A daily round-up of education news and views for the Sunshine State
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 Principal News
 A daily round-up of education news and views for the Sunshine State To add a recipient please click here
Wednesday, 21st July 2021





An Educator's Perspective: Building Resilience in a Trauma-Informed School

"We listened to and learned from one another, and our only rule was that we did not judge anyone for what we heard — starting with ourselves. We leaned on flipped learning… we applied the research and tools to our personal and collective experiences, and our conversations were open and honest. As some students shared later, we began to feel more like a family than a class." Read more from Jenna Moniz, Student Resiliency Support in Broward County.





Hillsborough reverses charter decisions after state pressure

After pressure from the state’s top education officials, the Hillsborough County School Board has reversed course on a decision not to renew contracts for four charter schools. Against the recommendations of Superintendent Addison Davis and district staff members, the Hillsborough board voted in mid-June to not renew contracts with Woodmont Charter School, Pivot Charter School, Southshore Charter Academy and Kids Community College Charter High School. The reversal came after state Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran last week demanded that the Hillsborough board approve the contracts or risk losing funding. An attorney for the Hillsborough board noted Tuesday that the threatened funding would amount to about $950m.

My Sun Coast 


Prudent Johns County monitoring COVID trends

The St. Johns County School District has no plans at present to change its health and safety protocols for COVID-19 — including making face masks optional — when classes resume Aug. 16. At its July 13 meeting, the school board adopted its official COVID-19 guidelines for the 2021-22 school year, eliminating mandatory facial coverings, daily temperature checks and desk shields — all measures that were used during the height of the pandemic for the 2020-21 academic year. Kyle Dresback, director for student support services, says officials will adjust policy going forward as the district continues to monitor case and positivity rates, including the statewide increase of the virus' Delta variant.

The St. Augustine Record 


Polk County schools 'models' for turning around behavioral issues

Nearly a dozen Polk County Public Schools are being recognized at the state level for what they are doing to improve student behavior, with officials labeling them "model schools." This year, all of the schools, named Florida Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports model schools, received the "resilience" award for the ongoing challenges and difficult work during COVID. The schools are Alta Vista Elementary, Citrus Ridge: A Civics Academy, Combee Academy Of Design And Engineering, Dr. N.E. Roberts Elementary, Griffin Elementary, Horizons Elementary, Loughman Oaks Elementary, Purcell Elementary, Sandhill Elementary, Socrum Elementary and Spessard L. Holland Elementary.

Lakeland Ledger 




Ed. Dept. highlights procedures schools should take when responding to harassment reports

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights released a Q&A document Tuesday highlighting procedures schools should take when responding to reports of sexual harassment. The document does not specifically address the rights of students who identify as transgender, but it does explain schools’ obligations in responding to complaints of sex discrimination. The resources, which follow policy based on 2020 amendments by the Trump administration, were made public while the department is conducting a comprehensive review of Title IX changes which will likely lead to proposed new rules.

K12 Dive  Ed.gov  Ed.gov  Ed.gov 




Academics champion 'complementary' education strategies

After COVID-19 disruptions gave parents and families unprecedented views into their children’s education and deepened insights into their kids' learning styles, Karen Pittman, co-founder and senior fellow at the Forum for Youth Investment, and Linda Darling-Hammond, president and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute and the Charles E. Ducommun professor of education emeritus at Stanford University, explore two national surveys which emphasize the importance of acknowledging that learning happens in families, schools and communities in "complementary ways." For this summer specifically, parents' top priorities are addressing social, emotional and/or mental health needs (55%) and providing physical/outdoor activity (54%), rather than academic support/making up for learning loss (37%). Teachers, in general, agree (54%, 51%, 39%).

The 74 Million 




Rising infection rates prompted updated AAP mask guidance, Fauci says

Anthony Fauci on Tuesday addressed conflicting coronavirus pandemic masks guidance for children returning to school this fall, recommending that parents do what is “locally asked for." Speaking on "CBS This Morning," Fauci was asked about the American Academy for Pediatrics’ (AAP) recommendation that all students older than two years old wear masks regardless of vaccination status, which contradicts that of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which said earlier this month that fully vaccinated students and teachers do not need to wear masks, and that even unvaccinated people don’t need to wear masks outside during gym or recess. He said the reason the AAP issued its guidance is because of the “high degree of infection dynamics,” adding: “If you look at the map of the country right now, there’s an uptick in cases in virtually all the states in the United States, and for that reason they want to go the extra mile to make sure that the children are protected in school.”

The Hill 


The complexities of 'texting interventions' from schools

Schools' efforts to text parents do not necessarily increase their engagement levels and may actually backfire in some instances, according to a fresh study by the American Educational Research Association. Conducted in the 2013-14 school year, researchers examined the engagement level of parents of 3,483 middle and high school students in England who received an average of two text messages per week, nudging them to ask students specific questions related to their science curriculum. In the end, researchers found while the interventions increased parent-child conversations at home, they did not noticeably impact test scores. "These findings illustrate that parent engagement interventions are not costless: There are opportunity costs to shifting parental effort," the authors found.

K12 Dive 




Education department sued over national board for education sciences spat

Daniel T. Woislaw and Jessica L. Thompson, attorneys at the Pacific Legal Foundation nonprofit, claim that the Department of Education is hindering the work of the National Board for Education Sciences (NBES), an advisory committee tasked with ensuring the neutrality of the policies and recommendations adopted by the Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES). Congress requires the NBES to meet at least three times each year and publish an annual report that assesses the effectiveness of the IES in carrying out its priorities and mission, however the attorneys say that the Department is not allowing that to happen. NBES members Steve Hanke, a professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and John Yoo, the Emanuel S. Heller Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, have now filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia asking the court to compel the Department to deliver their commissions and allow the NBES to "meet, perform its oversight responsibilities and publish its annual report."

The Hill 




Most educated American cities mapped

Personal finance website WalletHub has released its ranking of the most and least educated American cities. The ranking, which covers the nation’s 150 largest metropolitan statistical areas relies on 11 key metrics grouped under two general areas, educational attainment and quality of education & attainment gap. The ten most educated cities, in order, were found to be Ann Arbor (Michigan), San Jose (California), Washington, D.C., San Francisco (California), Madison (Wisconsin), Boston (Massachusetts), Durham (North Carolina), Seattle (Washington), Austin (Texas) and Provo in Utah. “In metro areas where women have an advantage over men and black people have an advantage over white people, we gave extra credit compared to the metro areas with no gender-based/racial inequality,” researchers noted.


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