Virtual School Meanderings

June 24, 2017

Catch Up On Your Summer Reading; Summer PD Opportunities | McREL eNews

From Wednesday’s inbox…

June 2017

Summer Reading & Professional Learning
We hope your summer is off to a great start! Are you looking for some good summer reading? Browse our book catalog, catch up on our blog posts, or read past issues ofChanging Schools magazine to learn new ways of transforming your teaching, leading, and learning.
We still have some spaces available in our summer professional learning sessions. Gain best-practice strategies you can use in your school or district throughout the 2017-18 school year to accelerate student success.
Request a free strategic session with one of our experts!
No fee, no obligations, just good ideas and inspiration for quick wins and game changers to keep your school, district, agency, or system on track for success.

Research Roundup | Call for participants 
McREL is conducting two research studies this fall, and we’re seeking classrooms and schools to participate. Please let us know if your district is interested in either or both opportunities.

Nationwide | K-5 Raz-Plus reading study
Learning A-Z, an education technology company dedicated to expanding literacy through personalized instruction, has partnered with McREL to conduct an efficacy study of its Raz-Plus program. Districts and schools will have an opportunity to use Raz-Plus materials in K-5 classrooms at no charge for up to 18 months by participating in this study, which is designed to understand whether and how the Raz-Plus program helps students improve their reading skills and outcomes. Learn more about this study and contact us.

Colorado | Pathways to Success digital game pilot study
McREL, South Central BOCES, the University of Southern California, and Filament Games have developed a digital game designed to increase middle and high school students’ academic motivation, school engagement, and graduation success. Grounded in research and theory on identity-based motivation, the game is now ready for pilot testing during the fall of 2017, and your schools can be among the first in the country to experience this leading-edge, innovative educational technology. We are seeking Colorado middle and high schools located in rural and non-urban areas, with 40% or more of students eligible for free or reduced-price meals. The pilot study will involve students in grades 7-10. Learn more about this study and contact us.

New from McREL

McREL’s research and program evaluation
McREL’s roots are in education research and analysis. Every school system has its unique strengths, challenges, climates, and stakeholders, and our research and evaluation team centers its efforts on your needs and questions, helping your data better tell your story. Our collaborative approach ensures support at every stage —- from proposal writing, to securing funding, collecting data, and reporting outcomes. By analyzing your data in your context, we can help you uncover origins of your challenges and reveal your hidden bright spots. We’ll give you contextually relevant recommendations and reader-friendly reports you can use to develop, evaluate, modify, and sustain your efforts to support high-quality teaching, leading, and learning.  Learn more about McREL’s research and evaluation services in our new brochure.

Blog Post | Informal classroom observations —- not just for principals anymore
As a school leader, what keeps you from doing classroom walkthroughs? Is it time? Capacity? Distractions? In her latest blog post, Lisa Maxfield offers suggestions for sharing leadership —- bringing other observers “into the fold” and engaging instructional coaches, peer coaches, and teacher leaders in the walkthrough process, and building a purposeful instructional community in the process. Read her blog post.

Changing Schools, Spring 2017 | Measuring what matters: How data are making a difference
Educators have an abundance of data at their disposal these days, but how can they ensure they’re using it all in a way that improves outcomes for students? This issue of Changing Schools looks at the new and expanded ways that data are making a difference today, including the use of surveys to collect valuable stakeholder feedback; the increased flexibility of ESSA; how teacher collaboration makes formative assessment more effective; ensuring data are actionable; and the importance of mindsets in getting all stakeholders excited about data. Read the new issue.

White Paper | Finding Simplicity on the Other Side of Complexity: A Strategic Planning Process Streamlines District Work and Improves the System for All
Managing a school district has become an increasingly complex endeavor. But district leaders who take a systems approach to strategic planning can simplify their work and increase the success of their principals, teachers, and students. In this white paper, Jay Harnack, the superintendent of Sublette County School District #1, and Matt Seebaum, a senior director at McREL, show how a strategic planning process reduces redundancy and workload by integrating district goals, strategic planning, and school improvement into one streamlined process. Read the white paper.

Events & Opportunities
Professional Learning with McREL
Our summer professional learning sessions are underway! We have some spots remaining in our workshops, and we’d love for you to join us! Gain research-based, best-practice strategies to help you —- and your students —- flourish. Join us in Denver for these engaging sessions with our expert presenters.
Classroom Instruction That Works®
June 26-28
Classroom Instruction That Works Authorized Facilitator Training
June 26-30
Balanced Leadership® for School-Level Leaders
July 11-14
District Leadership That Works®  
July 17-18
Classroom Instruction That Works with English Language Learners®
July 19-20

Weeklong Chats on Twitter

Looking to grow your professional learning network? Join us for our weeklong Twitter chats, where participants share best practices, strategies, and common (or uncommon) struggles and successes. Follow us on Twitter and use the hashtag #McRELchat to share your thoughts and ideas on each week’s theme with other educators.
Summer professional learning
June 19-25
Question: What professional learning are you participating in this summer?
“Must read” books for students
June 26-July 2
Question: What are “must read” books for your students?
Maintaining a passion for teaching and leading
July 10-16
Question: How do you stay passionate about teaching and leading?
Inspiring movies about education
July 17-23
Question: What is your favorite movie about education and why?

Upcoming Conferences

Tennessee ASCD 2017 Summer Institute
June 29-30 | Gatlinburg, Tennessee
McREL CEO Bryan Goodwin will be the featured presenter at the Tennessee ASCD summer institute, a two-day conference with strands for administrators and teachers. School and district leaders will learn the keys to focusing improvement plans on what matters most, while teachers will explore the three imperatives of good teaching: being demanding, being supportive, and being intentional. For more information and to register, please visit the Tennessee ASCD website.
National Principals Conference
July 9-11| Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
McREL staff will present three sessions at NAESP’s and NASSP’s combined National Principals Conference for insights and strategies on school improvement, acceleration, and innovation to help students and staff flourish. Join us for these engaging sessions:
Sunday, July 9, 9:00 a.m.A Focused Approach for Leadership Coaching: Support Structures for Principal Improvement and Innovation
with Dr. Tony Davis
Monday, July 10, 7:30 a.m.Inside-out Coaching: Helping Teachers Flourish
with Dr. Bj Stone and Kristin Rouleau
Tuesday, July 11, 9:00 a.m.Developing a Pipeline for Tennessee School Leaders
with Dr. Tony Davis and the Center for Educational Leadership at the University of Tennessee

To learn more and register, please visit the conference website.

Visit our Events page or contact McREL to learn more
about other upcoming conferences and events.
Are you a thought leader who’s committed to improving student achievement? We are now hiring for several positions
in our Honolulu and Denver offices.
McREL: Helping educators flourish
“McREL made our processes organized and efficient with great data analysis and assistance to our stakeholders.”
Dr. Brent Bacon, Chief Academic Officer, Wyoming Department of Education
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