January 14, 2022
SmartBrief on Special Education
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Curriculum & Instruction
Doughnut shop offers job mentoring for students
Special-education teacher Abra Schweickert says she was inspired to open a doughnut shop employing students with disabilities after talking with a student's parent about post-school opportunities. Maggie's and MORE has job coaches who help employees with disabilities navigate work responsibilities and practice skills, Schweickert says.
Full Story: WJW-TV (Cleveland) (1/11) 
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Teacher's students improved writing with focus on words
High-level elementary-school writers became more engaged in their writing and skilled at revision after a six-week unit on word choice, writes Joanna Marsh, a primary-school teacher in Australia. Marsh writes in the article about working with other teachers on the effort, which included mentor texts that model word choices, lessons on creating an image for readers and finding active verbs in other books.
Full Story: Edutopia (1/12) 
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Best Practices for ITP Goals in Unprecedented Times
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Educational Leadership
What are the benefits of vertical PLCs?
Bringing together teachers in one subject area from all grades -- rather than by a single grade or single grade's subject area -- creates a vertical professional learning community that can help align a school's teaching methods and offer more targeted instructional ideas, writes Victoria Thompson, a consultant and STEM integration transformation coach. Thompson details ways to build teacher buy-in for vertical PLCs, develop effective agendas and monitor success with purposeful follow-through.
Full Story: Edutopia (1/13) 
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Technology Trends
NYC schools could return to virtual learning
Adams (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said he is considering allowing schools to resume virtual learning while the coronavirus pandemic continues to be a challenge. Adams said he still feels that school is the safest place for a child, "but we do have to be honest that there's a substantial number of children, for whatever reason, parents are not bringing them to school."
Full Story: The Associated Press (1/13) 
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Policy News
Officials said in a White House press briefing on Wednesday that the government plans to provide 10 million rapid and lab-based COVID-19 tests for schools each month to aid them in staying open for in-person instruction. Officials noted that 96% of schools from kindergarten to 12th grade are currently open, compared to 46% a year ago.
Full Story: The White House (1/12) 
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Eye on Exceptionalities
Jackson Robol was a sportscaster even before creating his podcast, his parents said. The Jackson Robol Show, a podcast with over 1,500 followers that recently logged episode 250, raises awareness about people with autism.
Full Story: The Daily Reflector (Greenville, N.C.) (1/14) 
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief will not publish Monday, Jan. 17
SmartBrief will not publish Monday, Jan. 17, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the US.
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