Virtual School Meanderings

August 25, 2016

e-News August 2016 | New School Year, Fresh Start!

Also from Tuesday’s inbox…

August 2016

New school year, fresh start!
Have you set your goals for student and personal success this year? Now’s a great time to take stock of what you know works in your schools and classrooms and build on it to reach new levels of achievement. Building trust begins on the first day of school and sets a foundation for student and staff success. Here are a few tips to help get you in the school mindset.
“Let students know you believe they can learn and that
you will partner with them to succeed.”
-Consulting Director Bj Stone
“Remember to encourage risk-taking and questioning in your classroom.
In order for students to learn, they need to feel both safe and accepted.”
-Managing Consultant Cheryl Abla
“No matter how little or how much English an English learner (EL) speaks
upon arrival at school, no matter how much of the EL’s native language
the educator speaks, a smile transcends all.”
-Managing Consultant Jane Hill
Need a customized solution?
 
We can provide you with contextualized consulting, coaching, and support to achieve your goals. Just let us know how we can help!

Research Roundup

Perceptions of school climate are predictive of student literacy results
McREL International

The Department of Education and Training in Victoria, Australia contracted with McREL to develop a highly reliable staff opinion survey to measure five key areas of school function: school climate, school leadership, professional learning, staff safety and well-being, and teaching and learning. Using a predictive validity study to examine the survey results as they relate to student achievement on standardized assessments, McREL researchers found that school climate was the greatest predictor of Grade 5 achievement in literacy. Further statistical analysis showed that strong leadership led to better teacher collaboration, which then led to academic optimism.

Caution flags for tech in classrooms
NPR

This NPR story profiles three recent studies on educational technology and its effect on student learning, which showed mixed results. In some cases, technology inhibited learning when overused or when students’ understanding of the purpose for the technology was limited and their use of technology was not fully supported.

U.S. Department of Education’s experiences with flexibility waivers could inform efforts to assist states with new requirements
U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)

GAO’s analysis of the ESEA flexibility waiver program revealed that 12 of the 43 states with waivers had difficulty with implementation, and the GAO recommends that, as the new ESSA law begins to be implemented, the Department of Education should incorporate applicable lessons learned.

New from McREL

White Paper | Applying best practices for effective vocabulary instruction
VocabularySpellingCity, in partnership with McREL, released a report showing that direct vocabulary instruction, coupled with engaging word study activities, builds critical vocabulary skills necessary to ensure academic success. Research has consistently shown the power of vocabulary in determining academic destiny. Students with weak vocabularies tend to decline academically, while students with stronger vocabularies tend to learn faster. Download the white paper.

How to select school interventions
Selecting and implementing the right intervention for your students’ needs can be a daunting task. Our newest resource, Recommended Protocol for Selecting School Interventions, walks school leaders and teams through seven key steps to take when selecting school interventions to accelerate student growth. From the first step (collect and analyze data to identify your priority area of focus) to the last (evaluate the efficacy of the intervention), the document provides multiple action steps and questions to consider that will help you make better intervention decisions. Download this free resource.

Perspectives

Blog Post | Igniting students’ passion to learn through National History Day
 
In this blog post for the Boost Collaborative Breakfast Club Blog, McREL managing researcher and evaluator Tara Donahue shares her experience visiting a Michigan classroom to view students’ exhibits for the National History Day competition, and offers her thoughts on why meaningful projects help students stay engaged and challenged.

Blog Post | Four fallacies that keep us from finishing what we start
 
What keeps us from finishing school improvement initiatives that we start? Often it can be traced back to fallacies that form our belief systems about school improvement. In this blog post, McREL consulting director Bj Stone offers four valuable tips to help implement and sustain initiatives and get them across the finish line. Read her blog post.

Headlines

Simi Valley Unified rings the schoolbell
The Simi Valley Acorn reported that Simi Valley USD teachers received McREL’s Classroom Instruction That Works professional development over the summer. “This is giving us a systematic approach with regards to classroom instruction that we haven’t had for quite some time,” Superintendent Peplinksi said. Read the story.

