The Wyoming Education Department asked the state board of education last week if it can suspend school performance ratings based on test performance for this school year, given that it may not reach the 95% testing threshold due to remote and hybrid schooling. The board is expected to make a final decision on the matter at a meeting this month.
An eight-week "Reading With a Rapper" program that uses rap music to teach reading and writing -- such as metaphors, hyperbole and personifications -- is working with teachers in a Texas district. The program just finished in the district's nine middle schools, with the nonprofit behind the program planning to expand throughout the state and possibly establishing a school built around the concept.
Ideas for transforming teachers' roles could help soften the effect of worsening teacher shortages because of the pandemic and state budget cuts, according to a report from the American Institutes for Research. Suggestions for new staffing approaches include designating coaches for small teams of teachers and assigning specialties to teachers, such as curriculum, technology or data analytics.
Some Catholic schools in Massachusetts are reopening to in-person learning with safety precautions in place and some have adopted hybrid models, in which some students learn in the classroom and others remotely. Daniel Roy, superintendent of the Diocese of Fall River, said returning to campus "and having this sense of belonging to something greater than yourself is just so powerful."
Chess can help to improve outcomes for students, said Chris Major, a former special-education teacher and new coordinator of the Archdiocese of San Francisco's African American ministry. Major said chess also teaches sacrifice and boosts students' academic achievement and internal motivation.
Democrats in the US House have updated their Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, which they passed in May, to provide coronavirus relief. The bill includes $175 billion for K-12 schools to help support cleaning, technology, mental health and recovery of lost instructional time.
Schools may need to offer in-person instruction for some students with disabilities during the pandemic, but they may not prioritize classroom returns based on race, color or national origin, which would violate the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the US Education Department's Office for Civil Rights said in guidance issued Monday. The guidance also stressed that the new Title IX rule requires all schools -- even those using distance learning -- to accept and address harassment complaints.
Elementary schools that spend more time on social studies are likely to yield better readers, according to a study from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, which recommends a greater focus on civics, history and geography in early grades. The study of 18,000 students found that those who received 30 extra minutes of social studies per day in first through fifth grades had higher reading scores than their peers by the end of fifth grade.
Several Catholic schools in Baltimore are reporting an uptick in enrollment, according to the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Officials say families are drawn to the option for in-person learning, which Catholic schools can offer because of their size, said Lauren Robinson, director of marketing at the archdiocese.
One of the most important roles that schools can serve during this uncertain time is to provide social-emotional support, according to Mikki Rogers, an elementary-school counselor in Kentucky. Rogers shares strategies to help bolster students' emotional resilience, including using the RULER program, which teaches students to recognize, understand, label, express and regulate emotions.
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