September 27, 2017
Digging Deeper: Physical health impacts education, too
In Delaware, and across the nation, schools are providing a deeper focus on both social and emotional learning and physical health. Next month, community members, educators, and policymakers from across the state will converge at the University of Delaware to talk about the intersection of health and education at the 10th Annual Vision Coalition Conference. We often hear about the correlation between higher levels of education and higher salaries and lower unemployment rates.
Ocean View artist working with Carver students
With arts, an Ocean View man is teaching kids how to make good decisions, regulate their emotions and think positively. John Donato, 55, has taken his art curriculum to over 50 schools in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Ohio, and to Delaware Family Court. He paints with acrylics. Entirely self-taught, his art is colorful, whimsical and often features animals and sea life. Though his work is popular with adults, it also appeals to children, which is likely part of the reason he does so well with them.
Sussex County Post
Indian River board opts for Botvin LifeSkills in sixth-grade curriculum
Indian River School District is turning to acclaimed expertise of an Ivy League faculty member in efforts to help better prepare pre-teens for the game of life. By a 10-0 vote, IRSD’s board of education at its Sept. 25 meeting cast support to implementing the Botvin LifeSkills Training as part of the sixth-grade curriculum. LifeSkills Training, which features 18-segmented lessons, is the product of Dr. Gilbert J Botvin, a longtime Cornell University faculty member who is viewed worldwide as one of the leading experts on tobacco, alcohol, and drug abuse prevention.
The News Journal
Thomas Edison board botched principal suspension
The board at Thomas Edison Charter School created damaging and unnecessary chaos last week when it mysteriously placed its popular head of school, Salome Thomas-EL, on leave. Parents and staff revolted, school ended early Friday after many teachers did not come to work and, after a tumultuous weekend, Thomas-EL was back on the job. At a rally held in support of Thomas-EL, parents were furious. That anger is justified. The board must explain itself.
Resegregation in Delaware schools
Northern Delaware’s public schools — once racially segregated, then desegregated through court-ordered busing, now segregated again with the end of federal oversight — are failing the children and families who most need their help. That was the message delivered by Leo E. Strine Jr., chief justice of the Delaware Supreme Court, at the University of Delaware on Friday, Sept. 22.
Advisors and counselors aren’t the top source for decisions on academic paths
More than half of U.S. adults in the country would change at least one educational decision, and 36% would change their college major if they could go back and do it again, according to a new survey from Gallup and Strada Education Network. “So, that led us to question of how you got advice on how to come to that major in the first place,” said Strada Education Network executive vice president of mission advancement and philanthropy Carol D’Amico.
‘One-size-fits-all’ approach dead for teacher PD, too
Just as “one-size-fits-all” is no longer good enough to meet the needs of students, so too is a new approach necessitated for educators. In fact, many of the same approaches now suggested for students are recommended for PD, and utilizing them can give educators firsthand experience with the models they’re now being asked to employ. For many districts, a personalized approach to teacher development has gained popularity.
Betsy DeVos: Principals should be able to focus on people, not paperwork
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos told a roomful of secondary school principals Monday that she wants to cut the federal red tape that she thinks is holding them back from serving students to the best extent possible. And she’ll encourage state and district leaders to give them as much autonomy as possible.
In state with robust private school vouchers, many families don’t know they exist
Indiana has the largest, single private school voucher program in the country. And the six-year-old program has gotten a lot of national attention lately with the Trump administration’s embrace of the policy idea. But in spite of that high profile, many Hoosier families are not aware that the state even has a voucher program, according to a new survey by EdChoice, a pro-school choice advocacy and research group.
Most states plan to use student absences to measure school success
How do you judge how good a school is? Test scores? Culture? Attendance? In the new federal education law (the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA) states are asked to use five measures of student success. The first four are related to academics — like annual tests and graduation rates. The fourth measures proficiency of English language learners. The fifth is the wild card — aimed at measuring “student success or school quality” — and the law leaves it to states to decide.