Enrollment in VHS Learning’s Flexible Self-Paced Courses Soars by Over 400%

Boston – Across the nation, flexible self-paced learning is capturing the interest of students and their families due to the flexibility it offers. That interest is reflected in the ever-increasing popularity of VHS Learning’s flexibly paced courses. The number of students enrolled in at least one of VHS Learning’s Flexible self-paced course offerings increased by 430% between the 2022-23 and 2023-24 academic years.

The flexible self-paced courses remove the restrictions of set semester and school-year start dates, allowing students to create customized academic schedules. VHS Learning first offered flexible self-paced courses during the 2022-23 academic year. At that time, 221 students enrolled. In the 2023-24 academic year, the number enrollees rose to 1,172, including almost 200 students that have signed up for VHS Learning’s new Flexible self-paced half-credit courses.

Flexible Self-paced courses are available in three categories:…Read More

This ESL teacher ensures students learn the language–and feel the love

This story was originally published by Chalkbeat. Sign up for their newsletters at ckbe.at/newsletters.

Missy Testerman has been teaching at Rogersville City School for 32 years. But for the past few years, she’s been teaching more children who weren’t born in the rural Appalachian community where the school is nestled.

Some of the children are from Mexico and Honduras. Others are from India, China, and various Arabic-speaking nations. She heard stories about immigrant families braving dangerous routes to get to the United States.…Read More

5 ways to combat tech fatigue and support student success

Key points:

Ask anyone involved in public education right now and you’ll hear a familiar refrain: “Too many technology tools.” Almost every K-12 district brought on new technology solutions during the pandemic, accelerating an already fast pace of tool adoption. With the pressure to solve problems fast, many of these ended up being separate, niche point solutions. In the 2022 to 2023 school year, school districts used an average of more than 2,591 different solutions. It’s no wonder so many K-12 families, educators, and staff members are exhausted and stressed by technology overload. Help is coming, but not necessarily in the ideal way: with ESSER funding running out, districts are re-evaluating the impact and scope of edtech solutions.

Evaluating the impact of edtech solutions is a logical thing to do. But there’s a reason why so many of these solutions were adopted. In many cases, they’re innovative and deeply aligned to what educators need to do their jobs well. With consolidation and cuts, I fear a return to the old days of dated, clunky, poorly built tools that get in the way of the work educators do.…Read More

Ready, set, safe: Communication and technology for school safety

Key points:

With school-associated violence at a record high, there is an urgent responsibility for school leaders to protect the safety of students, teachers, and staff. As the 2023 – 2024 academic year concludes this spring, school leaders will have the opportunity to review safety protocols and adopt new tools to foster a safe and secure learning environment for years to come. By prioritizing critical components like best-of-breed communication technology, school leaders can ensure their integrated safety plan will help minimize emergencies and significantly contribute to the academic growth and wellbeing of students and staff.

Create an emergency communication plan for proactive safety …Read More

Key qualities of a principal coach

Key points:

As someone who coaches principals at Wichita Public Schools, I’ve seen how effective principals drive positive change across an entire school. They create collaborative and supportive learning cultures, attract high-quality teachers, and promote strong student outcomes. While it might seem like some people are simply cut out to be strong leaders, I believe with coaching more districts can develop administrators ready for the complexity of leading a building.

The value of a principal coach…Read More

Case management solutions are redefining school safety, threat assessment

Key points:

Students continue to face a variety of challenges in and outside of school–especially at the K-12 level. Pressures can range from high expectations to achieve or bullying, to home-related insecurities and mental health concerns. These potential stressors can interfere with students’ ability to learn and excel. Sometimes, these students will act out or demonstrate early signs of inappropriate behavior.

As schools focus on empowering every student to succeed, they need to identify the signs of possible problems and intervene when necessary to provide the proper support.  …Read More

Long Island, NY School District Addresses Youth Mental Health Crisis With Opening of New Wellness Center

Baldwin, NY – Youth mental health is a crisis nationwide. Many are struggling to manage the stress and complications of everyday life. Studies show that students who are healthy both physically and mentally are more likely to excel in all aspects of academic achievement, including academic performance, education behavior, and cognitive skills and attitudes.

As a part of an ongoing initiative to enhance the health and wellness resources available to its students and families, the Baldwin Union Free School District (UFSD) is proud to launch the Baldwin Schools Wellness Center and to be among the first school districts in the nation to establish such a resource directly on campus at no cost to families.

In partnership with PM Pediatric Care and located at the Baldwin Middle School, the Baldwin Schools Wellness Center provides immediate access to behavioral health care and resources dedicated to mental wellness for students from elementary through high school, with convenient and flexible hours during and after school. This innovative, collaborative approach to connected care is key to supporting students’ whole health needs while optimizing their learning experiences.…Read More

How edtech is transforming bilingual education in the U.S.

Key points:

Millions of students within the United States public school system are non-native English speakers. As this figure continues to grow year over year, true bilingual education is becoming more vital to equitably support student success.

How do we ensure students achieve proficiency with the English language while receiving a rich and comprehensive education? One that affirms and celebrates their identities and helps them learn about and understand others?…Read More

5 ways to keep schools safer with innovative visitor management

Key points:

One crucial aspect of school safety is monitoring who comes on and off campus, including visitors. Visitor management can be tricky, because school campuses tend to have various points of access. In recent years, schools have put in the effort to advance all safety measures within schools, including visitor management. In fact, recent research by Pew Research Center found that 98 percent of schools require visitors to check in and wear a badge

Schools can emphasize their protection of students and staff by requiring visitors to wear a visitor-specific safety badge that can monitor their location while on campus. Opposed to staff safety badges, which only provide location information once an alert is initiated to maintain staff privacy, the visitor badge will monitor the visitor’s location in real-time while on school grounds.…Read More

It’s budget season: How are you preparing for the fiscal cliff?

Key points:

The final chapters of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding are drawing near.

The imminent end of ESSER funding has pushed school districts to a critical juncture, compelling them to confront budget deficits for the upcoming 2024-2025 school year before the “fiscal cliff” hits in 2025-2026.…Read More