Understanding historical trends and patterns in student data

Educators, students, and families weathered historic interruptions in learning over the past few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Student achievement, predicted to slide in the ongoing chaos, revealed its fragile nature in the NAEP’s recently released Long-Term Trend results from 2020–2022. The report showed the first-ever decline in mathematics and the most significant drop in reading achievement since the 1980s.

Effective student data analysis

As educators address this new landscape, accurate interventions to accelerate student learning are in demand. In order to know what type of intervention a student needs, high-quality data remain an essential element for educators. Teacher review and understanding of students’ data will guide instructional decisions and create positive outcomes for all students.…Read More

District leaders outline top 3 COVID relief funding priorities

School districts continue to prioritize expanding summer learning and enrichment offerings, adding specialist staff such as mental health personnel and reading specialists, and investing in high-quality instructional materials and curriculum, according to a survey administered by AASA, The School Superintendents Association.

The School District Spending of American Rescue Plan report is part of a multi-series survey focused on how district leaders across the country are utilizing American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and, in particular, address student learning recovery.

This survey also sought information about what issues districts are experiencing in spending ARP funding and how they would change their spending decisions if they had more time to drawdown federal COVID-relief funds.…Read More

How schools can become air quality champions this year

The COVID-19 pandemic affected every aspect of our lives for more than two years, but perhaps the hardest hit population were children who suddenly found themselves unable to go to school. This was disruptive not only from an educational standpoint, but socially, as well. That’s why school districts have done everything in their power so that children can experience a normal 2022–2023 school year. But that can only happen if superintendents make safety a top priority to prevent coronavirus outbreaks that could derail their carefully planned back-to-school plans. And it all starts with air quality. 

This isn’t just a local issue. Over the coming months, the Biden administration will be honoring and highlighting school districts who are excelling in their efforts to improve indoor air quality. It’s a great opportunity for leaders to be recognized for their amazing work, and to instill confidence in a public that is still skeptical that the worst days of the pandemic are behind us. 

According to a recent statement from the White House, in addition to vaccines, boosters, and COVID tests, one of the pillars of keeping schools open is, “helping schools plan and implement indoor air quality improvements.” Schools will have access to federal funds to optimize ventilation through inspection, repairs, upgrades, and replacements in their HVAC systems, as well as installing new systems that facilitate better ventilation. …Read More

South Carolina Adds Classworks® Universal Screener to State-approved Literacy Screener List

Duluth, GA – Classworks Universal Screener for Reading, an NCII-validated formal assessment used to measure grade-level readiness, is approved by South Carolina as a high-quality Literacy Screener. The best-in-class academic screener is on the  approved list for the 2022-23 school year.

In 2019, South Carolina implemented Act 213, requiring all districts to implement Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS). When implemented effectively, an MTSS framework addresses the whole child, including students’ academic, behavioral, and social-emotional needs. To support school districts in choosing high-quality resources to support MTSS, the state provided a list of approved screeners. 

“Classworks is a perfect fit for the South Carolina Literacy List list due to the validity and reliability of our widely-adopted screening assessment,” notes Melissa Sinunu, Classworks President and Chief Operating Officer. “As an all-in-one MTSS solution, we share South Carolina’s vision to address the needs of the whole child. We look forward to working closely with South Carolina districts to achieve that goal using Classworks. Our platform makes it simple for teachers and effective for students.”…Read More

Lightspeed Unveils Mobile PA, Extending Instructional Audio Beyond the Classroom

TUALATIN, ORE. (PRWEB) — Lightspeed, a leading provider of powerful instructional audio solutions, announces Mobile PA, a wireless and portable instructional audio system that expands access to learning and gives teachers, administrators and students the freedom to be heard and understood anywhere.

Barriers to listening are even more prevalent in large, outdoor spaces, making the delivery of instruction and engaging students challenging.

Lightspeed’s Mobile PA overcomes these barriers by engaging students with exceptional audio quality, durability and ease-of-use. Each grab-and-go unit stores everything to get started quickly, including wireless microphones for both the teacher and students and a battery that lasts a whole school day.…Read More

18 back-to-school tips to start the year off right

The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to cast uncertainty on education, and the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year is no different. But with some valuable lessons learned under their belts, educators are feeling better prepared for the back-to-school season–one that could be the most normal since the pandemic.

Here are some back-to-school tips, advice, and valuable insights from educators, stakeholders, and industry experts.

“COVID has dramatically impacted students from a social and emotional standpoint. It’s basically shifted the developmental continuum for where kids are and what they can handle and it has been a struggle for schools and districts to adapt. This school year will see a focus on prioritizing social and emotional learning–accepting the fact that that continuum has changed and giving teachers permission to spend time reteaching those skills. We’ll see more schools and districts placing a priority on SEL instruction just like math or reading. We’ll also see a greater increase in educators looking for solutions for their students with challenging behaviors and looking for tools like DESSA to help schools design interventions for students in specific social emotional competencies.”
Dr. Norah Barney, EdD, Director of Special Education and Curriculum, Anaconda School District #10, Montana…Read More

Elementary and Secondary Emergency School Relief (ESSER) Funds Allow for Improved Indoor Air Quality in U.S. Schools

DALLAS (August 18, 2022)ActivePure, the world’s leader in air and surface purification technologies, is now available for educational institutions through special funding from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). In 2020, the DOE introduced the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund, a signature part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to help schools improve indoor air quality (IAQ) and return their students back to the classroom. These funds offer students, teachers, staff and parents greater peace of mind with cleaner air and improved safety throughout educational facilities, buildings and classrooms.

