Coalition recommends coordination between Detroit schools, putting emphasis on reading

Reducing the chronic absenteeism rate, improving third grade reading proficiency, funding special education and making Detroit schools more desirable for students and teachers are among six priorities recommended by a coalition hoping to improve education for Detroit students. The Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren, a group of education, corporate and philanthropic and other leaders released the report, “Our Schools, Our Moment,” Wednesday at the Fellowship Chapel in northwest Detroit.The 12-page report is a call for cooperation and accountability from Detroit Public Schools Community District and charter school leaders to better serve Detroit children and families.  (Detroit Free Press)


A Detroit district plan would allow ‘master teachers’ to coach less experienced colleagues and reduce class sizes

Some of the best teachers in Detroit will likely soon have a chance to become “master teachers,” taking a dual role in which they teach children half the time and coach teachers the other half. Detroit schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti says the model would give teachers who don’t want to become administrators another way to advance their careers and potentially make more money. It would also help alleviate the district’s severe teacher shortage because master teachers would spend part of their day in the classrooms. That’s compared to the “instructional specialists” who currently support teachers in some Detroit schools. They spend all of their time instructing other teachers and have no classroom responsibilities. (Chalkbeat)


Group: Detroit must focus on literacy, growing schools

Detroit — Boosting enrollment and attendance and reforming early literacy and funding for special education are among the priorities identified in a new report from a coalition working to improve education for the city’s schoolchildren. The Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren on Wednesday unveiled “Our Schools, Our Moment,” during a news conference at Fellowship Chapel on the city’s northwest side. The 12-page list of recommendations is the product of a year of work that organizers said centers on five sets of priorities where Detroit can make significant progress on its own. A sixth proposal — calling for adequate funding for special education — will require action from Lansing and Washington, D.C., the report notes. (Detroit News)


Detroit Public Schools Community District faces lawsuit over abandoned elementary school

DETROIT - Legislators are questioning the use of funds by the Detroit Public Schools Community District amid a lawsuit over an abandoned elementary school.

Detroit Preparatory Academy is trying to buy the elementary school, renovate it and move in, but the district is blocking the move. Lawmakers said the district shouldn't be fighting it or spending money to do so.  For children at Detroit Prep Charter Academy, they're in the basement of a church, the classrooms are small and the playground is in the back corner of a parking lot. (Click On Detroit)


GOP legislators: Detroit schools violating bailout law

Lansing — Republican lawmakers on Thursday urged new Detroit superintendent Nikolai Vitti to create an A-F system to grade city schools and implement a merit pay system for teachers, arguing the district has failed to make changes required under a $617 million state bailout. “The law says that you have to do it, so you are intentionally violating the law at this point in time,” Rep. Daniela Garcia, R-Holland, told Vitti during committee testimony at the Michigan Capitol. Lawmaker frustrations appeared to be partially misplaced. The bailout law signed by Gov. Rick Snyder directs the state School Reform Office – not the district – to establish, implement and administer the A-F accountability system. (Detroit News)

Related stories:

> Detroit Free Press: Lawmakers grill Detroit schools Superintendent Vitti, accuse him of ignoring Michigan law

> Chalkbeat: In heated exchange with GOP lawmakers, Detroit schools chief Vitti defends stance on charters, property and grading schools


Why one woman thinks special education reform can’t happen in isolation

When Sharon Kelso’s kids and grandkids were still in school, they’d come home and hear the same question from her almost every day: “How was your day in school?” One day, a little over a decade ago, Kelso’s grandson gave a troubling answer. He felt violated when security guards at his school conducted a mass search of students’ personal belongings. Kelso, a Cass Tech grad, felt compelled to act. Eventually, she became the plaintiff in two cases which outlawed unreasonable mass searches of students in Detroit’s main district. (Chalkbeat)


Watch for Detroit's schools' float in Thanksgiving parade

Yuliana Ortiz, a camera and media-shy seventh-grader at Clippert Academy in Detroit, is the winning student in the 26th Annual Skillman Foundation’s Float Design Contest. Her Snowing Mountains design, unveiled Wednesday at the Parade Company, has been transformed into a float featuring a snow-covered house on a hill, kids ice skating, snowmen and trees. It will be led by the Ortiz family — mom Amalia, 41; dad Leonides, 38; brother Kevin, 8; and brother Daniel, six months — during America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade next Thursday. The theme of the 91st America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Art Van is “Woodward!! Avenue of Dreams!’’ (Detroit Free Press)


