Virtual School Meanderings

February 27, 2015

REL Southeast Director’s Email – February 2015

From yesterday’s inbox…

The latest news and updates from the REL Southeast
at Florida State University
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Greetings from the Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast!

Greetings from the Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast! We are pleased to announce the release of our first product of 2015, the Summer Reading Camp Self-study Guide tool. We hope school, district, and state leaders use this tool to plan and evaluate summer reading programs. Additional information about this tool is listed below. We look forward to announcing more exciting REL Southeast products in the near future and as always, thank you for helping to improve education in the southeast.

Barbara Foorman, Ph.D.
Director, REL Southeast

Featured IES Product

Summer Reading Camp Self-study GuideThis guide is designed to facilitate self-studies of planning and implementation of state-required summer reading camp programs for grade 3 students who scored at the lowest level on the state reading assessment. It provides a template for data collection and guiding questions for discussion that may improve instruction and increase the number of students meeting the grade-level standard by the end of the summer reading camp.

The guide is composed of a scoring guide and consensus rating form. The scoring guide includes guiding questions and potential sources of evidence. After completion of the scoring guide, a facilitator will guide the self-study team through a consensus rating process to come to agreement on the current status of implementation in the district or school and planning for next steps. The content of the scoring guide is based on eight areas that research indicates are important for summer reading camp implementation: teacher effectiveness and qualifications; student selection and enrollment; instructional time; content and instruction; assessment selection and data use; mentoring and/or paraprofessional use; learning environment; and communication with administration, staff, and parents.

A complete copy of the tool may be viewed at http://bit.ly/summer_reading_camp.

Upcoming Events


Preschool Dual Language Learners Intervention Practices

Monday, March 2, 2015
3:00 – 4:30 p.m. EST
Online WebinarJoin the REL Southeast for this free online webinar, designed for early education practitioners and specialists at the Pre-K level. Participants will learn about the latest results of a recently conducted randomized control trial to promote school readiness skills in dual language learners. Major findings that will be discussed include improvements in Latino DLL’s letter identification, writing, receptive conceptual vocabulary, mathematics and overall teacher instruction. After learning about the intervention and study results, participants will have the opportunity to view a video of teachers talking about their participation in the program. The webinar will conclude with a question and answer session where all participants will be encouraged to ask or submit questions.

Presenters:

  • Dr. Dina Castro, Professor and Velma E. Schmidt Endowed Chair in Early Education, College of Education, University of North Texas
  • Dr. Cristina Gillanders, Associate Professor, School of Education and Human Development, University of Colorado- Denver
  • Dr. Ximena Franco, Investigator, FPG Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Dr. Debbie Mazzeo, School Readiness Research Alliance Manager, REL Southeast

Contact Us

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

February 24, 2015

Making a difference — McREL e-News February 2015

From the inbox this morning…

Having trouble viewing this email? View it online here.

February 2015

Research Roundup

Nation’s high school graduation rate ticks up for second year in a row  

The Washington Post
  

According to federal data released in early February, the U.S. high school graduation rate increased for a second consecutive year. The new data, highlighted in this Washington Post article, indicates that 81 percent of the class of 2013 graduated within four years, up two percentage points from 2011 figures. States began collecting data in a uniform way in 2010.

Girls edging out boys in STEM course-taking, but not test performance

Education Week

 

According to 2009 data just released from the National Center for Education Statistics, girls were more likely than boys to have earned credits in advanced science and math by 12th grade. However, this Education Week article highlights results from the National Assessment of Education Progress, which show that girls continue to underperform on assessments in STEM-related technical courses.

How elementary school teachers’ biases can discourage girls from math and science

The New York Times
A study from the National Bureau of Economic Research shows that elementary teachers’ unconscious bias toward boys in math and science courses have long-standing impacts on achievement, enrollment in advanced-level high school math and science courses, and eventually occupational choices and earnings for girls, as this article from The New York Timesnotes.

In the Field

Upcoming conference presentations

 

McREL will present sessions or exhibit at the following conferences in February and March 2015:

 

American Association of School Administrators National Conference on Education in San Diego, February 26-28. Visit the SearchSoft Solutions exhibit in booth #646 to pick up information on McREL’s personnel evaluation systems.

 

National Science Teachers Association 2015 National Conference in Chicago, March 12-15. Visit us in booth #1284, and attend one of the many sessions led by McREL consultants. Register for our pre-conference, one-day professional development institute on March 11, “Designing Effective STEM Lessons Incorporating NGSS: What Does It Look Like?“, with McREL STEM consulting director and former NSTA president, Anne Tweed.

