FROM THE EDITOR - Winter 2013

We’ve reached the midpoint of a remarkable year in education. In this issue, you’ll find resources that will help you meet your challenges for the remainder of this year and well into the 2014 – 2015 school year. Reading SEEN Magazine places you within a large and diverse group of educators. Whether you’re a superintendent, a school board member, a college president, a building principal or one of our classroom teachers, we bring you proven solutions from many of the best minds in North America.

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Rigor for students with special needs

Author’s Note: A special thank you to Brad Witzel, my co-author on Rigor for Students with Special Needs, who was instrumental in the completion of this article.

Approximately three to six percent of all school-aged children and adolescents are believed to have developmental reading disabilities. In fact, almost 50 percent of children receiving special education have learning disabilities. Just because a student is labeled learning disabled or at-risk, it does not mean he or she is incapable of learning. Students with learning disabilities have average to above average intelligence. Therefore, their success in school is not a matter of inability, but a matter of finding the appropriate teaching strategies and motivation tools, all of which we can control as a teacher.

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Relevant Tags: students, student, special, rigor, learning, education, special needs, high expectations, learned helplessness, barbara blackburn

TENACITY is not the same as PERSISTENCE

Persistence is doing something again and again until it works. It sounds like “pestering” for a reason.

Tenacity is using new data to make new decisions to find new pathways to find new ways to achieve a goal when the old ways didn’t work.

Telemarketers are persistent, Nike is tenacious.

This spot-on insight from Seth Godin captures the essence of The Palmetto Academy for Learning Motorsports Charter School, located across from Myrtle Beach Speedway in South Carolina. Tenacious local visionaries, Annie Lou Spivey and Mack Sarvis discovered that many students were dropping out of schools to work on their cars — so why not create a unique school where they could work on their cars for credit? The journey began to build a school centered on student passion for motorsports in Horry County ... Two years ago PALM Charter High School opened to house 40 students from grades nine to 12. The first year enrollment has doubled in one year with an expanded curriculum and three new portable classrooms!

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Relevant Tags: students, school, education, motorsports, technology, south carolina, collision repair, myrtle beach, charter school

Your guide to High Tech and No Tech teacher professional development

I love technology. I am what geeks call an early adopter, the person who tries the newest technology before others even hear about it. But, I am also a teacher, and while the brave new world of electronic professional development is fast and fantastic, it is most definitely not a wholesale replacement for a live human being standing right in front of you just a few yards away.

There are pluses and minuses to each professional development option. Here at Youth Change Workshops we offer all the high tech choices, but we really think our teaching shines the most in person.

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Relevant Tags: online, professional, development, education, teacher, professional development, teacher professional, online courses, high tech, online course

MANAGING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT EFFORTS For a school improvement initiative to succeed, education leaders must do more than adopt a new program and train staff.

The push for college and career readiness for all students, educator evaluations tied to student growth, and the turnaround of our lowest-performing schools has resulted in a myriad of new programs and practices aimed at improving student achievement. Many of these efforts will fail to produce the desired results. This failure is not necessarily because the program or practice was inherently flawed — although there are plenty of programs with scant evidence of effectiveness — but because those charged with overseeing the improvement effort were unable to effectively manage the implementation process.

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Relevant Tags: program, implementation, school, staff, leaders, teachers, student, support, new program, school improvement, leadership team, managing implementation, student achievement, implementation school, improvement efforts

SUCCESSFUL Professional Development

If you want your professional development (PD) to be successful, make these three powerful tweaks:

  1. Know the needs of your teachers.
  2. Support the professional development.
  3. Provide assimilation time and follow-up.
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Recently, I found myself humming along to a familiar tune, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” For the life of me I could not remember the artist. So I took the time to look it up on the intent. To my surprise, Bobby McFerrin, according to Billboard 100, was a “one-hit wonder” — artists who reached number one in their first and only chart appearance. I couldn’t help but think of the parallels to professional development (PD) in education. I have spent 15 years in education and have seen on numerous occasions a one-hit wonder PD. Often times these random, isolated PD sessions have no connection to the real work teachers are faced with every day in their classrooms. 

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Relevant Tags: practice, learning, professional, teachers, time, student, focus, education, professional practice, student learning, focus areas, learning organization, genius learning, new practice


There is no doubt that the number of teachers participating in online professional development is on the rise. The same principles that make 21st century teaching and learning engaging to students is what often makes it appealing to educators. 

