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Programs

Student Broadcasters Capture Headlines from the Hallways
Students aren't just studying the news in school, they're reporting it! Budding "Walter Cronkites" run the show from choosing topics to scripting, filming and editing. Teachers report that students gain self-confidence from producing their own school news broadcasts.

Principals Launch School-Wide Wellness Programs
Many schools weave health awareness programs into their curriculum. Those programs improve school climate as they build wellness awareness in the wider community. Included: Principals share school-wide fitness, health, and nutrition awareness ideas.

Transition Programs Help Incoming Freshmen
Everyone knows the transition to high school can be a challenging one. Thats why high schools have initiated summer camps for incoming freshman and special programs that track and support students who experience difficulty during the first months in their new surroundings.

Students Pumped Up Over Fitness Rooms
Stairmasters and bicep curls are not just for adults anymore. Some schools have opened fitness rooms where students exercise and track their progress. Students enthusiasm is drawing in parents and community members as well. Included: Fitness rooms in action.

Composting: Reduce Waste, Recycle, and Teach Green Habits in One Fell "Scoop"
Spend a little time in your school's cafeteria, and you may be startled by the amount of food that students are not eating. Rejected scraps are wasteful and fill up garbage cans. Composting takes those scraps and puts them to good use. Can it take root in your school?

PE Curriculum Jumpstarts an Active Lifestyle
Fishing, cycling, and ping pong may not be expected aspects of the physical education curriculum, but they are up-and-comers. PE is getting a redo, with an eye toward exposing students to the kinds of active games that can be enjoyed throughout life.

Firm Finding Formula for At-Risk-Students
Hard-to-reach students are a vexing problem at any age. Some schools are seeing success with reluctant learners by combining personal attention, high expectations, personal technology use, and flexible schedules. Included: A school for reluctant learners.

Bringing Back the Arts to Help Boys Learn
Reducing or eliminating art, music, and creative programs to spend more time on academics has been particularly hard on boys, some educators think. Integrating the arts into lessons is helping two schools close the literacy gap between boys and girls.

Student Spellers Earn Dollars for School
While looking for ways to raise money without spending money, a retired teacher heard about a spell-a-thon at another school and brought the idea to her former colleagues. Pledges students earned for correctly-spelled words yielded $15,000 for the school.

Sugar Ban in School Yields Positive Results
When Dr. Yvonne Sanders-Butler was appointed principal, she knew she had a responsibility to change the way students were eating. Poor nutrition was impacting their academic performance and behavior, and she knew good nutrition could improve those things.

College Day: A Corridor from Elementary to Academia
College Days at three elementary schools aim to get all students thinking about their futures. Whether the day involves guest speakers, visits to campus, or college courses taught by familiar teachers, the goal is to inspire kids to see themselves as college-bound.

Mix It Up at Lunch Day Teaches Tolerance
Last year, more than 8,000 schools participated in Mix It Up at Lunch Day, an event in which students gain new understandings -- and friends -- by eating with kids with whom they might not otherwise connect. Included: Three schools Mix It Up experiences.

Lessons Learned from Dogs in the Classroom
Dogs in the classroom can be used to calm fears, relieve anxiety, and teach skills. Meet Morgan, Sadie, and Lucky, three dogs that are teaching students and their teachers lessons theyll carry all their lives. Included: Eighteen lessons learned from dogs.

Elementary, Middle Schoolers Glimpse the Future With Career Events
"Career day" and "career fair" events arent just for high school. Exposing kids of all ages to the world of work can broaden their perspectives. Included: Tips to creating a successful career day at the elementary or middle school levels.

Principal for a Day: Kids Take a Walk in the Principal's Shoes
Have a goal for the students in your school? At your disposal is one of the most desirable and inexpensive incentives you might hope to find -- your job! As an auction item or reward, nothing can motivate kids more than to be your schools "Principal for a Day."

Students Secondhand Store Earns Three Cheers from Community
A service-learning course led students at one school to develop a secondhand store that provides a community service, donates funds to charities, and even brings shoppers to struggling businesses nearby. Plus, it teaches students business and other skills.

Senior Projects a Win-Win for Students, Community
Troubled by the lack of direction shown by seniors, staff members at one school decided to give them an experience that might give them some focus. The surprising outcomes for students and the surrounding community have impressed school staff and parents alike.

