Virtual School Meanderings

May 23, 2020

Changing Schools | May Newsletter

Note some of the remote learning items in this RELs newsletter.

May 2020
Still Going Where We’re Needed
Months before Covid-19 made virtual learning virtually inescapable, the board and leadership of McREL were doing some heavy thinking about creating more online options for delivering our services to educators worldwide.
Our students, of course, are teachers and school leaders, and for the past 50-plus years, beyond making many popular books and reports available to educators, we have had two main ways of delivering professional learning to educators who want to go deeper with our research-based guidance: We fly to them, or they fly to us.
Either way, that gets expensive. Federal support for much of our research and technical assistance work evens the field between rich and poor districts somewhat, but with much of public education still funded by local property taxes, unequal access persists.
McREL was founded in the War on Poverty two generations ago specifically to draw upon research to make great teaching and schooling practices available universally, and we need to acknowledge that this war hasn’t yet been won. On the urging of our board, whose members have a profound commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion and social justice, we are launching virtual versions of our most popular professional learning experiences in the coming months. The first one, which focuses on quality questioning, will launch in early June. It’ll be hosted by a familiar face—Dr. Kristin Rouleau, our executive director of learning services & innovation—and it’ll offer plenty of opportunities to interact with fellow participants, just like the “live” version.
We recognize, however, that rapidly switching to online learning for students has, in many places, exacerbated inequities among students, revealing that even in 2020, not all students have the same access to computers and high-speed internet. Moreover, it has revealed, often in stark contrast, the unevenness of students’ classroom experiences prior to the coronavirus. For students whose teachers were already skilled in creating challenging, engaging, student-driven learning experiences that reflect what brain science says about how students learn best—through inquiry, reflection, and curiosity—the transition to online learning has been smoother and more engaging.
Our own work to translate our learning experiences to online formats has been guided by a simple principle: Start with what brain science tells us about how to design effective, engaging learning experiences and find ways to make them even more effective and engaging online.
We also know this: Few perfect models exist for how to do this perfectly. There are no ready-made solutions to implement. Instead, we must experiment, test, and engage in rapid-cycle improvement efforts—the same thing our partner districts and schools are doing.
At this point, it’s unclear how long this crisis will last or what lies on the “other side” of all of this.
Our deep, abiding hope here at McREL is that by working together, sharing successes, and remaining focused on what matters most—ensuring equitable outcomes for all learners—we’ll find that when this storm finally passes, we’ve redesigned our system of learning as something that’s even better for all students.
It’s in that spirit of community that we offer the insights in this newsletter and also invite you to share your own successes and breakthroughs—however large or small they may be—so that we can share them with others.
Bryan Goodwin, CEO, McREL International
New From McREL
Pete Hall on Journaling and Teaching
Journaling aids reflection, and reflection aids teaching, writes educator, consultant, and author Pete Hall. Implication for teachers? Become a journaler! To help you get started and focus on specific actions and attitudes to improve your skills, Pete, Mary Smith, and Alisa Simeral have penned A Teacher’s Reflective Impact Journal: Pursuing Greatness Every Day, a guided journal featuring inspiring stories from fellow teachers and writing prompts to help you focus on what’s working well—and what could be working better—in your classroom.
Recently Pete contributed a piece to the McREL blog explaining why he has always found journaling to be the ultimate way to synthesize information. Read the post and also check Pete’s videos about getting the most out of journaling on this special page: A Teacher’s Reflective Impact Journal.
Curiosity Brings School and Joy Closer Together
It’s tragic that for many students—and the teachers who spend their days with them—much of the joy of school slips away the longer the students spend in school. Rather than accept this as inevitable, McREL CEO Bryan Goodwin says there’s a fix: curiosity. Curiosity may come naturally to all of us in early childhood, but it has to be nurtured and encouraged as we age, a process Bryan outlines in his new book, Building a Curious School: Restore the Joy That Brought You to School. There are things that teachers and school leaders can do to build curiosity in students and themselves, improving the school experience for everybody . . . so learn them and incorporate them into your school!
Find Building a Curious School now at the McREL bookstore and register to join Bryan in a free webinar hosted by Corwin on Monday, June 1.
Brain Science and Learning
The May edition of ASCD’s Educational Leadership magazine is all about Learning and the Brain, a topic of great interest to us here at McREL. For the issue, Bryan Goodwin and Darienne Dey contributed a Research Matters column on how and why teachers should get familiar with the ways the brain creates memories and facilitates the thought process. A great way to do this, they write, is McREL’s six-phase learning model, which is based on science that has been well-established for decades but hasn’t been effectively communicated to educators.
Keep Meeting and Keep Improving
We’ve all heard a lot about how virtual school has been impacting student learning, but what about teachers? On the McREL blog, Dale Lewis and Lisa Jones have shared some thoughts on how to keep the peer collaboration momentum going. The important characteristics of a community of practice or professional learning community can transition successfully to an online environment with a little effort.
