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Crafting a successful BYOD policy
eSchool News
With each new school year, districts across the country prepare to provide meaningful educational opportunities for all students. The Rocky River City School District in Ohio is no different. However, Rocky River has been experiencing a three-year renovation of district facilities with goals to increase technology in daily classroom instruction and internet access by students through a bring-your-own-device policy.
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Schools bounce back from Superstorm Sandy
District Administration Magazine
When Hurricane Sandy hit Long Beach, N.Y., a year ago, floodwaters and strong winds destroyed 95 percent of the houses in the small beach community, and damaged all six public schools. Administrators were left to deal with the unprecedented disaster wreaked by the storm, scrambling to relocate students to temporary schools and continue education under extremely adverse conditions. The district’s most severely damaged school, West Elementary, reopened for the first time this fall.
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Model school aims to retrain teachers in ABCs of reading instruction
PBS
Learning to read is the essential foundation of elementary education, but it's also very complex and many students in America are falling behind. John Tulenko of Learning Matters reports on one model school that has re-trained teachers in hands-on skills and strategies and has dramatically improved proficiency scores.
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School psychologists call for evidence-based practices, especially for students who struggle with writing
Medical News Today
Writing instruction in U.S. classrooms is "abysmal" and the Common Core State Standards don't go far enough to address glaring gaps for students and teachers, a Michigan State University education scholar argues. In a new study, Gary Troia calls for a fresh approach to professional development for teachers who must help students meet the new writing standards. His research, funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences, appears in the journal School Psychology Review.
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How a radical new teaching method could unleash a generation of geniuses
Wired
José Urbina López Primary School sits next to a dump just across the U.S. border in Mexico. The school serves residents of Matamoros, a dusty, sunbaked city of 489,000 that is a flash point in the war on drugs. There are regular shoot-outs, and it's not uncommon for locals to find bodies scattered in the street in the morning. To get to the school, students walk along a white dirt road that parallels a fetid canal. On a recent morning there was a 1940s-era tractor, a decaying boat in a ditch, and a herd of goats nibbling gray strands of grass.
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6 reasons to try mobile devices in the classroom
Edudemic
Looking at the recent advancement in computer and technology, the education system seems more organized and systemic than ever. Considering this aspect, one can easily predict a more technology-based classroom environment that will benefit both the teachers and students in future. Tablets and Smartphones have reinforced this ideology further by introducing new ideas and concepts in the traditional ways of schooling.
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HIV and AIDS education in schools needs updating
The Seattle Times (commentary)
At the beginning of the AIDS panic, misinformation about how HIV could and could not be transmitted was the norm and not the exception. As we move into the fourth decade since we discovered that HIV causes AIDS, panic has subsided thanks to accurate education regarding transmission and informed precautions for those working in the medical field, social workers and educators in our schools.
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Live free or die ... But don't play tag
Education Week (commentary)
Peter DeWitt, an elementary school principal, writes: "Perhaps Angela Lee Duckworth and Thomas Hoerr are right when they talk about how our children need grit. I often prefer the word resilience, but a few recent stories make me feel otherwise. However, it's not the children that need grit ... it's their schools. In New Hampshire, motorcyclists can ride around without helmets on motorcycles with license plates that say 'Live Free or Die.' NH is big on personal choices and individual responsibility. Unfortunately, kids at one elementary school cannot play tag. Apparently, tag is much more dangerous that riding helmet-free on a motorcycle down a highway."
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Strong parent-professional partnerships
Psychology Today
Decades of research show that when families and schools partner together, children are better positioned to reach their greatest potential as learners and active members of the school community. There's simply no doubt that parental involvement is directly linked to students with higher self-confidence and more positive attitudes toward school and learning. From better attendance and higher grades, to better homework completion rates and higher graduation rates, the most consistent predictor of high academic achievement and positive social adjustment for children is engaged parents.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Teamwork in schools: What administrators should know (eSchool News)
Happiness: A key outcome of equitable schools (Edutopia)
The votes are in: Sandy Hook Elementary will be torn down (NPR)
Handwriting vs. typing: Which skill do students need most? (EdTech Magazine)
School bans most balls during recess: Smart move or going too far? (CNN)

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Non-regular bedtimes tied to kids' behavior problems
Reuters
Kids without a regular bedtime tend to have more behavior problems at home and at school, a new study suggests. Researchers found that when children started going to sleep at a more consistent time, their behavior improved as well. "If you are constantly changing the amounts of sleep you get or the different times you go to bed, it's likely to mess up your body clock," said Yvonne Kelly, who led the study.
