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Sunscreen forbidden at schools and camps
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When parents send children to school or camp, they may worry about many things, from bullies to bus accidents. But unauthorized sunscreen use? It turns out that many schools and camps do that worrying for parents, with policies that ban kids from carrying sunscreen without a doctor's note and warn staffers not to dispense it. Such policies are getting new scrutiny, thanks to Jesse Michener, a mother in Tacoma, Wash., who was horrified to see two of her daughters, ages 11 and 9, return from a school field day with severe sunburns. More

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Study: Kids with behavior issues, disabilities are bullied more, bully others more
Medical Xpress    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Students receiving special-education services for behavioral disorders and those with more obvious disabilities are more likely to be bullied than their general-education counterparts — and are also more likely to bully other students, a new study shows. The findings, published in the Journal of School Psychology, highlight the complexity of bullying's nature and the challenges in addressing the problem, said lead author Susan Swearer, professor of school psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. More



Draft of Common Science Standards draws friendly fire
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The first public draft of Common Science Standards is encountering some criticism from a prominent teachers' organization and a Washington-based think tank, with the former complaining of a "lack of clarity and coherence" in the performance expectations, and the latter saying the draft serves up an overdose on scientific "practices" while omitting some key content knowledge that it argues needs to be explicitly included. In both instances, the feedback is essentially a "critical friend" approach, as the National Science Teachers Association is a partner involved in the development of the standards, and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute is a strong advocate for producing Common Science Standards. More

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Middle school girls want access to e-learning
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For years now, advocates of online learning have been pushing virtual education as an answer for students who want a more personalized, self-paced and technology-based approach to their education. In other words, as a solution for middle school girls. That's perhaps the most surprising finding of a new report released by nonprofit educational research group Project Tomorrow at ISTE 2012 in San Diego. More


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When school-based nutrition programs involve teachers, staff and parents kids eat healthier
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Programs to promote healthy eating can substantially reduce the amount of unhealthy foods and beverages on school grounds if the programs focus on a school's specific needs and involve teachers, parents, staff and administrators, according to a Kaiser Permanente Southern California study published in BioMed Central's open access journal International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. More

Study: Imaginations more active despite less play time
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Students today may have less time for free play, but new research suggests their imaginations have actually sharpened compared with children two decades ago. In an analysis published in May 2011 in the Creativity Research Journal and posted online last month, researchers from Case Western University in Cleveland found elementary school children in 2008 were significantly more imaginative and took greater comfort in playing make-believe than their counterparts in 1985 despite having less time either during or after school for free play. More

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Google: More than 500 school districts in the US and Europe now use Chromebooks
TechCrunch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It seems like schools are the one market where Google is having some success with its Chromebook initiative. The company announced that there are now 500 school districts in the U.S. and Europe that actively use Chromebooks. Google also announced a few new districts that have recently decided to use Google's Web-centric laptops, including Rockingham Country Schools, N.C., Transylvania County Schools, N.C., and Fond du Lac School District, Wis. More

Education Trust report emphasizes need for culture, policy changes in High-poverty, low-performing public schools
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new report released by The Education Trust emphasizes the need for policy and culture changes in the public education sector, and not just updated teacher evaluation systems. "Making evaluations more meaningful is a critical step toward improving our schools. But being able to determine who our strongest teachers and principals are doesn’t mean that struggling students will magically get more of them," Sarah Almy, director of teacher quality at The Education Trust and co-author of the report, said in a statement. "We have to be intentional about creating the kinds of supportive working environments in our high-poverty and low-performing schools that will make them more attractive to our strongest teachers." More


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Technology won't replace the classroom
Scientific American (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Last year, our principal posed this question to our faculty: "Can we be rendered obsolete by online learning?" The Khan Academy was receiving widespread attention for propagating the idea of an online learning experience for younger students. There was a general fear among school administrators and teachers in the K-12 education community that this could become an exclusively online learning system; that a computer could replace a teacher, and an "online learning environment" could replace a classroom. More

Why can't students add without a calculator
Slate (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When Longfellow Middle School in Falls Church, Va., recently renovated its classrooms, Vern Williams, who might be the best math teacher in the country, had to fight to keep his blackboard. The school was putting in new "interactive whiteboards" in every room, part of a broader effort to increase the use of technology in education. That might sound like a welcome change. But this effort, part of a nationwide trend, is undermining American education, particularly in mathematics and the sciences. It is beginning to do to our educational system what the transformation to industrial agriculture has done to our food system over the past half century: efficiently produce a deluge of cheap, empty calories. More

