On October 18, 2019, Kate and Wade facilitated a Continuous Improvement Profile workday to assist districts in creating and updating an online district profile on Google Sites. The district profile should: assure all stakeholders’ understanding and beliefs, organize activities, develop timelines and committee structures, provide focus for all, provide the “road map” for improvement, and identify areas of strengths and low-performance. It is designed to keep all stakeholders “in the loop” and committed to the process, help all staff see all students as part of the system, identify steps to improve for everyone, and track and monitor progress in the process. On this particular day, teams worked to update the demographic and student performance data, embed a district boundary map, and update AQuESTT classification data.
On October 17, 2018, Kate Hatch and Jody Bauer conducted Day 3 of the Entry Year Assistance Program. During the first half of the workshop, Kate presented information procedures, classroom management, strategies for dealing with economically disadvantaged students, and student engagement. She also provided an opportunity for teachers to reflect on the successes and challenges of their first quarter of teaching.
During the second half of the day, Jody demonstrated various technology tools that can be used to promote student engagement such Plickers and NearPod.
On October 15, 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, Dr. Marissa Fye and Dr. Tina Chasek from the UNK Counseling and School Psychology Department, lead the group in role playing exercises to help counselors support students in the following situations: depression, anxiety attacks, drug and alcohol usage, suspecting abuse, cutting, etc. Technology Integration Consultant, Jody Bauer, also showed the group how VR headsets can be utilized for college visits and to help students learn about all aspects of various careers.
On October 14, 2019, ESU 11 hosted a Professional Learning Community meeting for 6-12 grade teachers. PLCs are an ongoing process in which educators work collaboratively to achieve better results for the students they serve. During this session, the group reviewed the newly adopted College and Career Ready Science standards and 3-Dimensional Teaching. The teachers worked together to identify the Disciplinary Core Ideas and Cross Cutting Concepts, essential questions, and vocabulary that students will examine for each standard. They also explored the concept of “Claims Evidence Reasoning” and learned how students can use this process to create an evidence-based response. They then discussed the shift in assessment. Between now and the next meeting, teachers are encouraged to integrate something that they learned today in their classroom.
On October 7, 2019, ESU 11 organized an educational conference for the fourteen schools in the ESU 11 area. This conference, entitled “Lead from Within,” provided teachers with the opportunity to learn about educational trends, techniques, and effective teaching practices in each of their respective subject areas. The keynote speaker for the day was Dr. Joe Sanfelippo. His talks focused on leadership. In addition to the keynote, there were approximately 65 breakout sessions teachers could choose to attend. Sessions focused on technology integration, art, music, reading, math, classroom management, and career education. Approximately 600 educators, administrators, and para professionals attended the conference.