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


Too Sick for School? Telehealth Programs Take ‘Guesswork’ Out of Whether a Student Should Go Home

Quote from Article:

When Mark Garrett arrived in McDowell County Schools in North Carolina as assistant superintendent in 2012, unemployment in the rural, high-poverty community was 13%. And when he took the top job in the district a year later, he kept focusing on access to healthcare as one way to improve outcomes for students.

“Sometimes as a superintendent, you just have to be smart enough to say yes,” Garrett said of learning about Health-e-Schools, a school-based telehealth program created by the Center for Rural Health Innovation (CRHI) in Spruce Pine, North Carolina.


Through a partnership with Mission Health, based in Asheville, North Carolina, the telehealth program is also addressing the needs of students with complex mental health issues, who otherwise would have to make the 45-minute trip for an appointment, probably missing school and causing a parent to miss work. Now students can see a provider and still get back to class before the school day ends. 

The arrangement has “allowed us to probably get some families … on board” who otherwise would not have sought help for their child, Garrett said in an interview. “This helps us almost be a school-based health center.”

At a time when educators and policymakers are calling for increases in school counselors, psychologists and social workers, connecting students to these professionals in a virtual setting is one way that the rise of telehealth programs in schools is reducing absenteeism and improving students’ — and often employees’ — access to healthcare.


Telehealth programs are also expanding at a time when many schools lack nurses — an issue that was among the reasons teachers in both Los Angeles and Oakland, California, went on strike earlier this year. But experts say virtual visits with a medical professional are more effective when school nurses are involved.


Telehealth programs can “enhance” a typical visit to the school nurse’s office, Martin said. Normally, if nurses determine that the child’s symptoms warrant leaving school and seeing a doctor, they try to get a parent on the phone, which may or may not happen. And if a parent does sign a child out of school, there’s the “pain point” of not knowing whether the child will see a provider.

“We have kind of a health desert out here,” José González, superintendent of the Planada district, said in an interview. Families might wait two weeks for an appointment, he said.

Picking up a child in the middle of the school day is also a strain on the parents, many of whom work factory and other blue-collar jobs. “When they miss time to come pick up a child, there’s no sick leave,” he said. “It’s a day’s loss of wages.”

District Deeds Synopsis:

When we read this article we wondered if the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) had a similar program…so we checked the district website:

As expected, the 120,000 student San Diego Unified School District does not provide a key basic health service of a district 1/20th its size.

The second item that caught our eye within this article is the first sentence and a half:

“When Mark Garrett arrived in McDowell County Schools in North Carolina as assistant superintendent in 2012, unemployment in the rural, high-poverty community was 13%. And when he took the top job in the district a year later…”

Even a rural district with only 6,000 students in North Carolina required that the new Superintendent had at least 1 year of district administrative experience.

In fact an article in “The McDowell News” proves Superintendent Garrett has other credentials that are even more impressive:

““Mark is currently serving as principal at Avery High School and had worked in grades K through 8 in the past,” stated Superintendent Gerri Martin. “He has also been a principal in Watauga County Schools during his career.”

Garrett received his master’s degree in educational administration and supervision from the University of Tennessee and currently has 30 hours of study toward his doctorate at East Tennessee State University.”

The San Diego Unified School District with over 100,000 students hired incompetent Elemetary School Superintendent (ESS) Cindy Marten with only a fraction of Superintendent Garrett’s experience.

Superintendent Garretts’ approach to student health through the Teleheath initiative clearly shows how important leadership experience at all school levels..Elemetary, Middle and High School including District Office…makes the difference between his success and ESS Marten’s abject failures.

The proof of how much more capable Superintendent Garrett is than ESS Marten is clear through a couple examples.

THe first example is tied to a quote from the article:

“But he wasn’t interested in running a pilot. He wanted the program fully implemented in every school, Head Start and Early Head Start site in the 6,000-student district. “I’m big on what I call eliminating excuses.””

ESS Marten is all talk and propaganda and no action.  While Superintendent Garrett boldly implements programs, ESS Marten timidly runs pilot after pilot with no plan for full district rollout.

While Garrett is actively “eliminating excuses”, Marten, in her total inexperience and mental laziness, just bleats a meaningless “No Excuses” empty motto denying that excuses even exist….and does nothing to eliminate them.

The second example is another quote from the article:

““Sometimes as a superintendent, you just have to be smart enough to say yes,” Garrett said of learning about Health-e-Schools, a school-based telehealth program created by the Center for Rural Health Innovation (CRHI) in Spruce Pine, North Carolina.”

Unfortunately for the over 200,000 SDUSD Stakeholders, ESS Cindy Marten is just too DUMB to “say yes“.

