Communicating with students' families is important to maintaining a good class culture, educator Gretchen Vierstra writes in this blog post. She shares four strategies -- such as organizing a shared reading experience or family engineering night -- with links to resources, additional tips and videos for implementation.
Christine Ackerman, superintendent of the Chappaqua Central School District in New York, says transparency will be important as she starts her new job. In this Q&A, Ackerman says her door is always open to parents in the district and she'll be using her time to focus on strategic planning and implementing more project-based learning.
A program at Georgetown University teaches school principals from the area the finer points of business practices such as delivering bad news, change management and crisis communications. One elementary school principal says the program will give principals the skills and support they need to stay in their jobs longer.
Officials with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education have told the state board of education that K-12 schools will need nearly $100 million more in funding next year. The agency's proposal includes $8.4 million in spending for increased K-12 special-education costs, among other priorities.
A California middle school used an $80,000 donation to set up a maker lab and offer a mixed-grade maker elective led by a teacher certified in makerspaces. The students' first project in the lab was making clothing for the end of the world with crafts supplies and recycled materials.
Games can be powerful learning tools, but teachers need to plan and consider their purpose for the games to become successful learning strategies, educator Marcia Powell writes. She offers advice for designing games and includes ideas for handling pitfalls.
Students of Georgia middle-school teacher Ashley Hare dress up once a week as if they are going to work as part of a business education computer science course. Hare says the program helps students practice "soft skills" sought by employers, such as shaking hands and being punctual.
New Minnesota high-school principal Jason Paske says one of his goals is to build positive relationships with students, teachers and staff to boost academic performance. Paske says educators at his school also will use assessment data to improve teaching and learning processes.
Using biometrics can help school leaders save time and money by replacing ID cards and streamlining such processes as lunch lines and roll call, educator Amanda Murphy writes. However, leaders should be aware of security threats and work with parents to ease privacy concerns, she notes in this commentary.
A newly launched nonprofit is offering hands-on, in-classroom programming and data to teacher-preparation programs to increase the number of minority teachers. Founded by Cassandra Herring, a former dean at Hampton University, the organization is partnering with colleges and universities that serve nonwhite students to promote teaching as a career.
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