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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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Opponents of latest AR state tax cuts say they benefit wealthy Arkansans; Julian Assange agrees to a plea deal that would allow him to avoid imprisonment in US; Tech-based carbon-capture projects make headway in local government; NV nonprofit calls Biden's student debt initiatives economic justice.

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Charges against fake electors in Nevada are dismissed, Milwaukee officials get ready to expect the unexpected at the RNC convention, and the Justice Department says Alaska is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

Nashville superintendent works to nurture students' mental health

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Thursday, May 23, 2024   

In Tennessee and across the country, Black women who are school superintendents are tackling the challenges faced by students from marginalized communities, particularly their social and emotional well-being.

The most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal more than four in 10 students reported feeling "persistently down or hopeless."

Adrienne Battle, director and superintendent of Metro Nashville Public Schools, will be part of a virtual event today on this topic. At "Superintendents of Color Leading with Excellence," she will discuss ways to meet students' social, emotional and academic needs with initiatives like their "navigators" program, connecting students to resources and wraparound services.

"We assign every student in our district to a navigator and/or really, a caring adult who checks in with them on a frequent basis," Battle explained. "To make sure that they do have an advocate and that they have someone that they can talk to if there's a need."

Battle added the district has also invested heavily in mental health and social-emotional learning support by increasing the number of psychologists, social workers and other specialists in the schools.

Battle pointed out she grew up in the Metro Nashville school system and credited her decision to become an educator to the inspiring women who nurtured her as a student. She noted fewer women of color are in superintendent positions.

"As a classroom teacher, we know that over 70% of classroom teachers are women," Battle emphasized. "We know that there is a lower percentage of those classroom teachers who are Black women. We know that national data that less than 30% of superintendents are female, and even fewer are Black superintendents."

In the virtual event, Battle will also share information about Advocacy Centers established at elementary schools, and Peace Centers at middle and high schools. The centers focus on de-escalation techniques and restorative practices to foster a positive school environment.


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