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TrustED's Top Stories of 2017: Reader Favorites Recap

As we close out 2017, it’s a good time to take stock of everything that’s happened this year.

America’s K-12 public schools faced no shortage of challenges—from competition and declining enrollment to bullying and school safety to budget cuts.

Our editors have sought to help school leaders navigate these challenges by shedding light on important conversations, innovative voices, and emerging solutions. With your help, we’ve built an active community of people like yourself.

So, what issues were most important to you in 2017?

Here’s a list of our five most-read stories of 2017. As we turn the page to a New Year, our hope is that the resources included here will inform the conversation about what should come next.

1. It’s back to school. Here are three districts that are doing it right

As students headed back to school in August, teachers and school leaders across the nation did their best to make sure students were excited and energized about the year ahead. Several school systems got creative to ensure the year got off on the right foot. While these strategies were used to kick off the year, there’s nothing to say similar tactics won’t work to energize students after the winter break! Read the story

2. Study: Better school climate translates to stronger student performance

Educators, school leaders, and parents have long perceived that the safer and more comfortable their schools, the better chance students have for success. A study released in February puts hard numbers behind that well-known hypothesis. In a study of middle school students, researchers at the federal Institute of Education Sciences National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance found that students who perceived a positive school climate performed better than those who had negative opinions of climate. Bottom line? If you want to improve school performance in 2018, school climate matters. Read the story

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3. How one Virginia principal is shaking up the education game

By now, you’ve probably heard about Hamish Brewer, the t-shirt wearing, skateboard-riding principal at Fred Lynn Middle School in Prince William County, Va. Though Brewer’s edgy appearance may seem out of the ordinary, his creative approach to student engagement and school improvement is making serious waves. If you haven’t yet read about Brewer, this story from November represents a fresh chance. Read the story

4. 3 questions about the use of cameras in schools

Student safety is priority No. 1. As school leaders look to curb violence in schools, many states and districts are turning to technology to help keep students safe. In March, we took a look at several states that are considering introducing video cameras in special education classrooms. But these decisions haven’t passed without controversy. Read the story

5. What’s Next for Education: 5 realities schools must face in 2018

Here’s the understatement of the year: The nature of education is changing—rapidly. If schools don’t adapt, they will soon become irrelevant. As the 2015 AASA National Superintendent of the Year, Dr. Philip Lanoue has been an outspoken voice on the need for learner-centric change in America’s public schools. In 2017, Dr. Lanoue partnered with TrustED to launch a monthly blog, Course Correction. In an exclusive interview, we asked him to share five realities school leaders must face to affect change in their schools. His responses were fodder for one of our most-popular 2017 stories. And his advice is worth heeding in the days, months, and years to come.  Read the story

What was your favorite TrustED story from 2017? What’s the biggest challenge your school or district faces in the New Year? Tell us in the comments.