To keep all students motivated—especially those who struggle or are disengaged—educators need to ensure that engagement is built into the DNA of the curriculum. In a digital environment, engaged students experience more personalized learning and are more likely to actively participate in their learning.

NO MORE GPA IN EDUCATION—Graduates at Millard South High School in Omaha, Nebraska will no longer be ranked based on GPA in coming years. Administrators hope this will result in students focusing more on content and skills, rather than grades.

Millard Public Schools near Omaha, Nebraska, will switch to a college-like ranking system that designates graduates as magna cum laude, summa cum laude and cum laude.

SMILE EVERY DAY—Magazine second-graders brush their teeth during a wellness center event that promotes healthy living for K12 and the community.

Some parents of students in Magazine, Arkansas, can’t afford the gas to drive their sick child 50 miles to the nearest doctor, says Brett Bunch, superintendent of the town’s school district.

EDUCATION—J. Francis Manning is district superintendent and CEO of Onondaga Cortland Madison Board of Cooperative Educational Services in Syracuse, New York.

In 2013, the Onondaga Cortland Madison Board of Cooperative Educational Services (OCM BOCES) brought hands-on learning to the next level by embedding some of its state-endorsed career and technical education (CTE) programs at local businesses.

In the latest round of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) exam, given to more than 500,000 15-year-olds in 72 nations, students in the U.S. once again scored in the middle of the pack—and below average in math—raising concerns and sending educators looking for answers.

Ross Kasun is superintendent of Freehold Township Schools in New Jersey. Pamela Haimer is assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.

As a leader in a school system today, it can be difficult to make the choice to move forward with a districtwide change, knowing that the team around you may not fully endorse your decision.

"You can’t be afraid of what you don’t know or we’re never going to move forward in education, particularly when it comes to student voice." — Russell Quaglia

If you want to know what motivates students—and teachers and administrators, for that matter—Russell Quaglia says you have to go to the source.

Principal at Mott Hall Bridges Academy in Brooklyn, New York, Nadia Lopez, uses innovative methods to help students become more successful and help K12 instructors teach more effectively.

Principal at Mott Hall Bridges Academy in Brooklyn, New York, Nadia Lopez, uses innovative methods to help students become more successful and help K12 instructors teach more effectively. 

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