Carlton Ashby: Transforming Boys Into Men of VALOR
A few years ago, my colleagues discussed ways in which we might improve behavior, academics, and retention rates for the boys we taught. That discussion led to a mentorship program called Men of VALOR (which is an acronym for the life skills we hoped to develop).

Fitness Program Fortifies Bodies, Minds
Integrating a fitness and nutrition program into everyday lessons helped some elementary students tone up and prepare for a competition. On the way to the contest, students learned more about healthful eating, lost weight, and improved their test scores.

Pete Hall: The National Boards and Your School
Purchasing more computers and implementing the most recent save-the-world boxed programs are two ways to raise achievement. But neither of them can trump the one thing we all know makes the biggest difference in education.

Game Room Enhances Successful School Turn-Around
When Constance Burnes saw her efforts to improve student behavior and performance at Wilkerson Middle School pay off, she listened to the students when it came to deciding on a reward. She invested in a high-tech game room that is a powerful student motivator.

School Foundations Help Out in Hard Times
Many communities are coming to the aid of their schools by setting up educational foundations that channel private donations toward specific schools or programs. Included: Foundation directors share tips for getting a new foundation off the ground.

NAESP Nominates Five Books for 2009 Principal's Read Aloud Award
Are you a principal who is looking for a special way to promote and model reading for fun? You can share your love of reading and set a great example for students by reading aloud the five books that are nominated for the 2009 Principal’s Read Aloud Award.

Schools 100 Mile Club Offers Exercise, Focus
With student fitness levels dropping and recess scuffles escalating, one school started a 100 Mile Club to improve student fitness and focus, and to provide some structure at recess. Students walk at least a half-mile daily to meet the goal of completing 100 miles.

Principal for a Day Programs Provide Lasting Benefits
Numerous school districts use the Principal for a Day experience to connect with businesses and community leaders for a few hours once a year. But many of those experiences turn into lasting partnerships that strengthen the school community and benefit students.

"Sharing the Dream": A Grant Competition Links Schools and Communities
Do you find it difficult to maintain a strong and healthy bond between your school and the community? This is just what the National Association of Elementary School Principals hopes to foster with its "Sharing the Dream" grant competition.

Recess Is Alive, (Mostly) Well
A few years ago parent groups were angered by news that recess was being eliminated at many schools. A new report shows that most elementary schools continue to offer recess, although children may get less time to play.

GoodSearch: Fundraising Through Internet Searching
You may be surprised to learn of a program that requires little effort and capitalizes on something everyone in your school community is already doing -- searching the Internet. GoodSearch, a search engine powered by Yahoo!, donates revenue to participating schools.

PBIS Rules, Rewards Boost Behavior and Academics
By relying on concise rules and frequent rewards, principals say the PBIS approach to school-wide behavior management drastically reduces discipline problems and improves academic performance among all students.

Discipline with Dignity Stresses Positive Motivation
The Discipline with Dignity approach teaches educators to create positive motivators for kids so they take responsibility for their own behavior. Included: Examples of Discipline with Dignity in action.

Bidding for Dollars: Online Auctions Help Schools Earn Cash
As budgets stretch to the breaking point, public schools are discovering the powerful fundraising possibilities of the auction with a technological twist. The flexibility, convenience, and popularity of online auctions enable schools to tap a limitless base of supporters.

Teaching Heroes, Toss the Zeros
Facing grade books filled with zeros, some teachers have decided that they simply won't accept incomplete assignments or "zeros." They have created programs that get the work done and improve students grades and self-confidence. Included: Three approaches that work.

Students "Stand Tall" Against Bullying
In a proactive attempt to squelch "bullying" behavior before it even emerges, one school district embraced an anti-bullying theme. Students were encouraged across the ages and the curriculum to avoid bullying behaviors and to help the victims.

Student Showcase Highlights Science and More
Spring open house showcases students accomplishments, draws big crowds.

Morning Meetings in Middle School: An Elementary Ritual Grows Up
Many elementary classes start each morning with a meeting, but more and more middle school teachers are realizing that their students crave the community and camaraderie of the morning meeting too. Included: Four components of a morning meeting.

Sports4Kids: Reforming Recess by Teaching the Rules of Play
Is recess the most harried time of your day? A time when fights and visits to the nurse's office skyrocket? Before you eliminate recess, consider these principals thoughts about Sports4Kids, a program that has reformed their playgrounds and restored order to recess.