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Make plans to attend these conferences

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Late Developing Executive Function Perhaps it’s a gift rather than a cure in a bright child

Darrell, age eight, was given a list of “jobs” for each of his classes. The list was placed on his desk each period and was intended to help him stay on task.

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Relevant Tags: children, learning, behavior, executive function, learning style, developing executive


Have a child that just won’t sit still? Having difficulty getting that one student to stay on task? Wondering why that child has a meltdown every day? Understanding the body’s sensory system and its impact on learning and behavior may be one of the keys to promoting success for all.

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Relevant Tags: sensory, education, touch, students, sensory processing, heavy work, sensory solutions, solutions classroom

Early learners, full speed ahead:
Turn STEM into STEAM with ART

The research supporting the importance of laying a firm foundation in the first five years of life is certainly not new. As Early Childhood educators today, armed with brain research and impressive data, I think we have learned to look beyond our classroom to a bigger picture. How a child learns to think and problem solve in the earliest years not only affects the individual child but also on our country’s ability to maintain a world leadership position.

It is no longer unusual to hear a resounding advocacy for investment in early childhood education from leaders in business along with the military and scientific community. This is a tribute to tireless advocates who continue to speak out on behalf of young children.

Rick Stephens, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Boeing was recently quoted in “Ready Nation” as saying, “We need to start early — even before kindergarten — to nurture children’s natural curiosity. It’s a first step in creating the skilled workforce that allows the U.S. to complete globally.” Mr. Stephens’ comments were in reference to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education which has become, rightly so, a major component in 21st century learning in K-12.

Recent scores on the Program for International Student Assessment showed that U.S. students ranked 21st in science literacy, and 25th in math literacy pointing to a critical need to raise the performance of our students in these key areas. Our world today dictates that technology and engineering are also a prime focus area vital to preparing our children to compete in a global society.  STEM education has become a workforce issue as our country is challenged by high levels of unemployment while at the same time companies are struggling to find qualified candidates for STEM jobs.

Many agree with Mr. Stevens that we should be embracing STEM education before kindergarten and point to research that indicates that the brain is particularly receptive to learning math and logic during these preschool years. Concepts that are at the heart of STEM — curiosity, observation, experimentation and problem solving — are a natural part of a young child’s world and should be nurtured.

The argument for an emphasis on STEM in early childhood classroom has many proponents. I would agree with those that point out that this acronym needs to be just a bit more inclusive. Several groups created by educators have emerged to support a push for the addition of an “a” to STEM: adding art and design to the equation to turn STEM into STEAM. The thinking is that the best understanding of the STEM disciplines is enhanced by the spirit of creativity and innovation that has always been at the heart of our nation’s success.

During the many years that I have worked with young children, I have been privileged to observe the blossoming of creativity and problem solving that emerges during open ended art activities.  What do I mean by open ended art? Open ended art allows children to make decisions and take control of the results. It is art that is invented by the child and allows children an opportunity to explore materials and enjoy the process of creating. It differs greatly from the production of “refrigerator art”: identical art projects that have little to do with a child’s imagination and everything to do with an adult’s preconceived vision.

A national focus on learning standards has driven a rigorous intentionality into all education. It is important to understand why art is an essential ingredient in supporting intellectual growth and can be logically aligned with STEM initiatives in preparing young children for the challenges of the future.

To a child, the world is filled with endless possibilities. They learn through art what will work and what won’t. Because there is not one right answer, art presents an opportunity to be creative problem solvers or “risk takers” and meet challenges in new ways.  A majority of young children will most likely NOT grow up to be the next Picasso but being exposed to appropriate art experiences from the earliest years promotes divergent thinking skills — valuable for future scientists, mathematicians and engineers. 

Art also fosters creativity that is essential to innovation.  The future prosperity of our nation certainly depends on a workforce proficient in the latest technology and with a solid understanding of science, engineering and mathematics but what can set us apart is the ability to: 

See things in new ways

Discover how to create something new

Think unconventionally     

Combine things in new ways


The line between subject areas is blissfully blurred in the early childhood classroom. Early childhood teachers tasked with meeting assessment goals with a strong literacy component may be tempted to push experiential learning — math, science and particularly the arts — to a back seat in favor of direct literacy instruction. Language and literacy can easily be imbedded within discovery learning and experimentation, hallmarks of a quality early childhood program.  Art, science, mathematical thinking, technology and engineering all lend themselves to the development of important problem solving skills.

