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Serving Students Who Are Homeless is one of the four books on education DA promotes in this month's Noteworthy Books feature.

DA promotes four books about serving homeless students, inspiring disengaged kids, improving communication skills and studying personalized learning in K12.

High school students in the tiny Magazine School District in Arkansas receive three hours of sex education a year in grades 9 through 12—an approach that Superintendent Brett Bunch acknowledges is inadequate. 

Student-centered learning is gaining traction in school systems across our nation. School systems are looking to give students greater choice and voice in their learning as they personalize and blend instruction.  All of these efforts focus on improved student engagement and student-led learning initiatives.  In the Meriden Public Schools, Here Students Succeed.

A variety of research indicates that an engaged and motivated student is more likely to be a high-achieving student. But what does student engagement look like in a digital environment? To keep all students motivated—especially those who struggle or are disengaged—educators need to ensure that engagement is built into the DNA of the curriculum. In a digital environment, engaged students experience more personalized learning and are more likely to actively participate in their learning.

In the last two years, Multiple states, including California and Arizona, have dropped or suspended exit exams in high schools.

Efforts to implement new high school graduation exams in Ohio and New Jersey are faltering, as some educators grow more concerned about the number of students struggling to meet the strict requirements. 

NO MORE GPA IN EDUCATION—Graduates at Millard South High School in Omaha, Nebraska will no longer be ranked based on GPA in coming years. Administrators hope this will result in students focusing more on content and skills, rather than grades.

Millard Public Schools near Omaha, Nebraska, will switch to a college-like ranking system that designates graduates as magna cum laude, summa cum laude and cum laude.

Experts share strategies on room design, curriculum development and identifying funding sources

Makerspaces reinforce STEM skills and enable more authentic learning. While there are a variety of ways to design and build makerspaces, there are some key strategies administrators can employ to ensure their program is successful.

Designing rooms that facilitate access and choice

One day in May 2016, while browsing Twitter, Eric Langhorst stumbled upon a call for participants for the Dremel Idea Builder Ambassador program. Dremel Education, a manufacturer of 3D printers, was looking for 10 educators to use the Idea Builder 3D40 printer in innovative ways in their classrooms.

When STEM3 Academy built its first innovation lab in 2014, one of the first pieces of equipment installed in the space was a 3D printer.

“We saw that it could be a very useful tool to integrate into the curriculum,” says Dr. Ellis Crasnow, director of STEM3 Academy. “We began immediately teaching 3D modeling and using the printer to prototype student designs.”

SMILE EVERY DAY—Magazine second-graders brush their teeth during a wellness center event that promotes healthy living for K12 and the community.

Some parents of students in Magazine, Arkansas, can’t afford the gas to drive their sick child 50 miles to the nearest doctor, says Brett Bunch, superintendent of the town’s school district.

Metro Nashville Public Schools has 25 data specialists and managers considering data. Even one person focused on data is a step forward. (GettyImages.com: Alex Doubovitsky)

K12 education lags behind U.S. business and industry when it comes to using data to improve outcomes, says a 2016 report by the Center for Data Innovation.

EDUCATION—J. Francis Manning is district superintendent and CEO of Onondaga Cortland Madison Board of Cooperative Educational Services in Syracuse, New York.

In 2013, the Onondaga Cortland Madison Board of Cooperative Educational Services (OCM BOCES) brought hands-on learning to the next level by embedding some of its state-endorsed career and technical education (CTE) programs at local businesses.

In the latest round of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) exam, given to more than 500,000 15-year-olds in 72 nations, students in the U.S. once again scored in the middle of the pack—and below average in math—raising concerns and sending educators looking for answers.

Corporal punishment can be used in schools for smaller infractions such as cell phone use during class, according to a 2008 report from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and ACLU, as well as a 2015 North Carolina Department of Education report.

While the controversial practice of corporal punishment declines, it remains legal in 19 states. In those states, boys, black students and children with disabilities are more likely to receive physical punishment than other students, according to recent report by the Society for Research in Child Development.

Ross Kasun is superintendent of Freehold Township Schools in New Jersey. Pamela Haimer is assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.

As a leader in a school system today, it can be difficult to make the choice to move forward with a districtwide change, knowing that the team around you may not fully endorse your decision.

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