Kids Learn Better With a Song in Their Hearts
Do you recall the multiplication tables, grammatical terms, or historical documents because of a song you learned as a kid? Educators recognize that teaching with song makes learning not only more fun, but more effective and long-lasting.

Ten Ideas for a Successful Take
Your Family to School Week

PTA Take Your Family to School Week is just one of the PTA programs revitalizing parent involvement in education. This special week in February is easy to implement too, with these ten ideas and the PTAs online guide and poster.

“Souper Bowl” Connects Kids to Their Communities
Don’t miss this opportunity for your school to connect with the community during Super Bowl week. Each year, the Souper Bowl of Caring involves students as they collect millions of pounds of food to benefit local organizations. Participation tips included.

One Book, One School, One Community: A Singular Reading Experience
Driven by the desire to enhance literacy skills and bring together generations, these three schools organized One Book community reading activities. Is this something your school might do? Included: Tips for choosing the right literary selection for a community read.

Twenty-Five Ideas for Celebrating American Education Week
American Education Week was first celebrated in 1921 as a way to help raise Americas literacy rate. Today, AEW offers a special opportunity for educators to shine a light on the great things they do. Included: Twenty-five ideas for celebrating AEW in your school.

Principals Promote Reading
Aloud With Special Award

Are you a principal who is looking for a special way to recognize Childrens Book Week this year? You can share your love of reading and set a great example for students by reading aloud the five books nominated for the 2008 Principals Read Aloud Award.

Principals Share Programs That Work
There are hundreds of programs out there. Some claim to raise student achievement. Others aim to improve student behavior, stop bullying, or keep kids off drugs But do these programs work? Included: Principals share ten programs that work.

For Hungry Kids, Backpacks Lighten Load
Students who are disruptive, can't concentrate, or lack motivation may not need a firm hand; they might, instead, need a helping hand. Principals in many states have initiated programs that fill backpacks with food to help kids get the fuel they need to flourish.

Military Veterans Proudly Serving Again, in the Classroom
Former servicemen and women bring to the classroom unique management skills, flexibility in dealing with others, and the ability to respond to nearly any situation. Included: Three troops-turned-teachers talk about the rewards, difficulties of their new.

Students Clean Up Their Act and "Dare Not To Swear!"
At Bremerton (Washington) High School, the student-generated "Dare Not To Swear!" program has proven that students can be even more effective in reducing swearing than teachers. Included: Two schools approaches, plus Dare Not To Swear! poetry.

Social Studies Fairs Inspire Young Historians
Picture a room filled with colorful project displays and students who look like they just stepped out of the pages of a history book -- and you are imagining the view teachers and parents enjoy during a social studies fair. Included: Tips for starting a fair in your school.

Wellness Policies Promote Healthy Choices
The federal mandate for schools to adopt written wellness policies has prompted many to focus on cafeteria and snack items as well as opportunities for physical activity. What have school leaders learned as they implemented new wellness policies?

Programs Connect U.S. Students, Orphans Abroad
The Memory Project enlists students to create portraits and books for orphaned children overseas. Teachers say the program helps students learn about the world and provides opportunities for authentic learning. Included: How your school can participate.

Teachers Receive Due Praise at Graduation
There is no time like the present to begin planning your school's best commencement ever. This year, take a page from the book of higher learning and recognize not just the graduates but the elementary and middle school educators who helped get them there.

Carle, Cleary, Rowling, and [Your Students' Names Here]: Kids Can Be Published Authors, Too!
Kids of all ages can be encouraged to write when they know that their work will be returned in the form of a published book. Learn how to get started with book-writing projects for whole schools or individual classes.

America's Battle of the Books: Dueling Readers Spar About Literature
Students choosing to read meaningful literature and avid readers from different schools working together as teams: does it sound too good to be true? America's "Battle of the Books" combines literature and friendly competition. Start a "battle" at your school!

The Best Convention Speakers We've Seen...
Have you been to a conference session that truly inspired you? Have you run into a speaker whose message changed the way you do things? Improved your school? Improved your life? Our "Principals Files" principals name the speakers you must see!

Triumph Over Truancy: Tips for Improving Student Attendance
Greater learning, a brighter future, less delinquency, and more funds for schools -- there are countless benefits to increased student attendance. Many schools are coming up with novel approaches to resolve their truancy woes. Will their ideas work in your school?

