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5 data protection policies for the new school year
eSchool News
Student data is a hot topic these days, and as the new school year kicks off, educators and school leaders are examining their data storage and data security practices to ensure that sensitive student information remains private and secured. Most school information security approaches are multi-layered and come together from different angles to offer protection from a variety of threats.
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Study: Hand sanitizers not shown to cut school absences
USA Today
Putting alcohol-based hand sanitizers in classrooms in the hopes of reducing school absences due to illness may not be worth the expense in high-income countries where clean water for washing hands is readily available, a study says. It finds that adding the sanitizers to school-age kids' usual hand hygiene routine — washing with soap and water — did not reduce illness-related absences.
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The importance of hands-on learning and movement for English learners
By: Erick Herrmann
Consider your most memorable learning experience in school. Did the experience involve a lecture or a worksheet? Perhaps a bit more likely is that your memorable experience included a project or activity that required you to do something hands-on — building something, acting or performing, or some form of hands-on activity or movement. When working with English learners, incorporating hands-on or experiential learning is especially beneficial.
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Despite training, half of teachers feel inadequately prepared for Common Core
Education Week
Teachers are getting steadily more training in the common core, but they're not feeling much more prepared to teach it, according to survey results by the Education Week Research Center. The study, "From Adoption to Practice: Teacher Perspectives on the Common Core," shows that while far more teachers are attending Common Core training, they are giving those sessions low marks for quality.
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Successful math and science teacher collaboration: The administrator's role
Edutopia (commentary)
Ben Johnson, an administrator, author and educator, writes: "Teachers working together? Who has the time? That is where the administrator comes in to play. During my doctoral research, I discovered that the school administrator is a critical factor in successful math and science teacher collaboration."
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Study: Learning a musical instrument boosts language, reading skills
PBS Newshour
Learning to sing or play a musical instrument can improve language and reading skills of disadvantaged children, according to a new study released Friday. Nina Kraus, PhD, a neurobiologist at Northwestern University, found that musical training has an impact in strengthening neural functions as well as a connection with sound and reading of children in impoverished areas. Her previous research focused on the impact of music lessons on children of the middle or upper class. This study, which is being presented to the American Psychological Association, included hundreds of students in Los Angeles and Chicago public schools with about 50 percent dropout rates.
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How to get the most out of student-owned devices in any classroom
MindShift
Allowing students to bring their own devices to class can be a cost-effective way to quickly get access to the internet and to the many useful tools those devices carry. But students don't always get the chance to use their devices, especially in low-income schools. As we previously reported, a 2013 Pew study revealed that only 35 percent of teachers at the lowest income schools allow their students to look up information on their mobile devices, as compared to 52 percent of teachers at wealthier schools. And while 70 percent of teachers working in high-income areas say their schools do a good job providing resources and support to effectively integrate technology into the classroom, only 50 percent of teachers in low-income areas agree.
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5 Common Core priorities for the new school year
eSchool News
As schools gear up to dive back into learning, states that have adopted the Common Core State Standards are outlining their priorities and are identifying their top goals for the standards. The Common Core State Standards have been, and continue to be, a hot-button topic, with some states deciding not to adopt the Common Core while still revamping their standards, and with others adopting the standards but later pulling out. One of the biggest misconceptions lies in the fact that many people believe the standards to be curriculum — in fact, states are working to develop a curriculum that supports the Common Core standards and learning goals.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Postcards from the Common Core classroom (NPR)
Motivation: The overlooked sixth component of reading (Edutopia)
Put down the cupcake: New ban hits school bake sales (The Wall Street Journal)
4 ideas to have a successful first year as principal (Connected Principals)
Why some schools are selling all their iPads (The Atlantic)

