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More schools choose a 4-day week
District Administration Magazine
Until recently, only rural districts hoping to save money on busing geographically spread-out students had cut the school week down to four days. But now, while some districts are leaning toward year-round schedules, some are actually shortening the week as budgets continue to drop and state officials allow scheduling flexibility. "Over time, more states have moved from requiring a certain number of school days to requiring a certain number of hours," says Kathy Christie, chief of staff at the Education Commission of the States. This allows more districts to add 60 to 90 minutes to the end of each day during a four-day week to make up for the time off.
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5 common myths about school administration
eSchool News
It's not always teachers who face criticism in the U.S. Many school administrators say that misconceptions about their career motivations and the position in general still exist today — and many myths have survived for decades. Even though administrators don't always have to face some of the misconceptions teachers do, such as "Those who can't do, teach," the world of school administration faces its own set of stereotypes that are often times incorrect.
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5 open education resources for K-5 Common Core math
Edutopia
There is an abundance of math open educational resources on the Web. So many, in fact, that Education Week asked, "Why is There More Open Content for Math than English?" Common Core is driving a lot of the growth in open education production and curation, with new databases and sources popping up left and right. It can be overwhelming to wade through everything, and find a source that works for your classroom. With that in mind, here are some math open education resources for elementary educators.
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Why kids take on adults' math anxiety
MindShift
We know a lot about how relationships can enhance learning. We learn better when we "apprentice" ourselves to someone more knowledgeable, for example; when we ourselves teach others; and when we discuss and debate with our peers. But there are also times when relationships suppress learning. This is the case when parents and teachers — figures of towering importance in the world of children — pass on negative views about particular academic subjects. This passing-on is not deliberate, of course. No parent or teacher would wish to impart feelings of anxiety or aversion regarding learning. And yet that's often just what happens, according to Elizabeth Gunderson, a researcher at the University of Chicago.
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How to create effective homework
MindShift
Based on a recent spate of articles on homework, it's clear that the homework wars — how much? how often? — are still topic of big interest to both parents and teachers. Some teachers hate to give homework; others see it as a vital necessity. But according to some research presented by Annie Murphy Paul, the question isn't how much, but whether the homework teachers do give actually advances learning.
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For these schools, adding arts to STEM boosts curriculum
THE Journal
Say you're the principal of a school that has been hit by an F5 tornado. No one is hurt, thank goodness, but teachers, students, and staff must move to a temporary school while your damaged school is repaired. Do you try to simply achieve a sense of normalcy during two years of displacement? Many principals would. And who would blame them? But Deron Cameron, principal of University Place Elementary School in Tuscaloosa, Ala., saw the calamity caused by the April 2011 twister as an opportunity to do more. Armed with grants and donations from around the country, Cameron was determined to not only bring back some of the students his school had lost when the school moved, but to turn the misfortune into an advantage.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    States' teacher evaluation methods vary widely (eSchool News)
Schools take the boring out of long bus rides (District Administration Magazine)
How a radical new teaching method could unleash a generation of geniuses (Wired)
Model school aims to retrain teachers in ABCs of reading instruction (PBS)
Non-regular bedtimes tied to kids' behavior problems (Reuters)

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


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Keep bullying on the front burner
Edutopia
Sadly, it seems that terrible tragedy needs to keep striking in order for bullying to retain its status as worthy of serious efforts to eliminate it. The latest incident involves 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick's leap to her death in response to persistent cyber-bullying, and the subsequent arrest of two juvenile female honor students. While all this attention spotlights the serious consequences of this stubborn issue, schools and parents must be equally persistent in providing constant reminders of the dangerous and damaging impact caused by hurtful words, threats and actions when horrors like this aren't center stage.
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Delivering effective feedback ... to everyone
Education Week (commentary)
As a learner, what is your goal every day? As teachers or school leaders we should always have a goal. Maybe we want to provide more inquiry-based lesson opportunities ... or we have a student who seems to meltdown at certain times during the day and we are trying to find proactive ways to get him to stop. What about our students? What are their goals as they walk into our classroom ... or school? Do we care about what they want to learn ... or what they know already? Or do we mostly care about what we think they will need to get jobs that "do not exist yet?"
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Home-schooled children leaner than traditionally schooled kids
University of Colorado Denver via Science Daily
The results of a recent study show kids that are home-schooled are leaner than kids attending traditional schools. The results challenge the theory that children spending more time at home may be at risk for excessive weight gain. The study was published in the journal Obesity and conducted by researchers from University of Colorado's Anschutz Health and Wellness Center and University of Alabama at Birmingham. It looked at both home-schooled and traditionally-schooled children between the ages of seven and 12 in Birmingham. Participants and their parents reported diet, the kids' physical activity was monitored and they were measured for body fat, among other things.
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School librarians are rising school leaders
eSchool News
School librarians are shaking off the decades-old stereotype that they are isolated from a school's teachers, students, and classrooms. Today's school librarians, according to a panel discussion that took place during Connected Educator Month and on Connected Librarians Day, are being tapped as influential school leaders with the power to help support the digital transition. "I see school librarians as school leaders, and I think it's time for us to step up and be counted," said Susan Ballard, former president of the American Association of School Librarians.
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How school leaders can erase the digital divide
eSchool News
The digital divide is mentioned almost daily in ed-tech discussions: It prevents all students from receiving a technology-rich education that can help them compete on a global scale, it means that some students receive benefits that others do not, and it frustrates school leaders as they try to ensure an equitable and robust education for all students. But what does the term "digital divide" mean, exactly? According to many experts, the definition has changed to involve more than who has internet access and who does not. And closing the digital divide will require collaboration among many industries.
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Principals take time to learn once again
Wyoming Tribune Eagle
Some Wyoming principals are starting to spend more time in the classroom — as students. The Wyoming Association of School Administrators has worked with several school districts around the state to set up a series of regional workshops for principals and district administrators. Carol Illian, a supervisor with the Wyoming Department of Education, said her department has helped fund the work. "We know that we need to support our principals and central office in their instructional leadership development," she said.
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How school leaders can erase the digital divide
eSchool News
The digital divide is mentioned almost daily in ed-tech discussions: It prevents all students from receiving a technology-rich education that can help them compete on a global scale, it means that some students receive benefits that others do not and it frustrates school leaders as they try to ensure an equitable and robust education for all students.

