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Table of Contents

District Administration, August 2017

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Features

Fast disappearing from schools are internet “lock and block” policies that keep students off social media and restrict them to carefully curated websites. Even with sophisticated filters and firewalls, today’s learners carry all the access in the world in their back pockets.

Across the country, thousands of school districts are building and publicizing summer meal programs, components of a 48-year-old, federally funded effort to keep low-income children from suffering the health and cognitive effects of summer hunger.

The latest K12 school designs in classrooms favor versatile and adaptive spaces to support blended and project-based learning, as well as other progressive education techniques.

District CIO

Free internet access at home will soon be a reality for students in Albemarle County Public Schools.

Every K12 IT manager wants all school software to work together seamlessly, but incompatible programs often prevent the sharing of key data.

Opinion

Positive public relations experiences are critical to our survival as public entities and, unfortunately for many school leaders, we face an uphill climb. According to a June 2016 Gallup poll, only 30 percent of Americans feel “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in public schools, down from an equally disheartening 36 percent when the survey was administered a decade earlier.

In the 2010-11 school year, the Harrison School District Two in Colorado Springs began one of the most rigorous pay-for-performance plans in the nation: Called “Effectiveness and Results,” this overhaul of the human capital management system was a risk worth taking because the status quo failed to adequately serve students.

Solutions

KANSAS CITY, Kansas—Superintendent Cynthia Lane learned the cello a few years ago, but not to fulfill some lifelong dream of soloing with the local symphony. The leader of Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools now performs alongside fourth- and fifth-graders in their annual spring strings concert.

Briefings

East High School students in the Rochester City School District recently earned the opportunity to send their microgravity experiment to the International Space Station.

Matt Miller, new superintendent of Ohio’s Lakota Local Schools, is reaching community members with his social media savviness.

Many states lack well-defined computer science standards; others don’t count computer science courses toward core graduation requirements. And in many districts, computer science courses aren’t reaching enough students.

Sharing superintendents is becoming smart business in Iowa. In 2007, the state introduced a program that provides financial incentives to districts that share administrative personnel.

Five years ago, Windsor Locks Public Schools in northern Connecticut was designated an Alliance District, meaning it was one of the 30 lowest-performing academic districts in the state and needed help.

Departments

The growing evidence showing that students learn better when they get a chance to move has inspired K12 designers to create classroom furniture and playground equipment that keep youths active, even as they learn.

Janet Poppendieck, author of Free for All: Fixing School Food in America, says more must be done to end stigmatizing students who receive free lunches in school because it’s not a problem that will change anytime soon.