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


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Screen time that's valuable for young kids
MindShift
Most people agree that implementing game-based learning makes sense for older students, but what about really young kids? Do screens have a place in early childhood education? How young is too young for screen time? If you have small children, you know that this is a hot topic among new parents. Some moms and dads believe that screen time will ruin their children. Others see tablets as an exceptional parenting gadget, a tool that can teach, distract and educate.
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Let safety rule in school backpack choice
Medical News Today
Celebrities, characters, and popular designs like "Transformers", One Direction and "Frozen" may be what's on your child's mind; but when it comes to the kind of backpack to purchase for school, safety should be top of mind for parents. "About 6,000 children are injured each year from wearing an inappropriate backpack," said Linda Rhodes, Senior Occupational Therapist at Children's Hospital of Georgia. "While it is important to have the necessary books, supplies, and tools handy in your child's backpack, you should also be sure that you are doing your best to prevent an injury."
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Building better teachers
The Atlantic
Teaching dwarfs every other profession that requires a college degree. Nationwide, 3.7 million schoolteachers serve grades K–12 — more than all the doctors, lawyers, and engineers in the country combined. Teacher shortages, once chronic, abated during the recession, when layoffs were widespread, but will soon return with a vengeance. Fully half of all teachers are Baby Boomers on the brink of retirement. Among novice teachers, who constitute an increasingly large proportion of the remaining workforce, between 40 and 50 percent typically quit within just five years, citing job dissatisfaction or more-alluring prospects.
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Districts' budgets swell to accommodate a surge in non-teaching staff
Education Week
Between 1970 and 2010, the number of employees in the nation's schools grew by a whopping 84 percent. At the same time, the number of non-teaching staff members expanded by 130 percent to more than 3 million — or about half of public school districts' staff. But who is counted among the "non-teaching" staff? What do they do? And what has led to the exponential surge in this staffing category at a rate that has outpaced even the growth of teachers and students?
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How schools are supercharging the SIS
District Administration Magazine
Wyoming's Laramie County School District implemented its first student information system more than 15 years ago so teachers could enter grades electronically and share student progress with other educators. Almost immediately, district leaders realized they needed additional information systems to compile special education data, monitor No Child Left Behind standards, track visits to nurses and send emergency and weather notifications. By 2011, district officials were using seven different systems, all of which required separate updates, passwords and usernames. "We had so many different systems that our secretaries were pulling their hair out," says Gordon Knopp, the district's chief information officer.
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Confused about where to stand on teacher tenure? So is the rest of America
The Huffington Post
From New York to California, teacher tenure has been under attack across the nation this summer. In June, a judge in California struck down the state's teacher tenure laws — which give educators increased job security — saying they potentially interfere with children's right to a basic education. One month later, an advocacy group led by former CNN anchor Campbell Brown filed a lawsuit similarly trying to roll back teacher job protections in New York. In Kansas, the state's teachers' union recently filed a lawsuit to fight new legislation that ends due process rights for teachers facing dismissal.
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A $5 billion bounty: How to use E-rate support for Wi-Fi
eSchool News
The FCC's new E-rate rules set aside $5 billion over the next five years for the equipment needed to extend broadband access within schools and libraries, including routers, switches, wireless access points, wireless controllers and other Wi-Fi equipment. The new rules include changes that will spread this funding to a large number of applicants, ensuring support for schools that haven't received E-rate discounts on internal connections before.
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Screen time that's valuable for young kids
MindShift
Most people agree that implementing game-based learning makes sense for older students, but what about really young kids? Do screens have a place in early childhood education? How young is too young for screen time?

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Maximizing PLC time to flip your class
District Administration Magazine
Recently, we have been talking with a number of people about how to best implement flipped learning, and one hurdle mentioned over and over by teachers is that they do not have enough time.

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5 apps for today's administrators
eSchool News
Leading a school or a school district is, understandably, an important and critical job. Today's school administrators must keep up to date with learning trends, instructional strategies, technology initiatives, and everything in between.

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Slim hope for ESEA reauthorization, say education 'insiders'
Education Week
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act will never be reauthorized. At least that's what 20 percent of education "insiders" surveyed by a Washington consulting group think. The new survey released Thursday by Whiteboard Advisors found that 72 percent of a small group of key education influentials agreed that, at the very least, Congress won't update the federal education law until after December 2015. "We are only six years behind," mocked one respondent. "What's the rush now?" The report is based on an anonymous survey of 50 to 75 "key education influentials," including policymakers, thought leaders and association heads.
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For public schools, the long and bumpy road to going digital
MindShift
Ryan Imbriale had a quick and concise answer when asked whether his school district, Baltimore County Public Schools, received enough state funding to pay for its transition from textbooks to software: "No." As executive director of the district's innovative learning department, Imbriale is overseeing a five-year project, called BCPS One, to move its entire curriculum online and make it available to teachers and students. He estimates that the district will spend more than $1 million a year on digital resources for its 108,376 students. The district was "lucky enough," he said, to get one of the governor's innovation grants.
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Upcoming webinars explore middle-level tools, playground safety
NAESP
Join NAESP for two learning opportunities in August. First, on Wednesday, Aug. 20, principal Matthew Saferite will present a webinar on using middle-level tools to improve teacher development. Second, on Tuesday, Aug. 26, two playground experts will explore common safety hazards and techniques principals can use to keep students safe. Both presentations are free. Sign up and view archived webinars at NAESP's webinar page.
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Watch Principals' Perspective TV
NAESP
At the 2014 Annual Conference, NAESP announced a new partnership with ITN Productions to create an in-depth news program exploring the impact of education reforms. Anchored from ABC Television's headquarters in New York City, The Principals' Perspective will tell stories from the heart of America's classrooms.
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