Teachers Have a Historic Opportunity to Embrace Curiosity
There could be an educational upside to the coronavirus crisis if teachers seize the moment, writes Bryan Goodwin in this new blog post. Curiosity, and all the learning opportunities that stem from it, thrives in relatively “unschooled” environments. With districts relaxing or even waiving grading and testing, now is the time to launch students on independent projects that let them develop a passion rather than satisfy a requirement. The results could be liberating for students and teachers alike.
Research Roundup
A monthly selection of research news that ties into our work on leadership, instruction, school improvement, and professional learning here at McREL.
Practice PLUS good instruction make perfect. You may have heard of the 10,000-hour rule: Supposedly you can become an expert at anything at all, if only you put 10,000 hours of practice into it. Well, the researcher behind the rule, Anders Ericsson, recently told EdSurge that it’s not quite that simple: Great teaching has to be involved too. Listen to the EdSurge podcast. McREL’s take: Our 2018 book Out of Curiosity and its new 2020 update titled Building a Curious School cite multiple theories of learning, including Ericsson’s, to explore the interconnectedness of expertise and curiosity.
Do schools increase or alleviate inequality? Some researchers believe schools are an equalizing influence. Some believe the opposite. How can equally smart people come to opposite conclusions? An article in the American Educational Research Journal says the answer lies in each camp’s emphasis on different models and data sets. McREL’s take: The online learning initiative that Bryan Goodwin announced above aims to expand equitable access to learning among students by expanding it among teachers.
Grant Opportunities
One activity for these homebound days could be researching grants that can help your school be an even more dynamic place when we can all report back. Below, we’ve listed a few recently announced grants that your school, district, or agency might be interested in applying for.
McREL can partner with you on your application, helping you with the needs assessment or evaluation components of your project plan and creating a competitive proposal supported by a sound theory of action reflecting your goals and intended outcomes. Note: IHE = institute of higher education; LEA = local education agency; SEA = state education agency.
Interested? Contact us at info@mcrel.org.
Expanding Access to Well-Rounded Courses Demonstration Grant
Eligible Applicants: SEAs
Funds SEAs to demonstrate models for providing well-rounded educational opportunities through course-access programs. These grants can range from $1M to $3M per year for five years, with the average being $2M per year. Applications are due June 26. Learn more.
Education Stabilization Fund – Rethink K12 Education Models (ESF-REM) Grants
Eligible Applicants: SEAs in states with high coronavirus burdens
Funded through the CARES Act, this program will support SEAs in states with the highest coronavirus burdens. Priorities are: (1) continued learning parent microgrants; (2) statewide virtual learning and course access programs; or (3) field-initiated remote learning projects. These grants can range from $5M to $20M, with the average being $15M. Intent to apply notices are due May 19 and applications are due June 29. Learn more.
Education Stabilization Fund – Reimagining Workforce Preparation (ESF-RWP) Grants
Eligible Applicants: States with high coronavirus burdens
Funded through the CARES Act, this program will help states with the highest coronavirus burdens create new educational opportunities and pathways to help citizens return to work, small businesses recover, and new entrepreneurs thrive. This program also aims to build new capacity for responsive, short-term postsecondary programs that will allow individuals to rapidly adapt to changing workplace and community needs. These grants can range from $5M to $20M, with the average being $15 million. Anticipated due date is June 29. Learn more. (Note: A supplemental notice with more details will be posted for this opportunity.)
Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) Grants
Eligible Applicants: High-need LEAs with a partnering IHE
The TQP program focuses on preparation and professional development for prospective and new teachers, as well as recruiting highly qualified individuals, including minorities and people from other occupations, into the teaching force. For 2020, the priority is teacher residency programs, and these grants can range from $500,000 to $1.5M per year for five years. Intent to apply notices are due June 17 and applications are due July 2. Learn more.
Education Research and Special Education Research Grants
Eligible Applicants: SEAs, LEAs, IHEs, and other educational organizations
These grants fund research in areas of demonstrated national need that will provide reliable and valid information about education practices that improve academic achievement and access to education opportunities for all learners. Grants can range from $500,000 to $3.8M across five years. Applications are due Aug. 20. Learn more here and here.
CONTACT US TODAY
Learn more about how our coaching, professional learning, and analysis services can help your school or system reach its goals.
WE’RE HIRING!
We’re seeking candidates for positions in our Denver and Honolulu offices. Our research and evaluation teams give our clients and partners a big-picture view of existing improvement initiatives to determine what’s working, what’s not, and what to do next, and we provide independent evaluation of grant-funded programs. Our learning and innovation teams provide our clients with professional learning, coaching, technical assistance, and guidance for effective instruction, systemic change, strategic planning, and capacity-building.
Opportunity in Denver:
  • Managing Consultant
Opportunity in Honolulu:
  • Communications Specialist
CONNECT WITH McREL
McREL International
P 800.858.6830 | F 303.337.3005
Copyright © 2019, McREL International. All rights reserved.
McREL International | 4601 DTC Blvd., Suite 500Denver, CO 80237

June 9, 2018

Great Summer Reading—15% Off Through End Of June

Another REL item…  There may be some items of interest here in this list.

