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Fuel your professional learning journey at these Solution Tree events near you Culture Keepers: Principal Leadership in a PLC at Work™ Institute Keynote Presenters: Rebecca DuFour, Anthony Muhammad, Regina Stephens Owens

Atlanta, Georgia | June 27–29

Professional Learning Communities at Work™ Institute Keynote Presenters: Brian K. Butler, Rebecca DuFour, Robert Eaker, Timothy D. Kanold, Janel Keating, Sharon V. Kramer, Jasmine Kullar

Rogers, Arkansas | July 11–13 SOLD OUT Jacksonville, Florida | May 30–June 1 Atlanta, Georgia | November 12–14

Response to Intervention at Work™ Institute Featured Presenters: Austin Buffum, Brian K. Butler, Luis F. Cruz, Mike Mattos, Nicole Dimich Vagle

Macon, Georgia | September 24–26 New Orleans, Louisiana | November 7–9

Response to Intervention at Work™ Workshop Presenter: Mike Mattos

Memphis, Tennessee | April 5–6 New Orleans, Louisiana | April 11–12 Orlando, Florida | April 17–18


Collaborative Common Assessments Workshop Presenter: Cassandra Erkens

Memphis, Tennessee | April 3–4

Making Sense of Mathematics for Teaching Grade K–Algebra 1 Workshop Presenters: Thomasenia Lott Adams and Juli K. Dixon, or Lisa Brooks and Edward C. Nolan

New Orleans, Louisiana | April 9–10 Nashville, Tennessee | October 3–4

Mathematics at Work™ Workshop Presenters: Timothy D. Kanold and Sarah Schuhl

Orlando, Florida | April 19–20

Overcoming the Achievement Gap Trap Workshop Presenter: Anthony Muhammad

Nashville, Tennessee | October 1–2

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Spring/Summer Issue 2018 Vol. 20.1

CONTENTS 34 The Need for Speed


(and Space)

10 When Failing a

Student Is a Gift

By Amy Newmark

12 Attitude is Key

By Ron Nash


38 The Face of STEM:

Where are the Women?

By Dr. Joni Samples

Elevating Your Career

16 T he Next Step: Elevate Your Career

By Deirdre Edwards

42 1 2 STEM Tips for

Elementary School Teachers

By Deirdre Edwards

20 E ducation Consultant Q&A with Crystal Scillitani

24 W  atch Children Play By Mac Bogert

By Judy Zimny

44 Gamification in Learning Apps By Karen L. Mahon

46 How to Introduce Students to Stem


By Joachim Horn

30 T urning Around School

Performance Requires Bold Steps By Willette Houston


Spring/Summer 2018


52 School Design:

Inspired By Nature

By Robert Just

56 Does Maintaining Facilities Matter?

By Denny Hill


62 Lessons Learned From

Sandy Hook Still Apply

By Alissa Parker

64 Collaboratively Approaching Emergency Preparedness, Prevention and Response

By Paul Timm

68 Case Study: A Practical

and Effective Approach to Safety

By Al Gille

SouthEast Education Network

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Health and Wellness

74 W  here’s the PE Teacher? By Eric Larson and Sean Brock

78 A New Look for Nutrition Facts and What it Means

By Connie Evers

81 When School’s Out

Summer Meals Matter

Begins on Page 92 STUDENT L TRAVE


Creates New Educational Programs for Schools

In The French Quarter, Every BODY has a Story to Tell! French Quarter Phantoms

By The Dairy Alliance

Social and Emotional Learning

84 P rofile: Bringing Wellness

Initiatives to Melmark New England

86 Developing a Personal Brand the Younger, the Better

By Josh Frahm

88 Building Bridges to a

Strong School Community

By Steve Frey

90 How to Be a Teacher and Have a Life

Compassion Resilience Service 9/11 Tribute Museum

Take a Trip Off the Beaten Path for a Perfect Stem Experience Howard County, Maryland.



College Football Hall of Fame

Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum

By Dave Stuart, Jr.


Spring/Summer 2018

SouthEast Education Network


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Editor-in-Chief Deirdre Edwards

Managing Editor Sherry Brooks

Senior Editor Charles Sosnik

Creative Director Monty Todd

Resource Coordinators Jean Carter

Scott Grasso

James Moore

Knight Communications, Inc. President and Publisher Randall B. Knight

Business Administrator Lisa Homesley

INFORMATION Subscriptions call 866-761-1247 or e-mail lisa. Send editorial to Advertising inquiries call 866-761-1247 Send ads to

CONTENTS All contents Š 2018, ISSN# 1552-5333, Knight Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Products named in these pages are trade names or trademarks of their respective companies. The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of SEEN or Knight Communications, Inc. The publisher assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions.

POSTMASTER Send address changes to:

SEEN Magazine 10150 Mallard Creek Rd., Suite 201 Charlotte, NC 28262

DISTRIBUTION SEEN is distributed bi-annually to educators, principals, superintendents, state departments of education, counselors, ed tech buyers, public/ private schools and universities throughout the Southeast.


Spring/Summer 2018

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From the

Editor-in Chief With the school year winding down, it’s now time to chase the sun and get some much-needed rest. While you are relaxing by the pool, the last thing on your mind is the 2018-2019 school year. After all – you’re done for the year, right? Well, not really. If you’re looking to get ahead career-wise in the upcoming school year, the summer is where you should hone your skills and “level up.” This issue of SEEN challenges you to elevate your career in education. Whether you’re looking to stay in the classroom, move into an administrative role, or become an edupreneur , there are some basic skills you need to obtain these roles. We explore some options and hope you pay close attention to these roles and the advice education consultant Crystal Scillitani has to offer for those looking to educate in a different way. We also take a look at what’s been happening in the world of STEM and how females are faring in this male dominated field. Is there more we can do to elevate our young girls and other women looking to go into STEM careers? It’s necessary that we look closely at what we can do to prepare them for tomorrow’s workforce. In every issue of SEEN, we also like to focus on physical health and nutrition. The summer is no time to stop that focus – especially if you’re still striving to shed those last ten (or maybe 20) pounds. The role of the Physical Education teacher (you know the one who would push you to exercise?) has changed quite a bit. I think you’ll find it interesting how the curriculum for the new PE teacher has changed the way your students get healthy and stay healthy. 8

Spring/Summer 2018

SouthEast Education Network

Lastly, here at SEEN, we know our future is our greatest commodity – our students, our teachers, our administrators , and our school staffs. We also know we must do everything we can to safeguard our schools and communities. This year has been extremely painful and heart-wrenching to watch as our students, teachers, staffs have died at the hands of active shooters making their way onto school campuses. The conversation about gun laws has sparked dialogue that, quite honestly, we shouldn’t be having when it comes to our schools. Safety is paramount and we have to be vigilant as a community to ensure our schools remain secure for all. In this issue, we are honored to have Alissa Parker – co-founder of Safe and Sound Schools- give her unique perspective on school security. Parker speaks from the heart, as the mother of one of the 20 children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2013. Pay close attention: Ms. Parker ‘s advocacy could teach us all what to look for as we focus on security for a new school year ahead. Educators – I wish you all a safe and happy summer. Stay tuned as we prepare for the Fall/Winter edition of SEEN coming soon. New things for a new year on the horizon... Sincerely, Deirdre Edwards Editor –In- Chief SEEN Magazine



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Soup’s On!

With Amy Newmark, from Chicken Soup for the Soul®

When Failing A Student Is A Gift The educational system is a hierarchy, and sometimes you may feel that you’re just a powerless cog in a giant machine. You want to do what’s right and have a lasting impact, but there are outside forces at work — school counselors, coaches, principals, superintendents and state standards are only the tip of the iceberg. When you do take a stand, you don’t always know how it all turned out. Did your action make a difference? Did you 10

Spring/Summer 2018

have a positive impact on the trajectory of a student’s life? That’s why we created Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Teachers — to give teachers reassurance that their actions make a difference. One of the stories in the book that had a big impact on me imparts a lesson that transcends the classroom. Titled “Consequences,” it’s by Linda Carol Cobb, who taught English electives at the same high school in Virginia Beach for 37 years.

SouthEast Education Network

Linda tells us that when she was a young teacher she made a difficult decision and it got her in trouble. She had a student in her public-speaking class named Kelly who was a gifted athlete. Kelly wasn’t a behavior problem but he also didn’t put much effort into her class. He did enough to get by and passed first semester, but second semester was a different story. It was Kelly’s senior year, and you know how second-semester seniors can be!

I learned an important lesson from you. I learned that I have to be responsible for my own actions. Kelly didn’t do any classwork and he didn’t show up for the final exam. Even though Linda tried to give him a break, his average was below 50. He had no chance of passing, and he needed the credit from her class to graduate. This young man had won a state championship in track and was one of the school’s all-time stars — much appreciated by teachers and his fellow students. A large photograph of him in his uniform was prominently displayed in the gym foyer. And he had earned a scholarship to college, for track. Now that was in jeopardy, all because of Linda’s decision to treat him like any other student. Kelly’s track coach asked Linda to change his grade. Then the head school counselor asked. Then an assistant principal tried to pressure her to pass Kelly. She said they played all the typical cards: pity, guilt, race. But she couldn’t do it. His average wasn’t even close to passing. Why should she treat him differently than other students just because he was a great athlete? Linda had all these men ganging up on her. But she knew she was doing the right thing. It wasn’t like Kelly had worked his heart out; he hadn’t made the effort and these were the consequences. He had the ability to pass the class, but he had been irresponsible. Linda says, “The whole stressful ordeal had been tensed and disheartening. I resented being questioned about a student’s grade. Didn’t we have standards? Weren’t we supposed to prepare students for the real world — not give them a

pass? How could this successful coach and these administrators want me to do something unethical? I lost respect for them for asking me.” Kelly ended up having to go to summer school to earn the credit he needed to graduate. He was furious with her. Now a few years had passed, and one day near the end of the school year Linda looked out the door, and who did she see but Kelly. Uh oh. Kelly came into her classroom and Linda forced a smile and said, “Hi, Kelly. What are you doin’ here?” “I came to find you,” he said. “Oh?” she said, worrying about what was going to happen. Was he still angry? Kelly stepped further into the room. “I’ve needed to do something for a long time.” Now Linda was really nervous. Another teacher had actually been threatened by a senior she had failed. She had needed to call the police after he confronted her in the teachers’ parking lot with his dog. Kelly walked right up to her. And here’s what he said: “You know, in my whole life, you were the first obstacle I ever encountered. Because of sports, I kind of slid by. I got away with things. Even with my mother. But not you. No one ever held me responsible for my actions. I blamed you for failing me and keeping me from graduating on time.” Then Kelly shook his head. “I learned an important lesson from you. I learned that I have to be responsible for my own actions.” He paused and then grinned broadly. “I needed to come back to thank you.” Now, Linda was breathing normally again. This was not what she had

expected. Kelly continued. “You didn’t fail me. I failed,” he said, putting his hand to his chest. “You did the right thing.” Linda started to cry. All the stress she had gone through, the flak she had taken for doing what she knew was right —it had all been worth it. Kelly sat on the desk next to her, and said, “I wanted you to know that I did go on to college. I competed in track there, too.” Linda thanked him for coming and they talked for a few more minutes. And then, as he was leaving, he turned and said, “I know you don’t think I learned anything about public speaking, but I really did.” “Well, the short speech you just gave was wonderful,” Linda said. Kelly smiled and nodded before walking out the door. Linda concludes her story by saying, “I was proud of Kelly. I was proud of myself, too.” The 19th century British philosopher James Allen said it best: “A man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life.” Linda helped Kelly become a man who was “the director of his life,” and he was a better adult as a result. It was a lesson she would never forget — about the value of taking a stand to do the right thing for her students, because it does make a difference. To read more about Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Teachers, please visit book/198706/inspiration-for-teachers.

SouthEast Education Network

Spring/Summer 2018



With Dr. Joni Samples

Attitude is Key I retired a few years ago for about for 20 minutes. I knew that was all I was going to be able to stand of sitting on my back porch. It’s a lovely porch with a creek and everything, but I wasn’t ready for it yet. It was time to go do other things, the things I knew worked in education. After having served as everything from a teacher’s aide in college to a Superintendent of Schools, I figured there were a few things in the field of education that I had experienced that really worked. Those were the things I wanted to do. I’m sure there are many of you reading this who have a similar urge. Some of my friends who were leaving the field about the same time I was, were headed for the more lucrative pieces — assessment, data collection, educational consulting companies and publishing. Several of them did extremely well financially and I commend them for their efforts. I might even be able to give you some tips they followed for their consulting careers. However, I didn’t go there — into consulting. I had the background certainly, but what I wanted was to go into areas where I could really make a difference in people’s lives. After having spent a number of years in special education and seeing what a difference working with the whole family made in the lives of, not just the student, but the whole family, I knew where I wanted to be. I opened a business called EdSuccess and eventually I bought Family Friendly Schools which also included a publishing house by the name of Engage Press. Needless to say, I’ve had my hands full. I thought I knew about education, but consulting and publishing are whole different sides to the world of learning. It’s not good or bad, it’s just different. And believe me, I’ve done a lot of learning in the past few years. What I’ve come to understand is that schools, like people, have a personality. Some are open with, what Carol Dweck might call, a growth mindset. Others are fixed in their ways and new ideas/concepts are viewed with distrust. It makes the job of a consultant flexible if nothing else. Even those schools that are open, are bound by board and superintendent direction as well as budget constraints. So, what do I often deal with first and foremost? Attitude. For me, attitude is key. If there is an openness to learning new information and a willingness to try something new, then it may not be my topic of 12

Spring/Summer 2018

SouthEast Education Network

What I’ve come to understand is that schools, like people, have a personality. Some are open with, what Carol Dweck might call, a growth mindset. Family Engagement that kicks off the spark of interest. It may be assessment or a book study or mindfulness or any other number of topics, but because there is an interest in knowing more, being more, being more for the students, these topics are what I’m looking to learn about more. Eventually a school or district may come to what I do, but in the meantime, they’re learning, seeking more, and wanting their students to do the same. They are modeling what they believe and teach.

That’s what I look for when I’m consulting and facilitating. When that happens, I know that school or district is going to find the right consultant, maybe you, who will give them the next piece of their puzzle, then they will go looking for another idea and another concept to help them. Eventually they will find me and once they have what I have they will go on to the next thing. They’re like the Hungry Thing, eating everything in the village yet in this case they are eating with the purpose of nourishing the students they teach. They’re the ones I enjoy. They are the ones you as a consultant can’t help but enjoy. They are the ones who will make the differences in the lives of their students, the student’s families and in their community. Deciding what you want to do as a consultant is not so much going through all the things you can do. If you’ve taught for any length of time, there are a lot of things you can do. It’s more about letting the decision come to you, people come to you because you have what they want. They will find you. If you have the skills and they know you have them, they will find you even if you’re sitting on your back porch! Dr. Joni Samples is the Chief Academic Officer at Family Friendly Schools and trains school teams in finding creative solutions to problems at their school by building strong relationships among school staff, parents, and the larger community. She spent 12 years as County Superintendent in Glenn County, CA.Connect with her at



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Feature Section



Spring/Summer 2018

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Spring/Summer 2018




Next Step



Spring/Summer 2018

SouthEast Education Network

This is not an easy question to answer. Whether you’re a classroom teacher or a veteran administrator, there is a point in your career where you have to make a decision about your career path. These days there are so many ways to be an impactful educator and take your career — and income — to the next level. Here are some of the most popular paths to take, what the role is really like, and what it takes to make this your next stop in education.

The school bell rings and students are busy filing in their classrooms. As they take their seats, they are ready to begin a new day and learn new lessons – from you – their teacher. However, as you begin to instruct these future leaders, have you ever thought, “What’s the next step for me?” “What does my future in education look like?”

Career Paths for the Classroom Teacher 1) Team Lead/Lead Teacher – As a lead teacher or team lead, you are the bridge between the principal and your fellow coworkers. Your job, as a facilitator, is to make sure the voices of the teachers are heard by the administration regarding all schoolrelated topics — attendance, curriculum, instruction, etc. You are also a mentor to other teachers, a liaison between parents and teachers and also track department goals and progress. While there may, or may not, be an additional income boost, the experience is invaluable for those who want to go into administration role. You wouldn’t need additional degrees or certifications for the role, but a master’s degree and additional leadership training is ideal for this role. 2)  Instructional Coordinator – The role of Instructional Coordinator is also a path to consider if you’re looking for additional experience in the education field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ website, the responsibility of this position is to “oversee school curriculums and teaching standards. They develop instructional material, coordinate its implementation with teachers and principals and assess its effectiveness.” This is a role said to be one of the fastest growing fields in education. Outside your teaching credentials, experience, and a master’s degree, you wouldn’t have to have any additional training to get started. 3) P r i n c i p a l / A s s i s t a n t P r i n c i p a l (Administrator) – This is perhaps the role most people think about when they decide to make a move from the classroom and into a leadership position. While the responsibilities of a principal are heavy, it’s a chance to make an even greater impact on education and in your community.

Scholastic describes the role of Principal/ Assistant Principal as, “The assistant principal’s role varies from school to school. Some APs are mostly responsible for logistics and operations, others are primarily in charge of student discipline, and still others head up curriculum and instruction for a particular grade level or two. The principal is a school’s overall instructional leader and manager. (www.” If you’re looking to head into this line of work, while rewarding, it’s also important to note there are some modern-day challenges as well. In SEEN’s most recent Fall/Winter 2018 edition, the perspectives of two principals – at different stages in their careers – shed light on the role as it exists today. One common thred cited by both principals: community and communication. Both principals felt that the need to communicate – and how you communicate to your staff and community — was vital in being successful in this role. The ways to communicate today are far beyond notes home, press releases to local media, and your PTA meeting. These days you must also have a heavy digital and social media presence to reach parents, teachers, and community leaders. You have to develop a brand for your school as principal and with this you’re sure to go far. Make sure you have the leadership and communication skills needed when you step into this job because you are the school leader from top to bottom. Also – just in case you were wondering — a master’s degree in education administration and years of educational experience is required. From a principalship position, many may decide to go further up the education hierarchy and pursue roles in education administration. The roles are not necessarily superintendent roles — which most people naturally assume — but these are impactful opportunities that extend far beyond your county and state. Here are some ideas for those looking to go into education administration or even transition out education administration. Career Paths for the Administrator: 1)Superintendent/Assistant Superintendent – This is part of the traditional career path for most principals and you will need a doctorate degree. While the principal

SouthEast Education Network

Spring/Summer 2018


evaluates teachers in their schools, the superintendent evaluates principals within their school districts. They also devise overall budgets for schools, work closely with elected officials — i.e. school boards — and oversee professional development for principals and teachers. This role, in a lot of ways, is a very political one – as the superintendent directly interacts with the school board and other local officials to implement policy and standards. 2) Corporate Trainer — A corporate trainer is not one most people think of but can certainly be very lucrative for those who want may want to put their skills to work after leaving an administrative role. Trade-Schools Net says, “Training other professionals in a business setting can be a terrific way to use your presentation, communication, and leadership skills. (www., 36 Jobs For Former Teachers). You can still teach – just this time to corporations and non-profit organizations. Courses to become a

corporate trainer will be a key factor to your success. Look online and to your local university to see what additional credentials/certifications you need to get started. 3) Policy Maker/Policy Staff — Someone who chooses to be a “policy maker” doesn’t have to have moved up the ranks as an administrator, but it would help to have significant education experience under your belt in order to make solid recommendations for change. TEACH. org says this role is for the educator looking to make a difference in education via government, “There are a number of policy positions that you might consider at a Mayor’s Office, a County Office of Education, a State Education Agency, U.S. Department of Education, or the legislative branches at the state or federal level. In these roles, you may help research and inform educational policy decisions.” 4) Education Consultant – The education consultant is one that has really taken off among former teachers and

administrators alike. You are truly your own business when you decide to become an education consultant. There are so many avenues you can take in doing this, but the overall goal is to lend your expertise to help schools excel. Scholastic’s description of an education consultant: “Consultants for nonprofit organizations and for-profit companies work with teachers and administrators to help boost student achievement.” It helps to have an extensive background in education – from teaching to administration – to be able to provide the needed counsel to district administrators. The skill set of an educator provides so many other great career opportunities this article hasn’t even begun to touch upon. The skills utilized daily in front of the class not only helps you propel students forward but can also propel your own career or second career in education. The important takeaways found in any of the opportunities above is: a passion for continued learning and a desire to make a difference. With those two characteristics alone, the sky is the limit to what you can do in your education career.


