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Designing Schools That Enhance Student Learning
The average school and classroom designs havent changed in decades, but some architects maintain that a few renovations could make classrooms more student-centered and lead improvements in test scores.

Heart Health Programs Move into Schools
Heart disease used to be largely an adult concern, but childhood obesity increased the risk of heart problems among children. The American Heart Association is raising its profile on programs schools can use to help students develop good health habits.

Lack of School Nurses Impacts Students Health, Academics
At a time when schools have more students with serious medical conditions, many schools cannot expand nursing coverage or are reducing it. School nurses say educators must recognize their vital role in keeping students safe and able to learn, and make hiring nurses a priority.

Preventing MRSA in Your School
Many U.S. schools already have dealt with outbreaks of Methicillin-resisitant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a potentially-deadly skin infection that spreads rapidly. Good personal hygiene and cleanliness are the best defenses against this serious illness.

Offering Teens Shoulders to Stand On
Teenagers confronting adult-world issues probably wish there was simple advice for their grown-up questions. Retired educator William Lee Swisher has put together a short guide for adolescents that touches on finances, relationships, and responsibilities.

Safeguarding Laptops and Their Contents
Most people wouldnt leave school without locking up confidential files. Yet, they fail to lock up their laptops -- leaving the data and computers themselves vulnerable to theft. Educators and students must practice laptop security to prevent devastating data breaches.

An Insiders Look at Students Lives
As a school counselor, Barbara J. Kiernan got an inside look at the complex issues with which teens cope. Using composite characters, she wrote a book about those issues to let kids know they are not alone and to give insight to teachers about students lives.

Improving School Environments Through Green Cleaning
As research mounts about the link between indoor air quality and health, and as more children enter school with respiratory problems, schools, districts, and even whole states are switching to more environmentally-friendly cleaning agents.

Enlisting Students to Make the Internet Safer
The potential dangers to young people using the Internet become more real every day -- yet, so do the opportunities for enrichment. iSAFE Inc. aims to help students understand and navigate online hazards, and encourage them to educate their peers as well.

Its Time to Repair Americas Schools
Stories of vermin, mold, asbestos, and water in classrooms have become all too common in the U.S., according to a report from the American Federation of Teachers. Its time for the nation to commit itself to repairing its aging and deteriorating schools.

Acting Out Could Be Sign of Stress
Children today live with more uncertainty, stress, and trauma than those of a generation ago, leading many to act out in school. Teachers need to differentiate between kids who are disobedient and those who are anxious, says child trauma expert Barbara E. Oehlberg.

WatchDOGS Unleashed on Schools
WATCH D.O.G.S. is a K12 program that makes it easy for father figures to spend meaningful time in a school setting. The program is overseen by a Top Dog volunteer dad who partners with the school administrator to identify opportunities for WatchDOGS dads.

Students Make Connections With Small School
Through Connections Schools emphasis on peace issues and non-violent conflict resolution, teachers not only hope to create a safer school environment, but change agents to send into a troubled Chicago neighborhood and the larger community.

A Guidebook for Teens
Doesn't everyone at some point wish for a manual for... life? Nothing could be that comprehensive, but Sean Covey's book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens provides practical advice for navigating adolescence.

Channeling Boys' Rage
How can we help defuse angry males?

NYC Teachers Recall 9/11
Many New York City teachers on September 11, 2001, had to push aside the average person's concern for self and family and focus on the safety of the frightened children in their classes. A book of teachers' essays relates their bravery and creativity on 9/11 and in the days and weeks after.

Ending Bullying by Teaching Kids Not To Be Victims
Bullying and teasing are part of life, says psychologist Izzy Kalman, so rather than trying to stamp out bullying, educators and parents need to teach children how to deal with bullying; that is, how not to be victims.

District Buys House for Homeless Kids
Concerned that students with unstable or no homes often wound up dropping out of school, the Maplewood Richmond Heights (Missouri) School District decided to buy a house and convert it to a group home for homeless teens.

