Virtual School Meanderings

August 10, 2017

Learner-Ready Teachers | Early Childhood | Literacy

From yesterday’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

SCHOOLS, DISTRICTS, & STATE EDUCATION SYSTEMSTailored Support Helps Struggling Schools Turn Around

Helping teachers learn to use common planning time to improve their instruction is just one of the ways WestEd is collaborating to turn around struggling schools in Buffalo, NY.Read the latest R&D Alert Online article to learn about the keys to this school improvement work.

Also, download the latest print edition of R&D Alert for articles on significant topics, including relationship-based care for infants and toddlers.


ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERSHelping English Language Learners Succeed: Professional Learning

Deepen your ability to support English learners through one or both of these engaging, standards-based professional learning opportunities.

In addition, download our 2017-2018 English Learners & Literacy Catalog to learn more about these and other professional learning opportunities, and resources.

Learning from Dynamic Visualization

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, & MATHEMATICSLearning from Dynamic Visualization — Innovations in Research and Application: New Resource

This edited volume examines issues arising from today’s high dependence on learning from visualizations — and dynamic visualizations in particular — at all levels of education. WestEd’s Jodi Davenport and Edys S. Quellmalz contributed to a key chapter, “Assessing Science Inquiry and Reasoning Using Dynamic Visualizations and Interactive Simulations.”

Visit the Learning from Dynamic Visualization: Innovations in Research and Application resource page to learn more and order your copy.

Family Engagement

SCHOOLS, DISTRICTS, & STATE EDUCATION SYSTEMSFamily Engagement = Student Success: Academic Parent-Teacher Teams

School and district administrators: Transform the way families participate in the education of their children.

Engage in our Academic Parent-Teacher Teams (APTT)where you will learn how to develop systems and processes that engage families as true partners in their children’s education and academic success.

For Our Babies

EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT & LEARNINGGetting It Right for Our Babies: New Video

With the high cost of child care in the U.S. and more than half of the nation’s early childhood educators receiving unlivable wages, WestEd’s Center for Child & Family Studies and the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at the University of California, Berkeley, created an animated video to illustrate the challenges facing families, babies, and the teachers who work with them.

Watch the story of baby Eva.

fostering quality schools

SCHOOLS, DISTRICTS, & STATE EDUCATION SYSTEMSFostering Quality Schools: A Comprehensive Approach to School Improvement

School and district leaders: Engage school teams in a dynamic approach to authentic collaborative school turnaround, foster growth mindsets in your school, address the root causes of challenges, support quality teaching and learning, and keep students at the center of improvement efforts.

Read about our Fostering Quality Schools
professional learning

Resource Spotlight

Resource Spotlight

Using Data to Ensure That Teachers Are Learner Ready on Day One

Essential to improving teacher quality is ensuring that the right data are available to inform the policy and practice changes needed to continuously improve educator preparation program (EPP) quality, teacher effectiveness, and ultimately student learning. Unfortunately, those data are not uniformly
available today.

Download this new brief, which describes how data sharing among states, EPPs, and K-12 leaders is key to ensuring quality teaching and learning.

Featured Initiative

Featured Initiative

Reading Apprenticeship: Improving Students’ Literacy Skills

Help your middle and high school, and college students become better readers, writers, and problem solvers. Reading Apprenticeship professional learning offers teachers tools and strategies to help students construct text-based arguments and communicate clearly what they are learning. Not just in English class, but in
every subject.

Visit the Reading Apprenticeship website to learn more about this research-based framework for improving students’ literacy skills.

WestEd at Events

WestEd at Events

Join us at national and local events. Browse our up-to-date calendar!

Follow Us: Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Visit us online at

Copyright © 2017 WestEd. All rights reserved.  WestEd, 730 Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

If you are not yet a subscriber, i.e., this email was forwarded to you, you may subscribe here.

July 13, 2017

High School Students Who Dropout & Return | Teacher Leadership | Summer Reading

No K-12 distance, online, and/or blended learning items in this REL newsletter.

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

R&D Alert Online

SCHOOLS, DISTRICTS, & STATE EDUCATION SYSTEMSSupporting High School Dropouts Who Return to School

A first-of-its-kind study identified a subgroup of students who drop out of high school but have the tenacity to re-enroll. Read this R&D Alert Online article to learn about these re-enrollees and how educators are working to reengage them.

