Promising Practices Past Issues

Post September 30, 202110 pages21v12w

Inside: PBL, Standards-Based Grading, Teacher Retention, #GenGeo, More

Learn how students engaged in hands-on project-based learning are earning national recognition in a NASA design competition. Also in this issue: An Ohio school’s standard-based grading journey; district efforts to recruit, support and retain quality teachers; pairing powerful instructional practices with National Geographic classroom resources; SREB’s new Readiness course digital tools, and more. Start reading or download the issue (PDF).

Publication Volume 3, Issue 110 pagesSeptember 30, 202121V12w

Oklahoma Students Design Products for NASA
News, stories and videos about teachers, counselors and school leaders

Students at Meridian Technology Center in Stillwater, Oklahoma, are immersing themselves in hands-on project-based learning, and that work is paying off in their depth of understanding, creativity and national recognition.

In this issue, learn how three teams of students in the center’s STEM academy were selected as finalists in a NASA design competition. If NASA approves their ideas for use, students will be able to see them adopted on the International Space Station.

Also featured:

  • Implementing Standard-Based Grading
  • Districts Improve Teacher Recruitment and Retention
  • Using National Geographic Classroom Resources and SREB’s Powerful Instructional Practices to Inspire Deep Learning
  • SREB’s Readiness Digital Tool Suite
  • Pacesetter School Award Nominations

Start reading our video-enhanced newsletter in our online, flipping-page format!

Download the PDF version of the newsletter.

Publication Volume 2, Issue 612 pagesApril 20, 202121V03w

Students Climbing the Achievement Ladder
News, stories and videos about teachers, counselors and school leaders

cover photo of newsletterGetting students to master learning standards is a journey, not a sprint. It takes quality teaching and professional development, instruction aligned to standards and so much more.

In this issue of our Promising Practices Newsletter, read how an Ohio high school implemented a three-year reform plan and saw student growth in all tested areas each year. The reforms were so successful that they trickled down to the middle and elementary grades.

This issue also includes a special feature on two districts’ diversity, equity and inclusion journeys by SREB’s Paula Egelson and Rebecca Purser.

Also featured:

  • Schools Add Esports to Their Learning Playbooks
  • About Our All-Virtual 2021 Making Schools Work Conference
  • Williamsburg High School Wins 2020 Pacesetter Award
  • Partner Spotlight: Redwood Learn
  • Virtual Networking Reception
  • Essay Contest: Win a World War II Home Front Resource Trunk
  • Featured Speaker Spotlight

Start reading our NEW newsletter, now in a flipping-page format. 

Download the PDF version of the newsletter.

Publication Volume 2, Issue 58 pagesMarch 4, 202121V02w

Preparing Students for Life After Graduation
News, stories and videos about teachers, counselors and school leaders

photo of newsletter coverThere’s no magic bullet or one-size-fits-all approach to preparing students to succeed after graduation. But most educators agree that students need to be well-rounded with a combination of core academic, technical and workplace skills.

In this issue of our Promising Practices Newsletter, read how an Alabama school district is laser-focused on equipping students with academic knowledge, career exploration, hands-on experience, employability skills and credentials in high-demand fields.

Also featured:

  • How a South Carolina high school addresses students’ mental health needs
  • Ashbury High School Wins 2020 Pacesetter School Award
  • Health and Safety at the 2021 Making Schools Work Conference
  • Featured Speaker Spotlight: Mary Hemphill-Joseph
  • Featured Speakers Promote Systemic, Sustainable Change

Start reading our new newsletter, now in flipping-page format.

Publication Volume 2, Issue 46 pagesJanuary 202121V01w

School Culture: Pump It Up!
News, stories and videos about teachers, counselors and school leaders

Newsletter cover image How students feel impacts the way they learn. That’s why it’s so important to have a positive school culture. In this issue of our Promising Practices Newsletter, read how the staff at one Mississippi school were intentional in their actions, big and small, to make major cultural shifts that led to more engaged, higher-performing students.

Also featured, find out how Oklahoma educators deliver work-based learning virtually.

Download the PDF

Publication Volume 2, Issue 36 pagesOctober 202020V16w

Uniting Theater and Medicine in Education
News, stories and videos about teachers, counselors and school leaders

Picture of newsletter coverIn this issue of our Promising Practices Newsletter, read how theater students and healthcare students at DeKalb County Technology Center in Rainsville, Alabama, honed their craft by uniting in a project that involved staging and solving real-world emergency medical scenarios.

Also featured, find out why teachers matter and explore strategies for building positive relationships with students.

Download the PDF

Publication Volume 2, Issue 27 pagesSeptember 202020V15w

Social-Emotional Learning During a Pandemic
News, stories and videos about teachers, counselors and school leaders

Picture of newsletter coverSchools, students and teachers began the school year facing daunting challenges that impact their emotional well-being, ranging from natural disasters to a global pandemic.

In this issue of our Promising Practices Newsletter, explore how social-emotional learning is more important than ever to help students succeed. Learn how a school equity strategist is helping schools support and nurture Black girls by cultivating authentic leaders, strengthening adult SEL and advancing culturally responsive practices.

Download the PDF

Publication Volume 2, Issue 18 pagesAugust 31, 202020V14w

Teaching and Learning During a Health Crisis
News, stories and videos about teachers, counselors and school leaders

Picture of newsletter coverTeachers share their personal stories of the rewards and challenges of teaching in an online learning environment in this kick-off issue of the Promising Practices Newsletter. Read how SREB is helping schools and districts with online, blended and hybrid instructionAlso featured: Explore the work of SREB’s K-12 Education Recovery Task Force, Advanced Career, the Making Schools Work Conference and more.

