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News Update

Two schools in the Bryan ISD in Texas were the inaugural recipients of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Safe Sports School award launched earlier this year. (Photo: Bryan ISD Sports Medicine Department)

In September, a 16-year-old high school football player from Brocton Central School District in western New York died after being knocked unconscious by a helmet-to-helmet collision during a game.

Less than a month earlier, another 16-year-old high school football player from the Fulton County School System in Fairburn, Ga., died after fracturing a vertebra in his upper spinal cord during a scrimmage, according to published accounts.

Until recently, only rural districts hoping to save money on busing geographically spread-out students had cut the school week down to four days. But now, while some districts are leaning toward year-round schedules, some are actually shortening the week as budgets continue to drop and state officials allow scheduling flexibility.

Glendale USD in southern California has taken an unprecedented step in bullying and crime prevention by paying a company to analyze students’ public posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media.

Students in Denver Public Schools swipe a bus pass before they get on or off. The date, time, and location are recorded on a secure website that parents and administrators can access.

With the swipe of a bus pass, Denver Public Schools students are answering the often-asked parent question, “Did my child get on the bus today?” Denver joins other districts in Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, and North Carolina trying to improve safety by using a system that tracks when and where students get on and off buses.

High school students in Fairfax County, Va., may soon get to hit the snooze button, as the district partners with sleep specialists to delay school start times in hopes of raising academic achievement and improving student health.

“Sleep is absolutely critical to learning,” says Fairfax County Public Schools board member Sandy Evans. “Our adolescent students simply aren’t getting enough sleep for their physical, mental, or academic health.”

Graduation rates have risen from 80 to 97 percent while Sheila Harrity has been principal of Worcester Technical High School in Massachusetts.

Principal of the year

Sheila Harrity, principal of Worcester Technical High School in Worcester Public Schools in Massachusetts, won the principal of the year award from the National Association of Secondary School Principals and MetLife. Since arriving at the school in 2006, graduation rates rose from 80 to 97 percent.

A Connecticut school district in the suburbs of New York City violated the IDEA by denying special education students the proper services for the past year, according to a recent Connecticut State Department of Education investigation. The case shows districts may run afoul of the law if special education services are reduced due to budget cuts.

Most students who took the ACT risk falling behind in college and lack the skills necessary to join the modern workforce, according to a report from the company that offers the test. Meanwhile, 31 percent of students tested did not meet any of the assessment’s college benchmarks, which the report says demonstrates the need for a more rigorous curriculum in U.S. schools.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates between 1.6 and 3.8 million adolescent athletes experience brain injuries each year.

New helmet sensors are helping high school football coaches identify students at risk for concussion by recording the severity each time a player is hit in the head during a game.

Students who earn college credit while pursuing their diploma at early college high schools are more likely to graduate and go on to higher education than their peers who attend traditional schools, according to a new study from the nonprofit American Institutes for Research.

Women, minorities, and low-income students from these schools were more likely to earn a college degree than those at other high schools, the study also found.

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