A Recipe for Authentic Learning
Rowan Salisbury Schools
Learn how Rowan-Salisbury blends cutting-edge practices like design thinking, reflection, digital portfolios, essential skill rubrics, and entrepreneurship to engage students in solving real world challenges. Challenge-based learning is what they do, and design thinking is how they do it.
Academy to Envision Tomorrow’s Schools
North Carolina School Superintendents’ Association
In March 2019, the North Carolina School Superintendents Association, in conjunction with Moseley Architects and other leading sponsors, launched the inaugural Academy to Envision Tomorrow’s Schools. The Academy was comprised of the 16 regional teachers of the year for 2017 and 2018. Known as the Academy Fellows, North Carolina’s teacher leaders were brought together to celebrate their impact, to capture their vision and voice about learning and teaching, and to add to the body of knowledge that addresses the impact of facility design upon learning and teaching. The Fellows identified themes that have implications for the effective design of modern era schools. As well, they created visual representations of those themes and how they may apply to school design. This presentation will feature some of the Fellows who will express their resolve to provide learner-centered and personalized instruction while demonstrating how those values can be preserved in future school designs.
Best Practices for High-Performing Boards: Aligning the Core Work of Your Board
What does a highly effective board look like in practice? This panel discussion will explore some commonly shared traits among highly effective boards that help them focus on what’s important and how they are able to work more efficiently to align their core work around meetings, strategic planning, policy management, and evaluations to meet their goals.
Breakfast Equity: A Solution to Student Achievement and Chronic Absenteeism
No Kid Hungry / NCDPI
Each school year millions of students miss at least 10 percent of school days, making them chronically absent. Chronic absenteeism leads to reduced student achievement, an increased likelihood of dropping out of school, weakened social development, and worse future employment prospects. There is a growing effort to identify school solutions outside of curriculum and instruction that can address absenteeism. In 2019, Share Our Strength commissioned a national and state-level study by the University of California, Santa Barbara, to examine whether providing school breakfast as part of the school day (via Breakfast After the Bell) can reduce chronic absenteeism and improve other student outcomes. The analyses demonstrate that Breakfast After the Bell has positive impacts on student outcomes, including chronic absenteeism rates. The presentation will provide an overview of Breakfast After the Bell, the study methodology and findings, implications for policy and practice, and will highlight stories of how innovative breakfast programs in NC districts are addressing the issues of the NC State Board of Education strategic plan and the Whole Child Commission focus on access and achievement gaps.
Building an Equity-Focused, Community-Driven Strategic Plan in Cumberland County Schools
Cumberland County Schools and RTI International Center for Education Services
Throughout the 2018-2019 school year, Cumberland County Schools, under the incoming leadership of Dr. Marvin Connelly, led a community-centered process to develop a new strategic plan. The plan includes a new mission, vision, core values, strategic priorities, and aligned actions. Dr. Connelly, Ms. Chalmers, and Mr. Martin will discuss the process they led by providing insights into how the work was planned and structured, how teams were established, and how they gathered feedback in a town hall of 500 people. They will discuss lessons learned, pitfalls to avoid in district planning, and what they hope this new strategic direction will mean for the outcomes and life prospects of the students in Cumberland County Schools.
Building Stronger Family Support Structures at the High School Level: Family Engagement Structures in a High Needs High School
Lenoir County Public Schools
Increasing family engagement at the high school level can be difficult. Over the past five years, increased parent engagement combined with instructional transformation efforts at a Title I school in Lenoir County has increased student achievement in both proficiency and growth. Learn how this high school has structured its parent engagement programming to increase family engagement and build community supports for students.
Co-Teaching to Enhance Learning
This session will provide insight on how to successfully co-teach curriculum in order to blend learning for a higher outcome. Presenters are current co-teachers in a humanities course that blends English I and world history into one course. Data, standards, and learning outcomes will be presented related to the effect of co-teaching along with techniques to use in the course.
