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AM News: Returning To School, Plus Other News


In U.S. Schools Monday, 'We Are All Going To Be Hypervigilant' AP:  Jessica Kornfeld drove her children to their elementary school this past weekend. She wanted them to feel reassured that it was still a safe place, despite a horrific shooting in New England that killed 20 students very close to their own age.

Parents, Schools Are On Edge WSJ: Parents across the country wrestled with fears for their children's safety as they prepared to return to school this week, while some districts planned to increase security in the aftermath of the massacre.

In Wake of Newtown Shooting, Grappling With What to Tell the Children NYT: Officials and parents spent the weekend anxious about how to talk to students about Friday’s shooting and how best to discourage something like it from happening again.

More coverage of Sandy Hook inside

Virginia faces a test as math scores plummet Washington Post (Jay Mathews): Steve Shapiro, a math teacher at Falls Church High School in Fairfax County, had a sick feeling when he saw the results of last spring’s state math tests. At his school, where more than half the students are low-income, the passing rate on Algebra I dropped from 92 percent to 75 percent. The statewide decline was even bigger, from 94 percent to 75 percent.

Fiscal Cliff May Force Some High Schools to Close USNews:  Rural schools and those serving low-income students would be hardest hit by automatic spending cuts.

Schools Safer Than 1990s as Educators Anticipate Killers Bloomberg News: In the 2009-2010 year, 17 children ages 5 to 18 died in homicides at school, traveling to or from campuses or at school events, according to the U.S. Education Department. That’s about half the annual figure during much of the 1990s. In a population of more than 50 million students, the school-related death toll has been about 1 percent of all homicides for that age group.

Recognizing Signs of Grief in Your Child, Helping Them Understand Tragedy PBS: Dr. Jeannie V. Pasacreta is a psychologist and resident of Newtown. She helps people deal with trauma, stress and even teaches others how to recognize the signs.She offered the following advice to parents on recognizing behavioral changes in children and talking to them about traumatic events in the most constructive way:

Former Ed Secretary: Arm School Employees Huffington Post: In the wake of the Newtown, Conn., mass shooting that claimed 26 lives Friday, former Education Secretary Bill Bennett said Sunday that schools should possibly consider arming certain employees to prevent attacks.

Obama signals action following school shooting AP: President Barack Obama is vowing to use ''whatever power this office holds'' to safeguard the nation's children, raising the prospect that he will pursue policy changes to stem gun violence in the wake of an elementary school ...

Connecticut school could not have prevented shooting, experts say Reuters: U.S. school districts have spent millions of dollars on metal detectors, security cameras and elaborate emergency-response plans since the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School, but almost nothing could have prevented Friday's massacre.





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