Marshall Memo 807

In This Issue:

Quotes of the Week

“…Our souls make us radically equal. Our brains and bodies are not equal, but our souls are… The person who is infuriating you most right now still has a soul and so is still, deep down, beautiful and redeemable… When all is said and done all souls have a common home together, a final resting place as pieces of a larger unity.”

David Brooks in “The Souls of Brown, White, and Black Folk” in The New York

Times, October 11, 2019, https://nyti.ms/2IEOUO4

“The allure of testing lies in its apparent neutrality – its democratic indifference to a student’s background and wealth. But this is not how the current system functions. Success correlates closely to socioeconomic advantages and access to test preparation.”

Jelani Cobb in “This Is a Test” in The New Yorker, September 16, 2019,

https://bit.ly/2lFAc0C

“In classrooms, labs, and libraries where student discussion is encouraged, many may be talking – but not all may be participating, Students speak less for a multitude of reasons. They may be shy, introverted, or struggling to master a new language…”

Carly Berwick (see item #8)

“As a building leader, I [am] aware that the tone of a building is set by what you allow, what you stop, what you ignore, and what you reinforce.”

Anthony Ciuffo in “Rethinking Conventions: Keeping Gender-Diverse Students Safe”

in Educational Leadership, October 2019 (Vol. 77, #2, pp. 70-75),

https://bit.ly/2VIj6xh; Ciuffo can be reached at Ciuffoa@wantaghschools.org.

1. Taking Full Advantage of the Freedom that ESSA Provides

In this Phi Delta Kappan article, former superintendent Joshua Starr says that most current district leaders cut their teeth under No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, with compliance a big part of the job. The passage of the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) should have freed leaders to be more creative and daring, but Starr fears the habits of the last 20 years are proving difficult to unlearn. Here are the “mental models” he believes need to be tossed out if we are to maximize ESSA’s liberating potential:

• Unlearn #1: Command and control – The previous era had the central office imposing procedures, regulations, and paperwork on schools, collecting data, monitoring progress, and dispensing rewards and punishments. Instead, district leaders must be dedicated to helping front-line educators do their best work and holding themselves accountable to the community they serve.

• Unlearn #2: Top-down leadership – Newly appointed superintendents often replaced the previous agenda with their own, focusing mostly on raising test scores. The post-NCLB era “doesn’t need Lone Rangers and slash-and-burn leaders,” says Starr. “Unless superintendents secure real involvement and commitment from a critical mass of supporters – including district staff, teachers, parents, and others – then all their great ideas and plans will disappear with them the day they get chased out of office and run out of town.”

• Unlearn #3: Off-the-shelf programs implemented with fidelity – “Sure, it’s sometimes helpful to purchase a new curriculum,” says Starr, “but if you really want to improve teaching and learning, then you have to do the slow, complex work of recruiting, onboarding, and developing great teachers and principals; supporting them over time; building healthier school cultures; making good use of performance data, and so on.”

• Unlearn #4: Outdated community engagement – Perfunctory, compliance-driven parent involvement consisted mostly of one-way communication that seldom resulted in really listening to the public, says Starr: “Families and community members will want to know what school and district leaders believe and why they make the decisions they do. And stakeholders will expect a real back and forth, not a sales pitch.”

• Unlearn #5: Data-driven equity – Test scores, graduation rates, attendance data, and climate surveys don’t tell the full story of achievement gaps, he says: “School leaders ought to take a much broader perspective on the ways our public schools privilege some students and underserve others, looking not just at numerical data but also at the assumptions educators make about children from differing backgrounds, the differing ways in which rewards and punishments are handed out to those children, and all the subtle ways implicit biases enter the classroom.”

“Unlearning NCLB” by Joshua Starr in Phi Delta Kappan, October 2019 (Vol. 101, #2, pp. 58-59), no e-link available

2. Preventing School Shootings

In this article in Education Week, Jillian Peterson (Hamline University/St. Paul) and James Densley (Metropolitan State University/St. Paul), both leaders of The Violence Project, say there is a $3 billion industry focused on protecting students and educators from mass shootings: reconfiguring school architecture, classroom locks, security cameras with facial recognition, safe rooms, bulletproof windows, Kevlar backpack inserts, and lockdown drills. “There is no evidence that any of this stuff works,” say Peterson and Densley. “All we do know is that the search for school safety solutions is sending districts into more debt and hurting school climate.” More than half of U.S. teens worry about a shooting in their school, even though the chance of that happening is roughly one in 614 million.

