Virtual School Meanderings

October 21, 2016

e-News October 2016 | Making Sense Of ESSA And Social Emotional Learning

Another item from yesterday’s inbox…


October 2016

Making sense of ESSA
Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states and districts now have more flexibility in measuring student outcomes. ESSA incorporates broader definitions of student success, including factors related to social and emotional learning. Our contextualized consulting, coaching, and support can help you align your improvement efforts with ESSA and build your school or district’s capacity as a high reliability and high performance system.
Just let us know how we can help!

Research Roundup

U.S. high school graduation rate reaches record high
The White House

U.S. high school graduation rates reached an all-time high of 83.2 percent in the 2014-15 school year, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics recently highlighted by President Obama. Increases in graduation rates were seen across demographic subgroups of learners, but English learners showed the largest increase, a 6.1 percent gain from 2010-11 to 2014-15. Read the White House Fact Sheet.

Digital Education Survey: Explore emerging trends in digital education technology


Deloitte surveyed more than 2,800 teachers, students, and parents to find out what types of technology are being used in and out of the classroom for learning, and how often. Among the findings, 42 percent of teachers said they use digital technology in the classroom every day; top uses were online educational videos, educational apps or software, websites for research, and content- or skill-specific games. Interestingly, a strong majority of students (75 percent) said they wanted to spend more time using digital content at home to learn more about what they study in school—-an idea that most teachers (84 percent) and parents (88 percent) also supported. Read the 2016 Digital Education Survey.

Five reasons teacher residencies often outperform traditional training
The Hechinger Report

In response to the new teacher preparation program regulations recently set by the U.S. Department of Education, this article outlines five benefits for teachers who completed a high-quality residency under the guidance of mentor teachers: effective classroom management skills, high-quality lesson planning, improved quality of teaching, better professionalism, and employability and retention.

New from McREL

Changing Schools, Fall 2016 | Spotlight on social and emotional learning

Social and emotional learning (SEL) practices can help students succeed in academics and in life—-but how can schools approach it systemically? This issue of McREL’s Changing Schools looks at the research behind SEL, how to select and implement the right program and create the culture and conditions to support it, ESSA’s impact on SEL and measuring nonacademic factors of student success, and how SEL connects with student motivation and curiosity.  Read the new issue online.

NASA honors 2016 Dawn Mission communications and outreach team from McREL
NASA recently honored several McREL staff members for their “outstanding execution” as part of the agency’s public communications campaign for the Dawn mission. The Dawn spacecraft traveled to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter to explore the protoplanet Vesta in 2011-2012 and is now exploring dwarf planet Ceres. Learn more about the Dawn Mission.

Video | NASA Impact of Discovery/Mission Makers Workshop

In April 2016, 230 participants at four sites across the U.S. joined mission scientists from NASA Discovery and New Frontiers and teams fromEurekus and McREL for a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) experience to gain engineering literacy and classroom “maker project” ideas by constructing simple machine instruments for a shoe-box model rover. Watch a short video documentary of this experience and learn more about McREL’s STEM and STEAM consulting services.

REL Pacific Toolkit | Resources for Engaging Families and the Community as Partners in Education
A toolkit from the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Pacific at McREL helps schools and districts improve their outreach to families and community members. The toolkit is divided into four parts, each including a series of activities that can be used with family and community members as well as other diverse cross-stakeholder groups. The activities involve reading, writing, discussions, and creative exercises using graphics, scenarios, worksheets, and planning templates.Find the guides at the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences website.

Free Resource | How to select school interventions
Selecting and implementing the right intervention for your students’ needs can be a daunting task. Our Recommended Protocol for Selecting School Interventions document outlines key action steps and questions to consider that will help you make better intervention decisions. Download this free resource.

Events & Opportunities

McREL consultants will be at the following conferences to present sessions and/or to share information in exhibit areas. If you or your colleagues will attend, please be sure to introduce yourself to our staff.
Visit our events page or contact McREL to learn more about each event.

Colorado Department of Education Equity and Excellence Conference
Denver, Colo., Nov. 3-4

League for Innovation in the Community College’s STEMtech Conference
Chattanooga, Tenn., Nov. 7

Association of Educational Service Agencies Annual Conference
Savannah, Georgia, Nov. 30-Dec. 3


Research Matters | Model lesson plans offer a lifeline to new teachers
In the October issue of ASCD’s Educational Leadership, McREL CEO Bryan Goodwin offers research-based evidence that providing first-year and struggling teachers high-quality lesson plans helps improve teacher performance and might aid in teacher retention. Read his column.

