6 things parents can do to boost school security efforts

As students head back to the classroom, parents of school-age children can play a significant role in helping assure violence prevention and school security measures are implemented in their child’s school.

Parents can be as influential as school board members, superintendents, principals, and teachers in helping prevent violence in schools. In fact, parents–who are also taxpayers and voters–have the power to effect change if they are willing to become involved both individually and collectively.

All members of the education community–including parents–need to be involved in helping provide a safe and secure environment where children can learn without fear. Don’t wait until something bad happens.…Read More

Children’s Hospital Colorado Expands Access to Free, Online Teacher Training to Help Students with ASD and ADHD Improve Executive Functioning Skills

Aurora, Colo. – Free, online teacher and parent training designed to improve the executive functioning of elementary school-aged children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is now accessible across the nation. The availability of this training is possible due 

to a $2 million contract awarded to Children’s Hospital Colorado’s (Children’s Colorado) Pediatric Mental Health Institute by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute ( PCORI) in 2020. A team from Children’s Colorado, Children’s National Hospital and The Institute for Innovation and Implementation at the University of Maryland, Baltimore is working to implement a successful online training and tele-support system for the  Unstuck and On Target (UOT) program for any parent or educator who needs it. 

Since 2020, this team has piloted UOT video training with 293 school-based staff across 230 elementary schools in Colorado and Virginia. The work follows a related PCORI-funded research project,  Improving Classroom Behaviors Among Students with Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, led by Children’s Colorado researchers.That project demonstrated the effectiveness of UOT at improving the executive functioning – or frontal lobe skills, including flexible thinking, planning and self-control – of school-aged children in Title 1 schools. …Read More

5 safeguarding tips for schools this year

Criminal cyber groups have made it abundantly clear that there is no type of organization they will not target–the more vulnerable they are, the easier it will be to victimize. Unfortunately for us, the organizations most at risk are often public institutions. A combination of lack of resources and dependence on legacy networks creates the perfect storm for exploitation. Of all public organizations, education has the most significant difficulties to overcome.

In 2021, ransomware attacks cost US schools over $3 billion in damages and an incalculable impact on teachers’ and children’s lives. City officials and state lawmakers must ask themselves: What can I do to protect my constituents? As a former CIO for the state of Arizona, I have pondered the same questions and understand how stressful the responsibility can be.

Since then, I have helped hundreds of private companies and government departments fortify their security postures in an increasingly hostile security environment. In this article, I would like to share the five most valuable practices cybersecurity personnel can implement within their school district’s or university’s security planning.…Read More

Presence Introduces New Therapy Platform to Enrich the Clinician Experience

NEW YORK – Presence, the leading provider of online therapy solutions for children with diverse needs, launches Kanga, a modern therapy platform for clinicians who serve children. Special education caseloads in schools have continued to rise, increasing backlogs, and driving clinician burnout. Presence is expanding the tools available to clinicians in schools, agencies, and independent practices. The technology company has developed a robust, clinician-designed online therapy platform for their own network of teletherapy providers, and made a version of it available to schools during the pandemic.

“Kanga was designed to respond to the challenges and opportunities our clinicians have experienced in their own practice,” said Kate Eberle Walker, CEO of Presence. “The resulting platform is a combination of their expertise and 13 years of our own data on how special education providers and students engage in therapy and evaluations.”

Presence is offering a free version of the platform for clinicians interested in exploring how they can incorporate technology into their therapy planning, documentation, and delivery. The free version gives access to a rich library of resources and caseload management features, including tools for documenting and tracking session notes and student profiles. It also allows them to conduct up to eight 30-minute teletherapy sessions a month. Individual clinicians can sign up for the free version of Kanga through Presence’s website.…Read More

Whitney Brothers® Introduces Nature View Mobile Book Browser

Keene, NH, Award winning children’s furniture brand Whitney Brothers® today introduced the Nature View Mobile Book Browser, an imaginative interpretation of a standard book display for Early Learning environments that features a stunning waterfall image on the front and dry erase marker board on the back.

The exclusive design combines utility with beauty to entice children to pick a book and sit down by the serene brook for a peaceful read. The front features four graduated display shelves with a lip that provides stable book display and maximum front cover visibility. The back includes a dry erase marker board for drawing, writing, lessons or whatever the classroom activity entails. The browser is mounted on four heavy duty non-marking lockable casters and coordinates with all other furniture pieces in the
company’s award-winning biophilia-inspired Nature View Collection, an industry first in Early Learning furniture.

