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

Computer science claims slight victory in high schools

For the first time, a slim majority of all U.S. high schools–51 percent–offer foundational computer science, up from 35 percent in 2018.

The new statistics come from the 2021 State of Computer Science Education: Accelerating Action Through Advocacy, released by Code.org, the Computer Science Teachers Association, and the Expanding Computing Education Pathways Alliance.

The latest data reveals that disparities exist regarding who has access to and who participates in computer science education. Students who attend rural schools, urban schools, or schools with higher percentages of economically disadvantaged students are less likely to have access to computer science.…Read More

Illinois’ Decatur Public Schools Selects 7 Mindsets for District-wide Implementation

ROSWELL, Ga. – Sept. 1, 2021 – Decatur Public Schools in Decatur, Ill., has selected 7 Mindsets, the leader in online social emotional learning (SEL) solutions, to support the emotional wellbeing of its students and teachers. Starting with the 2021-22 academic year, the 7 Mindsets curriculum will be used throughout the district’s 11 elementary schools, middle school, and two high schools.

The district made its decision after a two-year pilot of three programs. 7 Mindsets was initially implemented in a select number of Decatur’s elementary schools for that pilot project. Users provided feedback on their experience to a student services panel, and administrators conducted a districtwide survey. “From those two, it was decided overwhelmingly that 7 Mindsets would be the program for the district,” said Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, Jeff Dase.

According to Dase, even teachers who had not used 7 Mindsets in their schools voted for the program. “I guess they were hearing about it from their colleagues,” he said. “So, the majority selected to either stay with 7 Mindsets or move to 7 Mindsets.”…Read More

New initiative targets 10,000 underserved students for in-demand cloud computing careers

The National Education Equity Lab (Ed Equity Lab) has launched a new initiative with Amazon Web Services (AWS) designed to prepare more than 10,000 students in underserved high schools across the nation for careers in cloud computing by 2025.

As part of Amazon’s ongoing commitment to help 29 million people worldwide increase their technical skills by 2025, the new collaboration, launching this fall, will enable students in low-income school districts to access AWS cloud computing educational content and resources offered by Arizona State University (ASU) at no cost to students.

“Students from underserved school districts and communities face challenges that prevent them from pursuing and succeeding in some of the country’s fastest-growing technical careers,” said Wil Zemp, Director of Education to Workforce at AWS. “It will take intentional, proactive effort by employers, education leaders, and the tech industry to remove those barriers and build more equitable pathways to economic mobility.”…Read More

Why districts need to think creatively–inside the box

Scott Bailey, Superintendent for Desert Sands Unified School District (CA), didn’t let the pandemic get in the way of his team’s plans. Instead, he used the disruptions as an opportunity to accelerate.

In this episode of Getting There: Innovations in Education, Scott breaks down his work to innovate within the confines of a public institution. The district primarily serves five communities in the central Coachella Valley: Bermuda Dunes, Indian Wells, Indio, La Quinta, and Palm Desert. Students from other areas of the desert also take advantage of the quality education provided by our schools.

More than 27,000 students attend 34 schools in the district including traditional high schools, alternative high schools, middle schools, elementary schools, and 16 preschools, including a federally funded Head Start program. Two elementary schools currently offer full dual immersion in English/Spanish to kindergarteners and first graders.…Read More

Making a post-pandemic promise

Vicksburg Warren School District (VWSD) Superintendent Chad Shealy is irrepressible. Whether you are talking about COVID response, CTE strategies, or curriculum content, Chad not only makes you feel happy you asked, but even happier with his answers.

VWSD serves all of Warren County, Mississippi, and has an enrollment of approximately 7,200 students in grades Pre-K through 12. VWSD consists of three high schools (grades 9-12), three middle schools (grades 7-8), 10 elementary schools, and an alternative program.

In this conversation with eSchool News, he provides insights for any district administrator looking to thrive next fall.…Read More

EVERFI Tackles Inequality in Nation’s Healthcare System with Introduction of First Healthcare Literacy Course for Students

New program addresses barriers that lead to social disparities; students learn to make important health and financial decisions 

EVERFI Inc., the leading Impact-as-a-Service TM education innovator, announced the development of the nation’s first healthcare literacy course designed for high school students. This new digital program will empower students across the country with the knowledge to navigate a complex healthcare system, advocate for medical care, and make good financial decisions to manage their healthcare needs.  The program will be available to all high schools nationwide at no cost during the fall 2021 academic term. EVERFI will work with its strategic partners to focus on reaching students in underserved, high-risk communities in an effort to drive ecosystems of change.