"Together We Can" Motto Spurs Columbia Elementary's Success
Columbia Elementary's school motto is "Together We Can!" Together principal Lori Musser and staff members have adopted initiatives such as after-school clubs and intensive reading instruction to help students achieve.

Breakfast Book Club: Feeding Bodies and Minds
Every school wants to foster a love of reading in students, but how can schools fit another reading activity into a packed educational day? Some schools are inviting kids to join in book discussions as they eat breakfast. Included: How to organize a breakfast book club.

Schools Celebrate Martin Luther King and His Dream
Each January many schools celebrate the life of Martin Luther King by bringing to life his words and his dream. Learn what some schools, including three that bear his name, do to keep the meaning of this holiday foremost in the minds of their students.

School-Wide Handwashing Campaigns Cut Germs, Absenteeism
School-wide handwashing programs can improve the health and attendance of students and staff. If your school does not have a program in place, many resources are available to help you get one started. Included: Links to valuable free resources.

Visitation Day: Parents "Walk in the Shoes" of Students
Tight-lipped kids often keep their parents in the dark about school activities. How can schools bring them out of the cold? Invite them in! "Parent Visitation Days" are easy to organize and a great way to get parents in touch with their kids' school life.

Rise and Shine with Morning Assembly
Connect students and staff at the beginning of each day with a "morning assembly." Principals say a well-organized assembly establishes a positive tone for teachers and students and encourages community involvement.

From Chaos to Coherence: Managing Teacher Stress
"I'm totally stressed out." Listen carefully when teachers repeat that routine mantra. The stress they're experiencing could affect their performance, students, and personal lives. But stress doesn't have to take a toll. Included: Effective stress-fighting strategies.  

Schools Strive for Waste-Free Lunches
Schools are discovering the benefits of cutting down on the waste they produce, particularly in the lunchroom. In addition to monetary benefits, the schools are producing stewards of the Earth. Included: Simple ways to reduce waste in the lunchroom.

Parents Try High-Stakes Tests
One Mississippi middle school is offering parents the chance to answer questions from its state tests, to help them understand what their children face. Included: Description of a test information night for parents.

Homework Club "Memberships" Grow
Attendance at homework clubs soon could rival the turnout for more traditional afterschool offerings. The clubs give students the help and structure they need to complete assignments. Included: Tips for organizing a homework club in your school.

Promoting Respect and Service: Two Programs Get A+ for Impact
While students at one Connecticut elementary school learn the "ropes" of respect, middle schoolers in California are making community service part of the curriculum. Both schools received special awards for their programs. Included: Community service tips.

Outreach Through the Airwaves: Schools Bring Message Home with Television
Some districts are using cable TV to reach out to their communities. These "education stations" keep citizens informed and show the lighter, "human" side of faculty and administration. Included: Successful programming from two districts.

Parent University: Adults Hone Skills for Stronger Kids and Communities
Some schools are offering workshops and seminars through what is termed "Parent University" to help parents better understand and deal with kids. Parents are going "back to school" -- sometimes with their children -- as an investment in them and the community.

A Community Pitches In to Repair its Schools
A lack of maintenance and funding had taken a toll on Baltimore, Maryland's schools. A call to the community for help this summer, though, yielded donations and thousands of volunteers who completed hundreds of thousands of dollars of work -- and are still at it.

"Survivor" Fosters Community Through Friendly Competition
Schools are capitalizing on the popularity of the TV program Survivor by establishing their own competitions to promote community spirit and teamwork. Should your school host a sequel to "Survivor"? Included: Ideas for starting your own program.

Rounding Up Pre-K Kids, Parents
Inviting parents and pre-kindergartners to meet teachers and see their schools six months before school opens can noticeably reduce first-day jitters -- for everyone. Called kindergarten round-ups, these events also let teachers meet their incoming charges.

Morning Sing: School's Weekly Tradition Is Music to the Ears
What has "risk takers" performing on stage, teachers reading and singing to the entire school, and students still talking about events from elementary school years later? It's Lake Street School's "Morning Sing," a weekly event that brings together the entire school.

School Stores Teach Lifelong Skills
This "local shop" can stock merchandise ranging from pencils to tasty snacks, and sell its wares to students, teachers, principals and even the occasional visitor. A school store, however, is more than a "convenience store;" its shelves also are stocked with the materials for building academic and lifelong learning skills.

