5 tips to retain your educators during school staff shortages

The past two years of pandemic-related stresses and uncertainty have left educators exhausted, even as school districts are returning to a sense of normalcy. A recent National Education Association (NEA) survey found that teachers are burned out, with 67 percent of members reporting it as a very serious issue and 90 percent a very serious or somewhat serious issue.

A majority of schools are completely open for in-person learning, but pandemic-related educator and school staff absences, coupled with continued teacher turnover, are resulting in school staff shortages. In fact, 74 percent of the NEA study respondents reported that they have had to fill in for colleagues or take on other duties at their school or in their district due to school staff shortages.

This is the first time in my career that I have faced the daily struggle to fill school staff shortages caused by teacher turnover or by employees who are sick or quarantining. As school leaders, it is crucial that we work together to lessen the educator turnover issue to help mitigate staff shortages.…Read More

VHS Learning Adds Spanish 1 to its Credit Recovery Course Offerings

Boston – March 23, 2022 – High school students now have the option of online credit recovery through VHS Learning’s newly-created Spanish 1 course. The course helps motivated learners to recover the credit they need to graduate or progress to the next grade level. Spanish 1 Credit Recovery is part of VHS Learning’s established online credit recovery program. The nonprofit’s credit recovery courses are open for enrollment; students progress through the coursework at their own pace and have up to 15 weeks to complete their coursework.

Spanish 1 Credit Recovery introduces students to the Spanish language and the cultures of Spanish-speaking countries. The curriculum is guided by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language World Readiness Standards, with emphasis on reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. Students will record and upload videos of themselves speaking in Spanish to demonstrate their proficiency in the speaking domain. VHS Learning will also introduce Spanish 1 as an 8-week paced summer course beginning in June 2022.

VHS Learning’s 73% credit recovery average pass rate helps high schools bring struggling students back on track. “One of the keys to our success with credit recovery is the design of our online asynchronous courses,” said Carol DeFuria, President & CEO of VHS Learning. “The other key is our highly-qualified teachers.”…Read More

Search for America’s Top Young Scientist of 2022 Begins

St. Paul, Minn. and Silver Spring, Md. (Wednesday, February 3, 2022)3M (@3M) and Discovery Education (@DiscoveryEd) are excited to announce that the 2022 3M Young Scientist Challenge ( #YoungScientist) is now open to entries. As the nation’s premier middle school science competition, the annual 3M Young Scientist Challenge invites students in grades 5-8 to compete for an exclusive mentorship with a 3M scientist, a $25,000 grand prize, and the chance to earn the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.” Competition entries are accepted at YoungScientistLab.com until the April 26, 2022 deadline. 

Each year, the 3M Young Scientist Challenge recognizes the grand prize winner, 10 finalists, the Improving Lives Award winner, and up to 50 state merit winners, as well as Washington D.C., nationwide who have demonstrated a passion for solving everyday problems to improve the world around them.  

To enter, students in grades 5-8 will share an original idea that helps solve an everyday problem in their community. They are invited to submit their solution in the form of a one-to-two-minute video explaining the science behind it. A diverse group of judges will evaluate entries based on creativity, scientific knowledge, and effective communication skills. Videos will not be judged on production skills and may be recorded on cell phones or basic digital cameras. …Read More

Osmo From BYJU’s Names Peter Glovin Senior Vice President of Educational Sales

Palo Alto, CA–Award-winning STEAM brand, Osmo from BYJU’S, announces Peter Glovin’s appointment as Senior VP of Educational Sales, effective immediately. In this role, Glovin, a seasoned senior edtech sales executive, will develop and implement a U.S. sales strategy for the brand’s educational sales division, Osmo Education, as well as expand its sales team, targeting the Pre-K to Grade 5 education market. Osmo Education celebrated its fifth anniversary last March.

“Peter’s proven background in edtech sales and business development will undoubtedly help open doors for Osmo in the education field,” says Cherian Thomas, Senior Vice President of International Business at Osmo from BYJU’S. “While we’ve seen tremendous support from kindergarten and elementary teachers in the past five years who individually purchased Osmo to use inside classrooms across the country, we’d love to build sales and begin support for the education community at the district level.”

Glovin’s remarkable track record of success and longevity in sales is defined by his expertise in creating and implementing innovative sales programs, and providing targeted solutions for high-level customers. He was previously Senior Vice President of Sales at MIDAS Education where he led sales efforts for K-12, Higher Ed and Workforce development markets. …Read More

7 predictions about pandemic learning

Each year, we share our 10 most-read stories. Not surprisingly, many of this year’s Top 10 focused on student engagement and online or hybrid learning strategies related to pandemic teaching. This year’s Number 1 most-read story focuses on what back-to-school looks like during pandemic learning.

As schools across the nation open their classrooms for a return to full in-person learning, educators, parents, and stakeholders are wondering what the fall will bring. Concerns about COVID surges and a return to remote or hybrid learning aren’t far from educators’ minds.

