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Could the Internet spell the end of snow days?
The Associated Press via Google News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Could the Internet mean the end of snow days? Some schools think so, and they are experimenting with ways for students to do lessons online during bad weather, potentially allowing classes to go on during even the worst blizzard. "Virtual snow days" would help ease pressure on school calendars. Because districts are required to be in session for a certain number of hours or days, losing teaching time to winter weather can mean extending the school day or cutting short spring break or summer vacation. More

6 technologies that will change education
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Over the next five years, six technologies will have a profound impact on teaching and learning, according to a new report. The report focuses on the key technology areas that researchers identify as likely to have a major impact on educational institutions and other learning-focused organizations within the next five years, broken down into the technologies that will have an impact in the near term, those that are in the early stages of adoption, and those that are a bit further out. The report also identifies trends and "critical" challenges facing education in the near future. More

Specialists weigh common social studies standards
Education Week    Share    Share on
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Feeling that social studies has been sidelined by a test-driven focus on math and English/language arts, subject-matter specialists from more than a dozen states are meeting with representatives of content-area groups to brainstorm ways to improve academic standards in that subject. More

Let kids play, learn together to combat childhood obesity
The Clarion-Ledger    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new study found that elementary age children had improved test scores when they were able to be active during the school day. Researchers chose an elementary school in Charleston, S.C., with lower test scores on state standardized tests.The school day was restructured to allow children to participate in physical activity 40 minutes each day instead of the 40 minutes per week previously spent in physical education classes. The teachers combined learning activities with exercise for younger students such as hopping from one carpet square to the next while saying the color of each square. Older children ran on a treadmill that took them on a journey through a geography lesson or climbed a rock wall while working on math skills. More

Monkey bars no more: Trying the money playground
NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Fairfax County in the Washington, D.C., suburbs has plenty of shopping malls. Finance Park, though, is the only one exclusively for tweenagers. Every eighth-grader in this large, suburban school system must show up at this mock-up of the real world, spend money and act like an adult for a day. More

New DCPS principal evaluation process in place
WAMU-FM    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Teacher evaluations have been the focus of attention during the past few years in D.C. Public Schools, but now, it's principal evaluations that are getting an overhaul. The results of the first round of those evaluations are due in the coming weeks. More and more research is showing the importance of a strong principal. They are often the most senior people walking the hallways of public schools. But hanging on to a good principal — and getting rid of a bad one — is a difficult process, one that, in D.C. at least, has been overshadowed by the intense focus on teachers. More

TeachersFirst - a FREE, ad-free, teacher resource site. TeachersFirst’s Exclusive lessons/units and 12,000+ value-added reviews highlight the best of the web. Practical, teacher-friendly implemen-tation ideas and best practices promote effective integration of technology as a tool for teaching and learning. Sign up for FREE weekly update emails. more

Breaking the law? One-third of districts don't include cyber-bullying in policies
Minnesota Public Radio    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A good deal of social interaction occurs over the Internet — including bullying. That so-called "cyber-bullying" has schools across the nation struggling to figure out the best way to address it. Minnesota Public Radio found lax oversight on bullying in Minnesota — no one checks whether districts and charter schools actually have the required bullying policies in place. More

Lead paint linked to lower test scores
The Associated Press via The Boston Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Children who ingested even small amounts of lead performed poorly later on school tests compared with students who were never exposed to the substance, according to a new study of Connecticut students. The Duke University study also found that black children were much more likely to have experienced lead poisoning from paint residue, dust, or other sources by age 7 than the state's white children. Educators worry that factor might be among many contributing to Connecticut's status as the state with the largest achievement gap between the races. More

Pedometers Track Physical Activity

Pedometers are the tiny tool designed to measure your steps and motivate you to take more. Benefits include: feel better, increase energy, sleep better and improve your mood.

