This Week With ISCA
Jun. 30, 2015

Illinois governor signs bill to keep Illinois public schools running
The Education Appropriations Bill Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law is clearing up some worries educators have had in recent months. One real struggle was an attempt to get any sort of spending plan for early childhood and secondary education on the table, in order to avoid delayed openings of public schools across the state.More

New Illinois laws
Public Act 98-795
Authorizes the use of epinephrine auto-injector pens by school nurses or trained personnel.

Public Act 98-885
Recognizes that an Advanced Placement course in computer science qualifies as fulfilling State mathematics requirements.

Public Act 98-947
Allows National Association of School Psychologists certification to qualify for a school support personnel endorsement as a school psychologist.

Public Act 98-917
Allows four years working in the capacity of school support personnel in a public or nonpublic school to meet the qualification for the general administrative endorsement until June 30, 2019.


New suicide-prevention training helps schools identify at-risk students earlier
The alarmingly high rate of high school students who contemplate suicide — more than 1 in 6 — has prompted a new online training effort to encourage educators to recognize and react to early warning signs.More

Engage all learners: Make students think visually
By Savanna Flakes
One way to increase student engagement and facilitate deeper learning is to frequently check for student understanding throughout a lesson. Practitioners find many benefits in using frequent assessment techniques to simultaneously check all students' level of understanding. My three favorite technology tools increase student engagement and quickly get students thinking visually so teachers can adjust and differentiate instruction on the spot. All three technology tools are free, teacher-friendly, and the student data can be saved and graphed to facilitate data charts.More

Federal amendment could end Illinois pension tax on Title 1
Rockford Register Star
The fight to stop Illinois leaders from spending federal poverty money on education to offset state pension obligations has gone national. U.S. Rep. Bob Dold, who represents an economically diverse population in portions of Lake and Cook counties, has added an amendment to the federal Student Success Act that would prohibit states from charging school districts an additional tax on federal education dollars to pay for unfunded pension liabilities.More

The rise and rise of anorexia
As figures reveal that the number of teenagers being treated for eating disorders has doubled in just three years, Judith Woods asks — what can we do? More

To test or not to test? That is the growing question
By Brian Stack
Recently, New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan took a bold step in the debate over whether students can opt out of standardized testing. She vetoed a bill that would have allowed students to do so. Hassan's move comes in the wake of a heated national debate on whether students should have the right to opt out of standardized testing that is used as a measure of accountability for schools. This year, with the implementation of the Common Core, many states moved to new accountability tests.More

New study finds 1 in 5 kids experience cyberbullying
Capital Wired
A team of researchers from the University of Alberta and the Ontario Center for Excellence for Child and Adolescent Mental Health in Ottawa has finished compiling data from 36 studies and published collected findings on Monday in JAMA Pediatrics. The average percent of kids being cyberbullied is thought to be around 27 percent. This means 1 in every 5 children will experience cyberbullying.More

Unique twists on school wellness
District Administration
Students ease stress with stretches in elementary school yoga sessions. In another district, students taste vegetables they’ve never tried before after growing produce in a school garden. Elsewhere, more students eat healthy breakfasts they’ve grabbed from convenient to-go carts in the morning.More

Mentally ill teens struggle with school and work as adults
Teens with chronic health problems are less likely to complete high school or college or find high-paying jobs as adults, particularly if they suffered from mental illness, a review of previous research suggests. More

UAMS recruiting teenage girls to study link between early childhood trauma and mental illness
A group of researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences are trying to uncover the effects early childhood trauma, like child abuse, have on the brain. The goal of the three-year study is to develop therapy, possibly even medication, to help prevent mental illness in the future. More

Illinois state superintendent talks school funding
The superintendent of Illinois schools says the state should re-do how it funds school districts. Critics of the plan have said a new formula would create so-called winner and loser districts — meaning schools may lose or gain state money based on the income of the area.More