When schools across the country started shutting down in-person instruction in March of 2020 in response to the COVID-19 virus, much of the nation’s focus turned to COVID’s immediate and long-term impact on students. …Read More

Focusing on safety can help schools mitigate teacher stress

A defining feature of the COVID-19 pandemic is the haze of uncertainty in which we now live. Are cases rising or falling? Which activities are deemed “safe” for the vaccinated? And now that most U.S. schools have re-opened in person, will they stay open, and can they keep COVID-19 at bay?

This uncertainty has landed heavily on teachers and contributed to teacher stress. For several reasons, the jobs to which they returned in fall 2021 are more challenging than what they faced in the pre-COVID world.

First, at a time in which vaccines remain unapproved for children under 12, and in which many older children remain unvaccinated, teachers worry about students’ health and their own. They recognize that social distancing is at odds with many student-centered teaching techniques, and they don’t want to spend their days as mask enforcers, but they also want to stay safe. In a nationally representative survey of teachers conducted by RAND earlier this year, 16 percent of teachers ranked concern for their own health as their top source of job-related stress, and 17 percent said their top concern was for the health of loved ones at home with high COVID risk.…Read More

Vector Solutions Adds Silent Panic Alarm Feature to its LiveSafe Tip Reporting and Safety Communications Platform for Schools

Tampa, FL – September 24, 2021 – The Washington Post reported 14 school shootings between March and June 2021 despite pandemic-related school closures. As more classrooms re-open for in-person instruction, student safety and mental health remain top concerns.  To help in situations where there is an immediate emergency, Vector Solutions,  the leading provider of training and software solutions to help schools make their operations and communities safer, smarter and better, has updated its Vector LiveSafe Tip Reporting and Safety Communications Platform to add a silent panic alarm feature, allowing users to immediately report emergencies directly to authorities. The panic alarm helps schools meet the recommendations in Alyssa’s Law, named after Alyssa Alhadeff, one of the 17 victims killed during the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The law requires schools to implement mobile panic alarms that go directly to law enforcement in case of immediate emergencies such as an active shooter situation.

“Keeping schools and students safe requires constant vigilance and technology necessary for administrators, staff and students to communicate emergencies immediately, and to the right people,” said Vector Solutions CEO Marc Scheipe. “Our Vector LiveSafe platform and new silent panic alarm feature help schools do this and support our mission of helping to make schools and communities safer, smarter, and better.”

Vector LiveSafe is an advanced tip reporting and safety communication platform for organizations, including schools. Students can quickly report safety concerns directly through their Vector LiveSafe smartphone app – anything from bullying, to concerns about a friend or classmate’s mental health, to an emergency situation. The new silent panic alarm feature in the app allows the user, with one touch, to send an alert to law enforcement. It provides the user’s location without them having to type or say anything.…Read More

It’s beyond time to showcase all postsecondary education paths

COVID-19 has caused a marked shift in attitudes toward higher education, particularly among high school students who are rethinking their options as they look ahead to a future career path that remains in flux due to the pandemic’s impact on the workforce and economy. While exacerbated over the past year, this was a trend we were seeing in the United States even before our nation went under lockdown.

Data from ECMC Group’s Question The Quo surveys fielded throughout the pandemic show more than half of students are open to something other than four-year college and the majority want to forge their own educational path.

In addition, while more than half of teens believe they can be successful with education they can complete in three years or less, a majority feel uninformed when it comes to their options, with 63 percent wanting their high school to provide more information about the variety of postsecondary education routes. Parents are also looking for options that stray from the four-year path, according to a recent Gallup poll.…Read More

How the 4 Cs prepare students for the real world

As our world continues to become more connected through technology, today’s students have boundless access to a wealth of information. But, to effectively leverage these resources, students need to be able to make meaning of them.

According to educator Thomas Hoerr, the very notion of intelligence has changed. We no longer rely on the limits of our single mind to access the information resources we need to solve problems. Problem solving has always involved teamwork and cooperation. Today, however, open source programs, wikis, blogs, and other Web 2.0 technologies enable total strangers divided by space and time to collaborate.

Successful problem solving in the 21st century requires us to work effectively and creatively with computers, with vast amounts of information, with ambiguous situations, and with other people from a variety of backgrounds.…Read More

4 ways digital tools streamline summer program administration

Summer school is more important than ever this year as school administrators establish new learning programs to give K–12 students an opportunity to catch up on schoolwork and enrichment programs they missed during the pandemic. The federal government is also paying extra attention to summer programs, earmarking $1.2 billion in its massive relief package.

By the end of the 2020–2021 academic year, most U.S. schools were open, but administrators are still taking precautions to mitigate potential virus outbreaks among staff and students. This will be the norm for the foreseeable future since vaccines are widely available for staff and older children but haven’t yet been approved for younger kids.

Last year, teachers and school administrators adopted digital tools in greater numbers than ever before. Companies offering tools like online forms saw a spike in demand, and they are now seeing it rise again as schools organize summer learning programs.…Read More