Blog Post | Career Readiness: What does it really mean and how do we get there?

McREL consultant Susan Ryan looks at the changing landscape of career and technical education, and what it means to be career-ready. “Ultimately,” she writes, “as career training programs and academic education systems work together to prepare students for their future careers, it’s important that we acknowledge the differences among learning benchmarks that mark a variety of career pathways.” Read her blog post.


McREL training in Guam helps teachers and students “reach for the stars”
To spark student interest in STEM, the Guam Department of Education and McREL are working together to train teachers on astronomy and planetary science, including how to build rovers that can travel to different worlds throughout the universe. The CosmoQuest Project, which is supported by NASA, offers teachers first-hand experiences in order to get them engaged in STEM and “take that energy and excitement back into the classroom and be truly inspiring to their students,” said McREL consultant Whitney Cobb. Read the story.

Bahamian educators implement McREL’s Balanced Leadership
An article in the Abaconian highlighted McREL’s Balanced Leadership work with school leaders throughout the Bahamas, including the Abaco Islands. The article focuses on how McREL’s Balanced Leadership framework supports the Abaco district’s theme for the current school year, “Educate Students to Create Long Time Learners,” by helping school leaders adjust to the shifting, more demanding expectations placed on them. According to Superintendent Dr. Lenora Black, the district’s goal is effective leadership at all levels, from teachers and teacher leaders to district administrators and national education leaders. Read the story.
“We began our partnership with McREL in 2008. The ultimate beneficiaries are our staff and students, as our district is more thoughtful and strategic in how we 
implement change and determine focus.
Dr. B.J. Worthington, Superintendent, Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools, Tennessee
Follow on Twitter
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List
Follow McREL
on social media
Follow us on Twitter  View our profile on LinkedIn  Like us on Facebook  View our videos on YouTube
McREL International
4601 DTC Blvd., Suite 500
Denver, CO 80237
Copyright © 2016, McREL International. All Rights Reserved.

