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When it comes to data analytics, Maribeth Luftglass,CIO at Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia, focuses on ensuring privacy of all student data. And, she adds, it should be a top concern for all CIOs. (Photo: Donnie Biggs, Fairfax County Schools)

Just a few years ago, CIOs—if they were involved in data analytics at all—would run a report, export it into an Excel document and share it with teachers and district leaders once a week or at the end of each semester. Now it’s all about creating systems that aggregate and sort data automatically, making it easier for educators to view crucial information every day

The U.S. Department of Education has released guidance over the new Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants, a funding initiative under ESSA. (Gettyimages.com: Macrovector)The U.S. Department of Education has released guidance over the new Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants, a funding initiative under ESSA. (Gettyimages.com: Macrovector)

Schools that offer more comprehensive instruction, increase school safety and student health, and better integrate educational technology may be eligible for new federal funds. A new grant program from the U.S. Department of Education will reward schools that improve access to music, social studies, environmental education and computer science.

From classrooms to condos— The Wilkinson School in St. Louis, which closed eight years ago, will be renovated into apartments for teachers. Aside from offering low-cost housing, it will provide teachers with a collaborative atmosphere.

Bigger paychecks offered by wealthier suburban districts sometimes lure teachers away from St. Louis Public Schools. But a promising solution to a teacher-housing problem faced by many districts has emerged: St Louis schools' collection of more than two dozen vacant buildings.

Joni Carswell,  President & CEO,  LivingTree

Decades of research shows that family engagement is the number one driver of student success. Engaged families result in lower truancy rates, higher test scores, and higher graduation rates.

When two Boston elementary schools needed a core math curriculum,  Everyday Mathematics 4 was the solution

Five years ago, Boston Public School’s John Eliot School in the city’s North End neighborhood was declared an innovation school. What that meant for principal Traci Walker-Griffith was more autonomy in choosing the elementary school’s curriculum for her 570 students. One of the first curricular changes she made was bringing in Everyday Mathematics.

AT&T offers a host of network options to support the needs of schools and libraries and is investing in innovation  to bring even more efficiency and flexibility into network management.

Reliable, affordable and advanced networking is essential to every educational institution. Demand for communication services that support WANs, Wi-Fi and high-bandwidth educational applications continues to rise as curriculum and instruction increasingly shifts to technology-rich environments.

Research regarding the effectiveness of random drug testing of students at school is scarce and inconsistent.

About 27 percent of high schools nationwide have a form of student drug testing. Some schools also perform “reasonable suspicion” testing on students who show evidence of illegal drug use, which can include abnormal behavior or physical symptoms.

In Monroe County School District in Mississippi, the superintendent is elected. But the board, above, has a working document in place, which means whoever is elected immediately becomes familiar with the district’s past work and future direction—and is ready to lead.

In many school districts today, hiring practices for administrative leaders often consist of “replacement filling”—or, waiting for a position to open up before searching for candidates. But a successful succession often requires more proactive planning.

A study of teacher attendance in 40 of the nation’s largest districts found 16 percent of teachers were responsible for more than one third of all absences (Gettyimages.com: Mhj)

It’s no surprise that students suffer when their teacher is absent. Substitutes often lack familiarity with the curriculum and class dynamics. What is surprising to learn is how often it happens.

Here are Hanover Research’s suggestions for a succession model, from the District Management Council’s model.

Matthew Peterson, CEO and co-founder of Mind Research Institute, is intent upon transforming the perception of math from intimidating to something that’s exciting and approachable. And the Math Fair is integral to this effort, giving attendees plenty of fun, hands-on mathematical experiences.

James Sullivan is a director in the dispute advisory practice at Sikich LLP, and is the former inspector general for the Chicago Board of Education.

Even as school districts try to allocate more resources for the classroom, state and local financial struggles limit available funds and increase the pressure on districts to get more done with less. Still, at a time when financial responsibility should be paramount, misconduct remains far too common.

Clark County School District Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky has tasked successful principals with the management of multiple schools.

Pat Skorkowsky, superintendent of Clark County School District in Nevada, has expanded a franchise principal concept in which successful principals take over management of multiple schools, replicating the same educational approach in each.

Following a successful pilot last year with two principals, the initiative involves training a core of administrative leaders who can continue to implement the policies and goals that have been working at each school.

Some 85 percent of teachers surveyed received PD to deal with bullying, but just 33 percent received training in LGBTQ issues  (Gettyimages.com: Peopleimages)

Educators need specialized professional development to prevent the bullying of LGBTQ students, according to a recent report released by the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network. Some 85 percent of teachers received PD to deal with bullying, but just 33 percent received training in LGBTQ issues.

Cloud usage is on the rise. In 2014, schools delivered only 42 percent of their IT solutions fully or partially via cloud. In just two years, that number jumped to 67 percent and in three years, K-12 IT pros expect that number to reach 74 percent, according to CDW-G’s K-12 Cloud Possibilities infographic.

Those numbers are impressive. However, for the 33 percent of schools that have not yet taken the cloud plunge, many are asking, where do I begin? Is it worth it? There are seemingly an overwhelming number of providers, options and approaches.

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