Judging, Regulating Student Online Content
Questionable content on teen online social networking sites such as MySpace and other Web sites is prompting many educators to wonder what, if anything, they can do to regulate content. Nancy Willard offers some advice to educators on this challenging issue.

Schools and Online Social Networking
Most educators working with middle and high school students are aware of the explosive involvement of youth on social networking sites. Few are prepared to deal with it. Nancy Willard discusses the risks and benefits of such sites and offers schools a comprehensive approach to addressing student Internet access.

Using Student Ears, Eyes to Stop Crime
Building on the success of its community programs, Crime Stoppers USA is encouraging schools to set up Crime Stoppers in Schools programs. These programs allow students to anonymously pass on tips to authorities about potential crimes or threats.

Improv Team Acts to Curb Violent Behavior
Imagine being able to freeze the action in a dispute, step out of the "scene," and get feedback on your next move. The Urban Improv troupe lets students do that, and helps them see the non-violent approaches to resolving conflict.

Guide Offers Practical Character Education Lessons
With more teachers and parents seeing the need for character education, the not-for-profit Heartwood Institute has released a book of lessons for teachers and counselors to teach children ethics, social, and emotional skills.

Ways to Teach Empathy Skills
Everyone has met people who are highly compassionate. But we would meet more of them if children were taught at an early age to be empathetic, according to author/teacher David A. Levine, who has created lessons and activities to teach empathy skills.

What H.S. Kids Want from Their Principals
High school students can be a tough bunch, but they also like knowing that someone cares for them. In Sent to the Principal, high school students talk about what principals can do to help them become responsible, confident adults.

A Guide to Doing the Right Thing
How often do we ask ourselves, "What is the right thing to do?" and wonder if we are forcing our sense of what is right on other people. Ethicist Bruce Weinstein offers five principles everyone can use in ethical decision-making.

Arms Open Wide for "Katrina's Kids"
Hundreds of thousands of students and thousands of teachers remain displaced after Hurricane Katrina damaged or destroyed their schools and communities. But schools across the U.S. are taking them in and helping them to feel at home.

Creating Harbors of Hope Where All Children Can Learn
Educators and consultants Linda Dier and Wayne Hulley outline a process for creating "harbors of hope:" schools where all children feel safe and know they can succeed.

Creating School-Wide Anti-Bullying Strategies
Approaches to reducing bullying often focus on the conflicts among specific children. But what school counselor Stan Davis advocates and practices is a school-wide anti-bullying approach that encourages and outlines respectful behavior as well as consistent consequences.

Striving to Make Peer Mediation More Effective
Peer mediation programs have shown themselves to be effective in reducing student conflicts, but now advocates are working to make them more successful and easier to implement.

Teaching Manners in a Manner-less World
With manners in U.S. society at what some consider an all-time low, author and psychologist Dr. Alex J. Packer has written a humorous etiquette guide for teenagers that offers real-life lessons and explains the value of manners.

Enforcing Dress Codes a Continuous Challenge
Dress codes are hard to create -- and harder to enforce -- but with enough parent and student involvement at the beginning, and consistent enforcement once they are in place, educators at three schools report that dress codes can work.

Banding Together to Stop Gun Violence
With the support of a teacher, students at Suncoast High School in Florida wrote and recorded a CD of songs urging an end to gun violence. Now the students want schools and radio stations across the U.S. to play the title track March 15 in a show of solidarity.

Forum: Lunch Reforms Needed as Kids' Health Worsens
What children are taught in class about nutritious foods and what appears in school cafeterias often are at odds, according to educators and health. An award-winning filmmaker calls on schools to dump the junk food and make lunch a teaching tool.

"Filmmaker Gives Fast-Food Warning to Kids
When filmmaker Morgan Spurlock decided to eat nothing but McDonald's for 30 days for his movie Super Size Me, his health deteriorated more than anyone expected. Now he is urging schools to help steer kids away from fast food, through more healthful lunch choices.