The ultimate summer reading list
Whether you’re looking for ways to recharge your classroom environment, unleash curiosity in yourself or your students, or shift your school or district from improvement to innovation, we’ve got the summer read for you.
Order your book(s) from the McREL Bookstore by June 30, 2018, and use the code SUMMER15 to save 15% on your entire order.*
Check out the titles listed below for new thinking about how learning happens for your students, how to push past performance plateaus, and how to move toward powerful, curiosity-driven innovation.
School leadership & improvement
Curiosity Works: A Guidebook for Moving Your School from Improvement to Innovation
Stretch your thinking and inspire your school team to embrace change for growth and innovation, not just individually as school leaders and educators, but as an entire team and school community.
This 128-page book includes 17 practical tools to help guide your school leadership team through a six-phase journey to powerful improvement and innovation. Along the way, you’ll learn why curiosity is an important lever for learning and how to cultivate it in teachers, leaders, and learners using the five improvement and innovation pathways in McREL’s Curiosity Works™ approach.
FREE SAMPLE
Download a free sample from
Chapter 1, including Tool #1.
Unstuck: How Curiosity, Peer Coaching, and Teaming Can Change Your School
What happens when your school performance gets stuck on a plateau, despite your team’s best efforts to enact your improvement plans and mandates?Unstuck shows how one school system embraced student and educator curiosity as a catalyst for transformation and developed a refreshing—and successful—new approach to school improvement, one you can apply to your own school or system to inspire better staff engagement and student achievement.
This process involves six steps to school improvement: starting with a moral purpose, unleashing curiosity, building on bright spots, peer coaching toward precision, leading from the inside out, and moving the goal posts. This book’s tips, real-life examples, and next steps will help leaders get from where they are now to where they want to be.
Balanced Leadership: Tools for Achieving Success in Your School
Thousands of school leaders worldwide have improved their leadership skills with our research-based Balanced Leadership®program. This book shares lessons we’ve learned and the guidance that has made the biggest difference in student and staff success. Learn how a balanced approach enables more effective implementation of the fundamental components of leadership: establishing a clear focus on what matters most for the entire school; managing the challenges associated with change to sustain improvement efforts; and creating a committed, purposeful, and positive community of teachers and staff.
Engaging instruction
Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works: Ready-to-Use Techniques for Increasing Student Achievement
Combining the best resources from McREL and Thoughtful Education Press, this book delivers 51 classroom-ready instructional tools and activities that make it easy to implement the effective teaching strategies from McREL’s bestselling book, Classroom Instruction That Works. By incorporating these tools into your daily practice, you can create high levels of engagement and deep learning for students every day. Each tool includes 3–7 basic steps and concrete examples that model how to use them in classrooms.
FREE SAMPLE
Download a free sample that includes the Foreword, Table of Contents, and 4 tools.
Unleashing Curiosity Quick Guide Series
Our Unleashing Curiosity quick guides give teachers and school leaders tips, suggestions, and ideas to increase student curiosity with six specific strategies. The guides also contain rubrics for professional dialogue with other teachers to develop shared professional expertise and leverage the power of motivation and curiosity.
Quality Questioning: Research-Based Practice to Engage Every Learner
Quality questioning in the classroom begins with preparing questions to engage all students in thinking, and ends in the facilitation of student dialogue that deepens learning. Quality Questioningshows how to integrate effective questioning strategies into daily classroom practice. The highly applicable, classroom-ready principles presented include:
  • Tools to develop student skills and create a classroom culture that nurtures thinking and learning
  • QR codes that link to more than 20 videos (elementary through high school)
  • Strategies to support teachers’ personal reflection, classroom observations, and collaborative professional dialogue
Classroom Instruction That Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement
First published in 2001, Classroom Instruction That Works revolutionized teaching by linking nine categories of instructional practices to evidence of increased student learning. This second edition delivers expanded evidence-based insights on how to apply the instructional strategies in the classroom, and shows how and why some strategies work more effectively than others. It includes an Instructional Planning Guide that shows when to emphasize each of the strategies to:
  • Create an environment for learning that ensures an effective backdrop for every lesson
  • Develop your students’ understanding by using their prior knowledge as scaffolding for new learning
  • Help students extend and apply knowledge and move beyond “right answer” learning to an expanded understanding and use of concepts and skills
Free McREL resources
White Paper | Student Learning That Works: How Brain Science Informs a Student Learning Model
Surgeons learn about the body before operating. So why don’t more teachers learn about the brain before educating? In this free white paper, McREL president and CEO Bryan Goodwin makes the case for incorporating brain science into the practice of teaching. Knowing how memory works can suggest classroom tactics that aid the acquisition and recall of information, he says. Furthermore, adopting a model for learning, rather than relying solely on the increasingly common (and increasingly detailed) instructional framework, can help teachers layer innovation upon tradition.
Student Learning That Works
Changing Schools Volume 79, Spring 2018
McREL’s proposal for a research-inspired student learning model is the lead story in this issue of Changing Schools. Neuroscience is forcing some of the brain’s secrets out into the open, and by focusing on how students learn, rather than dwelling exclusively on how teachers teach, educators can create more effective lessons. In other articles, discover the characteristics of a dynamic and engaging classroom; learn about a six-phase process for school improvement and innovation; get tips on using more formative assessment; and read about how a McREL consultant helped a “turnaround” school find success.
* Cannot be combined with other discounts.
CONNECT WITH McREL
FOLLOW McREL on SOCIAL MEDIA
QUICK LINKS
McREL PARTNERS
REL Pacific
North Central Comprehensive Center
CONTACT US
McREL International
P 800.858.6830 | F 303.337.3005
Copyright © 2018, McREL International. All rights reserved.