 

ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show in Houston,March 21-23.Visit us in booth #778, and attend one of the many sessions led by McREL consultants.Register for our pre-conference institute on March 20, “Classroom Instruction That Works with English Language Learners,” led by Jane Hill.

New on the McREL blog

McREL consultant Laura Arndt explores the GreenSTEM movement, which fuses real-world connections intrinsic to STEM learning with the deeper concept of sustainability in her new blog post, “GreenSTEM: Inspiring and empowering learners to change the world.” 

McREL President and CEO Bryan Goodwin takes a look at when to use directive leadership versus empowering leadership in his Research Says column for ASCD’s February 2015 Educational Leadership, “To Go Fast, Direct. To Go Far, Empower.” The choice, he finds, depends on whether your school needs quick results or needs to “break through performance ceilings.”

 

In her blog post, “Civil Discourse on the Common Core,” McREL consultant Amitra Schwols explores the origins of vitriolic debate on Common Core, writing, “When we’re talking with one another about the CCSS or assessments, we need to be careful that we’re really talking about the same issues and not talking past each other in the heat of the moment. Without common definitions and understandings of what ‘it’ is we’re debating, frustration levels on all sides will remain high.”

Events & Opportunities

McREL’s Summer of Learning 2015 

 

 

We’ve added new workshops to our summer professional development program. Our early bird registration deadline is approaching! Register for your 2015 summer professional development by March 1, 2015, to receive a 10% discount. Held at our headquarters in Denver, Colorado, workshops and institutes combine insightful research with best practices for educators at all levels to help improve students’ odds of success. You can also receive a 10% discount for group registration (for three or more people from the same district), which may be combined with the early bird registration discount.

 

Professional Development for Leaders

 

Institute: Balanced Leadership for District-Level Leaders
June 24-26, 2015
Learn more and register here.
Facilitator training: Classroom Instruction That Works
July 13-17, 2015

Learn more and register here.

 

Institute: Balanced Leadership for School-Level Leaders

July 20-25, 2015
Learn more and register here.

Helping All Students Achieve with a Multi-Tiered System of Supports

July 29-30, 2015

Learn more and register here.

 

Professional Development for Teachers

 

NEW! GreenSTEM: Inspiring and Empowering Learners to Change the World

June 11-12, 2015

Learn more and register here.

NEW! Designing Effective Science Instruction

June 16-17, 2015

Learn more and register here.

The 12 Touchstones of Good Teaching

June 22-23, 2015

Learn more and register here.
Classroom Instruction That Works
July 13-15, 2015
Learn more and register here.
Classroom Instruction That Works with English Language Learners
July 27-28, 2015

Learn more and register here.

 

Using Technology with Classroom Instruction That Works

July 29-30, 2015

Learn more and register here.

In This Issue

Featured Content

NEW: White paper on assessment from McREL & Measured Progress 
Given today’s environment of high-stakes testing and top-down accountability, there is growing concern that the way we teach and assess students is not enough to meet the “deeper learning” demands of the 21st century. This white paper, “Re-Balancing Assessment: Placing Formative Assessment at the Heart of Learning and Accountability,” examines the current formula of summative assessments and external pressure and recommends replacing it with a new, more balanced formula centered on formative and performance assessments that are embedded in curriculum.

Careers at McREL

    

McREL is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to improve education through applied research, professional development, and service to teachers and leaders at schools, districts, networks and agencies, and higher education institutions.

 

Having the right people at McREL is important to our mission. Our employees are passionate about the work they do, not only because they are helping enhance lives, but also because they are surrounded by diverse, enthusiastic, and innovative thinkers.

 

We are seeking qualified candidates for the following roles:

 

Executive Director of Research, Evaluation, and Expertise

Denver

 

Education Consulting Director

Melbourne, Australia 

 

REL Director

Honolulu

 

Proposal Coordinator/Grant Writer

Denver 

Follow our@McRELJobs Twitter feed and never miss an opportunity to join our staff.

 

Learn more about our work culture and employment listings at our Careers at McRELsite.

Connect with Us on Social Media

    

For the latest in professional development opportunities, education news, research, and McREL employment opportunities, follow us on our social media channels.