Innovation coupled with science, technology, engineering and math — the STEM subjects — along with art and design, are poised to transform our economy in the 21st century just as science and technology did in the last century.

We need to add art and design to the equation — to transform STEM into STEAM and encourage the “risk takers” within our early childhood classrooms. It is an American tradition that has brought us to where we are today!

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When kids Struggle How to find meaningful assistance

Teachers were puzzled at the significant changes they observed in Troy’s behavior this year as compared with last.  As a sophomore, Troy presented as an outgoing, academically on-track student, who hung with the “popular” sporty boys.  His teachers found him personable, engaging, motivated, and willing to work hard. But things looked quite different by October of his junior year.  His language arts teacher noticed that he often appeared sleepy and withdrawn, homework was missing and his friends seemed to be distancing themselves.  Even more surprising, Troy decided not to play football and was often late for both his first period class and his math class that met after lunch.  Teachers suspected drug involvement.  Troy’s mom was also worried   and she began contacting the school regularly to enlist the help of the school counselor. According to Troy’s mom, his increasingly defiant, sneaky and distant behavior bore no resemblance to the easy-going, happy, attentive and cooperative boy she had once known.

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LD & ADHD Appearance VS. Reality: Five Reflections from H.E.L.P.

Editor’s Note: The Marshall University HELP Program provides educational support, remediation, and mentoring to individuals diagnosed with a Learning Disability and/or ADHD. HELP is comprised of: Community HELP, College HELP, Medical/Law HELP and Diagnostic HELP. The HELP vision is to empower our students, kindergarten through post graduate, to realize their full potential in all endeavors. The following are observations from the staff.

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Relevant Tags: students, learning, student, education, learning disabilities, marshall university, academic success

FOSTERING PASSION & PURPOSE in your students and schools

(This is part two of a two-part series.)

In the last issue we discussed the importance of passion and purpose as students pursue their education. We identified a strategy that would help youth find their purpose, namely the idea that by helping students identify their passion, we can help them discover their purpose in life. That way these students get the double benefit of being both passionate and purposeful.

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Relevant Tags: purpose, student, education, students, school, purpose students, passion purpose, their purpose, purpose life, self discovery

Creating an Engaging school climate

National initiatives to improve student achievement are directly dependent on creating an appealing school climate. Learning environments must reflect students’ social-cultural diversity by fostering a positive orientation to both academics and social-emotional development. Any negative perception of school will eventually diminish students’ sense of security and psychological comfort to perform, especially from impoverished communities with chronically depressed test scores.

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Relevant Tags: school, students, student, education, students’, climate, learning, schools, school climate, creating engaging, student achievement, engaging school, appealing school, social emotional

Increasing SEL and Engagement, Decreasing Dropout Developmental Designs Approach Builds Healthy Adolescent School Communities

You know the old saying, “Life is like a box of chocolates?” Well, middle school can be like that. Kids come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, cultures and tastes. A middle school can be filled with cliques and clans, but there is a time each day when we all melt together and form a united community. CPR (Circle of Power and Respect advisory meeting) is a time when everyone can all blend together and leave negative perspectives behind. (Middle-level student, Minneapolis, Minnesota)

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THE ROOTS OF MY SUCCESS - P.E. IN SCHOOLS Let’s Help PHIT America Combat America’s Inactivity Pandemic

I readily admit that my resume is diversified and filled with a few football awards and an Olympic opportunity.

But nowadays my life is consumed with being a father, a successful businessman in the food industry, and setting aside time to exercise. I work out every morning and I am a true weekend warrior — an avid cyclist, runner and martial arts participant. It’s important to note that many of my accomplishments in athletics and in the business world can be traced to the transformational experiences I had in physical education classes while attending school in my hometown of Wrightsville, Ga.

As a young child I was timid, shy and overweight; but once I learned the importance and fun of physical fitness, I gained personal confidence in my ability to interact with others and achieve academic success in the classroom. Achieving joint success in the classroom and in competitive athletics requires self discipline. The benefits of playing sports are priceless. Besides keeping me fit and healthy, playing sports has also been the gateway to my success in business. It has “opened doors” for me.

