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Showing posts from April, 2018

My Message to Parents in Prom Night

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Prom night is the night that every high school principal dreads. When I leave DiBurro’s Function Hall on Saturday night at 11PM, I will be a miserable wreck until the next morning. Each year, on prom night, I pray that I won’t get a call from a police officer letting me know that something tragic has happened to one of our students as a result of a poor decision made on prom night.

Parents, I urge you to make sure you know where your children are after they leave the prom venue. Call them. Call them again. Call the adults of the homes are staying at for the night. Call them again. Bother them all night long with calls and text messages. If you are hosting a post-prom event for your child and his or her friends, make sure you have checked in with each of the kids at your gathering to be sure that they have connected with their parents. On prom night, we are all the parents for all of the children in our community. Let’s all have a safe prom night.
On Saturday, May 12th, Sanborn Regional …

The Daily Teacher Struggle When Faced With Declining Wages

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It is starting to become the norm for teachers to seek out other forms of income to make up lost ground from low teacher salaries that plague many schools from coast to coast. In this Multibriefs Exclusive from 2016, I highlighted the struggle that many of today’s teachers face and what they are doing to try to make up for lost income in other ways. I also explored the solutions that some communities are implementing in an effort to address the teacher pay dilemma. In this Multibriefs Exclusive just over a year ago, I wrote about the real costs of being a teacher, detailing how teachers try to stretch their supply budgets for their classrooms and avoid the inevitable fate that they will need to spend their own money to purchase the classroom supplies that their students need. This struggle is real, and a year later, there seems to be no end in site in the downward trend of teacher salaries across the country and their lasting impact on our profession.
According to this report by the …

Eliminating Grade Levels

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In a recent EdSurge article, writer Felice Hybert introduces the notion of eliminating grade levels in an effort to better connect classes to careers. Hybert highlighted work in the Kankakee Public Schools in Illinois where elementary students are introduced to a number of career pathways in an effort to start conversations and explorations around career possibilities. By high school, students are engaged in a college and career academy that is project-based. Efforts are now underway to transform these high schools into competency-based models.
In New Hampshire, a movement called NG2: No Grades, No Grades - Personalized Inclusive Education Pathways Through Multiage Competency-Based Education has been paving the way for many New Hampshire schools at the elementary level to develop move when ready systems and eliminate grade levels. The focus of NG2 work is on co-teaching, project-based learning, and equity. The common denominator in the work happening in both Illinois and New Hampshir…

Finding Your Path Toward Competency-Based Learning

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Imagine trying to go somewhere for the first time without having access to a map. Worse yet, imagine being the great explorers Lewis and Clark who crossed the western part of our country for the first time in 1804 with no map, no roads, and little knowledge of what it was going to take to get to their destination. In education like in many fields, early adopters often feel like trail-blazers too; using research, trends, and sometimes their guts to forge new ways of thinking and doing. If you are a school leader looking to move your school to competency-based learning today, you may feel a daunting sense of helplessness as you embark on your journey. The good news is that many have come before you and have contributed to the maps that you can use to guide your own journey.
Nearly a decade ago, I, along with other educational leaders, felt like Lewis and Clark as we each embarked on journeys to transform our schools with systems that would later come to be known as competency-based learn…