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As districts across the country try to drive down absenteeism, New York City leads the way

Chalk Beat – Alex Zimmerman

“In recent years, New York City’s education department has been paying more attention to chronic absenteeism, which is linked to lower test scores, higher dropout rates, and even a greater risk of entering the criminal justice system. Beyond being a serious risk factor for students, officials see chronic absenteeism as a barometer of a school’s ability to create a safe, stimulating space that entices students to attend. New York City isn’t alone: Roughly three-quarters of states — including New York — plan to include the measure as one of the ways they evaluate schools under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.”(more)

Afterschool Program Environments Linked to Academic Confidence and Skills

NYU – Staff Writer

“Young people growing up in urban, low-income communities spend significant time in publicly funded afterschool programs. Unlike schools, which grow increasingly segregated and involve more individual instruction as children grow older, afterschool programs are spaces where instructors, often similar to the students in age and background, can facilitate diverse, productive interactions that help youth reach social and academic goals. “Because of their unique position at the juncture of school, neighborhood, and home, afterschool programs may be particularly important for youth on a path toward school disengagement or risky behaviors,” said study author Elise Cappella, associate professor of applied psychology at NYU Steinhardt and director of NYU’s Institute of Human Development and Social Change.”(more)

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)

A teacher’s tips on how to get kids excited about STEM

Buffalo News – Joseph Popiolkowski

“Emerging diseases, energy sustainability and severe weather are just some of the global issues today’s students will be asked to solve using the skills they learn in the classroom, according to one local teacher. Kenneth L. Huff, a middle school science teacher in the Williamsville Central School District, was one of 10 teachers nationwide chosen to help promote the science, technology, engineering and mathematics curriculum as a 2017 STEM Teacher Ambassador. The program aims to train the teachers in communication skills so they can provide input on policies for K-12 STEM education on the local, state and federal level.”(more)

Bullying on the Rise in NYC Middle and High Schools, NYDN Analysis of Student Surveys Shows

The 74 Million – Kate Stringer

“More students in New York City schools report that their peers are being bullied than last year, according to a New York Daily News analysis of student survey data from the city Department of Education. From 2016 to 2017, the Daily News found a 10 percentage point jump in bullying reports, with 81 percent of the city’s 400,000 students in grades 6–12 citing incidences of harassment this past year.”(more)

When Charter Schools Open, Neighboring Schools Get Better: A New Study Finds 7 Reasons Why

The 74 Million – Beth Hawkins

“Few education policy battles have burned as hot as debate over the practice of requiring traditional public schools to share under-used space with charter schools. Co-location, as the practice is called, is often cited as damaging to students in mainline district schools. But groundbreaking new research from Temple University assistant professor Sarah Cordes finds that at least in New York City, the arrival of a charter school has a positive effect on students in the traditional school already located in the building.”(more)