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MOVE TO IMPROVE Could increased physical activity stimulate the brain and improve test scores?

(This is part one of a three-part series about activating the brain and the body through increasing physical activity in our school systems.)


We have long known that the mind and body work together for the success and achievement of the individual. However, in our schools today, there has been a decrease in physical activity with a raised expectation for higher academic performance on standardized tests. Therefore, our mind and body connections are out of balance.

What is the “cost” of this imbalance to the cognitive, social/emotional, health and well-being of today’s children? One difference is that we have a health crisis with obesity and related health, emotional, and social issues with no statistically significant increase in academic performance in the United States.

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Relevant Tags: physical, brain, education, activity, school, exercise, schools, physical activity, physical education, test scores, john ratey, our schools, increasing physical

IT IS OK TO PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD A lizard gets preschoolers to eat more fruit and vegetables

Despite what mom said, sometimes, it is OK to play with your food. In fact, a new Minnesota-developed nutrition program encourages preschoolers to explore foods and create snacks that look like mice, stoplights and silly faces, all in an effort to introduce new fruits and vegetables and develop good eating habits at a young age.

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What does the phrase “College and Career Readiness” really mean? The widely varied approaches to this definition have sparked a lively discussion. Consensus seems to be that these terms are the same. In other words, if a student has the entry level skills for college, then the student has the skills for entry level jobs. Absolutely. Where we challenge this definition is in the context of HOW those skills are taught. A typical lesson on density, for example, asks students to measure, calculate, and record the volume of various shaped objects — golf ball, toy, etc. Students then put the objects into a container of water, measure the water displacement, and calculate the volume of the displaced water.

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Relevant Tags: students, education, career, math, english, teachers, ccss, english math, common core, career technical, water displacement, career readiness, technical education


According to Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the rate of childhood peanut allergies more than tripled between 1997 and 2008.   One of the most common food allergies, peanut allergy is among the most dangerous as peanuts tend to cause particularly severe reactions (anaphylaxis).  Unlike egg and cow’s milk allergies, which most children outgrow, peanut allergies tend to be life-long.  

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The skills gap that industries in our country are facing shows no sign of slowing. Businesses, clamoring for fresh talent to replace their aging workforce, are looking to education systems to provide the replacements. Educators face new and changing standards for the education they provide while simultaneously facing budget cuts. Students, desiring a prosperous future, are often unsure where the best opportunities for further education and career lie.

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Relevant Tags: CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION, CTE, College and Career Readiness


Current research by top thought leaders focused on achievement within K-12 education have identified several consistent drivers for generating academic progress across all grade and subject levels. The overwhelmingly consistent and positive research on direct instruction will serve as the basis for the framework or strategy described herein. 

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Relevant Tags: data, student, instruction, assessment, learning, assessments, strategy, cloud, data driven, driven instruction, student outcomes, interim assessments, data teams, mastery learning, common interim

Keyboarding What it really is and why it STILL has to be taught

Just before releasing this article, I came across a really useful study conducted on the evolution of keyboarding instruction in Wisconsin from 1993 to 2009. It’s an informing report that is referenced at the end of this article for further reading.

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Relevant Tags: keyboarding, skill, keyboard, communication, education, students, words minute, keyboarding skill, keyboard communication, communication skill, keyboarding instruction, net words

The future of eBooks in the classroom New technology will increase engagement measurability and allow you to reach students where they are

The classroom looks very different today than it did 10 years go. Many teachers are using virtual whiteboards and video lectures in place of chalkboards and overhead projectors. Lesson plans can be detailed and fleshed out digitally, with assignments and tests being administered and submitted online. Students have the ability to take notes on iPads and read eBooks on Kindles.

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Relevant Tags: students, reading, ebooks, education, ebook, learning, digital, classroom, future ebooks, learning environment, ebooks classroom, ebook usage, library school, digital library

Starting earlier to build student interest in STEM

Economists tell us that eight out of 10 jobs in the coming decades will require a background in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM), as those occupations grow at almost twice the rate of jobs in non-STEM fields. Not every STEM job requires an advanced degree, or even a four-year degree, but they are likely to require some level of post-secondary technical training — programs for which too many graduating seniors are unequipped.