 

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our profile on LinkedIn

 

Find us on Google+ View our videos on YouTube Visit our blog

McREL International | 1.800.858.6830 | Fax 303.337.3005
4601 DTC Blvd., Suite 500
Denver, CO 80237
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February 7, 2015

Summer of Learning 2015 — Teacher Professional Development

Also from Thursday’s inbox…

Non-profit education research, development, products, and services
McREL’s Summer 2015
Professional Development for Teachers
Energize your teaching strategies this summer with McREL! Register now for these research-based, practice-proven professional development sessions that offer guidance on effective practices to help your students achieve.
Receive an early registration discount when you register by March 1, 2015. An additional discount is available for teams of five or more from the same district. All events will be held at McREL’s office in Denver, Colorado.
12-touchstones
The 12 Touchstones
of Good Teaching

June 22-23, 2015

 

Attend this two-day professional development workshop to learn 12 research-based practices you can use in your classroom to be more supportive of your students, more intentional with your instruction, and more demanding with your expectations.

 

CITW 2nd Edition
Classroom Instruction
That Works
July 13-15, 2015

Learn the nine categories of instructional strategies that research says have the strongest impact on learning. Discover how each strategy can be effective at any grade level, in any subject area, to enhance student achievement.

 

Classroom Instruction
That Works with
English Language Learners
July 27-28, 2015

Based on our popular Classroom Instruction That Works with English Language Learners book, this two-day professional development workshop helps all teachers apply effective research-based instructional strategies to the five stages of language acquisition. The workshop shows how to develop students’ oral academic language during subject-matter instruction, using McREL’s Academic Language Framework.

 

Learn more and register.

Using Technology with
Classroom Instruction
That Works
July 29-30, 2015

As an educator, how do you make sure you’re using the right tools, apps, and programs to maximize your students’ learning? This two-day workshop helps you combine research-based instructional strategies with 21st century tools, using strategies and frameworks from our Using Technology with Classroom Instruction That Works book. You will get guided hands-on practice combining instructional strategies with a variety of technology.

 
Motivate. Lead. Achieve.
 
High impact professional development for education leaders.
Looking for professional development for leaders? We have workshops and institutes to help you take your leadership to the next level.
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our profile on LinkedIn View our videos on YouTube
McREL International
4601 DTC Blvd., Suite 500
Denver, Colorado 80237
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February 6, 2015

Common Core: Ensuring Equity Through Professional Learning

And another item from yesterday’s inbox…

February 2015

WestEd.org | Email to a Friend | View in browser | View Past Issues   WestEd on FacebookWestEd on TwitterWestEd on Google+WestEd LinkedIn

WestEd
E-Bulletin
Welcome to the WestEd E-Bulletin, presenting this month’s picks of the latest research-based projects and services, innovative new resources, and upcoming professional development events—all designed to help learners succeed in school and career.
R&D Alert Online
NEW RESOURCE

R&D Alert, WestEd’s Award-Winning Newsletter, Is Now Available Online!

To make WestEd’s R&D Alert newsletter accessible to a broader audience, and to use less paper, we’ve launched R&D Alert Online, featuring timely articles about evidence-based practices in education and human services.

Check out the current featured articles about low-income schools that are beating the odds, a tech-industry initiative that’s training local talent, and more.

R&D Alert Online features a new article each month—complemented by links to related tools, resources, and research—along with an extensive archive of past articles.

Culturally Proficient Response
NEW RESOURCE

A Culturally Proficient Response to the Common Core: Ensuring Equity Through Professional Learning

This book for educators focuses on advancing college and career readiness outcomes for every learner. The professional learning described fuses Common Core and cultural proficiency strategies.

Order your copy today.

WestEd & Partners Webinars

WEBINARS

Four Webinars on Positive Behavior, Next Generation Science Standards, and Literacy

Teaching and Learning with Infants Toddlers
NEW RESOURCE

Teaching and Learning with Infants and Toddlers: Where Meaning-Making Begins

Each chapter from this groundbreaking book draws from research and real-life infant care settings to illustrate how infants are intent on making sense of the world around them.

The book presents a reflective approach to teaching inspired by Italy’s early childhood schools. Order your copytoday.

Supporting Formative Assessment
NEW RESOURCE

Supporting Formative Assessment for Deeper Learning: A Primer for Policymakers

What is formative assessment, how does it work in practice, and how can policymakers support it to foster powerful pedagogy and 21st-century competencies? Download this free primer.

School Mobility
NEW RESEARCH

School Mobility, Dropout, and Graduation Rates Across Student Disability Categories in Utah

Students with disabilities are more likely to drop out and less likely to graduate than their general education classmates, and these rates vary considerably by disability category. Read the research and findings in this Regional Educational Laboratory West study.

