Tagged “School Connectedness”

Paula Mirk

Implementing and Assessing the Ethics Standards

The subject of ethics is a great opportunity to explore learning without the burden of standardized tests because (so far) the topic is considered a difficult one to measure in discrete bubbles on an answer sheet. So, this dimension of our schools and curriculum is relatively safe from the assessment wag-or-dog controversy other subjects present. Take advantage of this opportunity! In any class, in any subject, teachers can feel free to explore their students' values-based reasoning skills without worrying about "covering the material." The more teachers do so, the more they will find that such exploration deepens understanding and contributes to content, rather than slowing things down or feeling like an indulgent add-on.

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Laura Varlas

The #1 Reason Girls Drop Out (and What You Can Do About It)

The United States has the highest teen birthrate in the industrialized world, and teen pregnancy and parenting is the number one reason girls drop out of school. (See the infographic below for the far-reaching effects of teen pregnancy.)

This is an avoidable crisis—teen parents don't have to be left behind. Not only can access to comprehensive sex education (including information about both abstinence and birth control) help drive down those numbers, but measures to keep pregnant and parenting students in school actually reduce the incidence of repeat teen pregnancies, and lead to improved outcomes for teen parents and their children.

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Klea Scharberg

How Do You Achieve Quality When You Have Less?

December/January EL

Many schools are experiencing shrinking resources, hiring freezes, and continued accountability pressures—and are responding by using time, material resources, and educators' skills in innovative ways.

With 85 percent of U.S. school districts anticipating cuts to their funding this school year, how can we serve our students and ensure that each child, in each community, is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged?

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Klea Scharberg

Sixth Grader Builds iPhone Apps and Sparks Learning in School

Thomas Suarez is a 6th grade student at a middle school in the South Bay of Los Angeles who has been fascinated by computers and technology since before kindergarten. With the introduction of software development tools, he started building applications for the iPhone and iPad.

"A lot of kids these days want to play games, but now they want to make them. And it's difficult because not many kids know where to go to find out how to make a program," said Suarez on October 22 at the TEDxManhattanBeach Transforming Learning Conference. "For soccer you can go to a soccer team, for violin you could get lessons for violin. But what if you want to make an app? Their parents might have done a lot of those things when they were young, but not many parents have written apps."

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Klea Scharberg

Parent and Family Engagement Roundup

Learning does not begin or end in school. In fact, the learning and development that does—or does not—happen outside of school is often as much or more important than formal learning. In September we looked at schools engaging parents and families to inform, complement, reinforce, and accelerate educators' efforts to educate the whole child. Meaningful involvement and connections between families and educators create partnerships that are critical to ensuring that each child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

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Paula Mirk

Parents Want to Think About What's Right

Ethics is a great topic for thinking about parents and their role in the learning process. Most parents are conscientious individuals who want to do a good job for their children in complex and fast-moving times, even those parents you never hear from. They're likely asking themselves on a daily basis, "What's the right thing to do here?"

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Andrew Miller

Using Project-Based Learning to Engage Parents in the School Community

Project-based learning (PBL) is a fantastic way to increase parent and community involvement in your school in a truly authentic way. Instead of finding lots of little strategies to engage parents, PBL provides an opportunity to use one part of your school identity, the curriculum and instruction, as the leverage to have parents present at the physical space. Here are some tips and strategies on how to use PBL to increase parental involvement.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Families and Schools Get Engaged: A Long Road to a Great Marriage?

OK, maybe you've been burned once. Maybe it's even happened twice. But are you prepared to let those isolated incidents get in the way of all the great things that can come from a committed partnership?

No, we're not talking about your love life; we're talking about building a different kind of partnership—a school–family partnership. These partnerships can sometimes feel as complicated and dramatic as our past or present love lives. Some of us—teachers, principals, parents, guardians, and students—have been burned in the past and are hesitant to give it another try. And when we do take that leap of faith, we bring forth our fears, which can interfere with developing meaningful relationships. But just as research has suggested that people in committed life partnerships enjoy many benefits, such as longer lives and better mental and physical health, so do young people greatly benefit from families and educators who commit themselves to developing and sustaining partnerships.

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Molly McCloskey

Best Questions: Parent and Family Engagement

Despite the rumors, school improvement is hard. It's not about a single passionate leader. It's not about "fixing" teachers and teaching or parents and parenting. It's not about poverty. It's not about money. And it's not about standards. It's about all of them. And more.

In this column, I'll take on the real deal of school improvement—for all schools, not just certain kinds. And for all kids. Because it's not about quick fixes or checking off the instant strategy of the moment. It's about saying, "Yes, and..." not "Yes, but..." no matter what our circumstances. It's about asking ourselves the best questions.

Fellow educators, let's set the record straight on a few things:

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Klea Scharberg

Engaging, Supporting, and Connecting Parents and Families in Learning

It isn't a new concept that parent and family engagement in children's learning is key to student success and development. But we are introducing and working with new technologies that can improve, reinforce, and support the engagement and communication. Microsoft Education in the United Kingdom offers resources to allow educators get the most from information technology investments and has worked with the Department for Children, Schools, and Families to share the stories of five schools that are using technology in innovative ways to better engage parents in their children’s education.

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