As the Detroit district focuses on improving its building stock, it’s still unclear why one sale is being denied

Abandoned schools sit empty, gathering dust or becoming magnets for crime across the Detroit district, but schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said at the school board meeting Tuesday that he has plans to change all that. “Next month, our board will receive a recommendation for a partner to review our facilities which will allow us to understand the cost of bringing each of our school buildings up to code,” he said. “This will allow us to understand how to best utilize our resources, engage the community about consolidation and building new buildings and ensuring … we have schools in every neighborhood. (Chalkbeat)


A splintered system and lack of teachers have created instability for Detroit schools. Now, leaders are craving solutions.

Like many school leaders in Detroit, Danielle Robinson spent the month of August doggedly searching for teachers. Robinson is the top Detroit official for Phalen Leadership Academies, a nonprofit charter school network that took over three Detroit schools from another manager in July. By late August, with the start of school just days away, Phalen still needed 34 teachers to staff Murphy, Stewart and Trix elementary schools. And there wasn’t much time. “We did $5,000 retention bonuses,” Robinson said. “We did  $5,000 signing bonuses. We did $1,000 referral bonuses … We needed to make sure we had enough teachers because that’s a huge thing for students when they come back — a permanent teacher in the classroom. ” (Chalkbeat)


Detroit charter schools debate gets intense at Gesu Catholic Church

Can traditional public schools and charter schools in Detroit get along, after years of us vs. them clashes? Maybe not, based on the spirited debate Wednesday night at a state of the schools event — organized by the community group 482Forward and featuring leaders from the Detroit Public Schools Community District and two key charter school authorizers. The charter leaders came to the event at Gesu Catholic Church on Detroit's west side promoting a message of collaboration and cooperation.  "We're looking forward to what the future will bring," said Cindy Schumacher, executive director of the Gov. John Engler Center for Charter Schools at Central Michigan University. (Detroit Free Press)

Related story:

> Detroit News: Vitti: Some schools of choice ‘disastrous’


Detroit chamber gets $450K to boost grad rate

Detroit – The Kresge Foundation announced a $450,000 grant Monday to the Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation for a campaign to increase the number of Metro Detroit residents with college degrees. According to Michigan’s Center for Educational Performance and Information, 73 percent of southeast Michigan high school graduates enroll in college within 12 months but only 35 percent earn a degree or credential within six years. (Detroit News)


Detroit schools taking aim at crowded classes

Guidance counselors and some district administrators are being moved into teaching positions in the Detroit Public Schools Community District — not just because the district is dealing with big teacher shortages, but because class sizes in some schools are high. District officials are also contemplating moving some assistant principals into classrooms. Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said during a board of education meeting tonight that class sizes are particularly high in some schools and in some grade levels, leaving teachers, principals, students and parents frustrated. (Detroit Free Press)


Game on! Cass Tech video game club draws big crowds

So, just how popular is the video game club at Cass Technical High School? At the same time the school’s state champion football team was on the field clobbering its way toward a big homecoming win on a recent Friday afternoon, 109 student video gamers were inside the school, filling nearly every inch of two dark, adjoining science labs on the fifth floor. At one table, they played Tower Fall. At another, they played Splatoon. In one corner, a group of them — mostly girls — tried to mimic the moves of the dancer on the screen in front of them while playing Just Dance, raising their hands in the air, shifting from side to side and spinning around to the tunes of Maroon 5’s “Maps.” (Detroit Free Press)


Detroit schools count 48,511 students on Wednesday, above budget projections

Count Day for the Detroit Public Schools Community District provided some good news. But there's even better news. The district, which has been shedding students for years, had 48,511 students show up for classes Wednesday, one of two important days of the year in which the enrollment helps determine how much state aid schools receive. That's above the 48,309 the district needed to hit to meet its budget projections. That projection took into account the return of a few thousand students from the dissolution of the Education Achievement Authority, which had operated as a state reform district in the city. (Detroit Free Press)