Scientific studies show that biophilic design helps to reduce stress, enhance creativity, focus clarity of thought and improve well-being, benefits that can foster a child’s deep connection to their learning environment and set a positive trajectory for future learning outcomes. The Nature View Collection by Whitney Brothers® now encompasses 35 separate furniture pieces that have earned product design
awards from Interior Design magazine, Spaces4Learning, GOOD DESIGN™ and Teacher’s Choice Award.…Read More

3 reasons literacy is essential in child development

Literacy is a fundamental element of a child’s development. Literacy means much more than just knowing how to read a book. It can also impact the ability for a child to learn other subjects, to understand road signs when driving or crossing the street, and can be a major contributor to a child living a fulfilling life into adulthood.

Despite its importance, two out of every 10 children enter kindergarten with skills two to three years lower than their grade level, and another two start school with a one-year disadvantage, according to the Children’s Reading Foundation. Students who are behind typically make only one year’s worth of progress at each grade level, keeping them behind their classmates throughout school and making them more likely to repeat grades, according to ProLiteracy.org.

Today, literacy is evolving into much more than the ability to read the newspaper or the latest bestseller. It is linked to things like graduation rates, socio-economic status, and even the development of social-emotional skills like empathy. …Read More

Allentown-Area School Buses Modernized with Safety Technology to Protect Kids and Stop Dangerous Drivers

Allentown, PA (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Children returning to school on the yellow school bus can expect a safer, smarter commute this fall, thanks to the launch of a new safety initiative across Eastern Pennsylvania. Allentown, Bethlehem, Kutztown Area, and Northwestern Lehigh school districts have each partnered with local law enforcement and BusPatrol to tackle the illegal passing of stopped school buses.

More than 300 buses across Berks and Lehigh counties will be outfitted with automated enforcement technology to detect the license plates of vehicles that fail to stop for school buses, putting children at risk. The video evidence is shared with local law enforcement for review before a citation is issued.

The programs will go live on Monday, August 29, to coincide with the start of the new school year. In addition to enforcement, the initiative includes an education and awareness campaign to remind motorists of school bus safety laws and teach students safety tips for getting on and off school buses.…Read More

Capstone Interactive eBook Platform Relaunches With Enhanced Accessibility for Children

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – August 17, 2022 – Capstone, an innovative learning company merging children’s content with easy-to-use edtech tools for K-5 classrooms, libraries, and home, announces substantial enhancements to its Capstone Interactive eBooks platform. Among the improvements, the eBook platform and reader will be Section 508 compliant and WCAG 2.1 rated, ensuring Capstone Interactive is accessible to children with vision, cognitive, physical, and hearing disabilities.

Another significant update includes its integration within Capstone’s PebbleGo environment, the subscription-based content hub for cross-curricular instruction and research. Educators and students can easily discover and begin reading Capstone Interactive eBooks through a new “eBooks” tab as part of their subscription, reducing the need for keeping track of additional logins and website URLs. Educators can also easily share a direct link to an eBook, allowing students access with a single click.

The platform will also be mobile-responsive, improving student’s experience through intuitive touchscreen navigation and providing at-home and on-the-go access on smartphones, tablets, and computers to support school-to-home programs and independent learning.…Read More

Is it time to fire up gaming consoles in classrooms?

Digital learning has become a significant part of education as a result of the pandemic, and schools are continually finding innovative ways to engage and motivate students online. So, with Ofcom revealing six in ten children played games online in 2021, what might the use of video gaming in the classroom look like to engage students with a model they’re already invested in?

Historically, gaming has been associated with recreational activities rather than as a medium used to boost the diversity of learning techniques, despite it being an actual benefit to a child’s literacy, empathy and imagination.

The question is: Does gaming have a viable role to play right now, as digital learning continues to claw its way to the forefront of education, or is it simply an unwelcome distraction?…Read More

School System, County, and Police Partner on New Modernized Bus Initiative to Enhance Student Safety in Anne Arundel County

Anne Arundel County, MD, Aug. 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Every day in Maryland, thousands of drivers fail to stop for school buses and put the lives of children at risk. Anne Arundel County Public Schools hopes to halt dangerous driving around its school buses beginning this fall with the launch of a new safety initiative in partnership with the Anne Arundel County Government, the Anne Arundel County Police Department, and BusPatrol.

As part of the initiative, the entire AACPS bus fleet of approximately 750 school buses, including those owned by contractors, is being upgraded with advanced safety technology that features AI-powered stop-arm cameras to detect violations and capture the license plates of drivers that illegally pass school buses. This video evidence is shared with local law enforcement for review and validation before a citation is issued.

“There is no bigger cornerstone in the foundation of educational success than the ability to transport students safely to and from our school buildings,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mark T. Bedell said. “This partnership is another step in accomplishing that, and we are grateful to those who have invested time, resources, and energy in it. I urge everyone who utilizes our county’s roads to do so in cautious manner so that we do not put our children at risk.”…Read More