A Guide for Growing Your Own

Grow Your Own educator programs, which recruit and prepare community-based teachers, are an increasingly popular strategy to address local teacher shortages and diversify the profession. New America has issued “Grow Your Own Educators: A Toolkit for Program Design and Development,” which it calls a collection of user-friendly research, policy, and practice resources for practitioners and policymakers alike. “This toolkit is focused on programs and partnerships that support adult community members, such as paraeducators, to enter the teaching profession,” writes Raven DeRamus-Byers, in the toolkit overview. The toolkit offers guidance on key aspects of program development and implementation, including partnerships, candidate recruitment and retention, mentoring, funding, and advocacy. Learn more at bit.ly/3DolNLO.

Suicide Risk Factors Need More Attention

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among youth, and a more detailed look at the populations of young people who are more likely to attempt suicide is needed. “Addressing Discrimination Supports Youth Suicide Prevention Efforts,” a report from Child Trends, shows that the percentage of Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC); lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning youth (LGBTQ); and youth with disabilities report attempting suicide at much higher rates than those of their peers. In addition, the report finds that for youth who experience identity-based discrimination, there is an associated increased risk of suicide, especially among those with multiple marginalized identities. One promising finding: Schools can help reduce suicide risk by creating inclusive environments where youth feel connected to their schools and peers. Read the full report at bit.ly/3gDIMtr.

Protecting Student Data

As education leaders embrace new data systems to address students’ diverse and changing needs, they must also be sure to adopt strategies for preventing unintentional or malicious disclosures of students’ private information, according to a report from the Education Commission of the States (ECS). ECS assembled a group of privacy experts and practitioners to help put together “Lessons in Data Privacy for Education Leaders.” According to the report, “They called for leaders across state agencies to embrace a common vision for data privacy grounded in consistent policies, coherent data governance structures, continuous capacity-building efforts, and clear communication to stakeholders. Such a vision, they said, would support data privacy policies and practices that maximize the benefits of data-driven decision-making while minimizing the risks.” Read the full report at bit.ly/3f2Kmo7.

A Thriving Natural Resources Program

Waldport Middle and High School in Waldport, OR, has taken advantage of its unique location—where the forest and the sea come together—to develop an award-winning forestry program in which students learn skills—from cross-cut sawing to map-reading—that can give them a head start toward college or a career in the forestry industry. By taking part in a local fair and helping with a logging show, the school has ended up with about $800 in proceeds for the program. “One thing I love about the program is that it brings together kids from very different backgrounds,” says Principal Amy Skirvin. “They might not be best friends or hang out outside of school, but when you get them on the forestry field, they are family. They love each other and they support each other.”