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District Administration, August 2018

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Features

Some call design thinking a revolution in learning, while others see it as just the latest fad, better left to Silicon Valley charter schools.

More elaborate technology has opened up more possibilities for students with a range of needs. In some schools, robots now help children develop social-emotional skills.

KOHLER, Wisconsin—When Superintendent Quynh Trueblood’s mind races in the middle of the night, she quickly finds herself using a mixing bowl and her oven. 

“When I bring in baked goods, people in the district know I couldn’t sleep,” says Trueblood, who has led the single-building Kohler Public Schools in Wisconsin for the past six years. 

“I slept so well when I was a teacher—I used to be a 10-hour-a-night sleeper, now I’m a 3-in-the-morning waker-upper.” 

District leaders have enhanced credit recovery programs and have recommitted to proactive efforts to keep students from falling too far behind.

District CIO

Producing a story, game or interactive app for a game design expo motivated Vancouver, Washington, students to solve challenges and to explore computer science careers.

Certifications in the technology sector are ever-evolving, as new education tools, apps and platforms become available on a nearly continuous basis.

Opinion

Since joining Evergreen Public Schools four years ago, Derrick Brown has overseen implementation of a districtwide 1-to-1 program.

Turnaround leaders need to respond with urgency and make key changes quickly while establishing a vision and a strong team to carry out that vision.

Solutions

There are steps schools and districts should take to minimize damage and injuries from domestic terrorism, and eliminate the loss of lives.

Briefings

Twenty-six states have digital learning repositories where vetted, curated instructional content and material is available to all educators in the state.

Recent school shootings in Florida and Texas have driven interest in specialized policies that prevent costs from piling up after a crisis.

Externship programs offer hands-on experience and the opportunity for creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication that better inform instruction and boost teacher confidence.

The reach of K12 bulk purchasing and co-op agreements has expanded substantially as more districts join to save substantial amounts on everything from software to playground equipment, according to a recent AASA report.

To accommodate growth in enrollment, a renovated, expanded library and a new 8,840-square-foot wing with four classrooms now stand at Donaldson Primary School.

Principal Doreen McSain of Glenwood Elementary School welcomes canines into her school to encourage her students to read to them.

“Don’t blame boys’ bad behavior on the way we dress.” That’s the message that led Santa Fe Public Schools in New Mexico to adjust its dress code in spring 2018.

Departments

Managing school energy use can save money and accelerate conservation. The latest in energy management technology can prevent waste automatically while allowing administrators to control ventilation and other systems from a computer or mobile app. Some platforms also track billing information and send alerts during emergencies, such as power outages.

One energy management solution even recycles outdated light bulbs.

Dan Hamlin, a postdoctoral fellow in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and Paul E. Petersen have examined data to see what impact states lowering the bar on academic proficiency have had on student achievement.