June 1, 2018

New Issue! Changing Schools | Student Learning That Works

From one of the RELs yesterday.

Student Learning That Works™
Changing Schools Volume 79, Spring 2018
McREL International CEO Bryan Goodwin’s proposal for a research-inspired student learning model is the lead story in this issue of Changing Schools. Neuroscience, he writes, is forcing some of the brain’s secrets out into the open. By focusing on how students learn, rather than dwelling exclusively on how teachers teach, educators can create more effective lessons. In other articles, discover the characteristics of a dynamic and engaging classroom; learn about a six-phase process for school improvement and innovation; get tips on using more formative assessment; and read about how a McREL consultant helped a “turnaround” school find success.
Learn more about McREL’s Six-Phase Model for Learning
Download our new, free white paper
Student Learning That Works: How Brain Science Informs a Student Learning Model
Surgeons learn about the body before operating. So why don’t more teachers learn about the brain before educating? In this free white paper, McREL president and CEO Bryan Goodwin makes the case for incorporating brain science into the practice of teaching. Knowing how memory works can suggest classroom tactics that aid the acquisition and recall of information, he says. Furthermore, adopting a model for learning, rather than relying solely on the increasingly common (and increasingly detailed) instructional framework, can help teachers layer innovation upon tradition.
Wherever you are on your school improvement journey,
McREL is here to support you! For a free consultation or to schedule onsite PD in your district, contact us today.
Motivate. Lead. Achieve.
Bringing research, practice, and the joy of learning to classrooms.
Nonprofit education research, development, consulting, and services.
CONNECT WITH McREL
FOLLOW McREL on SOCIAL MEDIA
CONTACT US
McREL International
P 800.858.6830 | F 303.337.3005
Copyright © 2018, McREL International. All rights reserved.

