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Mathematical Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools

Math Problem solving contests for teams of up to 35 students in grades 4 through 8.

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Report: 30 percent of districts lack anti-bullying policy
District Administration Magazine
Despite national campaigns to combat bullying, 3 in 10 districts still do not have policies that protect students from harassment. And many of these school systems are in states that require such rules by law, according to a report from the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, also known as GLSEN. Most anti-bullying policies are developed on the district level, says Nathan Smith, director of public policy at GLSEN. Every state in the country now has an anti-bullying law, but the regulations vary widely. Only eighteen of these laws prohibit specific behaviors, such as discriminating against students based upon students' race, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.
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This map shows how many more students are living in poverty than 9 years ago
The Huffington Post
Students in America's schools are much, much poorer than they were nine years ago. In 2006, 31 percent of America's students attended schools in "high-poverty" districts, meaning that 20 percent or more of the district's students lived below the federal poverty line. By 2013, however, this number jumped to over 49 percent, according to an analysis of U.S. Census estimates from the nonprofit EdBuild. This means that nearly half of the nation's children between the ages of 5 and 17 attend schools in communities where a large chunk of families are struggling to get by.
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K-12 science instruction gets a digital boost
By: Archita Datta Majumdar
Data released last year by the National Math and Science Initiative showed 44 percent of U.S. high school graduates are ready for college-level math, while 36 percent have shown proper readiness for college-level science. A dismal report by all accounts. Thus, it is hardly a surprise that more initiatives are coming up from both public and private sectors to improve these numbers. Now, a new project will pave the way for more innovation in K-12 science instruction.
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  Bias-Busting Formative Assessment Framework
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Growth mindset: How to normalize mistake-making and struggle in class
MindShift
Carol Dweck's research on growth mindset has become essential knowledge in education circles. The Stanford psychologist found that children who understand that their brains are malleable and can change when working through challenging problems can do better in school. Now, many school districts are attempting to teach growth mindset to their students. At the core of this practice is the idea of "productive failure" (a concept Dr. Manu Kapur has been studying for over a decade) and giving students the time and space to work through difficult problems. Another key idea is to praise the process and effort a child puts in, not the final product.
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3 tips to boost student health and improve learning
Education Dive
A cough can keep a kid home from class. A vision impairment can make it hard to read the board. A lack of physical activity can make them fidgety. The ways that student health impact students' ability to learn in class begin small. But according to a new report from a state-run research organization, those small struggles add up. And in low-income communities, they can create real barriers to student learning. Education Commission of the States was founded by states to research and consult on key education trends. Its new report, "Health barriers to learning and the education opportunity gap," compiles data from a variety of sources, including national health surveys, research into the link between student health and academic achievement, and influential policies governing school-based health practices.
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Washington, DC area minority-owned business is the first American company to be awarded foreign publishing code in China
Science Weekly Magazine
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Students with disabilities face special risk of summer slide
City Limits
Randi Levine, a policy coordinator at the nonprofit Advocates for Children, often counsels the parents of New York City public school students with disabilities who are trying to get the services their child requires from the Department of Education. She recalls a student whose parents fought to keep her school-year services going throughout the summer, demonstrating that she risked a considerable learning loss over the break without the assistance. "We showed the skills that she loses overnight, over weekends, over school holidays, the amount of repetition that she needs, and how quickly she forgets or loses those skills," Levine says.
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A lesson plan for helping young children learn to accept differences
Edutopia (commentary)
How do we get young children to accept differences? First, we have to recognize that for many young children, "differences" are disconcerting. Even though a pre-K or kinder student may not be able to articulate it, they are often put off by differences. Sometimes it's because they can't explain what they perceive. Other times, they are not sure of the implications of the differences and may fear for their own safety.
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This could change everything about school — for kids, teachers and everybody else
The Washington Post (commentary)
Learning is challenging. Kids need to accept that life is a test and grit is essential to success. Competition builds character. A quiet school is a good school. Recess and leisurely lunchtimes are poor uses of valuable instructional time. Kindergarten should be the new first grade. Poverty is no excuse for poor performance. Retention in grade for under-performing kids just makes good sense. The root cause of academic decline is teachers' low expectations. Rigor is the key to winning the Race to the Top.
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Beware of resilient, mutated 'super lice' — yes, they're real
By: Joan Spitrey
Back-to-school season is a time for next chapters, seeing old friends, making new friends — and, of course, organized germ exchanges. Yes, the sharing of germs and other critters, such as lice, also is part of the fun of back to school. Although a lice infestation is a common rite of passage for many elementary school children, a recent report by the American Chemical Society found lice are mutating and becoming more difficult to treat.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Stop Bullying/Help Prevent Suicide