Peterson and Densley spent two years looking for a better approach. Under a grant from the National Institute of Justice, they studied the life histories of mass shooters back to 1966 and all school shootings starting with Columbine. They also interviewed incarcerated school shooters, their families, students who planned violence but changed their minds, survivors, teachers, administrators, and first responders. They combed through media and social media, suicide notes and manifestos written by perpetrators, trial transcripts, and medical records. The researchers found that although there isn’t a single profile or predictor of violence, school shooters shared these characteristics:

– 98 percent were male.

– They were almost always a student in the school.

– They were angry or despondent over a recent event, resulting in suicidal feelings.

– They expected to die in the act, so their plans were suicidal.

– They suffered early-childhood trauma and exposure to violence at a young age.

– They studied other school shootings, often online, and found “inspiration.”

– They had access to weapons to carry out an attack; in 80 percent of cases, guns belonged to family members, most often parents and grandparents.

These common factors, say Peterson and Densley, suggest strategies to prevent school shootings from happening in the first place:

• Mitigate childhood trauma through school-based mental health services provided by counselors and social workers.

• Implement curriculum units on positive coping skills, resilience, and social-emotional learning, especially for young boys.

• Be alert to signals of trouble: “In 80 percent of cases,” say the researchers, “school shooters communicated to others that they were in crisis, whether through a marked change in behavior, an expression of suicidal thoughts or plans, or specific threats of violence.” All school staff need training on picking up signs, and everyone should have access to a system for anonymously reporting a student in crisis.

• When a student makes a threat or shares a plan, that’s a de facto suicide note and should be treated as a cry for help. “By unduly punishing or criminalizing students making threats,” say Peterson and Densley, “schools pile on stress and exacerbate any grievance… Schools need care teams dynamic enough to see opportunities to connect students with needed resources and safeguard them in a wraparound process.” In interviews with students who planned an attack and changed their mind, the reason was always that an adult reached out and provided hope.

• Schools need media literacy curriculum units to help students more critically assess what’s on the Internet and see through extremist propaganda.

• Lockdown/active shooter drills “send the message that violence is normal, when it’s not,” say Peterson and Densley. What’s more, drills may teach potential shooters (who may be taking part as students) what security measures are planned, providing guidance for working around them. “All adults in the school should be trained in active-shooter response, but schools can stop spreading the script of mass violence by protecting their students from these drills.”

• Schools need to send a strong message to families on the importance of securing all firearms in the home.

“Why School Shootings Happen” by Jillian Peterson and James Densley in Education Week, October 9, 2019 (Vol. 39, #8, p. 20), https://bit.ly/2IOD6sG; the authors can be reached at jpeterson68@hamline.edu and james.densley@metrostate.edu.

“Demystifying the ‘Safe Space’” by Matthew Kay in American Educator, Fall 2019 (Vol. 43, #3, pp. 31-34), https://www.aft.org/ae/fall2019/kay; Kay’s 2018 book is Not Light, but Fire: How to Lead Meaningful Race Conversations in the Classroom (Stenhouse)

3. Mindfulness in Schools

(Originally titled “School Safety Starts from Within”)

In this Educational Leadership article, author Thomas Armstrong advocates for mindfulness in schools as part of an overall strategy to prevent violence and deal with the stress students and staff experience in today’s world. Armstrong defines mindfulness as “attending to each present moment in time with an attitude of acceptance, openness, and curiosity.” The three key components are focus (on breathing, body sensations, or any regular activity), open monitoring (noticing internal and external experiences), and attitude (open, nonjudgmental acceptance). The goal is for people to “train their minds, regulate their emotions, control their behaviors, and cultivate healthier relationships with the people and events around them.”

Mindfulness has 1,000-year Buddhist roots and numerous modern studies have supported its efficacy for reducing stress, pain, anxiety, depression, and other physical and mental afflictions. It’s being implemented in an increasing number of schools to reduce bullying, hate speech, conflict, and violence. Armstrong has these suggestions:

• Start small. Top-down edicts for full-blown implementation are not the way to go; better to start with a group of committed educators and expand from there.

• Don’t introduce it as an add-on. Doing so will spark resistance from teachers who have been asked to take on too much in recent years. It’s strategic to fold mindfulness into existing SEL or PBIS programs.

