ClassTag Awards $10,000 Community Engagement Grant

August 2, 2022 – NEW YORK: As schools and families prepare for back-to-school, ClassTag is announcing the winning district of its Community Engagement Grant, who received $10,000 in funding.

Since launching The Community Engagement Grant in June 2022, ClassTag has received 65 passionate, compelling submissions on how school districts across the country have emerged out of the pandemic to build trust and strong relationships with their community. As part of the application, leaders were asked to share the creative ways they have engaged their community and the impact this additional funding can have. Initiatives shared as part of the applications offer diverse and creative perspectives on how to tackle the most pressing issues facing school communities across the country, however the opportunities remain consistent and span across
the following five areas:

  • Equity and Accessibility
  • Social Emotional Learning and Mental Health
  • Family Education Programs
  • Partnerships with Local Organizations and Businesses
  • A Unified Communication System

After much deliberation, the ClassTag team has selected the winner – Lexington City Schools, a suburban district in North Carolina serving over three thousand students.…Read More

Aperture Education Creates New Tool to Support School Districts that are using the Harmony SEL Curriculum

Charlotte N.C. (June 23, 2022) — A new tool from Aperture Education helps schools and districts use data from Aperture’s DESSA SEL assessment alongside the popular Harmony SEL curriculum in a more strategic way to support students. The Harmony SEL Crosswalk identifies the areas in which the DESSA aligns with Harmony’s curriculum. This helps schools and districts understand how to differentiate support in Harmony lessons to have the most impact on students.

“There are a lot of tools out there to support social and emotional learning (SEL) and sometimes it can be difficult to see where they fit together,” said Jessica Adamson, CEO of Aperture Education. “More than 45,000 schools use the Harmony SEL curriculum and many of them also use the DESSA. We created a crosswalk to make it easier to understand how the DESSA data and the Harmony SEL lessons can be used together to support students, and to measure the effectiveness of the curriculum.”

Harmony SEL is an SEL program for Pre-K-6 grade students with units such as “Empathy & Critical Thinking,” “Problem Solving,” and “Communication.” Each unit has lessons to help students strengthen and practice their SEL skills.…Read More

Saint Louis University School of Education and BloomBoard Partner to Help School Districts Elevate the Careers of Paraprofessionals and Address Teacher Workforce Shortage

ST. LOUIS, MO (June 23, 2022) — Saint Louis University School of Education and BloomBoard have partnered to announce a new initiative to help superintendents and school boards address the current crisis of teacher recruitment and retention.  The initiative will include the development of collaborative strategies with school districts and educational leaders to enhance the number of PK-12 teachers to meet the needs of today’s students. 

One of the first initiatives is the development of a program to support classroom aides and other paraprofessionals with earning a bachelor’s degree in education and qualifying for licensure as an elementary teacher in many states.  Saint Louis University has a long-standing tradition of high-quality online education for undergraduate degree completion for busy adults who are building careers in business, nursing, social work, and information technology. The Saint Louis University School of Education has been dedicated to developing teachers, principals, and superintendents through its comprehensive set of academic programs and faculty-led research.

“Classroom aides and paraprofessionals are among the most dedicated personnel in a school district, and they often have strong ties to the community.  We want to support those who are seeking ways to elevate their careers and become licensed teachers,” says Gary Ritter, PhD, Dean of the School of Education. …Read More

3 “keepers” from teaching in a pandemic

Who would have thought that we would still be teaching in the midst of a pandemic? At the beginning of this school year, public school districts had to make important decisions about how to approach this school year. How would they keep students safe? How would they continue to engage students in learning? And, how would they support teachers in the process?

At St. Vrain Valley Schools in Longmont, Colorado, we acknowledge we are teaching in a pandemic, yet we still need to move students forward and continue to help them grow. This is a delicate balance, especially as teachers are dealing with the stresses of a changing landscape and the desire to find their footing with new instructional challenges.

Prior to and particularly now during the pandemic, coaching has been a vital support in helping educators find balance and maintain the pace they are working. It has also given them adequate time and space to think and process the learning that is occurring in their classroom every day. …Read More

Iowa Department of Education Selects YouScience as a Pre-Approved Career Information System Provider

AMERICAN FORK, UTAH (PRWEB) MAY 26, 2022 — YouScience, the leading student engagement platform that leverages data science to improve student success and bridge the divide between education and careers, has announced that the Iowa Department of Education has selected its  YouScience Discovery and  Precision Exams as pre-approved  Career Information Systems (CISs) for use immediately by all Iowa school districts through the 2024-2025 school year.

The solutions from YouScience were approved by the Iowa Department of Education as part of a statewide  Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP) initiative for each student in grades 8-12. Redesigned in 2016, the state’s career and academic planning process for students place a greater emphasis on Career and Technical Education (CTE) rather than traditional career planning assessment methods and inventories. The process now includes high-quality, high-value, career-related experiences designed to increase student engagement and align student interests with local, regional, and state labor market needs.

