October 18, 2021
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Telemedicine kiosks connect students with health help
Bay District Schools in Panama City, Fla., installed 63 telehealth kiosks after Hurricane Michael hit more than two years ago to connect students via free video calls to mental health and other health experts, and they've continued to be useful during the coronavirus pandemic, Kara Mulkusky, director of student services, says. Parker Elementary School Principal Chris Coan says that parents don't have to take off work to get students to appointments but can join in via video if they choose.
Full Story: News Herald (Panama City, Fla.) (10/18) 
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The video versions of Minneapolis school board meetings have been translated into Spanish, Hmong and Somali during the pandemic, and that technology is being expanded now with real-time translation available via headset, as well as multilanguage voice mails and texting options to improve communication between parents and school staff. "It's important that what we do in English, we do in the languages that our families are speaking," said district executive Ryan Strack.
Full Story: Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (tiered subscription model) (10/13) 
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Teachers are Education’s Most Critical Asset
Cambium Learning Group is launching the Honest Conversations campaign to highlight the value and the professional respect that teachers deserve. This video showcases the challenges and opportunities that our teachers have faced over the past year.
Systems Management
School principals likely will face conflicting demands this school year -- such as closing learning gaps while avoiding staff burnout -- writes Zachary Scott Robbins, a high-school principal in Las Vegas. In this article, Robbins shares strategies to navigate those demands and advises to prioritize what will do the most to support students.
Full Story: Edutopia (10/15) 
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Mask mandates vary widely from state to state and even district to district and, in some areas, the policies in place at the beginning of the school year are being altered in response to infection rate data -- and sometimes court orders. This list provides the latest on mask mandates for US states and school districts.
Full Story: District Administration (10/18) 
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Strategies and Practices for Online Learning
As the new school year began, the COVID-19 Delta variant made plans for in-person learning incredibly uncertain, and made the potential shift to online learning higher. Join a discussion that will provide valuable strategies and key elements for implementing online learning, from emergency preparedness to designing an integrated long-term program. Watch Now!
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Managing Budgets
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed legislation into law last week that aims to expand access to free meals for schools in which most students are from lower-income households. The measure also restricts schools from publicly identifying or reprimanding students who have school lunch debt.
Full Story: The Patriot Ledger (Quincy, Mass.) (10/17) 
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SmartBrief Education STEM Pathways Summit
Join us on October 28 for our annual SmartBrief Education STEM Pathways Summit when we explore the intersection of STEM and social-emotional learning. Don't miss this opportunity to get fresh ideas, hear about new programs and talk with your peers in STEM education. Register today.
Schools and Social Media
Schools in Florida could begin teaching social media literacy under legislation introduced by a state lawmaker. The bill would task the state Department of Education and local school boards with developing the curriculum.
Full Story: The Ledger (Lakeland, Fla.) (10/17) 
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Last Byte
Proposed federal legislation would make technology companies liable if their recommendation algorithms cause harm. The bill focuses on Section 230, which social media companies have used to shield them from responsibilities, and how the algorithms determine what content is recommended to users.
Full Story: The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (10/14) 
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