• Keep it secular. The practice should be free of religious or spiritual trappings, emphasizing the scientific evidence of its impact.

• Try mindfulness yourself. “This ensures that you will have credibility with your students, understand their experiences, and have the tools to stay calm yourself during the ups and downs of the school day,” says Armstrong.

• Don’t expect instant results. Mindfulness works through awareness, which translates over time into being able to handle impulsivity, conflict, anger, and negative experiences.

• Have students share their experiences. This helps them process their increasing awareness and get support for their struggles.

“School Safety Starts from Within” by Thomas Armstrong in Educational Leadership, October 2019 (Vol. 77, #2, pp. 48-52), available to ASCD members or for purchase at

https://bit.ly/2IL3vYr

4. The Distance Between Adults and Today’s Young People

“It’s not our imagination, kids really are different,” says former counselor and administrator Jen Cort in this article in AMLE Magazine. “Today’s youth face four constructs that adults either did not experience at all or did not experience in the same way as youth today.” Here’s her list:

• Athletics – Many kids “major in sports” as early as seven, and sometimes focus on only one sport. Often it’s, “I’m James, a soccer player,” versus “I am James, I play soccer, baseball, and like video games.” In addition to narrowing their experience and being set up for disappointment if they don’t qualify for elite teams, specialization increases the risk of overuse and traumatic injuries. Some parents get too involved, sending an unfortunate message when victories are followed by an exultant “We won the game!” but losses by, “I’m sorry you lost.”

• Devices – Smartphones are ubiquitous, says Cort, and Google is where kids find out about things that previous generations asked the adults in their lives. One boy was told by his mother that he was too young to know what pansexual meant, so he found out online. Another asked about Charlottesville and didn’t get answers, so he went to YouTube and watched the death of Heather Heyer over and over. His takeaway was that if you stand up for what you believe, you can be killed, which directly contradicted what adults had been preaching about being an upstander. Kids are quick to see the hypocrisy of adults telling them not to be on their phones all the time and doing the same thing themselves. But limit-setting is sometimes grudgingly appreciated: one boy acknowledged that his family’s rule about not having a smartphone in the bedroom overnight was good for him.

• Development – We used to think the maturation of kids’ frontal lobes (responsible for impulse control) was complete by 18, but now scientists say it’s more like the mid-to late-20s. Puberty happens around sixth grade, right? Actually it occurs between age 8 and 13 for girls and 9 and 14 for boys – and physical changes are preceded by chemical rumblings. Families celebrate early developmental milestones – moving from a tricycle to a two-wheeler – but are reticent when it comes to preparing their kids for adolescence. “Parents and teachers serve students well,” says Cort, “by letting them know as young as second grade that just as they grew from babies to second graders, they will also grow from second graders to teenagers. Just as when they were babies, adults are present to support them through these changes.”

• Diversity – Let’s assume that people don’t remember most events that occurred before they were four. That means today’s:

– 19-year-olds don’t remember a time before smartphones and 9/11 (and the subsequent surge of Islamophobia).

– 18-year-olds are the first to grow up with their country at war their entire lives.

– 15-year-olds don’t remember a time before having an African-American president, and may experience having a white president as unusual.

– 8-year-olds don’t remember a time before the resurgence of the women’s movement, the international movement of teens around #Marchforourlives, the legalization of marriage for gay and lesbian couples, and the word transgender becoming part of the mainstream lexicon.

– 7-year-olds don’t remember a time before the #MeToo Movement and the first openly transgender male qualifying for a U.S. Olympic Team.

– 6-year-olds don’t remember a time before media race awareness changed due to the racist response to a Cheerios commercial featuring an interracial family.

– 5-year-olds are the first born into a majority-minority race demographic in the U.S.

“We are moving from believing that if we admit to being biased and privileged, we also admit to being racist,” concludes Cort, “to now, not admitting our biases and privileges means we are racially insensitive – at best prompting the question, ‘who teaches us in between?’ The answer is that we need to do our own work and learn from our students.”

“It’s Different Now” by Jen Cort in AMLE Magazine, October 2019 (Vol. 7, #4, pp. 20-22),

https://bit.ly/31gIWcP; Cort can be reached at jencortedcon@gmail.com.

5. The Power of Classroom Meetings

In this article in Middle School Journal, Jamie Silverman and Molly Mee (Towson University) describe middle-school students with serious concerns:

– An eighth grader wears his cleanest shirt to school for fear that a bully will call him out and post a photo on Snapchat ridiculing his meagre wardrobe.

