Schools open sensory rooms to support students | Mich. district seeks more therapy dogs | Calif. students serve 10,000th customer at school store
October 20, 2017
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SmartBrief on Special Education
News for special education professionals
Curriculum & Instruction
Schools open sensory rooms to support students
Schools open sensory rooms to support students
Teachers at two Nebraska elementary schools created sensory rooms to support their students with special needs. The rooms are equipped with items such as swings, a light table, calming music and other features to meet students' varying sensory needs.
Lexington Clipper-Herald (Neb.) (10/17) 
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Mich. district seeks more therapy dogs
A Michigan district is raising funds to place a therapy dog at each of its schools after seeing benefits of its two current therapy dogs. The dogs spend time with different classes supporting students, taking on tasks such as calming an anxious child or being read to by young students.
Livingston County Daily Press & Argus (Howell, Mich.) (10/19) 
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Other News
Implementing A District-Wide Science Success
Veteran education leader Mike Dillon has helped his school district continue on a steady path of success in science. The Smithsonian’s Science and Technology Concepts program and kits, available through Carolina Biological, have ensured that an entire district maintains a culture of high academic achievement. Read the case study.
Educational Leadership
How to solve the special-ed teacher shortage
Many states have shortages of special-education teachers, with one report showing only 36% of students with special needs in California are taught by a teacher with at least preliminary teaching credentials. The Los Angeles Unified School District is addressing this shortage by offering tuition assistance to paraprofessionals working on their teaching certificates.
Education Dive (10/19) 
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Technology Trends
Study on socioeconomic links to kids' screen time
In a survey of children age 8 and younger, those from lower-income families spent more than three hours per day watching TV and using electronic devices, while those from higher-income families spent less than two hours per day on those activities, according to a report from Common Sense Media. The survey looked at the habits of over 1,400 children across the country.
The Associated Press (10/19) 
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Policy News
N.Y. considers another path to graduation
Officials in New York state are considering a new way for students to earn a high-school diploma: by completing a capstone project. The debate comes as officials are considering whether the Regents exams currently in place are effective.
Chalkbeat/New York (10/18) 
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Other News
Eye on Exceptionalities
Many college students believe ADHD drugs can improve academic performance
Nearly 29% of college students without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder believed ADHD medications such as Ritalin and Adderall could boost their academic performance, while 38% were uncertain, according to a study in the journal Addictive Behaviors. Researchers also found a 2.5 times higher abuse risk among those who believed in the academic benefits of ADHD drugs, compared with unsure peers, and nearly double the odds of stimulant misuse among those in the unsure group, compared with those who didn't think the drugs had academic benefits.
HealthDay News (10/16) 
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