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From DA

Today’s deeper learning proponents urge schools to master rigorous academic content; think critically and solve problems; work collaboratively; communicate effectively; direct one’s own learning; and develop an academic mindset. 

Hopkins Public Schools, with 7,200 students in K12 near the Twin Cities in Minnesota, was having a problem with an increasing demand for substitute teachers during the 2013-14 school year and being unable to maintain a steady supply of candidates.

Human resources staff from the district had to recruit, hire, train and manage substitute teachers, according to Nik Lightfoot, assistant superintendent and director of administrative services.  

Despite the challenges of making all school learning materials accessible to students, district technology leaders should be as proactive as possible. (GettyImages.com: KOHB)

Districts must provide learning materials that are accessible to all students. The consequences of failing to do so can be significant.

Linda Mulvey is chief academic officer, Nate Franz is assistant superintendent of teaching and learning at Syracuse City School District and Manami Tezuka is supervisor of library media services.

The Syracuse City School District serves more than 20,000 students across 34 schools, most of which have been classified by the New York State Education Department as either “priority” or “focus” schools.

By combining the plumbing of the internet with heavy-duty encryption, a VPN can help keep a district’s secrets. Under the surface, VPNs use a technique known as tunneling to create an encrypted data path from sender to receiver and back.

How a VPN sidetracks the internet, keeping the data at your school secure.

Schools thrive on free and open exchanges of information, but as soon as a principal reviews attendance records or examines student grades held on a district server, that openness must end.

The assessment that prospective principals must take to obtain an administrative license in 18 states may be a barrier to non-whites and urban educators, says a 2017 study.

The challenge of finding curriculum materials in languages other than English is especially complex for districts embracing a growing trend: dual-language immersion programs, in which native English speakers join English language learners in studying academic subjects in two languages.

Across the country, for reasons both political and practical, even districts with substantial numbers of students who don’t yet know English seldom rely on native-language curricular materials.

Nearly 4,000 K12 schools have been fitted with solar installations as of 2014, according to the “Brighter Futures” report for the U.S. Department of Energy, based on data from the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Lou Pepe directed the film The Bad Kids, which looks at how the teachers and staff at Black Rock High School confront crippling generational poverty, and create small victories for the students who have often lost any sense of hope for their future.

Black Rock High School, remotely situated in California’s Mojave Desert, serves a population of students who are often struggling academically and living in households with poverty, drug use and neglect. 

Power in Numbers will teach principals how to design collaborative team-building projects and effective ways to analyze student learning in schools with their staff.

This guide helps principals improve instruction by strengthening their coaching techniques to mold teachers and staff into team-oriented leaders.

A new facility designed around an airplane hangar prepares students for new heights at Sterling Aviation High School, a magnet school.

When adding a mindfulness program, superintendents and principals may face parent backlash, possibly about religious concerns, especially when it includes yoga.

Fiona Jensen, whose nonprofit trains teachers in mindfulness instruction, says she has met with “pretty conservative Christian scholars” to make sure nothing in her curriculum can be misinterpreted as promoting Buddhism or any other religion.

“We’ve learned a tremendous amount about how careful one needs to be about how the curriculum is presented,” says Jensen. 

Every morning, principals in the West Bridgewater School District in Massachusetts get on the PA system to lead students through a few minutes of mindful breathing exercises.

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