– A sixth grader eats lunch in the bathroom because three girls who were her friends in elementary school turn away and whisper when they see her and won’t let her sit with them at lunch.

– A seventh grade girl who believes she should have been born a boy tapes her developing breasts and is called “slut” by a bully and shoved against a locker.

Skillful implementation of classroom community circle meetings, say Silverman and Mee, might bring about happier outcomes:

– In a meeting, when students are asked, If you had one wish, what would it be? the first student gathers up his courage and says he wishes he had a few more tops to wear this winter. The next day, he finds a shirt in his locker with this note: “Hey Man, I’ve outgrown this anyway and thought you may like it.”

– In a circle meeting, the question of the day is, What is the hardest thing about middle school so far? When it’s her turn, the sixth grader says that she’s having a hard time meeting new friends. A girl sitting next to her asks if she’d like to sit with her at lunch, and later she notices that her former friends smile at her.

– In the seventh grader’s circle meeting, the question is, What is the one thing you wish you could change about yourself? When it’s her turn, the girl says, “I wish my parents didn’t expect me to play every sport. I kind of like singing, but I don’t want to tell them.” As she says this, she notices a classmate who seems to be resonating with her situation and is resisting conforming to others’ expectations, and feels kinship and support.

What are the norms and procedures that can make community circle meetings helpful to struggling students? Some key routines:

– The teacher begins each community circle with an open-ended question.

– The teacher says all responses are to be respected and remain in the classroom.

– Students must be holding a “talking piece” to speak in meetings.

– The teacher says that when students have the talking piece, they can comment on what a classmate said, or defer their comment, or simply say, “I agree with what — said.”

– The teacher encourages students to snap (or choose a different signal) to acknowledge and agree with peers contributing thoughts or experiences.

– The teacher says that if students feel unsafe or in potential danger, they must tell an administrator or guidance counselor.

In addition to the three prompts mentioned above, here are suggested questions to kick off circle discussions:

– What do you like about yourself?

-What is your favorite activity outside of school?

-Whom do you admire and why?

– How has someone been kind to you this week?

– If you could say sorry to someone this week, who would it be and why?

– What is the most challenging thing about being a middle schooler?

– What do you enjoy most about attending this school?

– What would you change about this school if you could?

– How would it make you feel to know people were talking about you or a friend?

– What would you do if you knew someone was saying untrue things about you or a friend?

– How do you handle confrontation?

– What would you like to learn about handling difficult situations with peers?

– What is one positive thing you have learned about a peer in this class who isn’t a close friend?

– What do you like about participating in community circles?

“Community Circles: Mitigating the Impact of Trauma on the Middle-School Student” by Jamie Silverman and Molly Mee in Middle School Journal, September 2019 (Vol. 50, #4, pp. 35-41), https://bit.ly/2pkLysV; the authors can be reached at jsilverman@towson.edu and mmee@towson.edu.

6. The Effect of Teachers’ Race and Experience on Student Achievement

In this article in Educational Researcher, Katie Vinopal (The Ohio State University) and Stephen Holt (University at Albany, SUNY) report the results of their study on the impact of teachers’ race and level of experience on student achievement. “A growing body of research has documented the important benefits teachers of color bring to students of color,” say Vinopal and Holt, “including higher expectations.” Studies have also found that teachers become more effective with more years of classroom experience. Here’s what the researchers found about the interaction of these two variables:

• Rookie African-American teachers had higher expectations of their black students than beginning white teachers, but as black teachers became more experienced, their expectations of black students decreased – but were still slightly higher than the expectations of experienced white teachers.

• Rookie white teachers had lower expectations of their African-American students than more-experienced colleagues. This was especially true in lower-income and lower-achieving schools, which tend to be staffed by less-experienced teachers and have high staff turnover.

• These findings reinforce the importance of better preservice training and inservice PD on implicit bias and multicultural curriculum to counteract preconceived notions of students’ potential. “For a student with college-going talent who, for whatever reason, has not considered college a viable destination,” say Vinopal and Holt, “meeting a teacher capable of seeing their potential and planting the seeds of academic confidence could be the crucial difference.”

• As white teachers gain experience, their expectations of black students rise. For principals and superintendents in high-need schools, the implication is clear: hire and retain more experienced teachers.