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The Business of Great Schools and Great Students. An Exclusive Interview with Education Consultant Crystal Scillitani In the previous article, we touched on some career paths for educators to consider when looking to make the most of their career field. One of those career paths, ideally suited for the seasoned educator, is that of an education consultant. The career of an education consultant is one that has proven to be highly sought after by many school districts as many look for subject-matter experts for real-life solutions in their schools. The consultant can provide knowledge from their proven track record of success as a former teacher, teacher leader, principal, or superintendent. Often times, educational consultants have different specializations, but the end-goal is the same: to work with school districts, students, and families to achieve optimum learning success. Breaking into the consulting world is no easy feat and you are truly an “edupreneur.” SEEN spoke with Crystal Scillitani, education consultant and founder of LeadingUp Consulting, about her experience as an educational consultant, what she’s learned and her success in the business. SEEN: What are some basic steps needed to start as an education consultant? Scillitani: Developing a business plan is essential. This is 20

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SouthEast Education Network

where the scope of work and services will need to be outlined as well as a 3-5 year plan for the business. There are also the technical aspects of starting a business such as filing the appropriate paperwork with the state to establish the business, creating appropriate accounts (bank account, PO Box, phone, etc). This part is not terribly complicated as most consultants can operate under a DBA (Doing Business As) format without having to end up filing any complicated paperwork for taxes. This allows you to have your business name on all of the accounts rather than using your given name and blurring the line between personal finances and business finances and systems. Once the basics are established, from there you would consider branding components (logo, tagline, online presence such as a website, etc.) as well as determining a marketing plan. SEEN: How do you initially approach/pitch a school district with your service? Scillitani: To date most of my paid business has been contracted via social media connections or referral based since I have a large network of professional contacts and have worked in this region for about 25 years.

However, I do often offer what entrepreneurs refer to as “freemiums”, a knock off of the word premium. I will reach out to connections and offer a free workshop for their teachers or principals as a professional courtesy. Freemiums can also be presented via social media in the form of a blog post, video cast, or other format. It gets your brand out there as well as circulating your name. The next time the school leader is considering options for supporting teachers or developing ongoing programs the hope is she will remember your work and reach out to you first. This also opens the door for you to follow up to see how things are going and if you can provide any additional support to the school. SEEN: What are some of the valuable lessons you’ve learned as an education consultant?


Scillitani: Don’t say yes to everything. You’ll want to take any job that comes your way as a new consultant, but this can often distract you or get your business off course. Define your work and maintain your focus on getting the right jobs, not taking any job that comes your way. My work is really customized to meet the needs of my client and this is time consuming as I scope out the work and build the professional learning program or work alongside a Board or Head of School on strategic planning. It is easy to underestimate the time commitment that may be necessary to meet the needs of a client so I have learned to choose wisely.

I have also networked with other consultants so when something is outside my standard scope of work I can refer a client to a consultant who provides that specialty area while I focus on mine. SEEN: Should you have a specialization in your consulting work? Scillitani: I believe that you should focus on those areas that are your strengths while offering a breadth of services that cater to the current issues facing schools in the area of student achievement, teacher performance, or school operations. A consultant focused on literacy can offer a variety of services that are all focused on her expertise. It is perfectly fine to have only one workshop or one deliverable and to be fantastic in that area. However, if you want to turn consulting into a fulltime business this doesn’t give you the opportunity to have a returning client base who wants more of what you can offer. You would need to consider the scope of marketing necessary to keep yourself booked and delivering that single workshop. The most important thing is to stay within your wheel house and to know your strengths. Over promising and under delivering can really hurt your reputation and your business. You want your time in front of administrators or teachers to be engaging, memorable, and most importantly meaningful. Educators are short on time and over-burdened in their work, leave them wanting more.

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This is how we do it! SouthEast Education Network

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“Developing a business plan is essential. This is where the scope of work and services will need to be outlined as well as a 3-5 year plan for the business.” — Scillitani SEEN: How important is your social media network to your consultancy? Scillitani: It can be very important in making connections outside your existing network as well as providing a process to keep your business and face out there. I have found LinkedIn to be highly valuable in connecting to other consultants and organizations who like to contract consultants to do their work. SEEN: Ideally, how much experience should you have in your field before you branch out as a consultant? Scillitani: I have worked with some really amazing instructional coaches who have less than 10 years of experience and could easily transfer what they know into a successful consulting model. I would say that at a minimum an independent consultant should have 5+ years of experience. The longer you have been in education the more you understand the pitfalls of trends that distract and detract educators. It is important to have a frame of reference for and an understanding of the practices that have led us to where we are today in public education. There is a scope of historical knowledge, as well as legislative and legal knowledge, that are helpful in strategically working with schools in their improvement efforts. Education leaders and decision makers need consultants who have a solid understanding of how to support teachers effectively and therefore increase performance results for both teachers and students. SEEN: What business skills are needed for consultant work? Scillitani: The most important thing is to have selfdiscipline and to be a problem solver. You can’t know everything about all facets of business, but you need to be able to effectively do the research and seek the resources you need. For example, I began attending lunch and learn sessions in the Raleigh/Durham area and met an amazing brand strategy agent because we just happened to sit at the same table during a lunch and learn. These events weren’t going to help me meet 22

Spring/Summer 2018

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clients, but they helped me to meet the right people from the operations aspect of my business. I connected with the branding agent to do my logo, website, and social media branding. These are things that are outside our my expertise so I knew I needed help in this area and it would be worth my investment financially so I could keep my focus on building deliverables and networking with potential clients. You will need to create a basic contract for services, maintain financial records, and learn about small business tax laws (what you can deduct, how to track mileage, and things along those lines). There are a lot of great apps and online resources that help in the area of tax deductions and tracking expenses and most of them are free. SEEN: Advice for someone looking to go into this line of work? Scillitani: If you are planning to create your own consulting business, be patient and strategic. The process of getting a client base can be slow and it takes time to build a business, don’t get discouraged. Consider building your business while you are still employed by a school or district and having it as your “side hustle.” The early days, weeks, and months are filled with networking, building a LinkedIn or other social media base, and a lot of strategy work. This can all be done while you are still working in your current job. There are a lot of ways to deliver content and to coach others and some of this can be virtual as you initially set up your business. In addition, if you have a traditional school schedule and are off in the summers that is a great time to book workshops. Crystal Scillitani is the founder of LeadingUp Consulting, a consulting firm based in North Carolina focused on advancing student achievement by strengthening teachers and school leaders. Crystal is a 25-year veteran of North Carolina schools and universities – serving in multiple roles from teacher to Principal to course instructor of Elementary Education at North Carolina State University. Prior to her career in education, Crystal also served in the United States Air Force. For more information about Crystal’s services, please visit: www. leadingupconsulting. com

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By Mac Bogert


Spring/Summer 2018

SouthEast Education Network

We would do well to learn from their example. Our primary organization for learning and development — schools — might become more effective if we modeled their function less on the model of a factory and more on the model of play — the intersection of discovery, agility and community. The platform of learning has changed more in the past 20 years than in the past 200. Perhaps not since the proliferation of printing that began nearly 600 years ago have we witnessed such a tsunami of access to information. Like printing, this has transformed how we communicate. It has also transformed how we learn. Yet much of our thinking about schooling still lags, in a limbo between the printing press and the World Wide Web. I’ve been involved in the art of teaching for most of my life. I remember chalkboards and mimeographs. They were tools, but they didn’t fundamentally change learning. Joel Barker, in his book “Paradigms,” points out a critical difference in the impact of inventions. The touch-tone phone was an important

invention. Yet switching from rotary to touch-tone phones didn’t change the fundamentals of communication. The cell phone, however, is a different story. The cell phone is what Joel Barker labelled a “paradigm-shifting innovation.” Our brave new world of the Internet, love it or otherwise, has shifted the paradigm of learning. This provides a terrific opportunity to change how we see, and practice, schooling. We know from recent research that our brains are functioning differently under the new rules. Even our thumbs may be developing differently — watch a 12-year old text and compare that to a 60-year old. Hmmmm. The jury’s out about the long-term impact of this revolution. Some love it, others feel less affection. But it’s here to stay, probably to accelerate. The human brain learns all the time, even when we’re sleeping. We know that the capacity of the brain to hold information is practically limitless (280,000,000,000,000,000,000 bits, on average).* We also know that when we feel pressured and restricted, e.g.

tests and being expected to sit still in rows, our ability to think strategically and systemically is abbreviated. As the founders of Sudbury schools suggest: “You can’t make students learn anything until they’re ready. Once they’re ready, you can’t stop them” We can start taking some concrete steps to open up the school experience to take advantage of curiosity and wonder. Leaders are responsible for creating the context for the development of ideas, insights, and growth, not just for showing the way. So we parents, administrators, teachers, supervisors and students can apply a guiding question to what we do every day: What are we doing that inhibits discovery, agility and community? Anything that does we can adjust or discard. It took me more time teaching than I care to admit to realize that I was often standing in the way of my students’ development. The barriers? Control, fear of not knowing everything, focusing on the answer rather than answers, underestimating the extraordinary capacity

SouthEast Education Network

Spring/Summer 2018


of each student to expand and learn. The list goes on. As I prepare to lead learning these days, I remind myself that the context for exploring ideas courageously is my primary responsibility. We know from the research of Daniel Pink (Drive) that we all feel the need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to make a difference for ourselves and our world. These drivers are intrinsic, so we simply need to make room for them. In other words, I’m responsible for my learning. The responsibility for their learning — our students — belongs to them. That’s the jumping-off point to start moving away from the model of school-asassembly-line. And a few adjustments can engage all of us in 21st century learning. We can start by seeing everyone as a


Spring/Summer 2018

The platform of learning has changed more in the past 20 years than in the past 200. Perhaps not since the proliferation of printing that began nearly 600 years ago have we witnessed such a tsunami of access to information. partner in discovery, all sharing equally the same mission, whether five or 65:

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to learn together. No one person with more power or control over the basic and miraculous power of curiosity. This is not to say that someone with a Ph.D. in astrophysics doesn’t have access to a different body of knowledge than someone learning her alphabet. That more focused experience provides insight and guidance for the new learner, best in an atmosphere of partnership rather than of authority. Equity, not hierarchy. Second, we can accept that every human mind will always find a way to learn and explore. We can let go of any boundaries that put our agile consciousness in a bind. Let students re-design the lesson. Let administrators come to class for instruction by students. Nurture mentoring, up, down, sideways, in and out of the classroom. Think of all the lessons we’ve learned in our lives that came from unexpected sources and events. Spreading out learning opportunities, letting go of the outmoded concept that teachers (or anyone) should, or even can, control learning also tells those around us that we trust them to learn. The tightly-controlled classroom sends exactly the opposite message: you aren’t capable of learning on your own. Teachers used to be the source of information. With instant access to information via our various devices, we can reframe our role as sounding boards for informed skepticism and understanding. In a world of TMI, we need to help each other make informed choices. Third, embrace the concept that learning, and applying learning, work best through connections. Connections to other learners, to the community, other schools, across disciplines, via dialogue and collaborative projects. Watch children

play. What we call a game is actually applied critical thinking. Take note of the nimble formation and engagement of different groups as the game morphs. Why not bring together a mix of students — across grade levels — parents, teachers, people from outside the school, and administrators that incorporate loosely for specific projects, an agile community of learning? These threads encourage everyone to be equally involved and responsible for learning, replicating the democracy of the Internet with a self-directed sense of structure and purpose. There’s an added benefit to changing our perspective — and thus our values and behavior — about schooling. In my leadership work, mainly with tall children, a.k.a. adults, I hear more and more conversation — and sometimes noise — about the chasm between generations. If the older cohort, the advance guard, as it were, can incorporate a more open and accepting attitude about possibilities and ambiguity, we (I’m an advance guardian myself ) can find greater cohesion. Seeing younger people as alien and misguided may feel delightfully self-righteous. It’s really delightfully pointless. Seeing every other person as a resource to enrich our understanding through learning, agility and community, works for all of us.

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* The Einstein Factor, by Win Wenger and Richard Poe (Three Rivers Press, 1996) Mac Bogert is president of AzaLearning, providing coaching and facilitation services focused on leadership, language and learning. He also helped found Matrix Classroom, a site for exploring alternative approaches to learning for schools, corporations and government agencies. In addition, Bogert is the author of “Learning Chaos: How Disorder Can Save Education.” He lives in Annapolis, Maryland.



SouthEast Education Network

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Spring/Summer 2018

SouthEast Education Network

SouthEast Education Network

Spring/Summer 2018



D N D U N O U R O A R A G N G I N N I R N U R T U T E C E N C A N A M R M O R F O R F E R P E L P O OOL HO S S CH P SC S E P T E S T D S L D O L B O S B E S R E I R U QUI R EQ RE How Bear Creek Elementary Went From a “D” to “A” By Willette Houston


Spring/Summer 2018

SouthEast Education Network

Be Bold.

That’s where a school leader must start if you want to lead meaningful school change. There’s nothing wrong with incremental improvement or plotting out a step-by-step process, but we have to take a step back and look at the big picture in order to develop a true vision. Where is my school right now? Where do I want it to be? If I make up my mind that I’ll accept nothing less than the best, what bold steps must I take so that I can lead my faculty, staff, and students to the place we all want to be? Stuck in “Turnaround” In my school, there was truly no other way. We were stuck in a “turnaround slump.” Everyone was working hard, but the results were clear and the current methods were not working. When I became principal in 2016, we had been in turnaround status for four years. When you struggle for that long, you know something dramatic has to change, but there are many challenges. In our case, it wasn’t only a matter of “perception becoming reality” but also, in fact, that “reality” fueled the perception of our school and everyone in it. Community members, parents, and even our students began to view us as a “D” school. If this is what we’ve been for so long, it must be true, right? But I knew that wasn’t the case. Yes, we were in a slump and, yes, we needed to improve. But we would not and could not ever consider ourselves to be a “D” school. Our students were falling behind their peers across the state and they were counting on us as educators to make a difference. Every educator in our building has a commitment to educational excellence and equity. This is especially important for our community where our student population is classified as 100 percent low-income. We know that great education is the foundation for positive future outcomes for each of our kids. Especially in our case, as an elementary school, we understand that what we do for our students now sets them up for their school experience and success in the future. So what could we do? Making Bold Moves It was time for changes. It was time to be bold. We were not going to continue this reality. Not on my watch. So I took my shot. For the 2016-17 school year, we set the course: “On our way to an A” would be the school’s new motto and everyone in the school would develop an “A mindset.” In 2015-16, we made a slight improvement from a “D” to a “C,” but

we knew that wasn’t good enough. This year we were going for more. Our teachers bought in and made the commitment to doing the necessary work. Now we just needed to start seeing results. Part of being bold is doing whatever is necessary, no matter how new or uncomfortable. Being bold and being vulnerable may seem like opposites―and when we ask for outside help in our schools, we can certainly feel vulnerable― but I don’t think that’s actually true. As a leader, I can’t be worried about my comfort and what others might perceive. I need to focus on what’s best for the students in my care. In this case, I knew we’d benefit from a strategic partner. I was confident that the support of a partner with experience guiding schools in our very situation would be highly advantageous and that, once our work was done, our students and teachers would be better off. So we signed on as a School for Rigor with Learning Sciences International. Seeing a Difference in Students Throughout the year, our faculty engaged in professional development to implement a new model of teaching and learning. There are many great things I can say about the work our teachers did but, in keeping with our focus on student success above all, I want to describe some of the many changes we noticed in the way our students learn, which were important contributing factors to improvements in proficiency. Once the educators in our school began to prioritize student agency, it was amazing how quickly our classrooms transformed. Here are three changes in student learning that I think every school leader can aim for: • Students do the “Heavy Lifting” Before we implemented instructional changes in our school, students weren’t functioning as the main drivers of their own learning. Now, not only have we taken steps to make instruction more rigorous, but students are taking the lead in performing rigorous tasks. This is a major leap forward from the way our classrooms worked in previous years and makes a huge difference in student proficiency. • Classrooms are Student-Centered We are now much more aware about placing the student at the center of the classroom. The teacher’s role is vital, of course, but learning begins with the student. We are using much more project-based learning and have found that hands-on learning

SouthEast Education Network

Spring/Summer 2018


While we know that our work has only just begun, the difference in classrooms once students take ownership of their learning and become deeply engaged makes all the difference. where kids have real ownership over their work is essential. I feel that fun is the foundation for sustainable engagement and in our student-centered classrooms, kids are having lots of fun! •Collaboration has Soared Part of the fun our students are having is through the enjoyment of working together. They

don’t just sit at their desks: they’re getting out of their seats, talking to one another, asking meaningful questions, and helping each other to improve and refine their work. On some level, it might look like chaos, but it’s a beautiful, organized, learning and success-focused chaos. All of the tasks the students work on are standards-aligned and, in addition to

improving their proficiency according to the standards, they’re developing a host of real world 21st century skills by owning their learning, being creative, and working together. Real Results Success! In the 2016-17 school year, we achieved the results we’d envisioned: we jumped two letter grades all the way to an “A.” What a feeling! Scores in English and math improved significantly. In math, just a year earlier, we were 13 percentage points below the state average. Now we were a few points above the state average! While we know that our work has only just begun, the difference in classrooms once students take ownership of their learning and become deeply engaged makes all the difference. As a leader, I want to make sure my teachers are supported in maintaining this type of learning environment year after year. When working with an outside partner like LSI, one of the most valuable benefits to me, as a leader, is that I learned how hard it often is to “know what you don’t know.” Obviously, we knew we needed to drive improvements in the school, but we thought we had it all together. We could make a plan to create the change, but would it be successful. But then I learned how to look closely at teaching and learning, how to help my teachers grow their practice, and how to be a catalyst for rigorous instruction. I understood so much more about what it means to be a transformational leader. It was a lot of hard work but, just as our state accountability grade spoke volumes when were a turnaround school for four years, I am confident that now, as an “A” school, we are perceived in a much different light. Being bold, taking chances, and working with strategic partners helped take us to that next level of success. But most importantly, our students have increased their proficiency, are viewed as high achieving, and are on the right path to success. As an elementary school principal, this is my hope for all my kids and we certainly plan to stay at an “A.” Willette Houston is Principal at Bear Creek Elementary School in Pinellas County Schools, St. Petersburg, Florida. Houston holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of South Florida and Master of Science Degree from Nova Southeastern University.


