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States aim to boost graduation rates
USA Today
States with large rural populations are launching strategies to encourage more kids to go to college by making it easier to earn college credit while they're still in high school. This spring, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, signed into law a $1.3 million program that lets high school students who live in remote areas of the state take college-level courses as part of their high school studies through live videoconferencing.
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Exercise helps kids get better grades
TIME
It's not the brain but the heart that may matter more when it comes to excelling at school. Just like other organs, the brain needs to be used regularly to be at its best. And new research suggests physical exercise is correlated with improved mental functions, too.
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One-to-one: Student-led, student-centered
eSchool News
As we explored the implementation of one-to-one student devices, we thought thoroughly through the change process. This would, in fact, prove to be one of the largest shifts our district has ever made. Involving as many stakeholders as possible in this process allows for deep engagement, empowerment and ultimately ownership of the decisions being made. For students and teachers, this involvement will lead to deep learning in an authentic environment with real world and timely problems to be solved.
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Why free play is the best summer school
The Atlantic (commentary)
Most schools across the nation have marked the end of another academic year, and it's time for summer. Time for kids to bolt for the schoolhouse doors for two long months of play, to explore their neighborhoods and discover the mysteries, treasures and dramas they have to offer. This childhood idyll will hold true for some children, but for many kids, the coming of summer signals little more than a seasonal shift from one set of scheduled, adult-supervised lessons and activities to another.
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Student-login chaos fueling software password upgrades
Education Week
In classrooms across the country, teachers hoping to use a dizzying array of educational software programs are hitting a frustratingly mundane speed bump. "Kids can't remember their usernames and passwords," said Kecia Ray, the executive director of learning technology for the 81,000-student Metro Nashville school system, which has approved more than 500 different software programs for purchase by schools. "As much as you would like to tattoo it on their arm, you can't."
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Teachers-in-training learn along with students at summer camps
The Advocate
This year, several Louisiana summer camps have been given over for part of the day to 42 teachers-in-training who are being monitored by 15 master teachers. They are educating 200 of the children in all the summer camps. The children apply to participate and there are no academic requirements, though applications are opened up first to children already participating in Boys & Girls Club programs.
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Employers' challenge to educators: Make school relevant to students' lives
Mind Shift
Business leaders and economic thinkers are worried that today's students aren't leaving school with the skills they'll need to succeed in the workplace. Representatives from tech companies and hiring experts are looking for applicants who show individuality, confidence in their abilities, ability to identify and communicate their strengths and who are capable of thinking on their feet.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Trends and predictions for K-12 classrooms (MindShift)
Updated standards for educational leaders to be completed in October (Education Week)
The 'common' in Common Core fractures as state support falters (The Hechinger Report)
Why standardized testing keeps us stuck in the 19th century (eSchool News (commentary))

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


How many bad teachers are there?
The Hechinger Report
Pittsburgh officials revealed the first official results of a new teacher evaluation system designed to help weed out ineffective teachers. The verdict? Nearly all the teachers — 96.9 percent — are good at their jobs. The results, praised by the local teachers union and school system alike, follow a pattern emerging around the country: new evaluation systems, which replaced supposedly lax systems that allowed failing teachers to skate by and which cost millions to develop, aren't unearthing large numbers of bad teachers.
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Superintendents push schools into the digital age
eSchool News
Educational technology, for all its potential, is riddled with glitches and startup pains, especially when you're among the first to trade pencils for tablets. Yet some pioneering school leaders insist that thrusting schools into the digital Petri dish is imperative for students' success.
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What does the next-generation school library look like?
Mind Shift
At a time when public libraries are starting to offer everything from community gardening plots to opportunities to check out humans for conversations, some school libraries are similarly re-evaluating their roles and expanding their offerings.
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School improvement requires more than just a plan
By Thomas Van Soelen
As educational leaders, we spend considerable time building plans for a variety of stakeholders. After that first, often arduous writing of the initial draft, many leaders struggle with how to revise the plan in meaningful, engaging ways. Chuck Bell, a second-year superintendent in Elbert County, Georgia, created his system's first-ever improvement plan then ran his summer leadership retreat and was stumped with what to do next. He chose to model a process that school leaders could immediately lift and use in their schools.
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TRENDING ARTICLE
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Why free play is the best summer school
The Atlantic (commentary)
Most schools across the nation have marked the end of another academic year, and it's time for summer. Time for kids to bolt for the schoolhouse doors for two long months of play, to explore their neighborhoods and discover the mysteries, treasures and dramas they have to offer.