Although a lack of healthcare literacy disproportionately affects lower socioeconomic and minority groups, it is a widespread concern across the country regardless of age, education level, income, or race. More than 88 percent of adults in the U.S. have a low level of health literacy, lacking the skills necessary to fully manage their healthcare and prevent disease and nearly 46 million Americans say they would struggle to afford quality healthcare. Other studies suggest adolescents have a low level of healthcare literacy and struggle with reading health-related words and describing symptoms, particularly as they begin to take ownership of their health and medical needs.  

“Systemic inequality in our healthcare system has taken a heavy toll on disadvantaged communities,” said Tom Davidson, CEO and founder of EVERFI. “This is not just a health problem. This is a financial problem. We can no longer sit back and hope that individuals learn how to effectively use our healthcare system. The negative impact on individuals and their families can be devastating financially and may put someone’s health – or life – at risk. This critical knowledge needs to exist in every high school in America.”…Read More

Aperture Education Acquires Ascend to Expand its Social and Emotional Learning Offering for High Schools

Aperture’s research-backed DESSA assessment integrates with Ascend’s goal-setting software to create a powerful, engaging new SEL tool for high school students

Charlotte N.C. (May 4, 2021) — Aperture Education, the leading provider of researched-backed social and emotional learning (SEL) assessments for K-12 schools, has acquired Charlotte-based Ascend, creator of goal-based student engagement software. The acquisition allows Aperture to expand its SEL offerings for high school by providing districts and out-of-school-time programs with a mobile-friendly software platform to engage students in their own social and emotional learning. The new platform provides students with access to Aperture’s DESSA-Student Self-report, which students use to assess their own SEL skills, as well as access to real-time results and goal-based SEL strategies. The acquisition also marks a period of significant growth for Aperture which now serves nearly 1 million students and 42,000 educators in nearly 500 school districts.

“Social and emotional learning is a fast-growing segment of the education industry, and the pandemic has created even more urgency around the need for reliable, data-driven SEL programs that engage students, especially in high school. Anyone who has or teaches a high school student knows there are unique challenges in helping students improve their SEL skills – from block scheduling to a lack of dedicated time for teachers and students to focus on SEL, as well as a lack of time to train teachers how to incorporate SEL strategies into their daily instruction,” said Jessica Adamson, CEO of Aperture Education. “Ascend’s gamified, goal-setting platform provides the student-engagement piece to help schools get the data they need, and makes it easier to integrate SEL into the school day. Now, with Ascend, we are able to provide an even more well-rounded SEL assessment solution to support students and teachers at the high school level.”…Read More

PTC Wizard Integrates with Zoom

Only Parent-Teacher Conference Scheduler with Zoom Video Conferencing

Boca Raton, FL―April 16, 2021―PTC Wizard, developer of the PTC wizard platform, an online parent-teacher conference scheduler, announces full integration with Zoom video conferencing.

Now, it is possible for faculty at middle schools, junior highs, and high schools to enjoy the user experience of personalization and parental engagement. Schools offer benefits of face-to-face communication and the freedom to schedule their parent-teacher conferences without investing valuable time to organize individual Zoom meeting links for every meeting.…Read More

Austin Independent School District Selects IXL to Support Classroom Instruction and Distance Learning

 IXL Learning, the K-12 personalized learning platform used by 11 million students, today announced a three-year agreement with Austin Independent School District to bring its adaptive software to approximately 70,000 students. The deal provides 83 elementary schools and 17 high schools with access to IXL’s award-winning program to supplement instruction in math and English language arts.

Austin ISD is the fifth-largest school district in Texas and serves a diverse student body. The district turned to IXL because of its ability to align perfectly to Austin ISD’s textbooks and curriculum, plus IXL’s broad range of skills that individualize instruction and empower every student. Austin ISD will also take advantage of IXL’s at-home learning capabilities, which give students the flexibility to learn and educators the tools to instruct from a distance.

“By integrating IXL districtwide, Austin ISD opens the door to a new level of personalized learning during a unique moment in education,” said Paul Mishkin, CEO of IXL Learning. “We look forward to working closely with the district and its teachers to assist them in delivering the highest quality education—whether it happens at home, in a classroom setting or a combination of the two.”…Read More