Uniting A School Around Improvement
A former U.S. Army officer, Samuel E. Harris set out to change the culture at Martin Luther King Jr. Junior High School when he became principal five years ago. Harris's efforts have helped transform the school.

How Understanding Poverty Can Help Low-Income Children Learn
Teachers often come from vastly different social and economic classes than their students, which can lead to culture clashes in the classroom. A new book by Dr. Ruby K. Payne helps educators understand low-income students, and discusses ways to improve their learning.

Preventing a School Hostage Crisis in the U.S.
The hostage crisis at a Beslan, Russia, school last month has raised questions about the safety of public schools in the U.S. A security consultant tells Education World why he thinks schools need tougher security measures.

Developing 9/11 Lessons That Are Informative, Sensitive
For the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, The Families of September 11, Inc., released guidelines for lessons about the attacks that are informative and sensitive to the needs of children who may have lost relatives or friends.

Author Explains Juvenile Justice System
Television court dramas may draw a lot of young viewers, but they don't educate the public about the juvenile justice system. Author and lawyer John W. Biggers hopes his Kids Law books will help adults and teens understand the juvenile system.

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.

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.

Using Satellites to Track Wandering Students
Losing a child, especially in a crowded, unfamiliar place, is every parent and teacher's nightmare -- and a real concern during fieldtrips. Now, a wristwatch-size Global Positioning System receiver can allow students to be tracked and located within minutes.

Restorative Practices Build Community, Responsibility
Although student misbehavior impacts many people at school, often only the student is involved in the discipline process. The restorative practices approach stresses correcting the harm rather than punishing the deed, and advocates including the affected parties in the process.

Students Map Neighborhoods With GIS
Geographic Information Systems (GIS), mapping and analysis software employed by the U.S. government, NASA, and other agencies, now is helping students locate and document hazards in their communities.

To Close or Not to Close: A Superintendent's Winter Worry
How deep is the snow? How fast is it falling? Have their been any accidents? What is the wind chill? That is just some of the information that administrators process on cold or snowy winter mornings as they decide whether or not to close schools. It's not always easy.

Firing Up Teacher-Student Communication
What do high school students really want from their teachers? According to the 40 students who expressed their views in Fires in the Bathroom: Advice to Teachers from High School Students, they want respect, honesty, and an understanding of them as individuals. Included: Students' tips for classroom teachers.

Sites to See: Family Fun Sites
Family Fun Sites offer parents an opportunity to explore the Internet with children in a safe environment. Many of the sites have an educational focus, giving parents an opportunity to get involved in their child's learning as they guide their online activities.

Singing for Societal Change... Again
Disrespect has become rampant in U.S. society, according to singer, songwriter, and activist Peter Yarrow of the trio Peter, Paul & Mary. Yarrow's curriculum, Don't Laugh at Me, teaches children to respect themselves and others.

Learning to Tap Away Stress, Anger
In Dr. Lynne Namka's book, Good Bye Ouchies and Grouchies, Hello Happy Feelings, Namka describes how teachers and parents can use tapping and reflection to help children release unhappy feelings.

Evaluating In-School Suspension Programs
Monitoring in-school suspension programs can make them more effective, or even unnecessary, if school climate changes occur, according to education analyst Anne Wheelock. Schools need to monitor who is suspended and by whom.

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.

Rallying Cry from a "Champion for Children"
Emmy-winning TV producer/reporter Thomas Baldrick left his job to focus on efforts benefiting children. The author of two books that focus on kids and how adults relate to them, he visits schools and presents workshops for students, teachers, and parents.

Responsive Classroom Practices in Action
Once Responsive Classroom basics are in place, students take on more freedom and responsibility, and teachers can step back a little from a traditional role. Education World looks at how Responsive Classroom practices play out in schools and classrooms.

