School of Thought

Creating Culturally Responsive Schools

Guest post by Helen Gladden

Schools that strive to be culturally responsive believe that there is no one right “set” of experiences, beliefs, and values. They know that each student’s cultural set is his or her self identity. Most importantly, they understand that students are far more likely to fully engage in the learning process when their self identity is understood, accepted, and valued. They are committed to building trust with and among their students, and they know that trust is built through respect. (more…)

Advocacy Update

Inside the Beltway

What’s going on in Washington?

Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) were joined by U.S. Secretary of Education John King for a roundtable discussion in Hartford, CT, on the importance of diversity and equity in education. The discussion focused on strategies and best practices to ensure an excellent education for all students. (more…)

Process Report Cards: Creating a Behavior-Based Reporting System

Guest post by Cameron Soester

Grading has always been a tricky issue for school leaders to master. How do you ensure it captures the full picture of a student’s progress and achievement?

Thomas Guskey suggests that a well-rounded and comprehensive grading policy has three well-defined components. They include a product grade that assesses what students know and can do at the moment the assessment is given; a process grade that measures student behaviors; and a progress grade that considers a student’s improvement over time. (more…)

Advocacy Update: Tracking ESSA

Inside the Beltway

What’s going on in Washington?

On August 5, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced the next step in President Obama’s Testing Action Plan—a competitive grant competition to help states innovate and improve the quality of assessments; enhance communications to parents, educators, and other stakeholders; and reduce redundant and ineffective testing in states and districts. Applications for the Enhanced Assessment Grants are due September 22, and ED expects to announce grantees in January 2017. (more…)

Leading Innovative Learning in Traditional Schools

Innovative learning requires the alignment of the entire organization, and that comes down to leadership. We know what that leadership looks like, and we now have standards that don’t just reflect that leadership, but demand it from every school leader, regardless of their context. The 2015 Professional Standards for Educational Leaders call for principals to approach every teacher conversation, every interaction with the central office, every analysis of data, with one question always in mind: How will this empower our students as learners? (more…)

Advocacy Update: Tracking ESSA

Inside the Beltway

What’s going on in Washington?

On August 1, thousands of organizations and individuals submitted comments for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to the U.S. Department of Education on the proposed regulations for Title I of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). NASSP coordinated with the National Association of Elementary School Principals and 57 of our state affiliates to submit joint comments on behalf of the nation’s preK–12 elementary, middle level, and high school principals. (more…)

Advocacy Update: Tracking ESSA

Inside the Beltway

What’s going on in Washington?

Yesterday was the due date for comments to be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the proposed regulations for Title I of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

NASSP coordinated with the National Association of Elementary School Principals and 58 of our state affiliates to submit joint comments on behalf of the nation’s preK–12 elementary, middle level, and high school principals. (more…)

Making the Most of Intervention Time

Guest post by Clint Williams

Every day at Skyridge Middle School ends with an hour we call FLEX. Parents and students always ask, “What is FLEX?” My answer to that question often starts with a chuckle as I think about the best way to answer it. Essentially, FLEX is flexible time built into our schedule that allows us to meet the needs of our students.

During the last seven years, the FLEX program has morphed from a completely exploratory hour to an intervention period. (more…)

Touching Gold with PBIS: Supporting Struggling Students Through Systematic Interventions

Guest post by Greg Bozarth

In 2012, Lava Ridge School District had a simple goal: for all students—even those who struggle with behavioral issues—to learn at high levels. That’s why we formed our PBIS “Touch Gold” program in 2013, and little did we know how important this framework would become for student interventions.

PBIS, or Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support system, seeks to establish a more proactive and positive school culture by using a systematic framework for student interventions. (more…)

Advocacy Update: Tracking ESSA

Inside the Beltway

What is going on in Washington?

Last Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services met to markup their FY 2017 appropriations bill. The full Appropriations Committee marked up the bill on Thursday. NASSP’s David Chodak was present for both markups and has been following appropriations closely, meeting with staff from the Committee’s membership over the past month.

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