Walking School Bus Paves Way to Healthier Kids
A new program eases traffic congestion around schools while putting more exercise into students' days. Perhaps your school should be the next stop for the "walking school bus," a program in which groups of children are led to and from school by adult volunteers.

Service Learning Thrives Despite Less Funding, Time
Even though demands on school time and funds continue to increase, service-learning programs remain popular, according to research. Principals praised their positive influence on student learning and school climate.

Making Peer Mediation a Part of Campus Life
Teen skirmishes over rumors, perceived put-downs, and he-said-she-said arguments might seem inconsequential to adults, but to kids they can be major distractions. Mediation by peers can clear up misunderstandings quickly and improve school climate.

Homework Study Hall: Mandatory "Make Up" for Missed Work
Startled by the large number of failing students, principal David Chambers made making up missed homework a mandatory activity. The policy has produced more honor students, raised GPAs, and improved teacher morale. Could it work for your school? Tips included.

Hold the Fries! Three Programs Are Improving Student Nutrition
Halting the trend toward child obesity is a challenge, but some schools are meeting it with more than food that is nutritionally balanced. Included: Learn about three school nutrition programs that are working.

Celebrating Students: Schools Recognize Achievement in Many Ways
When we asked our Principal Files team to share the ways in which their schools celebrate students' accomplishments, we had no idea how many and varied the responses would be. Included: Practical ideas, food-for-thought for all school leaders.

In the Loop: Teachers and Students Sticking Together for a Second Year, or More!
Seeking to make more of an impact on students, some educators are choosing to remain with their classes a second year -- or longer. Is looping right for your school? your teachers? Included: Tips from teachers who have the scoop on the loop!

In-School Suspension: A Learning Tool
While educators agree that keeping suspended students in school is better than having them home unsupervised, schools need more than a room and a teacher for in-school suspension to change behavior. Included: Administrators share effective programs.

Wire Side Chat: Helping "Fake Readers" Become Proficient Life-Long Readers
Cris Tovani, author of the best-selling "I Read It, But I Don't Get It," chats with Education World about her checkered reading past and about her widely acclaimed work with students and teachers in the area of reading comprehension strategies.

Executives Get an Education as Principals For A Day
Once a year, professionals get to leave their own offices and visit the principal's office through the Principal For A Day program. The nationwide initiative gives business people a crash course in school administration in the 21st century.

Preparing For The Worst: Why Schools Need Terrorism Plans
With terrorism advisories and talk of war commonplace, school principals need to create and test terrorism preparedness plans of their own, according to some school security consultants. Included: Recommendations for developing and implementing a plan.

Teachers Observing Teachers: A Professional Development Tool for Every School
More and more schools are discovering the professional development and student performance benefits that occur when teachers observe their peers. Included: The benefits of teacher-to-teacher observations -- for the entire school.

Parents On Board: Persuading Parents to Join the Team
Most administrators recognize the need to get parents involved in school activities, but often efforts to draw them into the educational equation yield disappointing results. Included: Strategies for Parent Days, parent teams, more!

"Story Bits" Strategy Works
Last summer, principal Addie Gaines read about a strategy called Story Bits. This fall, that strategy is exciting students -- and their parents -- about reading and its improving reading comprehension. Included: Ideas for implementing Story Bits at your school!

Howdy, Neighbor! Collaborating with the District Next Door
Buying in bulk may be standard operating procedure for some companies and families, but what about school districts? Two Wisconsin districts have started sharing purchasing and ideas about saving time and money, and administrators hope the idea spreads to other school systems.

Data Is Making a Difference in These Schools
Many schools are using collected data to drive change. Test scores are analyzed and used to lead curriculum improvement. Survey instruments provide feedback from students, staff, parents, and the community that lead to change too. And data can be used to group students and to assign teachers with proven skills to teach specific student groups. Those are just a few of the ways in which Education Worlds Principal Files principals are using data to lead their schools to success.

Could Four-Day Weeks Work for You?
Some school districts looking to save time and money have switched to four-day school weeks, either leaving the fifth day free or available for tutoring and parent conferences. Although some superintendents favor the concentrated class time, some say the wear and tear from a longer day has not been worth it for staff or students.