Responsive Classroom Practices Teach the Whole Child
By intertwining social and academic learning, advocates of the Responsive Classroom system say, children become more independent learners and more considerate people. Both students and teachers benefit.

Bang Bangs Message Reverberates
Author William Mastrosimone has been overwhelmed by students response to his Showtime movie Bang Bang Youre Dead. Mastrosimone hopes schools will use the movie as part of their own anti-bullying efforts.

Learning to Head Off Violence
Applying its experience in assessing threats, the U.S. Secret Service recently helped the U.S. Department of Education develop a manual and training program for school staff and community members. The manual, designed to head off violence in schools, encourages schools to adopt a team approach to violence prevention and start with this question: Does the student pose a threat?

Reform Means More Than Just Small
Research has shown that smaller schools are more effective at meeting students' needs, but just breaking up a school into smaller parts does not necessarily change the climate, according to Indiana University researcher Thomas Gregory.

Kids in After-School Programs Make Academic Gains
After only two years of funding after-school programs, mostly for elementary and middle school students, California has seen improvement in attendance and behavior at school and in the academic skills of children in the programs. Stressing academics and enrichment, the programs provide students with homework help, structured recreation, and a chance to explore different subjects.

Schools, States Review Cell Phone Bans
More than a decade after many school systems and states prohibited students from carrying and using pagers and cellular phones in school, state lawmakers and administrators are rethinking their positions. The widespread use of the devices and parents' concerns about their children's safety are prompting new policies that allow student use under strict guidelines.

When It Comes to Volatile Kids, Pick Your Battles
Dr. Ross W. Greene, a psychologist who works with easily frustrated children and their parents and the author of The Explosive Child, recently spoke at the Maryland School Psychologists Association annual conference. Greene advises parents and teachers that identifying the causes of a child's frustration and working with the youngster to develop coping skills can lead to fewer explosions and more compliance.

Defusing Explosive Children
Children who react to transitions and frustration with by screaming, becoming defiant, or even hitting others can try the patience of both parents and teachers -- and throw a class into turmoil. According to psychologist Ross W. Greene, the key to working with such children is helping them stay in control to keep outbursts from occurring.

Autoimmune Diseases Hit Teachers Hard
Results from a recent study show that among teachers, the mortality rate from autoimmune diseases is twice that for people working in other professional occupations. Autoimmune diseases occur when the body's immune system attacks its own internal organs. The new study suggests that some people may be predisposed to such diseases and that factors in the environment or exposure to infections trigger their onset.

Civility Policies Surfacing in Schools
Hoping to create more relaxed conversations among teachers, parents, and students, school districts in Mercer Island, Washington, and Issaquah, Washington, recently adopted guidelines for civil communication. They are designed to help people make their positions known courteously.

School Resource Officers Seeing Results
A survey of almost 700 school resource officers includes sobering statistics about the high number of crimes and assaults prevented by school-based police officers. A high school principal who lived through a school shooting told Education World that such officers not only help students feel safe but also give them someone in whom to confide.

Wire Side Chat: New Web Site Enhances Successful Safety Curriculum
Meri-K Appy talks about the National Fire Protection Association's injury-prevention curriculum.

Discussions, Reassurances Mark Teachers' Responses to Attacks
As many students enter classrooms this week, their heads filled with television images of the attack on the Pentagon and the destruction of the World Trade Center, teachers are using discussions, reassurances, hands-on help, and opportunities to talk to help students cope.

Youth Frontiers: Changing the Way Young People Treat One Another!
Youth Frontiers President Joe Cavanaugh brings the virtues of kindness, courage, and respect to schools in day-long retreats in which "MTV meets Aristotle!" Education World writer Leslie Bulion speaks with Cavanaugh about his brand of character education for public schools.

Schools Are Targets for Prescription Thieves
Reports of abuse of the prescription drug Ritalin are increasing. Since schools are one of the primary distributors of the medication, administrators are taking more steps to safeguard prescriptions.