Learn more about these new online training programs to help improve the climate and culture in your schools. Based on the movie, Contest, Stand Up Say No to Bullying teaches students how to handle conflict and bullying. Signs Matter helps teachers and administrators identify students who may be contemplating suicide. You can help save lives.
 


Primed to teach
District Administration Magazine
Hiring and retaining talented teachers can be a challenge in any district. But finding recent teaching college graduates who are ready to excel in the classroom their very first year can be even more difficult. This leaves administrators continuing to question whether college teaching programs are adequately preparing each new generation of educators. A successful prep program should be rigorous and purposeful, and get student-teachers into actual classrooms earlier rather than later, says Hamlet Hernandez, superintendent of Branford Public Schools in Connecticut and member of the District Administration Leadership Institute.
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Empty plate: Kids are being bullied to skip lunch at school
U.S. News & World Report
Anti-bullying curriculum has created a generation of kids who are much more aware of overt, classic bullying. However, bullying and peer pressure take many forms, and at times can be very difficult to spot. One alarming trend happening in some school cafeterias is kids facing pressure to not eat lunch, or to eat much less than they actually want.
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Poll: Americans oppose linking teacher evaluations with student performance
eSchool News
Many Americans, especially public-school parents, give low marks to rating a teacher based partly on how students perform on standardized tests, according to a survey. The Gallup Poll found 55 percent opposed linking teacher evaluations to their students' test scores. Among those with children in public schools opposition was stronger, at 63 percent. Standardized tests are necessary, but there's an overreliance on them, said Joshua Starr, CEO of Phi Delta Kappa International, an association for educators, and a former schools superintendent. PDK, which supports teachers and educational research, paid for the poll conducted by Gallup.
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2-year-olds with larger oral vocabularies enter kindergarten better prepared
Society for Research in Child Development via Science Daily
Children with better academic and behavioral functioning when they start kindergarten often have better educational and societal opportunities as they grow up. For instance, children entering kindergarten with higher reading and math achievement are more likely to go to college, own homes, be married, and live in higher-income neighborhoods as adults. Now a new study points to very early roots of differences in school readiness, with growth in vocabulary playing a particularly important role. The study found that children with larger oral vocabularies by age 2 arrived at kindergarten better prepared academically and behaviorally than their peers. This information can help target early intervention efforts.
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Picking the right science equipment
Scholastic Administration Magazine
Science experiments that might have been too time-consuming or expensive or even dangerous in traditional classroom labs are now possible thanks to new technology tools such as digital sensors and probes. But which equipment is right for your school? There are a number of factors to consider. Here are five key questions to help you make the most of your budget while providing your students with the tools of today's science and technology careers.
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Poll: 80 percent K-12 teachers say students understand information better when presented on paper than on tablet
iSchoolGuide
The Paper and Packaging Board has released a new survey that explored the use of paper by US-based educators, students and parents, and its role in learning. Results revealed that despite the increasing popularity of digital technology in education, majority of Americans still prefer paper-based learning. The survey, "2015 The Annual Back-to-School Report," revealed that 91 percent of Americans still use paper on a daily basis, and most often in the form of books. In addition, 68 percent of students — aged 13 to 17 — carry books often. A majority of college students (82 percent) also rely on paper most of the time, particularly when preparing for an exam.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Pilot Program: World Cultures Curriculum

