EducationPlus 2014 Scholarship Awards

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Congratulations to the EducationPlus 2014 Scholarship Award recipients; they were honored at a reception at EducationPlus on June 3. Learn more about the recipients and their plans:

Robert D. Elsea Scholarship Award
Pamela Walker, City of St. Charles School District

  • 12th Grade At-Risk Students; MO Options
  • 32 years teaching experience; 6 years in present position
  • Plans to continue strengths-based education through attending the StandOut Advantage workshop, utilizing new techniques in the classroom to enhance student learning and development

Gerald D. Troester Scholarship Award
Tina Lauer, City of St. Charles School District

  • Works with teachers of all grade levels (Pre-K through 12); Technology
  • 21 years experience; 2 years in present position
  • Plans to attend the EducationPlus Technology Leadership Academy for the 2014-2015 school year, and participation in this academy will help to train the teachers in the district on how to use technology in their classroom

Gary K. Wright Scholarship Award
Jason Lievanos, Parkway School District

  • 6th Grade Social Studies
  • 7 years teaching experience; 3 years in present position
  • Plans to become a Kagan-certified trainer to enhance students’ learning experience, train and support implementation of cooperative learning structures for teachers in the building as an improvement plan, and to offer workshops and support to teachers across the district

John Oldani Scholarship Award
April Burton, Francis Howell School District

  • 9th-12th Grade French
  • 14 years teaching experience; 11 years in present position
  • Plans to continue to learn more about cooperative learning by attending workshops and conferences that teach best practices for implementing 21st century learning into the classroom

CSD Health Insurance Trust Scholarship Award
Beth Moritz, Pattonville School District

  • 9th-11th Grade English/Honors English
  • 19 years teaching experience; 18 years in present position
  • Plans to participate in continuing education in the area of college and career readiness for high school students to ensure that students leave Pattonville with a knowledge of what opportunities exist for them and how to go about obtaining their goals

Character Education Partnership Names 13 in Missouri as 2014 National Schools of Character

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The Character Education Partnership selected 44 schools and districts nationwide as National Schools of Character. All of Missouri’s honored schools and districts, 13 total, participate in the CharacterPlus® program. In addition, Missouri has more national schools and districts of character than any other state.

Those selected as National Schools of Character demonstrate significant increases in academics (increasing or high test scores), behavior (reduction in disciplinary actions) and climate (survey results show students feel safe and respected). All of the schools have created caring, supportive school communities that meet the needs of students. The local schools and districts to receive the recognition include:

Fox School District: Sherwood Elementary
Ladue School District: Ladue Middle
Lindbergh Schools: National District of Character, Sperreng Middle
Mehlville School District: National District of Character, Bernard Middle, Blades Elementary, Margaret Buerkle Middle, Oakville Elementary, Oakville Middle
Parkway Schools: McKelvey Elementary
Rockwood School District: Blevins Elementary
Special School District: Hiram Neuwoehner School

They are now expected to serve as models for other schools, helping them to achieve the same results. They will hold the distinction of a National School of Character for five years.

Focusing on “Academic Success through Character Development,” CharacterPlus helps develop character within young people in and outside the classroom. CharacterPlus programs help students see that they can demonstrate good character throughout their daily lives. Next month, at the CharacterPlus National Conference, participants will have an opportunity to hear from both State and National Schools of Character from Missouri.

To learn more about CharacterPlus, a resource of EducationPlus, visit www.characterplus.org. Congratulations to the National Schools of Character!

Videoconference Dialog Brings Students Together

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This week, the students met face to face after months of conversation through videoconferencing.  (photo courtesy of Parkway School District)

This week saw the culmination of a series of videoconference dialogs between students at Parkway North and Normandy High Schools when the two groups met face to face. Twenty-five Parkway North students in Scott Moeller’s government class took a bus to Normandy High School to meet the students they had been talking to for the past semester over videoconference. They took a tour of Normandy High School and sat down to a lunch prepared by Normandy’s culinary students. The students talked to wrap up the semester-long project that focused on the student transfer program from unaccredited districts and what effect it had on them.

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In January, Ed Wright began the dialogs via videoconference; he spoke from EdPlus’ Innovation Room, and each school had a distance learning equipment set up in their respective buildings.

Distance Learning Brings Students Together

The program was conceived, initiated and implemented by EducationPlus. After going through the student transfer program last August, Martha Bogart of EducationPlus and Ed Wright, a retired social studies teacher, discussed talking to the students about the process and what impact the transfers were having on them. Normandy and Parkway agreed to take part, and a series of videoconference dialogs started. The objectives of the program were for the students to research the background of the school accreditation process and the current transfer program, including national and Missouri state educational policy and evaluate and summarize school accreditation from all perspectives. The students also discussed stereotypes that each group had about the other and tried to formulate a solution about how to keep the Normandy School District from “lapsing,” or being disbanded.

