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Districts and community organizations now provide transportation, meals, summer lessons and family activities to prepare children for kindergarten reading.

Computational thinking covers more than learning how to code or even how to use computers. Rather, it teaches problem-solving techniques that draw heavily on logic, sequencing, and trial and error.

“Growth mindset” is the increasingly popular learning approach in which K12 leaders affirm their students’—and their staff members’—lifelong capacity to boost intelligence.

Mounds of research has shown that principals’ most important contributions to their schools come in the realm of instructional leadership.

Here’s how schools and districts overcome six potential pitfalls after adopting self-paced learning.

LEANER & GREENER—An MIT supercomputer remapped bus routes for Boston Public Schools (above). The district trimmed its fleet by 50 vehicles, saved about $4 million and cut carbon dioxide emissions.

The techniques for streamlining bus transportation range from a variety of off-the shelf routing programs to relying more on an administrator’s experience with local conditions.

There’s no shortage of programs that can help make your district’s busing routes more efficient.

The best part is that you don’t need a supercomputer to use them.

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Link to main story: Schools pursue better directions

Turning right on a red light is part of the driving landscape in all 50 states, but school buses generally wait for green.

Many states prohibit a right turn on red for a school bus, but Florida’s Manatee County just started a pilot program that lets drivers of the district’s 150 buses go right on red, potentially saving 10 to 20 minutes per route.

While this one change might cut valuable minutes off a bus route, in some places it’s not as simple as it sounds.

the best medicine—A “laughter yoga” session reduces student stress in the West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District in New Jersey. The district has also provided PD to show teachers how to conduct meditation and breathing exercises to ease their own and students’ anxiety.

Across the country, districts are grappling with rising levels of student anxiety attributed to everything from academic pressures to larger social forces. 

Educators and psychologists propose a host of explanations for the apparent uptick in student anxiety. Some point to public events – terrorism, school shootings, opioid addiction, the coarsening of political discourse in the age of Trump.

Others blame technology—devices that substitute electronic contact for face-to-face interaction, and social media that transform school-hours drama into a 24-7 preoccupation.

Still others look to family dysfunction, or pressure to match parental achievements. “The anxiety comes from so many different sources.

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