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STEAM learning—which incorporates art and design thinking into the traditional STEM subjects—is becoming increasingly adopted as educators seek to inspire more creativity, problem-solving skills, collaboration and critical thinking in their students. Educators in the Maury County Public Schools in Tennessee began pursuing their mission to blend project-based learning and STEM subjects with art and design in 2015. The end result was the creation of the Mt. Pleasant Arts Innovation Zone, the first preK-14 STEAM campus in the U.S.

Talk about solutions that help educators understand the whole student.

The Pennsbury School District in Pennsylvania has embarked on a wide ranging Future Ready initiative, seeking to provide ubiquitous access to technology for its 10,500 students while creating a culture of digital, personalized teaching and learning. The initiative included replacing outdated desktops and shared laptop carts with 1:1 Chromebooks and updating the district’s technology infrastructure. Crucial to its success, has been taking an inclusive approach to ensure that the perspectives of all members of the community were included in developing the initiative.

When Wicomico County Public Schools implemented common core state standards six years ago, complaints from parents rolled in regarding challenging homework assignments. 

“Parents did not understand so they couldn’t help their children,” explains Julie Dill, elementary math supervisor for the 15,000-student district on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Then came Everyday Mathematics 4, a comprehensive math program that enables parents to access lessons and watch videos at home to break down the common core language barrier.

Across the US, the number of teen suicides has risen dramatically over the years. Whether it’s the stress of high-level courses or the anxiety of divorcing parents, a staggering amount of students are overcrowding school counseling centers, says Psychology Today. In fact, the National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that 1 in 5 teenagers and young adults suffer from mental illness.

Margaret Petkiewicz says the adoption of Common Core State Standards in California created a need for a support program for teachers in kindergarten through second grade who instruct in Spanish for the San José Unified School District. 

Paraeducators constitute more than one-quarter of the instructional staff in U.S. schools and districts. They play a critical role, from providing behavior support to teaching both academic and social and emotional skills to students. 

Lausanne Collegiate School in Memphis is an International Baccalaureate school serving students and parents from 54 different countries in pre-K through grade 12. When the school wanted to design a new playground, administrators wanted to demonstrate its global brand and create an area with a world theme reflective of students and their families.

Stewart Crais, Lausanne’s director of operations, says the school also needed a playground that could fit into a confined area at the front of the campus and add to its curb appeal.

The Every Student Succeeds Act raises the bar of what qualifies as an evidence-based educational activity. Below is a discussion of what that means with practical guidance for district leaders.

Talk about “evidence-based interventions” under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Student success starts at the building level. Can you talk about the influence of the building culture as an “experience” generated by teachers and other certified staff?

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