May 21, 2018

McREL eNews | Summer PD & Grant Opportunities; New Peer Coaching Book

From today’s inbox on a slower blogging day…

May 2018
Help your professional practice flourish
Looking for ways to make the most of your end-of-year funds? Join us in Denver this year for dynamic PD sessions on effective instructional and leadership practices.
In our engaging, active learning sessions, you’ll learn new ways to develop challenging, consistent, engaging, and intentional instruction that ensures success for all students in every classroom!
“McREL training transformed my teaching”―Missouri teacher
“Excellent and practical information”―Kansas administrator
“The training was of the highest quality”―Texas administrator
Can’t make it to Denver? Then be sure to catch our upcoming webinars and conference presentations (listed below), and consider partnering with McREL on grants to fund valuable education improvement projects for your school or district. In this issue of eNews, we also highlight a free downloadable paper on how brain science can inform best timing for using various instructional strategies.
Professional Learning Events
Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works
Denver, Colorado
Get dozens of practical instructional tools aligned with McREL’s renowned Classroom Instruction That Works strategies and framework, and practice using them with feedback and coaching from co-author Cheryl Abla.
Helping English Language Learners Flourish
Denver, Colorado
This session for general education teachers and ELL specialists alike will show you how to apply effective, research-based instructional strategies to the five stages of language acquisition and develop students’ English language fluency during subject-matter instruction. Presented by Jane Hill, co-author of Classroom Instruction That Works with English Language Learners.
School Leadership That Works: Evidence-Based Strategies for Sharpening Instructional Focus, Managing Change Processes, and Creating Shared Vision
Denver, Colorado
Discover the leadership responsibilities that are most strongly connected to student achievement and learn practical strategies to develop a purposeful, positive school community, initiate and manage change within your school, and choose the right focus for your school’s improvement initiatives.
District Leadership That Works:Connecting Strategic Vision, Action, and Results Across Your System
Denver, Colorado
A retreat-style strategic session on the benefits of applying high-reliability system principles to education systems. Analyze the state of your district’s systems and begin to map steps to improve instructional quality and consistency in your schools.
Unleashing Student Curiosity to Learn
Denver, Colorado
Explore how curiosity can be sparked and sustained within your students, helping them become engaged, motivated, self-directed learners who “own” their educational journeys. Get tools, tips, and ideas for using curiosity to create challenging learning tasks, provide motivating feedback, use collaborative learning groups, and guide students to deeper levels of understanding and application.
Managing Change:Strategies for Starting and Sustaining New Policies, Practices, and Processes
Denver, Colorado
Change is constant in schools: Every new program, policy, or procedure comes with the need to implement and manage change well. Attend this research- and evidence-based session to learn the keys to helping your school team not just survive change, but thrive in it.
Instructional Coaching That Works
Denver, Colorado
Learn a more effective approach to instructional coaching, focused on strengths-based peer coaching that brings teachers together to build on bright spots and grow as peers and professionals. You’ll leave knowing how to create belief among your school team that personal and collective growth is possible, and how to use data to drive coaching decisions that improve outcomes that matter to all.
Moving Your School from Improvement to Innovation: A Guided Pathway for Success
Denver, Colorado
Learn why curiosity is an important lever for learning and how to cultivate it in teachers, leaders, and learners using McREL’s Curiosity Works™ approach. You’ll leave understanding our inside-out, curiosity-driven approach to school improvement that focuses on innovation, and how to identify and take action on high-leverage strategies for success.
Classroom Instruction That Works Authorized Facilitator Training
Denver, Colorado
Attend our Classroom Instruction That Works facilitator training session to deepen your understanding of the nine categories of effective, research-based instructional strategies and learn how to deliver high-quality CITW workshops yourself to educators in your school district or education service agency area (BOCES, ESCs, ESUs, RESAs, etc.) for one year. Annual reauthorization is available.
Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works:Classroom-Ready Techniques for Increasing Student Achievement
October 16 | Covina, California
November 1 | Fairfield, California
In these special one-day sessions with co-author Cheryl Abla, you’ll learn and practice using a variety of practical instructional tools from Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works(2018) that can help you create a quality learning environment and help your students develop understanding and extend and apply their knowledge.
Webinar
Engaging Every Learner with Curiosity
May 22 | 1:00–3:00 p.m. (MDT)
ASCD members-only webinar
How do we help kids become curious? In the same way that we help ourselves, as adults, be curious: through inquiry-based learning. In this ASCD webinar presented by McREL president and CEO Bryan Goodwin, you’ll learn about the power of curiosity and how to unleash it in both students and teachers. You’ll receive practical strategies and tools you can use right away to encourage curiosity―in ways big and small―in your school by asking better questions, looking for hidden “bright spots,” and helping everyone rekindle curiosity, wonder, and joy in teaching and learning. In so doing, get unstuck from old ways of thinking or acting to raise the achievement of all students.
Conferences & Sessions
GlobalMindED National Conference
June 9–11 | Denver, Colorado
Join McREL and hundreds of educators and students for this conference on innovative approaches to educational change.
McREL Session
Quality, Continuous Professional Development: Student-Centered Design
Panel Moderator: Bryan Goodwin, McREL president & CEO
Special Offer
GlobalMindED is offering McREL clients, friends, and partners a discounted conference rate of $295.
NASSP National Principals Conference
July 11–13 | Chicago, Illinois
