Task force seeks to get new North Dakota teachers past the 5-year mark – By Jeff Beach, The Bismark Tribune

Providing more support for teachers in their first years is an early theme of a North Dakota task force on recruiting and retaining teachers.

The North Dakota Teacher Retention and Recruitment Task Force had its first official meeting Thursday in Bismarck, with members from various backgrounds in education sharing experiences and ideas, the North Dakota Monitor reported.

Mentorship for new teachers was discussed as being important, but for first-year teachers, finding the time to work with a mentor can be an added stressor.

Luke Schaefer of Minot, CEO of the Central Regional Education Association, asked if there was a way to lighten the load for first-year teachers to make it easier to find time to work with a mentor.


No one talks about superintendent mental health. Leaders want that to change – By Matt Zalaznick, District Administration

Even amidst high turnover, superintendent mental health is often left out of wider conversations about student and staff wellness in K12 schools. The good news is that leaders are sharing their strategies for remaining energized and in touch with the reasons they became educators.

School board meetings, even when they go smoothly, are a source of stress for many superintendents. That’s why Superintendent Quintin Shepherd of Victoria ISD in Texas schedules elementary school visits for the morning after meeting days. He spends his time reading to kindergarteners and serving as a teaching assistant.

“A lot of superintendents fall into the mindset that there’s never time for self-care and stress management,” says Shepherd, a regular contributor to District Administration’s Leadership Institute. “‘I don’t have time’ is code for ‘I don’t care.’ It’s not OK to say you don’t care bout your wellness, whether that’s physical, emotional or spiritual wellness.”

Shepherd focuses on wellness by mentally dividing his daily commutes in half. On the way to school, he thinks about how smoothly he left his house during the first half of the commute and spends the rest of the time focused on how he wants to show up for work.


Idaho’s $2B school infrastructure bill gains momentum, heads to House floor – By Nish Amarnash, K-12 Dive

With historically restrictive school funding policies, districts across Idaho have found it difficult to repair, upgrade or replace aging school infrastructure, equipment and buildings, according to an investigation conducted last year by the Idaho Statesman and ProPublica.

To ease these challenges, HB 521, introduced earlier in February, aligns with the legislature’s aim to amend state law to provide income tax relief. It would create a School Modernization Facilities Fund, funded by an annual $125 million revenue stream from sales taxes, which school districts can tap into for their construction, renovation and maintenance needs.

This development comes weeks after Little announced his Idaho Works proposal to make funding for schools a No. 1 priority, according to a proposal document.

School districts can choose to receive their distribution as a lump sum from the net proceeds of the bonds or request to receive their distribution in annualized amounts, subject to the order of priority specified for the school district facilities fund established in Section 33-911 of the Idaho Code.


Early childhood education bill wins support from state Senate panel – By Bruce Schreiner, AP News

An ambitious measure to expand early childhood education in Kentucky passed an early test Tuesday, winning broad support from a legislative panel as lawmakers look for ways to relieve parental stress by increasing access to childcare.

The proposal cleared the Senate Families and Children Committee on a 9-1 vote. The legislation still has several hurdles to clear in the final weeks of this year’s 60-day legislative session.

In promoting his bill Tuesday, Republican Sen. Danny Carroll recounted an email he received from a man expressing frustration over the difficulty he and his wife have had in finding a daycare for their young child. The man said they’re on four waiting lists for daycare and their prospects remain uncertain ahead of his wife’s scheduled return to work.