New Superintendent's E-Journal

April 2014

In this issue:

Make Yourself at Home: Educators Helping Homeless Students
By Carol Parker, Dianne Reed, Jacqueline Smith, and Bernnell Peltier-Glaze
The U.S. Education Department reported that, for the first time, the number of homeless students in America topped one million by the end of the school year, 2010-2011. The government report said 1,065,794 homeless kids were enrolled in schools in the school year, 2010-2011, an increase of 13 percent from the previous year and 57 percent since the start.

Seeing the Forest Through the Trees
By Patrick Murphy
Not too long ago, I sat in the back of an auditorium filled with educators attending a literacy workshop. Projected on a large screen, was a passage from a high school science text. The presenter switched on a recording of a ninth grader reading the passage aloud. The student struggled through the paragraph, halting to sound out such common words as “information,” “comparison” and “chemical.” It was painful to hear.

Technology-rich Classrooms: How Districts Can Infuse Laptops into Classrooms in a Cost-effective Manner
By Mike Keppler, Spencer Weiler, and Dan Maas
Technology’s potential in revolutionizing instruction and learning has long been extolled, but many proponents have failed to realize the fiscal limitations associated with traditional one-to-one laptop infusion programs. Littleton Public Schools (LPS), in Littleton, Colorado, recently unveiled an alternative approach to purchasing every student a laptop and this program, called Inspired Writing, is generating noticeable increases in student achievement and positive impacts on classroom instruction.

The Superintendent and School Board Attorney: Selecting, Contracting and Working
By Kenneth Murray and Barbara Murray
While some larger school districts employ legal counsel in-house, most school districts in the United States contract with an outside private-practice attorney on a retainer basis. Unless a school district superintendent remains in the position for several years it is unlikely he or she will be involved in selecting a new school board attorney, sometimes known as the school district general counsel. Once an attorney is appointed to the post they will strive to remain for as long as possible because it is a good job as legal work goes. The work generally is not demanding and they are free to take on other clients but, more importantly, school districts pay their bills – not a small consideration for private-practice lawyers.

With questions contact Bob McCord, editor.