Monday, July 16, 2007

NSDC Concurrent Session 1: Breaking Barriers to Learning

Live Blogging: Norwalk Community School District in Iowa

Starting off the presentation by showing Karl Fisch's "Did you Know? 1.0" I wonder how many people in the room have seen this before.

I wonder how many presenters will be using this. I wonder how many presenters will be making their own. Why not?

Just got through the "Name this country..." I always want to shout out the answer.

In under a year, how much of this information is outdated? Not to mention how many schools and districts will be presenting it at back-to-school events this year as though it's new?

Presentation Beginning:
How am I going to prepare students for a world that's not in existence now?

Quoting Pink's A Whole New Mind and three essential questions.
1. Can someone overseas do it more cheaply?
2. Can a computer do it faster?
3. Am I offering something that satisfies the monmaterial transcendent...

Prereq. Friedman quote: There are no more "American Jobs." There are only jobs.

Only 1/3 of school districts in Iowa are growing.

Not sure our mission statement is different from many others. What's different is how we act on them.

They have 7 student learning goals.
1. Communication Skills
2. Thinking and reasoning skills
3. interpersonal skills
4. personal and social responsibility
5. learning to learn (warlick happy?)
6. Technology
7. Expanding and integrating knowledge

Goals drafted after community input and search for a theme.

Referencing: Indicators of schools of quality.

We, as a district, were starting to form what's important to us. Modified indicators to align with parents, community and staff. Printed NSCC as their own.

Complete survey every 2-3 years.
Ask where students are and where they want to go next.

Referencing PLCs and Rick DeFour. Mission statements look alike. Vision statements look alike. Belief statements are special to schools/districts. (me- does SRQ have belief statements?)

Guided by values in decision making.

SLCs are very important. Have looping and traditional. Full-inclusion model.

Belief 5: Common knowledge base for students. (me - who decides knowledge base?)

Speaking on teachers saying they didn't think they did anything special.

Systemic issue.

Parent approached one of them and said they didn't live up to belief statement.

Talking about Iowa Professional Development Model and how it is a collaborative effort including ALL stakeholders. Even high ed.

Focus on curric., instruction and assessment.
Shared decision-making

Constant Cycle of PD.

Simultaneity is a growing requirement in education (me - are our kids there already?)

6-year curric. assessment evaluation cycle.

Curriculum will provide success with 80% of students.

Years 4-6 work to find out what curric. did do for other 20%.

No state standards in Iowa (me - !?!?!?!)

8 Iowa Teaching standards made up of 42 criterion: build teacher portfolio (NGT?)

Their content areas rotate to ensure constant curricular reform. There's a systemic cycle built in. (me - replicable on a larger scale?)

Data is imperative. (me - are we measuring what's going to matter?)

One word to describe Norwalk - collaboration.

They have 26 School Improvement Advisory Committees.

Quoting Gardner on Transformational Leadership.
Quoting Marzano's School Leadership that Works.

Assessing administrators not just teachers. Marzano's 21 administrative characteristics. Did a time audit in 15-minute increments.

Pausing for reflection. Back to work.

(me - we've been sitting for over an hour, I'm sitting and getting.)

Discussion State Accreditation process

"MetaAnalysis" is a smart-sounding word that engenders much unquestioning reverence.

(me - is this good teaching?)

NSSE - Survey of Goals for Student Learning.

End-of-Year report required for each SIAC for website and newspaper.

Out-of-School programs effective for lower elementary and high school according to McREL.

Acknowledging errors in last year's summer program and addressing how they are corrected.

Teacher talking now about moving back to Norwalk because of collaboration. Saying the program didn't make sense at first, but now has a better understanding of the big picture.

Also referencing Gardner's Five Minds for the Future.

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