Spring/Summer 2018

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The Need for Speed (and Space) By Ron Nash


Spring/Summer 2018

SouthEast Education Network

Teachers of history at the secondary level have a daunting task. Every new school year brings more to “cover” as a matter of course. Another year, another chapter. When the average citizen meets a friend in the supermarket, she says, “How are you?” When one history teacher meets another during the school year, he inquires, “Where are you?” The questioner wants to know how far along in the curriculum his friend is. As soon as students sit down in a history classroom, the race is on. If he finds his friend is ahead of him by two chapters, he may smile, even as he tries to determine how he can catch up. When I started teaching back in the day (1972), I felt the need for speed—and we did not have standardized testing. This meant I also felt the need to talk more; I managed time, not energy. In fact, there was little energy among my students, despite my cogent and lectures. I was the chief information officer, giving my students the benefit of my four years of college and some well-crafted worksheets. My students no doubt kept both their notes and their worksheets, the latter of which still bear feedback like “Well done!” or “Good job!” Perhaps not. Information flowed from the front of the room to students who had long ago learned how to smile…and go to a better place in their minds. I taught in the way I had been taught in my high school days; it was what we would call today a monologic classroom, and it was perfect for the industrial age. Bells in the schoolhouses and the workplaces of that day told everyone they were on time or late; a buzzer in the machine shop in which I worked for a summer in 1970 sent us to break and brought us back, then sent us home. It was all familiar stuff; my school environment prepared me for that job running a drill press.

exercises. And I wanted them to do lots of reading—every night, and answer questions at home for homework—every night. I had quizzes and tests to give, grade, and record. I did all this because that is what had been done for—and to—me as a student. My role as a student was passive, just as the role of my students was passive. They were not really engaged in their own learning. In Making Thinking Visible (2011), Ron Ritchhart, Mark Church, and Karin Morrison make the case for eight “thinking moves” that help students understand, rather than just “doing the work” as classroom practice has enshrined going back centuries. •O  bserving closely and describing what’s there • Building explanations and interpretations • Reasoning with evidence • Making connections • Considering different viewpoints and perspectives • Capturing the heart and forming conclusions • Wondering and asking questions • Uncovering complexity and going below the surface of things (pp. 11-13) Traditional, monologic classrooms operate on the surface. Imagine trying to learn about the world’s vast, deep oceans while spending all one’s time on a jet ski. The explaining of the material is often done by teachers and by textbooks that may ask lower-order questions at the end of a section, designed to have students simply searching through two or three pages for the “right” answers. There may be no time for the forming of conclusions on the part of students; the curriculum for any given subject may be so loaded down with information that there is no time for students to observe closely and describe what they see, hear, or read.

A New Day and Age Not to put too fine a point on it, things have changed. Employers want employees who can think, find problems, work toward solutions, communicate with colleagues and customers, collaborate in teams, and work individually when necessary. There are no bells or buzzers in Silicon Valley or in the healthcare facilities taking in an increasing number of baby boomers. During my first years as a teacher, I wanted my students to “do the work” in the same way a factory supervisor wanted his people on the line to “do the work.” I had them complete countless worksheets and map

Show and Tell I often say students have some explaining to do. By this I mean students need to speak to each other in content-related dialogue (which means the exchange of ideas). One student talking to the teacher while the other 27 classmates tune out until it is their turn is not effective if what we want is for students to become effective communicators and critical thinkers. “In each academic conversation,” affirm Zwiers and Crawford (2011), “a student must engage various habits of mind, quickly and in real time, often in response to what a partner says” (p. 15). The only way

students can improve their speaking and listening skills is to spend more time in the classroom speaking and listening. There are no shortcuts here; learning to communicate and collaborate effectively requires a great deal of practice and adjustment. If there is a need for speed here, it is the need not to cover more material more quickly, but to prepare students for life and workplaces (iGen’ers may have several jobs over their lifetime) that require these skills. In an economy with more service jobs than ever, listening and empathy are valued by employers because they are increasingly valued by clients and customers. All this requires us to disturb and dismantle the status quo; kids from kindergarten to graduation need to be involved in their own learning. In my early classrooms, I was the only active one in the room. Frankly, that wasn’t good enough for the 1970s, and it is even less so today. The move to reimagine classroom cultures and physical environments (which I’ll address later) needs to proceed at an ever-increasing pace. It calls for a role reversal; teachers who listen more and talk less, with students who have oodles of opportunities to speak, listen, observe, explain, describe, reason with evidence, grapple with and respect other viewpoints and perspectives, and make connections while making friends—and making progress. Go Reconfigure The most striking feature of my first classroom was a wooden teacher’s desk apparently commissioned about the same time as the ships of the Great White Fleet sent on a world tour by President Teddy Roosevelt at the beginning of the last century. It was a massive piece of oak I did not try to move; I wasn’t sure we had a fork lift in the building. But it was home to me, and I spent many happy hours behind that edifice before and after class. The problem, something I did not understand at the time, was that I spent too much time behind the desk during class while students toiled on worksheets or map exercises on their own. I used their time to do things best done on my time. When I ignored them while doing paperwork, I sent the message that what I was doing was more important than what I had asked them to do. It wasn’t the message I intended to send, but I’m certain now it was the one they received.

SouthEast Education Network

Spring/Summer 2018


Barriers to Learning Over the past 24 years, I have observed and coached in hundreds of classrooms. I’ve had occasion to see and sit behind teacher’s desks of every sort, big and small, wood and metal, new and old. I have concluded that such desks are repositories for stuff and keepers of things, some of which could safely be discarded. In one classroom, I was invited by the teacher to sit at her desk, which meant moving stacks of books and papers from the chair and clearing a line of sight through the piles of papers on the desk, along with a space to set my laptop. In the industrial age in which I grew up and in which I started my teaching career, most classrooms—by design—were centered on compliance and control. Straight rows of students facing the teacher and the screen were commonplace, even in elementary classrooms. The teacher’s desk was somewhere in the front of the room, where, as was the case with me, teaches could “keep an eye on things” while students did seatwork. But the industrial age is long past; teachercentered classrooms are giving way to more student-centered learning environments, and this means reimagining not only classroom cultures, but classroom configurations as well.

Students today need to be able to communicate and collaborate with classmates. They work on projects in ways that give them choice as to whether to take to their seats or take to their feet in pursuit of information and relevant conversations with teammates. Straight rows of welded desks keep teachers from moving easily around the classroom, as Fred Jones (2007) affirms. A teacher’s desk, according to Jones, “costs you eight feet of proximity with every student in the classroom” (p. 39). All this means teacher should spend some time in August pondering how best to reconfigure the classroom for maximum flexibility for teachers and students alike when it comes to movement. Arrange to Your Advantage As Fred Jones reminds us, classrooms ought to be set up for instruction, not cleaning. Custodians loved my classroom setup; the traditional 6 X 6 configuration allowed them to use mops the exact width of the space between the rows. It was to their advantage to have the desks in straight rows. As Jones says, “Anything that you do not arrange to your advantage, somebody else will arrange to their advantage, and it won’t be to your advantage”

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(p. 38). In classrooms where student-tostudent communication is par for the course, and where collaboration requires frequent movement, what’s important is what is to their advantage as students as they take charge of their own learning. If we want students to share in their seats or in standing pairs, accommodations must be made, and that means moving the furniture to provide for those interactions. Student desks can be moved into quads with two desks facing two desks, which means students automatically have shoulder and face partners. If these quads are placed around the perimeter of the classroom, it opens up the middle for standing pair shares. Quads clustered in the middle of the room allow for movement on the perimeter, particularly if teachers want to employ walkabouts, where students go from wall chart to wall chart in groups. I know teachers who regularly rearrange the furniture depending on what the lessons call for in terms of student interaction. One Virginia elementary teacher sent me pictures of her classroom. I saw HOKKI stools, rocking chairs, beanbags, rugs, short tables, tall tables, and much else in the way of furniture. What I did not see in any of the pictures was a teacher’s desk. She later told me she simply got rid of it because it took up too much space in her classroom, no matter where she put it. Standing in front of it one day, she realized it was a place to store stuff, but was of little practical value. This is a teacher who did not sit behind it anyway; she is constantly in motion and in discussions with students during the school day. A more flexible room arrangement gives the iGen’ers she serves more choice when it comes to where they sit or stand, or whether they sit or stand, while working with colleagues. Teachers and administrators can work together to reconfigure classrooms for today’s learners. Teachers can collaborate with other teachers to reimagine teaching and learning, and that may mean taking a close look at that teacher’s desk and some other furniture that may be superfluous in the increasingly interactive classrooms of the 21st century. Ron Nash is a best-selling author, speaker and former social studies teacher. Ron’s new book, The Power of We, published by Learning Sciences International, explores this concept of collaborative learning and offers educators strategies and tools to forge their own paths in helping students learning through true reflection of the classroom experiences.


The Face of STEM

Where are the Women?


Spring/Summer 2018

SouthEast Education Network

We know our world and culture is changing rapidly. There is a new invention and new innovation introduced to us daily that changes the way we live our lives. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills and jobs are the backbone of these efforts — and many of these STEM efforts are now being heralded by women. Even though this is promising, times are still changing very slowly for women in the STEM world. According to, the number of people interested in STEM degrees has increased tremendously — but more for males than females. The website says, “In 2014, only 40 percent of STEM graduates with doctoral degrees were women, a figure that has not budged in the past decade.” The article, Women In Stem, goes on to say that although more recruitment of women in STEM fields is happening, the gender gap is still stark in certain areas. Those areas? Engineering and Computer Science. The article says in these fields, “nearly four out of every five doctoral graduates in 2014 were men.” While this is not earth-shattering news, it confirms what many reports and articles have honed in on: Where are the women in STEM? How do we get more women excited about STEM degrees and fields? In an April 2018 Harvard Business Review article, author Laura Sherbin, says there are women entering the STEM fields, but they are leaving those fields in droves. She says 52 percent of highly qualified women working for science, technology, or engineering companies leave their jobs. (www., 6 Things Successful Women In STEM Have In

Common, Laura Sherbin, April 27, 2018) Sherbin says this is largely due to the challenges faced in the male-dominated industries. Some of these challenges are not new, but still worth noting. Author Joan C. Williams, “The 5 Biases Pushing Women out of STEM”, conducted research diving into some of the challenges and biases women face in STEM roles. (www.hbr. org, Harvard Business Review, March 24, 2015). Williams in this article, along with coauthors Katherine Phillips, Erika V. Hall and the Association for Women in Science, conducted in-depth interviews with 60 female scientists and surveyed 557 female scientists and discovered there were five types of bias for women scientists: Prove It Again (constantly having to prove you’re qualified), The Tightrope (act like a man or act too feminine?), Maternal Wall (proving you can be a good mother and a good scientist), Tug-Of-War (support among other women is hard in the workplace),and Isolation (racial disparity for minority women). While there is no easy fix for any of these — especially the Isolation bias (more to come from SEEN on this disparity) — there are some suggestions for the other four biases. Laura Sherbin states in her 2018 Harvard Business Review Article, there are some key attributes that have made women, who choose to stay in STEM, successful. Sherbin, as part of the Center for Talent Innovation, conducted a study herself on successful women in STEM and found there were six characteristics that propelled them to success:

SouthEast Education Network

Spring/Summer 2018


Jedidah Isler, the first African American woman to earn a PhD in Astrophysics from Yale. Photo Credit: National Geographic Tamil-American Pooja Chandrashekar, young computer scientist and advocate. Photo Credit: TamilCulture

Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman in the United States to graduate medical school. Photo Credit: University of Bristol

Mae C. Jemison , the first African American woman to travel to space. Photo Credit:

Confidence (believe in yourself ), Claim Credit for Your Ideas (speak up, let your ideas be heard and accounted for), Peer Networks (network), Build Up Protégés (mentor), Authenticity (be yourself ), Brand Yourself (let your talents be known).

deeper into the STEM world, it may be necessary for you to get an advanced degree in STEM education. In the Fall/Winter edition of SEEN, author Erika LeGendre spoke on the importance of educators pursuing an advanced degree in STEM. LeGendre says by obtaining an advanced degree, you’re truly preparing future leaders for tomorrow’s workforce. The article cites the Bureau of Labor Statistics, who says more than half of the economy’s fastest growing jobs require significant training in one or more STEM disciplines, and 62 percent of all jobs today require STEM skills. (3 Reasons It’s Time to Pursue An Advanced Degree In STEM Education, Erika LeGendre, SEEN, Fall/Winter 2018) LeGendre emphasizes to prepare students for these future roles, educators need to pique

These are all attributes that can be applied to succeed in life, in STEM corporate fields, and as well as STEMfocused careers in education. STEMfocused careers in education are roles such as: elementary and middle school teacher (math, science, art, etc.) IT Director, STEM Coordinator, STEM Directors and College Professor/Instructor and Scientist. These are just some of the many ways you can use your STEM knowledge in education. For those educators who want to delve 40

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the student’s interest in STEM through contemporary lessons. The lessons should start early and this enthusiasm in STEM/STEAM is especially needed for girls and young women looking to enter the workforce. Another reason for more women to pursue STEM careers? Money. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economics and Statistics Administration in 2017, women with STEM jobs earned 35 percent more than comparable women in non-STEM jobs — even higher than the 30 percent STEM premium for men. As a result, the gender wage gap is smaller in STEM jobs than in nonSTEM jobs. Women with STEM jobs also earned 40 percent more than men with non-STEM jobs. (www.esa.doc. gov., Women in STEM 2017) While there is still an issue with pay equity, it does suggest that women may actually be able to earn more in some STEM career paths. Growth in STEM occupations are expected to grow by 10 percent by 2024. (3 Reasons It’s Time to Pursue An Advanced Degree In STEM Education, Erika LeGendre, SEEN, Fall/Winter 2018) and women will need to be represented in these fields. The more we instill the confidence, positivity and support in our girls, and our women in the workforce now, there is hope we can truly become even more of a powerhouse in innovation in centuries to come. Credit to: http://news.janegoodall. org/2018/03/08/5-powerful-women-stemneed-know/

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12 STEM Tips

for Elementary School Teachers By Judy Zimny Familiarity with STEM continues to increase as we progress further into the 21st century and transformational learning and teaching. Common depictions of scientists in lab coats or engineers in hard hats, though, do little to address a critical and sometimes overlooked area of STEM education: the starting point. Research shows the likelihood of students successfully pursuing STEM in college or as a career is significantly impacted by what they experience in elementary school. With only a few intentional adjustments to what most elementary teachers already do, they can foster and strengthen students’ ability to think like scientists and engineers. So, how can teachers introduce STEM / STEAM into their elementary classrooms with more intention and confidence? 1. Reframe The Meaning Of STEM. STEM is more than its acronym implies. STEM is an intentional, instructional approach that builds students’ critical thinking and depth of understanding across content areas. This better prepares them for the rigors of postsecondary science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in college and careers. In addition to academic skills, STEM instruction purposefully addresses 21st century skills, such as critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication, and workforce 42

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requirements as a natural part of ongoing instruction across content areas.

Is all of this “stuff” a little chaotic? Sometimes! But then, learning can be messy.

2. Connect To The Students’ World. Learning needs to be meaningful. It needs to “make sense.” One way to do this is to bring the child’s world into the classroom. Help children connect their learning to what they are experiencing today. For example, daylight savings time is a perfect time to help students understand the rotation of the earth. Children will wonder, “Why is it dark in the morning now?”

4. Require More Than “Parroting.” Students need to talk about their learning and learning needs to move beyond rote. Instilling this expectation empowers students to gain more from all their learning experiences. Have students explain their thinking to better gauge their understanding, and then guide them through potential areas of confusion. Help them explain concepts in their own words to ensure they “get it” and are not just parroting back words they have read or heard others say.

3. Make Learning Active. We all learn more by “doing.” Unfortunately, traditional classroom practices such as lecturing and reading from textbooks -can be boring for both the learners and teacher and typically ineffective. The more actively involved students are with what they are learning, the more they learn and the longer they retain the information. Think “hands-on” and more “student talk.” Ask, “What can I put in my students’ hands besides a sheet of paper to help them experience this concept?” I have seen teachers implement, at no cost, activities like Take Apart Fridays where students dismantle and rebuild small appliances and other items from their home that are no longer needed (or perhaps no longer work!).

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5. Make Learning Social. This goes back to learning can be messy! But, again, neuroscience and our own experiences have repeatedly shown that as social beings, humans learn more and better retain what they have learned when they interact with others. Furthermore, this learning surpasses academic skills and encompasses the collaboration and communication skills critical to today’s workforce. 6. Build Your Comfort and Skills With Stem. As generalists who teach all content areas, many elementary teachers feel a sense of apprehension in regard to their own STEM

skills. This unease is compounded with the introduction of new standards such as the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Fortunately, there are many content options available today that take the guesswork out of teaching the NGSS and other state standards, making it far easier for teachers to understand what they are teaching and why. One such program is STEMscopes, which was incubated at Rice University and developed by Accelerate Learning. The online, inquiry-based curriculum provides digital teacher and student materials, assessments, supplemental print materials, and ready-made exploration kits for each grade level. Whether you use this program or others, the more you utilize a hands-on, inquiry- and project-based approach with your students, the more you will learn as well! There are also some excellent professional development programs designed specifically to help strengthen STEM instruction and outcomes for teachers who want to boost their knowledge and expertise in those areas. You can view some options at the National Institute for STEM Education at http://www. Building your own expertise in STEM will increase your confidence, your enthusiasm will be contagious, and your instruction will become more fun! You can do this!

requires that students take certain mathematics and science classes in middle and high school. Their ability to be successful in these secondary mathematics and science classes is built in elementary school and requires strong skills across the content areas. Make every school day one that matters. 9. “Stemify” Your Current Lessons. Integrate STEM strategies into current lesson plans and schedules. There’s no need to set aside a separate time or place for STEM. Begin by asking, “How can I make this lesson more meaningful and hands-on to my students?” For example, if students are to learn about collecting and recording data, have

some of the strategies described here. There can be a natural tension between standards and a project or activities. While standards can be better understood within the context of a meaningful whole, exciting activities that fail to adequately address required standards have very little value. Remember, early STEM initiatives aim to support learners’ long-term success. Some teachers may need to become proficient in directly teaching standards prior to expanding their kills to effectively include differentiation, integration with other content areas, and embedding standards within project-based learning. 11. Guard Against Unintentional Bias. Note to editor - First letter of blink purposefully left lower case to mirror title

With only a few intentional adjustments to what most elementary teachers already do, they can foster and strengthen students’ ability to think like scientists and engineers.

