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100 principals build gardens in a day
The Tampa Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
article
At one end of the school courtyard is a giant rock for climbing and an amphitheater with cement benches that look like logs. At the other end is a flower garden with jasmine star, lantana and Mexican petunias. In the middle are vegetable gardens and ladybug stools, where students at Booker T. Washington Elementary in Florida can sit and play. And it all came together in just a few hours as 100 principals from across the nation gathered at the school to help build an outdoor classroom. More



Study: Third-grade reading level indicates student's chances of graduating high school
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new study reveals that the level of reading skills children develop by third-grade may indicate their likelihood of graduating high school. Released by The Annie E. Casey Foundation, the report found that students who don't read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma when compared to proficient readers. The number rises when those kids also come from poverty. More



Students learn danger of digital life
The Norwich Bulletin    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At Connecticut's Sayles Elementary School students soon could be learning about the dangers of online bullying and cyberharassment, if the Board of Education approves a plan by Principal Jean Wierzbinski. "I think it would be very, very helpful. We're becoming really concerned with what our kids are doing outside of school, regarding digital citizenship," Wierzbinski, who also is the district's technology coordinator, told the school board. The school already has a digital literacy curriculum in place for students in kindergarten through fifth-grade, and the program could be incorporated into those lesson plans at no cost to the district, Wierzbinski said. More

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Can young students learn from online classes
The New York Times (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
School administrators say online courses in K-12 classrooms can give students the skills they'll need in college and the workplace. Indeed, the presence of online courses in primary and secondary schools is a growing trend across the country. Critics, however, say the interest in such courses is driven by a desire to spend less on teachers, especially when budget crises are forcing deep cuts in education. More

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Teaching the Civil War, 150 years later
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Take an empty half-pint milk carton. Glue 12 Popsicle sticks onto the sides and hold them in place with a rubber band. Pretend it is a wooden warship. Now make another, and wrap both vessels in aluminum foil. Float your two "ironclads" in a plastic tub of water. Bombard them with blue marbles. Pretend they are the Monitor and the Merrimack. "Guess who won this battle?" teacher Cindy Agner asks. "No one," the kids chorus. "This is what they call a draw." And this is how the Civil War comes to life for a roomful of fourth-graders in Northern Virginia, 150 years after the nation's deadliest armed conflict began. More



Out-of-state principals talk about Florida's education
WTSP-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
VideoBrief What do out-of-state principals think about Florida Gov. Rick Scott? Diane Cargile, principal from Rio Grande Elementary in Indiana says, "He's had an impact, some good some negative. In Indiana we're adopting one of the things you have, grading schools." Oregon principal Barbara Chester and Indiana principal Diane Cargile say Florida's new law tying teacher evaluations to student test scores and eliminating teacher tenure goes too far. More

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Finding effective school leaders in South Carolina
The Associated Press via WACH-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
article
Legislators are considering proposals that would require South Carolina's nearly 1,150 principals to be evaluated more frequently and provide a way for non-educators to take the helm of a public school. The state's deputy superintendent for educator quality, Mark Bounds, says the proposed regulations are about finding and creating the most effective school leaders. While teachers are the most important factor in students' success, he says principals are close behind. More

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School staff helping to protect kids with food allergies
NewarkAdvocate.com    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When most 5-year-olds were going to kindergarten for the first time in 2010, Karen Porter decided to homeschool her son, Cole. It was not because she had any doubts in the Licking Valley Local School District in Ohio — she has two older daughters that had been in the district for four years. The reason was Cole's severe food allergies. But she could see he was missing the social interaction and, after checking with the doctors, this school year, she approached the school Principal Todd Carmer. Porter could not be happier with the results: The district created a safe zone for her son and is providing allergy-free foods. More

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School turns to technology to get kids walking
NorthJersey.com    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New Hersey's Montclair's Edgemont Montessori School has enlisted the latest in new technology to help encourage its students and their parents to walk or ride their bikes to school. The 300 student elementary school unveiled its version of the Boltage system, a solar-powered sensor mounted on a pole on the school's front lawn to record every time a student arrives at school on foot or on a bike. "With Boltage it's never been more fun to walk or ride to school," said Edgemont Principal Adunni Anderson. More


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The time is right to end 'zero tolerance' in schools
Education Week (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It is too early to know whether the current wave of school reforms will lead to lasting improvements in student achievement. But it is not too early to note that many of these reforms have a troubling consequence: a doubling-down on harsh, ineffective zero-tolerance discipline policies. All too often, the debate about school reform has wrongly emphasized pushing troubled children out of school, rather than making systemic improvements so that all students have the support they need to learn. For that reason, advocates nationwide are embracing efforts to improve school climate. School leaders are recognizing the ineffectiveness of zero tolerance. More



NJ Gov. Christie calls for peer teacher evaluation
The Associated Press via Yahoo News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
article
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called for public school teachers to be evaluated based equally on their classroom performance and student achievement. Since taking office last year, the Republican Christie has emerged as a popular figure among conservatives nationally for his willingness to confront public employee unions, including teachers, over their salaries and pensions. Several other governors have since followed suit, saying such benefits for public employees are unsustainable over time. More

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Enrollment surges at schools for homeless students
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
article
When Sarita Fuentes thinks of homelessness, she doesn't conjure the stereotypical image of a disheveled older man pushing a shopping cart through an urban neighborhood — she thinks of her students. "What I see are these babies — elementary school children and their siblings," said Fuentes, the co-principal and CEO of Monarch School, a San Diego-based, public K-12 institution that exclusively serves homeless students. More

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Illinois Schools Implement Lexia, Improve

75% of kindergartners in Des Plaines, IL elementary school had no letter recognition. Lexia Reading software helped bring 88% up to speed by end of 1st grade.
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IPad2 to be a teaching tool for kindergarteners very soon
International Business Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Auburn School committee has decided to pilot test the use of the latest Apple iPad2 as a tool for learning for kindergarteners in Maine School district. Children will soon be digitally literate as well, in fact more literate than their parents. There will be many who might be envying these kids for possessing the tablet that is not even available in the stores. Kids will be allowed to carry it home as part of the orientation program for the stakeholders. More

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Late-arrival numbers similar for KIPP, local public schools
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The number of late-arriving students as a proportion of enrollment at KIPP schools is similar to that of local traditional public schools, according to a working paper released by the Princeton, N.J.-based Mathematica Policy Research Inc. But while researchers found that the overall number of late arrivals as a proportion of enrollment at 22 KIPP middle schools is the same as in schools in their local school districts, they also found that KIPP admits a substantial number of late entrants in sixth-grade, and fewer in seventh- and eighth-grades. More

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National Children's Book of the Year winners announced
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Thanks to everyone who participated in the First Annual National Children's Book of the Year Award Contest! The winning authors of the Award Contest were announced on Friday, April 7 at NAESP's Annual Convention in Tampa, Fla. This year's extraordinary recipients are Mary Jo Amani of Swannanoa, N.C., for her picture book "Excuse Me I'm Trying to Read" and Frank McMillan of Corpus Christi, Texas for his chapter book, "The Young Healer." More

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Convention News Online is your source for articles, photos and more
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Catch up on all that occurred during NAESP's Annual Convention and Exposition during the past few days by visiting Convention News Online. Read articles about the conference's major events, take a look at our numerous photos and review messages from our Twitter team. 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.
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