On April 1, 2019 Educational Service Unit #11 sponsored the opportunity for area counselors to participate in a networking process that occurs four times each year. Staff Development Director Kate Hatch organized the counselors’ day. During the morning of this particular meeting, Brian Deakin from BD came in to talk about the Central Nebraska Manufacturing Project. Diana Watson from Central Community College provided information about the Holdrege Career Fair. Dr. Marissa Fye from UNK presented information on mental health, cutting, and self-care. In the afternoon, ESU 11 Technology Curriculum Consultant Jody Bauer shared free resources that schools can access to promote digital citizenship by utilizing CommonSense Media. In addition, she also discussed some apps that kids are using that counselors and school officials should be aware of.
On March 21, 2019, ESUs 10 and 11 hosted a workshop for music teachers. Dr. Artie Almeida, nationally known author and music educator from Florida, was the instructor for the day. During the course of the day, participants learned innovative lessons and ideas involving singing, moving, guided listening, percussion, behavior management, children’s literature and music theory for the K-6 classroom.
On February 26, 2018, Kate Hatch organized an art enrichment workshop for area art teachers. This workshop was facilitated by Southwest Public School Art Teacher, Carol Kelley. This day was designed for the artist/educator teaching kindergarten through twelfth grade. Carol taught the art of Batik. Batik is a technique of hand-dyeing fabrics by using wax as a dye repellent to cover parts of a design, dyeing the uncovered fabric with a color or colors, and dissolving the wax in boiling water.
In addition to learning these art techniques, the art teachers were also able to collaborate and share other ideas that they were able to take back to their individual schools.
On February 7, 2019 Educational Service Unit #11 sponsored the opportunity for area counselors to participate in a networking process that occurs four times each year. Staff Development Director Kate Hatch organized the counselors’ day. During this particular meeting, Brandon Drozd from UNK connected to discuss the opportunity for schools to participate in a Health Science Academy. After that, Kimberley Burr, Mental Health Practitioner from CHI Cancer Center, shared information on liquid and vapor, nicotine addiction, potential and known risks, and special considerations for youth and marketing to youth. Kate also shared information about ACT testing and the Nebraska School Mental Health Conference that will be held in Kearney this summer.
On December 4, 2018, ESU 11 hosted a Professional Learning Community meeting for 7-12 grade Social Studies teachers. PLCs are an ongoing process in which educators work collaboratively to achieve better results for the students they serve. During this session, NDE Social Studies Consultant, Harris Payne, shared a variety of resources that teachers can use to teach the concepts outlined in the standards such as Structured Academic Controversy, Resources from the Library of Congress, Civics Resources, Geo Inquiry Lessons, Media Literacy, and Historical Thinking Skills. He also shared information about the Social Studies standards revision process.
Kate and Jody also showed several resources that teachers can use to help teach standards and increase student engagement. Such tools included the HoloLens, Google Expeditions, Insert Learning and Actively Learn. The next PLC will be held in the spring. Between now and the next meeting, teachers will engage in action research to determine if the shared resources are effective in teaching and assessing the learning targets.