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.

Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents Fall Conference
Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Sept. 11-14

South Dakota Indian Education Summit
Pierre, South Dakota, Sept. 25-27

Region 13 ESC – Advancing Improvement in Education Conference
San Antonio, Texas, Oct. 4-6

Georgia Department of Education Instructional Leadership Conference
Stone Mountain, Georgia, Oct. 5-6

MENA Teacher Summit
Dubai, UAE, Oct. 7-8

American Association of School Personnel Administrators Annual Conference
Orlando, Florida, Oct. 11-14
Client Testimonial
“The Classroom Instruction That Works framework is the design 
to provide quality instruction for all students.
Dr. Nancy Alexander, Retired School Superintendent, Alexander Consulting
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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

August 6, 2016

REL Southeast Director’s Email – August 2016

From Wednesday’s inbox…

The latest news and updates from the REL Southeast
at Florida State University
View this email in your browser
REL Southeast Email Header

Greetings from the Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast!

We are pleased to announce the release of a new product, Double–Dosing in Middle School Mathematics. More information regarding this research-based publication may be found in this email, on our website, rel-se.fsu.edu, and the IES website, ies.ed.gov.We look forward to delivering additional insightful, research-based products and resources in the future, and as always, thank you for helping to improve education in the Southeast.


Barbara Foorman, Ph.D.
Director, REL Southeast

Contact Us

REL Southeast at Florida State University
http://rel-se.fsu.edu
2010 Levy Avenue, Suite 100
Tallahassee, FL 32310

Double–Dosing in Middle School Mathematics

Double-dosing expands time for students to learn mathematics by having them participate in two (or occasionally more) mathematics classes during the regular school day in a given school year. Although the practice can take different forms and be used for different grade levels, most research on double-dosing has focused on students who need preparation to make the transition to Algebra I or similar rigorous high school mathematics classes—typically, grade 8 or grade 9 students. This study provides a more complete picture of the prevalence of double-dosing in mathematics in one state for the most recent year data were available: North Carolina in 2011/12. In addition to describing the prevalence of double-dosing in mathematics, the study reports the extent of its use for remediation, grade-level maintenance, and enrichment. The report also compares schools that offer double-dosing in mathematics with those that do not and examines the various characteristics of students enrolled in double-dosing.

Read the report at: http://bit.ly/2aTi9LV

This Director’s Email was developed by REL Southeast under Contract ED-IES-12-C-0011 from the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences.  The content does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of IES or the U.S. Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. government.

August 5, 2016

English Language Learners | Data Literacy | Teacher Growth

Also from Wednesday’s inbox…

WestEd E-Bulletin
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Monthly highlights of WestEd’s research, resources, services, and events to help all learners succeed in school and career.

English Language Learners

ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERSEnglish Learners Who May Have Learning Disabilities: Translating Research Into Policy

Learn about research that provides guidance to policymakers and educators on how to best identify and support English learners who may have learning disabilities. Read the latest R&D Alert Online article.

Also, download the latest print edition of R&D Alert to learn how digital media improved preschool math learning.

Standards, Assessments, & Accountability

STANDARDS, ASSESSMENT, & ACCOUNTABILITYStandards, Assessment, & Accountability: What Are States Doing?

The Center on Standards & Assessment Implementation (CSAI) conducted comprehensive reviews to learn what states across the country are doing regarding:

  • Assessment opt-out
  • Assessment and course requirements for high school graduation
  • Student growth measures utilized by state school accountability systems
  • Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten assessments
  • School climate and stakeholder engagement measures

Download CSAI reports and updates to learn more.

Teachers & Leaders

TEACHERS & LEADERSBuilding a Culture of Education Data Use: New Self-Paced, Online Course

Discover the elements of an effective data-using culture, receive strategies for extending that culture into your school or district, and improve the data-use practices of teachers and school leaders.

