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21C Publications

The School of the 21st Century provides Issue Briefs, Brochures/Flyers and Other Publications to assist member schools in implementing the 21C program.

Issue Briefs

Arkansas School of the 21st Century: A Grassroots Effort that is Making a Difference

AR21C programs provided higher quality of preschool compared with other state-funded preschool programs and their preschoolers are significantly ahead of other state-funded preschool students on all developmental indicators by year-end, even though they started the year at or below others.

In addition, children in established Arkansas 21st Century schools:

• Are more likely to read at grade level

• Have lower absenteeism rates

• Advance to the next grade more often

• Have fewer discipline issues

• Have parents who are more involved in their education

• Stay in their current schools longer

These and other noteworthy findings from the AR21C evaluation of this grassroots initiative are described here. Serving as an example for other states, AR21C demonstrates its feasibility and impact. Several case studies highlight local variation and the grassroots driving force behind the 21C model.

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The School of the 21st Century and Head Start Working Together

The School of the 21st Century (21C) and Head Start have many commonalities, among them Edward Zigler–one of the founders of Head Start and the founder of 21C. Both 21C and Head Start are national programs with multiple components and a strong focus on early childhood experiences, parent involvement, physical and mental health, and nutrition although 21C extends beyond the provision of services to infants and preschoolers and also includes school age-child care. 21C schools have long collaborated with Head Start. In this Issue Brief, we provide an overview of each the programs and describe ways to connect 21C schools and Head Start programs. Strategies for collaboration and case studies from specific 21C programs provide examples for expanding the relationship between 21C schools and Head Start programs. Fostering such associations benefits families involved and allows children a successful transition to school and beyond.

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Braided Services and Funding: A Strategy for the 21st Century

As demonstrated by the Independence (MO) School District, 21C schools, many of which have been in operation for two decades, have developed a mechanism to support their programs and grow over time. To address increasing needs for family support, child care, and early childhood education while using variable funding streams, successful 21C programs braid resources and services. This process involves the structuring of interwoven services and funding to provide a comprehensive educational setting. This issue brief is a useful tool to aid programs in development of braiding and understanding its link with vision and intentional leadership.

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Connecting Schools and Family Child Care Homes

Family Child Care homes are numerous and located in everyone’s neighborhood. There are effective ways to work with these homes and, in our latest research and practice issue brief, we highlight examples of how schools reach out to and work with family child care providers.

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Dental Care: The Often Neglected Part of Health Care

Tooth decay is the single most common ­ and preventable ­ chronic childhood disease. Research shows that school-based oral health programs can reduce tooth decay and promote oral health. Evidence indicates that Schools of the 21st Century provide precisely the mix of education and services to improve students’ oral health and overall well-being. In this issue brief, we examine how Schools of the 21st Century implement cost-effective and efficient dental care programs.

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Enriching School Leadership Development Through Coaching

Effective school leadership promotes academic success, positive school climate, and staff stability. Traditional professional development methods, such as training, mentoring, and on-the-job leadership assignments, are useful but have some inherent limitations. Integration of leadership coaching – a highly customized learning process that helps school leaders align their purpose, choices, and actions – into an overall strategy for leadership development, succession planning, and performance management can provide impressive results.

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Improving Nutrition and Physical Activity in Schools: Internet Resources

To assist 21C and other schools’ work on health and nutrition, researchers at 21C and the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, both at Yale University, have reviewed resources from many web sites and are presenting a compilation of the best of them for use by 21C schools. These resources are designed to provide educators with opportunities to learn about and implement programs that foster healthy lifestyles. The Issue Brief includes a list of 14 specific web resources on improving nutrition and physical activity in schools, followed by an additional seven comprehensive web resources on the topic. All URLs are hyperlinked, so they can be accessed easily from the on-line version of this document.

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The School of the 21st Century Is Making a Difference: Findings from Two Research Studies

This issue brief discusses findings from two research studies supporting the view that good quality early childhood education can be successfully implemented in public schools and make a difference. The programs can help to improve children's academic achievement and have a positive impact on the entire school. Implementing such programs is often difficult, but informed leadership and teamwork can help overcome these difficulties.

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What Schools of the 21st Century Should Know About School-Based Violence Prevention

This issue brief discusses the extent of violence problems that schools now face, as well as strategies and programs that have been shown to be effective in preventing violence in schools.

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What Schools of the 21st Century Should Know About Childhood Injury Prevention

This issue brief discusses childhood injuries and accidents and how schools can adopt safety principles that will protect children from accident and injury.

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