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NBRS Leaders Present at National Data Conference

John F. Kennedy Magnet School Assistant Principal Judy Diaz and Principal Louis Cuglietto described their school’s innovative RTI process at an NCES conference.
John F. Kennedy Magnet School Assistant Principal Judy Diaz and Principal Louis Cuglietto described their school’s innovative RTI process at an NCES conference.

National Blue Ribbon School Principal Louis Cuglietto and Assistant Principal Judy Diaz of John F. Kennedy Magnet School in Port Chester, NY (2010 NBRS) delivered a presentation at a conference sponsored by the National Forum on Education Statistics on July 18th in Washington, DC.

Cuglietto and Diaz spoke on “Using Longitudinal Data through RTI and Data Team Processes to Inform Instruction and Support Services.” The Forum conference, titled “Discovering through Data,” tapped the JFK Magnet leaders to share their school’s innovative Response to Intervention (RTI) processes. The JFK RTI process supports student needs and reduces the number of students referred to the district Committee on Special Education.

JFK began using tiered interventions in 2006. School and teacher leaders developed internal data collection forms to capture key data, augmented by state assessment data, to determine students’ academic achievements and needs. They also restructured instructional support teams and provided a forum for sharing data and setting and assessing goals.

What sets her school apart, says Assistant Principal Diaz, is that JFK provides all instructional supports and interventions, in and outside of the classroom, at every tier in two languages.

Grade-level interventionists—each grade has at least one, if not two interventionists—and classroom teachers converge during grade-level RTI blocks to provide support, from interventions to enrichment, to flexible student groups.

The National Forum on Education Statistics conference was sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics and the US Department of Education. Its purpose is to improve the quality and use of education data and to produce best practice guides and other resources for the education community.

Download JFK Magnet’s NBRS application.

Your Education Questions, Answered


The Regional Educational Laboratories (REL) Program works with school districts, state departments of education, and others to conduct research and build capacity in using data to improve academic outcomes. The RELs conduct rigorous research, from descriptive studies to randomized control trials (RCTs). They also offer many forms of technical assistance, including workshops and working groups on topics such as dropout prevention strategies or data management systems.  Made up of ten Regional Educational Laboratories, the RELs are funded  by the US Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences. Tap into REL resources:

“Ask a REL” is a particularly powerful feature. For example, in response to a question about teacher induction and mentoring [pdf], the REL Northwest gathered a range of materials and links from the New Teacher Center and nine annotated citations for research papers from 2007 to 2012. In another instance, the REL Mid-Atlantic prepared a response to a question about differentiating instruction for a high school student with dyslexia [pdf].



Broad Foundation Recognizes Second Charter System with National Blue Ribbon Schools

broadNetworks of charter schools containing National Blue Ribbon Schools have received the Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools for the second year in a row. The 2013 Broad prize of $250,000 was given to the Uncommon Schools network of 32 public charter schools in New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts that together serve nearly 8,000 students, among them the students of North Star Academy Charter School in Newark, a 2010 National Blue Ribbon School. The inaugural Broad Prize, in 2012, was awarded to the YES Prep system in Houston, Texas, which contains YES Prep North Central, a 2009 National Blue Ribbon School.

Each year the prize honors a public charter school system that has demonstrated the most outstanding student performance and improvement while reducing achievement gaps for low-income students. The $250,000 in prize money will be used to support low-income student college-readiness efforts, such as scholarships, speaker series or campus visits. The prize is the sister award to the Broad Prize for Urban Education, awarded to traditional public school districts.

Robert Rodriguez, Special Assistant to the President for Education, White House Domestic Policy Council, announced the award at the 2013 National Charter Schools Conference in Washington, D.C. before more than 4,000 public charter school leaders.

A review board of prominent education researchers, policy leaders, practitioners, and executives evaluated publicly available student achievement data, collected by RTI International, on 27 large established charter school systems. The review board considered student outcomes, scalability, size, poverty, and student demographics. Eligible charter school systems have operated a minimum of five schools for four years, enroll at least 1,500 students annually, and serve sizable percentages of low-income and minority students.

FREE Offers Educators a Trove of Digital Resources

FREEFREE—the Federal Registry for Excellence in Education—offers access to more than 180,000 digital resources organized both by education topic (language arts, math, science, art and music, health, and history) and by standards in math, science, and geography.

FREE’s thousands of offerings include The Science of Music, on why some songs stick in your mind and other music-based science (created by the San Francisco Exploratorium), MegaMath, which introduces math concepts to elementary school children, (the Los Alamos National Laboratory), and All About Snow, with extensive materials ranging from how a snow flake forms to avalanches (the National Snow and Ice Data Center).

FREE is one of the most popular K – 12 websites operated by the U.S. Department of Education. Begun in 1997 by presidential request and upgraded in 2006, it draws from more than 65 Federal agencies. FREE posts updates and its Twitter feed @FreeResources links to resources connected to historical events by the current day (an “on this day” feature). RSS feeds are also available.

ED Invites Students to Intern at the Department

Secondary and post-secondary students age 16 years and older are invited to apply to serve as interns at the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to learn about the role Federal Government plays in education. Interns may explore education policy research and analysis, intergovernmental relations and public affairs, and the use of social media.

2012 U.S. Department of Education Student Interns
2012 U.S. Department of Education Student Interns

ED interns will learn first-hand about federal education policy while developing other skills such as writing, researching, communication and time-management. Interns also participate in group events, such as brownbag lunches with ED officials, movie nights and local tours. ED student internships are uncompensated.

Prospective interns should supply a cover letter explaining their interest in working at ED and particular offices of interest, an updated resume, and a completed ED intern application. These materials should be sent in one email to with the subject line: Last Name, First Name: Fall Intern Application.

Fall 2013 applications are due July 15, 2013. Spring 2014 applications are due November 15, 2013. Summer 2014 applications are due March 15, 2014.

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