In the wake of a global pandemic, indoor air quality (IAQ) has increasingly become a priority in many sectors of the economy, including office buildings, healthcare facilities and especially educational institutions where millions of students and teachers spend hours every day learning in confined physical spaces. The risk of airborne pathogens and community spread has created an operational imperative for organizations to ensure better ventilation, cleaner air and a safer learning environment.

Through these timely ESSER funds, school systems can now bring their students back into classrooms after years of virtual learning, providing the financial ability to evaluate 21st century solutions for indoor air quality and invest in more robust air purification and ventilation systems. The $122 billion of ARP ESSER funds were made available earlier this year to all 52 state education agencies, giving state leaders the discretion to disperse the funds among local public and charter schools to bring buildings up to date.

“I am proud that, with the approval of these plans, states have 100% of their funds and robust plans to help schools remain open and help students thrive,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona in a January 18 press release. “We are urging states and school districts to deploy funds now to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Omicron variant, on our school communities.”

The transition to online learning for students across the United States created challenges for students, teachers and parents alike. Recent reports have indicated lower test scores, as well as lower literacy and math skills compared to previous years, for students who participated in virtual learning options throughout the pandemic. The implementation of air purification technologies plays an important role in not only ensuring a healthier, in-person learning environment but also minimizing the possibility of widespread outbreaks in the future.

“At the end of the day, healthy indoor air quality is an essential right and one we all care about,” said Joe Urso, CEO and chairman of ActivePure. “The pandemic and remote learning have caused our kids to fall behind in school. It’s our duty to provide them with safe indoor air so they can get back into the classroom and realize their full potential. By doing what is necessary to protect students, teachers and staff, we protect our future.”

While most schools in the United States are opening for full-time in-person instruction, poor IAQ in buildings continues to affect the learning environment. A recent Harvard Public Health study found that poor air quality negatively affects cognitive function, leading participants in poorly-ventilated areas to score lower than their counterparts in environments with the latest air purification technologies.

Educational facilities across the United States have already begun taking proactive steps toward healthier learning environments by installing ActivePure Technology. Florida’s Sarasota School District, for example, has installed units powered by ActivePure Technology across its campuses to help facilitate the transition back to in-person learning. The addition of these units has allowed students and teachers to remain in the classroom without the need for constant shifts between in-person and virtual learning.

Indoor air quality is affected by numerous factors in addition to airborne viruses, including poor ventilation, pollutants, bacteria, cleaning products, building materials and mold. Older buildings tend to be at higher risk for fostering environments with worse air quality because of poor upkeep, pests and mildew. And, while increased ventilation will help, the increased energy needed to power HVAC units, has a significant environmental impact. ActivePure reconciles this conflict by neutralizing air and surface contamination through technology which is innately energy sparing.

ActivePure Technology is an advanced air and surface purification technology with a worldwide presence in educational institutions, hospitals, professional sports teams, the US military, office buildings and entertainment venues. The patented technology uses the unique process of Advanced Photocatalysis, creating oxidizing molecules that actively seek and eliminate air and surface pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), mold and more. Studies have shown ActivePure to be over 99.9% effective in reducing the presence of SARS-Cov-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, within a 60-second testing period.

Those interested in learning more about the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds (ESSER) can read more here.

To learn more about ActivePure and its efforts to create healthier learning environments, please visit ActivePure.com.

ABOUT ACTIVEPURE:
Privately held ActivePure has been the global sustainable leader in active, 24/7 surface and air purification systems for healthcare and educational institutions, commercial and public facilities, hospitality and residential applications since 1924. Patented ActivePure Technology has been proven in independent university and laboratory testing to control and neutralize indoor contaminants effectively. It is the only product in its class recognized by the Space Foundation as Certified Space Technology and inducted into the Space Foundation Hall of Fame. In addition, the ActivePure Medical Guardian is registered and cleared as an FDA Class II Medical Device. The early stage of ActivePure was developed for use in space exploration and has since evolved for use in commercial and consumer products used to reduce exposure to pathogens, including RNA and DNA viruses, bacteria and molds, by up to 99.9% in the air and on surfaces. For more information, please visit ActivePure.com or call 888-217-4316.

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Vernier Software & Technology is now Vernier Science Education

BEAVERTON, Oregon, August 17, 2022 — Vernier Software & Technology has changed its name to Vernier Science Education. This new name reflects the company’s commitment to provide educators with the tools they need to engage all students with hands-on, socially relevant STEM education and build a STEM-literate society.

“For more than 40 years, we’ve been dedicated to providing holistic, high-quality, and reliable solutions for STEM classrooms,” said CEO John Wheeler. “We’ve always been more than a software and technology company—we’re a science education company with a deep commitment to being an authentic partner to educators.”

“With this name change, we want to make it clear that we’re dedicated to using our experience in science education to partner with educators and communities to develop the next generation of knowledgeable citizens who can solve problems, contribute to their communities, and drive innovation.”…Read More