Strike decision for Detroit janitors on hold after last-minute talks

Last-minute discussions have halted, for now, any talk of Detroit school janitors going on strike against the private company that employs them. A spokeswoman for the union that has been working with the janitors said this morning that an 11 a.m. press conference has been called off after discussions were held early this morning. "We’re in positive talks," said Kathleen Policy, spokeswoman for the Service Employees International Union Local 1. The janitors, who work for U.S. Metro Group, serve nearly half of the school buildings in the Detroit Public Schools Community District. They had planned to announce today whether to go on strike against the Los Angeles-based company. (Detroit Free Press)


Return of PTAs key to Detroit school district's parent outreach

The Detroit Public Schools Community District is taking a familiar approach to engaging parents and teachers: It's returning Parent-Teacher Associations to schools in the district. The board of education for the district approved reinstating the groups at a meeting earlier this month. It's part of a broad approach new Superintendent Nikolai Vitti is taking to connect with parents. PTAs used to exist en masse in the district. But only a few schools have them now, said Sharlonda Buckman, the district's senior executive director of family and community engagement. (Detroit Free Press)


$300M investment to fuel Trump's STEM initiative

A $300 million commitment from the private sector will help boost computer science education programs, including classes for more than 15,000 Detroit students. The announcement from the Internet Association of the investment was made this morning, just before Ivanka Trump was to appear in downtown Detroit for a panel discussion on STEM education. And it comes a day after President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum that directs Betsy DeVos, the U.S. Secretary of Education, to steer $200 million in funding Congress already has approved to expand STEM and computer science education in U.S. schools.

Related stories:

> Detroit News: Internet group commits $300M to computer science

> Detroit News: Ivanka Trump to tout computer coding, STEM in Detroit

> Detroit Free Press: Ivanka Trump to visit Detroit on Tuesday to promote STEM education


Inside Nikolai Vitti’s early effort to transform Detroit’s battered public schools

Three months after taking on one of the most daunting tasks in American education, Nikolai Vitti was having a fit over pizza — $340,000 worth of pizza. Vitti, Detroit’s new school superintendent, had just discovered that the district had set aside that eye-popping sum of money last year to pay Domino’s Pizza for what he assumed were hundreds of thousands of slices for parties in schools. He was asked if he wanted to do the same for next year.  (Detroit Free Press)

Related story:

> Chalkbeat: Fixing Detroit’s schools won’t happen overnight. Here’s what new Superintendent Nikolai Vitti says he can do by next year.


Scores of Detroit schools are empty eyesores. Here’s why it’s so hard to bring them back to life.

The school building that Detroit Prep founder Kyle Smitley is trying — and struggling — to buy for her charter school is far from the only one sitting empty across the city.  A wave of about 200 school closures since 2000 has pockmarked the city with large, empty, often architecturally significant buildings. Some closed schools were repurposed, most often as charter schools; others were torn down. But most remain vacant, although the exact number is unclear. (Chalkbeat)


‘Possible, but daunting’: Inside Nikolai Vitti’s early effort to transform Detroit’s battered public schools

Three months after taking on one of the most daunting tasks in American education, Nikolai Vitti was having a fit over pizza — $340,000 worth of pizza.  Vitti, Detroit’s new school superintendent, had just discovered that the district had set aside that eye-popping sum of money last year to pay Domino’s Pizza for what he assumed were hundreds of thousands of slices for parties in schools. He was asked if he wanted to do the same for next year.   “Do you really think for a minute I’m going to bring a contract to the board at $340,000 for Domino’s?!” he asked an aide. “That would be like — ‘Here — write a front page story about how inefficient this district is.’ Are you insane? Are you really insane!?” (Chalkbeat)


Convicted Detroit principal gets schooled by court: Bond isn't for you. Go to prison, now

After months of trying to stay out of prison, former Detroit principal Josette Buendia has to start packing her bags and surrender her freedom. Today, a federal appeals court denied her bond, which means the convicted ex-principal has four days to report to federal prison for her crime: helping a millionaire vendor steal from DPS in exchange for kickbacks. Buendia. the former principal at Bennett Elementary School,  is under a court order to report to prison on Sept. 11 to begin her two-year sentence for approving a vendor's fake invoices in exchange for cash and gift cards. (Detroit Free Press)

Related story:

