Earlier this month, Sci-Tech was named a National Blue Ribbon School. The award is given to schools recognized for closing the achievement gap among students and demonstrating that all students can achieve at high levels. It’s a major milestone for Sci-Tech High and the whole Harrisburg School District. “Let me tell you, I’m a proud Harrisburg High School alum, and so this is not just an accomplishment for Sci-Tech, this is a great day for Harrisburg School District because all of our students come from the city of Harrisburg,” said Dr. Sieta Achampong, principal of Sci-Tech High School. Sci-Tech is one of just 19 schools in the state to receive the National Blue Ribbon Award this year.

Philadelphia city officials consider Southwest Philadelphia to be an “out-of-school-time desert” because there are few high quality, organized afterschool programming options there compared to other sections of the city. But children who live in these areas “should have the same access to chess teams or debate teams,” Sara Morningstar, director of programs at After School Activities Partnerships (ASAP), said. “They should have the same access to those opportunities. School days are so structured and afterschool programs let kids do what they want to do.” ASAP, a nonprofit that facilitates free and low-cost afterschool and summer clubs around the city of Philadelphia, started an afterschool program at the Francis Myers Recreation Center in Southwest Philadelphia. Morningstar said the organization chose Francis Myers because of the dearth of afterschool options in the area.

Both the House and the Senate overwhelmingly passed the final compromise opioid legislation (HR 6) – sending the bill to the president’s desk for signature this month. The legislation recognizes a role for youth-serving organizations such as afterschool and summer learning providers in youth opioid prevention as well as trauma-informed care provisions. The bipartisan opioid legislation agreement preserves the Senate version’s strong child welfare and trauma-informed care provisions, including $50 million for new trauma-informed care and mental health integration grants for schools. A special thank you is owed to Senators Murray and Alexander who supported these provisions and the afterschool professionals who weighed in on the value of afterschool in addressing the opioid epidemic at a Senate Afterschool Caucus briefing this past summer.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, so it is a great time to promote anti-bullying activities. Although it is well known that bullying is a widespread problem that can have serious implications on students’ academic and non-academic wellbeing, the anti-bullying and cyberbullying legislative mandates districts must follow are complex and can be hard to navigate. To get a better grip on a district’s bullying prevention responsibilities, eSchool News spoke with Tina Hegner, manager of research and development at PublicSchoolWORKS. In her role, Hegner researches and interprets state and federal legislation to help districts meet existing and new requirements.

Deadline: October 30, 2018

The National Afterschool Association needs your help to learn more about your experience with and opinions about social-emotional learning (SEL) in before and afterschool programs. This research is being conducted by Interactive Educational Systems Design, an independent, education-focused research institution, on behalf of developers of SEL resources. Share your opinion in a quick survey and be entered to win one of two cash awards of $400 each.

More than half of today’s adult workers (62 percent) say they were never exposed to STEM-related studies and career possibilities in elementary school, according to a survey from littleBits and YouGov. The findings support other research indicating that early exposure to STEM courses helps students stick with these studies even as the material becomes more challenging in high school and college. U.S. workers with 1-2 years of STEM workforce experience say they had the highest exposure to STEM concepts in elementary school – 46 percent of adults in this group experienced a science- or math-related track in school, and 53 percent is working in a job that either entirely or heavily involves STEM.

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