Virtual School Meanderings

September 24, 2022

Check out New Models to Alleviate Staff Shortages

An item from a K-12 blended learning organization.

Join us as participants in the Next Education Workforce learning cohort


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Highlander Institute: Leveling the Field for All Learners

Join the conversation as we partner with communities to design and implement culturally responsive school change.

Explore New Models to Alleviate Teacher Shortages: Join Us in the NEW Learning Cohort! 

One of the best parts about being a Pahara Fellow has been the opportunity to discuss persistent education challenges with my brilliant cohort. One of the members of my Pahara class —  Rachel Skerritt — recently authored a fantastic article in the Fall 2022 issue of Education Next entitled, “What I learned Leading America’s First Public School.”

In the article, Rachel reflects on Boston Latin School, a public exam school in the Fenway area of Boston that was founded in 1635. As our Highlander Institute team grapples with how to support a growing number of school partners struggling with staff shortages this year, I couldn’t help but reflect on Rachel’s insights on teacher hiring. Among the teacher competencies of content expertise, pedagogical skill, and the ability to build relationships with students, our system currently places the most value on content expertise. Rachel writes:

“Districts should create pathways for [educators who are ‘great with kids’] to become proficient in hard-to-staff content areas so that school leaders do not need to feel forced to choose between content knowledge and the ability to forge trusting relationships with students.”

I wholeheartedly believe that our current system is ready for models that fundamentally redesign how we staff schools.

This month, Highlander Institute is excited to participate in the Next Education Workforce™ learning cohort series, as they explore ways to build team-based staffing models that support equity and improve learning outcomes.

Next Education Workforce™ (NEW) is currently accepting district teams of up to five leaders who are interested in thinking about innovative teaming structures within schools. We are looking for East Coast districts who may be interested in implementing what we learn from NEW. We are calling on our Highlander Institute network of leaders to reach out if you are willing to tackle this challenge together.

If you or your colleagues might be interested in participating in the Learning Cohort or you’d like to recommend a potential partner, please be in touch by contacting our Communications Manager, Maeve Murray.

I am so grateful to Rachel and my Pahara Fellowship colleagues for continuing to push the conversation and elevate ways that building leaders are succeeding and striving to better support the students and families they serve.


[Webinar] Equity Impacts of Multiple Measures for College Placement

A webinar from the folks at the National Repository of Online Courses.

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Equity Impacts of Multiple Measures
for College Placement 
Webinar | Thursday, October 6, 12:00 PM PT / 3:00 PM ET

Based on the lived experiences of students who successfully completed developmental and college-level courses, the Maricopa and Ivy Tech Community College models for valuing preparation over placement illustrate the importance of collaboration between administrators, faculty, and staff to create a path to success for all students.

During this webinar, we’ll examine strategies for supporting learners in new ways and consider how low-stakes, learner-centered college placement has positively impacted both gateway course success and college retention, notably among underrepresented student populations.

Are you unable to attend? Register anyway, and we’ll send you a link to the archive.

