Long Island, NY School District Addresses Youth Mental Health Crisis With Opening of New Wellness Center

Baldwin, NY – Youth mental health is a crisis nationwide. Many are struggling to manage the stress and complications of everyday life. Studies show that students who are healthy both physically and mentally are more likely to excel in all aspects of academic achievement, including academic performance, education behavior, and cognitive skills and attitudes.

As a part of an ongoing initiative to enhance the health and wellness resources available to its students and families, the Baldwin Union Free School District (UFSD) is proud to launch the Baldwin Schools Wellness Center and to be among the first school districts in the nation to establish such a resource directly on campus at no cost to families.

In partnership with PM Pediatric Care and located at the Baldwin Middle School, the Baldwin Schools Wellness Center provides immediate access to behavioral health care and resources dedicated to mental wellness for students from elementary through high school, with convenient and flexible hours during and after school. This innovative, collaborative approach to connected care is key to supporting students’ whole health needs while optimizing their learning experiences.…Read More

AI-Enabled Personal Professional Learning MicroGrant Announced Targets Teachers and Coaches (K-6)

North Carolina based QoreInsights announced today the launch of a MicroGrant program where they will award three schools with free site wide licenses for unlimited use of their AI-enabled personalized professional learning platform, The Classroom Education Plan© (CEP). The granted award will begin in fall 2024 and extend until the end of the 2025 school year. It includes support for on-boarding and professional learning to ensure the success of the initiative. The total approximate value of the three awards is over $30,000.

The Classroom Education Plan© (CEP) supports teachers and coaches helping them to improve their core instructional practice. CEP uses a job-embedded professional learning approach, coach-support that utilizes AI to guide
every teacher to targeted evidence-based instructional strategies, tracks impact, and enables real-time insights into student progress and well-being. “Millions of educators across the nation echo the same need: to provide teachers with high-quality professional learning that translates to measurable improvement in student achievement, engagement, and well-being,” said Dr. Toni Shub, Founder and CEO of QoreInsights. “We developed CEP to create equity for both teacher and student learning. CEP uses learning engineering and a decision support system to equitably guide every teacher to the most impactful evidence-based instructional methods for their specific classroom to address whole-child student needs, including feelings of safety and internalizing behaviors.”

Three elementary schools will be selected to become QorePremium Partners and will receive CEP licenses for all general education K-6 teachers at the awarded sites (administrators and coaches are free). Schools will be able to award teachers up
to 36 job-embedded continuing education credits!…Read More

Launching a districtwide computer science program for all grades

Key points:

With 24,000 students, Springfield Public Schools is usually among the three largest school districts in Massachusetts. Our students are spread across 31 elementary schools and a total of 70 schools. It’s no exaggeration to say that computational thinking plays a part in all of them. Fortunately, the district earned a grant that allowed us to offer computer science at every grade level, starting as early as pre-K. Because many of our teachers had no background in computer science, though, this large-scale implementation was no easy task.

Meeting standards and managing devices…Read More

Virginia Adds to the Resources for its ALL In Tutoring Reading Initiative to Include Lexia Core5 Reading and Lexia PowerUp Literacy

BOSTON – The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has expanded its ALL in Tutoring reading initiative to include evidence-based resources from   Lexia, a   Cambium Learning Group brand. The resources are available for students in grades three through eight who are participating in the ALL In Tutoring Reading Initiative and who are not proficient on the Virginia Standards of Learning. Their participating schools can now access   Lexia Core5 Reading (Core5) for grades 3-5 and   Lexia PowerUp Literacy (PowerUp) for grades 6-8 as part of their school’s tutoring program in support of students with unfinished literacy learning because of pandemic learning loss.

Core5 and PowerUp are science of reading-based adaptive blended learning programs that provide students with personalized learning paths. “Many school divisions have been requesting additional literacy resources to help address the varied levels of literacy support their students need,” said Todd Reid, Assistant Superintendent. “Adding Lexia will help divisions meet the broad spectrum of student needs regarding the reading digital platform and literacy support.”

Both Core5 and PowerUp are built on 40 years of literacy expertise using a structured, explicit, and systematic approach. Virginia Standards of Learning are embedded in programs’ reporting, and instructors can easily identify Virginia SOL Primary Standards in the online libraries and offline materials.…Read More

GoldieBlox and Discovery Education Partner to Bring Chemistry to High School Classrooms Nationwide with New Immersive Learning Experience on Roblox 

Charlotte, NC – GoldieBlox and Discovery Education today announced a new education initiative – Maker High. Maker High offers an immersive learning experience hosted on Roblox for educators to teach chemistry in middle and high school classrooms.   

