How I make online teaching work as a high school educator

I have been teaching at traditional and charter schools for the past 18 years, and I remain encouraged by the determination of the students I serve, even when faced with the challenges we’ve seen over the past several years due to the pandemic.

It’s a humbling experience to be a part of their academic journey, knowing that in some way I played a role in their success. To provide positive and meaningful experiences for students makes me feel honored to be an educator.

Like many of my peers, however, the onset of COVID-19 showed me it was time to make changes in my career and put my needs first after nearly 20 years in the profession. I’ve always had a passion for traveling, exploring other cultures, and learning new things—part of the reason why I became a teacher.…Read More

KIPP Public Schools Expands Partnership with YouScience Bringing Student Aptitude Assessments to 48 Schools Across the Nation

AMERICAN FORK, Utah, March 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today,  YouScience announced its career guidance tool,  YouScience Discovery, is now available for students in 48  KIPP Public Schools, a network of national public charter schools. With the recent expansion, YouScience Discovery now reaches over 3,000 high school and 200 middle school students. Nearly 19,000 KIPP Public School students have taken the YouScience Discovery Assessment since the partnership began in 2016.

YouScience is the only provider of a fully-integrated platform that delivers highly accurate aptitude-based assessments, personalized career guidance, and industry-recognized certifications. With YouScience Discovery, KIPP students are provided with a proven, research-based assessment that empowers them to discover their aptitudes, eliminating their natural bias and showcasing opportunities for success.

“Knowing what students are good at, or their natural aptitude, is one of the most accurate measures of which careers they will excel in. It’s critical we help students understand this as early as possible, so that they can select the best educational pathway for themselves. In return, this will help combat the country’s current talent gap,” said Edson Barton, Founder and CEO of YouScience.…Read More

5 ways bullying changed during the pandemic

Throughout my career as a school counselor, I’ve worked with students in a variety of educational settings. This includes alternative and charter schools, traditional brick-and-mortar settings, and online school.

Even though they’re all different, I’ve witnessed similar bullying behavior and trends in each of them.

Here are five ways bullying has changed during the pandemic–and one way it’s stayed the same:…Read More

Reading Plus Insight Assessment Approved As Universal Screener For Hawaii Department of Education Longitudinal Data System

Literacy Measurement Tool is the Only LDS-integrated Assessment That Provides Data on Student Motivation and Silent Reading Rate 

Winooski, Vt. (May 5, 2021) – Reading Plus, an evidence-based online program that uses personalized instruction to improve students’ reading fluency, today announced its InSight assessment is now included in the Hawaii Department of Education’s longitudinal data system (LDS) as an approved universal assessment screener. The Hawaii DOE uses the LDS, which serves all public and charter schools in the state, to store student information, including assessment data, in one central location. 

Reading Plus is an adaptive literacy tool designed to support teachers with differentiated instruction for all students, including Tiers 1-3 and multilingual learners. The InSight assessment provides a holistic view of student progress, measuring motivation to read in addition to vocabulary, comprehension, and comprehension-based silent reading rate. InSight, which gives a composite reading proficiency grade-level score, is strongly correlated with national and state reading assessments. As a result, Reading Plus can serve not only as an instructional program, but also as a key component in a school’s or district’s literacy assessment. Including Hawaii, Reading Plus is used in more than 6,200 schools nationwide and improves reading proficiency by 2.5 grade levels in a single school year.

With InSight’s approval as a universal assessment screener, all Hawaii schools will be able to utilize the evaluation and track student data through the LDS. InSight’s rich analyses give teachers a deep understanding of their students’ literacy needs, helping them empower diverse learners to follow personalized paths to reading proficiency.

“The Hawaii DOE is highly selective when it comes to adding programs into the LDS and we’re proud InSight is now included,” said Steven Guttentag, CEO of Reading Plus. “We’re pleased that our assessment can support the state’s administrators in their effort to aggregate student data to provide a holistic and longitudinal picture of students’ literacy growth. With the ability to measure motivation, a key factor in skill building and developing confident readers, InSight is a unique asset in the classroom – particularly when paired with the Reading Plus program.”

Reading Plus received the highest Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) evidence of effectiveness ranking—level one for “strong evidence”—revealing a statistically significant effect on improving student outcomes. To learn more about the benefits of Reading Plus and the InSight assessment, visit www.readingplus.com.


ABOUT READING PLUS
Reading Plus is an evidence-based, online program that provides personalized instruction and intervention for students, improving reading proficiency by 2.5 grade levels in a single school year. The adaptive literacy program develops fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary, while also measuring student motivation. It supports students with diverse needs, including multilingual learners, students who qualify for special education services, RTI/MTSS Tiers 1–3, and advanced readers. Reading Plus provides educators with an easy-to-use management and reporting system, extensive resources to guide differentiated instruction, professional development, and highly rated customer support. Used in more than 7,800 schools, the Reading Plus program is helping over 1 million students become confident, lifelong readers. For more information, visit www.readingplus.com.…Read More

Hand2Mind Delivers Custom, Screen-Free Solutions to Los Angeles Unified School District to Support At-Home Learning

