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Safety planning: How to prepare for the worst
District Administration Magazine
With violent events seemingly on the rise in schools across the country, district leaders must develop fluid and thorough safety plans. To address the variety of individual circumstances that may accompany these events, fluidity must be coupled with authentic practice and the engagement of stakeholders and experts. Practicing the plan, constantly considering best practices, and giving staff and students flexibility to adjust actions during an emergency are essential for a quality school safety plan.
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Reading, writing, arithmetic, and lately, coding
The New York Times
Seven-year-old Jordan Lisle, a second grader, joined his family at a packed after-hours school event last month aimed at inspiring a new interest: computer programming. "I'm a little afraid he's falling behind," his mother, Wendy Lisle, said, explaining why they had signed up for the class at Strawberry Point Elementary School. The event was part of a national educational movement in computer coding instruction that is growing at Internet speeds. Since December, 20,000 teachers from kindergarten through 12th grade have introduced coding lessons, according to Code.org, a group backed by the tech industry that offers free curriculums.
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  How to Reduce Office Referrals

Principal testimony on new program that’s reducing playground confrontations and discipline referrals.
 


PBL meets the Next Generation Science Standards
Edutopia
Although the Next Generation Science Standards have not yet been fully implemented, more and more states are signing up as early adopters. The NGSS call for a conceptual shift in teaching and learning. Along with traditional subject matter, science and engineering are now integrated into the standards, and students will learn about the principles of engineering and engage in the engineering design processes.
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What are kids reading? Books like 'Hunger Games,' but classics, too.
The Christian Science Monitor
What do green eggs, stick figures navigating the hazards of middle school, and post-apocalyptic teen battles have in common? They're all to be found in the books most read by American children and teens. The reading habits of 9.8 million students in Grades 1 to 12 are detailed in the new "What Kids Are Reading" report by Renaissance Learning in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., which tracks students in 31,000 schools across the United States.
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5 qualities of a tech-savvy administrator
eSchool News
School and district administrators know that in order to be effective, they have to model the behavior and practices they wish to see — and technology use is no different. eSchool News is a huge supporter of tech-savvy administrators — just check out our annual Tech-Savvy Superintendent Awards Program. While we can't list all of the qualities that help make an administrator tech-savvy, we've selected a few that go a long way.
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7 big problems — and solutions — in education
eSchool News
Education has 99 problems, but the desire to solve those problems isn't one. But because we can't cover 99 problems in one story, we'll focus on seven, which the League of Innovative Schools identified as critical to educational innovation. While these aren't the only challenges that education faces today, these seven problems are often identified as roadblocks that prevent schools and districts from embracing innovation.
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Children with ADHD experience more adversities than those without ADHD
Medical News Today
When children struggle with focusing on tasks, staying organized, controlling their behavior and sitting still, they may be evaluated for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Clinicians, however, shouldn't stop there, according to a study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Researchers found that many children with ADHD also face challenges such as poverty, divorce, neighborhood violence and substance abuse among family members.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    The single biggest task facing every successful school leader (Forbes)
Making mistakes is the key to learning (By: Brian Stack)
New research into bullying and its effect on children's mental health (Medical News Today)
Turning data into action (District Administration Magazine)
School districts get advice on 'doing more with less' (Education Week)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


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Study: Dancing, small-group instruction, help keep children on task
Education Week
Elementary students spend nearly a third of their time off task, with distractions more likely to happen when children are working on their own or receiving whole-group instruction at their desks. This is just one preliminary finding of a piece of research published in the proceedings of the most recent annual meeting of the Cognitive Science Society in 2013. The lead author of this conference paper was Carnegie Mellon University doctoral student Karrie E. Godwin.
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Why boys fail (and what you can do)
Scholastic Magazine
One day before his eighth-grade graduation, Chad was sent to the principal's office for throwing a chair in class. "I'd seen this kid throughout the year," says Edmond Dixon, author of Helping Boys Learn and then-principal of Chad’s school. "He'd been in a play. He was a good skateboarder and the girls liked him. When he walked into my office, I said, 'Listen, Chad.' He held up his hand and said, 'Stop.' His eyes were watery and he said, 'Let's face it: I'm stupid. You know it. I know it. My parents know it.' And then he wouldn’t talk to me."
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Educators face 'silent dilemma' in digital skills divide
EdTech Magazine
A new challenge is emerging from the cracks of the digital divide: digital readiness — helping those who have Internet access, but lack the skills to use it effectively. And librarians could play a huge role in turning the tide, some experts say. The American Library Association hosted a panel of four experts in Washington, D.C., who pooled their research to address the growing problem.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword DIGITAL DEVICE.


