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From sewing to superheroes: transforming therapy in the classroom

Posted by Guest Author on Apr 18, 2018 6:13:51 PM

As an occupational therapist in the school setting, it can be a challenge to find meaningful and purposeful activities to develop the skills necessary that support appropriate and successful engagement in the academic domain. As therapists, we tend to focus on deficits that involve fine motor and visual perceptual skills such as handwriting. We address handwriting during a treatment, but finding ways to facilitate growth in these skill areas supports further development through other additional sensory systems and kinesthesia.

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Supporting teachers is KEY to teacher retention

Posted by Guest Author on Mar 14, 2018 2:10:10 PM

In many cases, teachers are hired and put in a classroom (sometimes just days or hours before the first day of school!) and are expected to make the magic happen. If s/he can’t, it is assumed that the teacher has some major deficit.  Most times, this assumption is incorrect and reflects unrealistic expectations of what a degree in education or certification actually prepares one for.

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Topics: Talent, Culture, Shared Leadership, Hiring, Communication, teachers

School Culture: Getting to the Heart of the Matter

Posted by Guest Author on Mar 14, 2018 12:27:05 PM

As a school leader, you know you need to be thinking about school culture. But what is it? It’s easier described than defined. What everyone can describe is how critical school culture is to a school’s success. All too often, the magnitude of school culture is taken for granted and schools suffer. The term school culture generally refers to the beliefs, perceptions, relationships, attitudes, and written and unwritten rules that shape and influence every aspect of how a school functions.

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Topics: Culture, Shared Leadership, Organizational Management

How to Make School Dismissal Safe for Students

Posted by Guest Author on Feb 12, 2018 4:18:52 PM

School safety is one of the top factors parents consider when deciding where to enroll their child for school. School safety covers many facets in every day school life from bullying and harassment to parents arguing in the parent pick-up line on who was there first to parents not being notified of their child’s whereabouts.

Your school may already consider itself safe, but school safety is not a destination you arrive at. School safety is an active, proactive process of reducing the risks inside and outside your school, including the drop off in the morning and the pick-up after school.

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Topics: School Dismissal, Safety

Identify and Focus on Essential Learning Outcomes

Posted by Guest Author on Nov 14, 2017 11:34:40 AM

At the beginning of the 2015-16 school year, preschool students in the Corinth-Alcorn-Prentiss Learning Collaborative were tested using the Star Early Literacy assessment as part of a state-wide assessment process.  Only 20.1% of these children scored at or above a standard score of 498, the level associated with readiness for Kindergarten entry.  By the end of the year, more than 85% of the students showed the literacy skills for K readiness. 

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Topics: Student Learning, Assessment, Accountability, learning outcomes

Teacher evaluation: preparing the team for a successful school year

Posted by Guest Author on Nov 7, 2017 3:45:12 PM

Evaluating teachers is one of the most important jobs as a school leader, but often it can feel scary, overwhelming and time-consuming for everyone involved. A couple of years into doing observations and evaluations, I began to see this process differently: to ensure a successful school year, I had to make sure my team was ready.  How better to do that than evaluations? 

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Topics: Teacher Evaluation, Leadership, Assessment, Accountability

The 3rd Grade Reading Law has Been Put in Action. What Happens Next?

Posted by Guest Author on Oct 17, 2017 3:49:49 PM

The 3rd Grade Reading Law is a hot topic in our state right now and will continue to remain in forefront of educators’ work as we near 2020, when third-grade students need to be proficient in reading on the state test in order to advance.  

While that may seem like a long time away, it is imperative that all parents, teachers, school leaders, board members, and school management companies are well informed and know exactly what to do – TODAY!

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Topics: Charter School, 3rd grade reading

Students Find Success on Manufacturing Day

Posted by Guest Author on Sep 12, 2017 3:55:25 PM

Friday, October 6, 2017, is a very special day in Michigan – Manufacturing Day. Thousands of students and hundreds of manufacturers across the state and the nation will come together to explore 21st century career opportunities. Middle and high school students will attend site visits, career presentations, participate in hands-on activities, and receive prizes as part of the day’s events. More than 2,000 manufacturing facilities, schools (225,000 students) and professional societies participated last year. Some 215 events were held in Michigan.

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Topics: Student Learning

A is for Apple, but how do they get from tree to table?

Posted by Guest Author on Jun 30, 2017 11:58:01 AM

“Food, Agriculture & Resources in Motion” or FARM Science Lab is hitting the road, beginning its mission to take agricultural education to elementary schools statewide in Michigan!

Extracting DNA from wheat germ, using the scientific method to explore if petroleum or soybean based crayons produce the brightest color, and using the five senses to investigate how apples get from tree to table. These are just a few of the exciting new lessons students can engage in via a 40-foot mobile classroom equipped with the latest teaching technologies and tooled with STEM-based lessons to increase agricultural awareness.

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Topics: Curriculum

How Schools can Prevent & Reverse Summer Reading Slide

Posted by Guest Author on Jun 12, 2017 11:01:38 AM

There’s no time like the present to focus on literacy, especially as school is letting out and giving way to summer, a season of sun and fun, but also a time when many students take a break from school work and let their literacy skills lapse until school starts back up again.

Literacy is a critical component when predicting the future success of students. According to research, the implementation of a reading slide prevention program can drastically reduce intervention costs resulting from summer learning loss.

Studies show that the end of third grade and beginning of fourth grade is a crucial time in a scholastic career. Children who are not proficient at reading by this point are four times as likely to drop out of school than their better-read peers.

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Topics: Literacy, Summer Loss

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