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Grieving kids say schools could be better at helping
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It has been three years since Elizabeth and Sarah Bruno's dad died suddenly. But their teachers at Angelo L. Tomaso School in Warren, N.J., are still letting the girls, ages 11 and 9, know that if they are feeling sad and need a break during the school day, they can take it. Elizabeth says she hasn't needed it lately, but she appreciates the offer. Support from the school started immediately after Marc Bruno died, and "it's been wonderful," says Sandy Bruno, 49, his widow. But a new survey suggests many grieving kids don't get as much help as they'd like from schools, even as they draw strength from friends and families and struggle with sadness and feelings of isolation. More

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Tracking, stopping bullying a daunting task
The Associated Press via WFTV-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Bullying in school is hardly a new problem, but in many cases today, it doesn't look like it once did. It's gone high-tech, enabling children to target one another through Facebook, Twitter, email, instant messaging and text messaging, in addition to face to face. In the process, anti-bullying has become a national movement of sorts, with celebrities such as Lady Gaga joining the cause. Local schools universally condemn bullying and cite initiatives aimed at changing behaviors. Several have brought in speakers on the topic and are working on anti-bullying curriculum. More



Survey: Middle school students like math, but PE more popular
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Do you think most middle-school students would rather do their math homework or take out the trash? What if the choice was between those math equations and eating broccoli? While you're puzzling over these questions, we'll share a few other tidbits from a new survey that aims to tease out the learning preferences and habits of U.S. middle school students, with an emphasis on mathematics. More

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5 awesome virtual field trips for students of all ages
KQED    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
One of the best things living in the digital age is being able to connect across the globe to other students, professionals, and cultural organizations who can show unique perspectives from their corner of the world. Nothing beats the real-life experience of going on actual field trips, but savvy schools and teachers have long been taking advantage of sites like Skype to give students from San Diego to New Zealand the opportunity to interact with people from all the world and to stamp their virtual field trip passports. More

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Teaching children the value of pre-Web pages
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Squeezing paint from a tube is too tame for the sixth-graders in Ida Owens's art class. They prefer making their own with malachite (a green mineral), spinach and cochineal — or dried insects. "They love cochineal," said Owens. "To them it's working with bugs." Her class at the Gordon Parks School for Inquisitive Minds in Queens, N.Y., is part of the Morgan Book Project, which aims to instill in children of the digital age an appreciation for books by providing authentic materials to write, illustrate and construct their own medieval and Renaissance-inspired illuminated manuscripts. More



Helping children to succeed by reducing academic pressure and fear of failure
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Children may perform better in school and feel more confident about themselves if they are told that failure is a normal part of learning, rather than being pressured to succeed at all costs, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association. "We focused on a widespread cultural belief that equates academic success with a high level of competence and failure with intellectual inferiority," said Dr. Frederique Autin, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Poitiers in Poitiers, France. "By being obsessed with success, students are afraid to fail, so they are reluctant to take difficult steps to master new material." More

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4 keys to creating successful eLearning programs
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's no secret that online and blended learning are picking up momentum nationwide — and during a recent International Association for K-12 Online Learning webinar, experts offered advice for school leaders who hope to begin their own online or blended learning programs. While many use the terms interchangeably, online learning and blended learning differ slightly, said webinar moderator Butch Gemin of the Evergreen Education Group, which publishes iNACOL's annual "Keeping Pace with Online Learning" report. More

Kids who bully may be more likely to smoke, drink
HealthDay News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Middle and high school students who bully their classmates are more likely to use cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana than other students, according to a new study. Ohio State University researchers examined bullying and substance use among more than 74,000 students in all public, private and Catholic middle and high schools in Franklin County, Ohio, which includes Columbus. About 30 percent of middle school students and 23 percent of high school students were deemed to be bullies, bullying victims or bully-victims (those who are both perpetrators and victims). More

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Study: ELLs who reach proficiency quickly fare better
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
English learners who complete language-acquisition courses — whether through an English as a second language program or bilingual education — within three years go on to have much more academic success than their peers who remain in such courses for five or more years. A new study from researchers at the Washington-based Migration Policy Institute and Vanderbilt University in Nashville came to that conclusion after examining student data from Texas. The data set tracks all students from first-grade through high school graduation and beyond. More

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From show and look to show and teach
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There have been many strange sightings outside the Whitney Museum of American Art's Marcel Breuer building over the years: a giant bird's nest precariously perched on the cantilevered entrance; a neon sign that spelled out "Negro Sunshine"; and a giant replica of a toy fire truck parked at the curb for nearly three months, to name a few. So it is hardly surprising that recent passers-by don't seem at all curious at the sight of tall black shipping containers rising from the sculpture court. More

