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A Worthwhile Glance: Your Favorite Blog Posts of 2016


Top Blog Posts of 2016
2016 is officially behind us now.

I’m just going to savor that thought for a moment. Maybe two moments.

Many of us may not wish to spare a backwards glance at what was, by any standard, a tumultuous year. The truth is, though, there are many good reasons to reflect on 2016.

For Frontline Education, 2016 was a year of unprecedented growth and change; we welcomed four companies to the Frontline fold, rebranded the company, launched the Frontline Research & Learning Institute and added special education and intervention to our solutions — just to name a few highlights.

We covered a lot of ground on the Frontline Education blog last year. Topics ranged from the teacher shortage, to increasing teacher engagement in professional learning, to running an effective substitute program, to big ideas for student interventions. 60 posts, well over 50,000 words and plenty of insights.

Here, in no particular order, are some of your favorite blog posts of 2016.

Buckle Up: FLSA Lawsuits Looming Over School Districts
This detailed piece examines the growing number of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) filed cases and Department of Labor investigations. The post also features a helpful interactive map that details, by organization, how many FLSA violations were found and how much noncompliance has cost that organization.

The Experts Are in the Room
In this companion piece to the Frontline Research & Learning Institute’s Bridging the Gap report on the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) criteria for effective professional development, Susan Walters and I argue that, with a clear understanding of ESSA’s criteria, educators and administrators can assess, revise and reorganize existing offerings rather than scrap everything and start over.

When the Teacher’s Out Too Often
There are good reasons for teachers having to miss work. Chronic absenteeism among teachers, though, can prove staggeringly costly in terms of real dollars and student learning. This post explores this topic and offers suggestions for how to address chronic absenteeism at the district, school and data levels.

Department of Labor Publishes New Overtime Rules
This post explores how the Department of Labor’s new overtime rules affect school systems. The white paper associated with this piece is a must-read for HR administrators as well. The expanded overtime regulations may be on hold for now, but this information is still relevant and important.

Solving the Teacher Shortage: Recruiting Is Just One Piece of the Puzzle
An in-depth look at how one school district, Deerfield Public Schools 109, addresses teacher shortages with a comprehensive recruitment and hiring strategy.

Are Schools and Districts Causing Employee Absences?
In light of findings from an April Frontline Research & Learning Institute report, this post takes a close look at professionally-related absences — absences over which school systems have control. I recommend reading this piece in light of the Institute’s latest absence report; the findings are as relevant as ever.

The Tyranny of Hours: Time-Based Learning Is a Disservice to Students
In this piece, online professional learning expert Rachel Fisher explains her frustration with the concept of “learning by hours” and makes a case for moving toward a competency-based learning model for professional development.

How To: Managing Problem Behaviors with Check-In/Check-Out
In this guest post, RTI expert Jim Wright outlines a highly-effective, modified version of the Check-In/Check-Out intervention strategy.

Supporting Your Support Staff
This piece featuring video commentary from Nathifa Carmichael of Fulton County Schools and Mark Benigni of Meriden Public Schools speaks to the importance of providing professional development to support staff so that everyone in a school system has a common view of the objectives and opportunities to develop and grow.

How to Attract First-rate Substitutes by Recognizing Them as Educators
One of the first contributions of the year, this video-based post states a compelling case for recruiting and retaining substitutes by treating them like the educators they are.

Erik Drobey

For the past 15 years, Erik has worked to support educators and instructional leaders.