This Week With ISCA
Jul. 28, 2015

Sleep matters: Are kids getting the zzzzzz's they need?
USA Today
Are your kids getting the sleep that they need? Probably not. If dealing with a cranky kindergartener or a bleary-eyed teen isn't proof enough, just ask the experts. "Nationally, kids are going to bed too late," says Jodi Mindell, associate director of the Sleep Disorders Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.More

Springfield budget turmoil leaves ACT, other school testing in limbo
Chicago Tribune
For years, Illinois' high school juniors took the ACT college entrance exam for free at school, like their brothers and sisters and friends before them. Many students took ACT precursor tests in junior high and early in high school, or signed up for ACT prep classes after school or during the summer. That would lead to the actual ACT exam, which the state has covered for 11th graders since 2001 as a way to get kids of all backgrounds on the path to college.More

8 ways to prevent within school variability
Education Week
Summer is a great time to reflect on practices. Contrary to popular belief, many teachers are actively searching for new lessons, scouring over resources, reading educational books that they couldn't read during the year, going in for a week of professional development around some topic, and trying to relax with family before the new Staples commercial about back to school hits the airwaves.More

Teaching social skills to improve grades and lives
The New York Times
In the early 1990s, about 50 kindergarten teachers were asked to rate the social and communication skills of 753 children in their classrooms. It was part of the Fast Track Project, an intervention and study administered in Durham, North Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; Seattle; and central Pennsylvania. The goals were to understand how children develop healthy social skills — and help them do so.More

Study offers insights into the biology of anxiety
Boston Globe
Anxiety disorders are among the most common type of mental disorder in the United States, affecting about 29 percent of adults at some point, according to National Institute of Mental Health statistics. These disorders often appear early on, and among children can cause trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, or avoidance of social events. More

More children live in poverty now than before the Great Recession
A higher percentage of American children live in poverty today than did at the start of the Great Recession, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.More

Monitoring accommodations for effective learning
By Pamela Hill
Students who receive special education services rely on accommodations to help them learn and to help make learning environments accessible. The accommodations are typically chosen by the special education team during a student's annual or initial Individualized Educational Plan meeting. Accommodations can also be added any time a change is necessary. However, there are also formal measures that should be considered when recommending an accommodation.More

Instead of only punishing kids' bad behavior, reward the good
Bangor Daily News
At Union Elementary School, in Union, we work to build a culture of "our kids" where teachers believe that every student is their responsibility — not just the ones in their classroom. Union Elementary School turns to what's called "positive behavior interventions and supports." Under principal Christina Wotton, the staff have developed a structure that highlights the outstanding ways students model strong values.More

We can't give up on struggling students
Lisa Higuera, a graduate student at the University of Southern California's, writes: "In 8th grade, I did not understand terms like dropout or school push-out. I didn’t know that there was a vocabulary or a movement to address what I saw in my middle school or high school: a lot of my friends did not graduate with me; life became too complicated for some of my peers and it appeared that school wasn’t providing any solutions to help them in their life or education so they gave up."More

Bullying: Whether your child is the victim or perpetrator
Good news on the bullying front from the U.S. Department of Education: In a study released this May, fewer children aged 12 to 18 reported being targeted by bullies in 2013, only 22 percent, down from 28 percent in 2011. It's the lowest number since the department began the survey in 2005.More