Also, download the latest print edition of R&D Alert for articles on key topics, including how to use teacher effectiveness data.


TEACHERS & LEADERSTeacher Leadership Development:
Forging Partnerships

Teacher leaders can play an important role in school improvement efforts, but require district support to effectively lead their peers. Partnering with outside organizations is one way districts can deepen their capacity to support and sustain teacher leadership.

Learn more in the latest issue of CenterView.

Math in Common

ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERSEnglish Language Learners and the New Standards: Discussion Guide

A new discussion guide is now available to accompany the popular book, English Language Learners and the New Standards. The guide provides activities based on the book for helping teachers engage English learners in simultaneously learning subject-area content, analytical practices, and language.

Download and use the guide in your professional learning community of teachers, administrators, or school districts as you plan and implement the strategies presented in the book.

teachers meeting

RESEARCH & EVALUATIONAccess Research & Evaluation Reports
and More

How does formative assessment enhance the teaching and learning of English language learner students? How can learning that uses multiple forms of media support preschool math achievement? Can student learning circles impact student perceptions of school climate?

Visit our Research & Evaluation page to learn about WestEd’s work and to download studies and reports.

students listening

SPECIAL EDUCATIONEnglish Learners with Disabilities: Challenges, Strategies, and Tools for Inclusive Schools

Gain the knowledge and skills to implement research-based instructional strategies that address the unique needs of English learners with disabilities and other learning difficulties.

Read about customized professional learning.

young student smiling

AGENCY NEWSLeadership Standards, School Climate, Early Childhood, & More: Explore Summer Reading Picks

Check out resources on a wide range of topics, from early childhood and literacy to STEM and special education, all designed to help learners succeed.

young student listening

ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERSELA/ELD Framework Intensive Summer Institutes, August 1-3, San Diego, CA

Better understand and be able to implement effective instruction for culturally and linguistically diverse learners. Deepen and broaden your understanding of the California ELA/ELD Framework and the California ELD Standards to plan for and support instruction of integrated and designated ELD. Register today!

Resource Spotlight

Resource Spotlight

Featured Initiative

Making Sense of SCIENCE: Hands-On Science Learning and Teaching

Making Sense of SCIENCE (MSS) is a transformative approach to professional learning that connects hands-on science with integrated teaching and literacy supports. Backed by rigorous research, MSS empowers teachers, staff developers, and educators with the knowledge and skills needed to support a culture of productive learning.

Visit the Making Sense of SCIENCE website to learn more.

WestEd at Events

WestEd at Events

Join us at national and local events. Browse our up-to-date calendar!

Follow Us: Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Visit us online at

Copyright © 2017 WestEd. All rights reserved.  WestEd, 730 Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

If you are not yet a subscriber, i.e. this email was forwarded to you, you may subscribe here.

July 1, 2017

REL Southeast Director’s Email – June 2017

Also from Wednesday’s inbox…

June 2017
View this email in your browser

Greetings from the REL Southeast!

We are pleased to announce the release of a new Institute of Education Sciences (IES) brief, The Critical Importance of Costs for Education Decisions. More information regarding this research-based publication may be found below.

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

The Critical Importance of Costs for Education Decisions

This brief provides guidance to decision makers in schools, districts, state education departments, and intermediary organizations about ways that cost analyses can help inform their decisions about program choices, budgets, and strategies. It addresses questions about: (1) why cost information matters in education; (2) what cost metrics are available to inform decision making; (3) how cost analyses can inform decision making; (4) what resources exist to help calculate the costs of education programs; and (5) what types and uses of cost analysis are available for decision making. Finally, the brief discusses the purposes, advantages, disadvantages, and possible applications for four types of cost analyses.

The brief may be accessed at

Stay informed with the REL Southeast website

Find the latest research-based products and resources at the new REL Southeast website. Bookmark the site and check back often as we implement new pages and features over the coming months.

The website may be accessed at

You are receiving this email because you opted in at our website or provided your information at a REL Southeast sponsored event.

