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From DA

To engage students with diverse interests, high schools are adding nontraditional sports such as flag football, bass fishing, sand volleyball, Ultimate Frisbee, orienteering and esports, to their lineups.

The recent shooting, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, has rekindled the hot debate about gun control in the United States.  Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), a proponent of more restrictions on firearms, argued, "This happens nowhere else, other than the United States of America. It only happens here not because of coincidence, not because of bad luck, but as a consequence of our inaction. We are responsible for a level of mass atrocity that happens in this country with zero parallel anywhere else."2

During Noel Petrosky’s 12 years at different Saint Marys Area School District elementary schools, she saw assessment data accurately predict student performance on state tests and inform instruction that led to student growth. That wasn’t the case at Saint Marys Area Middle School when she became principal two years ago.

“I thought, ‘I can’t go into a system not knowing what my students are capable of,’ ” recalls Petrosky, who wanted to establish a multi-tier system of supports (MTSS) framework at her middle school in rural northwestern Pennsylvania.

Why is personalized learning so important?

Marcy: It leverages a student’s interests, their strengths, then tailors instruction to their specific needs and goals.

Rich: It gets into predictive analytics. Traditionally the analytics type of reporting is a look at what has been happening. Personalized learning is looking at what is going to happen.

Twenty-six states have digital learning repositories where vetted, curated instructional content and material is available to all educators in the state.

Recent school shootings in Florida and Texas have driven interest in specialized policies that prevent costs from piling up after a crisis.

Robert Sexton has worked with school-based tech for more than 15 years, so there’s not much he hasn’t seen. “Kids are pretty ingenious; keeping up with them is a challenge,” says Sexton, currently the director of technology for Olentangy Local School District, just north of Columbus, Ohio.

That challenge is mitigated by the district’s secret weapon—AristotleInsight::K12by Sergeant Laboratories, which tracks every digital move students make and alerts the district of potential problems.

What are the top transportation challenges at school startup?

The biggest challenges are routes, drivers and buses. School bus routing is more complex than other routing. District routes can be affected by ongoing school enrollment and by families moving. During the summer, districts experience higher turnover in bus drivers, which can impact startup. Lastly, readying vehicles for service after sitting through the summer and preparing new incoming vehicles for service presents additional challenges.

Externship programs offer hands-on experience and the opportunity for creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication that better inform instruction and boost teacher confidence.

The reach of K12 bulk purchasing and co-op agreements has expanded substantially as more districts join to save substantial amounts on everything from software to playground equipment, according to a recent AASA report.

To accommodate growth in enrollment, a renovated, expanded library and a new 8,840-square-foot wing with four classrooms now stand at Donaldson Primary School.

Augmented reality

Brain Power is a digital coach that empowers children and adults with autism to teach themselves social and cognitive skills. http://www.brain-power.com/  

NuEyes is a lightweight, wireless, head-worn, voice activated device for the visually impaired https://nueyes.com/  

Doreen McSain, Glenwood Elementary School, has been named principal of the year by the School Administrators Association of New York.

Principal Doreen McSain of Glenwood Elementary School welcomes canines into her school to encourage her students to read to them.

A flexible plastic box printed from a school’s 3D printer could hold the answer to keeping first responders safe from exposed needles in the midst of an opioid epidemic that has affected communities nationwide.

Over the course of four months, a group of design/modeling students at Ashland Middle School in Kentucky created the needle retriever prototype, incorporating feedback from local police chiefs, health departments and other emergency personnel. Technology educators at Shawnee State University taught students about how the box could be mass produced.

COMPETITIVE CREATIONS—The inaugural Game Design Expo at Evergreen Public Schools (Washington) showcased student skill and creativity.

Producing a story, game or interactive app for a game design expo motivated Vancouver, Washington, students to solve challenges and to explore computer science careers.

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