A panel of 28 officials in Newtown, Conn., has voted unanimously to recommend that Sandy Hook Elementary School be torn down and rebuilt on site, rather than renovating the building or creating a new school on a different site. The decision of what to do with the school, the site of December's deadly shootings, was "very emotional and very hard," said Laura Roche, panel member and vice chairwoman of the Newtown Board of Education, which must vote on the $57 million plan before it goes on the ballot for a vote among residents.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin on Tuesday signed into law four bills seeking to improve school security. The proposals were prompted by the recommendations of a 22-member commission formed in response to the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December. The new laws require more safety drills and yearly updated crisis plans, and more coordination between schools and law enforcement. In addition, they create the Oklahoma School Security Institute, which will be tasked with monitoring schools' compliance with security laws.
Teaching students how to assess their own learning in class can help build their confidence as learners, National Board Certified Teacher Bill Ferriter writes in this blog post. Ferriter shares one exercise in which he had students review past tests and assignments to identify patterns in their mastery. "If my students are TRULY going to reflect daily on their progress towards mastering essential outcomes, they HAVE to become skilled at spotting trends in their OWN learning," Ferriter writes.
National Board Certified English teacher Ray Salazar writes that, after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., he felt compelled to address the issue of guns in the classroom. Salazar writes that he instructed students to try to take emotion out of the debate and think critically about what both sides have had to say about gun control. Students watched speeches, read reports and analyzed the issue -- forming their own views on whether proposals will be effective, writes Salazar, who teaches in Chicago.
High-school students in an Ohio district are discussing their ideas for curbing school violence as part of their honors-level English class. While addressing the shooting last month in Newtown, Conn., and elsewhere, students also were developing their critical-thinking and debate skills. As part of the assignment, Alice Lambert's 15 students suggested everything from allowing teachers to keep guns in the classroom to having more exits in school classrooms.