Too Dumb to “say yes” to ELST’s

Too Dumb to “say yes” to adequate Special Education supports.

Too Dumb to “say yes” to healthy school environments for Principals, Teachers, and Students.

Too Dumb to “say yes” to protect and educate Students of color in dangerous schools.

Too Dumb to “say yes” to effectively handling a $1.2 billion Budget.

ESS Marten…obviously…just “too dumb” to be SDUSD Superintendent.

Could Artificial Intelligence Automate Student Note-Taking?

Quote from Article:

There are many advantages to taking notes in class. There is only one problem though. Unless you are able to write at the same speed the lecturer speaking, you miss out on important information. Writing frantically while trying to process what is being said is, to say the least, counterproductive.

What if you could have an artificial intelligence assistant to take down your notes for you? You could just sit back and give your full attention to the lecture secure in the knowledge that at the end of the lecture, you will have everything that was said organized in notes.


Sonocent makes it easier to take better notes. With the software, you can capture everything you hear without having to write it down, and you can highlight key points for review with a single click. Plus you can add your slides, diagrams, and text notes to the same project.

The software allows you to record lectures on your laptop or mobile device and to import other media and text notes next to the audio files. The recordings are broken up into smaller chunks of information each time it detects a pause to make the audio easier to organize. According to the Sonocent website, 87% of 929 students surveyed in June 2016, say Sonocent has improved their grades.


The Sonocent audio note-taking software is also a great aid for students with disabilities, enabling them to become independent learners. The software enables almost any student to capture and engage with a wide range of educational content. The software has helped more than 100,000 students with disabilities at schools, colleges, and universities. That includes students with dyslexia, ADHD and ADD, dyspraxia, autism, PTSD, and those with physical impairments.

District Deeds Synopsis:

What a great idea…automated note taking for Students!

Unfortunately SDUSD Stakeholders have approved millions of dollars on technological improvements that incompetent ESS Marten and her crony Board of Edcuation led by Tricky Dick Barrera have squandered and let go to waste through tech support cutbacks.

Under the Marten/Barrera “dream team”, the SDUSD school sites are lucky to have a fraction of working computers, tablets and promethean boards, let alone a note-taking application proven to further student educational success.

Marten and Barrera…more of a “nightmare team” than a “dream team”!

How Schools Can Foster a Better Racial Climate

Quote from Article:

A recent photo of a group of teachers smiling and holding a noose at a Palmdale, Calif., elementary school has caused understandable outrage about the racial sensitivity of educators. As someone who has worked in hundreds of districts across the country—including Palmdale—on issues of racial literacy and cultural awareness, I must say that the noose incident was not surprising. While many districts have not had a noose incident, they can still be teeming with racially hostile staff, creating a challenging learning environment for students of color.


1. One-time diversity professional development is not enough. Many districts and schools commit themselves to a speaker who comes in once to discuss diversity, equity, or implicit bias, and then moves onto other compliance or curricular issues.


2. Leaders need to lead. School leaders must play a pivotal role in having hard conversations and creating brave spaces to disrupt racist thinking and practices at their schools.


3. Bystanders need to speak up. In many schools, teachers often make racially inappropriate comments, say dismissive things, or state jokes that are racially insensitive. Their colleagues remain silent, do not disrupt such comments, laugh at them, and do not repudiate their colleagues for making offensive comments. 


4. Racially diverse staff must be heard.In many schools, teachers and staff of color are all too aware of the hostile racial climate that exists in a school. Many speak up about how they and their students are subjected to racially inappropriate work environments. 


5. Parents and students deserve a say. Our most important stakeholders, students and parents, are frequently not listened to about school climate. Many students are aware of teachers who make disrespectful or racially demeaning comments. Many students are keenly aware of teachers who engage in differential treatment of students based on race. 

District Deeds Synopsis:

Hardworking and dedicated Principals, Teachers, Counselors and Staff face racial conflicts at their schools every day and strive to make the environment better.  District Deeds has actually witnessed many attempts by SDUSD school sites to create a better racial climate at their schools.

Unfortunately the SDUSD senior leadership team resonsible for school site supports have their hands full dealiing with the operational dysfunction created by egotistical ESS Marten’s poor planning and gross incompetence.

The SDUSD school sites have to face this extremely important racial climate task alone with no budget and and no senior leadership advocacy…and them get blamed by Marten when they fail.

Racial climate in the SDUSD?

Dysfunctional and incomplete, mirroring the credentials of egotistical ESS Marten.

Now for our Quote of the Week:

“The personal ego already has a strong element of dysfunction, but the collective ego is, frequently, even more dysfunctional, to the point of absolute insanity. – Eckhart Tolle

Have a great week!!!



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