Pins and Posts: January 2022
Stem Educators Teach About Recent Earthquakes
The Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) provides free resources to help STEM educators teach about recent earthquakes, such as the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Mexico and the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Haiti in 2021. Available at iris.edu/hq, these presentations, titled “Teachable Moments,” provide a scientific explanation for why the earthquake occurred and often include Associated Press photos, animations, and other resources to support educators in linking the Next Generation Science Standards to the study of earthquakes. “The Teachable Moments lessons help engage students in scientific inquiry and offer a critical connection to real-life events,” says Tammy Bravo, seismology education and outreach specialist for IRIS.
A Call for Education Transformation
The COVID Constituency: Emerging Priorities for Education Leaders, a report written by former West Virginia Governor Bob Wise and Dr. Javaid Siddiqi, the president and CEO of the Hunt Institute, provides an in-depth analysis of national polls since the pandemic began and reveals that “learning loss, low quality curricula, and the lack of support for underserved students” are education stakeholders’ main concerns. The COVID Constituency is a growing movement of parents, teachers, students, education leaders, and organizations, who desire systemic changes in education. The report identifies personalized learning; social, emotional, and mental health supports; and addressing the digital divide as among the constituency’s priorities. Read the full report at bit.ly/3G7kIq1.
An Aspiring Leaders Series Builds Expertise and Community
Being a school leader can be mystifying and intimidating, but Jason Markey, principal of Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, IL, has figured out a way to help school leaders navigate their role. In October 2021, he worked with his district to launch the Aspiring Leaders Series: a professional learning and networking opportunity for educators to grow and pursue leadership opportunities. The virtual series is structured around the NASSP Building Ranks Framework, with sessions highlighting its dimensions, such as student-centeredness, innovation, and equity, among others. For more information, visit bit.ly/3Cptaig.
A Nurse in Every School
At the onset of the pandemic, officials in the Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 in Fountain, CO, did something that turned out to be a great use of money: They hired a full-time registered nurse for each of their nine schools. Larger schools, such as Fountain Middle School (FMS) with 1,100 students, also have a certified nurse assistant. William Dallas, FMS principal, says that his school has been targeted in its approach to managing the pandemic by having the nurse perform on-site rapid COVID testing for not only students and staff, but also families. “The result has been that our students have missed a lot fewer days of in-person school by having to quarantine at home,” he says. The federal Elementary and Secondary School Relief Fund has made it financially easier to hire the nurses, and Dallas says district officials have committed to keeping them even without the federal funds.