Special needs students run store, acquire skills
The Arizona Republic    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At Burk Elementary in Arizona sixth-grader Jayshaun Bogan-Walker "rang" items up on the calculator as students crowded around a table covered with bowling pin-shaped pens, dollar-shaped notepads and glittery notebooks. About 30 Burk special needs students in third- to sixth-grade are practicing math skills, social interactions and public speaking skills as they gain real world experience of the ins and outs of running a store. More

New federal program promotes 'green' school policies
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As the "green" movement sweeps across the nation, prompting citizens to buy organic produce and reduce their energy consumption, schools are following suit with lesson plans that teach students how to value environmental resources and with practices that save energy — and money. Now, a new federal program will honor and encourage these efforts. The U.S. Education Department created the Green Ribbon Schools program to recognize schools that are creating healthy and sustainable learning environments and teaching environmental literacy. The new awards program will receive support from the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. More

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.

North Carolina Senate approves multi-district schools
The Associated Press via WNCT-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The North Carolina Senate has approved a plan to allow two or more school districts to create a regional school that could offer high-demand work skills to area students. Lawmakers voted unanimously to give districts the authority to form the schools and provide services that districts offer their traditional schools. More

Wisconsin legislators focus on teacher discipline
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
School boards across Wisconsin could use teacher evaluations — which rely in part on the results of students' standardized state test scores — as part of the reason for dismissing and disciplining educators, according to legislation considered by the Assembly and Senate education committees. Senate Bill 95 proposes modifying 10 state mandates so that local school districts have more flexibility to decide what's best for their communities, said Sen. Luther Olsen, R-Ripon, a co-sponsor of the bill with Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills. More

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Georgia Supreme Court: Only local school boards can create charter schools
Atlanta Journal-Constitution    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Georgia Schools Superintendent John Barge has stepped in offering state help to campuses potentially disbanded by a Supreme Court ruling overturning the charter schools commission. Barge offered the assistance after the Georgia Supreme Court, in a ruling issued, determined that local boards of education have the sole power to fund and open public charter schools, an opinion that could derail the education of thousands of students. More

Montana State Superintendent says schools should adopt states' common core
Bozeman Daily Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Montana's top educator says she will propose to the state Board of Public Education that the state adopt the "common core" state standards that 43 other states have already embraced as a key way to improve American schools. Denise Juneau, state superintendent of public instruction, said the standards developed by states working together "are more rigorous than our standards." More


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New York voters pass 93 percent of school budgets in state
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Voters across New York State approved more than 93 percent of school budgets, as administrators facing sharp reductions in state education aid offered plans to cut staff and programs, tap into reserves and keep tax increases relatively low. Statewide, districts proposed an average budget to budget increase of 1.3 percent, the lowest in 15 years. More

New Denver Public Schools discipline system not universally embraced
The Denver Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Discipline policies in Denver Public Schools have been praised as models for other districts across the country, but in a couple of recent cases, relatives of students have questioned whether the softer approach is protecting their kids. More

School leaders thank school nurses
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
When it comes to keeping students healthy and ready to learn, school administrators rely on nurses. In honor of National School Nurse Day, Rob Monson, president-elect of NAESP, and other education leaders talked with Amy Garcia of the National School Nurses Association about how nurses and principals can partner to promote schoolwide wellness. More


NAESP launches Outstanding Assistant Principals Award Program
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Assistant principals in pre-K-8 schools now have a national awards program to call their own, thanks to NAESP's new Outstanding Assistant Principals Award Program. The program, made possible with the help of the Pearson Foundation, will promote educational excellence for pre-K-8 schooling and call attention to the fundamental importance of the assistant principal. The first awards will be granted for the 2011-2012 school year. More

NAESP Career Center: Your resource for a new job
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Looking for a new job? The NAESP Career Center has listings around the nation for positions just for elementary and middle-level principals. Check it out today. More

ASHA's New Practical RTI Book

The classroom-ready book about RTI with tiered activities that focus on enhancing oral language. More.


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Study shows BULLYING reduced 41%

Researchers from University of Illinois at Chicago just released findings from a randomized-control trial in 14 schools in Chicago. Schools using the Positive Action program from 3rd to 5th grade reduced bullying by 41%, violence by 37% and substance use by 31%. Academic effects will be released soon.
Learn more
Fischler School: Cause An Effect
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Bring the World to Your School with Educational Seminars!

Educational Seminars, fully funded by the U.S. Department of State, are short-term international exchanges for U.S. teachers and administrators that focus on sharing best practices and professional development.

Look for program applications for teachers and administrators in late summer/fall 2011. Email edseminars
to be added to our notification list.

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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
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