The Weekly Connect 7/10/17

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:

A study looks at the hidden financial costs of bullying.

U.S. Supreme Court cases on education.

How increasing social-emotional learning can boost graduation rates for students of color.

The Chicago Public Schools system has a new graduation requirement.

To read more, click on the following links.

Research

Transitional Kindergarten Boosts School Readiness in Math, Reading
EdSource: California students who attended transitional kindergarten were more engaged in the learning process and better prepared for math and reading when they entered kindergarten than children who did not, according to a new study by the American Institutes for Research.

Bullying’s Hidden Cost: Schools Lose Millions of Dollars When Kids Stay Home
Ed Week Rules for Engagement Blog: When bullied children stay home to avoid hurtful relationships, schools lose tens of millions of dollars each year, a new study published in School Psychology Quarterly says. And the numbers are significant: California schools alone lost $276 million in funding when students stayed home out of fear, the authors estimate. That’s because those absences can lower average daily attendance rates, which are used by many states to allocate significant amounts of school funding.

Moderate Use of Social Media ‘Builds Resilience and Wellbeing in Young People’, Report Suggests
Independent: Engagement in social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook can build up children’s resilience and have a beneficial impact on mental wellbeing, an extensive new study published by the Education Policy Institute suggests.

Can Computer Simulations Help Teachers Intervene with Suicidal Students?
Ed Week Teaching Now Blog: As youth suicide rates continue to rise, schools across the country are struggling to turn the tide and develop strong prevention strategies. For some districts, the answer to this problem comes in an unusual form: computer simulations of potential intervention strategies. With the recent upsurge in mental health awareness, the health simulation company Kognito has experienced increased demand from school districts for its suicide prevention program.

Policy

K-12 and the U.S. Supreme Court: Highlights of the 2016-17 Term
Education Week: The U.S. Supreme Court had one of its most significant terms for K-12 education in several years, even after it decided to remand to a lower court a case it had decided to hear about transgender rights in education. Here are the cases with implications for education that the court did decide.

States Move to Tighten Medicaid Enrollment, Even Without a New Health Law
NPR Shots: GOP lawmakers have proposed winding down the Medicaid expansion that added 17 million people in 31 states and the District of Columbia under the ACA, and eventually capping the program’s spending per capita. If the current bill in the Senate becomes law, 15 million fewer people would have coverage through Medicaid by 2026, the Congressional Budget Office has predicted.

Around the Nation

US Schools Rethink Meal-Debt Policies That Humiliate Kids
Associated Press: The U.S. Agriculture Department is requiring districts to adopt policies for addressing meal debts and to inform parents at the start of the academic year. Meanwhile, some states are taking matters into their own hands, with New Mexico this year becoming the first to outlaw school meal shaming and several others weighing similar laws. 

Six Ways Prioritizing Social and Emotional Learning Can Increase Graduation Rates for Students of Color, Lower Suspensions
The Hechinger Report Opinion: To bring the learning trifecta of social, emotional, and academic development to more young people—and to the adults responsible for their learning—there is much education leaders can do. In D.C. Public Schools, we are taking the following steps—steps that any system can take—to bring effective social, emotional, and academic development to more students in more schools. 

Reimagining Failure: ‘Last-Chance’ Schools are the Future of American High Schools
The Hechinger Report: Alternative schools can vary widely, and some have been criticized for warehousing difficult cases and using harsh discipline. But a subset of alternative schools has long embraced more progressive models of education. At Boston Day and Evening Academy, there are no such things as freshmen, F’s or detention. While BDEA’s approach to education may once have been a radical departure from the norm, experts say it’s gaining in popularity. According to school administrators, 65 percent of its students graduate from BDEA or get a GED, 70 percent of its graduates go on to college, and the school has one of the lowest suspension rates in Massachusetts. 

Chicago Public Schools Announces New Graduation Requirement
District Administration: Chicago Public Schools will require a new first-of-its-kind program to ensure all students leave high school with a post-graduation plan. Starting with the past year’s freshmen class, every student must have their Learn.Plan.Succeed plan approved to graduate. Chicago is the first large urban district in the country to implement the program, which many city schools have successfully implemented on their own, according to the district’s communications office.

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