Maker High is a new experience on Roblox from the award-winning GoldieBlox team that leverages the power of gamified learning to deeply engage learners in chemistry. Maker High features Chem Lab Escape, a virtual escape room set in a chemistry lab where high school students explore core concepts of chemistry through dynamic gameplay. Chem Lab Escape empowers students to solve challenges such as combining elements and solutions to create chemical reactions and adding and removing heat energy to water to navigate an obstacle course. Accompanying student-driven activities and hands-on investigations are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards and facilitate instruction around particle motion and the types of chemical reactions. Resources from Maker High, including the Chem Lab Escape, pair digital media with easy-to-follow instructions and are simple to incorporate into any lesson plan and learning environment.  

“GoldieBlox has over a decade’s worth of experience making STEM fun and inclusive, especially for girls who have been traditionally excluded from STEM fields. Maker High empowers students to understand and master STEM concepts. Maker High makes learning fun by meeting students where they already are: on Roblox. Every detail of these resources are thoughtfully designed to strike that hard-to-reach balance of entertainment and academic rigor, all while delivering the learning content in an accessible, inclusive way,” said Debbie Sterling, CEO and Founder of GoldieBlox. “We hope teachers and students come back to play again and again to build upon their STEM skills.” …Read More

Is “re-inventing education” more than a cliché?

It’s always a pleasure to talk with Anthony Salcito, formerly Vice President of Worldwide Education at Microsoft and currently Chief Institution Business Officer at Nerdy. In his current role, Anthony leads Varsity Tutors for Schools and is responsible for Nerdy’s efforts to support institutions as they work to transform learning opportunities for students and educators across a range of offerings. Recently, the platform was selected by the New Jersey Department of Education as an approved pre-qualified tutoring provider for the state’s 2023/2024 High-Impact Tutoring Program. This initiative, tailored to assist students disproportionately affected by the pandemic, focuses specifically on third and fourth graders. The Ohio Department of Education also picked Varsity Tutors this fall to provide tutoring services for Future Forward Ohio. The collaboration aims to accelerate learning in literacy and numeracy while boosting workforce readiness and student wellness.

Our most recent conversation touches upon the impact of the pandemic on education, the role of teachers, and the evolution of tutoring in the education landscape. We talk about the evolution of the perception of tutoring, the challenges schools face in integrating consistent tutoring practices, and the potential of AI in education. Have a listen:

Key Takeaways:…Read More

3 best practices to create a STEM-focused school

Key points:

The benefits of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education are numerous, and one would be hard-pressed to find a school district that doesn’t have a project, initiative, class, or lesson with the acronym in its title.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in 2021, there were nearly 10 million workers in STEM occupations–a total projected to grow by almost 11 percent by 2031. This figure represents a growth rate twice as fast as non-STEM occupations.

The department also noted that STEM jobs often pay substantially more than jobs in other fields. Even if a student doesn’t select a career in STEM, the soft skills they will learn at a STEM-focused school (critical thinking, teamwork, problem-solving and more) will serve them well in whatever they choose to do in life.…Read More

SETDA Launches Cybersecurity Resource Focused on Small, Rural, and Under-resourced Districts

Washington, D.C. — Today, SETDA is pleased to announce the release of a cybersecurity resource focused on small, rural, and under-resourced districts. Developed by SETDA’s Cybersecurity & Privacy Collaborative—an active professional learning community consisting of state edtech leaders, affiliates, and corporate members—this resource is designed to identify essential resources, assess state-level K-12 cybersecurity advocacy initiatives, and craft policy recommendations to enhance cybersecurity readiness within these districts. 

In collaboration with Microsoft and the K12 Security Information eXchange (K12 SIX), this initiative underscores SETDA’s commitment to providing essential tools and guidance to support state educational agencies.

The publication, titled Small Districts, Big Hurdles: Cybersecurity Support for Small, Rural, and Under-resourced Districts, offers details on how state agencies and other support organizations are empowering their smallest districts to secure their data and networks. From detailing various funding sources to providing insights into statewide and regional partnerships and offering practical examples of cybersecurity training, the document is a must-read for everyone involved in helping districts improve their cybersecurity posture. It is the newest addition to SETDA’s Cybersecurity & Privacy Collection, available for access in their OER Commons site.…Read More

Riverside Insights Debuts CogAT.com Portal to Support Strengths-based, Differentiated Learning that Helps All Students Thrive

ITASCA, Ill. – Riverside Insights®, a leading developer of research-based assessments and analytics, today introduced www.CogAT.com, a new microsite to support Riverside’s CogAT® in the Classroom initiative. This online portal provides resources to transform Cognitive Abilities Test™ (CogAT) assessment data into tailored classroom instruction that enables all students to thrive. Designed for teachers, administrators and parents, CogAT.com’s tools support a positive learning environment by encouraging differentiated learning through a strengths-based lens.

“Data collected as part of the CogAT is extremely powerful, yet most school districts are not optimizing its use to better understand how all students learn, then applying that in the classroom,” said Dr. Joni Lakin, professor at the University of Alabama and co-author of the CogAT.  “Riverside’s CogAT in the Classroom initiative is making it easier than ever to use CogAT data effectively in the classroom to maximize student growth. On CogAT.com, we provide the tools that teachers, administrators and parents need to better understand the abilities of each student coupled with actionable strategies that will benefit every learner in the classroom.”

