4 steps to a successful SEL implementation

After several years of using a homegrown social emotional learning (SEL) approach, our district decided it was time for a more official curriculum that would support our middle and high school students’ mental health, academic achievement, and overall well-being.

With about 840 students in grades 8-12, we’d already developed a homeroom/advisory period meant to create community among students. Our goal was to develop a “belongingness” within our students and staff.

As we built that out, we started creating our own lessons using some of the PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports) curriculum. We assembled an advisory team of teachers who helped aggregate resources about mindfulness, kindness, and other core topics.…Read More

Building the ‘why’ into a districtwide literacy implementation

At Rockford Public Schools, we have a strong commitment to literacy growth. We take a comprehensive approach beginning with our foundational curriculum.

Foundational literacy instruction accounts for 50 minutes of the literacy framework; this includes up to 30 minutes for core instruction and 20 minutes engaged in the aligned software. Extended transfer beyond the Daily Core 4 is embedded within the framework as well. Other components of the RPS literacy framework include Integrated Literacy which integrates English language arts standards, Next Generation Science Standards, C3 standards, and some health standards. The elementary schools use Units of Study Writing as the core writing resource aligned to standards. 

Our students spend about 210 to 220 minutes per day in the area of literacy instruction and practice. One area we’ve recently been working on improving is the consistency of language and approach when it comes to explicit phonics instruction and the science of reading. We have a number of students with gaps in literacy. It is imperative that all of our teachers, instructional coaches , and administrators share a common language and instructional practices to support all students in the area of literacy.…Read More

Reading Plus Announces Expanded Partnership With South Carolina’s Beaufort County School District

WINOOSKI, Vt. (September 29, 2021) – Reading Plus, an evidence-based online program that uses personalized instruction to improve students’ reading proficiency, today announced the expanded use of its platform within the Beaufort County School District in South Carolina. Beginning with the 2021-2022 school year, all middle and high school students within the district will have access to Reading Plus for the following three years.

The significant expansion follows a successful pilot program and small implementation at six of the district’s middle schools.

“Reading Plus provides individual, strategic support that increases the fluency of our readers,” said Melissa Murray, director of literacy, Beaufort County School District. “As our students become more fluent readers, they will also be able to comprehend at a higher level. The science behind Reading Plus focuses on creating efficient readers, which allows the brain to focus on comprehension. The team at Reading Plus is extremely supportive and I look forward to our continued partnership.” …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 Mexico Public Education Department Names Curriculum Associates to Its High-Quality Professional Learning Marketplace List for 2021

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass., July 6, 2021— The New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) recently named Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready Classroom Mathematics and Ready Reading programs to its High-Quality Professional Learning (HQPL) Marketplace List for 2021. The list acts as a guide for teachers, schools, and districts across the state to identify professional learning provider programs that support orientation and ongoing implementation of high-quality instructional materials. Today, Curriculum Associates’ programs are used by more than a dozen districts across the state, including Las Cruces Public Schools, Gadsden Independent School District, and Grants Cibola County Schools.

According to NMPED, the HQPL Marketplace List includes provider professional learning programs that were reviewed and vetted to ensure they demonstrate evidence-based strategies and results. Local education agencies can use the list to begin the selection process for professional learning needs at the local level. Both Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready Classroom Mathematics and Ready Reading received the highest “green” rating, signifying the programs met the review criteria without any reservations.

“We understand that ongoing professional development is necessary for educators to be successful in the classroom and when using our programs,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “As such, we work to provide educators with a robust set of materials and supports to help facilitate their teaching and to help them create an engaging learning environment for all students.”…Read More

Mesa Public Schools and S.A.V.E. Consortium Name CoderZ as Approved Vendor

DERRY, N.H. – May 11, 2021 – CoderZ, creators of innovative educational solutions using virtual robotics to bring core subject areas like math and science to life through real-world applications, today announced that it has been selected as an approved STEM curriculum resource for enrichment by Mesa Public Schools and the Strategic Alliance for Volume Expenditures (S.A.V.E.) consortium.