How do we create learning environments that unleash student curiosity? It starts with educators. Join McREL staff at the NASSP National Principals Conference in Chicago.
McREL Session
Curiosity Works: Leveraging Bright Spots for Curiously Good School Improvement
Presenter: Kristin Rouleau, McREL senior director of learning services & innovation
Date: July 13
Time & Location: TBA
Weeklong Twitter Chats
Looking to grow your professional learning network? Join us for our weeklong Twitter slow 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 with other educators.
May 21–27 | Peer observation
How often do you engage in peer observation in the classroom?
May 28–June 3 | End-of-year reflection
How do you help students reflect on their learning from the year?
June 4–10 | Book study survey
If we did a McREL book study in mid-July, which McREL book would you like to discuss?
June 11–17 | Managing change
How do you help your stakeholders thrive in a changing environment?
Visit our Events page or contact McREL to learn more about other upcoming conferences and events.
New from McREL
FREE white paper | Student Learning That Works: How Brain Science Informs a Student Learning Model
Surgeons learn about the body before operating. So why don’t more teachers learn about the brain before educating? In this free white paper, McREL president and CEO Bryan Goodwin makes the case for incorporating brain science into the practice of teaching. Knowing how memory works can suggest classroom tactics that aid the acquisition and recall of information, he says. Furthermore, adopting a model for learning, rather than relying solely on the increasingly common (and increasingly detailed) instructional framework, can help teachers layer innovation upon tradition.
Unleashing Curiosity Quick Guides
NEW! Unleashing Curiosity with Dynamic Cooperation
Cooperative learning is a flexible, powerful strategy to enhance student curiosity with tasks that emphasize collaboration while maintaining individual accountability for learning. This 8-page guide presents strategies for collaborative classroom learning, helping students develop critical skills for the 21st-century workplace.
OTHER QUICK GUIDES
Unleashing Curiosity by Helping Students Commit to Mastery
Unleashing Curiosity with Feedback That Motivates
Unleashing Curiosity with Challenging Learning Tasks
NEW! | Unstuck: How Curiosity, Peer Coaching, and Teaming Can Change Your School
What happens when your school or district performance gets stuck on a plateau, despite your team’s best efforts to enact your improvement plans and mandates? Unstuck shows how one school system embraced student and educator curiosity as a catalyst for transformation and developed a refreshing—and successful—new approach to school improvement, one you can apply to your own school or system to inspire better staff engagement and student achievement. Co-published with ASCD.
Grant Partnership Opportunities
With more than 50 years of research and evaluation experience, McREL can deliver affordable, high quality, and timely evaluation services for your grant-funded projects! Contact us today to discuss your grant application needs. If you are interested in talking with a member of our Research, Evaluation, and Technical Assistance team about a potential partnership on any of these grants or others you are considering, please contact McREL’s chief program officer, Robin Jarvis.
Education Innovation and Research Program | Early-phase Grants, Mid-phase Grants, and Expansion Grants
The U.S. Department of Education’s Education Innovation and Research (EIR) grant program, the successor to the Investing in Innovation (i3) grant program, is designed to generate and validate solutions to persistent educational challenges, supporting the expansion of effective solutions to serve substantially larger numbers of students. Proposals for this grant program are due on June 5, 2018. McREL has collaborated on several i3 grants. Our evaluation plan for the Northwest Colorado Board of Cooperative Educational Services’ i3 grant in 2014 received a near-perfect reviewer score of 14.5/15 average across all reviewers. Additionally, we received a score of 100.33/100 (due to bonus points) from reviewers of our the FY2015 i3 grant, which we primed with the University of Southern California. As a successful i3 grantee, we are very familiar with the requirements of the current EIR and would be interested in talking about partnering with you for research and evaluation services for your EIR proposals.
Teacher Quality Partnerships Grants
The U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) Grant Program’s goals are multifaceted. It aims to 1) improve student achievement; 2) raise the quality of prospective and new teachers by improving their preparation and enhancing professional development activities; 3) hold teacher education programs at institutions of higher education accountable for ensuring their students meet applicable state certifications and licensure requirements; and 4) recruit highly qualified individuals, including minorities and individuals from other occupations, into the teaching force. Applications for the TQP program are due by June 26, 2018. McREL staff have the requisite knowledge and skills needed to assist you in articulating your ideas when developing an evaluation plan for this grant program, an application requirement. Since 2007, we have successfully evaluated three large-scale Teacher Quality Enhancement and TQP projects in Colorado, Kentucky, and Virginia.
Client Testimonial
“The cohesiveness and alignment between Balanced Leadership and CITW allow leaders to intently lead with instruction at the forefront of planning, development, and support. Thank you for bringing district and campus leaders together with our growing teachers.”
–Chastity Jeff, Project Manager, ESC Region 18–The Texas Center for Educator Excellence
CONNECT WITH McREL
FOLLOW McREL on SOCIAL MEDIA
QUICK LINKS
WE’RE HIRING!
We are seeking candidates for several research positions in our Denver and Honolulu offices. Our research and evaluation teams give our clients and partners a big-picture view of existing improvement initiatives to determine what’s working, what’s not, and what to do next. We also offer support and guidance for managing systemic change, capacity-building, and proposal development, and we provide independent evaluation of grant-funded programs.
McREL PARTNERS
REL Pacific
North Central Comprehensive Center
CONTACT US
McREL International
P 800.858.6830 | F 303.337.3005
4601 DTC Blvd., Suite 500
Denver, CO 80237
Copyright © 2018, McREL International. All rights reserved.
McREL International | 4601 DTC Blvd., Suite 500Denver, CO 80237

