Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready® Assessment Named to the Georgia Department of Education Approved List of Gifted Identification Screeners

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass., August18, 2022—The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) has added Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready Assessment for Grades K–12 to its approved list of Gifted EducationAssessment Measuresto identify students’ eligibility for gifted education programs in the achievement domain. With this approval, districts throughout the state can now use their existing reading and mathematics data from the i-Ready Assessment as a source of evidence to support a referral for gifted education programs. The i-Ready normative scores can be used to determine if students meet the criteria in the achievement category of the evaluation and eligibility process, eliminating the need for a separate achievement assessment.

“The i-Ready Assessment data is powerful in helping teachers identify students’ strengths and needs so they can provide more personalized instruction,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “The Georgia Department of Education’s approval of i-Ready to support gifted identification will help districts throughout the state save valuable time and resources by eliminating the need for another achievement assessment. A more efficient screening process will also help schools connect students more quickly with services that help them reach their full potential.”

The GaDOE gifted education screening process requires information be gathered about a student in four categories: mental ability, achievement, creativity, and motivation. In order to be eligible to receive gifted programming, students must qualify in three of the four categories, or they must have a qualifying score in both the mental ability and achievement categories. i-Ready data is used in the achievement category.…Read More

How to build relationships with instructional coaches

Teaching at any level can often be a solitary occupation. Even with a classroom full of students, teachers often work in isolation from peers. Teachers rarely receive instruction on how to work with co-teachers or teacher assistants in their pre-service teacher education programs. Therefore, it is often difficult or awkward for teachers to ask for help or effectively collaborate with others. Instructors often don’t know how to accept help from the instructional coaches, even when they would like to.

Educational practice is shifting from isolating practice to collaborative efforts, and creating healthy and productive team dynamics is often a challenge. Instructional coaches can positively impact these relationships, but the trust must be in place for it to occur. Even in systems where working with a coach is expected, building those initial relationships can be challenging.

Instructional coaches, instructional designers, and even assigned co-teachers often struggle to establish working relationships with individual classroom teachers. Librarians regularly complain that they spend more time clearing jams from printers instead of assisting students with reference questions. However, clearing that paper jam can help the student see the librarian as a resource. In the same way, the instructional designer might start to build a relationship by helping an instructor properly format hanging indents for a research paper. One instructional coach started building a positive relationship by making copies for classroom teacher. Just like the proverbial salesman who had to get a foot in the door, sometimes the first step is a small one.…Read More

4 ways to enrich CTE programs

Right now, there’s a labor shortage. The U.S. has more jobs available than there are people to work them. This means individuals who are just starting their careers can more easily snag positions in trade occupations, such as construction, cosmetology, HVAC, and more. But in order to take advantage of these opportunities, students first need to know that they are available.

StrataTech Education Group’s survey found that while 70 percent of students attend high schools that offer career and technical education programs, only 32 percent promote the trades as a potential post-graduation path. Despite this, 51 percent of students consider pursuing trade school. What holds them back? A lack of support, confidence, or knowledge–challenges that high schools can solve with enriched CTE programs.

If more schools enhanced their CTE programs, more students would feel comfortable pursuing the trades. The good news is that boosting program participation is not a huge investment. In fact, bringing in passionate professionals could be enough to get students excited about their career options. Here are four ways to get started:…Read More

Delaware Department of Education, DuPont and Discovery Education Launch First-of-Its-Kind Partnership Supporting STEM, Career, and Technical Education Statewide

DOVER, Del., Nov. 22, 2021 – The Delaware Department of Education (DDOE), DuPont (NYSE: DD) and Discovery Education today announced a new, first-of-its-kind partnership that will increase student access to high-quality STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) instructional resources, as well as instructional materials and other supports to enhance career and technical education programs across the state. The three-year partnership program directly supports the Delaware Pathways initiative — an innovative effort helping students develop the academic, technical, and employability skills needed for successful, in-demand jobs across Delaware.

“Acquiring academic knowledge, technical skills, and meaningful work experience gives students the freedom to choose their life’s path,” said Delaware Secretary of Education Susan Bunting. “This new partnership provides Delaware students an even better opportunity to develop the skills needed for the careers of tomorrow. Thus, I look forward to supporting the progress of this exciting new collaboration.”

“Connecting what is being taught in the classroom to Delaware employers is critical,” said Luke Rhine, Director, Career & Technical Education and STEM Initiatives at the Delaware Department of Education. “The resources provided through this partnership will support middle school and high school teachers as they build bridges between classrooms and careers for all students. We are thankful for partners like DuPont who share our goals related to STEM- and career-focused education.”…Read More

5 ways to help special education students manage testing anxiety

Testing anxiety shows itself in different ways for different students. It can range from refusing to do work, crying, hiding in the bathroom, and verbal aggression to physical behavior like flipping tables and desks or hitting school staff. Some students avoid school on test days, and many suffer from symptoms such as stomachaches or headaches.

In special education programs, many of our students’ disabilities are closely related to anxiety, and testing can be a trigger that heightens those negative thoughts and feelings.

