American School Board Journal

Online only: Lessons from the Santa Rosa Firestorm

How to prepare for the unthinkable

Frank Pugh

On Monday morning on Oct. 9, I found myself at a Safeway grocery store getting things for breakfast for our unexpected family members who had arrived just hours before. I had been lucky to find this store open. The parking lot was filled with fire evacuees, and inside the store, people were dazed. Our community was in the midst of a catastrophic firestorm.

Online only: Building Blocks to School Improvement

How school leaders can help their schools change and improve

Lisa Hillian and Craig Reed

School Improvement. The district has several unaccredited schools. What does this mean in the eyes of a school board member? Part of being a board member is to make sure schools operate well. But operation and accreditation are on two ends of the spectrum. When people approach board members in the community, they want a quick fix and easy turn around. Obviously, the principal is a key factor in implementing school change.

Online only: The Canary in the Cage is Choking

As building leaders, principals are under stress

Robert A. Rammer

In the Academy Award nominated movie, “Arrival,” they used the old-fashioned “canary in a cage” technique, when the humans entered the space ship that landed on earth. The canary was the warning sign should the atmosphere pose a threat to the scientists trying to communicate with the extraterrestrial visitors. In the movie, the canary showed no signs of discomfort. I fear that is not the case in education – the education canary is displaying signs of stress.

Seeking Counsel: Safe and Healthy Environments

Federal laws attempt to address student health issues

Michael J. Julka & M. Tess O’Brien-Heinzen

Public Advocacy: Social Studies

Social media can be a useful tool, but #becareful

Daniel Kaufman

The explosion of social media over the last decade has fundamentally and permanently changed the way we communicate. Only 15 years ago, Facebook didn’t even exist, and now it boasts 2 billion monthly active users as the most popular social network worldwide, according to the website statista.com. 

Electronic School: Health Tracker

Wearable devices can increase student fitness

Glenn Cook

Schools searching for ways to curb child obesity rates are increasingly turning to wearable devices and software that provide data on student health and fitness. And when the technology is used appropriately, it is working.

President’s Perspective: ‘Taking a knee’ against unconscious bias

I have a Sunday morning ritual that consists of enjoying a great breakfast while watching NBC’s “Meet the Press.” A few weeks ago, during this ritual, I received a phone call from a local newspaper reporter who covers high school sports. I have great respect for Greg. He not only covers the play-by-play action, but also views high school sports as a microcosm of life. As a result, he often covers aspects of students’ lives and the social issues that impact them. 

President’s Perspective: ‘Taking a knee’ against unconscious bias

I have a Sunday morning ritual that consists of enjoying a great breakfast while watching NBC’s “Meet the Press.” A few weeks ago, during this ritual, I received a phone call from a local newspaper reporter who covers high school sports. I have great respect for Greg. He not only covers the play-by-play action, but also views high school sports as a microcosm of life. As a result, he often covers aspects of students’ lives and the social issues that impact them. 

Tom on Point: Not an island

Public schools are where most children learn. They are major employers, they are reference points (“turn left at the middle school”), and they are gathering places. They are a community asset, whose continued success is entrusted to the citizens themselves and led by their representatives on school boards.

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