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Relevant Tags: stem, students, science, education, math, teachers, science math, stem careers, stem education, science technology, ride science, sally ride

Early learners, full speed ahead: Turn STEM into STEAM with Art

My father-in-law recently passed away. He was an accountant for a large corporation and for most of the years I knew him, I was a preschool or kindergarten teacher. When I would share with him the discoveries my young students were making each day in the art center or the worm farm in my classroom, he would always show polite interest in my chosen profession. His passion was the world of business and finance. However, a conversation that we had over 20 years ago genuinely peaked his interest. I shared with him findings from a longitudinal study of the Perry Preschool Project that showed every one dollar invested in quality early childhood education saved seven dollars later on. He became a supporter of quality early childhood education because it made financial sense. Fast forward to the State of the Union Address this year and the President cited the same study. I wished Fred had still been alive to hear it.

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Relevant Tags: education, stem, art, childhood, science, early childhood, stem education, early learners, young children, technology engineering, childhood education

Teach every kid like a gifted kid — but how?

One of the best months of my life was spent watching 16 year olds build boats.

I was a high school teacher, and I had these particular students — they were 10th graders — for two periods in a row, in a special integrated mathematics, science and technology program. The boat module was probably the best one we did. The students carved out different shapes of hulls and used our plastic-forming machine to build shells. We had tiny standard motors, and they put their boats in a channel — we used an eavestrough — and sent them zipping along.

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Everyone a leader

A custodian, a first grader, a cafeteria worker, an autistic boy, a potential middle school dropout, and a principal ... what do they have in common? They all became leaders this year.

Each morning the custodian greets students as they exit the bus. His aim is to lift spirits, say names and emphasize strengths. It helps students feel connected.

The first grader was disturbed by pictures of children in Africa drinking dirty water, so she led her classmates in organizing a fund raiser to build a well. Today, two villages share clean water.

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Relevant Tags: students, school, leaders, habits, staff, leader, leadership, life skills, 7 habits, business leaders, highly effective

Giving vision and focus to principals, making them TRUE LEADERS for 21st century learning

A few months ago I had a conversation that I haven’t been able to get off my mind. It happened during my company’s School Improvement Innovation Summit where we recognize some of the most successful schools in the country. The conversation was short — one of those passing in the hall types of exchanges — but it’s weighed on me more than almost anything that was said in three days of speeches and breakout sessions.

At the end of the summit I approached the principal of a Utah high school, that most consider to be a perennial powerhouse, and I asked him a question I’d been meaning to pose for a while.

“You’ve accomplished great things,” I said. “You’ve helped build one of the best schools in the state. What’s next? When are you going to become the best school in Utah?”

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Relevant Tags: vision, school, education, schools, students, needs, principals, 21st century, leader needs, giving vision, vision focus, school improvement

Animated Agency Leadership through Action Research

(This is part one of a two part series on Action Research.)

All three fourth grade teachers at West Meadows Elementary School meet together monthly to discuss their students’ improvement in literacy. Using the Pyramid of Intervention they had researched together, they track each of their children’s learning — by name and face — across a huge wooden chart with a picture of each student. If a child who has been struggling has progressed well, they move his or her picture from the “Not Yet Meeting” column to the “Progressing Well” column. If something hasn’t worked during the past month, they resort to another teacher’s experience or the Pyramid of Intervention to see if they might together, find an idea that does work. The practical result of these discussions is that teachers come away with a list of possibilities from which they might choose: the psychological result is that teachers’ discussions always deal with hope. It is difficult to give up on a child’s learning if there are still options and ideas that have not, as yet, been tried.

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Relevant Tags: teachers, research, teacher, school, work, alberta, action research, site based, based action, professional development

Managing a crisis with social media and anonymous communication

Thanks to the proliferation of handheld smart devices and social media such as Facebook and Twitter, we can all share and distribute information instantly and succinctly. The Dec. 8, 2011 shooting on the Virginia Tech campus, the recent Oct. 21, 2013 Nevada Sparks Elementary School shooting, and other recent events like last year’s Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, underscore how important it is for information to go out to the public with accurate depictions and instructions from school officials to manage a crisis effectively.

