•  2017 Summer Leadership Academy

    Keynote and Workshop Descriptions  

     Keynote Address, Tuesday at 10:00 am

    Moving Beyond the Status Quo            Jimmy Casas

    As school leaders, we must regularly ask ourselves:  Have we grown complacent? Have we settled for the status quo? It’s our job not to let average become the standard. When a school is in need of transformation, leadership is at its most critical and the fate of a school rests on its leader’s ability to gain support.   If you’re the type of leader who wants to inspire greatness in everyone who passes through your school’s halls, this presentation is a can’t miss. You will learn what it takes to raise expectations schoolwide, foster the belief in one’s ability to achieve, and create an environment where everyone—students, staff, parents, and the community—takes pride in supporting each other toward excellence.

    Seven Educational Strands, Wednesday from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm

    1. Strive to Be Tomorrow...Today            Jimmy Casas   

    The fundamental belief that everyone has the capacity to lead is vital in developing a climate for change.  The distribution of leadership within a school is essential to ensure successful and sustainable reform and should not be left to chance.  The belief that all staff members, given a vision, support, and training, have the capacity to lead is central to the presentation.  Jimmy will share his expertise and a strategies for selecting, developing, and growing teacher leaders.    

    2. Power Dynamics to Recognize, Navigate & Eradicate: The Path to Building Positive School Culture Janice Case   

    School culture is at the heart of school success. Power dynamics can either make or break that culture. Recognizing the debilitating role that power struggles can play in a school is essential as is the school leader's ability to increase their team's capacity to avoid power struggles.

    This full day experience is geared toward helping school leaders identify how power struggles are manifested in a school and lead the learning to eliminate them through effective professional learning for school staff and deliberate growth activities with students

    3. Literacy for Leaders       Janna Osman, Stern Center   

    This strand will focus on what is it that principals need to know in order to provide strong instructional leadership that builds student’s opportunity for success through effective literacy practices.

    Established Goal: Principals will use knowledge of effective literacy practices to support teaching in the classroom and to build strong working relationships among teachers to improve student outcomes.

    Essential Questions: As a result of this strand, principals will know:

    • How does understanding the structure of language benefit teachers and students?
    • How does one use developmental frameworks to support teachers in setting instructional goals for students?
    • How can one recognize/observe strengths and needs in reading and spelling programs using research-based best practices?
    • How can pedagogical practices support student access to content area information across all grade levels?

    Essential Practices: Principals will be able to:

    • Apply understanding of the conceptual base for the structure of language to support teachers, students and families,
    • Use observational data to identify areas in need of development to support professional learning communities, and
    • Support school community participation in development of action planning

    4. Technology for Leaders            Andrew Marcinek 

    Innovation does not have to simply be associated with the latest application to burgeon out of Silicon Valley or the savvy keynote speaker, but rather, it can be seen in our classrooms across the country. By nature, educators are researchers and designers within their classrooms and have always thrived on the ability to share and repurpose. As educational leaders, we must find ways to reinvest in the profession of teaching and amplify the innovative work that educators design on a yearly basis. Fostering a shared culture of learning and instructional design within an academic institution can support teacher leadership and greatly impact student growth. Openly licensed educational resources can help spark this culture and promote innovative teaching and learning by openly sharing and amplifying what educators create daily. It’s time we recognize the innovative capacity of all educators.

    5. Fostering Resilience through Essential Skill Building            Joelle van Lent 

    This training is designed from current research on the key components and protective factors that foster resilience in children who are contending with a wide variety of stressors including mental health challenges, intellectual and learning variations, developmental disabilities, and chronic adversity within their environment.  Dr. van Lent will identify key elements and approaches for creating environments in which children can thrive.  The training will include an in-depth discussion of the impact of early neglect and trauma on a child’s development, specifically the child’s ability to form healthy relationships, respond to context, engage in learning, and develop a positive self-concept.

    Participants will learn specific strategies and interventions that will create intentional opportunities for the development of essential skills within the realms of emotional regulation, social competency and executive functioning.  Dr. van Lent will highlight how participants can positively influence a child’s development by using existing resources. 

    Strand objectives:

    • Participants will learn about various forms of stress and current research relevant to fostering resilience in children.  The presentation will focus on the protective factors and key elements that improve a child’s ability to prevail in context of ongoing stressors of a wide variety.
    • Participants will explore the impact of chronic exposure to trauma on child development, specifically focusing on attachment capacity, neurological functioning, affect regulation, and executive functioning.
    • Participants will learn strategies and interventions that foster the development of essential skills that improve a child’s engagement and functioning.  The training focuses on the realms of emotional regulation, social competency, and executive functioning.  Specific examples and modeling of such skill development will be included.

    6. Proficiency Based Learning: Leading and Sustaining Implementation       Mark Kostin, Great Schools Partnership 

    What does successful implementation of proficiency-based learning look like in Vermont? How does it support your school’s vision of personalization? Join experienced coaches from the Great Schools Partnership in a full-day session that moves beyond the initial steps districts have taken to design their system and learn about tools and approaches that can support successful sustainability. During the morning we will address implementation issues such as building assessment literacy and supporting instructional improvement. We will also learn from the experiences of Vermont school leaders. Doing the afternoon, we will address some of the thorniest implementation issues participants are addressing and provide supportive and tailored coaching.

    7. Strengthening the Principal's Role as District Leaders: The critical role of principals in systemic change   Nate Levenson, District Management Group 

    Principals are the leaders of their schools and can also play an important role in leading the district as a whole. In fact, in most high performing, innovative school systems principals are an integral part of district leadership. Yet, many principals feel stymied by district policies, have limited voice in decisions or feel they aren't having as much impact as desired.

    This session will explore the unique role of Vermont principals (as compared to principals in other states) and how principals can have more voice and influence over their schools and districts. Best practice examples from other districts will be shared and ample opportunity to brainstorm with colleagues provided.

    As districts unify, wrestle with declining enrollment and tight budgets or implement personalized learning, the role of the principal will never be more important. This interactive session will end with clear and tangible next steps for principals who want to increase their impact on their schools and district.