April 26, 2018

McREL eNews | Flip The Script On Improvement Efforts

Also from yesterday’s inbox…

April 2018
Flip the script on improvement efforts
& unleash your professional curiosity
Ready to push past traditional improvement plans and really innovate your school’s instructional and leadership practices? Join us in Denver this year for dynamic PD sessions on research-based leadership practices that will spark your professional curiosity and help transform your school from the inside out by building on your existing bright spots. McREL’s PD for instruction will help you learn how to create dynamic, engaging classroom environments and use highly effective instructional tools and practices that positively influence student achievement and support all learners, including English language learners.
New from McREL
FREE white paper | Student Learning That Works: How Brain Science Informs a Student Learning Model
Surgeons learn about the body before operating. So why don’t more teachers learn about the brain before educating? In this free white paper, McREL president and CEO Bryan Goodwin makes the case for incorporating brain science into the practice of teaching. Knowing how memory works can suggest classroom tactics that aid the acquisition and recall of information, he says. Furthermore, adopting a model for learning, rather than relying solely on the increasingly common (and increasingly detailed) instructional framework, can help teachers layer innovation upon tradition.
Unleashing Curiosity Quick Guides
NEW! Unleashing Curiosity with Dynamic Cooperation
Cooperative learning is a flexible, powerful strategy to enhance student curiosity with tasks that emphasize collaboration while maintaining individual accountability for learning. This 8-page guide presents strategies for collaborative classroom learning, helping students develop critical skills for the 21st-century workplace.
OTHER QUICK GUIDES
Unleashing Curiosity by Helping Students Commit to Mastery
Unleashing Curiosity with Feedback That Motivates
Unleashing Curiosity with Challenging Learning Tasks
NEW! | Curiosity Works: A Guidebook for Moving Your School from Improvement to Innovation
Curiosity Works: A Guidebook for Moving Your School from Improvement to Innovation will stretch your thinking and inspire your school team to embrace change for growth and innovation, not just individually as school leaders and educators, but as an entire community. Learn why curiosity is an important lever for learning and how to cultivate it in teachers, leaders, and learners using the five improvement and innovation pathways in McREL’s Curiosity Works™ approach.
Professional Learning Events
Join us in Denver for dynamic professional learning sessions that dig deep into research-based practices that spark curiosity, influence achievement, and help transform your teaching and leading, plus get extended online coaching during the 2018–19 school year.
Registrants also receive 20% off the suggested book or guide for each event in the McREL Bookstore.
Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works Academy
Learn 50+ practical instructional tools from Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works (2018). Aligned with McREL’s renowned Classroom Instruction That Works strategies and framework, this two-day academy is an intensive learning, working, and planning session. Participants will receive a personal copy of Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works.
Helping English Language Learners Flourish
Teachers—general education and ELL specialists—will learn how to apply effective research-based instructional strategies to the five stages of language acquisition and develop students’ English language fluency during subject-matter instruction. Participants will receive a personal copy of Classroom Instruction That Works with English Language Learners.
School Leadership That Works: Evidence-Based Strategies for Sharpening Instructional Focus, Managing Change Processes, and Creating Shared Vision
Discover the leadership responsibilities that are most strongly connected to student achievement and learn practical strategies to develop a purposeful, positive school community, initiate and manage change within your school, and choose the right focus for your school’s improvement initiatives.
District Leadership That Works: Connecting Strategic Vision, Action, and Results Across Your System
Learn the principles of high-reliability systems and the actions used in health care, aviation, and other complex industries, and how these principles can be effectively applied to education systems. Determine the current state of your district’s systems and begin to map steps toward improving instructional quality and reducing variability within and among your schools.
Unleashing Student Curiosity to Learn
Explore why and how curiosity can be sparked and sustained within your students, helping them become engaged, motivated, self-directed learners who “own” their educational journeys. Get tools, tips, and ideas for creating challenging learning tasks and higher-order questions that push students to deeper levels of content understanding and application.
Managing Change: Evidence-Based Strategies for Starting and Sustaining New Policies, Practices, and Processes
Change is constant in schools: Every new program, policy, or procedure comes with the need to implement and manage change well. Attend this research- and evidence-based session to learn the keys to helping your school team not just survive change, but thrive in it.
Instructional Coaching That Works
Learn a new, more effective approach to instructional coaching that is focused on “inside-out,” strengths-based peer coaching that brings small teams of teachers together, building on bright spots while learning and growing as peers and professionals. You’ll leave this session knowing how to create belief among your school team that personal and collective growth is possible, and how to use data to drive coaching decisions that improve outcomes that matter to all.
How to Move Your School from Improvement to Innovation: A Guided Pathway for Success
Learn why curiosity is an important lever for learning and how to cultivate it in teachers, leaders, and learners using the five improvement and innovation pathways in McREL’s Curiosity Works™ approach. You’ll leave this two-day session with an understanding of our inside-out, curiosity-driven approach to school improvement that focuses on innovation, and how to identify high-leverage strategies for action. You’ll also gain an understanding of the importance of monitoring change, both for the organization and for individuals.
Webinars
Supporting Micronesian Students in Hawai’i Through Family and Community Engagement
April 26 | 3:00 p.m. (HST)
