The Weekly Connect 6/12/17

Here’s the new edition of The Weekly Connect. Check it out and sign up to have it delivered to your inbox!

These are some of the things we’ve been reading about:

Teachers’ who reported higher levels of stress had students with higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

A report looks at how schools can use the arts to meet the requirements of ESSA – the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Text “food” or “comida” to 877-877 to find healthy, summertime meals programs for hungry kids.

To read more, click on the following links.


The Future of Children: Social and Emotional Learning
The Wallace Foundation: This special issue of the journal The Future of Children examines the development of social and emotional learning in school and after-school settings, finding that these skills are essential for children and that teachers and out-of-school staff need professional development to help children acquire them. The issue also covers major policy issues in education like teacher preparation, school discipline, and school-based assessment for intervention and accountability purposes. 

Community Schools Are an Effective School Improvement Strategy, Brief Says
Ed Week Rules for Engagement Blog: Done well, community schools can be an effective school improvement strategy, a new research brief released by the Learning Policy Institute and the National Education Policy Center says. A survey of existing data suggests community schools could meet the standard of an “evidence-based” school improvement intervention under the Every Student Succeeds Act, the brief adds.

How Teachers’ Stress Affects Students: A Research Roundup
Education Week Teacher Blog: New research is helping to clarify how teachers become chronically stressed, and how it can affect their students’ well-being and achievement. In one 2016 study, University of British Columbia researchers found teachers who reported higher levels of burnout had students with higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol each morning. Further, in one forthcoming study, researchers from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands found that teachers who showed higher levels of stress at the beginning of the year displayed fewer effective teaching strategies over the rest of the school year than did the teachers with lower initial stress levels. 

Using Music and Rhythm to Help Kids with Grammar and Language
NPR Shots Blog: Reyna Gordon is director of the Music Cognition Lab in the Department of Otolaryngology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Gordon has previously published research showing a correlation in children between good rhythm skills and a good grasp of grammar. In her lab, Gordon studies children with and without language impairment. Some of the kids might already be seeing speech therapists. Gordon wants to see if, in addition, music and rhythm training can help them.

Overweight Kids Pay a Heavy Social Price
Health Day: Examining friendship dynamics among more than 500 preteens, California researchers found that those who were overweight or obese were 1.7 times more likely to be disliked by their peers. Not surprisingly, the reverse was also true. Overweight or obese preteens were 1.2 times more likely to dislike their peers, the study, published in the journal PLOS One, revealed.


Trump and DeVos Announce New Hires at Education Department
Ed Week Politics K-12 Blog: President Donald Trump has tapped Peter Oppenheim, a top aide to Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., to serve as the assistant secretary for congressional affairs at the U.S. Department of Education. Oppenheim’s nomination will need Senate sign-off. At the same time, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has announced two new hires for positions that don’t require Senate approval: Kimberly Richey, as a deputy assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services, and Adam Kissel, as deputy assistant secretary for higher education programs. 

ESSA: Mapping Opportunities for the Arts
Education Commission of the States: This special report highlights the ways that states and districts can engage the arts in the ongoing work of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Designed to continue growing as ESSA implementation proceeds, this report currently contains chapters exploring the opportunities for arts education within the following topics: Accountability, Assessments, Stakeholder Engagement, State Plans, Tiers of Evidence, Title I and a Well-Rounded Education. See related articles: Education Week “State ESSA Plans Differ on What Makes an ‘Ineffective’ or ‘Inexperienced’ Teacher” and “States’ Special Education Work Offers a Jump on ESSA’s Demands.”

Around the Nation

K-12 Spending: Where the Money Goes
Ed Week Marketplace K-12 Blog: Total spending in the United States’ K-12 system stands at $634 billion, or $11,222 per student for the 2013-14 year, the most recent year where data is available, according to the Condition of Education 2017 report. Salaries and benefits make up a combined 80% of school spending. The remainder is being spent on purchased services, at 11%, a category that includes everything from professional development for teachers to contracts for transportation, food, and janitorial services. The buying of supplies, which covers everything from textbooks to heating oil, consumes 8% of district budgets.

Several States Moving to Expand Age Kids Must Be in School
Education Week: A dozen states are trying to keep children in school longer using methods that range from making kindergarten mandatory to raising the legal drop-out age. But it’s not an easy sell. In the past decade, elected officials who are both Republicans and Democrats have pushed for changes that would stretch the compulsory school attendance age, in some states requiring children to be in the classroom for as many as 13 years, from age 5 to 18. This year alone, at least six bills were proposed in Mississippi to expand the years that children must be in school. All of them have failed.

More Testing Is Forecast for Nation’s ELL Students
Education Next: At a time when Congress wants to scale back K-12 testing requirements, the Every Student Succeeds Act could do just the opposite for one group of students—those who don’t yet communicate fluently in English. To ensure consistent monitoring of English-language learners, federal education law now requires annual English-language-proficiency assessments. States must also standardize criteria for identifying English-learners and for reclassifying them when they no longer need support services. 

Yes, You Can Text This Number to Find Free Summer Meals for Hungry Kids
Ed Week Rules for Engagement Blog: A quick text message can help families locate nearby federally supported summer meals sites, which are designed to meet the nutritional needs of children who rely on school lunches and breakfasts during the school year. Text “food” or “comida” to 877-877 and you will receive a prompt to reply with your address or zip code. The service then pulls active summer-meal sites from a U.S. Department of Agriculture database and sends you a list of nearby locations.

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Author: City Connects

City Connects is an innovative school-based system that revitalizes student support in schools. City Connects collaborates with teachers to identify the strengths and needs of every child. We then create a uniquely tailored set of intervention, prevention, and enrichment services located in the community designed to help each student learn and thrive.

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