Why We Desperately Need Social Emotional Learning to Support Our Students

Posted on Apr 10, 2018

Social Emotional Learning Supports Our Students

The struggle is real: Being a teenager (and pre-teen) is hard.

Think back to when you were a teenager. Do remember the battle of trying to figure out who you were (the self-discovery stage) and how you felt like no one around you could understand you (i.e., adults just don’t get it)? Then there’s the issue of the onset of acne, the invasion of the hormone body snatchers, and just being self-conscious about your body in general. Many of us were in the battle of trying to convince peers of how braces and glasses were cool . The overall awkwardness alone was enough to make you feel like you could die from embarrassing moments.

And these were just the personal struggles.

What about the struggles at school? The many different teachers, the challenges of learning new skills and concepts (especially when some subjects didn’t ‘...

Decrease Dropout Rates with Online Learning

Posted on Apr 6, 2018

Decrease Dropout Rates with Online Learning

Ensuring high school completion is not just a school or regional priority. It's a national priority.

Although the overall high school completion rates have increased over the past century, schools still face the challenge of how to prevent students from deciding to leave. The most challenging aspect when determining prevention strategies is the fact that there is not a singular precedent for determining what that ‘red flag,’ deciding factor is. This is largely due to many factors that determine why a student may elect to not complete school.

While the number of low-grad-rate high schools has declined considerably over the past decade, the number is still high in some states. With the new Federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) graduation requirements going into effect, many districts are faced with asking themselves the tough questions surrounding accountability for...

The Silent Disruptor: Chronic Absenteeism Quietly Undermines Student Success

Posted on Apr 4, 2018

Chronic absenteeism undermines student success

A staggering 7 million students across the nation miss so much school that they are considered academically at risk.

No matter what grade you are affiliated with – and whether you’re a teacher, administrator, or superintendent – chronic absenteeism affects you.

Much like graduation (and dropout) rates, chronic absenteeism is not confined to a single state or geographic region. And while subgroups of students are disproportionality affected, chronic absenteeism is not confined to one population of students either.

This is a topic that affects people across the spectrum: from student to state.

What is Chronic Absenteeism?

The word “chronic absence” was coined in 2008 by Hedy Chang, who published research on whether or not missing school in early grades correlated to low reading proficiency by the end of third grade. Hedy needed...

5 Barriers to Summer School Solved with Odysseyware

Posted on Mar 27, 2018

5 Barriers to Summer School Solved with Odysseyware

Let’s face it; the mere mention of summer school can send some students – and some teachers – running down the hall to escape!

As a former teacher who taught summer school (and summer camp) every summer, I understand the conflicting feeling of knowing the importance of Summer School and the positive effects for everyone involved, yet simultaneously feeling a little overwhelmed thinking about the resources that go along with planning and implementation. I also know my principal always had a hard time finding teachers who had the availability to take on the full-time commitment. Finding and leveraging resources to put together a great summer school program can be daunting.

But what if I could help you rethink your summer school plan?

What if instead of spending time and extra money researching, or creating group or personalized curriculum for...

Pop Quiz: What do you know about your state’s new ESSA Graduation Requirements?

Posted on Mar 16, 2018

ESSA graduation requirements

First and foremost, you are not alone in facing the changes with the new Federal ESSA graduation requirements. To date, nearly all states have submitted their plans on how they intend to hold districts and schools accountable for ESSA compliance. Districts and schools across the nation are having to evaluate whether their school is adhering to the new graduation requirements by:

asking the tough questions about whether they are in compliance with their state’s requirements around graduation rates, building strategies to address requirements and convey school data to stakeholders, and, creating and executing a plan of action to be in compliance.

ESSA is multi-faceted in regard to the different bylaws that make it up. However, with the submission of state plans for approval, many states (more than 30) have taken a clear interest in topics of Chronic Absenteeism and College-and...

Celebrate “March is Reading Month” Through Odysseyware Literacy Tools

Posted on Mar 12, 2018

Literacy is essential for work, learning and life. It’s how we interact and communicate with the world around us. It’s so important that in the United States we dedicate an entire month of awareness to the written word!

But reading isn’t easy for all kids – or adults for that matter. Reading is a complex cognitive process that takes place in our brains. We decode symbols and derive meaning. Our brains may do this process differently, which means we may sometimes have problems with decoding, interpreting, and comprehending these symbols. In fact, it was found that nearly 32 million adults in the United States can’t read above a fifth grade level, and 19% of high school graduates can’t read .

Odysseyware recognizes that reading has a profound impact on people’s lives. This is why we include built in instructional support and literacy tools to give our students the...

Beyond Academics: The Whole Learner Approach

Posted on Mar 1, 2018

The whole picture for the whole learner

For a moment, let’s take a look back in time using a virtual time-travel machine and go back to your days in elementary, middle or high school.

(Bonus points for anyone who remembers Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure!)

Your time-travel assignment: Recall your time as a student.

What was the environment like when you were a student in school? How did your teacher teach? Were you offered options that were different from others in your room? Did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up? Were there resources to help you figure it out? How did you learn best? How many textbooks did you have? Were there computers at your school? Did you feel safe? Did you have lockdown drills? Did you have to make choices for not only yourself, but for your family as well? Were you or your friends bullied at school?...