Here are some interesting articles we received and discovered this past week…


On the Path to Equity: Improving the Effectiveness of Beginning Teachers

Quote from Article:

Roughly half a million U.S. teachers either move or leave the profession each year—attrition that costs the United States up to $2.2 billion annually. This high turnover rate disproportionately affects high-poverty schools and seriously compromises the nation’s capacity to ensure that all students have access to skilled teaching, according to this Alliance report.

To curb turnover—especially among new teachers—the report recommends a comprehensive induction program comprised of multiple types of support, including high-quality mentoring, common planning times, and ongoing support from school leaders.

Link to Study: Path To Equity Improving the Effectiveness of Beginning Teachers

District Deeds Synopsis:

This Study contains many interesting facts and details that are directly applicable to to the current situation in San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD).  We have heard many stories from SDUSD current and former Teachers that mirror the reasons for Teacher turnover and attrition, especially in “high need” school environments.

The main point of the study is that when there is inexperience and  a lack of mentoring and training for beginning Teachers, who are almost always placed in “high need” schools, the disparity in educational equity gap between “high need” and “low need” school sites increases dramatically.

Here are a few of the more interesting findings:

“A recent Institute of Educational Sciences study shows that districts rarely use data on teacher effectiveness to determine students’ access to effective teaching throughout the system.  The variation in teaching quality is most acute in high schools that serve low-income students and students of color.”


“Too often, teachers in schools serving students from high-need environments lack access to excellent peers and mentors and have fewer opportunities for collaboration and feedback.  Moreover, without opportunities to engage with others to examine and improve instructional practices, teachers’ performance in high-poverty schools plateaus after a few years.  In these lowest-performing high schools, morale and work environment suffer because hard-to-staff schools become known as places to leave, not places in which to stay.”


“Access to induction supports remains inequitable, with teachers in schools with the highest concentrations of poor and minority students reporting significantly lower participation rates in induction and mentoring.”

We highly recommend this study…it is a fascinating read for Parents, Teachers, Students and Administrators.

Live Webinar on August 21: Making the Classroom Work for Your Student: How to Build a Better IEP or 504 Plan for Your Child

Quote from Article:

Whether your child has a 504 Plan or an IEP, the key to an effective plan is to really understand your child’s profile of strengths and challenges and then to build an IEP or 504 Plan with specific interventions to address his breakdown points, while enabling him to access content and to demonstrate his knowledge.

It is also important to keep in mind that both the 504 Plan and IEP need to provide FAPE – a free, appropriate, public education, which can include a wide array of services, supports, and modifications. These can include special education instruction; modified curriculum; related services such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, counseling, and physical therapy; and accommodations on exams, just for examples.

Parents need to identify what is working – and what is not – in the classroom and work with the IEP Team (and 504 Team, if your district allows parental participation) to craft thoughtful, proven strategies to allow access to content and ways to demonstrate what their child knows, while working to improve areas of challenge.

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • Why it is not sufficient for a plan to address a student’s area of difficulty
  • Why “extended time” is not the solution to many attention problems
  • Specific strategies and interventions to help with common challenges
  • The role of related services
  • How to use an evaluation to get your school to agree to an effective IEP/504
  • What can you do if things aren’t working

District Deeds Synopsis:

As we all know, there have been dramatic cutbacks in all areas of the SDUSD Special Education supports and the growing lack of a Counselor on site every day at many SDUSD school sites.  This has had a devastating effect on many SDUSD families.

We believe it is extremely important for ALL parents to educate themselves on the best practices and methods to initiate and follow through on building IEP’s and 504 Plans that ensure their child receives the best possible support that is legally mandated by both State and Federal Law.

If you cannot attend the live webinar, register anyway…ADDitude will send you a link to a recording of the webinar!

Here are the details:

Here is a link to register on the Live Webinar page 

Title: Making the Classroom Work for Your Student: How to Build a Better IEP or 504 Plan for Your Child

Date: Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Time: 01:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

Duration: 1 hour

We hope this helps all Parents of children with IEP’s of 504 Plans and parents who will be requesting them for their children in the upcoming school year to create the very best plan for their child.

Black Boys Don’t Need More Discipline, They Need Mentors

Quote from Article:

When I first met Chris, he was quiet—I could tell he was trying to figure out who I was, and who I could be in his life. The stories I heard about Chris did not align with the boy in front of me. I was told he was constantly removed from class and referred to the office. In fact, he had 60 such referrals in the first semester of school.

Chris wasn’t receiving the education required for his success, so my job as his mentor was to serve as a liaison and provide behavioral support to intervene. Chris is not an anomaly—in San Francisco, where he lives, the Black student achievement gap is so bad that the local NAACP called it a state of emergency.

When I started working with Chris, it was clear that he verbalized only a fraction of his thoughts. One day, during a break from class, he quietly mentioned that he wouldn’t be at school later in the week because of a funeral—his older brother had been murdered, and Chris was the last person to see him alive.

As he spoke, Chris’ expression was hard as stone—no emotion. While his face didn’t show it, I knew he was burying deep pain. Studies have shown that kids like Chris live with post-traumatic stress disorder at rates similar to soldiers in combat. Unfortunately, Black children’s pain is often criminalized or punished rather than treated.

District Deeds Synopsis:

An insightful and touching first person article from a Black man who serves as a mentor that points out the complex conditions and needs unique to Black children dealing with trauma in their everyday lives.

The author also points out how the Mentor must take care of themselves when helping children through extremely difficult situations:

“In order for adults to be mentors and healers for youth, they must believe in healing and caring for themselves. I can do the work I do because I make self-care a priority. It took me burning out to realize that I had to help myself first in order to help others.”

A great article!

Now for our Quote of the Week:

“In order to be a mentor, and an effective one, one must care. You must care. You don’t have to know how many square miles are in Idaho, you don’t need to know what is the chemical makeup of chemistry, or of blood or water. Know what you know and care about the person, care about what you know and care about the person you’re sharing with.” — Maya Angelou

Have a great week!!!



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