Register for Building a Culture of Data Use in Schools and Districts, a free online workshop for administrators, teachers, coaches, and data teams.

Visit this WestEd.org blog post for more information.

Teachers & Leaders

TEACHERS & LEADERSTeacher Growth and Innovation Equals Student Success

The Center for the Future of Teaching & Learning advances teacher growth and innovation to improve student success. To advance student success, The Center’s latest initiative is focused on strengthening implementation of California’s new State Standards to help ensure students are college- and career-ready.

Visit The Center’s recently launched website and read the latest edition of CenterView, California District Leaders on Common Core: Professional Learning Gaps Persist, to learn more.

English Language Learners

ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERSEnhancing the Teaching and Learning of English Language Learners

From English learner classification to rigorous content-area, standards-based instruction, WestEd helps educators address the dual needs of students who must master academic content and the English language simultaneously.

Visit our English Language Learners page to learn about WestEd services, research, and resources.

WestEd Celebrates 50 Years

AGENCY NEWSWestEd Celebrating 50 Years

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 authorized federal funding for Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs). Among the 10 RELs established across the country a year later were FWL (Far West) and SWRL (Southwest), which merged three decades later to form WestEd.

Read about more WestEd historical milestones.

Resource SpotlightResource Spotlight

Resource Spotlight

New Releases: Standards Implementation — What Are Teachers’ and Administrators’ Perceptions and Experiences?

Download these recent reports to learn how schools and districts are implementing college- and career-readiness standards:

Featured InitiativeFeatured Initiative

Featured Initiative

West Comprehensive Center: Helping Arizona, Nevada, and Utah State Education Agencies Improve Student Outcomes

The West Comprehensive Center works with state education leaders in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah to implement and sustain statewide initiatives designed to improve student outcomes. The Center’s activities include:

  • Convening regional and state communities of practice
  • Providing expertise, onsite consultation and guidance
  • Providing current and emergent research, evidence-based practices and resources in eight priority areas

Visit the West Comprehensive Center website for more information on this federally funded key initiative.

WestEd 50 Years - Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence

Follow Us: Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Visit us online at WestEd.org

Copyright © 2016 WestEd. All rights reserved WestEd, 730 Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

July 23, 2016

e-News July 2016 | Free Tool For Selecting Interventions

From Thursday’s inbox…

July 2016

Gearing up for the new school year?
We hope you’re having a marvelous summer! We’re in the middle of hosting our annual summer PD workshops and institutes, helping educators from across the U.S. and around the world learn strategies for higher levels of teaching and leading.
If you couldn’t make it to one of our sessions, check out our books that leverage our extensive knowledge base on what works in teaching and leading to help strengthen your practice with practical guidance you can use today—-and into the future—-to enhance student achievement.
         
Need a customized solution?
 
We can also provide contextualized consulting, training, coaching, and support, onsite at your location and/or via online delivery. Just let us know how we can help!

Research Roundup

Impacts of professional development in classroom assessment on teacher and student outcomes
The Journal of Educational Research

An impact study conducted by McREL of the Classroom Assessment for Student Learning (CASL) program, a professional development program on formative assessment practices, found positive impacts of CASL on teacher knowledge of assessment and the frequency of student involvement in classroom assessment. However, the study also found that implementation fidelity of the program was below the CASL developer recommendations, and no statistically significant impacts on student achievement were found.

Is classroom stress contagious? Study shows link between teacher and student stress
University of British Columbia

A recent study of 406 4th- through 7th-graders and their classroom teachers showed a link between teacher stress and higher levels of cortisol, a hormone related to stress, in students. Teachers completed surveys and rated school climate indicators and their associated stress levels, while students’ free cortisol levels in their saliva were tested three times each day over a period of eight weeks.

