3 strategies to support youth mental health

Every year more than 1.2 million students drop out of high school in the United States–that breaks down to 7,000 students every day. Leaving high school has major implications for the rest of a student’s life, including considerably higher rates of unemployment, poverty, depression, chronic physical and mental illness, incarceration, and even a shorter life span

Among the students who do not complete high school, over 20 percent did so because of early onset psychiatric disorders, with mood disorders being the most common.

This is extremely concerning, as the U.S. has recently experienced significant increases in struggles with youth mental health. In October 2021, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Children’s Hospital Association declared a national emergency in children’s mental health, along with the Surgeon General issuing a national advisory in the wake of alarming increases in the prevalence of mental health challenges.…Read More

New Research from Curriculum Associates: Student Achievement Shows Concerns and Bright Spots in Recovery—More Students Are Behind in Phonics but Some Schools Are Exceeding Expectations

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass. — While more students are falling behind in foundational reading skills, some schools buck the trend with positive practice in the pandemic’s wake, according to new research released by Curriculum Associates today. 

The first report, The State of Student Learning in  2022, analyzes reading and mathematics data gathered from nearly two million Grades 1–8 students during the 2021–2022 school year via the edtech company’s i-Ready Assessment tool. In a second report, Keys to Unlocking Success, Curriculum Associates identified 301 schools across the country at which students are exceeding learning expectations and conducted research to understand how school leaders are ushering their students and schools toward recovery.  

“We’re beginning the third full academic year since the pandemic began, and many school communities are still grappling with the impact of the massive 2020 disruptions,” said Dr. Kristen Huff, vice president of assessment and research at Curriculum Associates. “The question is no longer if or howthe pandemic affected student learning, it is if and how it can recover. It is critical to grow our understanding of what measurable shifts have occurred in student learning as we have more distance from 2020 and more investment in recovery efforts.” …Read More

Children’s Hospital Colorado Expands Access to Free, Online Teacher Training to Help Students with ASD and ADHD Improve Executive Functioning Skills

Aurora, Colo. – Free, online teacher and parent training designed to improve the executive functioning of elementary school-aged children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is now accessible across the nation. The availability of this training is possible due 

to a $2 million contract awarded to Children’s Hospital Colorado’s (Children’s Colorado) Pediatric Mental Health Institute by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute ( PCORI) in 2020. A team from Children’s Colorado, Children’s National Hospital and The Institute for Innovation and Implementation at the University of Maryland, Baltimore is working to implement a successful online training and tele-support system for the  Unstuck and On Target (UOT) program for any parent or educator who needs it. 

Since 2020, this team has piloted UOT video training with 293 school-based staff across 230 elementary schools in Colorado and Virginia. The work follows a related PCORI-funded research project,  Improving Classroom Behaviors Among Students with Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, led by Children’s Colorado researchers.That project demonstrated the effectiveness of UOT at improving the executive functioning – or frontal lobe skills, including flexible thinking, planning and self-control – of school-aged children in Title 1 schools. …Read More

K12 Technology Company Edlio Acquires SchoolInfo, Launches Edlio Access App

GLENDALE, Calif. (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Edlio, leading provider of technology solutions for K-12 schools, is pleased to announce its acquisition of SchoolInfo, creators of premier mobile apps for schools.

SchoolInfo has proudly served the education market for 10 years, and has created mobile apps for more than 2,500 schools, districts, and other organizations. Nearly 3 million teachers, parents, and students worldwide rely on SchoolInfo products.

Edlio serves over 16,000 schools, and is a proven partner for K-12 leaders. Since 2001 they have worked to innovate and adapt to the ever-changing needs of teachers and school administrators. Edlio’s technology is designed to be user-friendly for any educator, yet powerful enough to meet the needs of even the largest school districts and communities.…Read More

Special education students need a whole child approach

In early 2020, 7.3 million students received special education services as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That’s 14% of K–12 students in public schools in the United States who depend on additional—and often very specialized—services to support their ability to learn and live their lives fully.

But once the pandemic set in and schools closed their doors, the elaborately precarious systems that have been constructed to meet the needs of these students collapsed.

In October 2020, a little more than two- thirds of K-12 principals estimated that their students with disabilities would perform somewhat or much lower than they had before the pandemic. A year later, a November 2021 survey by the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates—an advocacy group for students in special education and their families—found that 86% of parents reported that their child experienced learning loss, skill regression or slower-than-expected progress in school.…Read More

Brainingcamp Releases ‘Biggest Update Ever’ to Its Math Education Products

AUSTIN, Texas, (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Brainingcamp announced a massive update to its digital math manipulatives. The update is immediately available, just in time for the 2022-2023 school year. The new Brainingcamp will enhance math education for its more than 7 million global users and counting.