Criminal Justice Ethics
NEW RESOURCE

Encyclopedia of Criminal Justice Ethics

Explore the scope of ethical decision-making and behaviors within criminal justice systems. Key themes include police, legal, and correctional ethics; and criminal justice cases and controversies.Order this Encyclopedia today.

WestEd Presentations in 2015

CONFERENCES

Attend WestEd presentations and visit our booth at these education conferences.

  • National Title I Conference,February 5-8, Salt Lake City, UT
  • National Association of Secondary Schools Ignite 15 Conference, February 19-21
, San Diego, CA
  • American Association of School Administrators’ National Conference on Education, February 26-28, San Diego, CA
School and District Improvement Catalog

School & District Improvement Catalog

Achieve rapid and sustainable improvement in this era of far-reaching reform initiatives. Download or order a free copy of the WestEd 2015 School & District Improvement Catalog.

Raising the Bar Website

New College- and Career-Ready Standards: Raising the Bar on Instruction

WestEd’s Raising the Bar on Instruction website helps teachers, schools, districts, and professional learning providers successfully transition to the Common Core State Standards.

Key Features

  • Free research-based, media-rich resources
  • Professional learning planning and implementation tools
  • Blog posts by experts in the field about professional learning and the Common Core
  • Information about WestEd’s professional development, technical assistance, consultation, research, and evaluation services

Learn more by visiting the Raising the Bar on Instruction website.

February 2015

WestEd.org | Email to a Friend | Subscribe WestEd FacebookWestEd TwitterWestEd Google +WestEd LinkedIn

Copyright © 2015 WestEd. All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:

WestEd

730 Harrison Street

San Francisco, CA 94107

Add us to your address book

 

January 28, 2015

New Year, New Tools! — McREL e-News January 2015

More from Monday’s inbox…

Having trouble viewing this email? View it online here.

January 2015

Research Roundup

Low-Level Classroom Noise Distracts, Experts Say  

Education Week
  

Studies show that low-level, sustained, or intermittent classroom noise increases student stress and anxiety levels, distracts attention from learning, and interferes with student concentration and memory.

Low-Income Students Now a Majority in the Nation’s Public Schools

Southern Education Foundation

 

In a significant shift, 51 percent of U.S. public school students now come from low-income households, according to a newresearch bulletin from the Southern Education Foundation. Data collected in 2013 by the National Center for Education Statistics show that children eligible for free and reduced-priced lunches compose the majority in 21 states.

Expanded Learning Time: A Summary of Findings from Case Studies in Four States

Center on Education Policy
This report looks at how low-performing schools have increased learning time in response to School Improvement Grant and Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) waiver requirements. District and school leaders from 17 schools in four states reported using a combination of strategies, including adding time to the school day or year, restructuring time within the existing school schedule, and increasing time for teacher collaboration, planning, and professional development. Study participants noted that strengthening the quality of learning time is as important as improving the quantity of instruction, but doing so is not without challenges.

In the Field

Upcoming conference presentations

 

McREL will present sessions or exhibit at the following national, regional, and statewide conferences in January and February 2015:

 

Texas Association of School Administrators’ Mid-Winter Conference, January 25-28, in Austin. Visit us in booth #847.

 

Nebraska Association of School Administrators (NASA)/Nebraska Association of School Boards (NASB) Education Forum, February 3-4, in Kearney. Visit us in the exhibit area.

 

2015 National Title I Conference, February 5-8, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Visit us in booth #1353.

 

Midwest Education Technology Community’s (METC) Motivate, Engage, Transform, Connect Conference, February 9-11, in St. Charles, Missouri. McREL consultant Cheryl Abla will deliver a session titled “Social Media in the Elementary Classroom.”

McREL blog 2014 wrap-up

Educators face many challenges each day–large and small–that, when addressed effectively, have the ability to inspire better teaching, leading, and learning. Our staff continually ask themselves the same question you might ask yourself: As educators, how can we make a bigger, better difference in student engagement and knowledge?
Our consultants (former teachers and leaders themselves), researchers, and evaluators address that question in our blog by combining professional experience with sound research to offer insight and practical ideas on topics such as building student resiliency, prioritizing improvement initiatives, increasing staff motivation, interpreting data, and cultivating a positive school climate. Our top ten (actually 11 because of a tie for 2nd) most popular blog posts for 2014 address many of these concerns. In case you missed any, here is the entire list.

