In fall 2019, there were 50.6 million students in US public schools, and enrollment is expected to rise by an additional 434,000 by 2029, according to the US Department of Education's recently released Digest of Education Statistics. Data predicts schools will add an additional 214,000 teachers during that time -- roughly one additional teacher for every two additional students.
School superintendents in Arizona, Illinois and Virginia say the transition to remote learning was more successful because of their collaboration with their chief technology officers. The superintendents, who spoke at a virtual Consortium for School Networking conference session Tuesday, said they worked closely with their tech chiefs to remove barriers during remote learning.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises has pulled six Dr. Seuss titles from publication over concerns of offensive portrayals of some groups of people. The National Council of Teachers of English praised the move, with the organization's president, Alfredo Celedon Lujan, saying the books were "hurtful."
Quality listening takes time and practice to perfect, but it is an essential skill for school leaders, asserts Megan Collins, former teacher and current educational consultant. In this commentary, Collins offers several suggestions, such as shifting from a reactive stance to a more receptive frame of mind and "[f]ocusing attention in the moment."
Some US school districts are tapping computer programs to monitor students' online behavior and flag concerning behavior that indicates potential for self-harm. Nicole Pfirman, mental wellness coordinator for schools in Mason, Ohio, says she believes that, in a few cases, these alerts may have saved a life.
President Joe Biden set a goal Tuesday to help all K-12 educators get at least their first shot of the coronavirus vaccine by the end of this month. Biden said that the federal government would prioritize educators in the country's pharmacy program and encouraged all states, territories and D.C. to take similar steps.
A year into the coronavirus pandemic, and in some cases, a year of remote learning has many teachers and students feeling the stress of it all. Alison Mack, 28, a second-grade teacher in the Philadelphia School District, says the large population of students who are English language learners have suffered because school closures have cut off other sources of support, including food and peer support.
Ondrena Clyburn, a middle-school percussion teacher in New Jersey who says she struggled with her gender identity as a student, has created the monthly Open Mindz group as a nonjudgmental space for non-binary students at her school. Clyburn points to a Human Rights Campaign study showing that student victimization related to gender expression decreases by nearly 40% when there is a school-sponsored group supporting them, and says students feel safer and have better attendance with that support.
Grants, donations and fundraisers have helped Michigan middle-school language arts teacher Lisa English amass an in-class library of about 900 books that sixth- and seventh-graders can borrow. The pandemic has stopped English and students from walking to the nearby public library to obtain youth cards, but librarian Jackie Boss visits the classroom to share books and bookmarks that are printed with book recommendations.
Over 20,000 students nationwide use a digital social and emotional learning curriculum offered through Project Wayfinder. The program is rooted in "purpose learning," which encourages students to focus on their own identity, goals and place in the world.
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