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As exams move online, students spend more time testing
The Hechinger Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the Appoquinimink school district in central Delaware, students now take three, and sometimes four, versions of the state math and reading tests online each year. In the near future, this may become the norm in schools across the country, as computers allow states to give standardized tests multiple times a year. Giving students more tests is something the online test developers are encouraging. They say teachers will be able to receive results immediately, which can help them change their teaching methods if students are not mastering the material. But so far in Delaware, one of the early adopters of computer-based testing, the scores are not always helpful, educators say. The state sends schools two scores showing how students did overall in reading and math. "I wish we got more information than just a number," said Don Davis, principal of Brick Mill Elementary in the Appoquinimink district. More



District 'Race to the Top' rules spur mixed reaction
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Proposed guidelines for school districts to vie for $400 million in new federal grants have elicited mixed reaction from education groups — from concern among education-technology groups over how "personalized learning" will be defined, to arguments that the grants will exclude smaller districts from competing. With an eye toward expanding the Obama administration's signature "Race to the Top" competition to the district level, the federal education department recently issued a draft outlining competition guidelines and invited responses from stakeholders. More


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Duncan declares August 'Connected Educator Month'
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a video address at the International Society for Technology in Education conference, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that August will be "Connected Educator Month," and called upon teachers and other educational leaders to innovate through online collaboration and learning environments. "Now more than ever we need strong leaders ... to guide the country in transforming education and vastly improving the opportunity to learn for every American," Duncan said. More



Cranberry juice in schools: Changes to school nutrition standards, vending machine availability could affect industry
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The cranberry industry is bracing for impact, as new nutrition standards proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture threaten to affect the status of sugar-laden products that can be sold at school vending machines. Sugar-sweetened cranberry cocktails could very well be on the chopping block, according to a report from USA Today. More

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36 states, cities, school districts join Better Buildings Challenge
Environmental Leader    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Thirty-six new states, local governments and school districts have committed about 300 million square feet in building energy upgrades to President Barack Obama's Better Buildings Challenge, intended to make US buildings 20 percent more efficient by 2020. These commitments bring the total number of public and private sector partners to more than 100, and add $300 million in estimated investments to the almost $4 billion in public and private sector financial commitments the White House announced in December 2011. More


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Teaching approach helps 1st-graders excel
Midland Daily News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In 2010, first grade teachers at Siebert Elementary School in Michigan knew they needed to find a different approach for reading instruction. Reading recovery specialists and paraprofessionals, who once helped classroom teachers provide one-on-one instruction to students still developing basic skills, had been lost to budget cuts. And Siebert teachers were set to welcome more than 135 new students from Midland elementary schools closed by consolidation. Adding to the challenge, one of the consolidated schools received Title 1 funding for at-risk students but the money did not transfer to Siebert when the school closed its doors. More

How this school district turned its students' love of mobile into better learning, test scores
ZDNet    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Teenagers. They may forget your request to mow the lawn, fill up the gas and clean their rooms, but they'll never fail to bring their smartphone or tablet when they go out of the house. Indeed, teens would be the dream demographic for an organizational Bring Your Own Device policy — they use them constantly, they could train your IT staff on the latest devices, etc. — apart from the inconvenient fact that you don’t really need an iPhone to man the french fry station at Jack in the Box. But schools, that's a whole different ball of wax. Katy Independent School District in Texas figured out how to leverage BYOD with its students, turning what had once been a classroom disruptor into a learning tool — and better test scores. More

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Playground contest closes Saturday
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Submit an essay to the School Grounds. Playgrounds. Common Ground.™ contest, and you could win $50,000 in inclusive playground equipment from Landscape Structures. The deadline to apply is June 30. More

Webinar on school improvement today
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Join Scott Bauer and David Brazer, both professors in George Mason University's Education Leadership program, for Turning Evidence into Action: The Missing Link in School Improvement. At 4 p.m. EDT today, learn how to explore student achievement results to discover the root causes of achievement gaps. Participants will gain hands-on strategies for addressing achievement and school improvement planning. More


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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 crosso@naesp.org.
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