Gwenn Eldridge headshot
Gwenn Eldridge
Ivy Tech Community College (IN)Gwenn Eldridge most recently served as the Assistant Vice President of Academic Transitions and Support at Ivy Tech Community College, Indiana’s community college system. Her work has centered around increasing access through curriculum design—including co-requisite math and English—as well as the implementation of math pathways. Additionally, she led the implementation of Ivy Tech’s multiple measures placement and a technology-based solution for tutoring access and reporting. Her work in developmental education includes serving as president of the National Association for Developmental Education and as a content expert for Complete College America and NROC. Gwenn holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in English and is working to complete a doctoral degree in community college leadership. Her research focus is on the non-cognitive factors addressed by the co-requisite model of instruction.
Dr. Rosslyn Knight headshot
Dr. Rosslyn Knight
Maricopa Community College District (AZ)Dr. Rosslyn Knight is the former District Director of Developmental Education for the Maricopa Community College District. She brings over 25 years of experience in both K-12 and higher education environments. Dr. Knight served as Faculty Chair of Reading and ESL for Rio Salado College beginning in 2013. She joined the Maricopa Colleges as an adjunct faculty member in 2003, teaching ESL, college-level, and developmental reading courses. Dr. Knight holds a doctor of education degree in community college leadership, with an emphasis on equity and social justice, from San Diego State University, a master’s degree in education, with an emphasis on language and literacy, from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a Bachelor of Science degree in early childhood education from Vanderbilt University.
Kristin Oakes headshot
Kristin Oakes
Department Chair of Academic Support and Student Success
Ivy Tech Community College, Lafayette 
(IN)Kristin Oakes serves as the Site Director for the Montgomery County Instructional Site. As an associate professor, Kristin has been involved in the development of the math pathways and the co-requisite math course that complements the quantitative reasoning course. Additionally, she has been involved in the development of Ivy Prep and Knowledge Assessment (KA) and currently serves on both the local and statewide KA teams. She loves removing barriers for students and supporting their success. This quote by James Kouzes has often reflected her work at Ivy Tech, “It always takes a group of people working together with a common purpose in an atmosphere of trust and collaboration to get extraordinary things done.” Kristin enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.
The NROC Project is a national nonprofit organization collaborating with secondary, postsecondary, and adult education leaders to develop digital courses and web-based tools that improve college readiness, retention, and success.

Do placement differently.

The NROC Project | PO Box 222156 Carmel, CA 93922


We are sorry that you were not able to attend our webinar

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 5:08 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

The recordings for this, and some of their other sessions, may be of interest to some readers.

Hi Michael Barbour,

We’re sorry that you were not able to attend School for Thought: EdTech and Virtual Learning – What Now?.

Please submit your questions or comments to:

All workshops will be shared on Children and Screens’ YouTube Channel.

Join us for “The Lure of Loot: Gambling and Manipulative Design in Youth Video Games” on Wednesday, October 5th at noon ET looking at the behavioral impacts of gambling elements within video games on children and teens. Register here:

After that, stay tuned for our next webinar on October 19th on Digital Communication!

Children and Screens needs your support to continue our high-quality programming like the Ask the Experts series as well as scientific research grants to interdisciplinary researchers, clinicians and neuroscientists. Please consider making a donation here:!/donation/checkout

Thank you, and stay well,

The Children and Screens Team
Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development

⏰ QM Connect Registration Increases After Sept. 30

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 3:04 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

An item from the folks at QM.

QM Connect Conference, Expanding Possibilities
Workshops: Nov. 6, 2022
Sessions: Nov.7 – 9, 2022
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort — Tucson, Arizona

Register Now

Register by Sept. 30 and Save up to $90

Thinking about attending this year’s QM Connect, Michael? Now’s the time to register for Quality Matters’ flagship conference, dedicated to innovative, collaborative strategies for improving digital learning. Prices are increasing after Sept. 30, so register today to save up to $90 per person.

 Register Now

 Register After Sept. 30

 Full Conference Registration
(Member Rate)



 Full Conference Registration



 Single Day Registration (Per Day)



Looking for even more savings? Register a group of five or more from your institution to receive a $50/person discount — like the faculty at Laredo College did! Hear Dr. Elizabeth C. Rodriguez, Dean of Academic Innovation & Technology at Laredo, discuss why she and her colleagues are excited to attend together in this video:

Don’t wait — register for QM Connect today!

Quality Matters QM
Quality Matters (QM) is the global organization leading quality assurance in online and innovative digital teaching and learning environments. It provides a scalable quality assurance system for online and blended learning used within and across organizations. When you see QM Certification Marks on courses or programs, it means they have met QM Course Design Standards or QM Program Review criteria in a rigorous review process.
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Changing Schools | September newsletter

Some of these items may be of interest to readers.

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