An online newsletter produced by EdSource
with support from The California Endowment 


May 6, 2014 Issue 17

Social and Emotional Health

CORE districts 'growth mindset' strategy: Convince kids intelligence is a muscle that grows with use
Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, author of the book Mindset. Photo credit: EdSource Today/ Jane Meredith Adams 

Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck's research on intelligence, motivation and achievement has changed the thinking of educators around the globe - and now it's helping to drive a first-in-the-nation experiment in seven California school districts.  


In a 2007 study, Dweck and her colleagues found that students who believed they could increase their intelligence worked harder in mathematics and outperformed peers of similar ability who believed that intelligence was a fixed trait given at birth.


Dweck dubbed the belief that intelligence can be developed a "growth mindset" and has charted its power to shift students' academic attitudes and achievements. This spring, students' beliefs about intelligence are among the social and emotional factors to be measured in a new school rating system under development in the seven districts.


Read the full story in EdSource Today.



Physical Education

Students stretching at Oakland Technical High School. Photo credit: EdSource Today/ Jane Meredith Adams
The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing has reversed itself and voted to offer military instructors a limited authorization to teach physical education. In the eyes of physical educators, respect for their field was dealt another blow.

The move would allow military instructors, who are not required to hold a bachelor's degree, to teach physical education - but only fitness and drill and only in the context of their Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) and basic military drill classes. However limited, the proposed teaching authorization is viewed by some as a rebuke to the national push for improved teacher quality.

Others see it as just the opposite - a way to improve the quality of physical education instruction already being provided in JROTC courses, which, at the discretion of local school boards, can be taken by students to fulfill the physical education requirement needed for high school graduation.

Read the full story in EdSource Today.
Community Schools

From Oakland to East Los Angeles, the concept of community schools is starting to gain ground in California. But districts thinking of embracing this "whole child" approach to education might want to look outside the state at a nationally recognized model: Cincinnati Public Schools.  


Community schools are based on the idea that the school is the hub of a community - a place where students can get all their needs met, including health and dental care, counseling and after-school programs. The theory behind this approach is that when students' needs are taken care of - whether it's a toothache or stress in the family - they can focus on academics.


Read the full story in EdSource Today


Student Health Briefs
American teens are much less likely to engage in bullying than they were a decade ago, new research suggests.

Surveys completed by middle school and high school students between 1998 and 2010 suggest that instances of both verbal and physical bullying dropped by roughly half, with much of the decline seen specifically among boys, according to the study published in the online edition of the American Journal of Public Health.

Read the full story in

A yoga program that sparked a lawsuit in the Encinitas Union School District has expanded to two other county schools.

The yoga instruction for students is paid for by a grant from the Sonima Foundation in Encinitas. Parents in the district had sued, saying that the yoga program was a form of religious instruction. A judge ruled against the parents; the case is under appeal. The program is also taught in Cajon Valley Unified and at San Diego's Monarch School.

Read the full story in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The New York City Council  is urging Mayor Bill de Blasio to offer free lunch to all public school students. In an editorial, the New York Times endorsed the idea as a way to reduce the stigma of receiving what some students deride as "free free" meals. A Lunch4Learning campaign by Community Food Advocates is working to build support.  


The Council estimated the added expense would be $20 million to $24 million, with the rest being covered by state and federal aid.   


Read the full story in the New York Times


Student Health Resources
If you have a question about school-related medical, mental health or behavioral issues, you can ask an expert directly at Ask A Specialist.

Questions and answers are archived. This online service is run by the California Department of Education's Diagnostic Center, Northern California.
"Social Media Interventions for Adolescents and Young Adults" is the topic of a webinar by the University of Michigan's Healthy Minds Network for Research on Adolescent and Young Adult Mental Health.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 from 8:30-9:30 a.m. PT. Find registration information here.
The webinar will be archived.
Recent Editions of the EdHealth Newsletter:

EdHealth Newsletter Issue 16: Vaccination opt-outs rise as school nurses try to educate
EdHealth Newsletter Issue 15: Special education needs a 'do-over,' state panel told
EdHealth Newsletter Issue 14: Educating special ed students isolated in juvenile facilities
EdHealth Newsletter Issue 13: Trying a "trauma-informed" approach in special education
EdHealth Newsletter Issue 12: Largest districts vary in use of "willful defiance"
EdHealth Newsletter Issue 11: Trauma-informed teaching to reach troubled youth

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