Oakland High Schools Offer a Class to Support Black Boys

The Oakland Unified School District has substantially reduced its high school dropout rate by offering a class specifically for black male students. Stanford University professor Tom Dee and University of California-Irvine postdoctoral researcher Emily Penner found that participating in an ethnic studies class substantially boosted the students’ attendance and grades. The culture-rich class helped to bolster student attendance for this group—which is up 21 percent—and increase GPAs. The class, held during the regular school day, was taught by black male educators, geared toward black male students, and served as the center of a new peer group for students. They used a curriculum that emphasized black history and culture and offered personalized career and college guidance.

Central Kentucky Educational Cooperative Strengthens Staff With PublicSchoolWORKS

The Central Kentucky Educational Cooperative (CKEC) in Lexington, KY, recently partnered with PublicSchoolWORKS, a provider of complete online safety and regulatory compliance programs for K–12 schools, to manage its staff safety training and compliance. “Our staff works in our members’ schools and with students on a regular basis, so it is just as important for them to receive the same safety training that teachers receive,” says CKEC Executive Director Dorothy Perkins. CKEC, which serves 22 school districts across central Kentucky, is using the PublicSchoolWORKS EmployeeSafe Suite Course Catalog and Custom Course Builder, along with the Safety Document Library, to deliver and manage safety training and compliance for its staff.

California Mandates Later Start Times for Schools

California has become the first state in the nation to require later start times. Senate Bill 328 requires most middle level schools to begin no earlier than 8:00 a.m. and high schools no earlier than 8:30 a.m. A study from the American Academy of Pediatrics found that delayed school start times more closely align with the sleep-wake cycle of teenagers, which leads to better overall health and school performance. The study states, “Although a number of factors … negatively affect middle and high school students’ ability to obtain sufficient sleep, the evidence strongly implicates earlier school start times as a key modifiable contributor to insufficient sleep, as well as circadian rhythm disruption, in this population.” Schools have until July 2022 to comply with the new law.

Get Off Your Apps and Move

GOYA-Move founders set out to solve a screen-time problem in their own homes. When they realized it was a global problem, they created an app that takes parental control a step further. It limits screen time but also gets children moving, playing, and completing their chores without feeling punished. The goal was to create a reward-based, positive solution to teach students about screen-time moderation and accountability. GOYA-Move is a screen-time management tool used by parents that has several features. With Steps, children earn screen-time credits for exercising. Chores blocks certain apps until chores are marked complete. Blackout blocks apps during specifically selected times, such as sleep time, homework hour, or dinner. And School Time allows parents to set restrictions on usage during school hours to curb digital distractions at school. GOYA-Move hopes to create foundational change in how children interact with their technology.

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