ESSA

More Than School Safety: What the Huge Hike for ESSA’s Block Grant Means

Originally published March 22, 2018 by Education Week.

By Alyson Klein

As part of a massive new spending bill, lawmakers are poised to provide $1.1 billion in aid that congressional aides say will help boost school safety and mental-health resources in the wake of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., last month.

The money is intended “to expand school-based mental health services and supports; for bullying prevention; and for professional development for personnel in crisis management and school-based violence prevention strategies,” according to a House fact sheet.

But the increase isn’t just good news for school safety and counseling programs. It also being cheered by everyone from advocates for music education to fans of dual enrollment programs. Read More

ESSA

How Irving ISD’s Health and PE Coordinator Secured Technology Funding Through ESSA Title IV

With guidance from her department head, Irving Independent School District (Texas) Health and Physical Education Coordinator Sandi Cravens applied for and received $35,000 from her district’s Every Student Succeeds Act allocation.

After working with her supervisor and the district’s director of federal funding, Cravens researched the program she wanted to develop and gathered supporting material to create a proposal to purchase a set of IHT’s adidas Zone for IHT Spirit heart rate monitors and physical education assessment software in each of her district’s middle schools. Irving ISD funded Cravens request through the district’s ESSA’s Title IV allocation, which designates that funding be used for Student Support and Academic Enrichment.

Though the Department of Education is still approving ESSA implementation plans from several states, funding for the current school year has already been distributed. Physical educators are still adjusting to the new reality that they can — and must — seek out the funding that can only be used for specific programs.

“I was familiar already with Title IV but I didn’t pay too much attention to it because I assumed the money would go to another group of people in our district because that’s usually how it works,” Cravens said. “They discussed that a certain percentage of Title IV money had to be spent on the health and safety of kids. My boss, thankfully, said he knew exactly who to talk to about it.” Read More

ESSA

ESSA drives new approaches to K12 physical education

Originally published Dec. 20, 2017 by District Administration.

By Ray Bendici District Administration, January 2018

School districts are elevating physical education standards and expanding athletic activities beyond traditional sports to provide a more well-rounded education as required by the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Instead of old favorites such as dodgeball and basketball, many districts have introduced more individually focused activities such as rock climbing, cross-training and yoga.

“We are seeing new physical education now because the ultimate goal is to prepare students to be active and healthy for a lifetime,” says Carly Wright, senior manager of advocacy for SHAPE America, the Society of Health and Physical Educators.

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