Mental health tops education leaders’ post-pandemic priorities

Education leaders are beginning to move on from COVID-related safety measures, and are instead focusing on managing mental health and violence on campus, according to a new report from Rave Mobile Safety.

Rave’s report,  2022 Crisis Communication and Safety in Education Survey, surveyed more than 400 K-12 employees and more than 380 higher education staffers.

The past two years of COVID-19 restrictions have been a challenging time for students, staff, faculty and parents/guardians. Campus leaders are concerned about how the lingering effects of the pandemic will impact school communities going forward, especially if the right resources and safety measures are not put in place.…Read More

3 steps to prepare for the next school crisis

How much would you pay for a crystal ball that could foresee the next school crisis? Though the ongoing pandemic has been referred to as a ‘once-in-a -lifetime crisis for school,’ we know that future crises are, unfortunately, inevitable. What schools, educators and families have experienced over the last two years has radically changed our understanding of what it means to truly care for students and teachers.

After nearly 20 years in education, one thing I have learned is there is no ‘normal.’ Whether it is a nationwide teacher shortage, challenging politics, funding instability or the devastating impact of gun violence on our communities, there is always a school crisis to navigate. 

How can schools prepare for the next crisis while ensuring their long-term success? I may not have that crystal ball, but I do have leadership philosophies that have helped our schools remain the highest-performing elementary schools in their respective neighborhoods. …Read More

4 essential components of behavior support in the classroom

The 2021-2022 school year began full of promise. Students, families, and educators were ready to get back to pre-pandemic learning routines. Almost no one was prepared for how the landscape had changed – many educators had left the profession, staffing needs were at an all-time high, and students were engaging in more frequent and more severe challenging behaviors.

The disruption wreaked by Covid dramatically impacted our students, especially those who were at-risk or experiencing behavior challenges prior to the pandemic. School leadership often struggled to meet the training needs of their staff–many of whom were brand new–especially needs related to behavior support. 

The influx of staffing issues coupled with the uptick in challenging behaviors highlights the need for dedicated, integrated behavior support systems that are proactive, responsive to students’ individual needs, and grounded in evidence-based practices proven to increase prosocial behaviors.…Read More

3 financial literacy tips students can use now

While moving into adulthood, teens are faced with a number of paths. Empowering students to select which path works best for them and determine how to best financially plan for the future are key to ensuring that some of their first adult decisions set them on a trajectory toward success.

While research shows a positive connection between higher education and economic status, it’s important to recognize that the traditional route to higher education does not work for every student. However, it is critical that every student have access to information that will help them plan for whatever path they choose.

Opting for traditional higher education can prove challenging for many due to the rising costs. Since the 1970s, college costs in the U.S. have tripled. Today, private school costs an average of $30,000+ per year while public college costs $22,000+ per year, according to U.S. News & World Report.…Read More

Why competency-based education is challenging centuries of tradition

It’s been nearly four centuries since the first formal classrooms appeared in what would eventually become the United States. The earliest example of a public school was the Boston Latin School, founded in 1635, the first to relieve families of having to educate their kids at home in the “three R’s”—reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Despite massive changes in society and technology since colonial times, one thing hasn’t changed much: the way we teach, test, and pass our students along to the next level—or into their adult working lives.

Most students today still take the same lessons from the same teachers in the same format—and they must pass the same tests to graduate. Of course, higher education allows for variations in courses of study, but within each classroom or curriculum, the content, delivery, and assessment are fixed. Over the course of their 12-year education (plus two, four, or eight more in university), students ingest, memorize, and practice the materials presented, then take tests to receive a certificate to prove they “learned” it.…Read More

WeVideo Releases WeVideo Classroom for Educational Multimedia Creation

Mountain View, Calif. (January 13, 2021) – WeVideo today launched  WeVideo Classroom, a cloud-based multimedia creation platform customized for educators to help drive student engagement and ignite deeper learning through the creative process. Developed in response to evolving education demands during an unprecedented year, WeVideo Classroom makes it easy for teachers to incorporate multimedia creation into more enriching daily lessons, further helping students to think critically, collaborate, and gain a deeper understanding of knowledge.

