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3 in 10 US parents worry about child's safety at school
Gallup
Twenty-nine percent of U.S. parents say they fear for their child's safety at school. This is down from the 33 percent found immediately after the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012, but still above the 25 percent measured a few months before that incident occurred. U.S. parents' fears about school safety reached a high of 55 percent in April 1999 after the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado. Parents' concern typically peaks immediately following high-profile shootings — as seen in 2001 (45 percent) after the Santana High School shooting in California, and in 2006 (35 percent) after a shooting in an Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania — and then fades. The low point in parental concern (15 percent) came in August 2008.
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Business of bus routing
District Administration Magazine
Parents sometimes call Columbus City Schools in Ohio to complain the bus didn't pick up their child that morning. That's when Steve Simmons, the district's director of pupil transportation, turns to his computer. He pulls up records that tell him where the bus drove that morning, if it exceeded the speed limit, where it stopped, when its door opened, when the lights flashed and how long it idled. Most times, the data will show the bus stopped, set the parking brake, opened the door, sat for 37 seconds, closed the door and drove away. The system, among other functions, holds students who skip class accountable to their parents or guardians.
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ELL writing skills: The influence of L1 culture
By: Douglas Magrath
Culture and writing go together — and writing patterns reflect the L1 culture. Perhaps the most difficult aspect of English writing is style and rhetoric. The transfer of cultural thought patterns from one linguistic base to another results in comments on student papers such as "loose ends, vague or wordy." The accepted patterns of English rhetoric must be taught through a systematic approach that gives the writers plenty of opportunity for revision and extensive outside reading.
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When educators make space for play and passion, students develop purpose
MindShift
Harvard education specialist Tony Wagner has been advocating that we reinvent the education system to promote innovation for years. He's clear that content should no longer be at the center of school. Instead, he says a teacher’s main job should be to help students develop key skills necessary for when they leave school.
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New school year brings testing changes
District Administration Magazine
Public outcry over new standards-aligned tests led some states to cut funding, changing the exam landscape for 2015-2016. In 2012, nearly every state was part of either PARCC or the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. As of this July, just 18 states remained in Smarter Balanced, and 10 (plus Washington, D.C.) had stuck with PARCC. Twenty-two states opted to use their own assessments.
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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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Minecraft fueling creative ideas, analytical thinking in K-12 classrooms
Education Week
One of the world's most popular video games has made significant inroads into K-12 classrooms, opening new doors for teaching everything from city planning to 1st graders to physics for high schoolers. The game, of course, is Minecraft, a 21st-century version of Legos in which players use simple 3-D digital blocks to build and explore almost anything they can imagine. "It's no longer a farfetched idea that Minecraft could be useful for teaching and learning," said Joel Levin, the co-founder of TeacherGaming LLC, a 4-year-old company based in Tampere, Finland, that has sold MinecraftEdu, its customized classroom version of the game, to more than 6,500 schools, libraries, and museums.
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The future of learning spaces is open ended
eSchool News (commentary)
Lucien Vattel, a contributor for eSchool News, writes: "The spaces we inhabit have a profound effect on how we inhabit them. Space induces a particular way of feeling, of being. What are we saying to our children when we line them up in 5×8 rows facing the same direction toward a voice of authority? What do we say about desks that lock us in place, where the majority of movement within our gaze is eyes forward, eyes down? I remember my surprise when I walked into first grade for the very first time. The change from kindergarten to first grade was extreme. I looked at the arrangement of desks and thought, 'what game is this?' It was a game I would play for the rest of my developing years. I was disappointed. I knew it could be better than this."
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Using new technology to rediscover traditional ways of learning
Edutopia (commentary)
Older, more traditional forms of learning resonate with students because they connect with something deep within our human psyche. They engage the full person, not just the part of the brain that can decipher words on a page. They evoke a time when all of our ancestors were more alike than different in their cultural practices. Learning through movement and the senses is becoming easier to do as bulky, stationary technology has become more mobile. Also, we are seeing the beginnings of a trend in which technology is becoming practically invisible and more integrated into our everyday environments. Digital technology such as tablets can help teachers and students rediscover traditional ways of learning by using touch, movement, sound and visuality.
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Teachers and district leaders should work together
Education Week (commentary)
Precious Crabtree, a contributor for Education Week, writes: "Relationships with school and district leaders are just as important as the ones I establish with my students and other educators. Positive relationships improve the quality of the learning environment and allow teachers to meet student needs, grow professionally, and thrive. Yet, how much time do we spend building relationships with our school and district leaders to impact our students' learning environment?"
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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.
 