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School districts struggle to get principals to stay put
NPR
At Milwaukee Parkside School for the Arts on the south side of Milwaukee, kids are back in class and getting their bearings in the sprawling building. So is Lila Hillman, the school's brand-new principal.

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Teamwork in schools: What administrators should know
eSchool News
Administrators are tasked with an ever-growing list of responsibilities in their schools and districts. Central to ensuring smooth operations? Teamwork. When school administrators, teachers, and staff members work together collaboratively, school operations and initiative are more efficient.

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K-12 advocates braced for fresh budget battles
Education Week
School districts anxiously awaiting another round of across-the-board cuts to federal education programs will have to endure another few months of uncertainty, under a bipartisan deal that put an end to the first government shutdown in nearly two decades and prevented the nation from defaulting on its debt. Instead of breathing a sigh of relief as the impasse came to an end, education advocates are steeling themselves for yet another high-stakes budget battle. The agreement signed by President Barack Obama Oct. 17 to end the partial shutdown would keep all programs in the U.S. Department of Education running at current funding levels until Jan. 15.
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What do Common Core and the fiscal fight have in common?
Education Week (commentary)
Quick political quiz for education nerds: What do the shutdown/almost-default-on-the-national-debt and common core have in common? I'll give you a minute ... Give up? They're both issues that divide the GOP. In particular, they are areas on which the grassrootsy, tea party, activisty side of the Republican Party doesn't exactly see eye-to-eye with the business community.
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16 states and D.C. submit applications for the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge
U.S. Department of Education
The U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Departments) announced today that 16 states and the District of Columbia submitted applications for the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge, a $280 million state-level competitive grant program to improve early learning and development. Applicants included: Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont.
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Building a high quality early learning system
ED.gov Blog (commentary)
As part of the Secretary's Strong Start, Bright Future back-to-school bus tour, I had the opportunity to meet with early learning providers, parents, and children in Las Cruces, N.M. Las Cruces, situated near the Mexico border, has a large Hispanic community and is surrounded by small rural farming villages. It was chile harvest time and the smell of roasting green chile was in the air.
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States enact laws to stock epinephrine at schools
The Associated Press via The Huffington Post
When a third-grade student who had been stung by a wasp developed welts on his neck and had trouble breathing, school nurse Amanda Williams had the necessary dose of epinephrine to counter the allergic reaction. A law Tennessee enacted this year makes it easier for schools to stock the life-saving drug. Williams said the emergency room doctor told the boy's parents that he probably wouldn't have survived without the injection at Tellico Plains Elementary because it's a 30-minute drive to the nearest hospital.
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Texas textbook publishers say no to creationism: Watchdog report
The Huffington Post
It appears that science is prevailing in the latest battle over Texas schoolbooks. Though earlier this year several of the state’s textbook reviewers called for biology textbooks to discuss creationism, publishers are not complying with those requests, according to the Texas Freedom Network. The nonpartisan watchdog examined material made public by the Texas Education Agency and found that publishers are sticking with teaching evolution.
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Fewer math tests for some New York 8h-graders
The Wall Street Journal
New York state has proposed letting eighth-graders skip the state math exam if they take the algebra Regents instead, as part of a broader effort to cut back on testing. The move, which could affect about 57,000 students, would represent a small step back after years of increased testing. The New York State Education Department will ask the state Board of Regents on Monday to consider the proposal. New York would have to get clearance from the U.S. Department of Education. States are required to test students annually in English and math in third through eighth grades.
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California student-teacher ratio highest in the country
The Hechinger Report
The number of public school students for every full-time teacher in California was 23.4 during the 2011-2012 academic year, almost 50 percent above the national average of 16 students per teacher. The lowest student-teacher ratio was in Vermont with 10.7 students per teacher. The National Center for Education Statistics released in October 2013 a preliminary report on all the public schools in the country during the 2011-2012 school year. Table 2 which looks at student-teacher ratios in every state caught my eye. It's calculated by counting up all the students and dividing by all the full-time teachers (or full-time equivalent) teachers.
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Lunch is free for all students in some Florida schools, due to new federal program
Fox News
Want a free lunch? Take a seat at your local school cafeteria. A new federal program is giving Florida's public schools a way out of verifying whether students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. The solution: expand subsidized meals to include all students whether they can afford to pay or not. Known as the Community Eligibility Option, schools and even entire districts can now receive free breakfast and lunch if 40 percent or more of students' families are identified as low-income. That includes 83 Duval County schools, 58 schools in Pinellas County and 48 schools in Polk County — to name three of Florida's 67 eligible counties.
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NAESP recognizes National Distinguished Principals
NAESP
Outstanding elementary and middle school principals from across the nation and abroad have been named 2013 National Distinguished Principals by NAESP. They will be honored Oct. 25 at an awards banquet in Washington, D.C. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will deliver the opening address, honoring principals during National Principals Month.
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9 essentials for tech integration
NAESP
Point Road School in Little Silver, N.J., has embraced a focused movement in which staff members work toward a common goal: preparing students to be high performers in the 21st century. Their efforts in technology have improved teaching and student engagement. Here, the school's principal shares the nine essential components of technology integration, based on her school's journey.
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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.
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