The Hidden Role of Teachers: Child and classroom predictors of change in interracial friendships
New York University (NYU)

Using data from the Early Adolescent Development Study, researchers from NYU showed that interracial friendships among elementary and middle school students decrease over time, even in diverse classrooms. However, the study also showed that teachers can play a role in fostering friendship diversity.

New from McREL

How to select school interventions
Selecting and implementing the right intervention for your students’ needs can be a daunting task. Our newest resource,Recommended Protocol for Selecting School Interventions, walks school leaders and teams through seven key steps to take when selecting school interventions to accelerate student growth. From the first step (collect and analyze data to identify your priority area of focus) to the last (evaluate the efficacy of the intervention), the document provides multiple action steps and questions to consider that will help you make better intervention decisions. Download this free resource.

Perspectives

Blog Post | Four fallacies that keep us from finishing what we start
 
What keeps us from finishing school improvement initiatives that we start? Often it can be traced back to fallacies that form our belief systems about school improvement. In this blog post, McREL consulting director Bj Stone offers four valuable tips to help implement and sustain initiatives and get them across the finish line. Read her blog post.

Video | How to be a change agent: Educational Leadership interview with Bryan Goodwin
 
In this video interview with ASCD’s Educational Leadership, McREL’s CEO Bryan Goodwin shares his thoughts on how teachers can be change agents, what school leaders can do when they face resistance to change, and how to build on the work of early adopters. Watch the video.

Headlines

McREL partner Science4Us wins national industry awards for innovation
Science4Us, a digitally delivered science curriculum for K-2 students, won the SIAA CODiE award for Best Science Instructional Solution, and a BESSIE award for Best Science Concepts website. In 2013, McREL provided an efficacy study of Science4Us, finding that students who used the curriculum out-performed students in the control group. Development for Science4Us was supported by IES’ SBIR program. Read the IES announcement on the awards.

Events & Opportunities

Conference Sessions | Annual CASE Convention
Breckenridge, Colorado, Jul. 25-29
Join McREL staff at the Colorado Association of School Executives’ annual leadership conference for two presentations:
Bryan Goodwin will lead a session on unleashing student and teacher potential, revealing the leadership keys to shifting to an “inside-out” improvement approach that taps teachers’ intrinsic motivation to get better every day and focuses on a powerful driver of success: student curiosity.

Matt Seebaum will present a high-reliability approach to system improvement and leadership development, offering a model and examples of districts that have successfully connected the principles of High Reliability Organizations (HROs) and Improvement Cycles with a focus on developing leadership at all levels. Learn more and register.

Summer PD | Classroom Instruction That Works® | Workshop
Denver, Colorado, Jul. 25-27
Learn research-based, practice-proven instructional strategies and ways to implement them in the classroom. Discover how each strategy can be effective with any student, at any grade level, and in any subject area, to enhance student achievement.
  • Learn new, evidence-based insights from the most recent, rigorous research
  • Get a framework to strengthen instructional design
  • Discover the reasons for choosing certain strategies for certain situations
  • Connect the strategies to essential 21st century skills

Whether the strategies are new to you or something you already use every day, this workshop will help you raise your level of effectiveness. Learn more and register.

Summer PD | Classroom Instruction That Works | Authorized Facilitator Training
Denver, Colorado, Jul. 25-29
Attend our Classroom Instruction That Works (CITW) facilitator training to learn effective research-based instructional strategies and methods to help other teachers learn and implement these strategies in their classrooms. The first three days of this training will solidify your understanding of the nine CITW categories of instructional strategies and an instructional planning framework that maximizes the strategies’ effectiveness. The final two days will prepare you to become an authorized facilitator of CITW workshops in your own district or region. Learn more and register.

Conference Sessions | NSTA Annual STEM Expo
Denver, Colorado, Jul. 27-29
NSTA’s annual STEM Forum & Expo brings together educators, administrators, and companies who are interested in—-and have tools and resources to share—-successful implementation of STEM education.
Join McREL consultants Anne Tweed and Whitney Cobb for their sessions on a PD model for GreenSTEM programs, citizen scientists’ virtual exploration of our universe, STEAM education connecting art and science concepts using images from NASA missions, and how to harness the power of out-of-school-time partnerships to enhance STEM programs.

