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Table of Contents

District Administration, September 2018

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Features

How PD enables K12 educators to create an inclusive environment that allows all learners to thrive.

Community projects and service learning initiatives allow students to use their classroom skills to benefit the world around them.

To overcome the geographic, fiscal and cultural obstacles to educating their students in STEM, rural superintendents are tapping new funding sources, forming partnerships and exploiting technology.

To engage students with diverse interests, high schools are adding nontraditional sports such as flag football, bass fishing, sand volleyball, Ultimate Frisbee, orienteering and esports, to their lineups.

District CIO

Illinois students built and programmed computers to stream live video feed from the International Space Station, giving them a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to speak to an astronaut on board.

Districts moving aggressively into personalized learning covet IT leaders who not only understand instruction, but who also have the technology chops to make decisions about devices and networks.

Opinion

Randy Ziegenfuss, a Pennsylvania-based superintendent, shares three tips on how leaders can shift from a school-centered mindset to a learner-centered one.

The more engaged teachers are in their own growth as educators, the better students will fare. Here’s how to give teachers a voice in their professional learning journey.

We must offer students ample time for recess and brain breaks to help them to develop social competencies and to optimize attention to learning. As a result, students will be better able to perform their academic tasks.

The most effective PD programs are scalable, encourage networking and use technology to serve learning when and where teachers can use it.

For PBL to thrive, administrators must incorporate authenticity, student ownership, reflection, revision and public work into their schools.

Educators and the community play key roles in steering K12 students away from risky behaviors.

Briefings

But this only works if students practice mindfulness daily, and they do during summer school at a Syracuse, New York, elementary. Schools can change a punitive culture by training teachers to practice mindfulness and meditation, too.

New York’s first bee team has provided students with multiple learning opportunities—from the basics of beekeeping and the physics of the waggle dance to the math behind hive construction.

The school psychologist shortage rages on, but districts are exploring nontraditional options to provide comprehensive care to all students.

A student success program at West Valley School District #208 in Yakima, Washington, provides additional support for learners from pre-K through high school graduation.

After raising the grade during his first year at Edith I. Starke Elementary School, Principal Dwayne Copeland maintained the C average for three years by creating a PTA and by adding field trips to school offerings. 

Vancouver Public Schools in Washington operates evening preschool at nine elementaries with 170 students to meet the needs of families with nontraditional schedules. 

While there is strong evidence that the arts contribute to a complete education, many administrators instead allocate resources to college and career readiness programs. Workable solutions to save music programs are hard to come by.

Districts are cultivating college and career readiness programs by allocating more resources to guide students, by building new partnerships and by focusing efforts beyond high school.

Districts providing meals for any student who cannot pay may face an unintended consequence: massive debt, sometimes reaching into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Departments

Better Together, a book about personalized and project-based learning, profiles school networks and shares proven teaching models, ideas for more effective collaborations and strategies for optimizing education networks.

Smart TVs and whiteboards allow even more students to collaborate. Depending on the model, students can interact with a touch screen in 10 to 32 different places simultaneously. Many of these displays come with screen mirroring capabilities and apps that are loaded with learning activities.

In his new book What School Could Be, innovation expert Ted Dintersmith profiles schools that focus on innovation and “real” learning, rather than endlessly drilling on formulas and definitions that don’t matter in today’s world.