> Detroit News: Ex-DPS principal bound for prison after losing appeal


The plot (to buy a Detroit school building) thickens: Efforts to keep sold property from housing charter schools might have become illegal

The co-founder of Detroit Prep had a problem when trying to buy an old Detroit school building for her charter school: When the city school district sold the building to a private real estate company in 2009, it reserved the right to reject any use beyond housing for the next decade. This week, the restriction threatened to hold up the developer’s sale to Kyle Smitley, Detroit Prep’s co-founder, at least until she explained that she promised to pay the district $75,000 on top of the $750,000 she was spending for the building. But according to a group that lobbies on behalf of charter schools, that restriction might have been rendered void over the summer. (Chalkbeat)


Confusion spikes as a popular charter school seeks to buy an empty Detroit school building

Detroit’s new superintendent sent supporters of a popular new charter school into a panic today, potentially killing their dream of buying  a “forever home” for their school. Schools chief Nikolai Vitti, who is openly competing with charters for students, informed the co-founder through a district office that he intended to reject her plan to buy a vacant public school building. But later in the day, after learning more details about the sale, he agreed to give the matter more consideration before making a final call. (Chalkbeat)


How Detroit students made a federal case out of the city’s broken schools

On the afternoon of Thursday, Aug. 10, at the Theodore Levin United States Courthouse, attorneys representing Gov. Rick Snyder argued that the state of Michigan, which has been so intimately involved with Detroit Public Schools for almost 20 years, has no responsibility to ensure students in the district are taught how to read. The state's attorney moved for the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by seven Detroit schoolchildren in September of last year. That suit charged Gov. Snyder, the members of the Michigan Board of Education, and various other state officials with failing to provide an opportunity to learn. It was brought with the assistance of Los Angeles-based Public Counsel, the country's largest pro bono law firm. (Metro Times)


In Detroit schools, plenty of excitement, not enough teachers

The first day of the school year for the Detroit Public Schools Community District began with hope and excitement. At Bethune Elementary-Middle School, students received free backpacks. At Mumford High School, the principal said enrollment so far is surpassing projections. At Chrysler Elementary, they rolled out the red carpet to greet students and parents. And the district's new superintendent, Nikolai Vitti, during an impromptu stop at Mumford, said his overall message to the school community is that "it's a new day in Detroit." But even with that new day, the district is still dealing with an old challenge: The first day began with 250 teacher vacancies. Classes without teachers are mostly being covered by substitute teachers. (Detroit Free Press)

Related story:

> Chalkbeat: On Detroit’s first day of class, unusual staffing problems hobble some schools and draw parent protests


Some M-STEP scores are up slightly in Detroit and across the state — but reading scores were ‘disappointing.’

Coming off a tough year in which nearly two dozen Detroit schools were threatened with closure because of years of low test scores, the city school system is starting the new school year with a bit of good news: District scores are up slightly on average in several grades and subjects compared to last year. The 2017 M-STEP scores, released Tuesday by the Michigan Department of Education, show that the vast majority of Detroit students are still struggling. Just 9.9 percent of third-graders posted a passing score on the state English Language Arts exam while 12.3 percent of third graders passed the math test. (Chalkbeat)


Superintendent Nikolai Vitti: Parents are key to rebuilding Detroit schools

Part of rebuilding a broken Detroit school system may lie in building up parents so they're better able to advocate for their children and be engaged in their learning. And for Nikolai Vitti, superintendent of the Detroit Public Schools Community District, achieving that will come in the form of creating parent academies that offer classes to parents on a wide range of topics. "We'll offer classes on what questions to ask during parent-teacher conferences, how to create a culture of literacy in the home, how to fill out a FAFSA (federal student aid) form to get college aid."(Detroit Free Press)

Related story:

> Detroit News: Vitti: Detroit schools ‘building momentum’


Charter teachers at this Detroit school faced no summer pay. Then donations poured in.

