Being a school leader is no cakewalk under any circumstances, but when a disaster of biblical proportions befalls your region, as happened last year on America’s Gulf Coast, the challenges multiply exponentially.

That region needs our ongoing support and attention, and that’s why Editor and Publisher Gregg W. Downey and Assistant Editor Laura Ascione traveled to Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Port Sulfur, La., not long ago both to survey the damage and to get a sense of the progress that is–and isn’t–being made. They investigated the contributions of private industry, as well as the bureaucratic issues and roadblocks involved in getting the schools there up and running. You can read Ascione’s in-depth report for yourself in this print edition of eSchool News.

However, I’d like to direct you to a first for eSchool News–on-location video reporting from Lousiana. Although eSchool News is no stranger to video content (see our Media Arts Resource Center on line at http:www.eschoolnews.com/marc), the online update on Katrina (see http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/showStory.cfm? ArticleID=6128) integrates good old-fashioned reporting with relevant video. In the latest offering from eSchool News TV, you can view stunning images of damage, interviews with local officials, analysis from Terry Smithson–education strategist for Intel–and more. Best taken together, our written and video reports from Louisiana represent required reading (and viewing) for anyone with a stake or interest in this complicated and sad situation.

In other news I’d like to refocus your attention and highlight our “Around the Web” coverage. Every day, our editors scour the internet for relevant web sources and news stories. Rather than simply depend on automated RSS and saved search feeds, we manually sift through the various applicable web sites in news, education, and technology to give you the most relevant information on the internet every school day. I think this human involvement brings information to you in a more timely, relevant manner that automated feeds can’t match. Not that we’re opposed to RSS feeds. In fact, eSchool News provides these as well. You can even get free, automatically updated school technology news and information for your own web site. If you are interested, please visit: http://www.eschoolnews.com/exchange.

Also available to you at our web site are some brand-new Educator’s Resource Centers. I highly recommend checking them out.

The first, thanks to the folks at ESRI, is “GIS and Geographic Inquiry.” Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and remote sensing (RS) tools are helping school leaders plan and make decisions, geography teachers incorporate value-added elements into their lessons, and community leaders address local and global concerns. Check it out: http://www.eschoolnews.com/resources/reports/gis/index.cfm

One of the pressing issues in education today is “How can I incorporate technological advancements into the classroom?” Thanks to Atomic Learning, this question is a lot more manageable. You can read a collection of news, special reports, and opinion pieces that will help you answer this question in ways that suit your specific needs. Point your browser to this URL: http://www.eschoolnews.com/resources/reports/techtutoring/index.cfm

The acceptance of technology in educational systems is happening at a blistering pace. This is fantastic, but it also demands a data-management solution. Technology is ever-reliant on databases, which are great because they can save time and money. However, this sensitive information necessitates tight security. Akuratus and eSchool News have teamed up to provide an Educator’s Resource Center to help you find the most appropriate solutions for Electronic Records Management. Visit this new resource: http://www.eschoolnews.com/resources/reports/electronic/index.cfm