• “The recruitment and retention of black teachers should continue to be a primary goal,” say Vinopal and Holt. “However… even with aggressive action, a meaningful reduction in the diversity gap between teachers and students is unlikely to happen for decades. In the meantime, our results suggest that increasing the experience level of non-black teachers teaching black students can at least moderate the racial mismatch expectations gap, ultimately reducing the negative effects of the current lack of racial representation among teachers.”

“Rookie Mistakes: The Interplay of Teacher Experience and Racial Representation” by Katie Vinopal and Stephen Holt in Educational Researcher, October 2019 (Vol. 48, #7, pp. 421-437), https://bit.ly/35veoHw; the authors can be reached at vinopal.4@osu.edu and sbholt@albany.edu.

7. Are All Students Really Getting It?

In this Edutopia article, Pérsida and Bill Himmele (Millersville University) say teachers often check for whole-class understanding by asking, Who can tell me…? or Does anyone know…? This approach has three important design flaws: (a) only a few students raise their hands and reap the academic and confidence-building benefits of being actively engaged in the discussion, while most classmates sit passively; (b) teachers tend to believe the eager beavers’ answers are representative of the learning of all students; and (c) “those students who are most likely to need help,” say the authors, “who have deep misunderstandings, or who are in the process of learning English, are the ones who are unintentionally left out of the conversation.” They suggest three better ways to check for understanding and engage all students:

• Chalkboard splash – The teacher poses a well-framed question that captures the big ideas of what’s being taught (for example, What are some challenges that you could see developing within societies that embrace capitalism?). Students are asked to write their responses in their notebooks or on a separate sheet of paper in 15 words or less. Students then get up and write their responses on the board. This gets every student thinking, gets them all out of their seats, makes a diversity of ideas visible to everyone, gives the teacher a good idea of how well the lesson is sinking in, and often leads to good follow-up.

• Appointment agendas – Each student gets a grid https://edut.to/2B9JYwv and circulates among classmates making mutual “appointments” for each of the hypothetical time-slots (8:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m., etc.). When the teacher poses a thought-provoking question, students are asked to confer with their partner for a particular time-slot (10:00 a.m., for example – it doesn’t have to correspond to the actual time), and students get up, find their appointment buddy, and discuss the question. This produces purposeful movement around the class, lots of interaction, and sets up an all-class discussion and closure.

• Pause, star, rank – After a chunk of content has been presented (for example, a two-week unit on the American Revolution), students look over their notes, put a star by each concept they believe is important to remember, and then rank-order their top three starred choices. Then students get up, do a chalkboard splash with their top-ranked concept, and discuss it with a designated Appointment Agenda classmate.

“3 Ways to Ask Questions That Engage the Whole Class” by Pérsida and Bill Himmele in Edutopia, September 26, 2019, https://edut.to/2ViBxIr; the authors can be reached at William.Himmele@millersville.edu and Persida.Himmele@millersville.edu.

8. Increasing Student Participation in Class

“In classrooms, labs, and libraries where student discussion is encouraged, many may be talking – but not all may be participating,” says education writer Carly Berwick in this School Library Journal article. “Students speak less for a multitude of reasons. They may be shy, introverted, or struggling to master a new language… All of those who are silent in a discussion-based classroom lose valuable opportunities to grow – and the class misses out on their insights.” Berwick shares several teaching strategies to counter over-sharers and too-talkative students and ensure more-equitable participation:

• Assign intriguing, multidimensional projects. Assignments should have a “low floor” – they’re accessible to all students – and a “high ceiling” – they’re conceptually challenging and draw on multiple skills and abilities.

• Get students working in small groups before sharing with the whole class. Group work greatly increases the number of students talking, but groups can still be dominated by a few students. Teachers need to be explicit about the importance of equitable participation and periodically check in on each group’s process.

• Model what productive classroom talk looks and sounds like. This might include suggested sentence stems (I think— because—) to spur conversation and give students polite ways of redirecting unproductive tangents. It can also be helpful to videotape a group discussion and (with students’ permission) share it with the whole class.

• Orchestrate productive groups. This might involve putting two strong personalities together, or having all the shy/quiet students in one group.

• Assign roles within groups. These might include a facilitator, timekeeper, summarizer, materials gatherer, and someone who encourages and ensures everyone’s contributions.

• Speak privately with blabbermouths. “I’m tough with the kids who love to speak without having something to say,” says Monica Edinger, a teacher/author in New York City. “I feel we so overvalue this sort of aimless talk.”