Teachers at Michigan Technical Academy, a Detroit charter school that closed in June, will get paid after all, according to the management company that ran the school. The charter school closed at the end of the last school year because of financial and academic problems. Teachers learned in late July that there was no money to give them the summer pay they had earned. Sajan George, the founder and CEO of Matchbook Learning — the management company — said in a letter to staff dated today that private donations would provide the money to pay the staff. The company sent the letter to the Free Press this morning. (Detroit Free Press)

Related story:

> Chalkbeat: Closed charter school using private funds to issue unpaid teachers their summer paychecks


Teacher shortage looms over Detroit

A significant teacher shortage looms at Detroit Public Schools Community District, and it’s likely to leave some children without teachers when school starts in two weeks. Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said last week 340 teacher vacancies remain in the district, which employs about 2,700 teachers and educates an estimated 47,950 students. There are 243 general education vacancies, primarily in grades K-5, and 97 special education vacancies. That’s up from about 200 vacancies at this time last year, according to the teachers union. Whether or not there will be enough teachers for the first day of school on Sept. 5 for every classroom with students, Vitti said he is working hard to make the district fully staffed. (Detroit News)


You can help shape the future of Detroit schools

Detroit residents have a chance to help shape the future of the Detroit Public Schools Community District in a series of meetings that will be held over the next two weeks. First, though, the district's board of education, Superintendent Nikolai Vitti and key central office administrators began the process of developing a strategic plan during a daylong retreat Saturday  on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor. They spent a chunk of the day talking about updates to the mission, vision and core values statement the board developed before members took office in January. Board members and administrators also spent time talking about priorities for the district. (Detroit Free Press)


A final push to fill classrooms before the start of school

With the start of the school year now just over two weeks away, pressure is mounting on schools to hire enough teachers before classes begin. That pressure is especially intense for new Detroit Superintendent Nikolai Vitti, who has been trying to fill hundreds of vacancies ahead of his first full year as the district’s leader. The new contract approved by the school board this week could help by raising salaries, but the district is still listing nearly every teaching category as an area of “critical need.” (Chalkbeat)


Who wants to teach in Detroit? 150 come out to job fair; district to hire more than 200

If there's a silver lining in the extreme teacher shortages facing the Detroit Public Schools Community District, it's in the roughly 150 people who showed up today for a job fair, hoping to find positions in the district. Shelby Toft was one of them. After an interview with Damon Sewell, the principal at Cooke STEM Academy, she sat in a waiting room full of other job candidates, waiting for her next interview. If she gets hired by the district, it would be her first teaching job. "It's all about finding the right school," said Toft, who is interested in teaching in a school near downtown or Mexicantown. (Detroit Free Press)


Detroit school board OKs 7% pay hike for teachers over two years

The Detroit board of education on Tuesday approved a three-year contract with teachers that will provide an overall 7% increase in salaries over the next two years - a move officials say will help address the district's dire teacher shortage. The board voted 7-0 to approve the contract during a meeting at Osborn High School, in a meeting in which the board also approved agreements to settle a $28 million debt and a lawsuit against the school reform office. That recruiting is crucial for the Detroit Public Schools Community District, which on Thursday will hold the first of two job fairs this month aimed at filling more than 200 vacancies in the district. (Detroit Free Press)

Related stories:

> Chalkbeat: With new contract, first-year teachers in Detroit could soon make more than peers in Grosse Pointe and other suburbs

> Detroit News: Detroit school board OKs settlement, approves contract


Nikolai Vitti: I see myself in Detroit's struggling students

Nikolai Vitti, the school superintendent, is used to facing pressure. But Nikolai Vitti, the child struggling with reading? Among the worst moments of elementary school came when his teachers would pick a child, one by one, to read a passage from a book. “I remember sweating and thinking, ‘Oh, my God, please do not pick me.’ And then having to read and kids laughing.”  They would laugh because Vitti, now the Harvard-educated superintendent of the Detroit Public Schools Community District,  has dyslexia — a condition he didn't know he had until much later, when he was in college. It caused him to struggle with basic reading, math and writing — and made certain words difficult to read or pronounce. (Detroit Free Press)


Detroit schools may pay $28M to settle suit with janitorial company

Detroit schools would be on the hook for $28 million to settle a costly lawsuit with a janitorial services company. The Detroit board of education  is  to take action Tuesday on a proposed settlement with Maryland-based Sodexo Management, which first filed a lawsuit against the district in 2014. The company would be paid $28 million over two years, with the first payment of $16 million coming this month, according to background information prepared for the board for the meeting. (Detroit Free Press)


