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Tell Us YOUR Story: Blog to Support Special Needs

Did you know that according to a recent study, close to 3 million school-aged children across the United States have a disability? That’s 5.2 percent of the entire population of U.S. students.

The percentage of students enrolled in special education programs has grown at nearly twice the rate of students enrolled in general education.

These numbers reflect the rise in occurrences of disabilities in students, but what they fail to do is speak to these students’ stories. These reports fail to acknowledge that behind the labels, IEPs, politics, and policies, these students have lives, and these lives are impacting others. They are more than their disabilities; more than points on a spectr…

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Protecting Children with Allergies at School

Food allergies, especially nut allergies, have made headlines in recent years. Many people are unaware that food allergies can be extremely serious, even life threatening, as was the case with Natalie Giorgi, a vivacious 13-year-old girl who died last June as a result of eating a dessert that contained peanut butter. Giorgi had been staying at a summer camp with her family and had always been cautious about what she consumed. Her untimely death certainly provided an example of how deadly food allergies can be, causing schools and other institutions to seriously evaluate their …

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Private School Begins Testing Students for Drug and Alcohol Use

Anti-drug programs are nothing new to schools, but one private school in Illinois is taking zero tolerance to a new level. The Huffington Post reports that Catholic high school St. Viator, located in a Chicago suburb, recently started screening students for drugs and alcohol in an effort to combat the dangerous effects of drugs and underage drinking. Every week, the school uses a computerized lottery system to randomly test between 10 and 20 students. According to the school principal, Rev. Corey Brost, “We want to give kids a good reason to say, 'No, I can't drink, St. Viato…

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Pediatricians’ Advice: Kids Should Spend Less Time Online

According to new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), kids are spending too much time on cell phones and computers. The Huffington Post reported that the AAP feels children should not have computers in their bedrooms and that their media and Internet consumption should be limited to two hours a day. This two-hour limit would include all television viewing and time spent on social network sites like Twitter, with the only exceptions being schoolwork that requires computer usage. The recommendation has been issued to try to combat…

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New York Imposes New Teacher Evaluations

On Saturday, June 2, the New York State Education Department imposed a new teacher evaluation system on New York City teachers. The controversial system evaluates teachers using multiple kinds of data, including principal observations and student test scores. Other school districts in New York had already adopted their own forms of the…

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Louisiana’s Voucher Program Grows

Louisiana’s taxpayer-funded educational voucher program takes students from Louisiana’s poorest performing schools and gives them vouchers to attend high-performing private and parochial schools. It is designed to impact low-income families who could otherwise not afford to send their children to a private school. Of those chosen for the program, 91 percent are minority students and all have a family income that is less than 250 percent of the federal poverty line.

The voucher program is set to grow from the 5,000 students who participated during the 2012-13 academic year to 8,000 students in 2013-14. Despite the controversy surrounding the program, more than