Wondering at what age you can safely let a child play with a tablet? Well, keep wondering
The Hechinger Report
In an episode of ABC's popular sitcom "Modern Family", Gloria, the fiery Colombian trophy wife, is fumbling with a smart phone while shouting at her husband, Jay. "I thought your phone was stolen," he snaps. She says the phone actually belongs to Joe — their infant son. There's no question that American families are attached to their mobile devices. At least 75 percent of households with children under eight own one. Two years ago, the figure was 25 percent. These new electronic babysitters are hip and highly portable, making it easy to rely on them. But what effect does this exposure to digital screens have on children's health?
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One-third of schools are using this app you've never heard of
NPR
Think of an educational tool and you might picture beloved standbys from our Tools of the Trade series, like the abacus and the wooden block. But educators are increasingly turning to software and websites like Khan Academy, Google Apps and Code.org to help them deliver lessons, manage collaboration, do real-time assessments and more. The problem is that juggling all these applications can be messy, complex and even unsafe. Increasingly, teachers' computer monitors are festooned with Post-it notes holding the logins and passwords of various programs.
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When schools are forced to practice race-based discipline
The Atlantic
The Obama administration might be disappointed to find out there's not much support for one of its key school-discipline reform initiatives — at least not from teachers or members of the general public. A growing body of evidence has long revealed discriminatory tendencies in the ways school districts dole out discipline. Black and Latino students are much more likely to be disciplined and suffer greater rates of in- and out-of-school suspensions. Of the 49 million students enrolled in public schools in the 2011-2012 school year, close to 7 million were suspended, about half of them out of school.
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Protecting student data in the digital age
By: Archita Datta Majumdar
The wonder of technology has its downside, and one of the most driving concerns is the breach of privacy. When student data is in question, there is sufficient cause for worry. The increasing reliance on online educational tools and third-party software to maintain curriculum has led to a new kind of data mining. The student population has become a target demographic for many industries, and now these companies have ready-made information that can be bought for a price.
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Study: School lunch fruits and veggies often tossed in trash
CBS News
New federal guidelines requiring healthier school lunches have made headlines in recent years, but that doesn't mean kids are eating them up. In fact, a study conducted soon after the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act went into effect found what many parents suspected: a lot of school children were taking the required fruits and vegetables and throwing them directly into the trash. The small study, published in Public Health Reports, comes about a month before Congress is scheduled to vote on whether to reauthorize the program.
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Knock knock, teacher's here: The power of home visits
NPR
Ninety percent of students at Hobgood Elementary in Murfreesboro, Tenn., come from low-income households. Most of the school's teachers don't. And that's a challenge, says principal Tammy Garrett. "If you only know middle-class families, you may not understand at times why they don't have their homework or why they're tired," Garrett says. When she became principal four years ago, Garrett decided to get her teachers out of their classrooms — and comfort zones — for an afternoon. Once a year, just before school starts, they board a pair of yellow buses and head for the neighborhoods and apartment complexes where Hobgood students live.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Pilot Program: World Cultures Curriculum

All Around This World,
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Can blended learning solve the US teacher drought?
EdSurge
Nearly every profession has wrestled with this question: will machines, often providing cheaper and more consistent labor, replace humans in the workforce? In education, technology is being proposed as a possible solution to the widespread teacher shortages reported across the country. While some propose higher pay to encourage more of America's brightest college graduates to enter the profession, others are looking for answers in blended learning, asking how districts can use online technologies to refashion classrooms and make the teachers we already have more effective.
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School breakfast programs now serving 13.5 million kids
Washington Examiner
The U.S. Department of Agriculture boasted that an average of 13.5 million students around the country were using its School Breakfast Program each day in 2014, and that more than 10 million of those students were getting a free breakfast under the program. The breakfast program was made permanent in 1975, when it had about 2 million users. About 20 years later, it had more than 6 million users, and between 1996 and 2014, it more than doubled to 13.5 million users.
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Warning issued over 'risky' Chicago Public Schools budget
Reuters
A government finance watchdog group urged the Chicago Board of Education to reject a "financially risky" proposed fiscal 2016 budget because it is out of balance and does not provide a road map for solving the school system's fiscal crisis. The Chicago-based Civic Federation said the $5.7 billion operating budget facing a board vote tackles a $1.1 billion deficit with $480 million in yet-to-be approved state of Illinois funding and $200 million from debt restructuring.
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1 in 4 D.C. public schools has a new principal this year
The Washington Post
One in four D.C. public schools started the school year this week with a new principal, continuing a pattern of high turnover in the District's traditional public schools. Schools under new leadership included five of the city's high schools and three dual-language schools. The list also includes three new schools that opened this year. High turnover has been a persistent concern among many parents and teachers in the District, who say inconsistency promotes instability and undermines progress and confidence in the system. Last summer, D.C. public schools announced 21 new principals for the school system's 111 schools. By comparison, Montgomery County had 23 new principals in a system with 203 schools.
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Gear up for the new school year
NAESP
Meet this upcoming school year head-on with five game-changing strategies, culled from NAESP's annual conference in Long Beach, California. From improving staff meetings to strengthening student health and wellness, these tips are sure to start you off on the right foot this fall.
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Write for Principal magazine
NAESP
Writing for Principal is a great way to help other principals while giving you fresh insights into your own professional development. January/February's issue seeks to shine a light on educational trends — from the student's perspective. Articles will focus on topics such as service learning, homework, bullying prevention, school uniforms, and student-centered instructional practices. Copy is due Sept 10. For details on how to submit, visit www.naesp.org/writing.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Report: More than half of students struggle with reading (eSchool News)
Common Core testing takeaways (District Administration Magazine)
Why pushing kids to learn too much too soon is counterproductive (The Washington Post)
This map shows how many more students are living in poverty than 9 years ago (The Huffington Post)
3 tips to boost student health and improve learning (Education Dive)

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


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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.

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