A class of Tennessee fifth-grade students are creating "Art Acts of Kindness" by writing inspirational quotes or drawing art on ceramic tiles. Teacher Lisa Redditt places the tiles in various locations around the community along with instructions for how those who find them can use social media to send messages to students and pass the tile to others.
An Oklahoma task force is focusing on initiatives to retain teachers and principals as school districts face a shortage of both. The state's board of education has, so far, received 2,153 requests for emergency certification for teachers, state Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said.
Hispanic students in Connecticut who are taking Advanced Placement exams has increased by 79% from five years prior, according to The College Board. Participation gains among African-American students has increased much slower, and state data show most of the gains are concentrated in a few school districts.
Five California school districts are participating in a statewide pilot program that has the state departments of Education and Rehabilitation working together to help students with special needs transition to the workforce. The pilot unites five programs run by the agencies to unite funding and teach students jobs skills through classes, paid work experiences, teacher training and other initiatives.
Advocates for students with special needs are calling on the New York City Education Department to spend $850 million to make at least a third of the city's schools accessible. About 80% of the schools are inaccessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the city released school accessibility information online last year to help parents with school selections.
Students in Texas no longer may be required to learn about some historical figures, including Helen Keller and Hillary Clinton, during social studies classes after last week's preliminary vote by the state board of education. A final vote on the changes, which do not restrict teachers from creating lessons using the excluded figures, is scheduled for November.
Students at one Utah elementary school have recycled nearly 50 tons of paper and cardboard as they learn more about conservation. The school has seven recycling containers and the effort yields about $700 a year, which officials say have been used to plant trees and build and maintain an outdoor classroom.
School districts nationwide are facing increasing cyberattacks, but many are working to increase their digital security. In one North Carolina school district, officials have begun requiring vendors to sign user data agreements, and in Indianapolis, the district launched an anti-phishing campaign following a ransomware attack.
Educators in a Wisconsin school district are being encouraged to use some hands-on, real-world learning experiences, which are more common in summer school, throughout the year. This new shift is part of a larger strategy to teach students more computational thinking.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos plans to invest $2 billion to start an organization that will open nonprofit preschools in low-income neighborhoods and support the homeless. The Bezos Day One Fund will create preschools influenced by both the Montessori model and Amazon's corporate principles.