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District Administration, April 2017

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Cover Story

Pre-K programs for students with special needs vary widely in quality and scope. Some states and districts have long included students with special needs in pre-K classes alongside their more typically developing peers.

Features

Hattiesburg School District designs technology training to empower teachers to take charge of their own professional development by letting them decide what they want to learn, when they want to learn it and how. 

In rural eastern Kentucky, teacher Jill Armstrong connects her high school students not just with towering historical figures, but also with real-live teens from schools on the other side of the world.

Since 2014, 20 percent of schools offered diabetes screening, 31 percent provided nutrition education and 30 percent offered weight management, according to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Pre-K programs for students with special needs vary widely in quality and scope. Some states and districts have long included students with special needs in pre-K classes alongside their more typically developing peers.

District CIO

Nationally, ransomware attacks surged from 4 million incidents in 2015 to nearly 638 million last year—a jump of 15,850 percent—according to a report from network security firm SonicWall.

Opinion

Seeking alternatives to expensive professional development that takes teachers out of their classrooms and requires substitutes, Madison County Public Schools in Virginia developed a solution.

The road hasn’t always been easy, but Atlanta Public Schools has a proud history of bringing communities together to address academic and social challenges.

Solutions

The world of security can be daunting. Security tools and technologies are often expensive, and school leaders are not typically trained to know what will offer their institutions the greatest benefit.

Briefings

The IRS is warning district officials: Be wary of phishing scams targeting tax forms and other sensitive employee data. Over two dozen school districts have fallen victim to these attacks in recent months.

Many district administrators seem to agree that teenagers need more sleep. A new study released in February indicates that attendance and graduation rates may match the science, too.

Journalism classes at Junction City High School in Kansas—100 miles west of Kansas City—use the short-lived social media app Snapchat to learn long-lived lessons of storytelling.

Shawn Joseph, director of schools in Metro Nashville Public Schools in Tennessee, created four new groups of K12 educational facilities.

Telemedicine, in which a remote doctor or physician’s assistant provides health care via the internet, has caught on in the business world and is now making its way into public schools.

Neither Principal Mike Havener nor any of his administrators preview stories the students at Kirkwood High School produce for their TV broadcast, or for The Kirkwood Call newspaper or its website.

Six Springfield, Massachusetts, middle schools, flagged as close to failing by the state two years ago, seized an unusual opportunity to run themselves.

Is cursive writing doomed to become a long-lost art? Not if some educators have anything to say about it. After decades of remaining a main component of elementary education, cursive is up for debate under the Common Core standards. 

After the Great Recession, the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township in Indianapolis knew it had to prepare students for a new world of work skills and knowledge.

The E-rate program, which is entering its 20th cycle and is worth about $4 billion, is still giving. It can still help districts connect their school buildings to the internet—unbeknownst to some leaders, says John Harrington, CEO of Funds for Learning consulting firm.

Departments

Educators want more effective ways to implement new teaching methods into lesson plans. The PD market is advancing, offering flexible and sustainable solutions rather than one-off workshops, lectures and in-service programs.

In his new book Language at the Speed of Sight: How We Read, Why So Many Can’t, and What Can Be Done About It (Basic Books, 2017), Seidenberg says the answer to the question “Why can’t Johnny read?” stems from how reading is taught.