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


SEL, scheduling and unconventional leadership: The most-read K-12 stories of 2018

Quote from Article:

With 2018 continuing the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act alongside ongoing efforts to reimagine the K-12 model, administrators had their hands as full as ever. Those concerns were reflected in our most-read stories of the year, with social-emotional learning, unconventional approaches to leadership, new scheduling models, and innovative approaches to boosting literacy at the forefront of readers’ interests.

In case you missed any of that coverage or just want to revisit it and brush up on your knowledge, we’ve gathered our most-read pieces of the year in one place for your convenience. Don’t worry, though: There won’t be a pop-quiz.

  1. 4 ways to teach empathy in the classroom

    Empathy can be thought of as a “superpower” students as young as 3rd grade can learn and develop, writes Roberta Brandao of New Jersey’s Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County. Read More »

  2. 6 K-12 trends to watch in 2018

    Efforts to rethink the existing model and the impact of ESSA implementation will continue shaping education this year. Read More »

  3. Flex time: Schools break out of scheduling ruts to improve learning for students, teachers

    Newer designs accommodate instructional needs and teach students time management skills. Read More »


District Deeds Synopsis:

A very good list of articles from 2018 that cover a wide range of K-12 education subjects. Virtually every article has a large degree of relevance to all schools in the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD).

Well worth reviewing!

Quote from Article:

Report card day can provoke anxiety and dread among students. It may also lead some of them to fear for their physical well-being.

A new study found a nearly fourfold increase in confirmed reports of child abuse on the Saturdays immediately after the distribution of report cards at Florida public schools.

The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics on Monday, focused on children ages 5 to 11 and relied on reports called in to the Florida Department of Children and Families abuse hotline during the 2015-16 academic year.

Melissa A. Bright, the lead author of the study, said the idea for the research arose from the personal accounts of pediatricians and teachers who saw a pattern of abuse shortly after report cards were released. Dr. Bright, a researcher at the University of Florida who focuses on child maltreatment, said some teachers told her they worried about some of their students after grades were distributed.

Researchers were surprised to find an association between verified reports of abuse and report cards only when the grades were released on a Friday.

On weekdays, caregivers may have been too “distracted” to punish their children, researchers speculated. Dr. Bright added that children might have been spared punishments on weekdays because they would be attending school the next day, and teachers are legally bound to report evidence of abuse. Alcohol use by caregivers on weekends might also have played a role, she added.

District Deeds Synopsis:

The article provides some good insights from a very preliminary study regarding child abuse related to report cards.

We have all had lots of discussions with our kids about report cards but have never thought about the impact of how the SDUSD releasing them on a Friday could put some students at risk of abuse.

Looking through the SDUSD website at the calendars of various Elementary, Middle and High Schools it was difficult to determine when report cards are provided to parents.  Although all Parents are provided the option of access to their child’s grades on the district Power School system, we know that many families do not have internet access or have had Power School training.

We plan on investigating the report card release dates to determine what day Parents receive them and will be reporting that to you in a future posting.

What day of the week does YOUR school provide report cards?

Schools Need To Step Up To Fight a Rise in Suicides Among Black Children

Quote from Article:

Nine-year old McKenzie Adams was “a real sweet girl,” a “straight-A student” who wanted to be a scientist, family members told ABC News. She held so much promise, but now McKenzie may be added to the small and alarmingly growing number of black children between the ages of 5 and 11 who are committing suicide. On December 3, she was found in the home where she lived with her grandmother in Linden, Alabama. The Linden Police Department have yet to rule the cause of death a suicide but are investigating the death as such.


McKenzie’s relatives wonder if racist taunts she received at school over her friendship with a white boy were a factor. Her mother, Jasmine Adams, said the school system let her family down, alleging that teachers and administrators ignored the girl’s complaints. The school denies receiving any reports of bullying.


But symptoms of depression manifest differently among adults and adolescents. School personnel should be aware of the symptoms that parents might not be equipped to recognize.

For example, instead of showing despair or withdrawing, a child may display somatic symptoms, complaining for instance about how their head or stomach hurts. Teachers may also see persistent boredom or increased irritability, anger or hostility that children may not present or parents may not see at home. The long periods of time that students spend in school give educators an opportunity to see irregularities. They should be able to spot potential underlying issues behind a students’ trouble with schoolwork or a disciplinary problem that needs to be explored.

District Deeds Synopsis:

This article provides important information about the conditions that are causing an increase in suicide rates by black children.  It also provides information about the warning signs and how critical it is for schools to have a strong anti-bullying program that provides all members of the school community bullying prevention training.

Although the SDUSD has many pages on the district website regarding Bullying prevention, many pages and forms are provided in english only and do not provide “racial bullying” on the “check all that apply” list.

For instance, below is the SDUSD “Online Bullying Reporting Form” page:

That’s right…in english with no reference to racial bullying.

Though our research, District Deeds has also discovered many inconsistencies in SDUSD school site Bullying and Suicide prevention policies, methods and procedures.  Those prevention strategies vary dramatically between school sites across the various geographic/demographic areas and even within the same Cluster.

It is especially important that you check the current Bullying and Suicide prevention policies and procedures at your child’s school and insist that it includes FULL training of ALL school site Stakeholders.

Now for our Quote of the Week:

“For too long, our society has shrugged off bullying by labeling it a ‘rite of passage’ and by asking students to simply ‘get over it.’ Those attitudes need to change. Every day, students are bullied into silence and are afraid to speak up. Let’s break this silence and end school bullying” – Linda Sanchez


Have a great week!!!



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