January 15, 2021
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Teaching and Learning
District expands access with own broadband network
(Pixabay)
A school district in Utah is believed to be the first in the US to begin installation of its own high-speed, wireless broadband network. Officials say the coronavirus pandemic and connectivity challenges during remote instruction helped to speed up the Powerplay LTE initiative.
Full Story: Deseret News (Salt Lake City) (1/14) 
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New York City will do away with a high-stakes exam for four-year-olds to determine enrollment in gifted and talented programs after the exam is administered in April. Officials say they will spend the next year determining what type of programming to offer going forward that is more inclusive.
Full Story: Spectrum News (1/12) 
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Study shows dramatic impact of remote engagement
The COVID-19 learning slide affected different students in different ways. Some lost as much as two-and-a-half months of potential learning. Other lost far less. The critical question is why. A recent nationwide study provides some eye-opening answers. Read moreā€¦
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Transformational Leadership
Detroit Public Schools Community District will help to develop a pipeline of teachers through a new program that will help support staff to earn teacher certification. The On the Rise Academy also will allow current teachers to be certified in science, math and elementary education.
Full Story: Chalkbeat/Detroit (1/14) 
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Free Webinar: Profile in Reading Success
Learn how Saint Paul Public Schools uses assessment data to foster strong readers. Join experts to review the essentials of reading instruction and how the district uses screening and progress monitoring—even remotely—to provide informed, equitable instruction. Jan. 19, 2 p.m. ET Register.
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Technology in the Classroom
Researchers consider teachers' on-screen presence
(Pixabay)
The science behind engaging students via instructional videos is complicated, according to findings by researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Their findings show that when these visuals are used effectively, it can drive student engagement, but in some cases it could be distracting.
Full Story: EdSurge (1/14) 
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Managing Budgets
Biden's proposal includes $130B for K-12
Biden (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
An economic relief plan announced Thursday by President-elect Joe Biden will steer $130 billion toward public K-12 schools. The funding is intended to help schools return to in-person learning, including by reducing class sizes, hiring more nurses and counselors, and providing protective gear.
Full Story: U.S. News & World Report (1/14) 
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Pandemic disrupts Fla. school foodservice budgets
(Martin Bureau/Getty Images)
School districts in Florida report serving fewer meals this school year because of the coronavirus -- a trend that is affecting the bottom line and causing some to draw from their reserves. Meanwhile, food costs are higher, and foodservice departments have adopted pricier prepackaged and "shelf-stable" food that students can eat at home.
Full Story: Politico (1/14) 
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Policy Watch
Report: 5 ways to bolster the early-childhood workforce
(Pixabay)
A report by Ashley LiBetti, associate partner of policy and evaluation at Bellwether Education Partners, and Cody Kornack, director of government affairs for the National Head Start Association, identifies strategies to strengthen the early-childhood workforce. Suggestions include establishing a new credential, creating an online "Premier University" and focusing on apprenticeship programs.
Full Story: EdSurge (1/14) 
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Faculty Lounge
The Grammarly browser extension for Chrome can help students improve their reading, and the InsertLearning extension aids teachers in asking specific questions in an interactive manner. Nine other recommended extensions for students include tools to keep them focused by temporarily blocking social media, define words without opening another tab and provide background sounds that prevent noises in the house from distracting them.
Full Story: Mashable (1/14) 
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New from ASCD
Consultant and speaker Baruti Kafele talks frankly about his challenges to be healthy mentally and physically when he was a school principal and gives advice for leaders who are struggling with the mental balancing act. This article, part of Educational Leadership's special issue on "Mental Health for Educators," is free and open to all users through June.
Magic happens when all staff clearly define how everyone will work together to achieve the school's vision and mission. To generate core values that are powerful and useful, it's important for school leaders to get everyone's buy-in.
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Connect deeply with others. Our humanity is the one thing that we all have in common.
Melinda Gates,
philanthropist, advocate for women and girls
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