In addition, stop by the McREL booth in the Exhibit Hall to learn more about our services that support the development and implementation of high-quality STEM instruction and experiences for students. Learn more and register.

Conference Sessions | Wyoming Department of Education WAVE Symposium
Cheyenne, Wyoming, Aug. 1-4
Join McREL staff at the Wyoming Department of Education’s Week of Academic Vision and Excellence (WAVE) Symposium. Adena Miller will share information on how special education staff can foster greater collaboration and shared responsibility for MTSS with all educators to ensure that the needs of every student are met. Catherine Johnson will give an overview of a regional pilot project that is helping Native American students develop strong academic language skills.

Learn more and register.

Client Testimonial
“The best investment the CNMI Public School System has made 
is partnering with McREL in improving our school system.”
Vincent Dela Cruz, Principal, Chacha Ocean View Middle School
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Quick Links
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Follow McREL
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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

July 16, 2016

Teacher Evaluation | Standards Implementation | English Learners

From Tuesday’s inbox…

WestEd E-Bulletin
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Monthly highlights of WestEd’s research, resources, services, and events to help all learners succeed in school and career.

R&D Alert Online

LITERACYToward Widespread Improvement of Literacy in Secondary Schools: Taking Reading Apprenticeship to Scale

Read about how more than 1,900 teachers and 600,000 students in five states participated in Reading Apprenticeship, WestEd’s signature approach to improving secondary school literacy. This five-year scale-up effort was found to have a positive impact. Learn more in this R&D Alert article.

Also, check out the latest print edition of R&D Alert to learn how digital media improved preschool math learning.

children holding up hand to ask question

STANDARDS, ASSESSMENT, & ACCOUNTABILITYInsights Into California Standards Implementation — Perceptions, Progress, and Partnership: New Research

Read about California’s implementation of the Common Core standards, and educators’ perceptions of them:

teachers in conversation smiling

TEACHERS & LEADERSValidity of Inferences From Observation Data, Evaluation Data Use, and Teacher Satisfaction With Evaluation Processes: New Research

Three new resources feature teacher evaluations from research, data, and teacher satisfaction standpoints:

teachers sitting roundtable in conversation

PROFESSIONAL LEARNING OPPORTUNITIESEnglish Learners and Distributed School Leadership Summer Professional Learning: Register Today!

A few seats are still available in these two courses:

teacher using computer

STANDARDS, ASSESSMENT, & ACCOUNTABILITYEnsuring All Students Meet the New Standards

WestEd partners with clients nationwide on research-based solutions to gauge school, teacher, and student performance and make the best use of the results.

Visit our Standards, Assessment, & Accountability page to learn about our related research, services, resources, news, and events.

Also learn about WestEd’s Standards, Assessment, and Accountability Services (SAAS) program, which provides states and education entities with policy guidance and technical assistance on building effective and aligned school, district, and educator accountability systems.

WestEd Celebrates 50 Years

AGENCY NEWSWestEd Celebrates 50 Years

During the 1990s, a study showed that teachers who participated for two or more years in case-based discussions developed by WestEd’s Mathematics Case Methods Project improved their math knowledge by over 20 percentage points.

Read more WestEd historical milestones on our Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence page.

Resource SpotlightResource Spotlight

Summer Reading: English Language Learners

Featured InitiativeFeatured Initiative

Understanding Proficiency

Understanding Proficiency: Learning From Student Work on Performance Tasks

Understanding Proficiency provides resources to help educators develop a deeper understanding of the Common Core State Standards by analyzing student work on performance tasks.

Visit the Understanding Proficiency website to get started.

WestEd 50 Years - Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence

Follow Us: Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Visit us online at WestEd.org

Copyright © 2016 WestEd. All rights reserved WestEd, 730 Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

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