Our mailing address is:

REL Southeast at Florida State University

2010 Levy Avenue
Suite 100

Tallahassee, FL 32310

June 24, 2017

Catch Up On Your Summer Reading; Summer PD Opportunities | McREL eNews

From Wednesday’s inbox…

June 2017

Summer Reading & Professional Learning
We hope your summer is off to a great start! Are you looking for some good summer reading? Browse our book catalog, catch up on our blog posts, or read past issues ofChanging Schools magazine to learn new ways of transforming your teaching, leading, and learning.
We still have some spaces available in our summer professional learning sessions. Gain best-practice strategies you can use in your school or district throughout the 2017-18 school year to accelerate student success.
Request a free strategic session with one of our experts!
No fee, no obligations, just good ideas and inspiration for quick wins and game changers to keep your school, district, agency, or system on track for success.

Research Roundup | Call for participants 
McREL is conducting two research studies this fall, and we’re seeking classrooms and schools to participate. Please let us know if your district is interested in either or both opportunities.

Nationwide | K-5 Raz-Plus reading study
Learning A-Z, an education technology company dedicated to expanding literacy through personalized instruction, has partnered with McREL to conduct an efficacy study of its Raz-Plus program. Districts and schools will have an opportunity to use Raz-Plus materials in K-5 classrooms at no charge for up to 18 months by participating in this study, which is designed to understand whether and how the Raz-Plus program helps students improve their reading skills and outcomes. Learn more about this study and contact us.

Colorado | Pathways to Success digital game pilot study
McREL, South Central BOCES, the University of Southern California, and Filament Games have developed a digital game designed to increase middle and high school students’ academic motivation, school engagement, and graduation success. Grounded in research and theory on identity-based motivation, the game is now ready for pilot testing during the fall of 2017, and your schools can be among the first in the country to experience this leading-edge, innovative educational technology. We are seeking Colorado middle and high schools located in rural and non-urban areas, with 40% or more of students eligible for free or reduced-price meals. The pilot study will involve students in grades 7-10. Learn more about this study and contact us.

New from McREL

McREL’s research and program evaluation
McREL’s roots are in education research and analysis. Every school system has its unique strengths, challenges, climates, and stakeholders, and our research and evaluation team centers its efforts on your needs and questions, helping your data better tell your story. Our collaborative approach ensures support at every stage —- from proposal writing, to securing funding, collecting data, and reporting outcomes. By analyzing your data in your context, we can help you uncover origins of your challenges and reveal your hidden bright spots. We’ll give you contextually relevant recommendations and reader-friendly reports you can use to develop, evaluate, modify, and sustain your efforts to support high-quality teaching, leading, and learning.  Learn more about McREL’s research and evaluation services in our new brochure.

Blog Post | Informal classroom observations —- not just for principals anymore
As a school leader, what keeps you from doing classroom walkthroughs? Is it time? Capacity? Distractions? In her latest blog post, Lisa Maxfield offers suggestions for sharing leadership —- bringing other observers “into the fold” and engaging instructional coaches, peer coaches, and teacher leaders in the walkthrough process, and building a purposeful instructional community in the process. Read her blog post.

Changing Schools, Spring 2017 | Measuring what matters: How data are making a difference
Educators have an abundance of data at their disposal these days, but how can they ensure they’re using it all in a way that improves outcomes for students? This issue of Changing Schools looks at the new and expanded ways that data are making a difference today, including the use of surveys to collect valuable stakeholder feedback; the increased flexibility of ESSA; how teacher collaboration makes formative assessment more effective; ensuring data are actionable; and the importance of mindsets in getting all stakeholders excited about data. Read the new issue.

White Paper | Finding Simplicity on the Other Side of Complexity: A Strategic Planning Process Streamlines District Work and Improves the System for All
Managing a school district has become an increasingly complex endeavor. But district leaders who take a systems approach to strategic planning can simplify their work and increase the success of their principals, teachers, and students. In this white paper, Jay Harnack, the superintendent of Sublette County School District #1, and Matt Seebaum, a senior director at McREL, show how a strategic planning process reduces redundancy and workload by integrating district goals, strategic planning, and school improvement into one streamlined process. Read the white paper.

