Heroes at Work: Navajo Prep goes all-in on internet access during pandemic learning

Heroes at Work is a three-part series featuring excerpts from conversations with the grand prize winners of the 2021 eSchool Media K-12 Hero Awards program, sponsored by Trox. See below for the full interview.

Here, eSchool News highlights the Navajo Preparatory School–one of three K-12 Hero Awards winners. Keep reading this interview with Sean C. Bekis, the school’s Network Administrator, to discover how school leaders did whatever they needed to do to get students connected to reliable internet and other vital resources during the pandemic.

eSN: Tell us a bit about your situation.…Read More

3 ways to support students’ mental and behavioral health this fall

Through no real fault of their own, schools and districts around the nation usually struggle to meet students’ mental and behavioral health needs. The demand for services outstrips their capacity, meaning administrators, counselors, and educators are often left to cobble together solutions while facing time and resource constraints. So, while education leaders make the most of the options available to them, it’s often difficult to help every student needing support.

As a former teacher, building administrator, and assistant superintendent, I experienced these frustrations firsthand. They kept me up at night. How do we make sure we have supports in place for each one of our students? How do we expand support for students outside of the school walls? How do we create a supportive environment—in and out of the classroom—to ensure all our students succeed?

With students returning once again this fall for full-time, in-person learning, there are going to be challenges that arise, especially mental and behavioral health needs tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.…Read More

Making a post-pandemic promise

Vicksburg Warren School District (VWSD) Superintendent Chad Shealy is irrepressible. Whether you are talking about COVID response, CTE strategies, or curriculum content, Chad not only makes you feel happy you asked, but even happier with his answers.

VWSD serves all of Warren County, Mississippi, and has an enrollment of approximately 7,200 students in grades Pre-K through 12. VWSD consists of three high schools (grades 9-12), three middle schools (grades 7-8), 10 elementary schools, and an alternative program.

In this conversation with eSchool News, he provides insights for any district administrator looking to thrive next fall.…Read More

Edthena Names Winners of the 2021 Teacher Leader Impact Awards

Educators from across the country recognized for their measurable impact within the school community

SAN FRANCISCO (May 6, 2021) – Coinciding with Teacher Appreciation Week, Edthena is announcing this year’s honorees for the Teacher Leader Impact Awards which recognizes the outstanding achievements of teacher leaders nationwide. All nine of the honored educators were nominated by an administrator in their district for making a measurable impact on others and creating positive lasting change.

“We were blown away by the truly remarkable accomplishments and contributions of teacher leaders from across the country,” said Adam Geller, founder and CEO of Edthena. “From supporting students and fellow teachers to spearheading school-wide initiatives, all of the honored educators exemplify true leadership and are so deserving of this recognition.”…Read More

5 ways to nurture a cybersecurity interest in a healthy way

It’s something no teacher or administrator wants to think about, but what if one of your students is showing an interest in computer hacking? Teachers–sometimes more than parents–can tap into kids’ interests and skill sets. And with technology now a large part of how students are learning, it is just a matter of time until any educator runs into a student with an unexpected knowledge of how tech works or how to manipulate it.

How do you know if these students simply have a healthy curiosity or are interested in something darker? And how do you help an advanced student understand that they can use their skills for good by choosing a career as a cybersecurity professional rather than an underground hacker? Here’s how to handle such a nuanced situation.

1. Identify interest and skill…Read More

ClassTag Launches ClassTag Connect Parent Engagement Platform

ClassTag, the leading parent-teacher communication platform, today announced the introduction of ClassTag Connect, an all-in-one engagement platform that provides robust data-driven insights to facilitate greater parent, teacher, and administrator involvement and insights from classroom to district. Over 25,000 schools and several districts, including South-Western City School District, Phoenix Talent School District, and Salado Independent School District are currently using ClassTag Connect.

“The COVID pandemic has prompted school districts to recognize the value of a single, cohesive engagement platform that will avoid overwhelming parents with siloed communications. Our platform provides a way for districts and their individual schools to facilitate meaningful, personal, two-way communication between parents, teachers and administrators while simultaneously offering school and districts actionable insights behind parental engagement levels, ensuring that every family is empowered during this challenging time,”  said Vlada Lotkina, CEO and Co-Founder of ClassTag.

For example, ClassTag Connect allows schools and districts to send important updates in real time to each parent’s preferred messaging channel, whether that’s via the app, email, SMS, web or paper. The accessibility of ClassTag Connect also extends to families who do not speak English as a first language as well, as the app allows for automatic translation into 60+ languages.…Read More

No-Cost Access to ST Math

With the spread of Coronavirus, COVID-19, schools across the country are temporarily closing.

At MIND Research Institute, our mission is to ensure that all students are mathematically equipped to solve the world’s most challenging problems.

That’s why we stand ready to provide resources and no-cost access so the learning can keep on happening, even if school is temporarily closed.…Read More

Getting the most from collaboration tools

Communication and collaboration are not the same thing. There are many tools that allow educators and administrators to talk to each other, but to take advantage of edtech’s promise, they should also be able to use collaboration tools to work together on the same projects.

In her presentation, “Collaboration Near and Far in Digital Professional Learning Communities,” Geri Gillespy, administrator of digital integration at West Ada School District in ID, talked about how to get the most out of online collaboration tools.

Related content: 7 collaboration tools for the modern classroom…Read More

5 things to avoid saying to students suffering from anxiety

[Editor’s note: Don’t miss our companion piece, “5 things to say to students suffering from anxiety.”]

Currently, schools are being inundated with cases of anxiety in young adults. Although the dramatic increase in attention being paid to the illness has been beneficial to those suffering, the difficulty lies in the fact that everyone thinks they understand anxiety and how to overcome it.

As a public high school administrator, I lead interventions for students in poor academic standing. Although many students have logistical circumstances keeping them from being successful—homelessness, employment, learning disabilities, etc.—many of them are school avoidant because of anxiety that is, quite frankly, debilitating.…Read More

E-Rate Survival FAQs

  • What (and who) is E-rate?

    E-rate is a US Federal Program for funding telecom and technology in K-12 schools and Libraries. The program is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) under direction by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Key components of the program include:

    • Universal Service Administrative Company(USAC)
      • An independent, not-for-profit corporation that operates as the administrator of the federal Universal Service Fund (USF). The USF helps provide communities across the country with affordable telecommunications services.
    • Schools and Libraries Division (SLD)
      • A division of USAC responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the E-rate Program
    • Universal Service Fund(USF)
      • Currently all telecommunications companies that provide service between states, including long distance companies, local telephone companies, wireless telephone companies, paging companies, and payphone providers, are required to contribute to the federal Universal Service Fund. Carriers providing international services also must contribute to the Universal Service Fund.
  • Where do I go to apply for E-rate?

    Riverbed Xirrus provides a step-by-step guide to the E-rate funding process at http://erate.xirrus.com under the Start Here menu. The application process is described by USAC on their web site starting here: http://www.usac.org/sl/applicants/step01/default.aspx

  • Is my district or facility eligible for E-rate?

    Typically, most K-12 educational facilities, consortia and libraries are eligible, but there are some requirements. A facility’s or district’s eligibility can be determined starting here: http://www.usac.org/sl/applicants/beforeyoubegin/default.aspx…Read More