Using CogAT ability data and CogAT in the Classroom resources, educators can evaluate student potential using both abilities and achievement data and differentiate instruction based on students’ cognitive reasoning strengths. Infusing ability data into the classroom environment helps teachers build a holistic understanding of each student’s potential and create tailored classroom instruction to provide more opportunities for all students to excel.…Read More

The STEM Careers Coalition Presents a New Collection of Curated Digital Content for Manufacturing Day 2023 

Charlotte, NC. In celebration of National Manufacturing Day, the STEM Careers Coalition™ – the first-of-its-kind national STEM initiative powered by corporate leaders and anchored in schools by Discovery Education – offers students and families new STEM resources to explore the world of modern manufacturing. With over 4 million manufacturing positions predicted to be available in the next ten years, the new resources from the STEM Careers Coalition connect today’s students to the manufacturing careers of tomorrow.  

Manufacturing (MFG) Day is founded by the Manufacturing Institute, a member of the STEM Careers Coalition, and occurs annually on the first Friday of October to inspire students to become the next generation of innovators leading the manufacturing industry. To support students’ pursuit of careers in modern manufacturing, the STEM Careers Coalition presents a curated collection of standards-aligned student activities and career profiles, including 11 new content collections on manufacturing. The resources are created in collaboration with an array of industry-leading organizations such as Boeing, Caterpillar Foundation, GAF, Nevada Gold Mines, and Stanley Black & Decker. View the free manufacturing resources from the STEM Careers Coalition here

The STEM Careers Coalition prepares 10 million students for the future of work by providing equitable access to digital content and experiences that engage students, build foundational STEM knowledge, and develop the critical skills students need for college and career success. Having reached over 7.2 million students, the Coalition is nurturing a diverse culture of STEM education in K-12 schools and afterschool centers nationwide by empowering educators to teach STEM effectively in the classroom, fostering and promoting quality education, and building the next generation of STEM solution-seekers with an intentional focus on racial and gender equity. …Read More

Pearson’s Connections Academy and Home Depot’s Path to Pro Program Partner to Connect High School Students to Trade Careers

HOBOKEN, N.J. — Pearson and its Connections Academy, the fully online public school program serving K-12 students for more than 20 years, announced today their partnership with The Home Depot’s Path to Pro program to introduce high school students to careers in the trade industry. Through the partnership, Connections Academy will connect high school students, their families and recent graduates to The Home Depot’s Path to Pro program. The initiative includes the Path to Pro Skills Program, offering on-demand courses designed to prepare participants for six trade-based careers, including electrical, drywall, paint, plumbing, HVAC and general construction.

Interested students explore free programs developed by experts in the construction profession. Once eligible, they can build a free profile in the Path to Pro Network to showcase their skills, upload a resume, apply for more than 2,500 jobs and connect to millions of Home Depot Pro customers looking for skilled workers.

These professional contractors are a part of the U.S. construction industry, which annually must fill nearly three-quarters of a million jobs due to retirements, job changes, and other forms of turnover, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In less than a decade, this sector is projected to grow by another 250,000 jobs that typically pay family-sustaining salaries.…Read More

Discovery Education and Leading Corporate and Nonprofit Partners Launch First-of-Its-Kind Initiative Supporting Sustainability

Charlotte, NC — Discovery Education, the worldwide leader in education solutions, today announced it has partnered with Subaru of America, Inc., LyondellBasell, Nucor, Honeywell, and the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) to launch the Sustainability Education Coalition. This first-of-its-kind initiative is focused on empowering over 10 million students by 2030 to serve as ambassadors for sustainability by providing the digital resources K-12 students need to make informed decisions and take responsible actions supporting sustainability.  

Coalition partners are united in the goal of empowering tomorrow’s changemakers by connecting classroom learning to various sustainability themes. The Sustainability Education Coalition is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and is driving forward sustainability education at an unprecedented scale through a five-pronged framework: 

  • Equitable access to high quality learning resources: Investing in under-resourced schools so students can benefit from the best-in-class Discovery Education Experience. 
  • Innovative Community Engagement Pathway: Introducing global challenges through a local lens; ensuring students can connect concepts to their local communities. 
  • Challenge-Based Learning Informed by Partners: Delivering engaging, high-quality resources and learning experiences for students. 
  • National Visibility: Working to promote a national conversation to elevate sustainability education.  
  • Research and Impact Framework: Launching impact studies to measure trends and progression of sustainability attitudes.  

Each partner provides expertise, insight, and access to enable the creation of high-quality and standards-aligned dynamic digital resources and will help provide under-resourced schools across the United States no-cost access to the award-winning Discovery Education Experience learning platform.  …Read More