May 17, 2021
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Curriculum & Instruction
Special-ed teacher promotes inclusion through dance
(Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images)
DancEnergy owner Lisa Tenzcar, a special-education teacher who is deaf, makes dance inclusive through fundraising performances that support issues such as autism awareness. Her dancers appreciate the opportunity to help students with special needs, and also enjoy getting to dance with students in different age groups during the performances.
Full Story: The Sun (Lowell, Mass.) (5/16) 
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Nation's top teacher lets learning happen naturally
Urtubey (Juliana Urtubey)
Juliana Urtubey, the 2021 National Teacher of the Year, uses the school garden to let her students who have special needs roam and make connections on their own, such as counting leaves on a plant or caring for certain plants. Urtubey says that, in the garden, "students' intuition is their guide, and collaboration is second nature."
Full Story: SmartBrief/Education (5/17) 
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Why Schools Are Turning to Conover
Designed to help students manage their emotions in an increasingly stressful world, Conover Online is the most comprehensive SEL curriculum available today. It includes lessons for lower-functioning students so everyone can build strengths to combat tough times! Sign up for a free trial!
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Educational Leadership
A consortium of educational groups has released a 152-page playbook on how to increase diversity in the teacher ranks, including Grow Your Own programs and ways to improve teacher benefits and loan obligations. The playbook was written to take advantage of increased funding as part of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds.
Full Story: K-12 Dive (5/13) 
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Technology Trends
Artificial intelligence is increasingly become a tool in college admissions, giving admissions officers an analysis of applicants with the goal of removing subconscious bias. Kira Talent is one company working with several schools that uses algorithm-powered video interviews that evaluate candidates' communication, leadership, professionalism and other qualities.
Full Story: The Hill (5/17) 
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Policy News
The CDC maintains that K-12 schools should continue to have students and staffers wear masks and keep physically distant through the end of the school year. The CDC offered clarification on its school recommendations this weekend after it relaxed some of its mask-wearing protocols for the general public.
Full Story: The New York Times (5/15) 
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Eye on Exceptionalities
The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement urging parents to get their children ages 12 and above vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which had its emergency use authorization expanded recently. "Vaccinating children will protect them and allow them to fully engage in all of the activities -- school, sports, socializing with friends and family -- that are so important to their health and development," said AAP President Lee Savio Beers.
Full Story: Contemporary Pediatrics (5/12) 
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Yuh-Jung Youn,
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