You are here

Table of Contents

District Administration, November 2016

If you are a K12 district leader you may qualify for a free subscription to the DA print magazine

Subscribe (free)

Cover Story

Educators across the country have boosted student performance by weaving social-emotional lessons—such as regulating emotion, accepting mistakes and coping with stress—into everyday instruction.

Features

Foreign language instruction is moving toward a proficiency-based approach. Today’s students need to develop interpretive, presentational and interpersonal skills, moving beyond conjugating verbs and memorizing vocabulary.

Technology is quickly becoming a popular tool in social studies classrooms as teachers find ways to make history come alive for their students, who simultaneously learn about content and improve their technology skills.

Atlanta’s film industry has in recent years boomed to third place behind Los Angeles and New York City, and incoming studios noted a major skills gap when looking for videographers, scene constructors, prop creators and costume designers. Leaders of Fulton County Schools in Georgia responded

Educators across the country have boosted student performance by weaving social-emotional lessons—such as regulating emotion, accepting mistakes and coping with stress—into everyday instruction.

District CIO

Two decades ago, most student response systems were simple clickers that could only record and display answers to multiple-choice or yes-no questions. But now, many systems let students enter free-form responses to questions. Teachers can see those responses as they are entered, and can provide immediate feedback.

While robotics is two to three years away from mainstream adoption in K12 education, potential uses are gaining traction for hands-on learning. Many classes and clubs incorporate robotics and programs to help develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills in students.

McKenna Smith, a high school student in Missouri’s Nixa Public Schools, had been unable to attend classes since elementary school because of chemotherapy treatment. But she didn’t miss as much interaction with teachers and classmates as she could have because she connected with them remotely—via robot.

Opinion

The Jay County Promise program encourages our district’s young people to continue their education beyond high school by providing a 529 college savings plan to each K3 student. Since launching the program, about 70 percent of our kids now start school with their own college savings account.

In a perfect world, every child would have access to food, shelter and clothing. They would have loving, attentive parents. They would arrive at school eager, focused and ready to learn. Unfortunately, our pre-K through 5 school, like a growing number of U.S. public schools, does not reside in that world.

Briefings

A leading gifted-and-talented expert once believed the number of students who performed above grade level was between 5 and 15 percent. But a new study shows the number is much higher.

New series of toolkits designed to help administrators meet next-generation high school standards explains many of the ESSA law’s main components—particularly those that relate to educational funding.

Schools still feel the effects of post-recession budget cuts eight years after the economic crisis reached its zenith. A study by the Center on Budget and Policy Studies showed that 25 states in 2014 were spending less per student than before the recession.

Educators in Virginia’s Fairfax County Public Schools intend to remove the obstacles that prevent students who have severe social anxiety from attending school, a phenomenon known as “school refusal behavior.”

An $84 million renovation that includes a pedestrian walkway and greater security at Fayetteville High School in Arkansas was the only public school to receive prestigious architecture this year.

Serious shortages in math, science and special education teachers have been reported in more than 40 states, and more than 30 states are seeing serious shortages for ELL teachers. The biggest shortages are in schools that serve low-income and minority students.

DA’s Districts of Distinction program, which honors innovative projects in America’s public school districts, will be showcased in a special annual edition of the magazine each July, starting in 2017.

Illinois Sen. Kimberly Lightford sponsored a new state law that eliminates zero-tolerance discipline policies in schools.

Departments

Math teacher José Vilson wants to reclaim the teaching profession from the education theorists and reformers who dictate standards and curriculum, and put it back in the hands of the people who actually work with kids and get results.

As teaching has evolved with the increase of educational technology, so has the classroom space itself. Many schools are creating more comfortable, coffee shop-like collaborative environments with a new breed of desks, chairs and work tables.