Events & Opportunities

McREL’s Summer of Learning 2015  

 

 

Plan your 2015 summer professional development today! Held at our headquarters in Denver, Colorado, our workshops and institutes combine insightful research with best practices for educators at all levels to help improve students’ odds of success. Discounts are available for early registration (by March 1, 2015) and group registration (for five or more people from the same district), which may be combined.

 

Professional Development for Leaders

 

Institute: Balanced Leadership for District-Level Leaders
June 24-26, 2015
Learn more and register here.
Facilitator training: Classroom Instruction That Works
July 13-17, 2015

Learn more and register here.

 

Institute: Balanced Leadership for School-Level Leaders

July 20-25, 2015
Learn more and register here.

Helping All Students Achieve with a Multi-Tiered System of Supports

July 29-30, 2015

Learn more and register here.

 

Professional Development for Teachers

 

The 12 Touchstones of Good Teaching

June 22-23, 2015

Learn more and register here.
Classroom Instruction That Works
July 13-15, 2015
Learn more and register here.
Classroom Instruction That Works with English Language Learners
July 27-28, 2015

Learn more and register here.

 

Using Technology with Classroom Instruction That Works

July 29-30, 2015

Learn more and register here.

McREL in the News

Arizona educators attend Classroom Instruction That Works Training

 

Sixty-five teachers, administrators, and instructional aides from the Mohave Accelerated Learning Center, a 6-12 charter school, and Topock Elementary School in Arizona attended a two-day workshop on Classroom Instruction That Works, as spotlighted in a January 13 Mohave Daily News article. Trina Demers, a high school English teacher, said, “The workshop was very hands-on. One afternoon we put all of our books away and learned in activities like our students would learn.”

McREL to evaluate effectiveness of student-produced news program in Hawai’i

 

McREL is working with PBS Hawaii to evaluate the long-term outcomes of HIKI NŌ Student News, a student-produced, statewide news program that airs on PBS Hawaii. McREL research director Wendy Kekahio and research specialist Fatima Frank appeared in a recent documentary on the HIKI NŌ program to describe the goals of the evaluation, which is funded by a grant from the Stupski Family Fund of the Hawai’i Community Foundation. The documentary, which aired January 15, focuses on the impact of the project on students, teachers, and communities from target schools, and the program goal of creating a standards-aligned curriculum that can be offered as an elective at public, private, and charter schools statewide. Watch the documentary here.

The 12 Touchstones of Good Teaching endorsed by Canadian education advocate

 

Canadian education advocate and Chignecto-Central Regional School Board member Ron Marks reviewed The 12 Touchstones of Good Teaching, by McREL CEO Bryan Goodwin and Elizabeth Ross Hubbell, in a January 22 article inThe News, a daily newspaper serving New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. Marks writes, “I wonder if this book should be subject to review by all of our teams. At the very least it would start a healthy discussion about what matters most for great teaching to occur in our schools.”

In This Issue

Featured Content

Free webinar:
Building an Understanding of Family and Community Engagement: A Toolkit of Resources

 

Join us on January 27, 3:30-5:00 p.m. (MST), for a webinar by REL Pacific on family and community engagement. Learn about a framework for implementing family and community engagement strategies, and discover tools that can influence how you interact with students’ families. Register here.

Careers at McREL

    

McREL is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to improve education through applied research, development, and service to teachers and leaders at schools, districts, networks and agencies, and higher education institutions.

 

Having the right people at McREL is important to our mission. Our employees are passionate about the work they do, not only because they are helping enhance lives, but also because they are surrounded by diverse, enthusiastic, and innovative thinkers.

 

We are seeking qualified candidates for the following roles:

 

Director of Client Solutions-Pacific Region

Honolulu
Education Consulting Director

Melbourne, Australia 
Executive Director of Research, Evaluation, and Expertise

Denver
REL Deputy Director

Honolulu 

Follow our@McRELJobs Twitter feed and never miss an opportunity to join our staff.

 

Learn more about our work culture and employment listings at our Careers at McRELsite.

Connect with Us on Social Media

    

For the latest in professional development opportunities, education news, research, and McREL employment opportunities, follow us on our social media channels.

 

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our profile on LinkedIn

 

Find us on Google+ View our videos on YouTube Visit our blog

McREL International | 1.800.858.6830 | Fax 303.337.3005
4601 DTC Blvd., Suite 500
Denver, CO 80237
Forward to a friend
 
McREL International | 4601 DTC Blvd., Suite 500 | Denver | CO | 80237
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