Events & Opportunities
Professional Learning with McREL
Our summer professional learning sessions are underway! We have some spots remaining in our workshops, and we’d love for you to join us! Gain research-based, best-practice strategies to help you —- and your students —- flourish. Join us in Denver for these engaging sessions with our expert presenters.
Classroom Instruction That Works®
June 26-28
Classroom Instruction That Works Authorized Facilitator Training
June 26-30
Balanced Leadership® for School-Level Leaders
July 11-14
District Leadership That Works®  
July 17-18
Classroom Instruction That Works with English Language Learners®
July 19-20

Weeklong Chats on Twitter

Looking to grow your professional learning network? Join us for our weeklong Twitter 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 on each week’s theme with other educators.
Summer professional learning
June 19-25
Question: What professional learning are you participating in this summer?
“Must read” books for students
June 26-July 2
Question: What are “must read” books for your students?
Maintaining a passion for teaching and leading
July 10-16
Question: How do you stay passionate about teaching and leading?
Inspiring movies about education
July 17-23
Question: What is your favorite movie about education and why?

Upcoming Conferences

Tennessee ASCD 2017 Summer Institute
June 29-30 | Gatlinburg, Tennessee
McREL CEO Bryan Goodwin will be the featured presenter at the Tennessee ASCD summer institute, a two-day conference with strands for administrators and teachers. School and district leaders will learn the keys to focusing improvement plans on what matters most, while teachers will explore the three imperatives of good teaching: being demanding, being supportive, and being intentional. For more information and to register, please visit the Tennessee ASCD website.
National Principals Conference
July 9-11| Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
McREL staff will present three sessions at NAESP’s and NASSP’s combined National Principals Conference for insights and strategies on school improvement, acceleration, and innovation to help students and staff flourish. Join us for these engaging sessions:
Sunday, July 9, 9:00 a.m.A Focused Approach for Leadership Coaching: Support Structures for Principal Improvement and Innovation
with Dr. Tony Davis
Monday, July 10, 7:30 a.m.Inside-out Coaching: Helping Teachers Flourish
with Dr. Bj Stone and Kristin Rouleau
Tuesday, July 11, 9:00 a.m.Developing a Pipeline for Tennessee School Leaders
with Dr. Tony Davis and the Center for Educational Leadership at the University of Tennessee

To learn more and register, please visit the conference website.

Visit our Events page or contact McREL to learn more
about other upcoming conferences and events.
Are you a thought leader who’s committed to improving student achievement? We are now hiring for several positions
in our Honolulu and Denver offices.
McREL: Helping educators flourish
“McREL made our processes organized and efficient with great data analysis and assistance to our stakeholders.”
Dr. Brent Bacon, Chief Academic Officer, Wyoming Department of Education
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4601 DTC Blvd., Suite 500
Denver, CO 80237
Copyright © 2017, McREL International. All Rights Reserved.

June 14, 2017

Transform Your Teaching And Leading | July Institutes

From Monday’s inbox…

Join us in Denver this July for high impact,
low cost professional learning.
Balanced Leadership® Institute
for School-Level Leaders
July 11-14, 2017
Discover the leadership responsibilities that are most strongly connected to student achievement and get practical strategies to develop a purposeful school community, initiate and manage change within your school, and focus on what matters most for your school’s improvement. This institute is designed for principals, assistant principals, new and emerging leaders, principal supervisors, and other district-level leaders.
Register for the entire four-day institute or for the individual days of your choice.
Balanced Leadership Overview | Tuesday, July 11
Managing Change | Wednesday, July 12
The Focus of Leadership | Thursday, July 13
Developing a Purposeful Community | Friday, July 14
District Leadership That Works: Two-Day Institute
July 17-18, 2017
Learn the responsibilities and actions that superintendents, school boards, and central office leaders can take that are most connected to student and staff success. Explore the key principles of high-reliability systems and leave with a map of steps to improve the quality and consistency of instruction within and among your schools. This institute is designed for superintendents, assistant superintendents, school board members, chief academic officers, and other district-level leaders.

Classroom Instruction
That Works® with English Language Learners: Workshop
July 19-20, 2017
Designed for regular classroom teachers, ELL specialists, and ELL program leaders, this workshop covers the stages of second language acquisition and their instructional implications, academic language development, and strategies for engaging ELL students in regular education classrooms.
Motivate. Lead. Achieve.
High impact professional development for teachers
and leaders.
Non-profit education research, development, consulting, and services.
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McREL International
4601 DTC Blvd., Suite 500
Denver, Colorado 80237
McREL, 4601 DTC Blvd., Suite 500, Denver, CO 80237
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