Eighth-graders at an Ohio school recently attended a Skype chat with US Capitol representative Erik Frere to learn more about federal government. The students asked questions about the legislative branch, the role of the vice president in Congress and other topics.
Some Oakland, Calif., students lead walks designed to show their communities to their teachers, author Shane Safir writes in this blog post. These community walks can help teachers understand their students' social context and create powerful cultural exchanges that transform schools, Safir asserts.
The racial achievement gap in graduation rates among white and black students closed last year in Syracuse, N.Y., where 64% of each student group graduated. Officials cite efforts including a tracking system that alerts educators when students start to falter, an expansion in career-technical programs and an overhaul in student discipline strategies that halved suspensions.
A Maryland district with integrated schools is struggling to overcome racial disparities in its advanced courses and gifted education, according to a data analysis. Despite having twice as many black students as white, the latter outnumber African-Americans 2 to 1 in honors courses, 3 to 1 in gifted-education classes and 4 to 1 in high-school Advanced Placement courses.
Some schools are using social media app Snapchat to encourage students to experiment with new forms of storytelling in journalism and marketing classes. Educators suggest creating a written policy that would include a social media user guide and tips for best practices.
Indiana high-school students will have the opportunity to explore IT careers by managing a technology help desk. The help desk staff will troubleshoot their fellow students' tech problems and maintain a team website, Twitter account and blog.
A New Hampshire farm-to-table program gets students involved in planting, growing and selling fresh ingredients that become a part of school lunches. Students learned to tap raw maple sap from school trees and transform it into syrup, an activity that also taught them about science and math.