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Relevant Tags: social, media, school, information, crisis, officials, shooting, communications, education, social media, school officials, virginia tech, elementary school, media posts, school shooting, sparks elementary, media anonymous

Preventing school bus danger zone fatalities

Over the past eight years there have been 92 child fatalities in the danger zones around a school bus — an average of almost 12 each year. As we study the causes of each and every one of these accidents we learn that many factors contributed to these tragedies. The leading causes of the 92 tragedies were:

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Relevant Tags: bus, school, students, fatalities, education, school bus, crossing gates, safe practices,fatalities

Fundraising Fewer is Better

Principal Brian Burkett had heard the occasional complaints about his school’s worn-out playground — but he also knew money was tight. The current year’s budget was already stretched thin, but Burkett had a plan. Past experience told him that families in the community would support the school financially if they understood clearly the goal and knew they wouldn’t be nickeled-and-dimed again and again throughout the year.

Following a two week fund raiser, in which students sold consumer items from a brochure to their families and moms and dads drummed up support from neighbors and co-workers, about $25,000 was raised to help fund a new playground. “We do just one product fund raiser a year, and this sale alone averages $25,000 of profit in just two weeks,” Burkett said. “That’s half our fund-raising earnings for the year.”

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The case for appropriate corporate support of public education

School administrators, parents and policymakers are looking for alternative solutions to increase vital funding to critical school programs. The current deep financial need follows years of unprecedented budget cuts — 34 states appropriated less funding per student in 2013 than in 2008, when the economic downturn began. It’s a crisis that has forced many districts to ask parents to pick up more of the cost of their children’s educations.

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Relevant Tags: education, school, public, corporate, support, fees, funding, districts, public education, corporate support, financial need, additional fees, future workforce, school districts

One size does not fit all Options for a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction

A student considering a doctorate in education has many options. There are full-time, part-time, and hybrid programs being offered at many institutions. In addition to the residency requirements of a program, students researching their options quickly become aware of the diverse coursework made available to them. There is no standard program option in education and it pays to take the time to investigate the opportunities which exist because accepting the challenge to pursue a doctoral degree should truly be the start of a life-changing journey, and not just a race to earn a new credential. Because this is not a “one size fits all” situation, it is imperative that prospective students do their homework in finding the right match.

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Relevant Tags: program, education, doctoral, curriculum, instruction, time, programs, students, curriculum instruction,, doctoral degree, higher education, doctoral program


By 2015, second generation children of immigrants are expected to be 30 percent of the school-aged population.

Given current immigration trends and birth rates, as much as 93 percent of the growth of the working-age population between now and 2050 will be accounted for by immigrants (43 percent) or their U.S.-born children (50 percent) according to a population projection by the Pew Research Center.

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Relevant Tags: language, academic, content, students, math, education, vocabulary, academic language, content area, language demands, language skills, common core, earth science

Developing disciplinary literacy skills is HOT

Every year leaders in the literacy field complete a survey outlining “hot” and “cold” topics in education. After reading the recent results of the survey in “Reading Today,” I was not surprised to see that over 75 percent of survey participants believe that disciplinary literacy is a “hot” topic and that it is getting hotter.

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Relevant Tags: students, literacy, texts, education, disciplinary literacy, ela ccss, literacy skills, complex texts, reading writing

GLOBAL LEARNING provides a gateway to the world

“As the global nature of work and life in the 21st century becomes clearer by the day, calls for a greater focus on international education and language learning are growing louder. Leaders from the educations, business and national security communities are agreed: International understanding and second language proficiency are critical to individual and national interests — and our K-12 system must do more to promote them ...”
— David Young and J.B. Buxton

Why go global?

In a world where geographic borders are fading, students need to receive a well-rounded, comprehensive education that spans far beyond the confines of their classroom and memorization of the “three Rs” — they need to be critical and creative thinkers, ready to collaborate and compete in a global marketplace. Cultural understanding, language acquisition and technology application are imperative skills for students to develop as successful contributors to our workplaces and communities.

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Relevant Tags: global, education, international, learning, students, world, language, language learning, global learning, global education, 21st century, global society, international education, david young

SIFE students can be successful Inside the making of a professional development video in NYC

The premier this summer of “SIFE: MEETING THE CHALLENGE,” at the historic Tweed Courthouse headquarters of the NYC Dept. of Education brought a full conference room of administrators and teachers from the NYC Public Schools. Hosted by the Office of ELLs, the screening was introduced by the Chief Executive Officer of OELLS, Angelica Infante, and included a panel discussion by the principals from the three schools featured in the film. 

