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U.S. Schools Brace For An Influx Of Students From Puerto Rico

NPR – Ariana Figueroa

“Nearly a week after Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico, students who can’t return to school may need to continue their education on the mainland. Some of the largest school districts in Florida, plus major cities like New York City and Chicago, are preparing for the possibility of an influx of students from the island. In South Florida, Miami-Dade County public schools are already working to accommodate students who need to transfer from Puerto Rico.”(more)

Want to Fix Schools? Go to the Principal’s Office

The New York Times – David Leonhardt

“Gregory Jones, the principal of Kenwood high school, has learned that when spring finally arrives in Chicago, trouble often arrives with it. He saw it happen again on a warm afternoon last May, when students were lingering outside the school, on the city’s South Side, and a fight broke out. Jones, a trim 46-year-old with a calming presence, went to investigate. He passed a junior named Maya Space and asked her. She said she hadn’t been there. He sensed she was lying, and a cellphone video would confirm she had been in the scrum.”(more)

10 meal, play tips for healthier, happier kids

The Chicago Sun Times – Jordan Owen

“Now that it’s March, you’re (hopefully) doing well on your own healthy New Year’s resolutions, but now it’s time also to focus on someone else’s health — your children’s. Child obesity is a growing issue across the country, but Chicago children have even higher overweight and obesity prevalence rates than other U.S. children in the same ages groups, according to the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children. About 70 percent of Chicago students do not eat the recommended fruit and vegetable servings per day. Dr. Jennifer Shu, the co-author of “Food Fights: Winning the Nutritional Challenges of Parenthood Armed with Insight, Humor, and a Bottle of Ketchup,” and Dr. Rebecca Unger, an attending physician at Northwestern Children’s Practice who has also worked at Lurie Children’s Hospital’s Wellness and Weight Management program, offer some of their best tips for happier and healthier children.”(more)

Arne Duncan Says STEM Programs Could Be Game-Changer For Chicago

CBS Chicago – Staff Writer

“One way to stem Chicago street violence might be more STEM programs in the city’s schools. Former U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan dropped in at a South Side high school Friday to give one STEM program a boost. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. CBS 2 Political Reporter Derrick Blakley has more. Chicago Vocational students like freshman Makiya Wright once viewed science and math like castor oil.”(more)

Necessity, Not Nicety: What We’ve Learned About District-Charter Alliances

Education Next – Robin J. Lake

“In some of the cities known as ground zero for noisy fights about charter schools, quiet partnerships are underway between district and charter leaders. In New York City and Newark, district educators are meeting with their charter school counterparts to share successful teaching strategies. In Chicago, charter and district leaders have worked out ways to use the same performance standards and to share facilities. In Philadelphia, charter schools are actively engaged with the district to turn around low-performing schools in specific neighborhoods. To help the financially strapped district manage debilitating legacy costs, Philadelphia charter schools assume the debt burden of the buildings they occupy and are lobbying the state for a more rational district funding model.”(more)

Foreign language in elementary school: more talk, less grammar

The Chicago Tribune Kimberly Fornek

“In language classes in area elementary schools, students spend less time memorizing vocabulary lists and conjugating verbs and more time speaking and writing the language. “We may be learning fewer vocabulary words, but the words students learn they will remember and use on a daily basis,” said Kyle Schumacher, superintendent of La Grange Elementary District 102..”(more)