Find best teachers for Detroit students

Nikolai Vitti knew he’d have his hands full when he took over the Detroit Public Schools Community District in May. And just getting teachers into every classroom is proving an unreachable task for the new superintendent — for now. Vitti should take his time and make sure the hires are the best possible fit for the district. He acknowledges that when school starts next month, things won’t be perfect. The district of more than 47,000 students has 425 teacher vacancies. As of this week, Vitti has 150 certified teachers lined up from a job fair as well as a smart decision he made to move some 50 instructional specialists back to the classroom. (Detroit News)


Lawsuit over poor conditions in Detroit schools gets first day in court; state officials seek to end it

A lawsuit filed nearly a year ago over the conditions in Detroit schools had its first day in court Thursday, but it could be a month before a judge rules whether it can proceed. The suit, filed in September on behalf of seven Detroit students, argues that Gov. Rick Snyder and state education officials have deprived city students of their right to literacy by not spending adequately on local schools. The 136-page complaint paints a bleak picture of life in the city’s schools, describing condoms strewn on playgrounds, bathrooms leaking sewage into hallways, students left to grieve without support, and classrooms without qualified teachers. The suit claims that these conditions make learning difficult in Detroit schools — a conclusion that a recent study bears out. (Chalkbeat)


Is the state at fault for Detroit's school woes?

Is the State of Michigan responsible for unsavory conditions in some Detroit schools? That's a key question that is being addressed in a federal lawsuit that seeks to hold the state and a number of state officials responsible for the lack of academic achievement in five city schools. A debate over the issue — and over whether students have a fundamental right to literacy — unfolded in U.S. District Court in Detroit this afternoon, where a hearing was held on the state's bid to have the lawsuit dismissed. The lawsuit, filed Sept. 13 on behalf of seven Detroit schoolchildren attending five schools, claims the state has failed to provide them with basic literacy. U.S. District Judge Stephen Murphy said he would issue a ruling on whether to dismiss the case in about 30 days or more. (Detroit Free Press)


Suit over right to quality education faces big test

Detroit — As an unprecedented civil lawsuit over whether a quality education is a right faces its first major challenge, attorneys for Detroit students behind the litigation say conditions in the city’s schools have only gotten worse since they filed a year ago.U.S. District Judge Stephen J. Murphy III will hear arguments Thursday brought by seven Detroit schoolchildren, represented by a California public interest law firm, who are suing state officials to establish that literacy is a U.S. constitutional right. The suit, filed in September against Gov. Rick Snyder and state education officials, claims the state has functionally excluded Detroit children from Michigan’s educational system. It seeks several guarantees of equal access to literacy, screening, intervention, a statewide accountability system and other measures. (Detroit News)


Badly wanted in Detroit: Teachers for the upcoming school year

Thirty days.That's how long Detroit school district officials have to complete a massive task: Filling what appears to be an increasing number of vacant teacher positions. That rush to fill the vacancies means the district will be holding a job fair Aug. 17, and possibly another before the school year begins Sept. 5. Two weeks ago the district logged 425 teacher vacancies, well above the 263 that existed in late April.  But that number doesn't include about 100 new teachers who were hired in the last two months. It also doesn't include about 50 certified teachers who are being moved from administrative positions — where they provided support and training to other teachers — back to the classroom. (Detroit Free Press)


Here’s Detroit’s slimmed-down testing schedule, which Vitti says is only a first step in reducing pressure

A 70-percent reduction in testing that Detroit schools chief Nikolai Vitti has proposed is only the first step in a broader push to rein in runaway testing, Vitti said Friday. High school students will see the greatest impact of the changes, as they go from taking district-level exams in most subjects to taking only a state reading and math exam in 11th grade, according to the district’s draft testing schedule.


Reading, writing and soap suds: The unusual new program that teaches kids while their parents do the wash

Children at Detroit"s Fit and Fold laundromat now have computers to use and books to read while their parents do the wash — part of an effort to bring literacy programs to places where families are. The days of bored kids hanging out in front of the TV at Detroit’s Fit and Fold laundromat could be over. Now, there are books for kids to read — and take home — near the washing machines. There are computers stocked with educational software. And, a few times a week, there’s a picnic table in the parking lot where instructors read to children and work with them on their writing skills. (Chalkbeat)



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