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best practices

OFFERING INSIGHT—Students at Saint Louis Public Schools work on tablets. The district is using technology to share student academic and behavioral data with parents in real-time.

More than a decade after Response-to-Intervention and Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) took root on school campuses across the country, multi-tier strategies have become the standard for identifying and assisting struggling students.

District leaders and experts weigh in on the four steps to having a successful intervention.

During the Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit 2017 this past summer, analyst Earl Perkins, research vice president, explained four top trends. (Gettyimages.com: hywards).

Before this new school year started, the Hartford Union High School District in Wisconsin wanted to hire a tech expert to oversee the district’s network.

After years of torment from bullies, 15-year-old Bart Palosz of Greenwich, Conn., took his own life on the first day of school in September. His death has led many to question the effectiveness of district bullying policies, and whether or not school leaders are responsible for identifying students who may harm themselves.

Prior to Dec. 14, the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) had its 2013 agenda set. However, like many others in the K12 education community, on that dreadful day of the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn, CAPSS’ priorities changed. We spoke with Executive Director Joe Cirasuolo about how the association has redirected its efforts this year to focus on helping administrators improve their crisis management systems and strategies to help prevent an attack such as the one in Newtown from happening again.

Martha Liddell, superintendent of Columbus (Miss.) Municipal School District
Eugene G. White reads to students during a “Read Across America” event in his district. One of White’s reforms was to centralize the curriculum, and in turn, better support students.

 

Eugene G. White is a superintendent of firsts. He was the first in his family to graduate from high school in his segregated town of Phenix City in southeast Alabama. Both academically and athletically inclined, White scored high enough grades—and points—to earn a basketball scholarship to Alabama A&M University, where his education led to his becoming a teacher, basketball coach and the first African-American high school principal in two Indiana high schools.

The Virginia Beach Landstown High School and Technology Academy administration confers with lead teachers on the five dozen professional development opportunities offered to its faculty this past February.

At some level, principals always have been instructional leaders—but never before has their role been more prominent.

First, the accountability movement—No Child Left Behind in particular—thrust principals into the spotlight on academic achievement. Then budget cuts peeled away capacity at both the district and school levels, thinning the ranks of assistant superintendents, curriculum specialists and assistant principals, who shouldered some or most of the load.

Industry experts and district technology officers offered a number of thoughts on what K12 school systems should know before investing in a new or upgraded student information system. The questions they suggest asking are:

Chris Comstock, Gooding High School principal, sitting in background, teacher Stefanie Shaw, standing, and Heather Williams, Gooding School District superintendent, discuss at-risk high school students’ intervention plans in the Milepost SIS program.

Like seemingly everyone else connected to K12 education, vendors that offer student information systems are being called upon to do more with less.

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