Recess: Necessity or Nicety?
The pressure for schools to improve student test scores is so intense that some are abandoning the childhood treasure of "recess" in lieu of more on-task time. Education World asked educators about recess practices at their schools and the importance of free time for kids to be kids. What might their responses tell you about the importance of recess at your school? Included: Tips for a safe and productive recess period.

Sick Schools Create Dilemma for School Districts
In the fifth and final part of the special report Sick Schools: A National Problem, Education World news editor Diane Weaver Dunne examines the dilemma sick schools create for school officials. The issues include disclosure, liability, identification, and funding remedies.

Causes and Effects of Sick Schools Vary
In the fourth part of the special report Sick Schools: A National Problem, Education World news editor Diane Weaver Dunne examines the varied causes and effects of environmental problems in our nation's schools. Research has found links between learning and environmental contaminants. Are school environments resulting in increased numbers of children with learning disabilities and ADHD? Can sick schools affect student concentration? Can school overcrowding exacerbate problems?

Schools + Landfills Might Add Up to Health Problems
In the third part of the special report Sick Schools: A National Problem, Education World news editor Diane Weaver Dunne examines health concerns raised by residents in Texas, Ohio, and Rhode Island about schools located on or near hazardous waste sites or landfills.

Environmental Injustice: Poor and Minorities Suffer Most from Sick Schools
In the second part of the special report Sick Schools: A National Problem, Education World news editor Diane Weaver Dunne examines how poor and minority school populations are exposed to more environmental hazards and therefore suffer a disproportionate amount of adverse health effects.

Environmental Problems Blamed for Making Kids Sick?
In the first part of the special report Sick Schools: A National Problem, Education World news editor Diane Weaver Dunne describes how environmental conditions in school may make students sick, yet no federal laws protect students from exposure to contaminants that pose potential health risks.

Old School Buildings: Prehistoric or Worth Preserving?
A recent report from the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) makes a case for renovating old school buildings instead of razing them. Although demolition might be the wisest choice in some instances, the NTHP offers resources for helping school boards decide whether to raze or renovate. Education World writer Ryan Francis recently spoke with members of three communities that have faced that dilemma.

Kids and Violent Play: An Education World
e-Interview With Jane Katch, Author of a Book About Children's Violent Play

In an e-interview with Education World, Jane Katch, author of Under Dead Man's Skin: Discovering the Meaning of Children's Violent Play, reflects on her students' violent fantasy play and sometimes real violence. She talks about her students' favorite games, such as suicide, and how parents and schools can work together to limit exposure to media that portray violence

Strategies to Stem School Violence
In an Education World e-interview, national school crisis expert Scott Poland discusses the multiple causes and similarities of school violence, and he offers specific strategies that may help prevent more school violence. A member of the National Emergency Assistance Team that responds to school shootings across the nation, Poland is presently on location in Santee, California, the location of one of the most recent school shootings. From there, Poland offers Education World readers his unique insight about the causes of and solutions to school violence and threats of violence.

Falling Cafeteria Table Kills Five-Year-Old Boy
Philadelphia officials and the Consumer Product Safety Commission are investigating the death of a five-year-old boy crushed by a cafeteria table. Investigation of the school district's tables reveals 500 faulty tables.

When Size Matters: Making Big Schools Feel Small
(An Education World E-interview With Paul S. George)

Educators have seen the fallout from big and anonymous schools -- kids don't flourish in those environments. Paul S. George, coauthor of Making Big Schools Feel Small: Multiage Grouping, Looping and Schools-Within-a-School, comments that schools need to do what it takes to foster long-term relationships between students and teachers.

Gay-Straight Alliances: Ground Zero for School Tolerance
No other extracurricular activity has sparked the controversy and legal challenge the formation of Gay-Straight Alliance clubs has. What upsets communities so? Why are students, their supporters, and those who oppose them willing to take this issue to court? Education World writer Leslie Bulion examines the issues with club advisers, opponents, and experts. Included: Tips for promoting tolerance in schools.