Join REL Pacific for a free, 90-minute webinar to learn about the opportunities and challenges related to engaging Micronesian migrant families in their students’ education in Hawai’i, along with approaches to strengthening collaborations among families, schools, and community partners. Participants will learn from a national expert on family engagement, alongside a panel of Pacific-based partners who currently focus on supporting Micronesian students in Hawai’i schools. Webinar panelists and participants will examine research-based promising practices for effective family engagement through the lens of multiculturalism and consider recommendations for future work in this area.
Engaging Every Learner with Curiosity
May 22 | 1:00–3:00 p.m. (MDT)
How do we help kids become curious? In the same way that we help ourselves, as adults, be curious: through inquiry-based learning. In this ASCD webinar presented by McREL President and CEO Bryan Goodwin, you’ll learn about the power of curiosity and how to unleash it in both students and teachers. You’ll receive practical strategies and tools you can use right away to encourage curiosity―in ways big and small―in your school by asking better questions, looking for hidden “bright spots,” and helping everyone rekindle curiosity, wonder, and joy in teaching and learning. In so doing, get unstuck from old ways of thinking or acting to raise the achievement of all students.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR―REGISTRATION COMING SOON!
Conferences & Sessions
GlobalMindED National Conference
June 9–11 | Denver, Colorado
Join McREL and hundreds of educators and students for this conference on innovative approaches to educational change.
McREL Session
Quality, Continuous Professional Development: Student-Centered Design
Panel Moderator: Bryan Goodwin, McREL President & CEO
Special Offer
GlobalMindED is offering McREL clients, friends, and partners a discounted conference rate of $295.
Weeklong Twitter Chats
Looking to grow your professional learning network? Join us for our weeklong Twitter slow 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 with other educators.
April 23–29 | Impact of leadership
How would a joyful leader have an impact on your school or district?
April 30–May 6 | Rallying stakeholders
How do you rally your stakeholders behind a collective vision?
May 7–13 | Teacher appreciation
What makes you feel appreciated by students, parents, leadership, and your colleagues?
May 14–20 | Parent-school relationship
How do you build a positive parent-school relationship?
Visit our Events page or contact McREL to learn more about other upcoming conferences and events.
Grant Partnership Opportunities
Two new grant opportunities are now available through the U.S. Department of Education, and one National Science Foundation grant proposal deadline is fast approaching. If you are interested in talking with a member of our Research, Evaluation, and Technical Assistance team about a potential partnership on any of these grants or others you are considering, please contact McREL’s Chief Program Officer, Robin Jarvis.
National Science Foundation | Computer Science for All Grant Program
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is seeking proposals for the Computer Science for All grant program, which are due May 9, 2018. This program aims to provide U.S. students the opportunity to participate in computer science and computational thinking education in their schools at the pre-K–12 levels.
If your organization is planning to submit a proposal for the Computer Science for All program, McREL’s experienced evaluators can help you to develop the evaluation plan for your proposal. We have capacity and expertise with NSF grants—as a grant recipient, evaluation partner, and grant reviewer—to provide you with a rigorous and useful evaluation that leverages our knowledge of NSF program officer and grant reviewer expectations.
Innovative Approaches to Literacy Grants
The U.S. Department of Education’s Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program supports high-quality programs designed to develop and improve literacy skills for children and students from birth through 12th grade in high-need local educational agencies. Innovative programs that might be funded through this grant include developing and enhancing school library programs; providing early literacy services, including through partnerships with local pediatric service providers; and providing high-quality books on a regular basis to children and adolescents from low-income communities to increase reading motivation, performance, and frequency. Proposals for this grant program are due on May 18, 2018. If you are preparing a proposal for this program, McREL’s team would be happy to partner with you to provide technical assistance or research and evaluation services to support your innovative program.
Education Innovation and Research Program | Early-phase Grants, Mid-phase Grants, and Expansion Grants
The U.S. Department of Education’s Education Innovation and Research (EIR) grant program, the successor to the Investing in Innovation (i3) grant program, is designed to generate and validate solutions to persistent educational challenges, supporting the expansion of effective solutions to serve substantially larger numbers of students. Proposals for this grant program are due on June 5, 2018. McREL has collaborated on several i3 grants. Our evaluation plan for the Northwest Colorado Board of Cooperative Educational Services’ i3 grant in 2014 received a near-perfect reviewer score of 14.5/15 average across all reviewers. Additionally, we received a score of 100.33/100 (due to bonus points) from reviewers of our the FY2015 i3 grant, which we primed with the University of Southern California. As a successful i3 grantee, we are very familiar with the requirements of the current EIR and would be interested in talking about partnering with you for research and evaluation services for your EIR proposals.
Client Testimonial
“Our partnership with McREL has been extremely beneficial and has been a contributing factor in an increase in student achievement scores in our school.”
–Rik Devney, Principal, Huntington Elementary, Lincoln Public Schools—Nebraska
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WE’RE HIRING!
We are seeking candidates for several research positions in our Denver and Honolulu offices. Our research and evaluation teams give our clients and partners a big-picture view of existing improvement initiatives to determine what’s working, what’s not, and what to do next. We also offer support and guidance for managing systemic change, capacity-building, and proposal development, and we provide independent evaluation of grant-funded programs.
McREL PARTNERS
REL Pacific
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CONTACT US
McREL International
P 800.858.6830 | F 303.337.3005
4601 DTC Blvd., Suite 500
Denver, CO 80237
Copyright © 2018, McREL International. All rights reserved.
McREL International | 4601 DTC Blvd., Suite 500Denver, CO 80237
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