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From DA Magazine

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Using ‘House Hunters’ TV show to boost Spanish

After discovering her students were fans of HGTV’s ‘House Hunters International,’ Bethlehem Central School District Spanish teacher Jessica Westervelt developed a lesson in which her class searches Spanish-speaking countries online for vacation homes.

New environmental tool empowers high school scientists

Using a survey tool, biology students in 13 Maryland high schools help environmental scientists keep an eye on pollution and other factors that might harm Chesapeake Bay or its creatures, including Maryland’s renowned blue crabs.

Teachers report sharp growth in game-based learning

The use of game-based learning in the nation’s classrooms has doubled over the past five years. In 2015, 48 percent of teachers said they used games in their lessons, making them the second-most common form of digital content consumed in the classroom.

Gifted ELL students often overlooked

English language learners remain the least represented group in gifted programs—meaning districts do not sufficiently tap the talents of the growing number of immigrant students entering U.S. schools.

Superintendent seeks harmony in Hartford

Beth Schiavino-Narvaez has led Hartford Public Schools in Connecticut for two years. But it’s been two decades since a landmark state court case ruled the district had violated the U.S. Constitution by isolating children based on race and socioeconomics. And despite new budget woes, Schiavino-Narvaez continues to fight for better schools.

Taking the pulse of the teaching profession

A new survey not only indicates that public school teachers are frustrated with shifting policies, but a majority are losing enthusiasm for the job. Moreover, nearly half say they would quit teaching now if they could find a higher-paying job.

School desktop disruption

“Going virtual” has been gaining traction in the IT world for years. Today, school CIOs who have taken the next step—the virtualization of desktop computers—see a new range of benefits, including increased flexibility for users, cost savings, stronger security and more frequent updates.

Schools make cafeteria connections

More than five years after Congress required schools to serve healthier food, districts are using social media and old-fashioned personal outreach to connect with parents. The goal: persuading them that today’s school meals are nothing like the sometimes unhealthy foods they remember from their own childhoods.

Transgender rights: What administrators need to know

The rights of transgender students in K12 schools became explicitly clear in a directive issued by the U.S. Department of Education and Department of Justice in May: Schools must let transgender students use the restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their gender identity, not what’s listed on birth certificates.

Big leap for literacy in schools

Literacy changes taking hold in schools recognize the subject’s expansion from traditional textbooks to online readings, images and audio. New learning standards ask students to read more closely and write more analytically, meaning teachers must adapt curriculum to get students reading earlier.