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Articles: Guidance

HANDS-ON TECH—Students at Paulding County High School use high-tech equipment in peer-reviewed research projects as part of their biotech learning pathway.

In Georgia, students in Paulding County High School’s biotechnology career pathway program use atomic absorption spectrometers, lectroporators, nano-injectors, micro-manipulators and other advanced equipment.

FOOD FRIENDS—Students at Top of the World Elementary School in Laguna Beach USD donate lunch items that are either served as snacks in after-school programs or shared with a local food pantry.

Many schools are devising successful strategies and programs to redistribute, recycle and conserve cafeteria food and other, non-organic waste.

A project by the University of Wyoming allows college students to fine-tune their teaching skills with a roomful of virtual students animated by an actor.

Dyslexia is not correlated with intelligence, says Richard Wagner, associate director of the Florida Center for Reading Research and a professor of psychology at Florida State University.

“If you’re reading at a level at which you do everything else, it’s probably not dyslexia,” Wagner says.

“If you’re reading below the level at which you do other things, it’s more likely to be dyslexia.”

Educators know that most dyslexic students will need interventions and accommodations throughout school, but best practices continue to evolve as more is learned about this reading disability.

Many states have enacted laws and guidelines spelling out how schools can help students with dyslexia.

Such laws vary by state.

According to understood.org, a website on learning and attention issues founded by 15 nonprofit organizations, they generally address issues such as:


Link to main story: How schools are disrupting dyslexia

Thomas A. Wilson is superintendent of Anderson School District Five in South Carolina.

Some school leaders can get so ingrained in a position that they are blind to the external and internal factors that impact a school community, which is just as detrimental to a school as the revolving door mentality.

GUIDING LIGHT—Principal Marc Martin greets students at Commodore John Rodgers School, a K8 building in Baltimore. Educators at the school, which has achieved a dramatic turnaround in performance, are now mentoring their counterparts at three of the city’s most troubled schools.

Three chronically underperforming Baltimore City Public Schools are now getting intensive, hands-on guidance from educators at a fourth district school that has achieved a dramatic turnaround.

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

At Hamilton Southeastern School District, Michael Beresford is assistant superintendent of staff and student services and Brooke Lawson is district mental health coordinator.

District Mental Health Coordinator Brooke Lawson and Assistant Superintendent of Staff and Student Services Michael Beresford discuss the challenges of addressing mental health issues.

Applications are due at the end of each school year. Schools should have at least 300 students who can participate in experiments.

Projects can be combined and shared across more than one district.

If accepted, they must devise a designated amount of money to fund the project through a fundraiser and/or grants.

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.

Chris Wolk is the principal at Avon Center School in Round Lake Beach, Illinois. He is a regional director for the Illinois Principal Association and a certified principal mentor with the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

Principal preparation programs continue to place more demands on candidates, in some cases requiring a yearlong internship. 

Alex Fertig is a psychologist for the Parsippany Troy Hills School District in New Jersey. He can be reached at afertig@pthsd.net. Ray W. Christner is a psychologist with Cognitive Health Solutions.

Our goal with this column is not to imply that school administrators should take on the role of mental health professionals, but instead it is to impart information on strategies, based on the principles of cognitive behavior therapy, or CBT. 

OPEN PRESS—Students who write news stories at Kirkwood High School have freedom. Writing without needing administrator approval on stories teaches the full scope of the First Amendment, the principal says.

Neither Principal Mike Havener nor any of his administrators preview stories the students at Kirkwood High School produce for their TV broadcast, or for The Kirkwood Call newspaper or its website.

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