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Kalyn Belsha

National Reporter

Kalyn Belsha is a national reporter for Chalkbeat based in Chicago. Previously, she covered education for The Chicago Reporter, Catalyst Chicago and the suburban Chicago Tribune. She is a former Spencer Fellow in Education Reporting at Columbia University and has taught journalism at Loyola University Chicago.

Many schools saw an uptick in ninth graders repeating the grade this year. Now educators are trying to step in sooner to help struggling freshmen.
Schools are rearranging furniture, trying new activities, and offering teachers training on ways they can add more speaking practice into their lessons.
An Ohio educator won top teaching honors this week for his work connecting with high schoolers and crafting relevant history lessons.
Some educators have already made changes to lessons about LGBTQ issues because of these new curriculum laws.
Schools and states have faced hiring and scheduling challenges as they launch large-scale tutoring initiatives.
Schools are teetering between optimism and exhaustion two years into the pandemic.
As Iowa lawmakers took on “divisive concepts,” a conference highlighting students was postponed indefinitely.
With pandemic waivers set to expire, schools are bracing for higher meal costs and summer planning hiccups.
COVID has made recruiting tougher, but the latest drops are also part of a years-long trend.
Intensive advising, revamped credit recovery, and more staff are among the strategies high schools are trying.
Secretary Miguel Cardona also challenged schools to offer intensive tutoring to help students catch up.
High school graduation rates dipped in 20 of 26 states with data for the class of 2021, suggesting the pandemic may have ended nearly two decades of progress toward getting more students diplomas.
Staffing shortages and student absences have teachers and students deflated and worried.
As schools struggle with staffing shortages, federal officials say they should consider raising salaries and hiring more substitutes.
Some school staff say they could have done more to help families in crisis if they’d had earlier access to their funds.
Federal funding is helping to launch new efforts to screen, counsel, and treat students. But some schools are struggling to fill new mental health roles.
The trajectory has some breathing a sigh of relief, but school officials nationwide say they aren’t yet confident about longer-term trends.
Some students weren’t allowed to enroll in their district’s virtual program, while others are going without help as they learn remotely.
A competitive labor market and educator exhaustion are complicating recruiting.
Trauma, grief, and new routines are contributing to a rockier-than-expected start for many.
The administration says Head Start staff will be required to get shots. It’s urging states to require vaccines for teachers, too.
Limits on enrollment, time with peers, and instruction have contributed to relatively low sign-ups for virtual options this year.
Educators are trying to get students the help they need without mistaking the effects of the pandemic for something more.
It’s the latest escalation in tensions between federal and state officials over who can set the terms for school safety.
President Biden ratcheted up the political battle over school safety and masks on Wednesday.
Some students are being sent home with only paper packets or are receiving no instruction at all.