“Education has been extremely challenging for students and teachers as they’ve navigated remote, in-person, and hybrid learning environments. With this in mind, we developed WeVideo Classroom to make multimedia creation accessible to all students, while also better serving the everyday needs of schools. Simultaneously, the enhanced platform frees educators to focus on lesson planning and instruction, rather than tool management,” said Krishna Menon, CEO, WeVideo

Tailored specifically for the unique needs of education environments, WeVideo Classroom features intuitive organizational tools that allows teachers to easily create and assign multimedia projects, set up collaborative student groups, monitor progress, and share feedback. Whether educators are experienced WeVideo users or have no prior video knowledge, getting started with WeVideo Classroom is simple and takes only a few minutes to set up projects. Appropriate for students of all grade levels, WeVideo Classroom offers a simplified, real-time, collaborative video editor; a drag-and-drop timeline; and streamlined multimedia tools that empower students to flex creative muscles and demonstrate their understanding of concepts.…Read More

8 virtual field trips for STEM education

Each year, we share our 10 most-read stories. Not surprisingly, many of this year’s Top 10 focused on student engagement and online or hybrid learning strategies related to pandemic teaching. This year’s 6th most-read story focuses on how virtual field trips can engage even the most reluctant STEM learners.

It’s January. Winter break is over, and the rest of the school year–whether in person, hybrid, or virtual–seems never-ending. And while traditional field trips are on pause while COVID still spreads, virtual field trips are still very much possible.

Hands-on STEM subjects are challenging to teach when students aren’t in the classroom all the time, and student engagement is also a challenge during COVID. Virtual field trips address both of these persistent roadblocks.…Read More

Our rural district’s 4 steps to a new post-pandemic learning reality

Maintaining the continuity of student learning during the COVID-19 pandemic has been an extremely challenging feat for most school districts across the country. However, in the nation’s rural school systems, school administrators and teachers face a unique set of challenges. I believe that the way my school system is overcoming these challenges provides rural school districts a new blueprint for teaching and learning in the evolving COVID world.

My school system is located in Elko, Nevada, and like everyone else, we were impacted by COVID during 2020-2021. The Elko County School District covers 17,203 square miles of mountainous terrain and has major industries of ranching and gold mining. When our schools closed at the onset of the pandemic, providing all students with reliable access to the internet was our first priority. Next, we ensured all students had access to a suitable device, which in our district’s case, was a Chromebook.

While our school system was impacted by the first wave of COVID infections like many others, the second wave of COVID in the Fall of 2021 hit the community extremely hard. A massive surge of cases throughout the county created new challenges as students had to be quarantined at home for long periods due to COVID exposure. The uncertainty of whether a student would be in-person or remote from one day to the next remains a constant battle. …Read More

Focusing on safety can help schools mitigate teacher stress

A defining feature of the COVID-19 pandemic is the haze of uncertainty in which we now live. Are cases rising or falling? Which activities are deemed “safe” for the vaccinated? And now that most U.S. schools have re-opened in person, will they stay open, and can they keep COVID-19 at bay?

This uncertainty has landed heavily on teachers and contributed to teacher stress. For several reasons, the jobs to which they returned in fall 2021 are more challenging than what they faced in the pre-COVID world.

First, at a time in which vaccines remain unapproved for children under 12, and in which many older children remain unvaccinated, teachers worry about students’ health and their own. They recognize that social distancing is at odds with many student-centered teaching techniques, and they don’t want to spend their days as mask enforcers, but they also want to stay safe. In a nationally representative survey of teachers conducted by RAND earlier this year, 16 percent of teachers ranked concern for their own health as their top source of job-related stress, and 17 percent said their top concern was for the health of loved ones at home with high COVID risk.…Read More

4 SEL success tips for elementary schools

Five years ago, we had about 900 students in our K-5 elementary school, with roughly 40 percent of them either eligible for free or reduced lunch. Being in a geographic area that’s challenged by generational poverty and other socioeconomic issues, we needed a way to overcome some fairly steep challenges on the SEL curriculum front.

Some students, for example, were struggling with managing their emotions and their bodies. Those are tough decisions for a seven or eight year old child to deal with. In most cases, sending kids to the principal’s office was the first line of defense in these challenging situations.

I’d used SEL tools at previous districts where I worked, but when a colleague introduced me to the 7 Mindsets curriculum—and told me that it was the best foundational program she’d ever seen, and exactly what children need to be successful in life—we decided to implement it in our cohort of vertically aligned schools.…Read More