The Weekly Connect 2/19/18

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:

Kindergarten policies vary widely across the country.

California grapples with chronic absenteeism.

New York State requires mental health instruction in its schools.

Utah is considering the use of telemedicine to meet children’s mental health needs.

To read more, click on the following links.

Research & Practice

The Prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences, Nationally, by State, and by Race or Ethnicity
Child Trends: A growing body of research has made it increasingly apparent that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are a critical public health issue. They can have negative, lasting effects on health and well-being in childhood or later in life. This brief uses data from the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health to describe the prevalence of one or more ACEs among children from birth through age 17. To examine prevalence differences by race/ethnicity and geography, researchers used the nine geographic divisions used by the U.S. Census Bureau. 

Study: DACA Increased Educational Attainment
Inside Higher Ed: A new working paper released by the National Bureau of Economic Research argues that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program had a “significant impact” on the educational and life decisions of undocumented immigrant youth, resulting in a 45% decrease in teen birth rates, a 15% increase in high school graduation rates, and a 20% increase in college enrollment rates. The researchers found differential effects by gender, with most of the gains in college enrollment concentrated among women. 

PD Beyond School Classrooms
District Administration: Managing and keeping track of the many hours of professional development required for a district’s non-instructional staff may be one of an administrator’s more under-appreciated responsibilities. A key challenge for districts is keeping up with changing PD requirements. For instance, staff need to know that the state of Pennsylvania decided that schools cannot withhold meals from students who hadn’t paid lunch bills. Staff can offer students a simpler meal, such as a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich but cannot embarrass them or let them go hungry.

Before-School Physical Activity Program Helps Improve Body Weight and Overall Wellness
Science Daily: Children participating in a 12-week, before-school, physical activity program experienced improvement in body weight and social/emotional wellness, compared with their classmates who did not participate. Investigators from Mass General Hospital for Children reported the results of their study of the BOKS (Build Our Kids’ Success) Program in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 

Head Injuries Hit 1 in 14 Kids, CDC Reports
Health Day: About 7 percent of children 3 to 17 years old have experienced a head injury, according to U.S. health officials. The findings are part of a report on children’s head injuries released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Implications for PreK-12 Education in Trump’s New Budget
New America: The Trump administration released its FY 2019 budget. While the budget proposal was quickly dismissed by some as “dead on arrival,” it is still an important indicator of the administration’s priorities for the upcoming year. The proposal includes a 5.6% decrease in funding to the Department of Education. If enacted, this would amount to a total funding cut of $3.8 billion compared to what was enacted in the 2017 fiscal year. The administration originally sought a far larger cut of $7.1 billion to the department, but $3.3 billion were restored in an addendum that reflects the increased spending levels reached in last week’s congressional spending deal. See related articles: Education Week “Trump’s 2019 Budget Proposal and Education: What to Watch,” “State K-12 Funding, Aid Formulas High on Legislators’ Radar,” and The Atlantic “Does Trump’s Education Budget Even Matter?

Pre-To-3: It’s Legislative Season — Time to Take Another Look at Kindergarten Policies
Education Dive: With a large proportion of the nation’s children attending some form of early-childhood program, kindergarten for them is no longer the first year of formal schooling. But in many states, kindergarten still isn’t treated like 1st through 12th grade. According to the Education Commission of the States, only 13 states and the District of Columbia require full-day kindergarten, and even then, a full day might not mean the same thing as it does for 1st grade. In 28 states, the length of kindergarten is the same as the other grades, but that doesn’t mean districts are required to offer it. This uneven national picture across is why, every year, there are likely to be legislative efforts to change funding and other policies related to kindergarten. See related articles: Education Commission of the States “How States Fund Pre-K: A Primer for Policymakers & “Initiatives From Preschool to Third Grade: A Policymaker’s Guide.” 

In a Survey, Almost Three-Quarters of Superintendents Say Schools Inadequately Funded
Ed Week District Dossier Blog: Seventy-three percent of superintendents say their school districts are inadequately funded, and about 62% say that they do not have a way to make up the shortfall if federal and state aid are cut in the upcoming school year. Forty percent said they expected state and local revenues to be cut. Those are some of the highlights from a brief released by the School Superintendents Association, which surveyed superintendents and other district leaders about district finances a decade after the start of The Great Recession.

Around the Nation

California’s Largest Districts Address Chronic Absenteeism with Focus on Why Students Miss School
Ed Source: For the first time last year, California collected and released data on chronic absenteeism in its schools as part of its new accountability system. The district of just under 38,000 students in San Joaquin County has a chronic absentee rate of 19.1% — the highest among the state’s 30 largest districts and well above the state average of 10.8%. To understand how some of California’s largest school districts are working to improve student attendance, EdSource talked with education and attendance officials and analyzed chronic absenteeism data for the 30 districts with the highest enrollment in the state. See related article: Times-Herald “Research Shows California Schools Are Narrowing Achievement Gaps.” 

New York Will Be the First State to Require Students to Learn About Mental Health in Its Schools
WCPO: When it comes to mental health, there’s still far too much miseducation and stigma around the issue—and those invisible barriers continue to create very real challenges for people when it comes to getting help. Fortunately, one state is enlightening its citizens by starting with kids. Beginning July 1, New York will become the first state to require that mental health education be taught in all its schools. 

States Eye School-Based Telemedicine to Address Mental Health Crisis
M Health Intelligence: Utah lawmakers are considering a bill to launch a two-year telemental health pilot program in the state’s public schools. The state is one of several looking to school-based telemedicine programs to address a national shortage of mental health care services for children. Experts say there are roughly 15 million children in the US who need psychiatric care, yet only 8,300 practicing child psychiatrists, many clustered in large metropolitan areas.

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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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