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A school engaging with parents

6 Ways to Engage Parents This Fall

By Jennifer Gunn August 23, 2019

A new school year is an opportune time to launch a new parent and family outreach campaign. Here are six things to keep in mind to make long-lasting connections that will last all year. Get everyone on the same page As the new year begins, formalize your staff’s outlook and plan for family engagement. “To… Read More

What Teachers Wish School Leaders Knew

By Jennifer Gunn August 15, 2019

At times, there can be a disconnect between school leadership and classroom teachers. That disconnect can sometimes feel like a chasm, widening each year, and make it difficult for teachers and leaders to connect, move the work forward, or even get along. Here are some insights from educators on what teachers wish leaders understood.  Remember… Read More

School time is precious and usually rather inflexible, but some schools are adding a little more flexibility and personalization into their learning time to the benefit of students. The concept is called “flex time” or “W.I.N. Time” which stands for “What I Need Time.”  Getting flexible about learning time Most schools are pretty locked into… Read More

New School Year Challenge: Mending a Toxic School Culture

By Jennifer Gunn August 5, 2019

Even the best schools can hit a school culture slump. Catty or complaining cliques, staffing changes, sinking morale, exhaustion — it can all lead to a toxic school culture. The new school year is the perfect time to take action — whether you’re a school leader or classroom teacher — and reinvigorate your school’s culture,… Read More

Reimagining Your School as a Community Center

By Jennifer Gunn July 11, 2019

Imagine a school that worked together with the community to serve all students and their families, including academics and beyond. Believe it or not, such schools exist and it just might be possible for your school to benefit from a community model. The Community School According to the Coalition for Community Schools, a community school… Read More

Matching Edtech with Student Learning Needs

By Jennifer Gunn July 9, 2019

When it comes to students and edtech, one size does not fit all. Buying a product for whole-school use may not be the best plan. Here’s a look at how schools can match edtech products to specific learning needs and goals and help students succeed. Every learner is unique In considering any edtech tool, it’s… Read More

Ensuring Ed Tech Doesn’t Increase Inequity

By Jennifer Gunn July 2, 2019

Technology is here to stay and its presence within education settings is rapidly expanding. This presence — or its absence — could be perpetuating inequity in our schools in not-so-obvious ways. Here’s a look at what we need to be aware of as technology expands its reach in education.  The hidden biases in ed tech… Read More

The research is clear. Community engagement can be a driving force for student success. “Parents, families, educators, and communities — there’s no better partnership to assure that all students PreK through high school — have the support and resources they need to succeed in school and in life,” says former National Education Association President Dennis… Read More

When Your School Staff’s Morale Drops

By Jennifer Gunn May 9, 2019

The spring stretch is the final push of the year where tensions can run high and patience can wear thin in schools. Students and teachers are tired, testing season is upon us, and the school year’s issues may hit their peak. Here are some leadership ideas to help boost your school’s morale when things get… Read More

The Teacher Standards and Practices Commission recently approved a fully redesigned system of preparing and licensing school and district administrators in the state of Oregon at the Commission meeting on February 7, 2019, in Salem. To learn more about this new system, we checked in with our Chair of Administrator Licensure Programs, Gerald W. Gabbard,… Read More

As educators, we have a professional and ethical responsibility to provide students with safe, equitable, and inclusive academic experiences. Traditional discipline procedures, such as zero-tolerance policies, school suspensions, and punishment-reward practices are often ineffective in correcting misbehaviors and disproportionately impact students of color. For these reasons, the paradigm is shifting from zero-tolerance policies in schools… Read More

What Matters Most in the Classroom

By Jennifer Gunn February 19, 2019

In the ever-changing landscape of education, teachers and leaders often find themselves searching for clarity in a sea of standards, curriculum resources, and competing priorities. Think about your learning community: Are both teachers and students clear about what must be learned, why students are learning it, and how they can be successful? Are students able… Read More

Creating a School Dream Team for Change

By The Room 241 Team February 13, 2019

Schools need great individual changemakers capable of identifying problems and creating bold, scalable solutions. But they also need Dream Teams — groups of talented administrators, teachers, staff, students, and community members who work together and are passionate about making things better for kids. Schools need teams who believe that school-based change is worth the effort… Read More

A farm kid from Wisconsin, for the past two decades Diana Laufenberg has taught seventh-12th grade Social Studies in several states, most recently at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, an inquiry-driven, project-based high school focused on modern learning. It’s here where I first met Laufenberg, at the yearly conference Educon, where she was swarmed… Read More

The Emotions of Learning: Q&A with Marc Brackett, PhD

By Jennifer Gunn February 6, 2019

Social-emotional and trauma-informed learning and teaching are at the forefront of education research and study today. The National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) reports that nearly 50 percent of the children in the U.S. have experienced “at least one or more types of serious childhood trauma.” Therefore, ignoring emotions in the classroom can absolutely pose… Read More