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Determining individualized instruction for students with special needs
By April Smith
We all know that students are different and learning is not one-size-fits-all. Some students need more academic assistance and support than others because of documented physical or cognitive disabilities. To accommodate the variety of special needs present in today's classrooms, schools have created a variety of tiered placements and intervention strategies based on the severity of needed assistance. Two instructional models dominate special education services to be given in the general education classroom: inclusion and pull-out.
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State school board vote eliminates minimum number of school nurses, librarians, counselors, arts teachers
The Plain Dealer
The state school board voted to eliminate the so-called 5 of 8 rule that sets the minimum number of school nurses, librarians, counselors and arts teachers that school districts must have.
It will now be up to each local school board how many of those positions they want to have at their schools — a change that supporters say will give districts the local control they need, and which critics say all but dooms these positions to be axed when budgets are tight.
Is it a student's civil right to take a federally mandated standardized test?
The Washington Post
Advocates for poor and minority children are pushing a novel idea: standardized tests as a civil right.
The nation's major civil rights groups say that federally required testing — in place for a decade through existing law — is a tool to force fairness in public schools by aiming a spotlight at the stark differences in scores between poor, minority students and their more affluent counterparts.
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Panel: No easy fixes for teen depression, suicide
The Almanac Online
In the wake of recent suicides on the Caltrain tracks, teen depression and school-related stress are under new scrutiny, as parents and students alike are taking a hard look at what can be done to turn things around.
BGA: Many school districts pay employees' pension contributions
Chicago Sun Times
State law says most public school employees in Illinois "shall make contributions" toward their future pensions — with 9.4 percent of their salaries deducted for retirement, which otherwise is substantially funded by taxpayers.
Focusing on ADHD: Behavioral drugs and students
For students diagnosed with an attention deficit or hyperactivity disorder, behavioral drugs have shown effectiveness compared to the detriment that they may cause to a student's wellness when misused.
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Illinois changes to cyberbullying codify reality schools already see
Anonymous messaging apps and the endless supply of new cellphone numbers available make figuring out who is behind cyberbullying tougher.
That's why Dave Shutters, a dean at Crystal Lake Central High School, is trying to build up the resilience of students and give them the tools they need to push past the negative stuff they're hearing.
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Rauner closing in on new state school chief
Gov. Bruce Rauner's pick for a new state schools chief could come later this week.
The Illinois State Board of Education has scheduled a meeting Wednesday that includes a closed-door session to discuss a severance agreement.
That meeting is a signal that Christopher Koch's tenure as the state's current school czar is coming to an end.
Standardized testing is eroding the foundation of parental support and engagement
Standardized testing has become a rite of passage for students in American elementary and secondary schools. Unfortunately, these assessments frustrate and alienate parents, discouraging them from participating in their children's education. Ironically, the education reforms designed to spark school improvements may be undermining the very conditions necessary to student success.
Do schools prepare students for jobs?
By Archita Datta Majumdar
A recent survey reveals that there is a huge gap between student readiness and what employers want. While students are thinking they are well prepared to face the future, employers are seriously concerned about their lack of skills and the amount of time they have to spend training their new recruits. For most students, the real world is quite a shocker when they step out of school, and this has hardly been any help in a tough economy that plagued us for the past few years. Yet, as the economy shows signs of recovery, employers are showing even more cautiousness in their hiring decisions.
Boody principal calls new anti-bullying device 'a win-win'
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
When Dominick D'Angelo became the principal of David A. Boody Intermediate School eight years ago, one of the key decisions he made was to confront the school's problems head-on and not to sweep them under the rug.
At the time D'Angelo arrived, Boody had several problems, including a situation with bullying. The issue was so intense that parents didn't want to enroll their children there, the principal admitted.
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