High Notes, Hayrides, and Hot Dogs: Making Open House a Hit!
With so many parents and children leading very busy lives, schools need to do more than simply open their doors during open house activities; they need to draw families inside! Through games, food, student performances, extra-credit points, and more, schools are turning open house into a must-see event. How can you make open house hip and happening to improve attendance and parent-teacher cooperation?

Fab Friday: Fun and Games That Make a Difference!
Three Fridays each year, Freeport (Maine) Middle School closes its textbooks and opens its doors to a different kind of learning. Students and teachers share exciting "Fab Friday" hobbies and activities and in the process learn to see one another in a whole new light. Education World writer Leslie Bulion talks with Freeport Middle School staff and students about why Fab Friday is more than just fun and games.

Some Schools Opt to Go Wireless
Although people often use the terms cellular and wireless interchangeably when they talk about phones, the two are different. A wireless phone system that has no monthly charges and works only on school grounds is becoming popular with certain school systems. Education World chats with school leaders in districts that have adopted wireless phone technology.

Schools Get Tough on Attendance
Cracking down on truancy is a growing concern for many administrators, as requirements increase and evidence mounts that children who are in school consistently learn more than students who are absent. Education World talked with administrators in several districts who use everything from fines to rewards to keep kids in school.

Voice of Experience: High Standards and Achievement Hallmark of Paideia Approach
Principal Les Potter looks back on his years at an inner-city school that adopted the Paideia approach to teaching and learning. In these days of high standards, accountability, and a focus on student achievement, Potter says, Paideia is an approach that warrants consideration.

High School Kids Featured on Trading Cards
High school kids in Wildwood, New Jersey, don't have to make it to the pros to make it onto a trading card! Good grades, good character, and community and school service can get their photo and statistics on a trading card -- which are given as rewards to elementary and middle school students. Young kids who earn five cards get a free lunch.

School Book Club Gets Kids and Adults Involved!
Parents at Northwood Elementary get involved in school academics by participating in a school book club that promotes fun and a love of reading. Included are tips for starting a book club in your school plus resources that describe the benefits of reading!

Parents Step Into Students' Sneakers for a Day!
Here's one school's approach to increasing parents' involvement in their students' education: send Mom and Dad back to school! Parents who spend a day walking in their children's footsteps at Central Middle School develop a new appreciation for the rigors of middle school, according to principal Tara Fair. Contrary to what some people might think, the kids are glad their parents are there!

Teacher Visits Hit Home
Many school districts have established successful teacher home visit programs. Home visitations by teachers get parents involved in their child's education -- and they let parents and children know how much teachers care. Education World writer Sherril Steele-Carlin talks with administrators about how home visit programs work.

Open House: When First Impressions Matter
Good first impressions make a difference, and the first open house of the school year gives administrators and teachers a chance to gain parents' support. It also provides an opportunity to create a personal connection with parents and establish ways for continued communication throughout the school year.

City School Overnight Safaris Promote Student Attendance
In Sacramento, California, an unusual alliance between the school district, a zoo, and the National Guard has resulted in a successful program that encourages fifth graders to come to school and behave well. The reward for their hard work is an overnight excursion to the Sacramento Zoo where they watch animals, play games, and enjoy a pancake breakfast! Could a similar program be implemented in your area?

Do You Know Your Students' 'True Colors'?
Using True Colors, teachers, coaches, and administrators can learn about their personality types as well as those of their students and colleagues. This strategy shows teachers how they can base lessons and teaching styles on students' needs, one school principal tells Education World. "We have never tried to educate everyone until recently," he says, and True Colors helps do that. True Colors can also help students understand teachers and help teachers work better with one another.

Chicago, Rochester Offer Flexible Graduation Options
Two urban school districts -- Rochester, New York, and Chicago, Illinois -- are launching programs this fall that will allow students to graduate from high school in three, four, or five years. The five-year program was introduced as a way to help students who might have trouble graduating in the traditional four years to experience success rather than failure. The program allows students who have difficulty with certain courses, such as math or science, to complete them over a year and a half or two years instead of one.

NYC Program Fast-Tracks Teachers to Needy Schools
Facing teacher shortages, especially dire shortages in its neediest schools, the NYC Board of Education is offering mid-career professionals and recent college graduates a six-week summer teacher-training program. The accelerated program placed almost 300 new teachers in NYC schools as of February.