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How administrators can leverage mobile technologies
eSchool News
From tablets to computers to mobile phones, our access to information — and each other — is continuous. Young people not only embrace this constant access to information, but they have come to expect it. You could even argue that today's students aren't that interested in "going online." Booting up, opening browsers, logging on, navigating — they will do that when needed. But their preference is really to engage on mobile devices. One-third of children between the ages of eight and 10 have their own mobile phone, and teens aged 13 to 17 are the fastest growing age bracket for smart phone adoption. Even kids in higher poverty areas who don't have access to other forms of technology have higher rates of cell phone access.
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How do parents' cut-throat tactics affect kids?
MindShift
In this thought-provoking feature in New York Magazine, a parent grapples with the ethics of intervening to give kids a "leg up." "The kids who learn the lesson of cynicism may in fact suffer less than those who don't. What parents are really telling children with their constant intervening is that there's no way for them to succeed on their own," says Harold Koplewicz, a founder of the Child Mind Institute. "The message to the kid is, You aren't good enough." He compares these parents to 'fixers,' who illicitly manipulate outcomes for their clients. In their effort to build their children's success, parents may actually be short-circuiting their self-esteem, and stunting their self-efficacy, making them unable to tell the difference between the things they can accomplish in the world, with the application of hard work and native ability, and the things they cannot. Jason Stevens is somewhat blunter. A fixing parent can make a child, he says, 'crippled. Or entitled. Or both.'"
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Refocusing students: How to get their attention back
Edutopia
Did you know that when reading, one's mind will wander 20 to 40 percent of the time while perusing a text, regardless of whether it is a book, blog, email, narrative, essay, or anything else? This is one of many fascinating findings reported in Dan Goleman's new book, “Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence” and it calls us to remember that students can't learn what they are not paying attention to.

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States tackle chronic absence in schools
Stateline
School attendance is about more than figuring out who is playing hooky. Until recently, schools mostly looked at the student body's overall attendance rate and the truancy — or unexcused absences — of individual students.

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10 things we've learned about learning
Smithsonian Magazine
It's the time of year when learning seems remarkably possible. Students are excited, teachers are motivated–let the learnfest begin. But by next month, it will become clear once again that the teaching/learning routine is a tricky dance, that all kinds of things, both in our heads and in our lives, can knock it off balance.

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Elementary school bans rainbow loom bracelets
WNBC-TV
An Upper West Side elementary school has banned the popular Rainbow Loom friendship bracelets from the premises because the principal says children are getting distracted in class and fighting over them on the playground, according to a published report. The Department of Education told The New York Post it has no citywide ban on the colorful bracelets, but forbidding specific items at any given school is up to the principal's discretion.
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4 tips to keep students on track when using devices in class
MindShift
Bringing technology into the classroom comes with a unique set of challenges, some of which could make classroom management more difficult if teachers don't think out strategies beforehand. It's hard for teachers to keep students focused on their work when they've got the internet at their fingertips. Early adopters of one-to-one device programs discovered with trial and error what works and what doesn't. Now those teachers have a lot to share with others. Liana Heitin's Education Week article does a good job of spelling out the biggest challenges and the solutions teachers are using to deal with them.
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K-12 schools are missing out on this education technology trend
PandoDaily
A study by market research organization Ambient Insight says that education technology games are by and large not making their way into K-12 schools. The lead researcher on the study reported that information anecdotally. It's strange because that same study found that consumers are demanding digital learning games more and more, a topic explored by our very own Adam Penenberg in his latest book "Play at Work: How Games Inspire Breakthrough Thinking." Gamification is increasing due to the rise of mobile usage, our portable computers in our pockets. People are learning by competing against themselves or others in Web or digital challenges.
