Keansburg School District

Weekly Roundup - December 23, 2015

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5 Ways To Support Students With Sensory Processing Disorders

by Rebecca Dean

Sensory processing disorder is characterized by difficulties in accurately processing a range of sensory information, such as touch, sound, and smell. It can be tricky for parents and teachers to manage due to the two opposite ways it can manifest — hypersensitivity and hyposensitivity.

In over a decade working in pediatrics, I’ve seen how teachers with a better understanding of these children’s needs can have an amazing impact on the quality of a classroom. Therefore, it’s important to identify which of these classifications your student falls under before you think about how to offer support.

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ESSA and Other Fed Ed Policy Updates

Body The U.S. Department of Education is seeking public advice and feedback on issues that will be the subject of regulations to help implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which President Obama signed into law on December 10. In a notice that will be published tomorrow, state and local education administrators, educators, members of local boards of education, and parents are encouraged to submit their input and recommendations. The Department also recently issued initial guidance (PDF) to help schools and districts begin transitioning to the new ESSA policies and programs—No Child Left Behind waivers will end August 1, 2016, and ESSA is to be fully implemented by the 2017–18 school year. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chair of the Senate education committee, has planned at least three hearings in 2016 to provide oversight on the regulations process, indicating that Congress will maintain a watchful eye on how the Department proceeds. Written comments are due on January 21, 2016. Stay tuned for additional ESSA information and resources from the ASCD government relations team.

Educators are invited to learn about ESSA, the changes it will require of state and local policies, and the range of opportunities educators will have to influence state and local policy in the year ahead at ASCD’s 2016 Leadership Institute for Legislative Advocacy (LILA). LILA will be held January 24–26, 2016, in Washington, D.C., and access to ASCD’s discounted hotel rate is only available through Tuesday, December 29. See the conference agenda and hotel and travel information, and register for LILA 2016 today!

In other news, key education and children’s programs are set to receive funding boosts thanks to the recently signed spending bill that funds federal programs for FY16. Because programmatic changes resulting from the recent passage of ESSA won’t kick in until the 2017–18 school year, most programs will continue to exist and will receive the same level of funding as in FY15. The bill provides modest increases for

  • Title I funding for disadvantaged students (a $500 million increase, totaling $14.9 billion).
  • Head Start (a $570 million increase, totaling $9.2 billion).
  • IDEA (a $415 million increase, totaling $11.9 billion).

Many college students will soon feel a sense of relief as a two-year extension of the Federal Perkins Loan Program heads to President Obama’s desk. The Perkins program expired earlier this year, jeopardizing college financial aid for low-income students, and many students were concerned by talk in Congress that the program would not be extended until it was addressed in the context of the Higher Education Act reauthorization.

Aiming to increase access to technology for students and for professional development opportunities that use technology to improve teaching and student achievement, the U.S. Department of Education has released the 2016 National Education Technology Plan. The plan calls for teacher preparation programs to move beyond offering a single technology course and instead embed technology throughout their programs. It also calls for districts to shift to high-quality openly licensed educational materials as opposed to traditional text books, meet connectivity goals, and set an expectation of equitable access to technology for all students both inside and outside of school.

Lastly, ASCD’s latest issue of Policy Priorities examines charter schools, asserting that, 25 years after their inception, they can no longer be considered an experiment or pilot reform and should now be evaluated on their long-term effectiveness in improving educational opportunities and outcomes. The issue assesses the current state of charter schools, noting who is being served by these schools and how charter school students fare compared to their peers in traditional public schools. In addition, the issue explores charter school accountability and whether the schools have led to innovation and improvement in education. Read more.

PARCC and Assessment

DC PARCC Score Report Video







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