Online learning can help schools retain students

There were 1.3 million fewer students enrolled in U.S. public schools in fall 2021 than there were before the pandemic began–a drop of nearly 3 percent. Given that educational funding is tied to enrollment, this development has serious implications for the availability of resources in our schools.

Some of this decline may be the result of changing demographics. But much of it can be attributed to families who have opted out of public schools during the pandemic, choosing private schools or homeschooling for their children instead.

On top of these losses, traditional school districts also have lost about a quarter of a million students to charter schools since the emergence of COVID. An analysis by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools found that charter school enrollment increased by more than 7 percent from fall 2019 to fall 2020 as families found other alternatives for their children’s education.…Read More

KCAV and Rise Vision Help Middle School Use Digital Signage and Social Media App to Boost Student Motivation and Engagement

Derby, Kansas – Derby North Middle School (DNMS) in Derby, Kansas, has found a unique and effective way to build culture and increase student engagement with the help of Rise Vision digital signage software and Class Intercom.

DNMS had faced issues with their previous digital signage provider, including hard-to-use software, inconsistent uptime, and lack of support. With the help of Kansas City Audio Visual (KCAV), a Rise Vision partner, DNMS switched to Rise Vision for their digital signage needs. 

DNMS has taken a unique approach to student recognition with the integration of its social media accounts and Rise Vision displays. With the use of the Class Intercom app, students create photo and video content, write a post about DNMS, and select which school social media channel to post it to. The content then gets delivered to moderators at DNMS who approve it or send back changes to the student. Once the content is approved, it gets published on DNMS’s social media accounts and automatically pushed to displays around the school for everyone to see.…Read More

95 Percent Group Unveils 95 Phonics Core Program for Grades 4 and 5

Lincolnshire, Ill. – 95 Percent Group LLC, the trusted source for comprehensive, proven literacy solutions, launched 95 Phonics Core Program® Word Study, Grades 4 and 5. The new program extends the evidence-based classroom success of 95 Percent Group’s K-3 program, a Tier 1 solution for whole class and small group instruction, supporting explicit, structured literacy instruction. It engages students with informational text and literary passages to help them develop fast and meaningful word recognition and build fluency, comprehension, and confidence. It also includes professional learning and ongoing coaching at the district and building level to support teachers in mastering phonics-based instruction.

Chief Academic Officer for 95 Percent Group Laura Stewart noted that 95 Phonics Core Program® Word Study, Grades 4 and 5 is a natural evolution for the company’s phonics ecosystem, a cohesive suite of products and professional learning services aligned with the Science of Reading.

“Expanding our phonics ecosystem to support fourth and fifth grade is the direct result of educators asking us for a solution to fill the continued, growing need for explicit Tier 1 phonics and word study skill development beyond the third grade,” said Stewart. “This is a unique offering for schools and it is exciting to be able to bring this resource to the classroom to help both struggling and on grade-level students improve their reading and spelling abilities.”…Read More

4 ways to support teachers after the holiday break

Teachers (and administrators) appreciate breaks as much as students do. Time away from the classroom allows teachers to clear their minds, celebrate the holidays, relax with family and friends, and maybe catch up on grading or lesson planning in comfy clothing, slippers, and with a ready cup of tea or coffee at hand.

Now that teachers have returned to their classrooms refreshed and ready for the second half of the year, school districts should have a plan to help them maintain that energy — and keep burnout at bay.

Here are four strategies school leaders can employ to support their educators, help reduce their stress and maintain their enthusiasm after the holidays (and all year long).…Read More

Teachers are burning out. Can AI help?

The teaching profession is in crisis. K-12 teachers report the highest burnout rate among all industries nationally, according to a June 2022 Gallup poll. Job satisfaction is at the lowest it’s been in 40 years. There is an estimated teacher shortage of over 300,000.

Many blame COVID-19, but if you look at the facts: the pandemic only revealed the cracks, long buckling under pressure.

But what if every single teacher could have an AI assistant? Would that change the game?…Read More

How to help ESL students improve writing skills

Learning a new language is challenging, requiring a student to master four basic skills–listening, reading, speaking, and writing–from scratch. And it becomes even more challenging for ESL learners.

Not only do they learn a language but they also have to deal with other school subjects in it. And while listening and reading aren’t that difficult to conquer (both are passive skills about consuming the language, so they are easier for students to handle), active skills like speaking and writing are another thing:

Why is writing so critical for students to master?…Read More

Join the revolution: The 4th Industrial Revolution is changing learning

The 4th Industrial Revolution is the current phase of rapid technological change. It is also known as Industry 4.0, and the advent of robotics, artificial intelligence, and automation has marked it. Klaus Schwab coined the term in 2013 in his book “The Fourth Industrial Revolution.” He defines it as “a new stage of industrialization characterized by a fusion of technologies blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.”

The 4th Industrial Revolution is a time of significant change. It is a time when new technologies and innovations are transforming the world. The role of educators in this revolution will be to prepare students for the future. Educators are uniquely positioned to help students understand how these changes will affect their lives and careers. They can also help students learn how to use these technologies responsibly and ethically.

How Technology is Changing the Way We Learn…Read More

How we built a whole-child, wraparound approach to special education

At the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning at Ulster Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES), we have developed the architecture to accomplish and codify a leadership approach to help schools consider how to reach our most marginalized and vulnerable students.

Four years ago, my team and I designed, planned, and implemented a research-based, whole-child wraparound approach to special education. To get our initial pilot off the ground, we brought in stakeholders from across our organization: teachers, teaching assistants (TAs), aides, counselors, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech language pathologists, positive intervention team members, administrators, and the wider community, along with content area experts through our instructional services.

The pilot grew from five classrooms into a full-school implementation in the second year due to the county’s demand and the success of the program. We recently had the honor of presenting our model to stakeholders from across the country at AESA’s most recent conference.…Read More

SEL is an educator essential

Social-emotional learning (SEL) is an approach to learning that focuses on the social and emotional skills necessary for students to succeed in school and life. SEL is not new, but it has recently gained momentum as more educators recognize the importance of teaching social and emotional skills.

With this new approach, schools focus on developing students’ social and emotional skills to help them succeed academically and socially. Emotional intelligence is the capacity to identify and manage one’s emotions and those of others, use emotional information in thinking, and understand the emotional significance of events.

What are the Benefits of SEL?…Read More