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Relevant Tags: school, sife, students, education, nyc, ells, language, schools, harbor heights, high school, office ells, sife students, supportive environment, professional development


When Tim Spinner was in college, coverage of the Columbine shootings dominated the media and a professor predicted, “Teachers will one day wear bullet proof vests.” Spinner thought the claim was far fetched. He never expected school safety to dominate community discussion like it does today.

“Parents call and email me to report what they’re seeing on social media and hearing from students,” said Spinner, now a junior high principal in Ohio. “I ask families to share anything out of the ordinary in an effort to allow school officials an opportunity to investigate. It is imperative that we stay vigilant in order to keep our students safe and secure.”

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Relevant Tags: school, pepper, spray, security, education, schools, safety, pepper spray, non lethal, security international, mace security, school safety, tim spinner, safer schools

Supplying TOMORROW’s Classroom TODAY

Located in Wood-Ridge, NJ, Academia Furniture evolved from family businesses begun over 100 years ago. Proudly, we continue those same, demanding standards – real people providing real quality, real service and real solutions.

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Relevant Tags: education, furniture, academia, classroom, academia furniture, wood ridge, classroom today, real people, real service

Vend-ucation has put together a highly effective, multi-benefit solution for a recognized school problem.

Placing the solution for healthy school vending into the hands of ambitious students has proven to provide a dramatically greater fundraising capacity than schools have ever enjoyed from outsourced vending professionals.

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PUPIL FEES California's new law, AB 1575, has educators on notice about the future of student activity fees

School districts around the country felt the pinch in terms of state funding when the Great Recession hit around 2007. To make up for some of the budget shortfall, and educational programming and school activities in place, schools began to charge pupil/student fees for participation.

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Horry County Museum is the center of your Horry County learning experience

Your visit to Horry County should include the Horry County Museum, which recently opened its new location in the Historic Burroughs School building, 805 Main Street in Conway.

The newly renovated and larger facility has allowed the museum to provide bigger exhibits, more nationally recognized traveling exhibits, and public programming in the auditorium.

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South Carolina Aquarium Your aquatic learning adventure awaits

A visit to the South Carolina Aquarium brings something unexpected and engaging around every corner. Combining the wonders of our natural world with conservation education provides students the opportunity to walk away with a newfound appreciation for wildlife and wild places.

Explore more than 60 exhibits and 6,000 animals as your journey through the aquarium takes you across the state of South Carolina — from the mountains to the sea. Our beautiful bald eagle, Liberty, greets you as you begin your trek through the Mountain Forest, where you’ll also see playful river otters. Enjoy a special education show in the Blackwater Swamp where you’ll learn all about our resident seven-foot long albino American alligator, Alabaster. Continue your experience by feeding the stingrays in the Salt Marsh Aviary and learning about our terrapin conservation efforts.

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Berkeley County Rich in heritage and fun

Berkeley County is the ideal place to learn about southern culture and history while seeking adventure in non-traditional forms. Visitors especially enjoy the gorgeous weather all 12 months of the year.

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The Outdoor Academy Promoting the natural world

It’s seven a.m. on a cool autumn morning. The first signs of red, brown and gold color the tips of the maple and oak leaves. The air has thinned to a crispness that feels both sharp and refreshing in the first draw of breath in the morning. Twenty-four students have gathered in a circle, silently waiting for their classmates to arrive. Some are fidgety and cold, exhaling loudly and rubbing their arms for warmth; some are struggling to wake, rubbing the sleep from their eyes and yawning deeply; some have already been on their morning run and are anxious to get moving, crushing leaves under their boots and checking the sky. 

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Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament Take a field trip to the 11th century

All new educational matinee now playing to engage your students in history!

Have you taken your students to visit a real castle lately? Or to see a magnificent bird of prey fly? Reveled at the amazing feats of horsemanship and pageantry? Or introduced them to the amazing musical sounds of Daniel May? If not, then it’s time to immerse your students in this REAL medieval adventure!

Celebrating 18 action-packed years in Myrtle Beach and 30 years as North American’s largest dinner and theater — it’s a step back in time to an era of glory and honor. Set within the walls of an 11th century style castle, this history lesson is presented by the king and his noble court.

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Education, conservation and hands-on learning at Jennette's Pier

Kids can catch a clearnose skate, build a solar-powered boat and feel sand between their toes while beachcombing for critters — all at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, N.C.

