AP Expert of the Week

When Tragedy Strikes: Tips for Coping with Student Deaths

Guest post by Paula Callan

It’s the crisis response plan we as school administrators pray we never have to implement: The sudden loss of a student. But when tragedy strikes, it’s up to school administrators to provide leadership to the entire school community and implement protocols to support the immediate family, students, and staff most affected.  (more…)

Safe Schools: Are You Ready?

Guest post by Jeff Simon

Many are concerned about the growing reports of school safety incidents. According to the Educator’s School Safety Network, U.S. schools experienced 745 bomb threats in the 2015–16 academic year. And since 2013, there have been 210 school shootings, as reported by the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund. This escalation of school threats and violence is generating fear and anxiety in students, parents, and educators and wasting precious learning time.

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Using Restorative Circles to Build Accountability and Empathy

Guest post by Heberto Hinojosa, Jr.

In Texas and many other states across the country, school districts are abandoning or limiting the use of traditional exclusionary discipline practices such as detention, in-school suspension, and suspension to tackle student behavior issues that affect the learning process. Instead, many campuses are turning to restorative discipline to help teachers and administrators prevent and respond to behavior problems. (more…)

The Model Classroom: A Makerspace for Teachers

Guest post by John Carder

By now, most educators have heard the term “makerspace.” The idea of a makerspace originated outside of the school setting as a place for community members to design and create manufactured work that wouldn’t be possible to create without the space. School makerspaces give students a place to work individually and collaboratively through hands-on creative projects that encourage them to design, experiment, repurpose, and innovate.  (more…)

Thinking Outside the Box with Student Leadership

Guest post by Clint Williams 

Skyridge Middle School’s Associated Student Body (ASB) program is an active organization that makes our school a great place to be. Our student leaders organize school celebrations and spirit weeks, plan assemblies and recognition luncheons, mentor our sixth-grade students, and much more. They are the face of our school and our best ambassadors. But there is one big problem with ASB: It is so popular that we have to turn away a large number of students each year who want to become leaders, because space is limited. I realize this is a great problem to have, but it is a challenge, nonetheless. What can we do to provide students more ways to get involved and lead?  (more…)

Expanding on Student Passion: Getting Creative with Career and Technical Education

Guest post by Cameron Soester

Milford High School places great importance on non-core classes. Our career and technical education (CTE) courses and organizations have experienced tremendous success over the years. Much of this success is due to the dedicated staff members who do whatever it takes to allow students to explore their passions within the curriculum. To maintain the strength of these programs, we have devoted time and effort to renew and rejuvenate our CTE programs. (more…)

The Importance of Building Relationships Within the Community

Guest post by Cameron Soester

In my time at Milford Public Schools, I have learned that it truly takes a village to help our students succeed. Schools and communities share a common goal of creating a learning environment that develops strong students who will one day become productive citizens. Working with the community, however, can be difficult as it takes time and effort for schools to engage its residents and businesses. But taking the time to build these community relationships has been essential to the success of our students at Milford.  (more…)

Raising Wellness in Arizona

Guest post by Jeff Simon

While many of us are making resolutions for 2017 to lose weight, save money, and live life to the fullest, Payson High School students are hard at work planning our annual Student Wellness Conference, an award-winning event devoted to helping students become their best selves. (more…)

Using Formative Assessments for School Improvement

Guest post by Jessica Ainsworth

 

The use of standardized or large-scale assessments affect the decision-making of policymakers, educational leaders, teachers, and other stakeholders—as those of us at Lithia Springs High School learned when standardized testing results and other factors placed us on the state’s “at-risk” list. Lithia Springs High was considered a failing school in Georgia, and we had an enormous task before us to change that perception.  (more…)

The Power of Teacher Leaders

Guest post by Clint Williams

Administrators are asked to wear a great many hats to represent a number of roles on any given day. Perhaps most important is the role of learning leader. While that role is often seen as the person who is ultimately responsible for ensuring student learning, it is also important to remember that principals and associate principals are responsible for staff learning as well. (more…)