US Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett recently addressed students at St. Catherine of Siena School in Metairie, La., where she attended elementary school. During the event, Barrett fielded questions from students and discussed her Catholic faith.
Education leaders should ensure effective communication about staff shortages among state, district and school levels to help with collaborative solutions, Keane Alavi of the American Institutes for Research said at a recent education conference. The organization offers a tool that shows how Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds are being used for strategies such as the creation of staff affinity groups in Illinois and communities of practice in Ohio.
Classroom technology being employed during the pandemic is making it easier for schools and teachers to use a flipped-learning model, in which students learn subject basics for homework via videos from teachers and save class time for discussion and application. Some teachers say the model allows students to more easily work at their own pace and makes differentiation much easier for teachers.
A Catholic school in Pueblo, Colo., is using cross-curricular project-based learning to teach students across several grades about the Holocaust as part of the marking of Jan. 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2022. Students have been reading books, including "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" by John Boyne and "Number the Stars" by Lois Lowry, conducting research projects and taking virtual tours of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
Catholic schools across the US are reporting enrollment growth that school leaders associate with their commitment to in-person learning. Jill Annable, of the National Catholic Educational Association, says that commitment to in-person instruction -- while adhering to health guidance -- has been fueled by the ability of the Catholic schools to innovate and shift when needed to support families of students.
Bishop Machebeuf High School in Denver celebrates and supports students' lives of faith, says Tony Bonta, president-principal of the school. Other officials share the importance of faith, with Bonta saying "faith and our joyful witness to our faith is extremely central to the Bishop Machebeuf mission."
A Washington, D.C., Catholic school credits its leadership and innovation with its turnaround from record low enrollment of just 39 students across pre-K to eighth grades in 2019. Even during a pandemic, the school has increased enrollment to 140 students, added a high-school prep program, developed a global campus online and is a candidate for the International Baccalaureate Primary Years program.
Greg Moffitt, principal of Fairmont Charter Elementary School in California, shares a typical day leading a school during the coronavirus pandemic. In this commentary, Moffitt writes that his day begins at 5:15 a.m. and is spent testing students for the virus, working to fill vacancies due to staff absences and personally filling in for teachers.
School leaders should help mitigate the "relentless drumbeat of criticism" and guard against staff and students' embarrassment and humiliation by striving for a "psychologically safe" school environment, according to author Douglas Reeves, who spoke at the ASCD Virtual Leadership Summit last week. Reeves believes that aiding students' academic success will reduce discipline issues and suggests coaching teachers rather than evaluating them.
The Omicron variant has removed rural schools' pandemic advantage of isolation, and the politicization of the virus has made it harder for their districts to get buy-in on mask-wearing, quarantines and other safety efforts, school officials say. David Little of the Rural Schools Association of New York State says the problem is exacerbated by fewer available resources, such as chain stores that offer testing.
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