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Young adults in Fulton County, Georgia, who have learning and developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy and autism, continue to gain career support from their school district even after they’ve completed high school.

The Learning Independence for Employment (LIFE) program connects students age 18 to 22 with jobs at Atlanta-area employers, such as Georgia State University, Verizon Wireless, Kimberly-Clark Corporation and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.

Atlanta’s film industry has in recent years boomed to third place behind Los Angeles and New York City, and incoming studios noted a major skills gap when looking for videographers, scene constructors, prop creators and costume designers. Leaders of Fulton County Schools in Georgia responded

NextTier Education revolutionizes college application prep for North Carolina district

“When do you do what?” The counselors at Mooresville High School of Mooresville Graded Schools near Charlotte, North Carolina, heard that question often from college-bound students during the fall application season.

Robots Rev Up Classes: Advances in technology bring the use of more robots, like the one at the right, to K12 classrooms—to help students with everyday core subjects, or to cater to homebound students.

McKenna Smith, a high school student in Missouri’s Nixa Public Schools, had been unable to attend classes since elementary school because of chemotherapy treatment. But she didn’t miss as much interaction with teachers and classmates as she could have because she connected with them remotely—via robot.

NAVIGATING REFERRALS—Chris Walker, principal of Central High at Muncie Community Schools, works with Samantha Ivy, a family navigator at the school. Navigators in part handle referrals and intakes for students and families who may need behavioral health services, based on an assessment from a local mental health agency.

Here are three approaches to social-emotional learning

Washoe County Schools, Nevada

District social-emotional learning standards address five crucial competencies—self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and decision-making.

The district has defined indicators for development in each area, such as “demonstrates knowledge of personal strengths, challenges and potential.”

COMPASSION IN ACTION—At Johnston Elementary School in Buncombe County Schools, police officers spent time with students last summer after three shootings in the community. The school uses “compassionate response,” which in part means giving students specific duties to feel proud of themselves and valued by staff.

Educators across the country have boosted student performance by weaving social-emotional lessons—such as regulating emotion, accepting mistakes and coping with stress—into everyday instruction.

DA’s Districts of Distinction program, which honors innovative projects in America’s public school districts, will be showcased in a special annual edition of the magazine each July, starting in 2017.

Pamela Davis Smith is the principal of Highland View Elementary, a Title I school in Bristol, Virginia.

In a perfect world, every child would have access to food, shelter and clothing. They would have loving, attentive parents. They would arrive at school eager, focused and ready to learn. Unfortunately, our pre-K through 5 school, like a growing number of U.S. public schools, does not reside in that world.

Illinois Sen. Kimberly Lightford's bill would require schools to consider other disciplinary options, such as counseling and extracurricular programs, before a student can be suspended more than three days.

Illinois Sen. Kimberly Lightford sponsored a new state law that eliminates zero-tolerance discipline policies in schools.

For centuries now, we have come to believe that there is only one way for students to learn—come to school, sit at a desk, be taught by a teacher, and be tested. We’ve operated schools as if they were industrial factories, with teaching and learning practices that mimic assembly-line and batch-processing manufacturing. But we can no longer rely on the methods of the past. Today, we need more students achieving at high levels to ensure a more equitable and prosperous future for our communities.

For decades, “vocational” education prepared students for a newly industrialized workplace by training them for a specific occupational skill set. Today, Career and Technical Education (CTE) is open to all students, regardless of their career interests. Additionally, CTE helps train skilled workers that are essential in today’s high-growth industries. As skilled jobs become some of the hardest to fill in the U.S., schools around the country are turning to CTE to help train students for their future careers.

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.

 Students in Howard County’s health and engineering academies recreated motorized miniature cars, available on the market, to help preschool students with physical challenges have some fun.

A project for young children with physical challenges enabled a group of high school students in Howard County Public Schools’ allied health and engineering academies to tailor motorized miniature cars to improve accessibility for some of the district’s preschool students.

Model students: Students at Cupertino High School in California learn the basics of math modeling during an AoCMM workshop.

High school math classes focus traditionally on solving equations. The world of mathematical modeling emphasizes creating equations.

The nonprofit Association of Computational and Mathematical Modeling is developing a free mathematical modeling curriculum that it plans to share with teachers by early 2017. It will show students how to construct equations that solve complex real-world engineering, science and computing problems.

myON helps Tennessee district measure  reading by reading, leading to measured growth

When Christopher Marczak joined Maury County Public Schools in Tennessee as superintendent in fall 2015, he quickly realized that while every school in his district of 12,000 students was doing the best job possible, each had a vastly different approach to teaching literacy.