7. Intentionally Use The Language Of Science And Mathematics. Create opportunities to naturally use science and mathematics vocabulary throughout every school day. We may have a natural inclination to teach as we were taught – and many of us were taught in classrooms where we experienced mathematics and science concepts only at special times in the schedule. Strive to weave science and mathematics concepts into the fabric of the overall learning and classroom experience; in other words, make them a part of “real life” where they inherently exist every day. 8. Strengthen Students’ Academic Skills. Being ready for post-secondary STEM

them engage in an authentic activity that is meaningful to them versus completing worksheets. Instead of having students label a diagram to learn the parts of a leaf, have them bring leaves from their neighborhoods to observe and compare. An ongoing goal is to proactively teach students to look for crosscutting concepts such as cause and effect, patterns, and systems across science and other content areas. 10. Start With The Standards. Teachers often ask, “Where do I start?” Start with the standards. The most effective educators have internalized the standards their students are responsible for mastering. Even in the process of learning the standards yourself, you can begin teaching them using

In blink, Malcolm Gladwell (2005) describes our attitudes toward race and gender as existing on two levels. We have a conscious attitude which represents those things we want to believe about race and gender. We also have an unconscious attitude that consists of those immediate, automatic, subconscious beliefs and feelings that may unknowingly impact our behavior. All educators strive to be fair and support students across all socioeconomic levels, races, and gender groups. However, evidence of bias – even if unintentional – still exists and calls for all of us to be especially mindful of what and how we communicate to all our students. 12. Keep Growing. How many of these strategies are you already implementing? Have you discovered your teaching is a lot more “STEM” than you even knew? Keep growing – and your students will grow right along with you. Judy Zimny, Ed.D., is the vice president of the National Institute for STEM Education ( NISE offers certification programs in STEM best practices and pedagogy for both teachers and campuses.

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Gamification in Learning Apps

Why Does it Improve Learning? By Karen L. Mahon Gamification is the use of game design and mechanics to enhance non-game contexts and it’s a big buzzword in education these days. It seems like everywhere we look people are advocating making learning more “game-like” in the hopes that students will like it more and find it more engaging. This is especially true in digital education with mobile apps. In the early days of adding elements of gaming to apps, short game activities served as rewards for kids who completed the learning portions of the app. Many of us referred to that approach as “chocolate-covered broccoli.” We tried to drive home the point that the developers weren’t making boring learning apps more engaging with little, fun activities that were essentially an add-on and not integrated into the learning itself. Since then, many developers have become more sophisticated with the gaming features they are embedding in learning apps, presenting educational content in a game-like format. Some of these developers have done an exceptional job of adding gaming methods that reflect the best practices of learning sciences, so not only are their games fun and engaging, but they’re also effective in helping kids acquire, maintain and apply skills. When we look under the hood, what makes gamification so effective in learning apps? High Rates of Responding The digital games that really catch on are those that have a lot of interaction. Users are busy and the high rates of interactivity keep them on their toes and engaged. In fact, if your kids play games then you know that sometimes it is impossible to draw their attention away from a really engaging game! Why is it good for learning? From a learning 44

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sciences perspective, high rates of active student responding are important for several reasons: first, increasing active student responding increases the likelihood that students will pay attention and stay on task because they are required to actually do something. The greater the number of chances a student has to respond actively, get feedback and respond again, incorporating that feedback, the faster he or she will achieve mastery performance (Greenwood, Delquadri, & Hall, 1984). Second, high rates of active student responding gives learners many opportunities to practice the skills we want them to learn. Finally, every active student response is an opportunity for formative assessment. High rates of responding on an ongoing basis mean continuous formative assessment is possible. Fluency You probably have noticed that many digital games start off slowly and then get faster, requiring the user to respond more and more quickly. They give the user a chance to figure out what is required of them without adding the pressure of a time requirement, but, once that player understands the requirements of the game, the game kicks into high gear and the player has to keep up. Why is it good for learning? In the learning sciences we refer to this combination of accuracy plus rate as “fluency.” Imagine that you’re learning a new language. When talking to someone in your new, second language you need to be accurate and fast. If you’re accurate and slow, it will be difficult to communicate effectively. If you’re fast, but inaccurate it’s even worse. In order for your new language to be a functional and generalizable skill, it needs to be both accurate and fast. Such is the case with

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academics as well. Fluency is a good indicator of competency. Adapting Difficulty The best digital games are those that adapt continuously to the level of the player. The difficulty level as we go must be challenging enough as to not be boring, but not so difficult to frustrate us and make us give up. Adapting levels of difficulty allow the game or app to adjust automatically to the performance capabilities of individual players. Why is it good for learning? The easiest way to think about adapting levels of difficulty is as ongoing formative assessment. Formative assessments are regular progress checks toward the student performance goals set out for the curriculum. As we mentioned earlier, every active student response is an opportunity for formative assessment, thus each response provides feedback to the program about which content the student is mastering and which content the student may be misunderstanding (see Hattie, 2009, for a review). With this information the learning app can adjust in real-time to each learner, personalizing the curriculum path so that exactly the right problems in exactly the right sequence are presented to each student. One of the most appealing aspects of technology is the ability to adjust to each learner, moving away from the “one size fits all” of traditional education models. Mastery-Based Learning How many of us are guilty of playing games like Candy Crush for hours at a time because we are determined to beat the game? As the game gets harder, the more determined we get to beat it. If you played it then you probably remember talking to friends and comparing which level of

the game you had reached. The levels got more and more difficult and you couldn’t go to the next level until you passed the current level. That’s mastery-based learning: the learner is not allowed to move on to the next, more difficult level until mastering the current material. Why is it good for learning? In the learning sciences, we know that mastery-based learning encourages persistence and leads to greater student achievement. And as far back as 1984, Benjamin Bloom found that “the average student tutored one-to-one using mastery learning techniques performed two standard deviations better than students who learn via conventional instructional methods” and “the average tutored

student was above 98 percent of the students in the control class”. As recently as 2009, in his popular and well-known book, “Visible Learning,” John Hattie reviewed nine metaanalyses examining Mastery-Based Learning. He reported on studies that found Mastery-Based Learning to be one of the most effective teaching strategies, not only positively impacting student achievement and learning outcomes, but also positively impacting students’ attitudes toward course content and instruction. Simply turning a learning app into a game-like experience does not guarantee that meaningful educational skills will emerge. Even if all of the gamification methods described

here are implemented, an app must still have meaningful content, clear learning objectives and performance reports with actionable data, in order for those apps to be strong educational tools for the classroom. When screening apps for your students’ use, look for all of those elements to give your students the best chance at achieving new competencies with apps. Karen L. Mahon, Ed.D. is the President and Founder of Balefire Labs, a free online review service for digital education products. Balefire Labs offers expert reviews of more than 5,000 PreK-12 products for iOS and Android. Reviews are sciencebased evaluations of instructional quality and usability.

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How to Introduce Students to Stem It’s not as intimidating as it seems By Joachim Horn Science. Technology. Engineering. Math. As our digital world evolves, STEM is becoming increasingly important to innovation. According to the U.S. Department of Education, experts are predicting a steady rise in STEM careers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that employment in STEM occupations grew twice as much as in non-STEM fields from 2009 to 2015 and is expected to grow to more than 9 million jobs between 2012 and 2022. This means that teachers need to act now to ensure students are well-equipped with fundamental 21st century skills by the time they enter the workforce. This is essential to fill the skills gap and inspire the next generation of STEM experts. Many educators have embraced STEM, but it can be difficult to determine how to fit the concept into the existing curriculum. What should the key learnings be? What doesn’t need to be included? The questions can be overwhelming. Luckily, there are many resources available to guide educators through this transition. Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) define three dimensions of science learning: practices, core ideas, and crosscutting. These standards give teachers the flexibility to design learning experiences that are both stimulating and meaningful to students. For many districts, this flexibility means incorporating more edtech into the classroom to boost student skills, and simultaneously encourage engagement

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and excitement. In fact, fostering interest is one of the most important steps when schools embark on the mission of teaching STEM. Boosting Interest, Incorporating Skills As many have experienced, to make a change, you first need to develop interest and trust among those who will be a part of it. For schools, this means getting staff on board and nurturing their comfort levels and confidence. STEM should be introduced in a non-intimidating way with relevant training and ready access to resources. Taking activities that students are familiar with, such as building models with blocks, teaches the design element. From there, help students transition from physical to digital with the help of coding kits that include block-based building to make it easier to grasp on to the basics. Introducing an hour of code gives students the ability to become comfortable with coding over a period of time, and build on the concepts they’ve learned in class. Many districts host educator ‘learning days’, where teachers get the opportunity to play around with STEM activities before introducing it to students. There doesn’t need to be a complete

There doesn’t need to be a complete lesson plan overhaul to introduce STEM skills. In fact, being able to show how the disciplines can be linked to a variety of activities only proves its value. lesson plan overhaul to introduce STEM skills. In fact, being able to show how the disciplines can be linked to a variety of activities only proves its value. Introducing creativity is a great way to get students excited about what they are accomplishing. When considering the appropriate age to introduce STEM to students, many are surprised to hear that an early start is not only recommended, but ideal. In early education, students are learning basic concepts, such as shapes and colors, and are given time to explore these ideas through hands-on activities. Trial and error is encouraged in these early learning years, which is the perfect gateway to

Tools of the Trade Cultivating a STEM environment is easy when you have the right tools. Internet resources such as ‘Hour of Code’ offer a variety of projects, many requiring no internet connection or computer. A large array of projects can be done after a simple visit to the craft store, and a little creativity. The main focus is getting students to be hands-on, and comfortable with the idea of making mistakes and working out how to fix them. To inspire the next generation of STEM experts, SAM Labs is blazing a trail with products for the classroom that are fun and rewarding, while preparing children with the skills for the workplace of tomorrow. SAM Labs combines visual, flow-based coding apps, wireless electronic blocks and bespoke teaching materials to create STEAM kits that

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becoming comfortable with technical activities, such as coding. Beginning with something that’s both accessible and fun is a great way to gain momentum and contribute to students’ growth mindset. There are several free lesson plans available to help teachers get started on integrating a coding section into their curriculum. These projects are exciting for the students, and help educators link STEM with an existing lesson plan. Capturing attention and sustaining the learning process by including STEM projects throughout the school year is the most effective way to ensure that a solid knowledge is being built.

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unleash students’ creative potential. The classroom is opened up to endless STEM possibilities and coding lessons are made accessible, experimental, interactive and fun. Many schools are incorporating makerspaces into their institutions, where students are free to explore their creativity and work on a variety of projects. This is a great way to kick start STEM learning within a controlled space before launching it schoolwide. To infuse art into STEM and live out the “A” in STEAM, educators are adding coding tools in addition to more traditional art mediums in their classes. “Technology is everywhere and can’t be ignored. The design process is something that we do all the time – always have and always will, but when you add STEM into it, it opens the doors to so many more possibilities,” said Amanda McDonough, art teacher at Chappaqua Central School District in New York. David Lockett, an educator in Lake Wales, Florida uses coding tools in


conjunction with project-based learning to teach his students STEM. “Coding is a part of my class on a weekly basis, and contributes to the students’ handson STEM learning experience,” said Lockett. “It’s important to discover what students are most interested in and find a way to combine them because coding doesn’t just fit into computing class.” A Computational Mindset Simply incorporating new tools into the classroom isn’t enough to change abstract ideas into a solid mindset. A new way of thinking must be implemented to complement these resources. Computational thinking goes hand in hand with introducing STEM. Simply defined, computational thinking is a way of solving tasks that mimics how a computer solves problems. When applied to STEM projects, it helps students identify effective ways of completing tasks and then use what they learned to solve future problems. When teaching this type of thinking,

students are encouraged to collect data, analyze it, and apply it. There isn’t a limit on what it can be used on, which makes it the perfect aid in teaching STEM skills. STEM Across Subjects One of the biggest factors when introducing STEM to students is giving them the opportunity to learn it in a variety of ways, in diverse environments. Including it across the curriculum not only keeps them engaged but boosts overall learning. This will help students apply their skills in a multitude of industries when they enter the workforce. Allowing students the opportunity to learn, no matter their skill set or interest, is key in capturing imagination and turning it into ability. Living in the digital era, we need to be sure that we are giving students what they need to be successful. For teachers, this is a unique opportunity to learn along the way, and contribute to creating a STEM-powered generation of learners and future workers.


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School Design Inspired By Nature By Robert Just


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When we heard the news of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the K-12 Education Studio at Cooper Carry, like the rest of the world, took a moment to reflect. We hit pause in the midst of several important projects to convene and discuss the profound impact this had on us as designers of spaces that hold our country’s most precious resources: our children who are the future. As architects and designers, it’s a responsibility we don’t take lightly. While the conversation outside our walls was taking more politicized positions, we endeavored to rise above politics and take our conversation to another place. With student safety at the forefront of every one of our designs, we wanted to specifically study how passive design features can make our children safer, even how it might prevent, stop or slow down outside threats. Within our discussions, we acknowledged that many such design features are possible, but at the same time, are often obstacles for regular day-to-day supervision and 2-16-18-epilog-SEEN-hfpg.pdf 1 2/16/2018 5:58:00 PM control. We also considered how these

features might affect the welcoming nature of a school to its students, staff and visitors. As architects, we know that it often comes down to cost, and since every school district has different budgets, we wanted to consider a wide range of options beyond the “easy button” of high tech alarm systems and bullet resistant glazing. Through an academic lens, more fueled by curiosity and without personal agenda, we turned to Mother Nature’s time-tested lessons for new ways of viewing the challenge. We asked, “How can we apply what nature already knows and has proven to our designs and designthinking?” And while there were no perfect answers, the thought of sparking new conversations and doing something to make a difference inspired our team. What we know about nature is that it is proven to prevail; it is constantly evolving to not only survive, but thrive in a range of environments, sometimes against the odds. Applying what we see in nature to man-made designs is called biomimetic design, or the study of nature

and its process, systems, and elements for the purpose of finding sustainable design solutions to our human needs and challenges. We explored some basic principles of predator/prey interaction for insight and inspiration. 1.  Camouflage as a security and evasion. Just like octopuses, skates and sting rays use camouflage to escape predators, what might adapt from that model? Could we use electrochromic windows that turn opaque to prevent intruders from seeing in but still allow for ultimate transparency, with a clear line of sight connecting students to the hallways, the outdoors, etc. in a normal, non-threatening situation? It might be as simple as adding interior window blinds or making floor pattern designs that signify which students are out of site from windows in the corridor. 2. Collective security. According to BrightTALK, “Prairie dog calls contain specific information as to what the predator is, how big it is and how

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Through an academic lens, more fueled by curiosity and without personal agenda, we turned to Mother Nature’s time-tested lessons for new ways of viewing the challenge. fast it is approaching.” How can our response match the detail and speed of Prairie Dogs? How can we design to foster faster response times? Although technology might be the answer here, we need to acknowledge the need to increase lines of sight in order to 54

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pass along information between staff. Additionally, how can we revisit the way teaching spaces are arranged and connected? 3.  Hard exterior; interior sanctuary. We know that children learn best when they feel safe. Similar to a box

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turtle, we see an opportunity to design a secure exterior that can close down in an emergency, but still provide a biophilic sanctuary in the center of the school. By providing interior courtyards, schools can have the environmental benefits of daylight and landscape, while providing a secure space for students and staff. Moreover, unique landscaping features can create outdoor spaces that contain and secure. 4. Controlled access. Although sally ports and chain-link fencing have their place in school design, we can look at less obvious options to accentuate the overall design. Sandy Hook Elementary has a beautiful biophilic design solution with retention swales and bridges. This forces everyone through one point of entry that can be controlled and the swale puts the intruder at a disadvantage to the other entry points as they are lower. 5. Crime Prevention Through Environment and Design can give us some direction, too. Line of sight, clear areas around the immediate structure, and balanced lighting all contribute to security and have been implemented in college campuses, military bases and other secure facilities. We strongly believe in two truths: schools should be safe and putting learning on display will inspire students to thrive. These truths should not be mutually exclusive. The latter means learning is best achieved in transparent, collaborative spaces that foster ingenuity. Through thoughtful design, educational spaces can strike a careful balance of being safe and secure, while also fostering creativity and openness among students and staff. Not one solution is perfect. Meeting the challenge ahead requires that we collectively dig deeper for answers and get creative with combinations of solutions. We owe it to our children and the generations of children to come to explore the most innovative design solutions, whether it comes from new technology or the time-tested processes of our natural world. Robert (Bob) Just is Principal at Cooper Carry’s K-12 Education Studio.


Does Maintaining Facilities Matter? By Denny Hill

Quality learning environments have been found to exert a positive influence on students’ educational performance. Research indicates that it is not important if the building is old or new, as long as it is a comfortable, well-lit, and healthy learning environment. It is important to take care of existing buildings and make sure the learning environment is optimized. However, making the conscious decision to maintain facilities, not to mention keeping them updated, is not always easy. Deferring routine maintenance on big-ticket items, such as heating and cooling systems or roofs, can wind up costing school districts far more down the road than if that regularly scheduled maintenance had occurred. Although deferring maintenance for a brief period due to funding constraints 56

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can be reasonable, engaging in this practice for any extended term can have dire consequences. Maintenance Analogy Many years ago, a group of friends and I were discussing one of our favorite topics, our cars. As young guys did back in the day, we were comparing aesthetics of the cars as well as their performance. One of our friends had an older car that most of us considered a classic and commented that as long as he maintained it well he should expect to drive it for a number of years. Another fellow piped in bragging about how great his Ford Maverick was and that he never had to do anything for maintenance. (Yes, most of us considered bragging about a Ford Maverick to be completely absurd!)