With its oceanfront location, sustainable design and dynamic education department, this state-owned fishing pier and education center offers unique learning opportunities for all ages.

Nearly 10,000 students from the mid-Atlantic region have visited Jennette’s Pier to learn how to fish, build a model wind turbine and collect plankton.

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Cabarrus County: Learning in the fast lane

Located in the southern piedmont of North Carolina, Cabarrus County is known as — Where Racing Lives! Though the destination was built on speed, students are encouraged to learn at their own pace.

The first documented discovery of gold in the continental U.S. happened in Cabarrus County. Reed Gold Mine is the only underground mine in North Carolina open to the public. Tour the museum of mining exhibits, walk through several hundred feet of mine tunnels and experience panning for gold. Students will learn techniques of panning and keep what they discover!

The heritage of an early American community is preserved at Bost Grist Mill in Concord. Towns grew from this mill site where corn is ground into meal and grits with the same stones and techniques used during the 1800s. Groups will learn how the crop and grist mill played an integral role in the communities it served.

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On November 23, 2005, Georgia Aquarium officially opened its doors to the public. As one of the world’s most dynamic aquariums, Georgia Aquarium features more aquatic life than any other aquarium in the United States. Through a path of more than 60 exhibits and more than 10 million gallons of water Georgia Aquarium tells a global water story, with unique features designed to inspire, entertain and educate.

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Zoo Atlanta The four part edge of the Zoo Atlanta field trip

Educators are jugglers. One ball sails high into the air while another must be supported in-hand, and the movement never stops. In a juggling act where the balls are age level, interest, momentum, performance and real-life application, a teacher’s hands are never empty. Thanks to inspired programming, grade-specific activities and the Georgia State Standard-supported curriculum, Zoo Atlanta field trips help educators keep these balls in the air from pre-K to high school and beyond.

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Henricus Historical Park 17th Century history and STEM education

Henricus Historical Park, a 17th Century living history museum, is located on the historic James River near Richmond, Virginia. It consists of the re-created Powhatan Indian Village of Arrohateck and the second successful English colonial Citie of Henricus.

Henricus provides K-12 educational programming allowing school teachers to take advantage of hands-on and interactive programs and projects that meet both State and National Standard of Learning Guidelines. Henricus is currently extending its offerings, with help from local school systems, science and math centers and environmental study groups, to target curriculum that provides STEM-enhanced education. How can a 17th century theme museum provide curriculum using Math, Science, and Technology to encourage experimentation and problem solving in a modern technological world?

Programs at Henricus Historical Park are multi-curricular, enquiry-based, and interactive, teaming math and science with a social studies and history curriculum. Our newest programs provide an historical context to modern problem-solving projects for today’s STEM curriculum.

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Behind the Scenes at Yankee Stadium

Yankee Stadium tours provide students the unique opportunity to learn about the rich history of America’s favorite pastime, while visiting the home of the 27-time World Series-champion New York Yankees. The original Yankee Stadium, built in 1923, was the Mecca for outdoor sports in the country during the 20th century. 

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What is Madame Tussauds? The ultimate celebrity experience!

There’s so much to see and do at Madame Tussauds! Get up close and personal with over 220 life-like wax figures of the biggest stars and icons in entertainment, sports and history. From Marilyn to Madonna to Gaga, there is a star for every generation. Experience the magic of our Cinema 4D theatre, delivering 3D technology with the latest in 4D special effects! Scare yourself silly with the dark side of Madame Tussauds in SCREAM, our live-actor filled experience, and celebrate New York’s greatest icons in The Spirit of New York! Located in the heart of Times Square, no visit to NYC is complete until you’ve experienced the world famous Madame Tussauds.

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Blue Man is New York

BLUE MAN GROUP is not just a show, it’s a state of mind. Having utterly redefined the New York theater scene, BLUE MAN GROUP continues to reinvent itself. The wildly popular show at the Astor Place Theatre now combines signature BLUE MAN GROUP moments with breathtakingly fun new pieces. Blue Man is New York.

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Our Goal: to reinvigorate the spirit of American education.  The Southeast Education Network, through SEEN Magazine and, presents resources, ideas and techniques to help educators become more effective while growing personally and professionally. SEEN Magazine is dedicated to educators, school administrators, and the education community.