• Share valuable contributions. Make a point of recognizing (and getting students to recognize) ideas or questions from quiet or shy students or restating how their ideas can be helpful to the group. It’s sometimes effective to have students silently jot down ideas before sharing out.

• Use technology. Flipgrid, Seesaw, Google Docs, and video or audio recording can be a way to pause and reflect on how the process is going, as well as allowing students to capture their voice outside of class and share later.

“Something to Talk About” by Carly Berwick in School Library Journal, October 2019 (Vol. 65, #9, pp. 46-48), no e-link available

9. A Study of States’ Teacher-Evaluation Policies

In this National Council on Teacher Quality article, Nicole Gerber comments on a 2019 NCTQ study, “Teacher and Principal Evaluation Policy.” Some key findings:

– The number of states using objective measures of student growth as part of teachers’ evaluations has declined from a high of 43 in 2015 to 34 this year, with 25 using standardized test scores.

– Most states (37) require all or some teachers to be observed multiple times during the school year.

– Fewer states require that teachers be evaluated every year (22 in 2019 compared to 27 in 2015).

– Only seven states require student surveys as part of teachers’ evaluations, with all the remaining states (except for one) allowing surveys or having no policy.

– Eighteen states require improvement plans for teachers with less-than-effective ratings, almost unchanged from 2015.

[It’s striking that this study didn’t ask how many observations teachers were required to have each year, whether supervisors’ evaluation visits were announced or unannounced, and the way in which teachers received coaching and feedback (e.g., face-to-face conversations). K.M.]

“Teacher Evaluation That’s Meaningful” by Nicole Gerber, National Council on Teacher Quality, October 2019; the full NCTQ study is available at

https://www.nctq.org/pages/State-of-the-States-2019:-Teacher-and-Principal-Evaluation-Policy

10. Young Adult Books Featuring Mental Health Issues

In this School Library Journal feature, Kelly Jensen (Book Riot) recommends young adult books that deal sensitively with mental health:

– The New David Espinoza by David Aceves (HarperTeen, 2020), grade 8 and up – A teen of color struggles with body image and exercise addiction.

– The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf (S.&S./Salaam Reads, 2019), grade 8 and up – A Muslim teen copes with obsessive-compulsive disorder in a place and time where many people don’t understand.

– All That I Can Fix by Crystal Chan (S.&S./Simon Pulse, 2018), grade 7 and up – Looking at depression from the perspective of a loved one.

– The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert (Little, Brown), grade 8 and up – An exploration of addiction and recovery within a family.

– I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver (Push, 2019), grade 8 and up – Ben comes out as nonbinary, is kicked out by his parents, and deals with severe anxiety.

– American Road Trip by Patrick Flores-Scott (Holt, 2018), grade 7 and up – A brother returns from Iraq with severe PTSD and his siblings take him on a trip to recover.

– How It Feels to Float by Helena Fox (Dial, 2019), grade 9 and up – A girl “floats” (dissociates or hallucinates) to spend time with her dad, who died when she was six.

– Six Goodbyes We Never Said by Candace Ganger (Wednesday, 2019), grade 7 and up – A boy and girl comfort each other through the sudden death of his parents and her obsessive-compulsive and generalized anxiety disorders.

– For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig (HarperCollins/Greenwillow, 2018), grade 9 and up – A girl fights for her family and navigates being bipolar.

– Brave Face: A Memoir by Shaun David Hutchinson (S&S./Simon Pulse, 2019), grade 8 and up – A boy copes with the confusing interaction of growing up gay and depression.

– We Are the Perfect Girl by Ariel Kaplan (Knopf, 2019), grade 7 and up – In this reimagining of Cyrano de Bergerac, a girl deals with body dysmorphia and the fear that she’ll never be loved for who she is.

– Heroine by Mindy McGinnis (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books, 2019), grade 9 and up – A girl takes OxyContin recovering from a car accident and becomes addicted.

– The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees (Delacorte, 2019), grade 8 and up – A fantasy novel about two girls’ struggles with anxiety.

“It’s Getting Better” by Kelly Jensen in School Library Journal, October 2019 (Vol. 65, #9, pp. 52-54), no e-link available

11. Short Item: Curriculum resources – The Partnership

Curriculum resources – The Partnership https://www.thepartnership-ny.org in upstate New York provides free resources, tools, and professional development geared to Common Core ELA and math standards.

 
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