The effects of childhood trauma on students are an increasing focus for schools nationwide, but high-school English teacher Emily Donahoe writes that some educators still may be dealing with their own childhood traumas and that may affect them in the classroom. In this blog post, she shares how such teachers could be triggered by even relatively minor events in the classroom, such as a student plagiarizing a paper, and how they can cope with trauma-informed practices.
Some school districts are joining food purchasing co-ops to reduce food service costs and prioritize healthy eating. Districts that join the Northern Illinois Independent Purchasing Cooperative can save between 5% and 7% on items they routinely buy, says Micheline Piekarski, a high-school food services director who also helped establish the co-op.
Businesses are setting up shop at a Louisiana high school as part of a program to help prepare students for the workforce. Students learn about the food service industry by working at a pizza restaurant set up in the school's former cafeteria, and they learn about finance by working at an on-campus credit union.
Alabama elementary-school principal Raymond Porter wants part of his legacy to be teaching students about their civic responsibility to make their community a better place. Porter, a former teacher and first-year principal, also is focusing on increasing parental and community support and improving students' reading skills.
A faculty meeting can be an opportunity for school leaders to engage educators in meaningful professional development, suggests Michael Gaskell, a middle-school principal in New Jersey. In this commentary, he shares several strategies for turning routine meetings into Edcamps.
School districts in some states -- including Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Minnesota and Ohio -- are experimenting with having students work from home during inclement weather, which would eliminate the need for snow days. In one Maine community, the district solved the problem of students' lack of home internet access by giving them devices to make cellular Wi-Fi hot spots.
The Department of Education of Puerto Rico has hired Paul Pastorek, former head of Louisiana's schools, to help its schools get back on track after the devastation of Hurricane Maria in 2017. Pastorek, who is credited with helping New Orleans' schools recover after Hurricane Katrina, will help Puerto Rico secure hurricane-recovery funds and implement its plan to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act.
The University of New Hampshire has created a residency program to attract educators to nine schools in two rural counties. The university wants to graduate 50 educators in math and science and expand the program into other regions.
One rural Missouri high school has used federal grant funding to expand its high-speed internet access, enabling students to create a YouTube channel that features stories about the school's technology progress. Principal Heath Waters says students' grades and engagement have improved since the expansion of the technology.
The Wyoming Department of Education has lowered its proficiency goals for the next 15 years for elementary- and middle-school students under its federal Every Student Succeeds Act accountability plan. Under the plan, 57% of elementary- and middle-school students are expected to be proficient or better in math, down from 59%, and 59% of such students should be proficient in English-language arts, down from 65%.
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