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I responded that I was sure he meant that he still changed the oil and oil filter regularly, had it lubed, replaced the air filter, etc., taking exception to his lack of maintenance comment as it seemed ridiculous, especially since we were all pilots with substantial training about the importance of maintenance. He responded that he checked the oil once in a while and would put in a quart if it was needed but had never changed the oil and filter or anything else in the car’s 50,000+ miles of operation. Ironically, about two weeks later he piled his family into that wonderful Ford Maverick and headed out on vacation. About 400 miles down the road the engine literally seized up on them (permanently) and left them stranded with no transportation. Needless to say, when he called and

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asked if someone would go pick them up and bring them back not one person volunteered! Life Lesson: if you don’t take care of your facilities, don’t expect anyone to support you when you ask for funds to do it – or for other help of any kind for that matter. It is wise to understand that most people expect public entities to take reasonably good care of community assets. Not doing so typically leads to less than favorable patron responses to requests for operating budget increases or bond elections. A quality facility assessment reveals the structural and functional integrity of the buildings (such as heating, air conditioning, electric, etc.). This assessment provides the groundwork for understanding what current and future improvements are needed. The second issue relates to capacity and spatial needs to serve the projected student population. Typical questions are:


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1.Do we have enough space to serve future growth? 2.  What spaces do we need? Is it elementary, middle or high school or all of them? 3.Are academic programs adequately supported by the spaces we have? Capacity, Utilization and Location Considerations Perhaps you have enough capacity to serve current and future students, but it isn’t in the right location. Some time ago, a Colorado school district experienced substantial enrollment growth. Apparently, the district overreacted to it because two elementary schools were built less than a half mile apart. Currently this area doesn’t generate enough students to fill even one of these two schools. So how do we solve the problem? The chosen solution was to bus students to the available space rather than build a new school where the children were. As

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a result, transportation costs are now much higher than necessary and some parents were enrolling their students out of district or in private schools because the public schools weren’t conveniently located. A thorough, forward-looking demographic analysis may have helped prevent this awkward, wasteful and costly situation. (A cost analysis revealed that about 20 years of avoided busing costs would have paid for a new school in the correct location!) The next question addresses building utilization. What are the consequences if you don’t do anything? All too often districts operate under a “we’ll keep doing what we’ve been doing” premise, most times due to lack of adequate funding, insufficient voter support, or other underlying factors. So, you just “do what you have to do”, and not necessarily what you “should do”. Unfortunately, small problems often lead to big ones, costing considerably more than if they had been addressed early on.

The answers we get to: “What are the consequences if you don’t do anything?” sometimes look like any one or a combination of the following: • With mobile classrooms more than doubling the school’s capacity, there will be longer lines to the bathroom. With too few restrooms, might there be an accident or two along the way? How would that affect students? •We’ll just get another modular if/ when we get more students. •We can handle the current situation for another year . . . and THEN we’ll make a decision. •We can’t ask for more taxes. • Voters won’t approve …. • Yada, yada, yada….(in other words, just more excuses) Realistically, if you don’t do anything nothing will happen; except, of course, that you’ll likely be dealing with a much bigger problem the longer you wait.

A conditions assessment should also consider older facilities’ ability to adequately provide for current academic programs. In other words, an appraisal of existing facilities should be conducted periodically to determine if all the individual spaces and their infrastructure satisfy current educational specifications. This is one way to measure whether a building’s spaces and amenities can accommodate the current and anticipated instructional programs. If shortcomings are identified, it is the first step in identifying an approach to rectify them. The bottom line is that neglecting facility maintenance can adversely affect both capital and operating costs, leaving less money for application in the classroom. Additionally, if your patrons see that the community assets aren’t being maintained, adequate support may not be present for the district at any level.

(Editor’s Note: This article is an edited excerpt from the author’s book, The Essential Guide to School Facility Planning.) Denny Hill has been working with school districts, local governments and land developers for over 30 years, helping guide the decision making processes through all phases of school district and infrastructure planning, development, and operations. He has served as a consultant and advisor to many school districts, addressing the gamut of situations from rapid growth to declining enrollment and the implications for facilities. Denny was the planning director for Douglas County School District (Colorado) during the time when it the fastest growing county in the nation. Prior to these endeavors, Mr. Hill worked with a consulting firm specializing in socioeconomic impact assessments, financial feasibly analyses; and public finance. He was also an Instructor of Economics at Kansas State University

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Spring/Summer 2018

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Spring/Summer 2018



Lessons Learned From Sandy Hook Still Apply By Alissa Parker It has been more than five years since I lost my daughter, Emilie, during the Sandy Hook school shooting. While a lot has changed in my life since then, as I reflect back, many of the lessons we learned from the shooting are still applicable. Simple Measures can Save Lives On the day of the attack at Sandy Hook School, I thought back to the last time I was at the school for parent teacher conferences. Entering the school, parents were buzzed into a lobby with big glass windows. Once inside the building, I noticed classroom doors did not lock from the inside. I remember thinking, “once you’re in, there’s nothing to stop you.” I never imagined something like an attack could happen at my child’s school. Ultimately, I dismissed those worrying safety issues. Tragically, on the day of the attack, our staff and students simply couldn’t secure their classrooms or get to safety quickly enough. There just were not enough protective layers like a secure entry and quick locking classroom doors. We Are All First Responders Until trained emergency responders arrive on scene, students, teachers, staff and volunteers may be the only help available to others. It is important to consider how well staff and students are trained and equipped to respond in a crisis. Practice Makes Progress During emergencies, the problemsolving part of the brain shuts down and individuals default to what they’ve been trained to do. However, creative solutions — like shoving a bookcase against the door to jam it — can save lives. Staff and students can exercise creative problem solving during education and drills, discuss solutions and ideas with leadership, and 62

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add these solutions to formal training if they are deemed safe and viable. Saving students and staff this “think time” can make all the difference in their ability to respond quickly and effectively. Prepare to step into each other’s roles. Many school’s emergency plans put the principal alone in charge. However, principals are often the first to run toward danger, which makes it incredibly important to empower key staff to step in and take charge whether the principal is available or not. For example, if a teacher suspects there is a security crisis, they should call for a lockdown and not wait for the principal. Schools need to plan and practice for all situations, and everyone needs to know what to do in each situation and be empowered to take appropriate action. Collaboration is Key First responders have a critical role in emergencies. When schools assess their emergency plans, they should consult these experts. They can help create clear communication plans, lockdown and evacuation protocols and reunification processes. Once these are in place, continual practice and communication to parents and families is critical. It’s important to tell them what to expect — or better yet, have them participate in education and drills. Safety is a Process There really isn’t a checklist we can complete to ensure that we’ve done everything to ensure school safety. Plus, every school and community is different. There won’t be a one size fits all solution. So, where to start? Frustrated by this, Michele Gay, my co-founding partner at Safe and Sound Schools and a fellow Sandy Hook mother, assembled a team of national experts to create a model schools can use to rethink school safety and teach

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their staff best practices. It was a place to start. This model grew into our Straight-A Safety Improvement program and toolkits. The model encourages schools to look at school safety as a continuing process — Assess, Act and Audit. Schools need to assess their current readiness for school safety, then, based on the findings, create a viable and tailored action plan unique to their community. Schools need to continually audit the measures, practices and policies in place, continuing the cycle by reviewing what is working, and what is still left to improve. The Straight-A Safety model is simple. It provides easy-to-understand frameworks and ideas that any school can apply. It is inclusive and easily adapted to the unique needs of any school community and all participants in the school safety process. The toolkits offer suggestions for practice, to help improve that school safety muscle memory. Straight-A Safety also recognizes the important role all partners and stakeholders play in safety, and encourages collaboration among experts, parents, educators, staff and administrators. Finally, the model itself is a process — a cycle of continuous improvement, fostering a proactive, ongoing awareness and commitment to school safety. Knowledge is power, knowledge is comforting, and knowledge gives every community member a seat at the school safety table. Knowledge never gets old. Regardless of how much time goes by, I will continue Safe and Sound Schools’ mission to help school communities with prevention, response, and recovery strategies across the full spectrum of school safety to ensure the safest possible learning environment for the youth of our nation. Alissa Parker is co-founder, Safe and Sound Schools.

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Collaboratively Approaching Emergency Preparedness, Prevention and Response By Paul Timm, PSP Schools strive to be safe environments for their students, staff and visitors. However, the numerous acts of school violence this year alone have served as a catalyst for an urgent discussion about school safety. I recently participated in a webinar series presented by PublicSchoolWORKS called “School Safety Talks” that focused on crisis prevention, preparedness and response. The following are key points I discussed during the webinar. Today, instead of being safe havens, schools are at risk for acts of violence and leaders are under pressure to develop and 64

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implement effective school safety measures with little to no guidance. To help districts navigate this, I’ve compiled tactics schools and districts can use, as well as outlined how they can use resources already available to them to provide safer learning environments. Collaborating with All Stakeholders Nobody has shoulders broad enough to carry a security program by themselves. Instead, schools and districts should create safety planning teams consisting of both internal and

When a student notices a vulnerable area, sees something suspicious, or hears a rumor about a violent act that could take place, students need to know they will be taken seriously if they report it.

external stakeholders. This includes, but is not limited to, district and building-level administrators, staff, students, first responders, local businesses, other schools or local institutions such as hospitals, and parents. To manage emergencies, schools should comply with the Incident Command System (ICS). This helps the school know who will fill which roles in the event of an emergency. There should be two individuals as backups for every role. Security planning teams should have the entire school’s staff fill out a skills survey. This helps create an inventory of staff skills such as AED certification, bilingualism, former military experience, and possession of emergency supplies – all of which can be crucial in the event of an emergency. Committing from the Top-Down While schools and districts should collaborate with all stakeholders, their commitment to safety should be led from the top. Whether it is the superintendent, principal or head master, the school or district leader must lead by example and

model the behaviors they want their stakeholders to adopt. For example, if a faculty member is supervising an off-site school-sanctioned practice or event for students, he or she has specific responsibilities to ensure safety, including contacting an “accountability partner” back at the school once they arrive at their destination. This creates documentation of the group’s location, when they arrived, and that they arrived safely. If you do not establish this communication lifeline, problems can arise. Further, if your principal or administrator does not mandate this accountability partner process, the supervising staff or faculty member may not think to do it. Creating a Culture of Awareness In addition to staff training and lockdown drills, there are many small things a school can do to shift from a “Mayberry” mentality to a “See Something, Say Something” mentality. For example, take two or three minutes at the beginning of staff meetings to talk about safety awareness issues. Project a picture of a parking lot for 10 seconds and ask staff

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Students have the best pulse of issues both on and off campus. They are the eyes and ears on the ground, thus making them a valuable resource for safety planning teams.

to memorize as many details as possible. Then ask them if they saw any safety concerns. How many cars were in the parking lot? Was it surrounded by a fence? How tall was the fence? Was there adequate lighting? Were there low hanging limbs or tall shrubbery that could create easy hiding spots for perpetrators? Helping everyone hone awareness skills will empower them to notice and report concerns.

Involving Students Students have the best pulse of issues both on and off campus. They are the eyes and ears on the ground, thus making them a valuable resource for safety planning teams. Planning teams can survey students about the security risks they see every day, such as where students buy or use drugs, and they can ask for students’ input during building security assessments. When I come across a vulnerable area during a school building assessment, more times than not, it is the student who has an answer about why the issue is present. When a student notices a vulnerable area, sees something suspicious, or hears a rumor about a violent act that could take place, students need to know they will be taken seriously if they report it. Fostering relationships with students creates an open dialogue and gives them confidence that their voice will be heard. These relationships can also be used as a preventative measure. So often we hear a student’s behavior changed leading up to committing an act of violence, but how can teachers and administrators notice changes in behavior if they do not have solid relationships with students? Students’ knowledge of social media is also a valuable tool for planning teams. Threats are often shared on social media so it is crucial staff understand how it works. Since students are the experts, consider bringing a student into staff meetings to provide a quick tutorial of how specific social media apps

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work. Students are crucial to unlocking information that can greatly improve safety programs. Harnessing Social Media Social media can be a powerful tool for school safety. For example, Twitter is a great method of mass notification. The National Weather Service or Homeland Security’s Twitter accounts give followers almost instant updates on security and emergency information. However, it can also create security risks. Every day there’s a new app people are using. I tell both students and staff they should look at three different considerations before using an app. They should be wary of apps not based in the U.S., apps that are location based, and apps that require you to enter personal information in order to create an account. As an example, apps like should be avoided. Prioritizing the Protection of People There are two keys to protecting people in schools: access control and communication. Access control protects us all the time and communication ensures everyone knows to respond should something occur. For example, recess can be a vulnerable situation for schools. If the playground or blacktop does not have a fence around it, how are students


protected from individuals wandering onto the playground or from a car driving onto it? Staff members should be stationed around the perimeter of the playground to supervise students as they play, and they should be equipped with two-way radios, whistles and fanny packs stocked with first aid supplies. Prepare for the Ever-Changing Schools need to prepare for crises such as active shooters and natural disasters, which includes conducting training and lockdown drills, storing emergency kits in classrooms or strategic locations around the building, uploading emergency procedures into apps so they are easily accessible and more. However, emergency preparedness is not static. New risks arise on an ongoing basis, which makes conducting regular security assessments crucial. Walk through the halls, observe staff and students, and conduct surveys. Gather as much information as possible and assess it collaboratively. By working together with all stakeholders, schools can keep up with and address new risks. Now is the time to make schools safer. Paul Timm is a board-certified Physical Security Professional (PSP®), author of “School Security” and Vice President of Physical Security Services at Facility Engineering Associates.



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Case Study

A Practical and Effective Approach to Safety


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SouthEast Education Network

By Al Gille

Soon after I joined Great Oaks Career Campuses as their Coordinator of Safety and Security, several in the district leadership team asked me, “Al, if you were to win the lottery and not come to work tomorrow, how would we know everything you do to keep our schools safe?” The answer to this question includes so much, which made me realize – some people do not know where to start when it comes to keeping a school safe. I recently participated in a webinar series presented by PublicSchoolWORKS called “School Safety Talks.” The seriesfocused on crisis prevention, preparedness and response. My webinar within the series outlined the steps Great Oaks Career Campuses takes to prevent, prepare, respond and recover from crises – and help other schools build their own crisis plans. . Every building is different and has different risks that must be considered, but below are key considerations everyone can implement: Understanding Crises for Your District Before schools can create a plan to address crises, they have to understand the crises that could affect them. The federal government breaks crises into three categories: natural events, technological events, and adversarial events – and sometimes they overlap. Natural events are weather-related, such as flooding or tornados. Technological events include power outages, server failure, and data breaches. Lastly, adversarial events include fights, workplace violence, and active shooter situations. The impact these events can have on a school also fall into three categories: physical impact on humans or emotions, impact to property and financial impacts. It is important to then look at the scope of the impact, as well. Is damage centralized or spread out across a campus? Is the event occurring at multiple locations? Is the event impacting other schools as well? Understanding the scope of an event will help a school respond to a crisis. I recommend schools and districts

conduct a risk assessment to determine the most and least probable risks, and the most and least harmful risks to determine where they should start planning. While all harmful risks should be addressed, developing safety plans and programs starting with the most likely to occur seems to provide for safer schools. Systematically Approaching Crises When I developed Great Oaks’ safety programs – whether it was for an emergency like a natural disaster or a fight between students – I took a five-step approach: Preparedness/ Prevention, Protection, Response, Recovery, and Mitigation. Since active shooter situations are a big discussion right now, we will use it as an example of how Great Oaks applies the five-step approach to address risk at one of our campuses. In developing our programs, I knew we needed to use technology to implement and automate our programs and much of it is managed by PublicSchoolWORKS providing me peace of mind that we are the best prepared for any event. Preparedness/Prevention: This is arguably the biggest part of any safety program. What needs to be done to prepare staff and students to act in the event of an active shooter, but also, what can be done to prevent it from happening in the first place? We use a

combination of practices. Every September, we deploy online training to staff via PublicSchoolWORKS. At the beginning of the year, everyone is automatically notified to complete the training online. Whenever a new hire starts at one of our campuses, they are automatically enrolled in the training. This online training course sets the stage for our further active shooter response training called “A.L.i.C.E.” which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. We work with local authorities to conduct routine lockdown drills and active shooter drills. Active shooter drills help staff know what to expect and practice what to do should an active shooter situation occur. Because first responders are experts, they can estimate the hypothetical causalities that would have occurred based on how the drill went to determine the overall effectiveness. The PublicSchoolWORKS system also reminds our campuses when to conduct both lockdown and active shooter drills. In the event of an active shooter, no one is going to pull out a binder and start reading the emergency plan. Instead, staff and faculty can access our emergency flip charts, plans, and even campus floor plans and aerial shots on their phones using NaviGate Prepared. We also share these digitized documents

I recommend schools and districts conduct a risk assessment to determine the most and least probable risks, and the most and least harmful risks to determine where they should start planning.

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with first responders and law enforcement so they have the information before they arrive on campus. One of the best ways to prevent an active shooter situation from occurring is to understand and know our students so we can notice a change in behavior. When staff members have close relationships with students, they can intervene if they notice a student’s behavior has changed or they can be confidants for students who hear rumors of a threat. When a teacher notices a change in student behavior or is told a rumor about a student bringing a gun to school, what should they do? They must report it! Threats or rumors cannot be investigated if they are not reported. The crisis plan should have community input from businesses, parents, and students. The community should know the 70

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general components of the plan, such as the district has designated a reunification site, but the tactical application, such as where the site is located and its security measures, should remain secure. Informing them of the plan not only shows the school or district is doing its due diligence, it informs them how they can help. Protection: Right after Parkland, there was a surge in sales for bullet-proof panels or backpacks, door locking or barricading technology, and other forms of protection. While protection is important, there isn’t a single solution schools should use, and these types of protections are certainly not the only thing they should be doing. Great Oaks takes a layered approach to protection. We look at access control – how would someone gain access to our

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buildings? We gate the perimeter of our campuses, install physical barriers such as cement posts to prevent people from driving up to the building, and ensure there is ample lighting in parking lots. We employ a single point of entry for each building for visitors and access control using electronic locks for staff, installed a panic and lockdown button in each building’s main office reception areas, and we lock classroom doors. We installed physical security cameras and have a strict visitor management protocol. All of these work together. Response: A school’s response is only as good as its preparation. Most active shooter situations last between five and seven minutes. This is when people will decide between the courses of action –fight, flight, or freeze. Having effective prevention and

When a teacher notices a change in student behavior or is told a rumor about a student bringing a gun to school, what should they do? They must report it! preparedness initiatives helps our staff to immediately act in the event of a crisis. Recovery: An active shooter situation does not end when the shooter is apprehended. Recovery plays a big role in the impact a crisis can have on a community. This step should include plans for how to treat the injured, how to enact a reunification plan so students can get to a safe place and connect with their families as soon as possible, as well



from an active shooter situation is not a quick process.

Mitigation: Lastly, schools and districts must evaluate how they handled the event. Were staff and students sufficiently prepared? Did their response mitigate the most danger and causalities? What preventative measures can be put in place to prevent an active shooter from happening again? It’s important to understand that evaluating a safety program is not a one-time thing. Safety plans should as a plan for how to communicate the be revisited, practiced, and revamped on details of an event with the media. It should also include a plan for a consistent basis. Doing so could help returning back to school. Will there save lives. be abbreviated hours? If there were Al Gille is the Coordinator of Safety and casualties, do you have plans in place for where memorials should be placed, how Security at Great Oaks Career Campuses, long they will remain, and who will take one of the largest career and technical centers them down? How will you accommodate in the United States. A recording of his student and staff needs for counseling webinar can be found at publicschoolworks. or educational compliance? Recovering com/school-safety-talks.