The Parkway students were impressed with the auditorium and the state-of-the-art fitness room at Normandy, and one budding chef was jealous of the culinary program, as Parkway North does not have such a program. Another Parkway student suggested having the Normandy students visit their school.

This type of videoconferencing dialog program is not new to EducationPlus. Several years ago we conducted a series moderated by a facilitator from the National Conference for Community and Justice, on race and racism with area high schools. We also conducted a series of videoconference dialogs between local high schools and a high school in Jerusalem, Israel. One of the most touching dialogs was with Iraqi students both before and after the Iraq War.

EducationPlus is always studying education issues and trying to help shed light on important issues in our field in order to reach solutions. If you have an idea for further dialogs with students, let us know. We are here to serve you and the needs of the educational community.

Festus, Kirkwood, Lindbergh, Parkway have Gold Star Schools

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MO Gold Star LogoThe Gold Star Schools program was established by the the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in 1991 and aligns with the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes schools whose students achieve at very high levels or schools that make significant progress in closing the achievement gap. The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program sets a standard of excellence for all schools striving for the highest level of achievement.

EducationPlus member districts being recognized by DESE for becoming Gold Star Schools this year:

• Concord Elementary, Lindbergh Schools
• Festus Elementary, Festus School District
• Henry Elementary, Parkway Schools
• Long Elementary, Lindbergh Schools
• Mason Ridge Elementary, Parkway Schools
• North Glendale Elementary, Kirkwood School District

In order for a school to be recommended to the Commissioner of Education as a Missouri Gold Star School, that school must meet the nomination criteria outlined by the U.S. Department of Education for the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. The school must complete the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program application and the U.S. Department of Education must accept the school’s National Blue Ribbon Schools Program application.

 

 

Professional Learning Opportunities: Addressing Literacy and Engineering in Classrooms

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Dr. Bridgette Davis is the Director of the Gulf Coast Academy for Science Literacy. She has designed professional development training for middle and high school teachers using STEM modules with embedded literacy instruction. She also serves as an assistant professor at Louisiana State University in the School of Education. She completed her Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in Science Education and Content Area Literacy in 2010. She presents two all-day sessions next month:

Putting the “E” in STEM | Strategies for Training Engineers in Your Modern Classroom
Common Core State Standards, College and Career Readiness Standards, and the Next Generation Science Standards place great emphasis on a multi-disciplinary approach that increases interconnectedness among all disciplines and engineering. This April 21 workshop offers middle and high school teachers from all disciplines an introduction to essential principles of engineering, places to find resources, easily accessible tools, and basic ways to begin including engineering principals into their current curriculum.

Utilizing Careers to Address Literacy Across the Curriculum
Integrating Literacy across the curriculum can be a challenge. This workshop on April 22 offers teachers ways to meet the challenge by using College and Career Readiness Standards to support a focus on careers in instructional design. Teachers will explore ways to integrate relevant information text sources while making connections between the content in the subject area and careers through the use of appropriate literacy tasks. This workshop is designed for middle and high school teachers from all disciplines yet it is appropriate for curriculum coordinators and administrators. Art, music, and physical education teachers will benefit as well by attending.

Registration information can be found at www.edplus.org. Space is limited, EdPlus suggests interested educators enroll early to secure a place. Both sessions will take place at the  Rockwood Administrative Annex in Eureka.

2014 National Schools of Character Finalists from Missouri include Two Districts

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The Character Education Partnership (CEP) named 50 schools and districts from 16 states as national finalists in the 2014 National Schools of Character (NSOC) program. Missouri has the highest number of finalists, including two districts. All Missouri finalists are members of CHARACTERplus, a resource of EducationPlus:

Belton • Mill Creek Upper Elementary
Fox
• Antonia Middle School, Sherwood Elementary
Ladue Ladue Middle School
Lindbergh* Robert H. Sperreng Middle School
Mehlville*
Bernard Middle School
Blades Elementary School
Margaret Buerkle Middle School
Oakville Elementary School
Oakville Middle School
Parkway • McKelvey Elementary
Pattonville • Willow Brook Elementary
Rockwood • Blevins Elementary
Special School District Hiram Neuwoehner High School

  • Congratulations to Lindbergh and Mehville, whose respective districts were also named NSOC finalists.

NSOC is not a competition,  rather an opportunity to receive feedback as well as recognition for growth and excellence in the area of character development through CEP’s 11 Principles of Effective Character Education framework. NSOC recognizes schools and districts that have demonstrated, through a rigorous evaluation process, that character development has had a positive impact on academics, student behavior, and school climate.

