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Articles: At-Risk

CLEANING UP ATTENDANCE—Thanks to commercial partner programs, such as Care Counts, at-risk students can wash their clothes and are less likely to miss school.

Districts have been installing laundry facilities at schools in low-income neighborhoods, since many at-risk students from these areas often do not have regular access to clean clothes, and as a result, skip school.

Michael Cohen is director of innovation at Yevisha University of Los Angeles Boys School in California

Michael Cohen, printmaking and design expert turned educator, says district leaders can use design thinking to address systemic issues such as high dropout rates and poor student engagement.

Across the country, districts are cutting chronic absenteeism with an array of strategies—some as simple as mailing letters to parents, and others as complex as offering counseling, mentoring and support services.

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.

These district solutions serve as models for other districts, and cover the K12 spectrum, from English language learners to dropout prevention to data-driven decision-making to water conservation.

The 45 schools and systems recognized by this year’s District of Distinction program have created homegrown initiatives to support students’ social-emotional development, to provide powerful new opportunities for career-focused STEM learning and to improve the skills of educators.

Districts and community organizations now provide transportation, meals, summer lessons and family activities to prepare children for kindergarten reading.

Matthew Mayer (pictured), along with Shane Jimerson, shaped a detailed, eight-point call to action to prevent gun violence in the U.S.. Several large school districts, among others, have signed on to support.

Matthew Mayer and Shane Jimerson shaped a detailed, eight-point call to action to prevent gun violence in the U.S.. Several large school districts, among others, have signed on to support.

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.

Dallas ISD’s morning drop-in centers for homeless high school students provide necessities such as take-home food, hygiene products and a place to wash clothes.

Rose Aldubaily is director of English learners and compensatory education, and Glenn Maleyko is superintendent of Dearborn Public Schools in Michigan.

Striving to ensure the implementation of best practices that support all learners is critical to academic achievement for diverse populations.

REACHING AT-RISK STUDENTS—Through Berkeley Township’s Project Reach, at-risk students can participate in Camp Paw, a summer program that provides extra learning opportunities, including reading and STEM activities.

A combination of grants, donations, and discounted materials and services from the community led to the creation of Berkeley Township School District's Project Reach program for at-risk students.

A new movement that promises closer cooperation between higher ed and K12 aims to end this legacy of passing the buck.

The new New York curriculum will help students and teachers recognize the signs of a potential problem, and reduce the associated stigma. (Gettyimages.com: highwaystarz-photohgraphy).

Most states have laws mandating health education in primary and secondary schools, but New York will be the first to emphasize mental health instruction for all grades.

Verletta White is interim superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools.

Districts are increasingly tasked with providing options for at-risk and underserved student populations to address persistent achievement gaps.

Bill Santarsiero is principal of Morris Street Elementary School in Danbury, Connecticut.

Under principal Bill Santarsiero’s leadership, Morris Street Elementary School became one of 30 schools nationwide to earn a National Blue Ribbon from the U.S. Department of Education for closing the achievement gap.

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