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Where’s the PE Teacher? The Evolution and Case of Physical Education


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SouthEast Education Network

By Eric Larson and Sean Brock Take a step inside physical education class at Marjorie Rawlings Elementary in Pinellas County, Florida and you’ll see one common theme: movement! Three times per week, students participate in heart-pumping physical education classes — taught by a licensed teacher who is certified to teach physical education — that have them on their feet and moving for nearly all of the session’s 50 minutes. Beyond physical education class, Marjorie Rawlings students also benefit from daily recess and at least 20 minutes of additional physical activity time, brought to life through classroom “brain breaks,” whereby teachers incorporate short energizers into lesson plans or transition time. The result? Students are better behaved in class, more engaged in academic lessons, and scoring higher on tests. Every child deserves an equal chance to be active and learn critical skills that enable a lifelong love of movement. Unfortunately, this is too often not the case. While great progress has been made to improve physical education curricula over the past few decades, there remains a need for states to better support

this critical aspect of students’ education and district leaders to fully recognize the benefits of active learners. From Dodgeball to Dance Parties: A Shift Toward Inclusivity Think back to your days in physical education class. Perhaps you recall patiently waiting in line during a game of kickball, taking a turn roughly once every 20 minutes. Maybe you think of dodgeball, dreading the prospect of being picked last or sheepishly hiding in the corner, hoping to avoid being singled out in front of your peers. For decades, physical educators often relied on this “team sports model” in which students were divided, or drafted, into teams to compete in sporting events during class. Over time, this philosophy has shifted to include more fitness- and activity-based concepts that avoid elimination games, promote inclusivity of all ability levels, and teach critical lifelong movement skills. Today, the most exemplary physical education programs incorporate sports via small group activities that enhance skill development, such as one-on-one soccer drills with a partner. Physical educators are also finding

Making the Grade with Physical Education

How well is your school or district implementing national standards for physical education? A physically literate child: 3 Demonstrates competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns. 3 Applies knowledge of concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics related to movement and performance. 3 Demonstrates the knowledge and skills to achieve and maintain a healthenhancing level of physical activity and fitness. 3 Exhibits responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others. 3 Recognizes the value of physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, selfexpression, and/or social interaction. Source: Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Healthy Schools Program Framework of Best Practices (2017)

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creative ways to keep all participants active during traditionally sedentary moments, by swapping tasks like the opening roll call into a live dance session. No longer are kids being put in the spotlight in front of their peers, nor are the “athletes” taking over the games. An emphasis on inclusivity has become a focal point for successful physical education programming. Making Quality Physical Education the Norm, Not the Exception Marjorie Rawlings Elementary — which was named to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s 2017 list of “America’s Healthiest Schools” for their exceptional commitment to student and staff wellness — benefits from not only the support of Pinellas County leadership, but from the entire state of Florida. Florida is one of only five states (Alabama, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Oregon, plus the District of Columbia) that requires all elementary students to receive the recommended 150 minutes of physical education per week, sending a clear message that physical education is a critical component to a well-rounded education. Unfortunately, far too many students nationwide aren’t receiving the same benefits. Physical education standards differ from state to state, with many policies being broad and open to interpretation. No matter your state’s policies around physical education, however, it is in every community’s best interest to support healthy schools because healthy students are better learners. Active Students, Active Minds A growing body of research shows that healthy kids learn better; they attend school more often, behave better in class and score higher on tests. Today, we’re also cognizant of the connection between movement and socialemotional well-being. When kids have the opportunity to be active and regularly participate in quality physical education, they learn how to better regulate their emotions, resulting in fewer disciplinary actions and enhanced conflict resolution skills. Never before has it been as essential for educators to recognize these benefits and urgency around supporting physical education. Nearly one in three children —ages two to19 — in the United States 76

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3 Ways to Instantly Boost Your Physical Education Program Investing in a quality physical education program results in happier, healthier and higher performing students. Here are three quick things you can do to instantly improve your physical education program: 1. Ask: Soliciting student feedback is a great way to gain buy-in and ensure your program is meeting the unique needs of your student population. 2. Assess: How do you measure the success of your program? Look for ways to collect information about whether kids are retaining key concepts and movements so you can be sure to move on to the next curriculum component only when students are ready. 3. Adjust: Take a look at your daily activities. How can you increase movement opportunities for students? Try instituting an active “roll call” where students perform jumping jacks while they wait for their name to be called.

is overweight or obese, putting them at serious risk for physical and mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. These rates are even starker among children of color and children from low-income communities, who are predisposed to have poorer health than their more privileged peers. Improving physical education curricula radiates benefits across racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Since 2006, Healthier Generation has worked with over 40,000 schools nationwide to improve physical activity and nutrition, in part by providing training and professional development to thousands of educators per year. Through our efforts, we’ve seen a consistent trend: the more support physical educators receive from district leadership, the stronger their programs and the greater the academic benefits for all students.

A District Approach to Supporting Physical Education With dedicated support from district leadership, physical educators can succeed in developing robust curricula that not only benefit students’ short-term academic success but teach them how to be active for life. School is more than just mathematics or English. Physical education is a key component of students’ physical and emotional wellbeing — and should be prioritized just as emphatically as traditional academic subjects. Regardless of your state’s policies on physical education, district leaders have the power to support best-in-class physical education programming. How? It begins with supporting your staff. Hire and train certified physical education teachers, and provide regular opportunities for professional development to show them that physical education is important from the top-down. Next, find a way to evaluate your programming. How will you determine if students are progressing in physical education concepts, as they are in math or reading skills? Evaluation programs are not onesize-fits-all; frameworks to evaluate physical education teachers may differ than those used on classroom staff, as physical education is a hands-on program that requires nuanced evaluation procedures. Finally, find a way to celebrate and highlight your achievements. Positive

reinforcement of small victories can have a big impact in rallying the entire community around wellness. Invite your local media outlets to attend a physical education class or post photos on social media to keep parents informed of school wellness initiatives. Getting Started on Your Journey to Health As one of America’s Healthiest Schools, Marjorie Rawlings Elementary joins hundreds of others — from Alabama’s Robert C. Hatch High School to Georgia’s Spout Springs School of Enrichment — as a bestin-class example of what it means to prioritize student health at school. One step at a time, these schools found creative ways to boost nutrition and increase movement at every turn, giving students an opportunity to build the healthy futures they deserve. Whether you’re just getting started on your wellness journey or looking for tips to enhance your physical education programming, visit us at to access Healthier Generation’s library of tools and resources to help you meet your wellness goals, one dance party or classroom energizer at a time. Sean Brock and Eric Larson are National Physical Education and Physical Activity Advisors with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Connect with them at www. to see how they can help improve your district’s approach to school wellness.

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n o i t i r t u N r o f A New Look s n a e M t I t a h W Facts and 78

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By Connie Evers The Nutrition Facts food label is getting a makeover. More than 20 years since its debut, the label is catching up to current thinking in nutrition science as well as the reality of how people eat and drink today. Consumers will have bigger and clearer nutrient content information to guide their food choices.

Nutrition Facts 8 servings per container Serving size 2/3 cup (55g)

Reality Check for Calories, Serving Size A big, bold number will leave no doubt about the calories contained in one serving of a food. Serving sizes on the new label will more accurately reflect typical portions eaten by Americans. According to the FDA, “serving sizes will be more realistic to reflect how much people typically eat at one time.” This could translate to either smaller or bigger serving sizes, depending on the food item. For instance, ice cream will be labeled 2/3 cup, instead of 1/2 cup. A serving size of yogurt will reflect the more common six-ounce container rather than the previous eight-ounce. Added Sugars One of the biggest changes on the new label is a call-out for added sugars which lists the sum of “total sugars” followed by a line which differentiates the amount of added sugar. This breakdown will distinguish between naturally occurring sugar such as lactose and fructose and added sugar. Added sugars include the various sweeteners added to processed foods and beverages. While the list is long, some commonly added sugars include sucrose, dextrose, glucose, cane sugar, cane juice, molasses, honey, brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup and brown rice syrup. When reading the new label, people should consider the amount of added sugar in the context of the food’s overall nutritional profile. For example, the small amount of added sugar in chocolate milk available in schools does not detract from the nutrition profile it delivers to students. Chocolate milk has the same nine nutrients as white milk with 48 calories from added sugar. Nutrition research proves the added sugar in

Amount per serving



% Daily Value*

Total Fat 8g


Saturated Fat 1g


Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 160mg


Trans Fat 0g


Total Carbohydrate 37g Dietary Fiber 4g

13% 14%

Total Sugars 12g Includes 10g Added Sugars Protein 3g


Vitamin D 2mcg


Iron 8mg


Calcium 260mg

Potassium 235mg

20% 6%

* The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

chocolate milk and flavored yogurt can enhance the palatability, acceptance and help children enjoy the health benefits of dairy. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 advise limiting added sugars to no more than 10 percent of total calories, and this guidance is reflected in the new nutrition label design. For a typical 2000 calorie diet, that adds up to 12.5 teaspoons (50 grams) of added sugar. Even though that sounds like a lot, most Americans of all ages far exceed this recommendation. Fats Fats as a group are no longer vilified, instead the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 place emphasis on choosing reasonable amounts of healthier fats. As a result, the “calories from fats”

line will disappear from the new label. The Percentage Daily Value has also been increased from 65 grams to 78 grams of fat for a 2000 calorie diet. This will result in some foods having a lower Percentage Daily Value for fat, including whole milk and cheese. New Nutrients The vitamins and minerals listed on the new label will see changes with potassium and vitamin D replacing vitamins A and C. While Americans’ intake of vitamins A and C was once problematic, this is no longer the case. On the other hand, there is a public health concern because many Americans fall short when it comes to potassium and vitamin D. Potassium helps to lower blood pressure while vitamin D plays an important role in bone health. Calcium

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When reading the new label, people should consider the amount of added sugar in the context of the food’s overall nutritional profile. For example, the small amount of added sugar in chocolate milk available in schools does not detract from the nutrition profile it delivers to students.

and iron continue to be nutrients of concern and will remain in place. For all four nutrients, consumers will see the actual metric amounts in addition to the Percentage Daily Value. Timing The original target date for the new label was July 2018 with an additional year given to smaller companies to make the change. Now, the FDA has proposed pushing the dates back January 2020 (2021 for smaller companies). Some food companies are already in compliance and several food products are now sporting the new label.


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Making Healthier Choices The information and graphic presentation of the new label will help students and families to choose more wisely, serve as an awareness tool, and assist health professionals in deciphering the key nutrient contribution of packaged foods. As more foods and beverages become labeled, using the Nutrition Facts label in the classroom can serve as a starting point for a variety of lessons which integrate health, science, math and language arts. Visit for more health information, nutrition tips and resources. Source h t t p : / / w w w. f d a . g o v / F o o d / G u i d a n c e R e g u l a t i o n / GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/ LabelingNutrition/ucm385663.htm Connie Evers, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD is a registered dietitian nutritionist and board certified sports science dietitian who specializes in children’s health and nutrition education.


By The Dairy Alliance As the school year is winding down, do you ever consider what students who rely on school meals will do for food over the summer months? Will they have healthy, nutritious meals and snacks to keep them nourished and on track for learning once they return to the classroom? In recent issues of SEEN Magazine, you’ve

read about the power of school meals to fight childhood hunger. Specifically, the importance of school breakfast has been highlighted as a proven, successful strategy to lessen hunger. Taking it one step further, school breakfast impacts overall nutrition in a positive way leading to better math grades, test scores and attendance. But when school is out and

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school meals are no longer the mainstay for food-insecure children, what can you do to make sure students get the nutrition they need to come back to school ready to learn? Summer Meals Equal On-Going, Balanced Nutrition Federally funded summer meals through the USDA Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) or the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) Seamless Summer Option provide balanced nutrition along with enrichment activities to continue learning during summer months. As with meals served to students during the school year, every summer meal comes chock-full of valuable nutrition needed for growth and development. Healthy choices like fruits and veggies, lean protein, whole grains and dairy round out the plate to provide nutrients often missing in kid’s diets. For example, drinking milk and eating dairy foods that have nine essential nutrients make it easy for kids to get the bone-building calcium and other nutrients their growing bodies need.

program sponsors in past years have faced challenges in getting meals to the students who need them. Meal sponsor creativity along with assistance from partners, including No Kid Hungry and The Dairy Alliance, has resulted in more children getting summer meals. Making meals mobile for easier connection to children in under-served, hard-to-reach communities — especially in rural areas — has made a huge difference in filling the nutrition gap. Harrisonburg (Va.) City Schools Mobile Café In Harrisonburg City Public Schools

equipment down one side and seating down the other side, then re-wrapping the outside with a colorful nutrition themed design. The district collaborated with partners to help cover costs for the mobile unit. With grant funding from The Dairy Alliance, the school district was able to keep milk fresh and cold. During summer 2017, the Mobile Café visited four neighborhoods around Harrisonburg each Monday through Friday from June 26th through August 4th and served lunches at no cost to children up to the age of 18. Lunches were provided through the USDA Summer Food Service

Help With Resources is Available Dairy farmers’ commitment to kids began in 1915 with the founding of the National Dairy Council®. Grounded in nutrition research, education and partnerships, National Dairy Council, Kids in Harrisonburg neighborhoods reap the benefits of meals during summer when school on behalf of dairy farmers and the dairy meals are no longer available. community, has collaborated with health and wellness professionals, parents and (HCPS), 71 percent of students qualify for Program. Because all HCPS schools have educators to champion the health and free or reduced-price meals. Many students more than 50 percent of students qualifying well-being of children for over 100 years. rely on school meals to provide them with for free or reduced meals, lunches are free The Dairy Alliance, formerly the good nutrition during the school year and to all children regardless of their individual Southeast United Dairy Industry the need doesn’t go away over summer when eligibility category. On average, 140 lunches Association, Inc., is the regional dairy school is out. For several years, breakfasts were served from the bus each day. Four council in the southeast and stands ready and lunches have been served to students additional stops will be added this summer to help get summer meal programs going. at summer school locations. These sites are to reach even more students. Through equipment grants for keeping open to any students who can get to the Each location also has activities for dairy foods at the right temperature as well site — not just those in summer school. children to participate in after they eat as materials to help heighten awareness of However, transportation can be an issue for lunch at the site. Activities such as crafts summer meal programs, The Dairy Alliance many families. To meet the nutrition needs and sports are staffed by volunteers from school health and wellness team can assist of more students, the district realized the the HCPS community. During the regular as program planning gets underway. need to meet students where they are — in school year, the bus is used for nutrition Reaching Rural Areas Can Be a their own neighborhoods. education activities including small group Challenge, But It’s Not Impossible Last spring, HCPS purchased the former classes and taste tests. The district is This summer, USDA plans to serve more Bookmobile from the Massanutten Regional exploring many opportunities for additional than 200 million free meals to children Library and converted it into a “Mobile community partnerships as visits are made 18 years and under at approved Summer Café.” The conversion involved retrofitting to neighborhoods. Food Service Program sites. In rural areas, the bus with hot and cold food storage 82

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The Mobile Café in Harrisonburg, Va. was made possible through strong partner collaboration garnered by the local school district.

Rowan-Salisbury (N.C.) Schools Yum Yum Bus As Rowan-Salisbury School Nutrition Program gears up for another summer of “meals on the bus,” the effects of last year’s program have continued to shine through

the winter months. A few years ago, after attending a Summer Palooza! Summit offered by North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Rowan-Salisbury schools made a commitment to increase their summer meals by 10 percent. They had no idea how their efforts would not only exceed anyone’s expectations, but also make so many lasting impressions. For years they rented trucks to deliver meals to camps, churches and other summer sites until in 2016 they chose to go another route. Rowan-Salisbury decided to use buses to serve meals to students in rural communities and housing developments. They were able to deliver books and fresh produce to families in over 130 sites each day by partnering with several organizations like the public library and local farmer’s market. In summer 2017, the Yum Yum Bus was fully outfitted with air conditioning, countertops and a diner-like seating area for students to enjoy meals in a nice atmosphere. The Dairy Alliance provided insulated cooler bags and hard-sided coolers to maintain

cold temperatures of dairy foods. School principals and administrators rode on the Yum Yum Bus to check out this “mini restaurant” their School Nutrition Program had cruising the streets of Rowan County. They were more than amazed at the service provided. Committed to do more, the Yum Yum Bus hit the streets again over the Christmas holidays bearing presents for the children and families of Rowan-Salisbury Schools. This summer Rowan-Salisbury Schools will add a second Yum Yum Bus to its fleet of mobile summer meal vehicles. And don’t be surprised if this one carries the tune of “Meals on the Bus are Yum, Yum, Yum.” About The Dairy Alliance On behalf of dairy farm families, The Dairy Alliance, a non-profit works with schools, health professionals, retailers, dairy processors and the public to promote dairy foods. For more information, visit

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Bringing Wellness Initiatives to Melmark New England Melmark New England celebrates its 20th anniversary this year as a premier human service provider with a private special education school, professional development, training, and research center. Over 350 staff members in its Andover, Mass., location are committed to enhancing the lives of individuals with autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families by providing exceptional evidence-based and applied behavior analytic services to every individual, every day. In return, leadership at Melmark has instituted wellness initiatives for staff that encourage healthy exercise, diet and lifestyles. The wellness journey began at Melmark New England in 2011. At that time, with the assistance of our benefits broker, we conducted needs and interests survey of our employees and reviewed their feedback. Based on those results, our initial focus was on fitness and nutrition programs that could be offered on site. The survey showed us that when our employees thought of ‘wellness,’ they were thinking of diet and exercise. So we first wanted to respond to that expectation. We branded the program, “Healthy Staff,” and created a logo. Quick emailed polls showed us the interest level would be in on-site classes like yoga and CrossFit. Based on the results, we began to offer yoga and Zumba with weekly sessions and consistent attendees who paid the instructor directly. We offered month-long exercise challenges, like planks and squats. In 2015 we hosted 84

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As we look toward spring, we are now turning our attention and program to stress management, resilience and mindfulness. We will be hosting a series of seminars on stress management for all staff at our multiple locations in New England.

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a team-based, four-week step challenge with 23 participants. Over the course of the challenge, team members achieved 1,614,400 steps! Since our program began, consistent components have become the cornerstone. Perennial successes include our annual weight loss challenge, our onsite chiropractor services, our monthly newsletters, and flu clinics. We introduced an annual weight loss challenge in 2012 that we’ve done successfully in the late winter for the past several years. This year’s participation is a record high eight percent of Melmark NE’s total workforce. Part of the goal of our program is to make self-care and healthy behaviors more convenient. To that end, we teamed up with a chiropractor who comes to our campus once a week. She has a dedicated and growing following. Every Tuesday, she sets up in an empty room, and employees are able to take five to 10 minutes of their day to get their adjustments and feel better, and they don’t ever need to leave our campus. As we look toward spring, we are now turning our attention and program to stress management, resilience and mindfulness. We will be hosting a series of seminars on stress management for all staff at our multiple locations in New England. The seminars are included as an agenda item during existing in-service meetings, so we have a captive audience. We’ve also began to focus on making the existing environment more conducive to healthy behaviors, and offer balanced meals in our newly renovated cafeteria.

