9 TED-Ed Lessons about different holiday origins

Most schools are gearing up for December break, and students’ attention spans are likely to grow shorter each day. But crafting a video-based lesson that explores different holidays is a surefire way to boost student engagement.

These TED-Ed Lessons cover Labor Day origins, they examine why we celebrate Groundhog Day, they delve into St. Patrick’s Day, and more.

The TED-Ed platform is especially cool because educators can build lessons around any TED-Ed Original, TED Talk, or YouTube video.…Read More

Treering Yearbooks Launches New Donation Feature

SAN MATEO, CA — Treering Yearbooks – a company modernizing traditional yearbooks – enables schools across America to make yearbooks accessible to all students by integrating a new online donation option.

As the season of giving commences, it’s the perfect time for schools to rally together their communities and provide the gift of lifelong memories to students. When the donation feature is enabled, books can be purchased and donated directly to the school through Treering’s website. Yearbooks are a portal to the past; a book that captures the best moments from childhood and tells the story of the formative chapters of life.

Janet Yieh, Family Partnerships Coordinator at Presidio Middle School in San Francisco, CA, utilizes fundraisers as well as Treering’s early purchase incentive to ensure that every 8th grader graduates with a yearbook. With Treering’s new donation option, Yieh can encourage parents, teachers and community members to join the initiative and donate yearbooks directly from their smartphones or computers.…Read More

Ransomware attackers head back to school

Just when we thought the painful trend of ransomware attacks on public schools might be waning, news arrived of a massive incident. Over Labor Day weekend, the country’s largest school district, Los Angeles Unified, experienced a ransomware attack. The district serves 600,000 students and described “significant disruptions affecting access to email, computer systems, and applications.”

There was good news, though. The district appeared to catch the attack early, shut its systems down and avoided more serious problems. A lot of the time these attacks result in the loss of social security numbers and all kinds of other data, amounting to a serious violation of children’s privacy. For such a large district, this could have been catastrophic. LAUSD’s impressive response likely resulted from some smart preparation.

LAUSD was unfortunately not the only school to be victimized this year, and in other cases, some of the consequences appear to have been more severe. Staff at Cedar Rapids, Iowa schools saw their personal information stolen this summer, including Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, bank account numbers, and even medical history information. …Read More

Learn how to modernize your K-12 financial operations

Over the past several years, K-12 school districts experienced the limitations of legacy systems. With the recent government funding available for pandemic recovery, a window of opportunity opens for K-12 schools to modernize and bring resilience to their spend management systems.

Automating your school district’s spend management solution should be a top priority. Market uncertainty has shown that faculty and staff spending data is often dispersed and hard to track, meaning you are missing complete spend visibility. This lack of reliable, consistent data is leaving school districts vulnerable to risks.

Join an eSchool News panel of experts as they discuss understanding and managing your school expenditures with a single platform that captures employee spend, when and how it happens, and how investing in a digital spend management solution can help enable school districts to increase efficiency, transparency, compliance, and control.…Read More

4 tips for online learning success in schools

Our school has been using online learning since the mid-1990s when we became one of the first to sign up for VHS Learning. Since then, we’ve expanded our use of the program and involved more students.

Here are four tips for success that I’ve learned along the way, and that other schools can use to get the most out of their online learning partners:

1. Involve all types of learners. Online learning isn’t just for high-performing students who want to earn more credits or expand their learning horizons. We use it for learners of all levels, and it can serve as a successful alternative for struggling students, allow students to explore specific areas of interest not offered at our school, and for those who want to take more Advanced Placement (AP) courses than we offer on campus. I always have several students who are interested in AP classes that we don’t offer at our school, but I also make sure that I keep half of the online semester elective courses open for students who are interested. I want to make sure that students at different levels have an opportunity to learn online as well.…Read More

3 ways schools play a vital role in community safety

Schools do so much for a community. They provide a safe place for children to learn and grow each day, filled with educators who truly care. However, as a parent or educator, it’s important to understand that many schools aren’t being used to their full potential.

When utilized properly, local schools can uplift safety in your community, providing a place outside of traditional school hours for children and families to feel secure and supported.

The task of neighborhood safety shouldn’t fall solely on teachers and administrators. However, these individuals who have regular contact with local youth can spearhead the initiatives that promote safety in the community.…Read More

Cook Center for Human Connection Offers up to $100,000 in Matching Grants for School Calm Rooms

Salt Lake City — The Cook Center for Human Connection, a nonprofit dedicated to mental health and suicide prevention, launched today at the Mental Health Summit, co-hosted with the America Association of School Administrators, the Calm Room Grant to enable schools to create an in-school safe space for students to reset when they feel anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, angry, or frustrated.

The Cook Center is offering a nationwide matching grant of up to $5,000 per school for up to 20 schools to create a Calm Room in their building. A calm room is a supportive therapeutic environment for students to go where they can focus on self-calming efforts and learn to self-regulate their bodies and their emotions. An important component of an overall mental health approach, calm rooms feature quiet spaces with low-stimulation decor and fixtures, soft furniture and carpet, and other materials that reduce stress and foster positive coping techniques.

“More and more schools are developing calm rooms as part of a strategy to improve student well-being based on new psychological research,” said Cook Center CEO Anne Brown. “We are thrilled to offer the grant program to expand these efforts to more schools across the country and help them address student mental health, which has become one of the most critical issues of our time.”…Read More

Pennsylvania Evidence Resource Center Adds IXL Math and IXL English Language Arts to List of Evidence-Based Resources for Schools

HARRISBURG, Penn.  — IXL, the personalized learning platform used by more than 13 million students, announced that the Pennsylvania Evidence Resource Center (ERC) has added IXL Math and IXL English Language Arts (ELA) to its list of evidence-based resources. The ERC’s approval signals to educators that IXL Math and IXL ELA have rigorous research supporting their effectiveness in the Keystone State. IXL is used by nearly 30 percent of all K-12 students in Pennsylvania, accounting for more than 560,000 learners.

The Evidence Resource Center is a division of the Pennsylvania Department of Education and provides lists of effective learning resources to the state’s educators. Following its review of IXL’s quasi-experimental research, The IXL effect: Measuring the impact of IXL Math and IXL Language Arts in Pennsylvania schools, the ERC determined that the study met ESSA Tier 2 standards for evidence-based interventions in each subject and added the resources to its list. 

The study investigated hundreds of public schools in Pennsylvania that used IXL Math or IXL ELA. Using data from the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment and Keystone Exams, the study found that schools using IXL outperformed schools not using IXL in math and ELA on each exam. Additionally, an analysis showed that if students mastered just one more IXL skill per week, schools would increase their proficiency rate by 13 points in math and 15 points in ELA. …Read More