Learn Strategies to Improve Graduation Rates

Join area educators March 13 to discuss effective and intentional strategies to keep students in school in the workshop If You Create It, They Will Stay!.  Educators from three high schools that have made significant improvement in their dropout and graduation rates will share what they’ve done, along with the data that backs up their success.  The St. Louis area is lagging behind other parts of Missouri in both dropout and graduation rates, and this full-day of best practices and strategies can help any school.

The models to be discussed include aspects of mentoring, data collection, service learning, along with family and community involvement.

Members of the EducationPlus Learning Team will also talk about strategies that can work for your school. The cost to attend is $20 for a full day, including lunch. For more and to register click here.

Implement and Advance STEM Teaching and Learning

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2013_sharefarelogo_thumbShare Fair is a free, two-part event hosted by the University of Missouri – St. Louis College of Education to transform education and propel schools towards the best 21st Century classrooms. Included in Share Fair are Classroom Intensives, which is professional development for educators and  STEMosphere, which is a public exhibition of fun, interactive, STEM-inspired activities.

Share Fair takes place Saturday, March 29 with the following schedule:

8:00 -  3:15     Classroom Intensives Sessions for Educators
9:30 -  4:00     STEMosphere for the Public

To learn more about presentations, exhibitors at STEMosphere, and to register, visit the Share Fair website.

CharacterPlus National Conference Returns in June

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CharacterPlus, a resource of EducationPlus, will hold the 20th annual CharacterPlus National Conference June 17-18. In addition to the presence of perennial favorite Hal Urban, sessions from educators across the country focus on:

  • Common Core
  • Curriculum Integration
  • Research/Data Driven Decision Making
  • Safety/Security
  • School Climate/Culture
  • Social & Emotional Skills
  • Unity/Team Building Activities-Building Relationships
  • plus more

Coffee cup.epsIn addition, four keynote speakers will refuel and energize conference attendees. Tara Brown is a specialist in connecting with youth and building relationships with students and staff. Her career has impacted mainstream, at risk teens and nontraditional leaders by empowering them with leadership and life skills and guiding them toward the life they envisioned. Rich Grawer is a St. Louis sports legend, having served as the head basketball coach at St. Louis University and coached at the University of Missouri. He is a proven leader and has guided young people through his career with successful stints as a high school coach and athletic director. Stephen Peters founded the Gentlemen’s Club, which provides opportunities for students to enhance self-esteem and self-image. The process is being used as a successful intervention tool in many inner city, urban and now rural school districts. John O’Leary is an author and international speaker. He will share his inspirational story of how he overcame life’s challenges through the support of others and his strong personal character.

Learn more about the conference and hear what others are saying about it by visiting www.edplus.org.

Midwest Education Technology Conference offers Leadership Lunch Keynote and Library & Media Literacy Lunch Keynote

In one month, the 31st annual Midwest Education Technology Conference kicks off. Preconference workshops make up Monday’s schedule, with general conference sessions- including Keynote Presenters, Featured Speakers, and Midwest Spotlight Educators- taking place Tuesday and Wednesday. Also on Tuesday and Wednesday, the conference has two special luncheons planned, focusing on leadership and library/media, respectively. Additional registration is required for both luncheons.

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Speakers Shannon and Michael Smith, and Tiffany Whitehead

Leadership Lunch Keynote – Common Sense Leadership on the Cheap
with Michael Smith, Superintendent and Shannon Smith, Technology Coordinator of Tuscola CUSD in Illinois on Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 12:00-2:00 pm.

Schools and districts are broke, yet they are expected to do more with less every single day. Find out how Tuscola CUSD in Tuscola, Illinois has been able to utilize all its technology and leadership resources to enrich classroom instruction and improve administrative practices in this practical, down-to-earth presentation led by Superintendent Michael Smith and Technology Coordinator Shannon Smith. Yes, they are married.

Library & Media Literacy Lunch Keynote – Examining the Sacred Cows of School Librarianship with Tiffany Whitehead, Library Media Specialist, Central Middle School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Wednesday, February 12, 2014, 12:00-2:00 pm.

Library programs can sometimes stay in the same rut, follow the same routines, keep the same policies because, well, that’s just the way it’s done in libraries! It’s time to rethink some of our sacred cows to make our libraries more relevant, vibrant, and student friendly. From ditching Dewey to gaming in the library, librarians all over the country are making big and small changes in their practice in order to improve their services.

Registration is open for the conference and these two events. Visit METCconference.org to register. METC is a program of EducationPlus.

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