McREL International, 4601 DTC Blvd., Suite 500, Denver, CO 80237

Call For Proposals Now Open: 2017 USDLA National Conference

Also from yesterday’s inbox…

USDLA 2017
Call for Proposals Now Open!
Submission Deadline:  Monday, November 4, 2016
The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) is pleased to announce the 2017 Annual Conference Call for Proposals. Proposals are now being accepted based on the conference theme, USDLA: 30 Years of Driving Excellence in Distance Learning.
We welcome proposals from all corporate, education (higher and K-12), telehealth, government, and military. In keeping with our theme and our new location in Indianapolis, the following tracks are intended to guide the general areas of presentations:
Revving Your Engine – This is for current state of the field presentations (“look what we did”) focused on sharing success stories, new program development, program enhancements demonstrating historical shifts.
Racing Ahead – Near term future vision (CBE, Alt credentials, etc.).  These sessions will discuss the future direction where distance education is heading, should head, success metrics that are currently in place or should be developed to show value.
Turbocharging the Future – Longer future vision (AR/VR environments, DIYU).  This track specifically focuses on extending learning spaces using modern technologies and techniques.  Promises of AR/VR/MR, 3-d printing, immersive learning and simulations.
Pit Row – Operational presentations that can focus on the how-to’s operational planning, faculty and institutional engagement, operational shifts.
Rules of the Road – Presentations on policies, regulations, etc.  This track will cover policy development, issues with developing robust policies, balancing needs for quality vs. faculty shared governance, federal policies (NC-SARA, ADA).
Proposal Options Available
Concurrent information sessions provide an opportunity for you to give an interactive presentation in one or more of the conference topic areas. Conference attendees expect sessions to provide practical advice and the sharing of experiences. The committee seeks high quality, thought-provoking and interactive sessions, not lecture format. Co-presenters are encouraged. Also, the USDLA Program Committee may select your proposal to be featured in a panel along with other like presenters. (60 minutes)
Poster sessions allow presenters to prepare a standing tabletop poster that describes a project, process, research or other activity. Presenting a poster session will give you an opportunity to meet and network with a majority of conference attendees and USDLA Award Winners as these posters are held during the Awards Dinner Reception. (60 minutes)
Pre-conference workshops are offered as a vehicle to get the conference started, set the stage for the conference theme, and discuss relevant issues in the field of distance learning (3-hour sessions on Sunday, April 30, 2017 from 2-5pm (time subject to change.)
There will also be the potential to present your session in our virtual classroom setting, which means you will be viewed by face-to-face as well as remote attendees. You will be able to note your interest in doing this in the online proposal form and be advised if selected.
Preparing Your Proposal
The committee recommends that proposals be specific about what will make the presentation valuable to attendees. Any proposal that is perceived to be a “sales pitch” will not be considered. Your proposal should be focused on issues, innovative working solutions, and should address the conference theme. All presenters and co-presenters (regardless of session type) will be expected to register for the full conference.
All conference proposals should be submitted using the Online Proposal Form.
For your information, the automated proposal system will ask you for the following, so please gather this information prior to the time of submission:
1)     Contact Information: the name and full contact information for the lead presenter and any co-presenters
2)     Session Title: a succinct, but descriptive title of no more than ten words
3)     Format: concurrent, poster, or pre-conference workshop
4)     Abstract: 50-words (or less) – Please note: the session abstract will be used in the printed program. Make sure it accurately reflects your session, as it will be what draws people to your presentation.
5)     Content: a clear summary of learning objectives and session content in no less than 300 words, not to exceed 500 words
6)     Conference Tracks(s): session can cover more than one track
7)     Audience Focus by Constituency: K-12, higher education, corporate, government, military, and telehealth – USDLA serves multiple constituencies, from the local, state, national, and global perspectives. Please tell us who will benefit from your session (may be more than one group; strongly encouraged.)
8)     Internet: standard setup of projector and screen provided – If Internet access is needed, you must include that information in your proposal. We cannot accommodate a request made during the conference. If you need sound please bring your own speakers.
9)     Virtual Session/Live Feed: indicate desire to be considered or not considered as a virtual presenter for virtual conference attendees
Review Criteria
Conference participants will expect well-delivered presentations containing quality information that is of practical value to their day-to-day professional lives. Members of the USDLA 2016 Conference Program Committee will look for clear descriptions. Considerable weight will be given to proposals that specify session learning objectives and clearly describe why the content will be valuable to attendees.
Specifically, reviewers will look for the following:
  • Topic relevance to distance learning and the conference theme, USDLA: 30 Years of Driving Excellence in Distance Learning!
  • Quality of the presentation: substance, clarity and consistency between the title, abstract, and content within the proposal; proposal organization
  • Measurable outcomes of the presentation
  • Evidence of innovation and effective practice
  • Audience breadth, engagement, and likelihood of future application
The conference will provide a standard set up (LCD data/video projector and screen). You will need to provide your own laptop computer. If you require Internet access for your session, please indicate so in your proposal. Please note that we are unable to provide audio resources (house sound or speakers) for concurrent and/or poster sessions.
Status of Proposal and Notification
The 2017 Program Committee will review proposals and you will be contacted about the status of yours by January 20, 2017. Presenters are eligible for the Early Bird registration rate even after the close of Early Bird registration.
We look forward to seeing you at USDLA 2017!
About United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)
The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) is a non-profit association formed in 1987 and is located in Boston, Massachusetts. The association reaches 20,000 people globally with sponsors and members operating in and influencing 46% of the $913 billion dollar U.S. education and training market. USDLA promotes the development and application of distance learning for education and training and serves the needs of the distance learning community by providing advocacy, information, networking and opportunity. Distance learning and training constituencies served include pre-k-12 education, higher and continuing education, home schooling as well as business, corporate, military, government and telehealth markets. The USDLA trademarked logo is the recognized worldwide symbol of dedicated professionals committed to the distance learning industry.

Follow us on Twitter  View our profile on LinkedIn  Find us on Facebook
Send to a Colleague
United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), 76 Canal Street,Suite 301, Boston, MA 02114

Meet an FLVS Instructional Leader

From the inbox yesterday…

The Virtual Voice has published a new blog post!
View this email in your browser

Meet an FLVS Instructional Leader

We are celebrating the 2016-17 school year with blog posts featuring FLVS faculty and staff. Meet the creative and dedicated individuals who make every day a great day at FLVS! When you think of a school principal, you might imagine a friendly administrator grasping a walkie-talkie in one hand and fist bumping the students with […]

Read full article »

By Jeanne Giardino-Zanegood on Oct 19, 2016 04:51 pm

share on Twitter Like Meet an FLVS Instructional Leader on Facebook

Recent Articles:

Meet our 2016 Photo Contest Winners
FLVS Corkboard: October Highlights
The Best Day of My Life
Meet an FLVS School Counselor
To Bennu and Back!

