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November 2014

District and college team up to tackle remedial math

In an uncommon move, Denise Sullivan, the assistant superintendent for curriculum at the Hampton Bays Schools. and the chair of the mathematics department at nearby Suffolk County Community College created a high school course that mirrors the remedial class that students deficient in math have to take when they start college.

Schools build for an energy-efficient future

A state sales tax passed in 2009 gave the Des Moines Independent Community School District $27 million a year to launch its buildings into the 21st century. That dependable revenue stream has supported a flood of innovative school renovations focused on energy efficiency and environmental stewardship.

A stop to voc-ed teacher turnover

A professional development initiative created by a voc-ed program comprising three California districts is being replicated statewide because it keeps teachers in the job—and lets students learn from some of the best agents of local industry and business.

Ensuring early reading literacy

A reading interventionist might be a district’s best friend.

Lake Orion Community Schools in Michigan broke new ground two years ago with its Kindergarten Reading Early Intervention Program. The unique initiative pairs full-time reading interventionists with teachers in Lake Orion’s 24 kindergarten classrooms to boost the early literacy of the district’s youngest students.

Credit recovery boosts graduation rate

When S. Dallas Dance became superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools in 2012, the district’s graduation rate for its 24 high schools stood at nearly 84 percent, four points above the national average. But that encouraging number masked the disparity between schools with graduation rates above 95 percent and as low as 70 percent.

A revolution in K12 service learning

Beekeeping and raising chickens are among the projects that Maplewood Richmond Heights School District students relish.

The district, which covers less than three square miles outside of St. Louis’ inner city, has brought service learning—and student achievement—to new heights through unique, project-based initiatives integrated into the daily curriculum.

Lake Orion Community Schools: Kindergarten Reading Early Intervention Program

Program: Kindergarten Reading Early Intervention Program

Lake Orion Community Schools adapted its Response to Intervention model for reading instruction in 2010. After a district reading analysis, administrators set a goal of creating lifelong readers and preventing literacy delays by identifying kindergarten students at-risk of falling behind.

Kent School District: iGrad

Program: iGrad

The families and students who make up Kent School District’s sizable immigrant population speak 137 different languages. Many of these families struggle with economic hardship, demanding job schedules, childcare, attendance and other barriers.

Rio Rancho Public Schools: Meeting the Unique Educational and Cultural Needs of Students in Partnership with Parents

Program: Meeting the Unique Educational and Cultural Needs of Students in Partnership with Parents

At Rio Rancho Public Schools, a new sense of unity and community among urban, Native American youth has made a difference in graduation rates.

Bethel School District: Energy/Resource Conservation

Program: Energy/Resource Conservation

Conserving resources and reducing greenhouse gases in electricity, natural gas and water use is a top priority at Bethel School District.