Inside Vista High’s Big National Experiment With Personalized Learning

Originally published Sept. 28, 2017 in the Voice of San Diego.

By Voice of San Diego

Great educators have always known certain things.

Students learn at different paces, in different ways. Students do better when they’re interested in what they’re learning.

Charter, private and even some traditional public schools are actively bringing these philosophies into classrooms.

It’s a movement commonly called “personalized learning” and is part of an evolution away from the traditional classroom model.

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All ESSA Plans Are In, Complete, and Ready for Review

Originally published Oct. 17, 2017 by Education Week

By Alyson Klein

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have now submitted their plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act, and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and her team are ready to examine the dozens of plans submitted by the second deadline last month.

Thirty-four states and Puerto Rico turned in their ESSA plans in September and October. (The official deadline for submitting plans was September 18, but hurricane-ravaged Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, and Texas got extensions). And all of those plans have now been deemed “complete” by the feds. That means the plans aren’t missing key details, at least according to the department’s initial review.

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Atherton Virtual Academy helping students earn diploma

Originally published Sept. 14, 2017 by the Burton View.

BURTON — Sept. 19 marks the first day of a school year filled with new opportunity for those already enrolled in Atherton Virtual Academy (AVA), and those who have yet to register. The online school offers a unique way for students to earn a high school diploma or GED.

“Most students who attend Atherton Virtual Academy are those who traditional education has not worked for,” said John Ploof, superintendent of Atherton Community Schools.

“Students have the opportunity to demonstrate what they already know in subjects, and are only responsible to pick up where they left off,” he said. “That’s what allows them to earn credits at a rapid pace.”

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First-ever Take Your Parent to PE Week concludes successfully

Originally published Sept. 29, 2017 in Huffington Post.

By Louis Bolling, Contributor

Today marks the last day of the first-ever Take Your Parent to PE Week, a national movement to help schools provide at least 60 minutes a day of physical education (PE) and before, during and after school physical activity for all of America’s students.

Sponsored by Active Schools, from September 25-29, the national movement encourages schools’ PE programs and teachers to engage parents and encourage families to be physically active at home and in the community.

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Two Pasadena ISD schools honored for getting fit

Originally published Oct. 10, 2017  in the Houston Chronicle.

By Carissa D. Lamkahouan

Students and staff members at Red Bluff and Turner elementary schools in Pasadena ISD have been named amongst the healthiest in Texas, having earned bronze-level recognition from the nonprofit Alliance for a Healthier Generation as part of its 2017 list of America’s Healthiest Schools.

The alliance, established in 2005, considers best practices in schools, including the quality of food served, access to safe drinking water, staff health, physical education curriculum, after-school activities, parental involvement and how much recess children enjoy, said Jeannine Rios, a senior program manager in Texas for the organization.

At both Red Bluff and Turner, the physical education teachers have taken the lead, with the support of their administrators, to help children boost wellness at school and to educate the youngsters about appropriate exercise and nutrition.

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