Hand2mind, a family-owned educational resource company, is delivering custom solutions to help solve the complex challenges faced by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), including a lack of essential learning supplies for Transitional Kindergarten (TK) to grade 6 teachers and students in areas with at-risk populations. hand2mind’s customized assortments will help provide LAUSD with the tools needed to engage students with equitable, screen-free education opportunities despite the remote learning environment.

hand2mind personalized grade-level math and literacy lessons, activities and materials for TK to grade 6 students to meet the district’s specific needs. LAUSD is the nation’s second-largest K–12 district with more than 650,000 students enrolled in over 900 schools and 249 public charter schools. With the student population predominantly Latino (73.4%)—up to 161,484 students are considered English language learners—hand2mind was able to develop and supply additional support materials for teachers and parents. Instructional videos in English and Spanish were developed to explain how to use the manipulatives featured in the kits and how best to facilitate parent engagement while their kids are learning remotely. In addition, hand2mind partnered with LAUSD to provide on-demand training opportunities for 14,000 teachers.

“Delivering resources and curriculum to students across the Los Angeles Unified School District was imperative for student success, and these hand2mind kits are the perfect tools to address students’ needs during the pandemic,” said Sari Winick, SVP of Marketing at hand2mind. “Our mission is to support teachers, inspire students, engage parents, and champion learning by doing, and that’s exactly what we’ve been able to achieve with this partnership. Most importantly, we couldn’t be happier for the students and their families.”…Read More

Samsung’s Display Solutions Help Reimagine the Classroom for one of the U.S.’s Largest Charter School Support Organizations, Academica

Samsung Electronics America, Inc. announced today its partnership with Academica – one of the largest charter school support organizations in the U.S., serving more than 200 public charter schools and 125,000 students in nine states – to reimagine the classroom for the 21st century.

The partnership arrives during the new learn-from-home era, as traditional classroom settings are being enhanced with virtual setups that are interactive and engaging. Samsung delivers a complete ecosystem of display products and solutions optimized for all variations of back to school, including remote learning and hybrid teaching models. With long standing education programs including Solve for Tomorrow, Samsung understands how technology impacts education, and how now more than ever, it is critical to learning and creating change in grades K-12.

“As we continue to navigate this new normal together, we need to take a practical approach to helping students and educators adapting to a new learning environment,” said Mark Quiroz, Vice President of Marketing for the Samsung Display Division. “We’re offering new solutions and working with education networks like Academica to bring ease to the transition to remote and hybrid learning models. Students’ safety and health are top of mind and we are proud to be able to offer tools that bring the classroom into the home.”…Read More

How SEL inspired a transformation in my school

When I accepted the position as principal at Langley Elementary in Washington, D.C., I had two objectives in mind: one, to empower teachers who truly care about supporting the whole child, and two, to inspire a schoolwide culture shift.

Langley Elementary has historically struggled with dropping student enrollment numbers, a rise in suspension rates, and an unimpressive student satisfaction rate—all factors linked to an incohesive school culture. A rise in charter schools in the area has resulted in a competition between public and private education, and the gentrification of area neighborhoods has tension at an all-time high. With behavioral challenges and no defined philosophy of how to interact with students, Langley Elementary didn’t feel safe.

There was a disconnect between teachers, students, and parents that was impeding on the learning process. My answer to this was to ingrain social-emotional learning (SEL) in every aspect of the curriculum.…Read More

Blog: Volusia County Schools Enhance Learning Through Digital Classrooms

Volusia County Schools set into motion a 5-year technology plan in order to transition to all-digital classrooms by 2020. Comprised of nearly 50 elementary schools, more than 20 middle and high schools, and over a dozen charter schools and alternative learning facilities, the Volusia County School District has made it a priority to leverage technology in support of superior learning opportunities. In fact, one of the district’s campuses, Edgewater Public School, has already achieved AdvancED STEM certification by ensuring its students have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in their postsecondary pursuits and career opportunities as part of the 21st-century economy.

Thriving special education programs have these 7 elements

Focusing on inclusion, using data, and forming partnerships are among the practices that can help make special education programs successful in schools, according to a report.

Meeting the Needs of Every Student Through Inclusion,” from the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA), details the special education program philosophy behind 10 California charter public schools, how they implement best practices on their campuses, and what policy arrangements have allowed them to succeed.

The qualitative study offers new insights into the best ways to serve students with disabilities in all schools, in particular the benefits of inclusive education. These practices have have also yielded incredible results for the schools, with boosts in enrollment and performance in both ELA and math.…Read More

Can traditional public schools win in an age of school choice? Yes—and here’s how

Traditional public schools must ensure continued success in order to compete for students against charter schools, online learning, and other forms of education. Dissatisfied students, parents, and even staff leave schools that need to work harder than ever to regain the confidence of staff and community. But what practices can public schools implement to increase retention and improve student outcomes?

In “The Public School in an Age of Choice: How to Compete for the Win,” Kevin Baird, chairman of the board at the nonprofit Center for College & Career Readiness, presented the issues traditional public schools currently face in retaining students and staff, as well as the solutions that can lead to higher retention and student success.

Challenge: Slow Improvements…Read More