Our talented in-house staff enjoys being creative with the menu to make it appealing and healthful. We have also recently switched vending machine vendors, so the food offerings have less sugar and fats and provide better options for snacking. We are located in the middle of a suburban setting, so we mapped out walking and running routes for employees when they are able to take a break. When it comes to infrastructure in guiding these new fitness plans at Melmark NE, leadership provides guidance and approval, human resources staff run the program; and employees are involved and provide feedback. Leadership meets and discusses the wellness plans on an annual basis during the plan renewal time period. Our human resources team meets about once every other month with the Wellness Director from our benefits broker, who connects us with resources available through our health plan and other offerings.

Nevertheless, our employees are the bedrock of the program. Our employee and organizational culture plays a huge role in the success of our health promotion efforts. Melmark employees are on average younger, and eager to live a healthy lifestyle. They are also extremely competitive and love a challenge. We take this into consideration as we design wellness programs and challenges. To keep the budget reasonable, our prizes tend to be chances to win cash or other prizes through a raffle. The reward or prize does not have to be very big, as long as there is the opportunity to win and take home bragging rights! As we look to the future success and expansion of the wellness program at Melmark, we have plans to encourage more individual-level health promotion, including a personal health assessment with a small financial incentive. Having built a strong foundation of wellness and a wellness culture, we expect increased participation by two percent each year.

The communications to promote and educate employees about the health assessment begins during the open enrollment period for our upcoming plan year in June The Melmark wellness program is ever evolving and improving. As we continue on this journey, we try new and different things, then learn and adjust as we go. The long-term goal is to have a healthy and happy workforce that is best able to manage their individual health and wellness needs and feel a part of a healthy workforce in an environment and culture that supports them. Employees seem to be motivated and positive. Healthy, energetic staff have fewer work injuries, which, in turn, means full staffed classrooms and residences, and a positive work environment. Mercy Mutindwa, M.A., PHR, SHRMCP, is the Senior Director of Human Resources for Melmark New England

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Social and Emotional Learning

Developing a Personal Brand The Younger, The Better

By Josh Frahm

Challenge Let’s start with a challenge: I challenge each of you as school administrators to walk into a small classroom of students and ask how many of them have a personal brand. Take count as to how many students raise their hands. Will it be one, two, zero even? I’m willing to bet that you get a bunch of blank stares. These students probably don’t realize they already have a personal brand that is being developed every day. My focus and goal for each of you is to understand the importance of personal branding for your students and assist you in creating a game plan to mentor your young students on differentiating themselves through personal branding. 86

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Personal Branding: What is it? Why Care? My simplified definition: A personal brand says who you are, what you are known for and what you have to offer. Why should students care about personal branding? The main point of developing a personal brand is to differentiate yourself from others. This is no longer just important for the college graduate looking for their first professional job. With more students attending college, the competition for admission to colleges is getting more difficult. Did you know that over 200,000 high school seniors graduated with a 4.0 GPA last year? Were you aware

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that Harvard rejects over 200 applicants a year with a perfect 2400 SAT score? The point of these statistics is to show that without a personal brand outside of simple test scores, colleges and employers see far too many similarities and your students may look just like everyone else. In my past experiences, I interviewed nearly 200 new college graduates for entry-level Student Advisor positions within a for-profit college. Within every interview I finished with the question “What differentiates you from the other candidates I interviewed”, or “Why should I hire you?” The disappointing part about the majority of the responses was there similarity. My question for

you; how are your students standing out in this sea of sameness? Personal branding is a lifelong effort, and high school is the perfect time to start. At the high school level, personal branding involves educational experiences (both inside and outside of the classroom), interests, hobbies, skills and community involvement. By starting to assess and brand themselves early, students allow their brand to grow, strengthen and evolve as they age. It is our job as administrators to help our students identify and hone their strengths and interests. While academics are a huge part of a students’ personal brand, it is not the only thing. With the increase in sameness, academic achievements are only one piece of a bigger puzzle. Now, more than ever, we must encourage this age group to maneuver through the fierce competition by developing a positive personal brand through educational experiences outside of the traditional classroom setting. Assessment: Helping Students Identify Their Brand We can begin by relaying the importance of developing a differentiation strategy for each individual student. Self-assessment is huge in this regard and I have had a lot of success at The University of Iowa focusing on activities such as the creation of SMART Goals to the completion of a Skills Assessment and personal SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis. Start by having each student identify their own personal goals, core values, and passions. After assessment, encourage students to become involved in activities and projects both inside and outside the classroom to continue their learning and development in these areas. It’s one thing to identify ways they want to brand themselves, but the next step is taking action. We can facilitate that action as educators and I encourage each of you to think about how your school can do just that. Social Media and Personal Branding From a personal branding perspective, we have to educate our students on the professional and educational importance

of responsible social media behavior. If you are like me, sometimes you wonder what people — not just kids — are thinking on social media, and you have probably heard stories of employees getting fired over social media postings. While controversial postings are currently an important issue for college students looking for their first job, high school students are at risk of negative consequences of poor choices as well. The resemblance of the college admissions processes with the job search process now is striking. Our students might think it is cool to post borderline jokes or pictures on social media or make a video for YouTube to make people laugh, but what they are doing is creating an image of themselves; positive or negative. It is important to educate our students on the future implications and consequences of Internet behavior. I read something recently that really stuck with me; “What you do on the Internet is permanent — it is written in ink.” While there are many dangers from a personal branding perspective that we must warn our students about, there are just as many positive aspects that can come from educating them on appropriate and beneficial social media use. LinkedIn as well as many other sites allow students to follow and become involved within groups of interest. This is their chance to focus on what they care about and begin to connect with others who have similar interests. I have made many connections and have learned an immense amount through following groups and organizations within my field. Another way for students to utilize the Internet and social media is to create their own personal website or blog. One of my former students has succeeded in landing her dream job on the strength of the personal branding she did via her website. Her website includes sections such as: About Me, My Work, Resume, Blog and Contact Me. What better way to represent yourself than by showcasing your work and who you are as a person and young professional. She has taken control of her personal brand and it has helped her reach her goals. Other potential options would be to assist your students in gaining important

certifications or starting a personal portfolio. Personal Branding Lessons Stay Consistent: It is imperative that your students stay consistent with their brand across channels. This includes making sure their social media profiles are reviewed and up-to-date, and their actions both inside and outside the classroom represent the core values that they wish to uphold. Be Self-Aware: Encourage students to seek feedback and be open to providing them with that feedback in a constructive and supportive way. The more feedback the students receive and the more aware they are about how they are representing themselves, the more they can grow their personal brand. Create a Positive Online Presence: Managing their reputation is key while looking to expand their knowledge and digital footprint. Remember, schools and employers are searching the Internet as a means of a background check. Make sure your students are aware. Have a Multi-level Approach: Encourage your students to take action and get involved with what they are passionate about. Utilize social media to their benefit, volunteer, create a beginner resume and behave consistently in a way that represents how they want to be viewed. Deliver Your Brand: This will feel different for students because with personal branding they are the product. Doing the simple things such as following through on promises, returning phone calls and showing up on time can help grow their brand. A growing number of high schools and colleges are offering career management courses that embrace personal branding. Others have even developed curriculum involving personal branding. Now more than ever, it is our job to help teach our students how to differentiate themselves. Personal branding is key. Let’s help students make it happen. Josh Frahm is the UI STEP & Student Career Coordinator and an Adjunct Lecturer at The University of Iowa as well as a Professional Development & Career Coach

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Social and Emotional Learning

Building Bridges to a Strong School Community By Steve Frey

Schools with a strong sense of community are positive places where children, parents, and staff all work together in an environment that has the potential to help each individual find success. Creating that sense of community is similar to building a bridge, and the principal is the primary architect. Notice in that first paragraph the use of the word, “potential.” There are many schools that have an enjoyable sense of community, but never reach the achievement goals they have set. The goal for the school should be for every student to reach his or her full potential. It is not enough to just “feel good” about going there. Also, notice that each individual has the ability to find success. In a school with a strong sense of community, children, teachers, parents---everyone--feels positive about their own individual contributions to the overall success of the school. They feel a sense of ownership and involvement. Of course, the principal, as the architect, facilitates the creation of the bridge to a strong school community. She doesn’t do it alone, but everywhere you go, you see indications of the principal’s vision and influence. Build a Strong Foundation The floor of the bridge forms the strong base that supports everything moving across it. That foundation is the sense of order and procedures embodied in the code of conduct for the district or school. These conduct expectations are developed with input from the


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entire school community. The principal needs to make sure that every voice is heard and that the final product reflects fair and achieveable expections. These expectations need to be communicated to the students, parents, and staff, so that everyone understands their roles in the process and the consequences of their actions. Finally, they need to be consistently followed. Collaboration, Communication, Caring, Consequences, and Consistency are the five “C’s” that should guide the process in the development of the code of conduct. Add the Support Braces for the Trestle The development of the trestle and support braces for our bridge include several important components. The principal needs to develop a strong leadership team. An excellent format for this is the development of Professional Learning Communities by grade level or subject areas that come together regularly. The Leadership Team, facilitated by the principal and other staff members, becomes the conduit for the development of school goals, instructional strategies, and curriculum development. The Professional Learning Communities for the grade levels or subject areas look intensely at the needs of their students and develop systems for helping every child be successful. This sense of shared decision making, goal setting, and instructional study on the team and school levels helps the community feel the strength of all of its members and develops a strong sense of camaraderie and teamwork.

Parents should be included on the leadership team, but, additionally, the parents should have other opportunities to participate in and influence their children’s educational experiences. Another strong brace for our bridge is a strong parent organization. Again, the principal has an important role. She must help show how the parent organization can help to support the school and its goals. Through constant communication and guidance, the principal can focus the group on academic and social growth areas for the children and school. The PTA or PTO can do many things with and for the students and staff to help make school a fun, interesting, and strong learning environment. Another important support brace is the principal. She should always be looking for ways to be involved with the children and staff. Visiting classrooms, greeting students and parents as they come and go from school each day, participating in special events, talking to children in the lunchroom, spending time with them

at recess, leading special recognition or learning programs, acknowledging achievements of students and staff are just a few ways the principal can help develop a sense of community. Have the students be involved in everything from announcements to being on the Safety Patrol. Every day is a new opportunity to develop a sense of esprit de corps and fun for the children. When the principal is visible and involved, everyone in the school feels better connected. Regular Inspections Once the bridge is built and the school feels a strong sense of community, it is important to regularly inspect its strength. Getting input from parents and children, having open discussions with the Leadership Team, analyzing the achievement and progress of the children, and having a chance to regularly discuss projects and progress with the parent organization will give the principal and team a great sense of what is working and what needs to be tweaked

to improve the community. Ongoing communication from the principal to the school community helps everyone understand that school improvement is always a work in progress, but that the school is consistently moving in the right direction. Building a bridge to a strong school community takes the efforts of everyone, but the principal has a unique perspective from which to see and organize those efforts. Once the blueprints are drawn, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and go to work. Before you know it, that bridge will be carrying every member of the community to a strong sense of achievement, involvement, and community. Time to sharpen those pencils and go to work! Steve Frey is a former teacher, principal, and district administrator who now supports and consults in the areas of curriculum development, instructional design, and school administration.

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Social and Emotional Learning

r e h c a e T a e B o t w Ho e f i L a e v a and H By Dave Stuart, Jr.


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Having a life and being a teacher isn’t optional. For most of us it’s the only way that we can stay in the profession and perform at our best. Unfortunately, with teacher attrition rates growing nationwide, survival mode is overtaking our ability to think clearly about what it is that we do and how we ought best to do it. Below are some things that we need to keep in mind:

Promote, tee Not Guaran we teach, our

ject No matter what grade or sub rm flourishing of g-te lon the te work is to promo ortant. We cannot kids. That verb, promote, is imp deign that our ntly guarantee, force, or omnipote lives. We are at gre students will go on to lead uld get better sho we r yea h teachers, not saviors. Eac units, and classrooms and better at creating lessons, rishing of kids. that promote the long-term flou

Getting Our Identity Straight

When we use what Warren Buffet calls the “external scorecard” — getting our sense of self from how well the kids perform, our administrative evaluations go, the standardized test results look, etc. — we are going to tend toward overwork and emotional inconstancy. Just as a doctor ought to be emotionally constant in the face of difficult, complex, and grave decisions, so too must we as teachers. But we won’t be, and we can’t be, if our identity is rooted in the sandy soil of how things in the classroom are going.

Quit at Quitting Time

I can imagine future history students smirking at our society’s wide acceptance of “multi-tasking” the same way that my history students smirk at the widely acce pted medical practice of bloodletting in the Middle Ages. Teachers, if you are “relaxing” at night with a loved one and a stack of papers on your lap, you are not relaxing — you’re working ! Only when we set rules for ourselves — for exam ple, I stop working at five p.m. every day, and I don’t take work home — can we begin to asce rtain which of our tasks are necessary, which dese rve our best efforts and which can simply be aba ndoned. The modern teacher is wor ried about everything from creating a pret ty classroom to managing mental health crises to planning effective lessons. Some of these dese rve our finite time, and others don’t. Unlike with money, there are no credit cards for time. We have what we have, and there’s no more to spen d. In short, the first step to having lives as teachers is to thinking clearly and rigorously about the things that seem to prec lude us from living full, well-rounded lives whi le also being the best teachers we can be.

Dave Stuart, Jr. is a high school teacher in Cedar Springs, Michigan. In May 2012, while working on his Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction at the American College of Education (ACE), Stuart started a blog called “Teaching the Core” (now He hoped to use the blog to educate himself on the Common Core literacy standards, to serve as his ACE capstone project, and perhaps to encourage a few fellow educators. The blog exceeded those goals, and has gained over 35,000 monthly readers who engage in discussions ranging from Common Core literacy to the common sense approaches to better, saner teaching.

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Spring/Summer 2018

SouthEast Education Network

SouthEast Education Network

Spring/Summer 2018



NC ZOO Creates New Educational Programs for Schools


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SouthEast Education Network

When is the last time you visited the North Carolina Zoo? Whether it is with your family and friends or as part of a school field trip, the Zoo has a lot to offer. As the official zoo of the state of North Carolina, we have animals ranging from the pine barrens tree frog (the state frog of N.C.) to elephants and polar bears. The combination of incredible animals and large natural areas gives guests the opportunity to connect with wildlife, nature and the environment in ways many other zoos cannot offer. If you are not familiar with the North Carolina Zoo, our focus is to protect wildlife and wild places and inspire people to join us in conserving the natural world. The Zoo believes nature’s diversity is critical for our collective future. And we believe that all people should have the chance to personally connect with wildlife. The Zoo consists of 2,200 acres located just south of Asheboro in Randolph County—in the heart of North Carolina. Approximately 500 of these acres have been developed into the world’s largest natural habitat Zoo, where we create life-changing, fun, family-friendly experiences. Our dedicated team of experts–biologists, animal care specialists and veterinarians–provide exceptional, compassionate care for our more than 1,600 animals. As you can imagine, education is central to the mission of the Zoo, specifically STEM (Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering) and environmental education. We provide hundreds of educational exhibits and programs that we hope inspire a lasting curiosity about animals and a passion for protecting wildlife. In our exhibits and programs, we represent a wide variety of animals and habitats from around the world, along with the environmental issues that many of them face. This offers an unparalleled opportunity to provide exciting and compelling learning experiences that increase understanding of wildlife, sustainability and conservation, while also supporting requirements of North Carolina’s Standard Course of Study. The Zoo offers a variety of opportunities for school and homeschools. Starting next fall, we will have even more experiences available for these groups, thanks to a grant that the North Carolina Zoological Society received from Wells Fargo. Below are a few of the things we offer schools (including state registered homeschools): Free Visitation for North Carolina Schools Did you know that North Carolina teachers can bring their students to the zoo for free from early September

to early June? Out-of-state schools receive a discount on admission. All schools need to register their group 15 days in advance of their visit at our website (www. So bring your class for a visit! School Programs – Edventures at the Zoo While on a field trip to the Zoo why not participate in one of our Edventure programs. These 30 to 45-minute programs provide an in-depth look at some of the wildlife that calls our Zoo home and what makes these animals special. We offer five different programs – Kitera Explorations: A Wild Look at Chimpanzees, Trekking through a Tropical Forest, Watani Wonders: All About Elephants and Rhinos, and Our Rocky Coast. Each program is $60 and is designed for up to 30 students. We also offer Zoo-to-you Edventures, where we bring a program to your school. Please check the website to learn more about the program. Kidzone This is our nature play space, which is designed to help children 2 to 10 years old to explore nature in their own way. School groups are invited to spend time in Kidzone, but due to space limitations, we do limit the number of groups in the space at one time. We also recommend setting aside at least 30 minutes for a visit to Kidzone so your students can immerse themselves into the experience. Animal Ambassador Encounters Come and meet one of our feathery, furry, or scalely animal ambassadors. From April to October, we offer animal encounters Wednesday through Sunday in Kidzone, weather dependent. Please check the sign out front of Kidzone for daily times. Best of all, you don’t have to be a kid to participate! (New) Checkout a Free Inquiry Pack for K-5th Grade Teachers (available fall 2018) In an effort to enhance the learning experience of the thousands of students who visit us each year on field trips, we will be offering “inquiry packs” starting in fall 2018. These backpacks will include all the supplies and materials you need to complete two to three activities with your class during a visit to the Zoo. The activities are designed to meet the North Carolina Essential Standards for grades K-5. For example, the third-grade activities will focus specifically on plants. Students will compare plants from the desert, swamp, or rainforest (our aviary) with our native plants. They will be asked to identify the parts of the plants and investigate the

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adaptations to each of these environments through hands-on activities. These backpacks will be available for checkout on a first-come, first-served basis. (New) Free Distance Learning Events for Middle School and High School (starting fall 2018) We know not every class can make it to the Zoo, so in an effort to offer more opportunities to schools across North Carolina and beyond we are enhancing our distance-learning programs. We will be producing a series of interactive social media events that will be accompanied by hands-on activities that teachers can do in the classroom or schoolyard titled, Living with Nature. Living with Nature will use a casestudy approach to present environmental and wildlife issues to students using several of our conservation initiatives. We will produce four live one-hour events 96

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each year. Recordings will be available online if your class cannot tune in for the live event. Each event will focus on a different environmental topic that ties back to several of the case studies. In the 2018-19 academic year, our scientists and educators will present four events focused on: • Sustainable Practices • North Carolina Wildlife Conservation • International wildlife conservation • Animal behavior and biology In the Works … Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but we have even more exciting plans around the corner. Coming soon, the Zoo will be adding a variety of new experiences, including virtual reality, that you can choose to participate in on your next trip to see us.