Awards Programs for Teachers -- Giving Credit Where It Is Overdue!
Great teachers deserve great rewards, and nothing is more effective than praise and recognition in the form of a national award. Many organizations and companies around the country offer such commendations because they recognize the value of excellent educators. With a little time and effort, your multi-talented, innovative staff can be award winning as well!

Anonymity Spurs Students to Report Potential Violence
Students often know about the threat of violence in a school -- even when administrators and teachers are in the dark. Yet fear of reprisal or being labeled a snitch may keep students silent. Programs that provide anonymity to students and others reporting crime, violence, or the threat of violence can help make our schools safer places for learning. But, administrators caution, such programs are just one piece of an effort to make schools safer places. Included: Education World talks with administrators who use online violence reporting programs in their schools.

Parent- and Community-Involvement Strategies That Work
The research is clear: When parents and communities are involved in schools, education improves. From New York to California, from an individual student's notebook to community-outreach programs, here are five approaches to parental and community involvement that work! Included: Five successful programs for parent and community involvement plus links to dozens of online resources!

Playground Pass Creates Recess Success!
If you've done recess duty, you know the playground is not all fun and games! Wouldn't you love a simple, straightforward teaching tool that steers students away from trouble and into recess success? The Playground Pass does just that! Built on sound behavior principles, it's a system that classroom teachers and playground monitors can use together to help kids make positive choices during free play. Included: Links to the reproducible Playground Pass system and other free resources!

Increase Parent Involvement With First Day of School Activities
Read about how schools across the nation -- in urban, rural, and suburban areas -- are breaking down barriers with parents and their communities by making the first day of school an exciting holiday with special activities that include everyone!

Bringing Families and Schools Together-- FAST!
Since its creation 12 years ago, Families and Schools Together (FAST) has received more than two dozen awards and is recognized as one of the most effective parent-involvement programs in the country. FAST brings together families to support one another and to prevent potential problems-- school failure, violence, and substance abuse, to name just three-- before they start. Research indicates that FAST works in schools of all kinds, from urban to rural. What is FAST? This week Education World explores the program.

New American High Schools Make the Grade
Whether a comprehensive high school, a magnet school, a small pilot school, or a restructured vocational-technical school --- the Department of Education's 30 "New American High Schools" have been transformed by research-based reform strategies. This week in Education World, Bob Kemmery and Sandra Foster --administrators from two of the newest New American High Schools-- share their views about the keys to high school reform success. Included: Ten "New American High School Reform Strategies," with online resources to help educators put those reforms to work for their own students.

Boom Time for After-School Programs
What older children do after school when parents are working has been, and is, a knotty problem that government and private sources are working hard to solve. In Boston and in other communities, after-school programs provide great benefits to students and to the communities the programs serve. Included: What makes an after-school program successful?

Where Everyone Knows Your Name! -- Special Programs Target At-Risk Students
This week, Education World takes a look at some special programs that target at-risk students in grades five and up. In this overview, we examine school programs for students with problems, programs for "average" kids who've gotten lost in the shuffle, and a controversial preventative program. What makes these special programs successful? Can anything be learned from these programs that might be adapted by "mainstream" schools? Included: Additional resources for educators interested in learning about or developing programs that target at-risk students across the grades!

What Makes "Success for All" So Successful?
More than 1,100 schools nationwide have chosen the Success for All program as their key to academic achievement. What makes Success for All so popular with so many educators?

Boosting Performance in Middle Schools
How can middle school students achieve greater success? The Southern Regional Education Board offers a plan -- a plan that provides food-for-thought for all middle level educators. Included: Suggestions for developing "high expectations classrooms."

Math Education in the U.S., Germany, and Japan: What Can We Learn from This?
A recent study compared the videotaped teaching styles of 81 eighth-grade math teachers in the U.S. with those of teachers in Germany and Japan. What did educators learn from the study?

"Simple Things You Can Do to Help All Children Read Well..."
Simple Things You Can Do to Help All Children Read Well and Independently by the End of Third Grade is a new booklet from the U.S. Department of Education. The booklet provides ideas for involving community groups, local companies and universities, the media, and others in achieving your school's reading goals.

101 Ways Parents Can Help Students Achieve
101 Ways Parents Can Help Students Achieve, a booklet from the American Association of School Administrators, is a valuable tool for principals, teachers, and parents.

Kids in Houston Earn Bucks for Reading Books
A special Earning By Learning program sponsored by the Houston Automobile Dealers Association is gaining attention as a model of school-business partnership.

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