Secret Service Report Targets School Violence
School shooters don't snap. They plan. And somebody else usually knows before they attack. The Secret Service advises schools to get troubled kids help before they plot their attack and to find ways to break down the barriers that inhibit students from telling an adult about a planned attack. Included: Tips for identifying potential school shooters.

The School Shooter: One Solution Doesn't Fit All
A new FBI report shares the organization's expertise so educators can systematically evaluate student threats. In detailed guidelines, the report provides criteria to help educators determine the level of risk posed by a particular student threat, describes the risk factors in four different contexts that should signal a warning about a student, and suggests interventions. Some educators raise concerns that the guidelines could be used to unfairly profile students. Included: The FBI's list of student traits and school, family, and social dynamics that may signal warnings of potentially violent behavior.

Hazing: It's Not Just a College Problem Anymore!
In a public statement released this week, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) accepted responsibility for the alcohol-related death of freshman Scott Krueger in a 1997 fraternity hazing ritual. In a letter to Krueger's family, MIT President Charles Vest wrote, "At a very personal level, I feel that we at MIT failed you and Scott." A recent study suggests that hazing isn't just a college problem anymore. Our high schools, it appears, also fail their students. Included: Tips to help schools prevent hazing.

Information Sharing to Make Colorado Schools Safer
In 1994, an amended federal law opened the door for Colorado to enact a law this year to allow school and criminal justice officials to share information about violent and disruptive students. The new law is intended to help prevent future school violence. Will more states follow Colorado and the other states that have enacted this law?

Don't Get Even; Get Help!: Support for Victims of Bullies
Education World continues its week-long exploration of bullying with a story about students in one Canadian school who decided to do something about bullying in their school. They created www.bullying.org, a Web site designed to help victims of bullies deal with the problem in nonviolent ways -- and to help victims and others learn how to solve the problem.

Bullying Intervention Strategies That Work
"Bullying," according to noted expert Dan Olweus, "poisons the educational environment and affects the learning of every child." Learn what you can do to keep bullying behavior from poisoning your school. Included: Practical tips for changing the behavior of bullies and their victims.

Sticks and Stones and Names Can Hurt You: De-Myth-tifying the Classroom Bully!
Bullies are raised in the home, but their victims are too frequently created in the classroom. Learn how what you believe about bullies can hurt your students! Included: Ten myths about bullies, and the research that helped identify those myths!

FEMA Program Helps Schools Develop Emergency Response
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has introduced a planning process to help schools develop procedures to respond to all types of disasters, including school violence.

How Are Schools Reacting to the Crayon Scare?
Tests reveal the presence of asbestos in some brands of crayons, according to Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports this week. How should schools react to this news?

Large Schools Should Take Lessons from Small Schools
According to the National Education Goals Panel, smaller schools have fewer discipline problems, and large schools can learn a few lessons from those schools. Included: The U.S. Department of Education hosts a satellite workshop on applying for Smaller Learning Communities grants on June 8 from noon to 1:30 p.m.

NEA Calls for Modernizing Nation's Schools
A National Education Association report calls for $322 billion to modernize the nation's schools. A bipartisan bill proposes loaning $24.8 billion in interest-free bonds for states and school systems to repair and renovate deteriorating and overcrowded schools.

School Issues: Restraining Orders: How Can Schools Respond?
A 16-year-old Boston girl has a restraining order against two students who posted threats to her on the school's e-mail system. One of the offending students was expelled; the other was suspended and will soon return to school. How would your school respond to this situation?

An Education World e-Interview: Youth Violence Expert James Garbarino
This week, the nation remembers the school killing spree that a year ago left 15 dead and 21 injured at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. James Garbarino ---a national expert on youth violence and author of Lost Boys: Why Our Sons Turn Violent and How We Can Save Them -- talked with Education World earlier this week. Included: Garberinos ideas about how we can make our schools safe again.