Mentoring new teachers can boost students' learning
The Des Moines Register
Des Moines teacher Amanda Carlton had been warned about her first year in the classroom. Colleagues and former classmates told the 24-year-old: Be prepared to be overwhelmed. But Carlton describes her experience at Madison Elementary School as "wonderful, actually." By meeting with a mentor each week to plan lessons, dissect student data and talk about instructional strategies, the new teacher said she was able to overcome early challenges and become better at her job.
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The invisible iPad: It's not about the device
MindShift
Since the launch of the iPad in 2010, we have seen a revolutionary transformation in how we create, consume, and communicate. Whether the iPad is an authentic educational tool is not relevant, because it's not about the iPad. Is the automobile an authentic education tool? What about the refrigerator? Revolutionary inventions are not about the invention itself, but what the invention gives use the ability to do. A truly revolutionary invention should, in time, become invisible. No longer is it viewed as something special, yet its effects are far reaching. The lightbulb changed the way the world functioned.
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Who should pay to guard schoolchildren against Mother Nature?
Los Angeles Times (commentary)
California has earthquakes, Oklahoma has tornadoes. In either place, the odds are that you'll never be at ground zero when distaster strikes, or even directly affected by one. But if you are one of the unlucky few (statistically speaking, that is) to experience a powerful quake or tornado, there's a very strong chance the results will be devastating. So, who should be responsible for protecting you? The question is being raised frequently these days in California and Oklahoma, and the answer depends largely on where you're spending your time. As a society, we've decided that homeowners should cover their own insurance costs, albeit with subsidies for some people in flood-prone areas. But it's not entirely clear yet who should pick up the tab for making sure people are safe in buildings they don't own
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High stakes for states on NCLB waiver compliance
Education Week
No Child Left Behind Act waivers — initially billed by the Obama administration as a collaborative effort to help states get beyond the outdated NCLB law — have moved deep into the compliance phase, leaving states and the U.S. Department of Education to negotiate over the finer points of plans, rather than discussing big-picture policy ideas. The details, however, can prove make-or-break for states, which risk losing their flexibility altogether if they can't come to an accord with the administration.
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Districts told not to deny students over immigration
The New York Times
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and Education Secretary Arne Duncan issued a strong warning to public school districts nationwide not to deny enrollment to immigrant students in the country illegally. The Justice and Education Departments jointly issued an update of guidelines they published three years ago, reminding districts that they "may be in violation of federal law" if they turn students away because the children or their parents do not have immigration papers. The guidelines clarify what documents schools can and cannot require to prove that students live in their districts.
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Charter schools get bipartisan boost from US House
The Huffington Post
Even as some question the need to increase charter school funding, the U.S. House of Representatives — in a rare show of bipartisanship — voted to do just that. The House voted 360-45 to approve the Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act, which would update the federal charter school program and push for an increase in charter school funding from $250 million to $300 million. The existing program uses a grant competition to fund the creation of entirely new public charter schools; it was initially enacted as part of the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act.
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Study: Dancing, small-group instruction, help keep children on task
Education Week
Elementary students spend nearly a third of their time off task, with distractions more likely to happen when children are working on their own or receiving whole-group instruction at their desks.

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5 common myths about school administration
eSchool News
It's not always teachers who face criticism in the U.S. Many school administrators say that misconceptions about their career motivations and the position in general still exist today — and many myths have survived for decades.

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How much teachers get paid — State by state
The Washington Post
How much do teachers across the United States get paid? Here is data, state by state, collected from the National Center for Education Statistics by Jon Boeckenstedt, associate vice president at DePaul University in Chicago.

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Indiana State Board of Education OKs new K-12 standards
Indianapolis Star
The State Board of Education followed Gov. Mike Pence's lead and gave final approval to new K-12 education standards Monday despite continued objections from some conservatives that the guidelines are a shoddy, rebranded version of Common Core. The board's decision brings to a close more than a year of political feuding in Indiana over replacing the national Common Core standards. Some conservatives have consistently opposed them as an intrusion into state affairs that spawned less rigorous guidelines.
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Colorado TCAP reading scores off slightly as READ Act gets underway
The Denver Post
Colorado's third-grade reading results in the final year of the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program dipped slightly from last year, but students scoring proficient or advanced continued to hover in the low 70 percent range. The 2014 numbers showed 71.5 percent of the state's third-graders essentially passing the test. That's down from 73 percent in 2013, although each year's scores represent a different group of students. Statewide data show similar drops among black and Latino students, who passed at about a 56 percent rate. Growth data that chart students' year-to-year progress won't be out until August.
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Register now for 2014 NAESP conference
NAESP
There's no other event like the NAESP National Conference and Expo, July 10-12 in Nashville, Tennessee. Only here can you make the contacts, share the ideas, and discover the solutions that will inform your entire school year. Don't let it happen without you! Register today.
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Help teachers feel less stressed
NAESP
Teaching is a highly stressful occupation. Distressed teachers do not suffer in isolation. Their attitudes spill over into the heart and soul of the school campus, into its emotional atmosphere and sense of community. To help teachers feel less stressed during the busy last weeks of school, focus on these three areas of concern: time, respect and support.
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Looking to share your expertise?
MultiBriefs via NAESP
In an effort to enhance the overall content of Before The Bell, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of NAESP, your knowledge of the industry lends itself to unprecedented expertise. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphical limit. Our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics.
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