Focusing Efforts for Educational System Improvements in Puerto Rico

Focusing efforts for educational system improvements in Puerto Rico

By: Chris Soto, Senior Advisor, Office of the Secretary

The Puerto Rico education system is at a pivotal moment with many influences converging to help accelerate positive change for the Puerto Rico Department of Education, and ultimately the students it serves. The combination of the influx of federal relief dollars, a strengthened relationship with the U.S. Department of Education, and an island-wide recognition of the urgency for structural changes that address root causes and prioritize student outcomes, provides an opportunity to take a proactive approach towards addressing long-standing challenges.

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New ED-Commissioned Study on ESEA Provisions that Protect Students

New ED-commissioned study on ESEA provisions that protect students

By: Ruth Ryder, Deputy Assistant Secretary

Education leaders have no greater responsibility than ensuring student safety and well-being in school. Across the nation, these leaders have worked tirelessly over the past two years to maintain services that are vital for student wellness; to safely reopen schools; and to set conditions for a strong, equitable academic recovery. It’s been the Department of Education’s privilege to partner every step of the way in this effort.

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Growing Pathways to Success for ALL Students

A Call to Action featuring Education, Labor, and Commerce Secretaries June 1, 1:30 p.m. ET

By: Amy Loyd, Senior Advisor

This is our moment to truly reimagine education. This is our moment to lift our students, our education system, and our country to a level never before seen. As the great Congressman Lewis said, “If not us, who? If not now, when?”

-Secretary Cardona’s Vision for Education in America (2022)

Imagine a high school in which every single student is energized, excited, and engaged in powerful learning that connects them to their communities, nurtures their career aspirations, and provides them with a head start on college. These students are thriving in rigorous academics, earning several college credits before graduating from high school—including their first college math and English classes, and two classes connected to their possible future careers. These students, along with their families, receive personalized and ongoing career and college advising and navigation supports so that they make informed decisions about the classes they take, the pathways they pursue, and the goals they set for their lives.

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An Ode to Poetry Month

an ode to poetry month

Plant the seeds of poetry and help your kids grow a love of rhymes, sonnets, ballads, and all forms of poetry. Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April, when schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets throughout the United States celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. This year marks the 25th anniversary of this annual celebration.

It’s easy to help kids of any age become aware of or deepen their appreciation of this literary art form. Memorize a favorite poem, organize a virtual poetry reading for your friends, or visit a poetry landmark such as a poet’s former residence or a place of inspiration to poets like the Brooklyn Bridge.

For Teens and Older Children

Introducing your child to poetry can start at any age! Here are a few activities and resources to help your teen or older children become more familiar with poetry.

Visit the Library of Congress’s Poetry 180 site: Designed for high school student to hear or read a poem every day of the school year, this is a great way to engage and encourage students to appreciate poetry. Encourage your teens to read poems aloud to you or each other. Ask what they did or didn’t like about a poem you read together.

Focus on specific themed-based poetry: The Library of Congress has materials devoted to certain themes, including immigration and migration, work and industry, and social change. Kids can sample poems from different themes and reflect on which theme interests them the most and why.

Start a poetry notebook: Encourage students to write poems of their own in different styles of poetry: rhymes, ballads, limericks, haikus, sonnets, or odes.

Go on a global exploration: EDSITEment explores poetry across the world in different cultures and lists various lessons and resources on poetry.

Go beyond Earth’s atmosphere to the stars: NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has an entire activity, Planetary Poetry, to help students learn about and understand poetry using STEM and NASA resources.

For Younger Children

It’s never too early to introduce your baby, preschooler, or younger child to poetry. Make it a playful learning experience. Get ideas for celebrating poetry with younger children from the following resources.

Enjoy nursery rhymes together: Babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and early readers can appreciate nursery rhymes read aloud or recited to them. Toddlers, preschoolers, and Kindergarteners also can enjoy repeating a simple rhyme and practicing memorizing it. Try talking about rhyme and rhythm—beat out a rhythm to a poem on a toy drum or a drum made from recycled materials. Draw pictures of favorite nursery rhyme scenes.

Explore nature on a science and poetry walk and learn about haiku: Spring is a great time to investigate the wonders of your backyard, neighborhood parks, or a nearby state or national park. Then try some haiku, which typically focuses on the natural world.

Pick up a book of children’s poems: Visit your local public or school library and check out books of children’s poems. During National Poetry Month, the librarians may set up a special display to showcase a selection of their favorite poetry books. At home read the poems aloud to your kids. Early readers might be able to read the poems or parts of the poems aloud to you.

Be a poet: Ask your child to make up a poem of his or her own or some rhyming lines. Children who can write may write it out themselves. For younger children, write it down for them—capture their original creations and record the date. Invite them to illustrate their poems, too.

Celebrating Heroic Women Breaking Glass and Winning Gold

celebrating heroic women breaking glass and winning gold

Women have made history, shattered glass ceilings, and forged paths in an array of fields spanning from STEM and space exploration to the arts and sports. Through their achievements women have fought for and advanced equality. Some of these remarkable women and their achievements are featured in a new special exhibit housed in the White House. In partnership with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History (NMAH), the U.S. Department of Education, and the Office of the First Lady, the White House is honoring and celebrating the achievements of women during and beyond Women’s History Month. Celebrate their legacies and lasting impact with us.

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