Are Our Children Safe in School?
The shots that killed 15 people April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School were heard throughout the nation -- but the changes prompted by that tragedy were still unable to prevent another school killing. On February 29, 2000, a first-grader shot and killed a classmate in a Michigan elementary school. What have we learned from the Columbine tragedy? What do we still need to do? Are our children safe in school? Included: Experts suggestions to prevent school violence!

A Slow Healing: Jefferson County Schools Move On
Six months after the shootings at Columbine High, how is the community doing? What changes have been made? Are they moving on? This week -- America's Safe Schools Week -- Education World looks back at the tragic events and looks at how schools in Jefferson County, Colorado, are coping now.

Safe Schools: Four Web Sites Help Administrators Address a Complex Issue
What can be done to prevent violence and make schools safe? Which ideas are right for your school or district? Which are most effective? This week, Education World recognizes America's Safe Schools Week (October 17-23) with a comprehensive examination of four valuable Web sites that address the complex job of creating safe schools.

School Building Boom: BUILD Before the Schools Go BOOM!
A 1996 study clearly draws a correlation between the condition of school buildings and the student learning that goes on in those buildings. Recognizing the sorry state of many of America's schools ---along with a growing student population and the need to make room for new technology--- many cities and towns are taking long-overdue action. Experts Paul Abramson and Joe Agron share with Education World readers their observations and predictions about the current building boom in America's schools. Included: On-line resources to help educators make a case for school construction or renovation.

School Uniforms: Panacea or Band-Aid?
Does requiring students to wear uniforms directly affect school environment and student achievement, or is it the equivalent of painting the walls of a crumbling building -- merely cosmetic? What does the research say? What do students, teachers, and parents say?

Is the Teacher in the Classroom Next Door a Convicted Felon?
Discovering that felons work in school systems happens more often than one might wish. This week, Education World examines the problems that have led many communities and states to require background checks for all school personnel. Included: Practical tips from attorneys and other experts who specialize in school safety issues.

Stop Bullying Before It Starts!
Bullying is no longer seen as the norm in the school or the community at large, and prevention has become the name of the game. Included: Poor and good solutions to bullying.

Is Character Education the Answer?
As incidents of in-school violence become more common, and strict disciplinary techniques and increased security measures fail to control the problem, many parents, educators, politicians, and social leaders are looking for reliable methods of prevention. Is character education the answer?

Hard Hat Area: The Deteriorating State of School Buildings
The spending bill passed last month by Congress didn't include the monies President Clinton had asked for to address the crumbling state of America's school infrastructure. Education World examines the problem, offers resources for school administrators, and shares news of what some communities are doing to put their schools on "firm foundations."

Fighting for Better Indoor Air Quality in Schools
Is the air in your school building healthful to breathe -- or is it making people sick? If your school suffers from "sick" air, you can take action.

Can Uniforms Save Our Schools?
The New York City School Board recently voted to require students in all city elementary schools to wear school uniforms beginning in September 1999. The unanimous ruling, which is expected to affect more than a half-million students in the nation's largest school system, is the most recent development in a trend that is rapidly spreading across the country.

Schools Combat Violence
What's being done to combat violence in America's schools? What can school administrators and teachers do? Should disruptive students be expelled? These are some of the problems educators, lawmakers, and other experts are tackling today.

Programs Combat A Community Problem-Chronically Truant Students
What is the connecting link between restricted driving privileges, enforced community service, and reduced welfare payments? These strategies are components of truancy-prevention programs in effect throughout the United States.

School Bus Discipline: Solving the Problem
Is school bus discipline a problem in your school? Two school bus discipline policies available on the Web might serve as effective models.

Bully-Proof Your School
Recognized as more than just a problem between kids, schools are called upon to put forth a team effort to end bullies' longtime reign of terror.