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Articles: Board of Education

To overcome the geographic, fiscal and cultural obstacles to educating their students in STEM, rural superintendents are tapping new funding sources, forming partnerships and exploiting technology.

What issues do your K-12 visitor management system clients want to address?

“Surprisingly, there are more tardies/early dismissals and staff check-ins than visitors in most schools. For example, in 2017, in 4,500 user schools, the Ident-A-Kid system logged an average of 2,020 tardies/early releases and 1,830 staff check-ins per year, per school, and only 960 visitors. Based on the sheer numbers, the impacts to funding and the requirement for accurate tracking, schools and districts are particularly interested in tardy and early dismissal management.”

EXPANDED CURRICULUM—California’s new LGBT curriculum now allows students to learn about the historical impact of LGBT contributors such as Walt Whitman, Willa Cather and Harvey Milk. (gettyimages.com: wynnter).

California students in fall 2018 will be the first in the U.S. to use textbooks that highlight the historical contributions made by people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

Rose L. Colby, a competency-based learning and assessment specialist, is the author of Competency-Based Education.

Rose L. Colby’s book Competency-Based Education introduces educators to a new model for anytime, anywhere schooling, and provides curriculum resources for redesigning the traditional structures of our schools.

The Illinois State Board of Education will determine each district’s financial status before distributing funds, in light of the revamping of state education funding. (Gettyimages.com: frankramspott).

Illinois has revamped state education funding to provide extra support to economically challenged K12 districts.

Managing leadership transitions is an organizational process with many moving parts, such as mentoring new leaders and engaging new employees throughout recruitment and onboarding.

Chicago is the first large urban district in the country to implement Learn.Plan.Succeed. (Gettyimages.com: miteemaus5).

Chicago Public Schools will require a new first-of-its-kind program to ensure all students leave high school with a post-graduation plan.

The challenge of finding curriculum materials in languages other than English is especially complex for districts embracing a growing trend: dual-language immersion programs, in which native English speakers join English language learners in studying academic subjects in two languages.

Many districts across the country struggle with increasing demographic homogeneity more than 60 years after the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education. 

BoardPaq eases management of board of  education agendas and minutes at Ohio district

Prior to summer 2015, the process of putting board meeting agendas in the hands of the board members of Mohawk Local Schools in Sycamore, Ohio, was entirely manual. Administrative Secretary Jackie Messersmith would type up agendas and file them in large binders, which also held agendas and minutes from previous meetings. The binders were then hand-delivered to each board member.

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.

Superintendent Michael Kuzniewski has increased graduation, testing and proficiency rates.

For decades, the J. Sterling Morton High School District in the Chicago suburbs was in bad shape. In 2008, when Michael Kuzniewski became superintendent, he vowed to change all that, with help from a new school board.

Plan divides the schools into an “old” district—a legal entity which will pay down debt over time—and a new debt-free district known as the Detroit Public Schools Community District, which will be given a $150 million startup loan from the state.

Georgia’s Gwinnett County Public Schools board and Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks, on right, work together to gain trust.

Although a strong partnership between school board and superintendent is widely seen as crucial to district success, administrators and the non-educators filling board seats do not always receive training in how a disparate group of individuals becomes an effective team.

Today’s education system is facing a debilitating threat in the form of a “trust deficit” that is undermining school and district leadership. As trust in our education leaders declines, so does student learning due to delayed education reform, decreased student achievement and fractured communities.

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