Publication By Diane James, SREB, and Kim Livengood, SREBVolume 1, Issue 11March 13, 2020

There’s Power in Struggle
Promising Practices from the 2019 College- and Career-Readiness Standards Networking Conference

Picture of newsletter cover“No one goes into education and into teaching to sit back and watch kids struggle,” says Tara Faircloth, the director of curriculum and instruction for the Caesar Rodney School District in Wyoming, Delaware. “It’s part of our nature to want to help,” she adds.

Publication By Jahana Martin, SREBVolume 1, Issue 10February 28, 2020

Shaking Things Up With Coding in Core Classes
Promising Practices from the 2019 Making Schools Work Conference

newsletter cover Coding is the act of writing a set of instructions that a computer understands so it will perform a task. Learning to code can help improve soft skills, also known as 21st-century skills or employability skills, that lead to success in the classroom or the workforce. Among other skills, coding builds students’ capacity to analyze data, design creative solutions to problems and collaborate in teams.

Publication By Diane James, SREB, and Richard Morrison, SREBFebruary 14, 2020Volume 1, Issue 9

Taking School Improvement to the Next Level With a Needs Assessment
Promising Practices from the 2019 Making Schools Work Conference

Newsletter coverWoodlawn High School in Birmingham, Alabama, is an urban school on a journey of transitioning from a culture of underperformance to one in which teachers and students are empowered to take ownership of learning and academic growth.

Publication January 30, 2020By Diane James, SREBVolume 1, Issue 8

Highlights From a Few of Our Featured Speakers
Promising Practices from the 2019 Making Schools Work Conference

The Opportunity Myth: How School Is Letting Students Down and How to Fix It

Classrooms are filled with students whose big goals for their lives are slipping away each day.

“That’s because we’ve been telling them that doing well in school creates opportunities — that showing up, doing the work and meeting teachers’ expectations will prepare them for their futures,” notes a report from TNTP (formerly The New Teacher Project). TNTP calls this gap between students’ goals and the messages we send them, “the opportunity myth.”

Publication January 15, 2020Jahana Martin, SREB, and Joe Tadlock, SREBVolume 1, Issue 7

Choosing the Edtech That Fits
Promising Practices from the 2019 Making Schools Work Conference

Picture of newsletter cover Have you wondered if the education technology you’re using is right for your classroom, or whether you should be incorporating technology into your classroom? Educators can use technology as a tool to facilitate learning best practices and differentiating instruction, say Carl Robinson, Calvin Moore and Terrika Oliver of Richmond County School System in Augusta, Georgia.

Publication December 13, 2019Diane James, SREBVolume 1, Issue 6

Increase Graduation Rates Among African American Males
Promising Practices from the 2019 Making Schools Work Conference

Picture of newsletterMcKinley Vocational High School in Buffalo, New York, beats the odds when it comes to graduating African American males. Nationwide, research shows the graduation rate for black males is 59 percent — the lowest of any population in the country.

But at McKinley, the four-year graduation rate for African American males reached 87 percent in 2017 — more than 20 percentage points higher than the New York State average of 63 percent. The school’s five-year graduation rate for black males is 90 percent. A lot of credit goes to principal Marck Abraham, who took over the reins as principal in the 2016-17 school year after serving as assistant principal there.

Publication November 15, 2019Diane James, SREBVolume 1, Issue 5

Taking the Bias Out of Teacher Evaluations
Promising Practices From the 2019 Making Schools Work Conference

 An evaluation system that fosters a growth mindset and truly improves teaching and learning is something teachers and administrators can get excited about. Such a system is not tied to the stress of determining teachers’ pay raises but instead results in feedback that is linked to effective teaching and students’ mastery of standards.

Publication October 30, 2019Kirsten Sundell, SREBVolume 1, Issue 4

Mobile Career Counseling — Thinking Outside the Schoolhouse
Promising Practices From the 2019 Making Schools Work Conference

Leaders and instructors at James Rumsey Technical Institute in Martinsburg, West Virginia, are justifiably proud of their Mobile Career Center.

This 53’ custom-built, multi-module lab space brings career exploration and awareness of JRTI’s college- and career- ready programs to youth and adults across a large region of West Virginia.

Publication October 15, 2019Jahana Martin, SREBVolume 1, Issue 3

Real World Communications: A 21st-Century Elective
Promising Practices From the 2019 Making Schools Work Conference

Create electives focused on increasing college and career readiness. This was the task for educators at Bellevue High School in Bellevue, Ohio. Jennifer Mercer, an English language arts and dual enrollment teacher, had a vision – design an elective that is student-led, teaches 21st-century skills and meets state learning standards.

Mercer wanted this elective to empower each student to become a better communicator and develop leadership skills. Her idea was inspired by a proposed speech class that evolved to include technical writing and social media writing and culminated in a real-world communications class.

Publication September 30, 2019Kirsten Sundell, SREBVolume 1, Issue 2

Transforming an Old Shop Class Into a 21st-Century Hands-On STEAM Lab
Promising Practices From the 2019 Making Schools Work Conference

Two years ago, Demopolis City Schools took a hard look at its vision for college and career ready graduates and realized that the needs of students and the area workforce were not being met.

DCS is in Alabama’s Black Belt, a region once known for its rich soil but now marked by poverty. This city district serves 2,300 students – two-thirds of whom receive free or reduced-price lunch – and comprises four campuses.