“Iowa districts, schools, educators, and counselors are doing amazing work, and we are excited to continue to support student engagement and further interest in career and academic planning,” said Edson Barton, Founder and CEO, YouScience. “Our goal at YouScience is to provide opportunities for all students to understand their aptitudes and how they relate to their career pathways. By using YouScience Discovery and Precision Exams, students can identify their natural talents and earn industry-recognized certifications even before graduating high school.”…Read More

3 strategies to address new school nutrition standards

The summer of 2022 brings changes to school meal requirements for the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program, as school nutrition programs transition from pandemic-era flexibilities—such as loosened restrictions around food preparation and packaging—back to pre-pandemic requirements. Millions of pre-K–12 students across the nation depend on school meals every day, and the changes are significant.

Below, I’ve highlighted what these requirements mean for school districts and key strategies for school leaders to consider if hurdles arise.

Learn from the pandemic’s impact on school nutrition programs…Read More

7 tips for teacher mental health

When COVID struck, schools and teachers had to pivot quickly, adapting to lockdowns and online classes on the fly. Naturally, there were a lot of stumbles. Teachers are only human, and trying to become familiarized with a new world of online technology and new teaching techniques while trying to keep students engaged–well, it was difficult, to say the least.

While the stress of those first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic has abated, teachers are still under pressure two years later. Many students lost ground during COVID, and teachers are still working hard to help them catch up. Some school districts have returned to in-person classes with social distancing, and others allow hybrid classrooms, so teachers have had to learn how to juggle both attendance options. Teacher prep time, lesson planning, grading, and other non-classroom tasks make for long days and often spill over into the weekends.

Teachers have always worked long hours, often using the weekends to catch up, but the pandemic shone a spotlight on the many demands of teaching. Fortunately, it also highlighted some solutions. Following are seven tips for maintaining teacher mental health and well-being that will help you manage your career and your personal life.…Read More

FEV Tutor’s Personalized High-Impact Tutoring is Now Available to Over 5 Million Students

WOBURN, Mass. – March 16, 2022 – FEV Tutor, the most comprehensive virtual tutoring solution in K-12, today announced that its personalized high-impact tutoring program is now used by more than 400 districts with nearly 5 million students in aggregate. The company is projecting a 200% growth in the number of tutoring sessions delivered from 2021 to 2022. This milestone underscores the challenges school districts face and FEV Tutor’s commitment to providing research-based, high-impact online tutoring to students around the clock seven days a week, year after year.

“Last week alone, we delivered nearly 70,000 tutoring sessions,” said Ryan Patenaude, Sr. Vice President and Co-Founder of FEV Tutor.  “We are honored that our partner districts have entrusted us to help their students through our experienced tutors and our individualized instruction practices.”

FEV Tutor is a US Department of Education, Level Two ESSA research and evidence-based intervention. Its live 1:1 online tutoring program employs instructors with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and two years of teaching experience. It delivers personalized academic intervention where it’s needed most and is designed to naturally extend the instruction delivered by a specific school or district.…Read More

Georgia Principal Wins Curriculum Associates’ 2022 Inspire Award

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass., February 17, 2022—Curriculum Associates has named Jamilah Hud-Kirk, principal of Fountain Elementary in Clayton County Public Schools in Forest Park, GA, as the recipient of its 2022 Inspire Award. This recognition, which is part of the annual Extraordinary Educators program that celebrates exemplar teachers around the country, is given to one administrator nationwide for their ability to create strong bonds with school-based teams to take the use of i-Ready to new levels to support students. Today, the award-winning i-Ready program is used in the majority of Georgia’s school districts.

“All teachers and students deserve a dedicated and supportive principal,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “Jamilah fully embodies these characteristics and more. She is truly an inspiration to all those she serves, and we are proud to recognize her ongoing leadership and hard work with this year’s award.”

Hud-Kirk has more than 25 years of experience in urban and rural education as a teacher, school improvement specialist, assistant principal, and principal at the elementary, middle, and district levels in Alabama, Texas, and Georgia. This includes 13 years as principal at Fountain Elementary, where she currently serves more than 600 students in Grades pre-K–5.…Read More

Happy habits: SEL matters more than ever

“My hope is these extra couple of days will allow everyone to take a little extra time for themselves and their families. Family is, after all, much of what Thanksgiving is all about.”

–Dr. Kelvin R. Adams, Superintendent of Schools, St. Louis Public Schools

Like St. Louis, school districts across the country opted to add an additional partial or entire week off during the holiday season/winter break to allow the students and adults to find time for and take care of themselves.…Read More