Scheduling the COVID-19 School Year

Five days a week, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. That traditional school day—so coveted now for its normalcy and essential contribution to how our families, communities, and economy function—probably won’t make a full comeback this fall. Some school communities will forge ahead with a return to the typical school calendar, but that carries large risks. If there’s an outbreak of the coronavirus, they’ll have to shut down abruptly. But in many school districts, the sheer Read More

3 coronavirus challenges for curriculum directors this fall

Robert Dillon knows any plan to bring back 2,700 students this fall can’t be boilerplate. That’s why the director of innovative learning for The School District of University City in Missouri instead envisions a scenario that dips, dives, moves forward and back — all throughout the year. To him, the best solution is one that’s flexible, so if students have to learn from home again for a period of time, their learning needs are still met. “We’re trying Read More

5 Radical Schooling Ideas For An Uncertain Fall, And Beyond

There is no one answer for what the coming school year will look like, but it won’t resemble the fall of 2019. Wherever classrooms are open, there will likely be some form of social distancing and other hygiene measures in place that challenge traditional teaching and learning. Future outbreaks will make for unpredictable waves of closures. Virtual learning will continue. And all this will happen amid a historic funding crunch. American education has long been full of innovators Read More

Senate Asks for Estimate on Costs to Reopen Schools Safely

SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER, A Tennessee Republican and the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Wednesday requested cost estimates from states for how much additional federal assistance they need to reopen schools this fall. “It would be helpful to me and I think other senators if you could provide some specifics to the committee about exactly what it would take in terms of financial support to open the schools safely,” Alexander said. Read More

How Making A Podcast Enriched Students’ Lives

English teacher Tim Wasem says he’s still getting his head around it. “I have students coming in this semester … who are asking, like, ‘When are we gonna do the podcast challenge? When’s that gonna happen?’ “ That’s because a year ago, an unlikely team of 11th-graders at Elizabethton High School in east Tennessee won NPR’s first-ever Student Podcast Challenge. Their 11-minute entry told the story of how the nearby town of Erwin is trying Read More

San Diego Schools Sue Juul Labs Over Youth Vaping Epidemic

San Diego’s public school schools have filed suit against Juul Labs, Inc., the largest U.S. producer of e-cigarettes, accusing the company of deliberately marketing its vaping products to young people, effectively rolling back years of progress made by anti-smoking campaigns. A 40-page complaint filed in San Diego Superior Court on behalf of the San Diego Unified School District on Tuesday alleges that Juul’s product “disrupts the learning environment,” causing an increase in student absences due Read More

America’s parents want paid family leave and affordable child care. Why can’t they get it?

CENTENNIAL, Colo. – The dilemma at dinner concerns a little less than $25 and how much it’s worth to this family of four. Whitney and Tim Phinney couldn’t have imagined how much time they would spend scrutinizing amounts like these, weighing options that never seem ideal. But then they had children in America. Tim, a stay-at-home dad in suburban Denver, is struggling. He would prefer to return to his career, but the family can’t afford full-time child care Read More

Creatures Of Habit: How Habits Shape Who We Are — And Who We Become

At the beginning of the year, many of us make resolutions for the months to come. We vow to work out more, procrastinate less, or save more money. Though some people stick with these aspirations, many of us fall short. How do we actually develop good habits and maintain them? What about breaking bad ones? Wendy Wood, a psychology professor at the University of Southern California, has some insight on this. She’s been trying to Read More

Seattle Students Without Measles Vaccine Prohibited From School

STUDENTS IN SEATTLE Public Schools will not be allowed to return to the classroom until they provide proof that they have been vaccinated against measles. In a notice to families, the district said that students must be vaccinated by Jan. 8 or they cannot attend classes. Proof of immunization must be provided to the school nurse, and families of students not up to date with their vaccines will receive notices. Free immunization clinics for students will be Read More

Senate Reaches Bipartisan Agreement to Fund HBCUs

SENATE REPUBLICANS AND Democrats reached an agreement to permanently fund historically black colleges and universities and other minority serving institutions after a months-long standoff during which federal funding for the schools expired. “While this funding should never have lapsed in the first place, I’m glad that we were able to reach a deal that provides minority-serving institutions with the certainty of funding they deserve – and I truly appreciate the work done on both sides of the aisle Read More