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Articles: Parents

Ken Trump (ken@schoolsecurity. org) is the president of National School Safety and Security Services.

How can administrators prepare staff with best practices and reasonable emergency plans? How can you communicate safety to your parents in a social media world on digital steroids?

As the internet and social media become entrenched in classrooms, more schools teach students how to behave responsibly online and how to gauge the credibility of the web’s resources.

Crafting a strong and well-balanced social media policy requires considerable time and effort. The policy must be flexible enough to accommodate new tech trends yet thorough and specific.

Source: National Institute  for Early Education Research

Big city districts are taking the lead in funding pre-K programs as states work more slowly to expand access.

The U.S. Department of Education has until January to approve or deny Iowa’s plan. If approved, Iowa plans to conduct the survey annually beginning in spring 2018.

Iowa intends to survey students on school climate as part of its Every Student Succeeds (ESSA) accountability plan.

At four elementary schools in Idaho’s Boise School District, families in need can go to specially designated community rooms to pick up food, clothing and other necessities.

States that require recess in elementary school

Connecticut: 20 minutes of supervised recess daily, preferably outdoors

Indiana: Daily physical activity that may include the use of recess

Missouri: Minimum of one 20-minute recess period


Link to main story: Lawmakers requiring more recess in schools

Many schools offering recess provide 15 to 25 minutes of unstructured play daily. (Gettyimages.com: monkeybusinessimages).

A small but growing number of states are requiring school districts to provide recess. Pending legislation in Massachusetts would require schools to provide at least 20 minutes of daily recess in K5.

SHORTAGE SOLUTION?—The Vail School District in Arizona has taken advantage of a new state law that allows it to hire instructors who have expertise in certain fields but who don’t have traditional teaching credentials.

Fourteen teachers in Utah’s Ogden School District reached the classroom via a nontraditional, perhaps looser route.

Schools connected to overseas U.S. military bases often try to restrict class sizes—to about 18 or 20 pupils—so teachers can develop closer relationships with their students.

A teacher’s primary obligation is to make sure newcomers integrate into their classes as quickly as possible, says Amy Peaceman, who recently retired after 41 years of teaching in Department of Defense schools.

Military-connected students—compared to civilian classmates—have moderately elevated rates of just about all risk factors, including suicidal thoughts, substance abuse and bullying.

The federal Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) allows districts in low-income areas to serve free breakfast and lunch to students without collecting household applications. (Gettyimages.com: asiseelt).

The New York City Department of Education announced in September that all public school students will now receive free lunch. 

Linda Cliatt-Wayman was assistant superintendent for all the high schools in Philadelphia before taking the role of principal at the notorious Strawberry Mansion High School.

As the principal who changed two low-performing and violent Philadelphia high schools into safe spaces focused on learning, Linda Cliatt-Wayman developed a program of high expectations.

RELIEF FOR SCHOOLS—Roy Garcia, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD associate superintendent, helps organize classroom supplies donated to Moore Elementary School teachers in September. (Cypress-Fairbanks ISD).

School officials in more than 200 southeastern Texas districts were struggling early last month to recover from Hurricane Harvey.

Text messages are one of the most effective ways to keep high school students on track once they’ve begun the college application and enrollment process.

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