Copyright © 2016 The Virtual Voice by Florida Virtual School, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you signed up to receive updates on our website (

Our mailing address is:

The Virtual Voice by Florida Virtual School

2145 Metrocenter Boulevard, Suite 100

Orlando, FL 32835

Add us to your address book

LRN – MB Daily: Headlines and Analysts’ Updates for 10/20/2016

The MarketBeat update for K12, Inc. from yesterday… Daily Update: Analysts' Upgrades, Downgrades & New Coverage Facebook  Twitter  StockTwits
October, 20 2016
Here are today’s top stories and analysts’ upgrades, downgrades and new coverage brought to you by

Top Stories

Your Watchlist (Manage Your Watchlist)


Get Our App: Click Here to download MarketBeat’s free smartphone app, StockAid. Available for Android, iPhone and iPad.

If you have questions about your subscription, feel free to contact us via email at

This message may contain commercial elements (such as advertising) and was sent on behalf of, a division of American Consumer News, LLC.
© 2006-2016 American Consumer News, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
1401 S. Discovery Ave., Sioux Falls, SD 57106. United States.

October 20, 2016

iNACOL Symposium | Register to Attend the Policy Advocacy Training Pre-Conference Workshop

From the neo-liberals to finish the day…

To view this email as a web page, go here.
Dear Colleagues,

Register to attend the Policy Advocacy Training Pre-Conference Workshop at the iNACOL Symposium on Tuesday, October 25 from 8:00-11:00 a.m.

Policy Advocacy Training Workshop
Maria Worthen, Dale Frost, Susan Gentz, iNACOL
Karla Phillips, The Foundation for Excellence in Education

Do you want to communicate with policymakers but are not sure where to start? This workshop offers training to develop a plan on how to communicate effectively with education policymakers. The workshop is appropriate for managers and directors who work on education policy or for beginners who aspire to work on education policy at the state or federal levels but currently do not.

This workshop will help participants build the knowledge and confidence to navigate a legislative office, speak with policymakers and deliver testimony. The passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides an incredible opportunity for states to create supportive policy environments for the transformation to student-centered learning. In this highly interactive workshop, participants will build practical skills for interacting with policymakers, including crafting an “elevator pitch,” answering tough questions and testifying to legislative committees and state or local boards. Leading national education advocates will provide illuminating case studies from successful efforts to enact supportive legislation for personalized, competency-based learning.

iNACOL offers both full- and half-day, interactive Pre-Conference Workshops for deeper learning and knowledge building. Explore other Pre-Conference Workshops here.

If you have questions regarding registering for a Pre-Conference Workshop, please contact Gigi Andrew at

We look forward to seeing you in San Antonio, Texas on October 25-28, 2016.

Not yet registered for the iNACOL Symposium on October 25-28? Click here to register now.

About the iNACOL Symposium

The iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium is the premier learning conference for those advancing powerful, personalized, learner-centered experiences and shaping the future of K-12 competency-based, blended and online learning. On October 25-28, iNACOL’s annual conference will bring together more than 3,400 experts and educational leaders exploring the leading edge of powerful, personalized learning in K-12 education from across the United States and around the world, including leading practitioners and educators, policymakers, researchers and innovators from throughout the field. Attendees will find invaluable networking opportunities; access to expertise, analysis, the latest trends and research; and thought-provoking interactive sessions for leaders shaping the future of education. The Symposium includes more than 260 engaging interactive sessions, with tags to guide attendees toward highly relevant professional learning opportunities. Learn more on the iNACOL Symposium website.


About iNACOL

The mission of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is to catalyze the transformation of K-12 education policy and practice to advance powerful, personalized, learner-centered experiences through competency-based, blended and online learning. iNACOL is a non-profit organization focusing on research, developing policy for student-centered education to ensure equity and access, developing quality standards for emerging learning models using competency-based, blended and online education, and supporting the ongoing professional development of classroom, school, and district leaders for new learning models. Visit our website, like us on Facebookconnect with us on LinkedIn and follow us on Twitter.

This email was sent to:

This email was sent by: North American Council for Online Learning dba International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL)
1934 Old Gallows Road, Suite 350, Vienna, VA, 22182-4040, United States

We respect your right to privacy – view our policy

« Previous PageNext Page »

Blog at