February 22, 2021
SmartBrief on Special Education
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Curriculum & Instruction
Some Mass. schools set to reopen after nearly a year
Students in special education at Brockton, Mass., public schools will return to in-person learning this week for the first time in nearly a year. Schools will welcome back other students in phases to ensure social distancing, and will continue to conduct virtual learning on Mondays.
Full Story: The Enterprise (Brockton, Mass.) (2/22) 
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Studies show benefits of PBL for all students
(Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)
Project-based learning could improve outcomes for all students, according to two studies by researchers from the University of Southern California and Michigan State University. The studies found that half of students who engaged in project-based learning passed Advanced Placement exams -- higher than the rate in traditional classrooms -- and that students from low-income households made similar progress as peers from wealthier ones.
Full Story: Edutopia (2/21) 
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The Benefits of K–6 Dyslexia Screening
Dyslexia screening can support struggling students with early identification, monitoring progress, and modifying instruction and intervention. Learn more by reading the white paper, Dyslexia Screening and the Use of Acadience® Reading.
Educational Leadership
Teachers strike balance with discipline during pandemic
(Thomas Samson/Getty Images)
The landscape of student discipline has changed as teachers consider how to enforce rules with remote students, while offering adequate support, and ensure in-person students are adhering to pandemic-related rules. Rosamund Looney, a teacher in Louisiana, said it's challenging to discipline students for things out of their control at home, adding that she's had to put restorative practices on hold because "right now there are a lot of nonnegotiables in the classrooms."
Full Story: The Hechinger Report (2/20) 
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Technology Trends
Rural N.C. school offers varied remote schedules
(Leon Neal/Getty Images)
A public school in rural North Carolina, where many parents work a wide range of shifts in the textile industry, has adjusted its online lessons to accommodate families with younger students in elementary- and middle-school grades. In this commentary, second-grade teacher Amber Rawlins writes that she's online from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., when parents can assist their students with remote learning.
Full Story: The 74 (2/17) 
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Policy News
Districts report drop in kindergarten enrollment
(Jens Schlueter/AFP/Getty Images)
Data shows that some families are opting out of sending their kindergartners to school during the coronavirus pandemic, with some districts reporting enrollment in kindergarten has dropped by as much as 40%. Some parents have opted to have their students attend online school or are being homeschooled, leading some observers to predict potential long-term implications, including varied readiness among next year's kindergarten and first-grade students.
Full Story: USA Today (2/21) 
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Eye on Exceptionalities
Youths with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder have reported experiencing boredom and motivation issues, difficulties participating in online learning and problems with social isolation, which have increased during the pandemic, researchers reported in the Journal of Psychiatric Research. The findings were based on data involving 134 adolescents and young adults with ADHD.
Full Story: HealthDay News (2/19) 
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