Crowdfunding in K-12 Education: DonorsChoose.org and Your District
DonorsChoose.org, the free nonprofit built exclusively to support K-12 public schools and address educational inequities, has helped teachers in 4 out of 5 U.S. public schools request extra resources for their classroom. Founder and CEO Charles Best launched the organization 19 years ago as a high school history teacher. Since then, DonorsChoose.org has generated $870 million in classroom resources from almost 4 million citizen donors for public school classrooms. Specifically in North Carolina, the organization has helped raise over $38 million in materials for the state’s public schools and funded over 75,000 classroom projects at no cost to educators or districts. Join this session to learn how DonorsChoose.org provides free end-to-end safeguards and accountability for district leaders like school board members and what a districtwide rollout (including policy) could look like in your district.
Evaluating Your Superintendent
Gates County Public Schools
Don’t practice, practice, practice until you get it right. Gates County Schools practices until they can’t get it wrong. Attend this session to learn how good communication is essential in evaluating your superintendent. Presenters will discuss the role their weekly updates — which include updates on the relationship with the board, community relationships, staff relationships, and instructional leadership — play in this evaluation.
From the Boardroom to the Classroom: Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind
Lenoir County Public Schools
“Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind” served as an evolving theme for the Lenoir County Public Schools board retreat and administrative retreat. Aligned conversations about engagement promoted a deeper understanding of the supports necessary to allocate resources to meet the needs of children of poverty. As a result, schools embedded professional development to provide focus and encourage intentional integration of strategies to grow cognitive capacity. Presenters will share district, school, and classroom practices to deepen learning and teaching for students of poverty.
High School Choice: Creating an Informed Community Through Collaboration
McDowell County Schools
Learn how the principals representing McDowell County’s high schools worked collaboratively to ensure all rising 9th grade students and parents were informed of the various programs offered at each of the high schools in the district. Because of a shared vision, principals held multiple community meetings to educate 8th grade students and parents about the options available for high school. All 8th grade students in McDowell County applied to the high school of their choice.
How School Funding Agreements Impact the County and School Board Partnerships
Cabarrus County Schools
Presenters will report on an August session at the NC Association of County Commissioners regarding formal and informal financial agreements. Using a Q&A format, this breakout session will help participants better understand school system funding and tough topics like fund balance.
Innovation Does Not Need Permission
Vance County Schools
Vance County Schools serves as an incubator for innovation and innovative practices in their region. Over the past five years, they have developed a culture within the district that allows staff to take risks to implement innovative practices and programs to improve student outcomes. They have implemented the following innovations: digital learning, opportunity culture, non-traditional programs, Restart schools, year-round programming, fine arts programs, and social and emotional support for students. Learn how these innovations have served as the impetus for continuous improvement in the district.
Little Bodies, Big Emotions
McDowell County Schools
Hear one K-5 elementary school’s commitment to support students with trauma, high ACEs, and exceptionalities such as sensory processing disorder or autism. Walk away from this session with real strategies for implementation of a truly trauma-informed school or district that helps students learn how to self-regulate. The goal is to keep students in class and return them to a healthy emotional state where they can keep learning. Strategies shared will include upstairs brain/downstairs brain, stair climbing zones, walk and talks, walking sticks, and getting “AIR.” Learn how your school or district can support students prone to fight-flight-freeze emotional reactions to moments versus loss of hours or days.
Making a Difference Through Community Connections
McDowell County Schools
Through a structured interactive strategy session supported by testimonials and best practices, participants will learn how to utilize their community partners to transform student learning and create supportive student-centered environments. The session will also discuss how strategic planning with community partners is key to creating these environments and required in order to create strong, lasting relationships and long-term community change that will foster career awareness and services for students, improve soft skills and communication skills, reduce risk behaviors and dropouts, and encourage civic engagement and service.
Market! Market! Market! Using a Combination of Approaches to Build a Collective Community Opinion that Public Schools are the Best Available Choice to Educate Children
Lenoir County Public Schools
Public schools must market themselves as the best choice for parents among many available options. Learn how Lenoir County Public Schools strategically and comprehensively markets its district as a school system of choice using a balanced combination of traditional marketing strategies and cutting-edge, outside-the-box approaches to win the hearts and minds of stakeholders.