Latest Stories

What You Can Do When the Swastika Appears in Your Classroom

What You Can Do When the Swastika Appears in Your Classroom

This article was co-authored with Katya Mocalis. For more resources or if you have any questions, please contact her at kmocalis@illuminateed.com or Dr. Gail Thompson at gthompson@illuminateed.com. ***** A high school teacher in Southern California was shocked one day to learn that one of her students had used a permanent marker to draw a swastika on … Continue reading What You Can Do When the Swastika Appears in Your Classroom

Meeting the Needs of Our English Language Learners

Meeting the Needs of Our English Language Learners

The issue of meeting the needs of our Long-Term English Learners (LTEL) and English Language Learners (ELL) is challenging and complex. Let’s start by considering some facts. LTEL and ELL students currently represent the fastest growing segment of school-age population in the U.S. Yet, the numbers are showing that many of them are struggling in … Continue reading Meeting the Needs of Our English Language Learners

Getting Grading Right: How to Grade for Learning

Getting Grading Right: How to Grade for Learning

Grading is foundational to your role as an educator. If you get grading right, it’ll help everything else that you do like instruction, assessment, curriculum, and evaluation. You’ll also see immediate results three months from now. But if you get it wrong, no matter how earnest your efforts are in these other areas, it’ll cut the … Continue reading Getting Grading Right: How to Grade for Learning

Creating a Community of Engaged Learners

Creating a Community of Engaged Learners

Since the 1980s, much has been written about student engagement and how to improve it. While various psychological theories contribute to the overall picture of what makes students interested in learning, little has been done to organize the research into a coherent model that students, parents, and educators can use to improve academic outcomes. School … Continue reading Creating a Community of Engaged Learners

Illuminator Spotlight: Timothy Brienza (Cibola HS)

Illuminator Spotlight: Timothy Brienza (Cibola HS)

Meet Timothy Brienza, the Principal at Cibola High School. His role involves managing the day-to-day activities of his campus and overseeing faculty and staff, which includes setting the educational vision and goals to align with expectations. Yuma has been an Illuminate customer for over 5 years. We asked Timothy a few questions to learn about what’s happening … Continue reading Illuminator Spotlight: Timothy Brienza (Cibola HS)

Identifying the Problem of Percentile Ranks

Identifying the Problem of Percentile Ranks

In education, we frequently use the “Percentile Rank” score a student receives on tests to report to parents and understand how that student performs. As educators we really like the percentile rank because it seems easy and intuitive to understand. However, this article will present some cautionary concepts when using the percentile rank scores on … Continue reading Identifying the Problem of Percentile Ranks

6 Practical Safeguards to Protect Student Data

6 Practical Safeguards to Protect Student Data

As schools are preparing students to learn and utilize 21st century skills, it’s natural that students and their teachers are using more and more resources online. As a result, student information is being placed into information and learning management systems that are online. Not only is there a legal obligation to protect student data through … Continue reading 6 Practical Safeguards to Protect Student Data

Why Are Teachers Quitting? Finding Ways to Deal with Recruitment & Retention

Why Are Teachers Quitting? Finding Ways to Deal with Recruitment & Retention

There are reports that U.S. schools are dealing with yet another teacher shortage. It seems that many districts are facing the challenges of trying to fill classrooms with qualified teachers—with no easy fix in the horizon.  This is a significant shift from when teachers were being laid off 10 years ago, including the years after … Continue reading Why Are Teachers Quitting? Finding Ways to Deal with Recruitment & Retention

Addressing the Focus, Data & Usability of a Modern SIS

Addressing the Focus, Data & Usability of a Modern SIS

Educators are starting to see that the traditional student information system (SIS) is no longer cutting it. There’s an ongoing shift towards systems that are modernized and focused on comprehensive student growth, with features to truly engage districts and promote student success. Typically, the SIS is defined to address (but is not limited to) seven … Continue reading Addressing the Focus, Data & Usability of a Modern SIS

Steps for Teachers & Site Leaders to Apply Differentiated Instruction

Steps for Teachers & Site Leaders to Apply Differentiated Instruction

Classrooms consist of a broad array of diverse learners. Each student comes to school with diverse learning needs, and teachers are being asked to satisfy those needs based on various factors: a student’s home language and culture, student prerequisite skills and knowledge, and learning styles. To support teachers in delivering a high-quality instructional program that … Continue reading Steps for Teachers & Site Leaders to Apply Differentiated Instruction