“This is our biggest update ever,” said Dan Harris, President of Brainingcamp. “We’ve rewritten every line of code.”

Empowering Math Educators
From the beginning, Brainingcamp’s focus has been on delivering easy-to-use, powerful math education tools, Harris said. “Ease of use is incredibly important to us. We want students spending their mental energy learning math, not learning UI.”…Read More

Educational Support for Students Reaches New Levels with Paper’s™ 2022-2023 Platform Upgrades

MONTREAL— Paper, the leading provider of academic support, today announced a series of upgrades and additions to its best-in-class Educational Support System (ESS). The new features will be available to all 2.5 million students on the Paper platform just in time for the 2022-2023 school year.

Over the last several months, Paper worked with students and other stakeholder focus groups to understand how to improve its ESS and find better methods to engage with today’s students and their preferred ways to interact and learn. 

“From the beginning, we have always relied on student and teacher feedback to help us build and improve Paper,” said Philip Cutler, Paper co-founder and CEO. “Our team is focused on constantly innovating to create a more engaging and effective platform that students will regularly use to get help with their academics and preparing for life and a career.”…Read More

Open English Acquires India’s English-Learning Platform enguru

MIAMI, (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Open English, the leading English-learning platform in Latin America and the U.S. Hispanic market, today announced the acquisition of India’s leading mobile language-learning platform, enguru. After establishing a strong foothold in the Americas with 24/7 live classes taught by native-speaking teachers and over 1.5 million students served, Open English successfully expanded into Spain and Turkey, and now hopes to replicate this success in one of the world’s largest English-learning markets. 

Due to India’s multitude of spoken dialects, English has become one of the most commonly used languages in the workplace and a prerequisite to work in India’s fast-growing services sector. Additionally, the number of Internet users in India is expected to reach 900 million by 2025, providing a unique opportunity for the EdTech market, which is projected to reach USD $10.4 billion by 20251. This blend of growing internet penetration and a strong demand for English-learning, has created an optimal environment for Open English’s acquisition of enguru, a platform that’s reached over 16 million downloads across India.

“We’re convinced that enguru’s mobile-first learning platform offers the best solution for Indian consumers through its combination of live interactive classes, self-paced lessons and gamified learning activities,” said Andrés Moreno, founder, chairman and CEO of Open English. “Their emphasis on live classes as the center of the student experience syncs perfectly with Open English’s mission and belief that live instruction is the best and most effective way for students to learn English.”…Read More

Paraprofessionals: The unsung heroes of the classroom

Staffing shortages continue to impact schools across the U.S., and vacancies are an increasingly common occurrence. Parents’ minds often jump first to teacher shortages, with significant numbers of teachers leaving schools in 2022 in search of less stressful work. But another essential role in schools is facing an equally urgent staffing crisis: paraprofessionals.

Paraprofessionals, also referred to as classroom aides or a primary support person (PSP), are the glue in the school day, supporting teachers in monitoring classroom activities and ensuring that all students are where they need to be. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are greater than a million aides working in K-12 schools nationwide, with a meaningful subset focused on supporting special education delivery.

Paraprofessionals are particularly essential in special education. They’re an integral part of a team, working closely with clinicians—speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, school psychologists—and students, both one-on-one and in small groups. They play a critical role in assisting the evaluation process on the student side, they document student behavior, and support assistive devices. In some circumstances, they may act as an extension of the hands of the clinician, helping to guide the student in various tasks.…Read More

7 things K-12 IT teams can do now to manage OT risks

The education sector continues to get slammed by cyberattacks. Microsoft’s Global Threat Activity Map by Industry shows that, as of June 16, education institutions had been victims of 5.9 million malware attacks within the last 30 days.

The rapid shift to distance learning accelerated an already growing trend. Relentless cyber activity, ransomware, and more sophisticated attacks expose education IT professionals to increased pressure to maintain operational continuity. Education IT leaders and chief information security officers must continually worry about protecting key information systems and data.

At the same time, we’ve also seen an increase in attacks on operational technology (OT) components of companies’ IT infrastructure. In the spring of 2021, the National Security Agency released a cybersecurity advisory that, while focused on the Defense Industrial Base, is applicable to many organizations. While there have been many such attacks, the 2021 Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack launched by the DarkSide hacking group and recent confirmed attacks on Ukraine’s energy facilities by the Russian Sandworm group stand out as extreme examples.…Read More