It’s a common belief that testing anxiety affects only older students, such as those taking high school or college placement exams. However, testing anxiety affects students of all ages. In fact, studies have shown that test anxiety is actually the worst in the middle grades. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, this anxiety can stem from a fear of failure, negative testing experiences, or feeling unprepared.…Read More

Novus Consulting Group Introduces New Approach to Cyber Citizenship Education with Course Focused on Digital Wellness

DALLAS, TX (August 10, 2021) – As cyberattack incidents continue to appear globally, largely attributed to the pandemic’s push for digitization, millions of people are recognizing the importance of strong education programs and cybersecurity fluency. In response to these emerging needs, Novus Consulting Group (NCG), an organization dedicated to empowering the global youth, is launching its Cyber Citizenship course this summer. 

The course was developed by experts in the cybersecurity industry and in partnership with CareerNet, an employment, training, and education solutions company. It prepares high school and first-year college students with proper cyber etiquette skills by informing them on ways to protect personal identity, school data, home devices, and all networks. With these tools, students will be ready to take on the next step in their personal, academic, and professional life. 

“Children and youth are often considered to be a soft target, mainly due to the fact that they
have not yet been trained on basic cybersecurity subjects and ways to protect themselves
and their devices, making them an easy gateway into more valuable home and school
devices and networks,” said Dr. Hanine Salem, managing partner at Novus Consulting
Group. “We developed this Course to enable young people to protect themselves,
understand appropriate internet usage, and explore cybersecurity as a professional path.”…Read More

National Park Foundation Provides Grants to Support National Park Service Education Programs During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

32 Parks Receive Funding to Pilot Hybrid Learning with Students 

WASHINGTON (April 20, 2021) — Students nationwide will be able to experience national parks in new and exciting ways, thanks to the National Park Foundation’s (NPF) Open OutDoors for Kids Hybrid Learning grant program. NPF is awarding grants to 32 National Park Service (NPS) sites and their partners to implement or enhance innovative distance learning programs to better serve educators and students, especially in under-resourced communities. 

“National parks are America’s largest classrooms, and the National Park Foundation is committed to helping students, teachers, and families navigate learning during the pandemic and beyond,” said National Park Foundation President and CEO Will Shafroth. “From green time to screen time to family time, the National Park Foundation is helping the National Park Service and parks community engage students with educational opportunities across the country.”  

With more than 400 parks across all fifty states and the U.S. territories, the NPS traditionally hosts more than 60,000 in-park and distance learning education programs annually, serving over 1.8 million students.  …Read More

Rhode Island schools gain new tool for meeting Biden administration’s goals for social emotional learning


Conscious Discipline, a 25-year leader in the field of social-emotional learning (SEL), and Sargent
Rehabilitation Center’s Regional Resource Center have entered a partnership that will unite schools,
parents, and community SEL services state-wide.

The partnership between Conscious Discipline and Sargent will provide the state’s schools with access to a single, evidence-based approach to SEL for education programs from birth through adulthood. The
penetration of SEL into Rhode Island schools meets many Biden Administration priorities for education,
which include providing increased services during the early childhood years, equity in education,
increased mental health services, community school outreach, and investing in “resources for our
schools so students grow into physically and emotionally healthy adults.”
www.joebiden.com/education/

The partnership, launching March 10, 2021, is the culmination of four years in which thousands of
Rhode Island educators and students experienced improvement in discipline, school climate, academic
achievement and sense of belonging after training in Conscious Discipline with key Sargent staff. These
improvements will expand in both depth and breadth under the partnership as school administrators
and educators state-wide receive classroom coaching, exclusive content, professional development
workshops, and priority status for attending Conscious Discipline’s public events. An immersive weeklong Summer Institute (August) and a 2-day Building Trauma-Sensitive Classrooms and Schools
workshop (October) are among the public events scheduled in Rhode Island with Dr. Becky Bailey, the
founder and originator of Conscious Discipline.

Conscious Discipline is a brain-based, trauma-informed, adult-first methodology that integrates SEL,
school culture and discipline in order to create collaborative, equitable learning communities that
support all members in reaching their highest potential. In 2020, the Collaborative for Academic, Social,
and Emotional Learning (CASEL) named Conscious Discipline a “SELect Program,” its highest designation for effective, evidence-based SEL. www.ConsciousDiscipline.com


Sargent Rehabilitation Center is a nonprofit organization offering educational consulting,
neurorehabilitation, day school programs, diagnostic services and restorative justice practices
throughout Rhode Island and surrounding Massachusetts and Connecticut. www.sargentcenter.org

Regarding this collaboration, Dr. Bailey said, “There is nothing more inspiring than partnership.
Conscious Discipline and Sargent Rehabilitation Center’s Regional Resource Center are united in helping all educators and families build the social-emotional skillsets and inner resources needed to manage their external experiences.”

For more information, contact Amanda Weinstein at press@consciousdiscipline.com.…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

A year in the life of a student-centered library

There’s no “typical” day for a library media specialist. In one school day, we can teach a class about fake news, help one student find the perfect resource for his research project, and guide another toward a “just-right” book series that appeals to her personal interests. For 21st-century media specialists, the idea of the library as a quiet space is out and creating new opportunities for deeper learning with students is in.

Our district, Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) is the eighth-largest school district in the nation. We provide a wealth of educational opportunities for students and families that range from Head Start to adult-education programs within our 227 traditional public and magnet schools. We are a melting pot of urban, rural, and suburban areas. The word “diverse” doesn’t begin to describe our wide array of students and schools. It’s our job to make sure that at every school, every student has equitable access to high-quality reading, learning, and technological resources.

As we look back on 2017, we’d like to share the best practices that have worked for us, as well as a few predictions about what 2018 will look like for media specialists.…Read More