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Schools will get to opt out of 'pink slime' beef
The Associated Press via ABC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
School districts soon will be able to opt out of a common ammonia-treated ground beef filler critics have dubbed "pink slime." Amid a growing social media storm over so-called "lean finely textured beef," the U.S. Department of Agriculture was set to announce Thursday that starting in the fall schools involved in the national school lunch program will have the option of avoiding the product. Under the change, schools will be able to choose between 95 percent lean beef patties made with the product or less lean bulk ground beef without it. The change won't kick in immediately because of existing contracts, according to a USDA official with knowledge of the decision. More

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States face virtual school financing challenges
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Before the Montana Digital Academy opened its virtual doors two years ago, about 200 students in the state were taking online classes. At its launch in the 2010-2011 school year, the state-sponsored digital school was flooded with more than 2,000 student enrollments. By the end of this school year, enrollment is likely to spike to 7,000. More

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Mississippi lawmakers mull bills to help blind students
The Associated Press via The Clarion-Ledger    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Mississippi Senate has passed a bill that aims to ensure blind and visually impaired students receive the materials they need for their education and that, when appropriate, they will be taught by teachers who are certified in Braille. However, Casey Robertson of Richland, who teaches several blind students, says the bill is too weak because it says students "may" receive the help, not that they "shall" receive it. Senate Bill 2777 passed the Senate with no opposition. House Bill 960, which is similar but says "shall" instead of "may," awaits consideration in the House. More

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Indiana's project school teaches standardized testing as literary genre
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
On the lesson plan for one Indiana school's students: historical fiction, poetry, nonfiction and ... standardized testing. In his January State of the Union address, President Barack Obama laid out a number of goals to improve education for the country's youth. Among those objectives: to teach with creativity and stop teaching to the test. So one Indiana K-9 charter school is taking both to heart — by adding standardized testing to its curriculum as a literary genre. More

Sen. Landrieu: Gov. Jindal moving too fast on education bills
The Associated Press via The Times-Picayune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Gov. Bobby Jindal's fast-track push for his education overhaul bills is ill-advised and wrong, giving even supporters of the proposals too little time to review the details, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said, creating a new divide between the state's top two political figures. "If this is such a great reform package, it should be able to stand the test of review. This is a democracy. This isn't a dictatorship," Landrieu said in an interview. More

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Preschool program: model of reform or ripe for cuts?
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When officials in Frederick County, Maryland voted last year to stop paying for the local Head Start preschool program, they pointed to a nearly $12 million projected budget shortfall as proof that the mostly rural county could no longer afford it. But some parents, supporters and others saw politics at play, especially as two county commissioners who supported relinquishing the program emphasized the need for strong marriages and the fact that their own wives stayed home to care for their children. More

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Demystifying disabilities at New Jersey's South Brunswick schools
South Brunswick Patch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While the topic of anti-bullying and tolerance has been a hot button issue in New Jersey recently, South Brunswick schools have long focused attention on celebrating our differences through an annual uniqueness program. For over a decade, various schools in the district have held "Celebrating Uniqueness," a program that brings in speakers with different disabilities to talk with students. More

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California's Millikan Middle School students enjoy pieces of pi
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It was pie by the numbers in Sherman Oaks, Calif. Teachers, parents and students at Millikan Middle School went all out to honor one of math's most famous numbers: pi, approximately 3.14. To properly commemorate the infinite number, which represents the relationship between a circle's diameter and circumference, the school's Millikan Math Academy presented the third annual Pi Day. More

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NAESP elections open March 26
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This spring, eligible NAESP members will elect a new president-elect as well as directors for Zones 5, 7 and 9. Only Active, Institutional Active, Emeritus, and Lifetime members are eligible to vote. Voting will open Monday, March 26, and will close Tuesday, April 24, and electronic ballots will be available through our website — but members will need to log in for access. See the Tips for Logging In page, Voter FAQs or the election page for more information. More

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One week away: Dynamic program, the latest technology, expert speakers
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Next week, the NAESP Annual Conference and Expo — BEST PRACTICES FOR BETTER SCHOOLS™ — will be kicking off in Seattle. There's still time to be a part of it. Come for the whole conference, or even just one day, and take advantage of this year's outstanding workshops and engaging presentations from expert speakers. Register today. More
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Before the Bell is a benefit of your membership in the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). For information about other member benefits, visit www.naesp.org or contact us at naesp@naesp.org.

Before the Bell is a digest of the most important news selected for NAESP from thousands of sources by the editors of MultiBriefs, an independent organization that also manages and sells advertising. The presence of such advertising does not endorse, or imply endorsement of, any products or services by NAESP. Neither NAESP nor Multiview is liable for the use of or reliance on any information contained in this briefing.

Feedback about an article? Contact NAESP Liaison Cynthia Rosso at crosso@naesp.org.
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
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