Quarterly Newsletters

February 2022

Returning Stronger: Student Reengagement Through and Beyond the Pandemic

Since the pandemic first hit in the spring of 2020, school districts have been working tirelessly to bring students back to schools safely. The importance of in-person instruction paired with the monumental efforts that districts, their staffs, and their communities have been engaged in cannot be understated. Through the past two years, we have seen communities come together like never before with the shared goal of supporting their students. Even with these tremendous efforts, we now realize the additional challenges that the pandemic has brought. As most students have been back in school buildings...

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May 2021

Supporting the Mental Health of Students and Staff Through the Pandemic and Beyond

The understanding of students’ social, emotional, and mental health development is at the core of creating and promoting safe and supportive learning environments. These skills and supports are essential to laying the groundwork for students to feel accepted and supported and ultimately ready to learn and reach their full potential. We must recognize that our schools are extensions of our communities, and their role in these areas is an integral piece in supporting the full developmental needs of our students.

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January 2021

Rethinking The Role of The School Resource Officer

As last summer began, the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and others brought the issues of social justice reform to the front and center. Millions of Americans took to the streets in cities large and small to protest police brutality and systemic racism, leading for many to call for significant policing reform in our communities. These feelings have also carried over into our schools where the conversation surrounds the role of school resource officers (SROs). Public schools were created to provide safe learning environments to evaluate issues that could impact a student’s welfare or impede their success...

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October 2020

The Value of Sports and Performance Programs: Understanding the Benefits and Prioritizing Programs Through a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced our communities into unprecedented times of physical isolation. With this isolation, many individuals are experiencing heightened fear, anxiety, and stress, resulting in increased issues of mental health in both new and existing forms. These current challenges have underscored the need for our schools to foster a strong sense of community and connectedness. Current events also have amplified the need for our students and school communities to have strong social and emotional skills. Resiliency, determination, understanding and managing emotions, and many skills are becoming even more essential...

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July 2020

Prevention and Intervention: An Understanding of Behavioral Threat Assessments

As school districts work on returning in the fall, reopening district offices, and resuming in-person services, questions abound about what that will look like. The COVID-19 pandemic has created an ever-growing list of new challenges for our schools and communities. With empty buildings and campuses, the emphasis is on distance learning, not on crisis preparation. However, there will come a time when teachers, students, and staff return to campus and, hopefully, a return to what will be the new normal...

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May 2020

The COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons Learned

These unprecedented times are impacting all areas of our nation and are creating new challenges for our schools and communities daily. You do not have to look far to hear about school closures, the spread of the virus, impacts to local businesses, and the deaths of loved ones. Physical isolation is amplifying existing and creating new mental health concerns. This crisis has also magnified...

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January 2020

Cybersecurity: Understanding the Threats and Risks

As we continue to become ever more reliant on technology, the risks associated with this dependence are growing at an even greater rate. The current reality is that every business and organization faces risks from cyberattacks, and our K-12 schools are no exception. The rapid pace of technological change brings new challenges in identifying threats, protecting personal information, and promoting the positive and responsible use of technology by staff and students. Unfortunately, schools tend to be attractive targets for cyberattacks as their databases...

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October 2019

Rethinking Bullying Prevention

October is Bullying Prevention Month. Despite the enormous body of research on bullying among children, we often lack a common understanding of what it means. The Oxford Dictionary defines bullying as seeking to harm, intimidate, or coerce someone perceived as vulnerable. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines it as unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-age children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.

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