New Report: Equity, Cybersecurity Top List of State Education Technology Priorities

As students return to another school-year impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report sheds light on how state education agencies and policy-makers are adapting to an increasingly digital, post-pandemic world.

The 2022 State EdTech Trends Report, released by the State Educational Technology Directors Association in collaboration with Whiteboard Advisors, draws on the results of SETDA’s flagship annual State EdTech Trends Survey of edtech directors, state superintendents, chiefs of staff, and other senior state officials from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Activity (DoDEA), and the Northern Mariana Islands.

The report supplements the survey findings with interviews of leaders in a number of states to spotlight their efforts to support digital learning. “Our job at the state is to advocate for what districts need and to promote our mentality that we are all in this together to help our students achieve,” stated Rob Dietrich, Senior Director of Teaching and Learning at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.…Read More

5 ways to support educator well-being this school year

Educators, I see you. I know it’s been a rough couple of years.

From teaching through a global pandemic to adjusting in real time to teacher shortages and policy changes, from worrying about school safety to trying to manage more disruptive behavior in your classroom, this past school year alone has presented huge challenges.

As humans, we are neurobiologically wired for connection – it’s in our DNA. And, as educators, you are wired to help support the students (and fellow educators) you serve – it’s why you entered this profession to begin with. However, due to all of the external (and internal) pressures, you and so many other educators are likely feeling burned out, exhausted, and overwhelmed.…Read More

9 priorities for a future-focused education system

The Aurora Institute, a national education nonprofit focused on education systems change, has released its annual report outlining key federal policy issues aimed at transforming our K-12 education system so it is fit for purpose, strengthening our democracy and shaping our next generation of engaged citizens.

Informed by the expertise and wisdom of thousands in its community, the Aurora Institute’s federal policy priorities are a set of nine recommendations designed to ensure education systems move from the current state to future-focused education systems capable of preparing all learners with building the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve lifelong success.

The priorities include:…Read More

6 findings to inform your state’s principal preparation

As state leaders continue to weigh the best use of federal funding to improve education in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a major new research report by the Learning Policy Institute and The Wallace Foundation underscores the importance of federal, state, and district policies that foster the availability and quality of principal preparation and professional development programs.

The research finds that the preparation and professional development a school principal receives not only shapes their efficacy as a leader, but are also associated with positive outcomes for teachers and students. 

Developing Effective Principals: What Kind of Learning Matters?, conducted by LPI, synthesizes peer-reviewed scholarship from 2000 to 2021 that addresses principal preparation and development programs. It also examines survey results and statewide policies to understand the extent to which principals have access to high-quality learning opportunities and the role of policies in increasing access. The study’s authors are Linda Darling-Hammond, Marjorie E. Wechsler, Stephanie Levin, Melanie Leung-Gagné and Steve Tozer. The report updates a prior 2007 study, Preparing School Leaders for a Changing World, led by Darling-Hammond.…Read More

Making indoor air quality a top priority

As schools move toward making masks optional for students and teachers, concerns are turning to the best ways to mitigate COVID-19 infections–and indoor air quality is a major concern.

With students back in physical classrooms, air quality must take priority regardless of a district’s mask policy. But how can district leaders address the varying degrees of improvements schools may need to update their indoor air systems?

Join this eSchool News webinar to learn about:…Read More

The best ways to monitor your school’s indoor air quality

COVID-19 ushered forth a plethora of new safety guidelines and strategies intended to bring students and teachers back to the classroom as safely as possible. Indoor air quality has topped the list of school leaders’ concerns.

With students back in physical classrooms, air quality must take priority regardless of a district’s mask policy.

Join this eSchool News webinar to learn about:…Read More

How to assess your school’s indoor air quality

COVID-19 ushered forth a plethora of new safety guidelines and strategies intended to bring students and teachers back to the classroom as safely as possible. Indoor air quality has topped the list of school leaders’ concerns.

With students back in physical classrooms, air quality must take priority regardless of a district’s mask policy.

Join this eSchool News webinar to learn about:…Read More

CASEL Releases Recommendations for SEL Investments with American Rescue Plan (ARP) Dollars

CHICAGO, IL – The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021 represents a $123 billion infusion in K-12 education, including support for social and emotional learning (SEL). To assist leaders and policymakers in this opportunity, CASEL has released a new policy brief, The Three Highest Priority Investments to Make in SEL with American Rescue Plan Dollars. Originally developed for the Recovery to Reinvention series led by PIE Network and Bellwether Education Partners, the brief includes specific guidance for district leaders, local policymakers, and state policymakers.

Decades of research have demonstrated the effectiveness of SEL for supporting students’ academics, behaviors, mental health, and long-term success. The ARP’s historic levels of K-12 dollars offer a critical opportunity to invest a long-term foundation for evidence-based, systemic implementation of SEL that fully supports students and schools through the pandemic and beyond. Investments in SEL align to the ARP expenditure guidelines, and policymakers can help optimize resources by ensuring investments are evidence-based, sustainable, and responsive to the needs of all students, including those in historically marginalized communities. 

There are three key areas where investments of ARP dollars could most effectively bolster systemic implementation of SEL: …Read More

eBOARDsolutions Announces Major Update to Simbli Policy Module

eBOARDsolutions Inc., today announced a major update to their online policy management software, the Simbli Policy Module.

One of six core modules that make up Simbli’s board management software, the Policy module helps school boards develop, communicate, and collaborate on policies and procedures in real time. Fully integrated with Simbli’s Meetings, Planning, Evaluations, Documents, and Communications Modules, the newly enhanced Policy Module provides governance teams even greater flexibility and control in managing all of the board’s important work.

“Through Simbli’s Policy module, our subscribers can not only access and make vital updates to their board policy manual, but also manage things like student and staff handbooks, school safety manuals, financial or IT procedures manuals, business continuity plans, and other critical manuals all in one place,” said Mark Willis, eBOARDsolutions Chief Operating Officer. “With Simbli, all of their manuals are easily searchable and 100% compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.”…Read More