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When it was time for North Kansas City School District in Missouri to adopt a mathematics resource for its elementary school students, a select pool of teachers was asked to evaluate several resources. Eventually, Everyday Mathematics from McGraw-Hill Education was selected as the resource. 

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ducators in Bradley County Schools in Cleveland, Tennessee, were faced with some staggering numbers: 48 percent of third-grade students were reading on grade level. That meant five out of every 10 were not.

“We were above the state average of 43 percent,” says Terri Murray, supervisor of Federal Programs/Media Services for the district where 10 of 11 K-5 schools are Title I. “But still, 48 was not good enough for us.”

K12 STEM programs are evolving, incorporating new tools and technologies to better prepare students for rapidly changing college and career environments. Makerspaces, drones, coding and robotics are all part of this next generation of STEM learning that is just beginning to have an impact in districts.

Little Falls City School District’s standards-based Engineering by Design program strives to build students’ resilience while developing their real-life problem-solving skills.

The Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative hopes to build a drone-port and collaborative community workspace atop a coal-mined mountain.

IBM’s Watson computing system identifies the academic prerequisites and standards mapped out for each lesson. (Gettyimages.com: just_super).

IBM’s Watson computing system—perhaps the world’s most well-known artificial intelligence technology—now provides K5 educators with a database of open educational math resources.

Many states and districts are facing unprecedented teacher shortages. As a result, many have implemented or are expanding existing programs that offer alternative routes to licensure or certification for those seeking to become teachers from another career. 

In the Ventura USD in California, one low-achieving middle school at risk of closure was instead transformed into the De Anza Academy of Technology and the Arts (DATA), a high-achieving magnet school. A significant component in DATA’s dramatic turnaround has been its innovative project-based and collaborative learning environments and makerspaces, which employ technology as a central component. 

The completion of the Maywood Center for Enriched Studies, a grade 6 through 12 magnet school, marks the end of Los Angeles USD’s 14-year effort to add 131 new schools.

Aresta Johnson, superintendent of Bridgeport Public Schools in Connecticut, has restructured her administrative team.

Aresta Johnson, superintendent of Bridgeport Public Schools in Connecticut, has restructured her administrative team to provide continuity for students progressing from elementary to high school.

States that require recess in elementary school

Connecticut: 20 minutes of supervised recess daily, preferably outdoors

Indiana: Daily physical activity that may include the use of recess

Missouri: Minimum of one 20-minute recess period


Link to main story: Lawmakers requiring more recess in schools

Many schools offering recess provide 15 to 25 minutes of unstructured play daily. (Gettyimages.com: monkeybusinessimages).

A small but growing number of states are requiring school districts to provide recess. Pending legislation in Massachusetts would require schools to provide at least 20 minutes of daily recess in K5.

MAGIC SCHOOL BUS—The 71-passenger all-electric school bus has a range of 100 miles per charge and zero emissions.

Districts in Minnesota and California are participating in pilot programs that provide all-electric, zero-emissions buses that should cost much less to power and maintain.

Trish Rubin consults with clients in education, business and the nonprofit sector to build brand awareness. She is coauthor of BrandED: Tell Your Story, Build Relationships and Empower Learning.

An authentic leader brand can inspire a community to a create a whole school brand that unifies.

Thomas A. Wilson is superintendent of Anderson School District Five in South Carolina.

Some school leaders can get so ingrained in a position that they are blind to the external and internal factors that impact a school community, which is just as detrimental to a school as the revolving door mentality.

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