When Rio Grande City Consolidated ISD introduced a digital reading program two years ago, some teachers balked at student assessments being performed by a computer. Those concerns abated as teachers saw increased proficiency for the 4,100 students using Istation Reading and Istation Español, says Serapio Trillayes, executive director for curriculum and instruction for the district, which is located in South Texas, near the Mexican border.
Peter DeWitt is a professional development coach and the creator of Collaborative Leadership, a PD service that combines transformational and instructional leadership, and that includes ways to engage the school community with a focus on learning.
Collaborative Leadership is a series of one to four workshops focusing on research-based influences that can foster a supportive and inclusive school climate, increase academic and social-emotional learning, and maximize the efficacy of every school stakeholder.
Looking to illustrate an abstract concept from a novel she’d read, an Oklahoma high school student turned to her building-level school librarian. Then, with the school librarian’s encouragement to tinker in the makerspace, the girl sculpted a clay model of a kneeling woman balancing a 3D-printed replica of the earth on her back.
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.
A K8 school district in Southern California was focusing efforts on increasing the proficiency of its English language learners, a population that makes up 32 percent of its students. It also sought to reclassify as many ELLs as possible before middle school—a time when the defeatist mindset usually sets in.