“We are extremely honored to be selected as a preferred provider,” said CoderZ CEO, Ido Yerushalmi. “With this vetting initiative complete, Mesa Public Schools along with S.A.V.E. members, can implement our well-structured and inclusive curriculum with the knowledge that the program meets and exceeds the requirements to become an integral component of a school’s STEM implementation.”

The requests for proposals covered the following areas:…Read More

Districts Leverage $300,000 Matching Grant Program to Improve Flexible Learning and Address Social Justice

Recipients receive services from BetterLesson to ensure continuity of learning and resilient pedagogy implementation

“It’s incredibly heartening to see that despite an ongoing pandemic and social and political unrest, schools and districts across the U.S. are motivated to improve teaching and learning in new environments and adopt strategies that promote social justice,” said Matt Kennard, CEO of BetterLesson. “Our team enjoyed reading through each and every grant application – the awarded services are well deserved, and we look forward to supporting recipients in achieving their goals.”

Recipients shared how they will utilize grant services:…Read More

Be prepared: It’s a cliché for a reason

According to Tony Spence, for a district to be ready for everything, it has to constantly be preparing for something. And maybe be a little bit lucky.

In this conversation with eSchool News, Spence, chief information officer at Muskego-Norway School District, details his district’s recent major AV implementation and how it dovetailed with his district’s decision to remain in-person during the COVID crisis.

eSN: When we look back at last spring, it was almost as if a lot of districts were in triage—just making basic connections, getting folks together, and things like state testing were out the window. Are there things from your experience that you think that your district will draw out of that and apply going forward?…Read More

AVer Information Launches Dream Classroom Giveaway Contest

AVer Information Inc., the award-winning provider of video collaboration solutions and education technology solutions, announced today the launch of the AVer Dream Classroom Giveaway Contest where four classroom makeovers will be awarded. Participants simply need to follow AVer USA on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/averusa to be automatically entered into the contest.

The classroom makeover contest has been initiated in order to help schools effectively prepare their classrooms for in-class instruction, remote distance learning instruction, or a hybrid of both depending on the given climate at the time. Four prize groups will be awarded and each winner will receive some or all of the following AVer solutions as well as implementation support and training:

The contest will be open for entries between November 30 and December 31, 2020. Winners will be randomly selected on January 4, 2021 and notified by January 18, 2021.…Read More

Newark Public Schools Expands Use of Lexia Core5 and PowerUp to All of its Elementary Schools

Newark Public Schools (NPS) has approved expanding implementation of Lexia Learning’s Lexia® Core5® Reading (Core5) and Lexia® PowerUp Literacy® (PowerUp) throughout its K-5 and K-8 schools. This decision comes after the district’s trial subscription successfully helped teachers both within their classrooms before the pandemic and with remote learning that began in March. In all, the strong ESSA rated literacy solutions will now be serving almost 20,000 students in 41 schools. The district has also decided to support their educators through this critical time by ensuring strong, ongoing implementations of Core5 and PowerUp via yearlong Success Partnerships with Lexia.

“We were using Core5 in just six of our elementary schools prior to the pandemic,” said Dr. Mary Ann Reilly, assistant superintendent for Teaching and Learning. “When COVID-19 hit and our schools transitioned to remote learning, we were able to quickly expand Core5 to all our elementary schools. The program was flexible enough to enable us to provide continuity of instruction to students remotely, targeting literacy gaps and even accelerating learning. We’ve been impressed with the programs and how helpful Lexia has been with the transition. We’re confident that our students will continue to make gains with good teaching and Lexia.”

The district’s purchase also includes Lexia Academy, the company’s eLearning platform offering on-demand professional learning courses. The academy gives the district’s educators access to “anytime, anywhere” support that helps them develop best practices for meaningful instruction when using Lexia products. Newark educators have embraced courses on topics like Structured Literacy, remote teaching strategies, and effective reading instruction for students with dyslexia.…Read More