The summer 2013 issue of Educational Leadership magazine is now available. This digital issue gives you instant access to nearly 100 pages of practical tips and advice on how to refresh your personal learning, recharge your professional development, and get ready for the first days of school.
Summer for educators is often a time to look back on the past year—and look forward to the coming one. What worked, what didn't, and what will you change? Educating the whole child and planning for comprehensive, sustainable school improvement requires us to be "whole educators" who take the time to recharge, reflect, and reinvigorate. Where should we put our effort? What aspects of a whole child approach to education is most critical to us right now?
Wherever your school or district sits along the continuum from implementation of a whole child approach to sustainability and changing the school culture, there are things we all can do to solidify and enhance a whole child approach to education in our settings. Join us throughout June and July as we highlight steps others have taken, successes that have been achieved, and lessons learned. Take this time to reflect on where you are, refresh your ideas, and recharge your batteries.
Delve into summer learning with tips and strategies from a few of your favorite ASCD authors. The first session in the ASCD Summer Boot Camp Webinar Series kicks off Thursday, July 18, at 3 p.m. eastern time and presents a strategic approach to direct vocabulary instruction that helps students master key concepts and retain new terms. Other topics include teacher-led walk-throughs, curriculum, and motivation and engagement from a developmental science perspective.
According to current statistics, fewer than 10 percent of children who identify as needing mental health services get them within three months of the recommendation. This is a startling statistic that proves our mental health system for children is as fragile as the at-risk youth it is intended to serve.
The good news is that a new national conversation is happening around the importance of children's mental health, and a recent report, Improving Access to Children's Mental Health Care: Lessons from a Study of Eleven States, authored by experts from George Washington University's Center for Health and Health Care in Schools and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, highlights ways in which policymakers, advocates, and service providers must work together to elevate children's mental health on the public agenda.
Post written by Laura Speer, associate director for Policy Reform and Data at the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Success should be in the grasp of all children, no matter where they live. However, the opportunities available to children based on their neighborhood vary dramatically across the United States. For the 8 million U.S. children living in high-poverty neighborhoods, critical resources for their healthy growth and development—including high-performing schools, quality medical care, and safe outdoor spaces—are often out of reach. The KIDS COUNT project at the Annie E. Casey Foundation tracks the well-being of children and families in the United States and provides information for data-based advocacy. This means being the go-to place for data on children and families, and we do that by partnering with local child-advocacy organizations to track data on children at the national, state, and local levels.
We know that when students are fully engaged in learning and school, academic achievement, attendance rates, and participation in activities increases. Students need to be motivated in their learning before they can apply higher-order, creative-thinking skills and, ultimately, be prepared for their future college, career, and citizenship success.
In an article on the Washington Post's Answer Sheet blog, author Martin Blank shares his belief that diet research shows us how education reform needs to be more broadly focused. "A Mediterranean diet, like educating our children," he says, "is like a black box in which a number of ingredients—together—are needed to achieve the desired outcomes."
What does it take for children to be mentally healthy? Being mentally healthy is not just about being free from serious emotional and behavioral difficulties. It's also about being mentally strong and resilient and having the skills and supports to deal with stressful issues when they arise. Today is National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day, established and promoted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The Awareness Day national event seeks to raise awareness about the importance of children's mental health and that positive mental health is essential to a child's healthy development from birth.
We invite you to participate in ASCD's third annual Whole Child Virtual Conference. Entitled "Moving from Implementation to Sustainability to Culture," sessions will offer educators around the globe leadership discussions and strategies to support their work to implement and sustain a whole child approach to education.