6 tips to help start an elementary esports program in your school

Each year, we share our 10 most-read stories. Not surprisingly, many of this year’s Top 10 focused on innovative ways to engage students, digital resources, and online and hybrid learning strategies related to post-pandemic teaching. This year’s 2nd most-read story focuses on creating an elementary esports program.

The benefits of esports are well documented. A significant body of research has found that students who participate in scholastic esports programs benefit from increased emotional regulation, academic achievement, and graduation rates.

These benefits only scratch the surface of the positive consequences for students participating in scholastic esports. Thus far, conversations around esports have centered on collegiate and secondary levels, however, a recent change in the winds has shifted the conversation to elementary esports. …Read More

6 tips to begin an elementary esports program in your school

The benefits of esports are well documented. A significant body of research has found that students who participate in scholastic esports programs benefit from increased emotional regulation, academic achievement, and graduation rates.

These benefits only scratch the surface of the positive consequences for students participating in scholastic esports. Thus far, conversations around esports have centered on collegiate and secondary levels, however, a recent change in the winds has shifted the conversation to elementary esports. 

My question: Why haven’t we started this conversation sooner?…Read More

5 components of educational innovation

The industrial education model was massively successful at first, with high school graduation rates and student achievement increasing decade after decade. However, by the end of the 20th century, it was evident that the industrial education model had hit its limit, with graduation rates plateauing at 80 percent and student achievement and engagement plummeting the longer students were in school.

According to Dr. Devin Vodicka, chief impact officer at AltSchool, in a recent edWebinar, reform after reform and many well-intended efforts have tried—and failed–to make all students successful. Vodicka, along with Erik Burmeister, superintendent, and Theresa Fox, coordinator of technology and innovation, both from Menlo Park City School District (CA), noted that if 80 percent of students are graduating, then 20 percent of students are not graduating–educational professionals can’t remain satisfied with these statistics.

Related: 9 innovation tips from pioneering schools…Read More

How to use data to increase student success rates

Roughly 10 percent of freshmen class students nationwide find themselves struggling to earn enough credits to pass ninth grade, leaving them with only a 20-percent chance of graduating on time. This past year, the Metropolitan School District (MSD) of Decatur Township teamed up with the University of Chicago to combat this issue by implementing a Student Transition and Enrichment Pathway (STEP), a research-based program proven to produce growth in academic achievement and graduation rates among high school students. With its new STEP program in place, Decatur Township experienced significant success in just six months.

Does your school district face the same problems with its graduation rates? If you’re looking to improve the success of your students these steps can help you get to the root of the problem and establish strategies to increase key graduation statistics.

Identify the indicators of falling behind
In order to effectively battle increasing dropout rates, educators need to first research statistics and identify specific indicators that lead to high school students falling behind. The STEP program identifies these indicators by reviewing each student’s academic performance and attendance. This allows educators to distinguish which students are “at risk” and need additional support and encouragement on their path to graduation.…Read More

Editor’s Picks 2015, No. four: 4 things innovative districts do to improve graduation rates

Forward-thinking practices focus on college and career readiness

graduation-ratesAs the skills expected of today’s graduates change rapidly, school districts have to overhaul their thinking on what it means to be “college and career ready.” Conventional wisdom around when and where students learn, what knowledge they need to be successful, and who they are as learners is all rapidly changing, especially as technology becomes more prevalent in classrooms.

This is all top of mind for members of the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools, a coalition of around 57  forward-thinking districts and leaders across the country, who are committed to improving the opportunity to learn for all of their students through technology and research. We rounded up some best practices League members use to ensure students stay in school, get their degrees, and are prepared for success in their post-secondary endeavors.

Learning can happen anytime, anywhere…Read More

U.S. makes modest gains in graduation rates

The average national graduation rate was 75 percent in 2009, up 3.5 percentage points from 2001. Still, that means 1 in 4 students drops out of school.

The last straw for 17-year-old Alton Burke was a note left on his door. The high school dropout picked up the phone and re-enrolled at South Hagerstown High.

Burke missed roughly 200 days of class, but Heather Dixon, the student intervention specialist who left the note, never gave up on him.…Read More

New bill focuses on U.S. graduation rates

Reports show that high school graduates have a positive impact on local and state economies.

New legislation introduced in Congress proposes to reduce the U.S. high school dropout rate in an effort to reach a national graduation rate of 90 percent. The bill also would require states to use a consistent method to report graduation data.

The Every Student Counts Act, introduced April 7 by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Rep. Robert Scott, D-Va., notes that according to a 2008 Department of Labor report, by 2016 almost 90 percent of the fastest-growing and best-paying jobs in the country will require at least some postsecondary education.…Read More

Obama urges Americans to take the lead in higher education

President Barack Obama urged Americans Aug. 9 to crack the books and boost post-secondary graduation rates, arguing that higher education achievement was key to U.S. economic health, AFP reports. “America has to have the highest share of graduates compared to other nations. But Texas, I want you to know, we’ve been slipping,” Obama said on a visit to the University of Texas. “In a single generation, we’ve fallen from first place to 12th place in college graduation rates for young adults. That’s unacceptable, but it’s not irreversible. We can retake the lead,” Obama stressed, adding: “Education is the economic issue of our time,” Obama insisted, arguing: “The countries that out-educate us today will out-compete us tomorrow.”

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