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Tips on better managing requests
Connected Principals Blog
William Parker, a contributor for Connected Principals Blog, writes: "My first year as a school administrator, I was determined to be a leader who followed through on requests from teachers. What I didn't anticipate was how many requests I would receive in a day. After a while, I began to learn to some habits that helped manage requests more wisely."
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9 ways to support principal supervisors
eSchool News
The results of a two-part study indicate that school districts will increasingly rely on principal supervisors to guide school principals through important transitions such as school reform efforts and Common Core implementation. According to "Rethinking Leadership: The Changing Role of Principal Supervisors," principal supervisors usually oversee a large number of school principals in addition to handling other administrative oversight responsibilities, and principal supervisors oversee 24 schools each, on average. The study was commissioned by the Wallace Foundation and released by the Council of the Great City Schools.
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Budget deal would allow alternate-route teachers to be deemed 'highly qualified'
Education Week
The federal government didn't shut down over the question of whether teachers in alternative-certification programs should be considered "highly qualified" — but the bill to end the budget stalemate addresses the question anyway. The legislation, which is expected to be approved by both houses of Congress very soon, would allow teachers participating in alternative-certification programs (for example, Teach for America) to be considered "highly qualified" for an additional two years, through the 2015-2016 school year.
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Arne Duncan to Education Department: Next few weeks won't be easy
Education Week
The U.S. Department of Education is back up and running — and employees have returned to a mile-long to do-list, according to an email from U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan that was sent out to employees (and reporters) on Oct. 17. Duncan thanks the "ED family" for all of its hard work and patience during the 16-day partial government shutdown.
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On the road to school success
Politico
Lagging far behind their international peers. Shamefully low reading and math competency. A staggering achievement gap. We've heard the alarming statistics about the trajectory of American students. After 10 years, No Child Left Behind has failed to put American children back on a competitive academic track. But we are beginning to see real results in America's cities, the epicenters of innovation, including the four we lead: Denver; Providence, R.I.; San Antonio; and Sacramento, Calif.
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California more accepting of Common Core education overhaul than other states
Los Angeles Daily News
Controversy is dogging the rollout of the rigorous new Common Core curriculum in many of the 45 states that first embraced the bipartisan proposal, with critics saying the change in English and math standards are a federal intrusion, an attack on local control or just too expensive. In Pennsylvania, passionate protests prompted the state to replace the Common Core with a hybrid that includes much of the state's current — and less demanding — standards. In Indiana, critics succeeded in cutting off funding for implementation of the Common Core. Michigan legislators took similar action before reversing themselves in late September.
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As online tests approach, new state exams will provide trial run
The Hechinger Report
When Colorado students take end-of-grade exams next spring, many will face arguably the hardest tests yet of their education careers. Rather than bubbling in answer sheets, students in five grades will complete various tasks on computers to show their mastery of new science and social-studies standards, which are rolling out this year across the state. The state exams will also serve as a trial run for the new Common Core math and English language arts exams, set to debut in Colorado, and as many as 43 other states, in 2015. Like the standards themselves, the computerized tests are intended to be more rigorous — and demand more of students — than previous exams.
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How to recharge during National Principals Month
NAESP
When Alaska principal Cheryl Stickler needs to recharge, she puts aside the paperwork and reconnects with the things that keep her grounded. That means keeping up her hobbies (outdoor photography, meditative reading), visiting kindergarten classrooms to see students' smiles, and laughing with her middle-schoolers at lunch. NAESP asked Stickler and her fellow 2013 National Distinguished Principals what they do to recharge. In October, National Principals Month, give yourself the gift of revitalization with these strategies.
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5 collaborative professional learning activities
NAESP
Successful professional learning includes collaborative activities where educators can examine their work and improve practice. These five strategies — book studies, looking at student work, learning walks, lesson studies and developing consistent expectations — offer new ways for staff members to work collaboratively and gain new knowledge and skills.
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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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