All Around This World,
an experiential global music and world cultures program for kids, seeks elementary schools to pilot its “Explore Everywhere” classroom curriculum in '15-'16. Participating schools recevie full scholarship to Africa and Latin America series (up to 20 weeks each). Teacher training videos/webinars included. FUN! Intrigued? Click here.
 


Google classroom update gives teachers new SRS tool
EdTech Magazine
When teachers kick off the new school year using the Google Apps for Education Lineup, they'll be given a few new tools to manage their classroom. Google released an update to Classroom on Monday, adding some new functions to its education productivity suite. Among the additions is a student response system built into the platform, allowing teachers to insert question-driven discussions into their classroom stream page.
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Study tracks vast racial gap in school discipline in 13 southern states
NPR
For years there has been mounting evidence that U.S. schools suspend and expel African-American students at higher rates than white students. A new study by the University of Pennsylvania singles out 13 Southern states where the problem is most dire. Schools in these states were responsible for more than half of all suspensions and exclusions of black students nationwide. "Black kids on the whole are suspended for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with safety," says report co-author Shaun Harper of Penn's Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education.
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New rule ends 'modified' tests for students with disabilities
Disability Scoop
The U.S. Department of Education is doing away with a policy that allowed states to consider some students with disabilities academically proficient without meeting grade-level standards. The agency said in a final rule published in the Federal Register that states will no longer be allowed to administer tests to students with disabilities that are based on modified academic achievement standards. Previously, states could count up to 2 percent of their students as proficient under the No Child Left Behind Act for taking such exams. But now the Education Department is saying no more to the policy known as the "2 percent rule."
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State takeover of schools harms African-American, Latino communities, report contends
Education Week
A new report from The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, a group including the nation's two largest teachers' unions, argues that state takeover of schools and school districts is "stripping political power" from black and Latino communities. The report traces the history of what the group calls "market-based intervention and reform," from the state takeover of three New Jersey school districts in the late 1980s and mid-1990s to the present-day push to allow state-run schools in Georgia. The authors contend that the growing number of state takeovers and achievement districts has increased segregation, dismantled community schools, and undermined the financial stability of the affected school districts.
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Why some in education believe truancy deserves much more attention
The Washington Post
Recent battles in the edu-policy world have centered on standardized testing, teacher tenure, charter schools, vouchers and Common Core state standards. But debates over how to address poor student attendance — which is directly linked to low achievement and high dropout rates — have generated much less heat and light. And that's a mistake, according to the Center for American Progress, which is seeking to highlight truancy as an issue that deserves far more attention than it traditionally gets.
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Boost school attendance with Report to Parents
NAESP
To stay on track in school, students need to be present every day. Missing 18 or more days of school in a year puts a child's high school graduation at risk. This month's Report to Parents, "Make Every Day Count: Boost School Attendance," will help families ensure their kids don't miss school and lose precious instructional time. You can find the latest and past issues in the Report to Parents archives, with both English and Spanish versions available.
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Recognize student excellence with the President's Education Awards
NAESP
Celebrate achievement in your school with the President’s Education Awards Program (PEAP). Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, in partnership with NAESP and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, PEAP offers principals a way to recognize and honor students’ dedication to learning. Each award includes an embossed certificate signed by President Barack Obama, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and you.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Raising autism awareness on the school bus (School Transportation News)
How much homework is too much? (The Christian Science Monitor)
5 facts about America's students (Pew Research Center)
Rookie principals' group sheds light on early-career challenges (Education Week)
5 tips to kick start the school year (Edutopia)

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


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 Ned Colbert at EColbert@naesp.org.
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
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