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Can 12 minutes of exercise make a difference for students?
Psych Central
A new study shows that 12 minutes of exercise can improve attention and reading comprehension in low-income adolescents. Researchers at Dartmouth College say these findings suggest that schools serving low-income students should work brief bouts of exercise into their daily schedules. The study, published in Frontiers in Psychology, compared low-income adolescents with their high-income peers.

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7 steps to authentic learning
eSchool News
Why authentic learning? There are so many reasons to choose from, some of the most important being: providing deep purpose for learning, empowering students, providing differentiation and choice options in learning, connecting students to others locally and globally, and allowing opportunities to develop empathy, creativity and innovation skills.

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Thousands more students to get free lunch next fall
USA Today
Thousands more students could be eating school lunch completely free starting next fall, thanks to a four-year-old federal program that is finally expanding to all 50 states. The expansion comes through the so-called Community Eligibility Provision, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010 as part of a broader school nutrition measure. It opened the door for districts with free or reduced-price lunches to offer the meals to every student at the school, at no cost to them — no application necessary and regardless of household income.
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Opinion: Why states are dropping Common Core
Fox News (commentary)
When Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill repealing Common Core national standards from her state's schools, it was perhaps the most ironic moment in the fight over the initiative. Fallin is chairwoman of the National Governors Association, one of the private groups that hold the copyright of Common Core.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword COMMON CORE.




To boost attendance, Milwaukee schools revive art, music and gym
Milwaukee Public Radio
Milwaukee Public Schools is one of several school systems across the country — including Los Angeles, San Diego and Nashville, Tennessee — that are re-investing in subjects like art and physical education. The Milwaukee school district is hiring new specialty teachers with the hope of attracting more families and boosting academic achievement.
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Key education issues face Indiana policymakers
The Lafayette Journal & Courier
The State Board of Education and Education Roundtable met back-to-back this week to consider and vote on a handful of the state's most critical and controversial education issues. The meetings bring together Gov. Mike Pence and Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz. They and others will discuss plans for new statewide standardized tests for K-12 students and proposed guides to help teachers plan curriculum based on the new academic standards recently adopted to replace the national Common Core standards.
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Minnesota schools struggle with technology funding
The Associated Press via Education Week
School districts across the Twin Cities are working to equip students with technology such as iPads and laptops, but with funding becoming an issue, schools are looking for creative ways to pay for the devices.
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Illinois parents take legal action against alleged bullying
ABC News
Illinois parents have taken legal action against their son's alleged bully, suing a boy and his parents on their son's behalf. Matthew and Deveri Del Core filed the lawsuit recently, claiming their son's fellow fourth grader at a Chicago-area elementary school violently bullied their son Joaquin for the entire school year.
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Rhode Island bill would delay standardized tests as graduation requirement
Providence Journal
The Rhode Island House Health Education and Welfare Committee recently voted unanimously to pass matching House and Senate bills that delay the use of any standardized test as a high school graduation requirement until 2017, including the controversial New England Common Assessment Program test known as the NECAP.
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Utah school adds cameras to classrooms for parents, teacher evaluations
THE Journal
A private school in Utah that serves children in pre-K through second grade is using video cameras to let parents watch what's going on in the classroom. Dancing Moose Montessori School in Salt Lake City, which has two locations, also uses the cameras to provide an efficient way to perform teacher evaluations without disrupting the class and provide an extra measure of school security.
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Become an editorial advisor for Principal magazine
NAESP
NAESP is seeking candidates for its editorial advisory board. If you are a current principal and interested in becoming an editorial advisor, fill out this application. Editorial advisors are asked to make a three-year commitment. Being an editorial advisor takes a limited amount of time each month, and all advisors are recognized in the masthead of Principal. Deadline to apply is July 25.
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Be an instructional encourager
NAESP
Every day is a new opportunity to practice "perfection" at Eastern Pulaski Elementary School in Winamac, Indiana. Serving nearly 600 K-5 students, the school has embraced the philosophy that in order for students to achieve their personal best, educators must maintain high expectations for daily classroom work. Here are four ways the staff encourages students to do their personal best every day.
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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 Meredith Barnett at MBarnett@naesp.org.
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
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