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Maybe you’ll choose to go to the wilds of Africa, allowing you to see some of the wildlife we have in their natural habitats. Or maybe you’ll immerse yourself into a story as a park ranger trying to stop a poacher in Zambia. Never played an augmented reality game before? Imagine playing a video game on the landscape. Want your character to move to a location? Then you must move to that location. This augmented reality game will lead you around our Africa exhibit in an exciting adventure you can play on your Apple or Android devices. We hope that these amazing and diverse opportunities have enticed you to consider the North Carolina Zoo for your next field trip. If you want to learn more about any of these experiences and others that we offer, please visit our website ( We look forward to seeing you soon!


Compassion Resilience Service Experience September 11th through the remarkable personal stories of survival, loss and healing from those who were there, and discover the tremendous spirit of resilience and service that arose after the attacks. Hear first-person perspectives from firefighters, police officers, survivors and family members as they give their own accounts of these life-changing events. Witness never before seen video and recovered artifacts that engage children to remember and take action to shape the future. The exhibits are geared for students to appreciate the historical significance and civic response to the events of 9/11. Museum artifacts, testimonies from survivors, rescue and recovery workers and family members share the powerful response of a nation changed. Discover the tremendous spirit of resilience and service that arose after the attacks. Create your own legacy tribute with a pledge of community service to make the world a better place. The 9/11 Tribute Museum is praised by teachers for sharing these stories and engaging students. Located steps from the 9/11 Memorial, the 9/11 Tribute Museum exhibitions are self-guided and take approximately 45 minutes. Museum Exhibits include: • Lower Manhattan: Where the World Meets: Surrounded on three sides by water, the tip of Manhattan has drawn people from around the world for more than 400 years. This small strip of land has long been at the center of the global trade in goods, services, and ideas, 98

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affecting individual lives and influencing the course of national and global events. • S eptember 11, 2001 Gallery: Video footage from the morning of September 11, 2001 shows the tragedy of the terrorist attacks and events that changed the world. Students who have no first-hand memory of the day learn about the events that shocked a nation and challenged the world. •R  esponse and Recovery Gallery: From the moment the attacks began, people’s most human desire to help proved stronger than their fears and they rushed toward the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, to offer help. •R  emembrance Room: More than 2000 images chosen by family members create a living memorial for visitors to see and feel the vibrancy of the lives of the victims as well as the enormity of the loss.

• Rebuilding and Remembering Gallery: As months turned into years, the communities and individuals affected by the September 11th attacks experienced many different personal journeys of challenge and healing. Strengthened by the resilience they had found in themselves and each other, they began reenvisioning their lives and rebuilding their communities. • Service to the World: Inspired by the generosity and kindness they received from all over the world, members of the 9/11 community have changed their own lives by reaching out to help others, developing foundations and service initiatives. • Seeds of Service Gallery: Being a responsible citizen in our global community means finding ways, both large and small, to make that community a better place. Visitors are invited to plant a seed of service by contributing their skills to a good cause. For additional information, please visit our website at 911TributeMuseum. org or contact Kristine Pottinger at








NEED RESOURCES TO TACKLE JUNK NEWS? Our “Fighting Fake News: How to Outsmart Trolls and Troublemakers” class is now available online as well as on-site at the Newseum. Help students navigate today’s flurry of misinformation and sort6 fact fiction. W A Y from S TO E VALUATE INFORMATION

E S C A P E For more information, visit






Trace who has touched the story. • Authors • Publishers • Funders • Aggregators • Social media users

whole story and weigh other forces surrounding it. • Current events • Cultural trends • Political goals • Financial pressures

Look for information you can verify. • Names • Numbers • Places • Documents



Consider if this is the WASHINGTON, D.C. 555 PENNSYLVANIA AVE., N.W.,

Look for attempts to appeal to specific groups or types of people. • Image choices • Presentation techniques • Language • Content

PURPOSE WHY WAS THIS MADE? Look for clues to the motivation. • The publisher’s mission • Persuasive language or images • Moneymaking tactics • Stated or unstated agendas • Calls to action

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EXECUTION HOW IS THIS INFORMATION PRESENTED? Consider how the way it’s made affects the impact. • Style • Grammar • Tone • Image choices • Placement and layout

Spring/Summer 2018



Take a Trip Off the Beaten Path for a Perfect Stem Experience There’s a historic, unique and offbeat destination perfectly situated between Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Annapolis waiting to be discovered. Whether you want to explore the country’s oldest railroad station, dig into agriculture and learn more about where our food comes from, or need a safe and affordable place to rest between all of the exploring — Howard County, Maryland has something to offer. The B&O Railroad Ellicott City Station Museum, in Howard County, is situated in Old Ellicott City and should be one of your first stops. Old Ellicott City is an 18th century mill town that helped spur the industrial revolution in Maryland.

r e v o c s Di

Visit the B & O Railroad Ellicott City Station Museum - the oldest railroad station in the US

the historic the unique and the offbeat in Howard County, MD Conveniently located between Baltimore & Washington D.C.

Learn about farming and the importance of agriculture at one of Howard County’s great farms

For more information and itinerary ideas at or call 800-288-TRIP (8747) 100

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The museum houses exhibits on local and national railroad history and features yearround programs and living history events for diverse audiences. Step inside a 1927 caboose, explore the Main Depot and see how the station impacted the growth of Ellicott City. Old Ellicott City is also close to the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum. Benjamin Banneker is often considered the first African American man of science. The museum has exhibits and information that appeals to a variety of interests including astronomy, history, cultural activities, hiking, nature and conservation. Howard County is also home to over 300 farms that produce everything from farmer’s market destined produce to commercial beef and dairy. There are several open to the public and allow visitors to get up close and personal with farm animals, learn about sustainable agriculture and have an interactive experience. Mary’s Land Farm is one of those farms

in Howard County. The farm is a one-acre living pizza farm allowing groups to explore the farm’s different “slices” — as they learn all about how this classic and beloved dish is made. Sharp’s at Waterford Farm offer various educational experiences that range from “A Day in the Life of A Farmer” to “Pilgrim History” and the various growing seasons. Clark’s Elioak Farm is part of a family farming operation that has been around for over 200 years. Highlights of a visit to this Howard County farm include the petting zoo and larger than life storybook characters saved from the historic Enchanted Forest amusement park that once operated nearby. Howard County has made Money Magazine’s list of best places to live in the U.S. for the past 10 years and even nabbed the top spot in 2017. Many of the qualities that helped Howard County make the list are the very same reasons it’s such a wonderful place to visit. Howard County is a safe, quiet place to rest your head after a day of exploring. Here you’ll find affordable

hotel rooms with top notch amenities and parking is free. Any trip to the capital region should begin in Howard County, Maryland. For more information go to students or call 800-288-TRIP (8747

heir t l l i F


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In The

French Quarter, Every


has a Story to Tell! New Orleans is a city with a magical feel, and the character and traditions of the historic French Quarter make walking tours a popular and affordable way for visitors to enjoy the city. French Quarter Phantoms is New Orleans’ Premier Walking Tour Company. Offering a variety of unique, entertaining and historically accurate tour options year round makes French Quarter Phantoms the perfect choice for group travelers. (66) French Quarter Phantoms’ Master Storytellers have been described as “the strangest bunch of real historians you’ll ever have the pleasure of spending time with!” What is important to you is important to us: quality content and reliable, educated, FUN guides with a passion for making sure our guests have a great experience. Our tours are highly recommended by members of the New Orleans Concierge Association; our Ghost and Vampire tour was voted New Orleans’ #1 Haunted Tour 2009 – 2017 and honored to be ranked with TripAdvisor as one of the Top Ten Ghost Tours in the World ! ctr.ghosttoursEN (98) French Quarter Phantoms Ghost & Vampire Tour is our signature tour. Haunted 102

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by phantoms and the hovering mysteries of past tragedies, the French Quarter is a place where the spirits often find the coffin too confining. Master Storytellers guide groups through darkened streets for a historically accurate fun-filled tour. We’ll thrill guests with a lot of good laughs and a chill up their spine, BUT nobody jumps out to pinch them! Appropriate for all ages, this is our most popular tour. St. Louis Cemetery #1, eerily beautiful even during the daytime, is the oldest active cemetery in the city. Tour participants will enjoy tales of Voodoo as we visit the final resting place of infamous Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau, the New Orleans Musicians tomb, Nicholas Cage’s tomb (he’s not in there yet!) and learn of our unique traditions, including Jazz Funerals and Second Line Parades. This above- ground cemetery also provides excellent photo opportunities! Tour Tremé takes you into the heart and soul of a real New Orleans neighborhood. Rich in African-American history and Mardi Gras Indian traditions, many great Jazz musicians have called Tremé home: we share with you the reasons for their inspiration. Join us inside the most famous laundromat in Rock and Roll history, the old J&M recording

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studio, and visit several film locations from HBO’s Tremé series. Tour Tremé is living, breathing, joyful history. The True Crime tour is an afternoon trip into stories from the dark underbelly of our city: the unsolved case of the Axe Man serial killer, the Mafia assassination of Police Chief Hennessy, gruesome kidnappings, and MORE! True Crime is historical drama at its finest. Our Garden District tour is like walking through a fairy tale. Beautiful southern mansions, celebrity homes such as Sandra Bullock, John Goodman, Archie Manning and Anne Rice are just some of the homes you will see on this tour. Hear the fascinating history of the “American Sector” . This tour includes a walk into Lafayette Cemetery featured in the Anne Rice books and the Twilight television series. Owner Cindi Richardson works with you to create the perfect event for your group: custom tour times and starting locations are available, as well as group discounts! Whether touring St. Louis Cemetery #1, enjoying tales of Saints & Sinners, taking an inside look at the Faubourg Tremé or relishing a Ghost and Vampire Tour – Every BODY has a story to tell!



Bring your crowd to their feet with a trip to the College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience this spring! Our 45-yard indoor playing field and state-of-theart interactive exhibits make the Hall of Fame the perfect place to engage your students and experience amazing moments. Guests’ kickoff their visit by registering their personalized All-Access Pass, selecting their favorite school and lighting that school’s helmet. We have over 770 colleges and universities represented on our 3-story Helmet Wall presented by Southwest Airlines. From there, visitors can test their football skills at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Skill Zone. Kick a field goal through the uprights of our regulation goal post, run an agility drill, catch a diving pass in the end zone and take the quarterback challenge all on our indoor 104

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playing field. The fun doesn’t stop when you leave the field. In fact, it is just getting started! The second floor is packed with 5 unique galleries featuring more than 40 multimedia, experiential and historical exhibits. From a 52-foot interactive media wall and Fight Song Karaoke to calling a legendary play and picking a favorite team to win the game at the ESPN College GameDay Desk, our award-winning RFID-enabled All-Access Pass is the key to unlocking all the fun AND taking all the experiences home to

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download and share those special memories! Then, take a trip to the third floor where the greatest players and coaches are immortalized in the Hall of Fame. The Hall captures the stories of over 1,100 legendary college football players and coaches who broke records and won our hearts, cementing their legacies in a one-of-a-kind experience. The Hall of Fame features permanent, etched-glass “blades” that represent each class inducted into the

FOOTBALL Continued on Page 104

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D W O r C eT tO iTs


giVE yOUr TeaM THe HoMe FieLD ADVaNTAgE The College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience is 95,000 square feet of awesome and the perfect place to educate and motivate your students. They will participate in fun and interactive football-themed activities and have so much fun they won’t even realize they are learning. Combine the live Hall experience with our FREE T.E.A.M.S.TM Curriculum for a comprehensive lesson plan focused on Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics and Science.

BOOk yOUr grOUP tODay Telephone: 404.880.4841

fOLLOw Us @cfbhall


Continued from page 102 Hall since 1951. Guests are also treated to a personalized in-depth experience through augmented reality displays that share stats, photos and video highlights from their favorite players and schools. Combine the entire live Hall experience with our FREE STEAM curriculum – a Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics and Science program (T.E.A.M.S.TM) using the topic of sport along with the interactive experiences of the Hall. Your students will have so much fun they won’t even know they’re learning! Conveniently located in downtown Atlanta near Centennial Olympic Park and directly connected to the Georgia World Congress Center and the Omni Hotel at CNN Center, the Hall is a five-minute walk to other amazing attractions like the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, CNN Center, Imagine It! Children’s Museum, Skyview and The National Center for Civil and Human Rights. For more information, contact Group Sales at or 404-880-4841.

You’ll love the way we do STEM You bring the students. We bring the hands-on learning experience.

Learn more at 106

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Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum Preserves Parks’ Lasting Legacy On Dec. 1, 1955, the act of one courageous woman sparked a movement that brought change not only to the city of Montgomery, Alabama but throughout the United States. Rosa Parks, often referred to as the mother of the Civil Rights Movement, refused to relinquish her seat on a Montgomery city bus to a white male. Her subsequent arrest at the intersection of Montgomery and Lee streets in downtown Montgomery led to the 382day boycott of Montgomery buses by African Americans. Today, Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum stands on the spot of Mrs. Parks’ arrest. Located on the University’s Montgomery Campus, the Museum opened on Dec. 1, 2000, with the mission of preserving and interpreting the story and lasting legacy of Mrs. Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott for future generations. Constructed on the site of the former Empire Theater, the Museum has become a major landmark in the revitalization of downtown Montgomery and features a permanent exhibit chronicling Rosa Parks’ arrest and the subsequent bus 108

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boycott, a children’s wing called the “Cleveland Avenue Time Machine,” an exhibit hall, archives, an auditorium, a gift shop and a conference room. Visitors enter the museum through the Charles Cahn Baum and Family Atrium, dedicated April 22, 2017, which is home to an information desk, a bust and display of various illustrations of Mrs. Parks, and a life-size bronze sculpture of Mrs. Parks seated on a bus bench created for the Museum by renowned sculptor Erik Blome of Chicago, Ill. The permanent, interpretive exhibit features six distinct areas that tell the story of Rosa Parks’ arrest and the accomplishments of the men and women involved in the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott. The tour includes a cinematic reenactment of Mrs. Park’s famous arrest and personal testimonials from many individuals who participated in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Artifacts include a restored 1955 station wagon, a replica of the public bus on which Mrs. Parks was sitting on the day of her arrest and original historic documents of that era. In addition, visitors can view Known as the “Cleveland Avenue Time Machine,” the children’s wing features a 20-minute virtual trip through time on a replica of the Cleveland Avenue bus where Mrs. Parks was arrested. Using special lighting, seven-projector video, audio and fog effects, the “Time Machine” takes visitors back in time, covering historical events through the Jim Crow Era up to the modern day Civil Rights movement. Visitors observe scenes of segregation and social and legal challenges made by individuals like Harriet Tubman, Dred Scott and Homer Plessy, as well as learn about the legal hurdles of discrimination and segregation that helped reshape the thinking of the 20th century. The museum is located at 252 Montgomery Street in downtown Montgomery, and its hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is $5.50 for children under 12 and $7.50 for visitors

12 and up. Tours of both the Museum and the Children’s wing are $14 for adults and $10 for children. For information, contact the M-2-8t/r .

Learn about the woman who became a movement. More than sixty years ago, Rosa Parks’ simple act of bravery became an important symbol of the Civil Rights Movement. Today, you can step back in time and experience the sights and sounds that forever changed our country. Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum is a state-of-theart, interactive facility that honors one of America’s most beloved women. Visit today and learn all about this freedom warrior firsthand.

For ticket information and hours, visit

© 2018 Troy University

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This upcoming year, our entire focus will be on America’s learners and the resources they will need for success in the global world of tomorrow.

Here’s What’s Next: Volume 20 Issue 2 Fall/Winter 2018/19 Preparing for the New School Year Keeping our Schools Safe Professional Development Fall & Holiday Trippin’ Educator’s Life

Read us online at Follow us on Facebook Call us at 704-568-7804 110

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ASCA Annual Conference 2018 – American School Counselors Association: Los Angeles, CA 7/14/2018- 7/17/2018 Conference For The Advancement Of Mathematics Teaching (CAMT 2018) Houston, TX 07/16/2018 -07/18/2018 ASHA Connect 2018 – American Speech-Language –Hearing Association Baltimore, MD 7/20/2018-7/22/2018


2018 ILA Annual Conference – International Literacy Association Austin, TX 7/20/2018-7/23/2018

Conference Planner SLA 2018 Annual Conference Special Libraries Association Baltimore, MD 06/09/2018 -06/13/2018

ILA 2018 Annual Conference International Literacy Association (formerly the International Reading Association) Austin, TX 07/21/2018 -07/23/2018

NASRO Safe School Conference 2018 – National Association of School Resource Officers: Reno, NV 6/24/2018-6/29/2018

SkillsUSA NationalLeadership & SkillsConference and TECHSPO 2018 Louisville, KY 06/25/2018 -06/29/2018

2018 NEA Annual Meeting and Expo Minneapolis, MN 6/30/2018 -7/5/2018

2018 Annual National PTA Convention & Expo - Parent Teacher Association New Orleans, LA 6/21/2018 -06/24/2018

2018 Annual NAE SP Conference - National Association Of Elementary School Principals Orlando, FL 07/09/2018 -07/11/2018

ISTE 2018 - International Society for Technology in Education Chicago, IL 06/24/20178 -06/27/2018

SNA Annual National Conference (ANC 2018) School Nutrition Association Las Vegas, NV 07/08/2018 -07/11/2018

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition - American Society For Engineering Education Salt Lake City, UT 06/24/2018 -06/27/2018

7th Annual NSTA STEM Forum & Expo - 2018 National Science Teachers Association Philadelphia, PA 07/11/2018 -07/13/2018

MMA MathFest 2018 - Mathematical Association of America Denver, CO 08/01/2018 -08/04/2018 American Psychological Association: San Francisco, CA 8/9/2018-8/12/2018 SYTA Annual Conference 2018 – Student Youth & Travel Association: Baltimore, MD 8/24/2018-8/28/2018 AMLE 2018 – Annual Conference for Middle Level Education: Orlando, FL 10/25/2018 - 10/27/2018 ASCD – Conference on Educational Leadership Kissimmee, FL FL 10/27-10/29 2018 ASCD Conference on Educational Leadership: Nashville, TN 11/2/2018-11/4/2018

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Resources 27

321 Insight Adventure Science Center


International Literacy Association




Kennesaw State University


North Carolina Zoo


North Greenville University


Piedmont Door Solutions




School Outfitters



Learning Forward


California University of Pennsylvania 37

Learning Sciences


Andrews University/Learner’s Edge Clarksville, TN


Lenoir- Rhyne University

College Football Hall of Fame


Madame Tussaud’s Nashville

23 108


DreamBox Learning


Marygrove College


Solution Tree

Epilog Laser


Measurement Incorporated


STEM Supplies





The Citadel





The Dairy Alliance



Troy University/Rosa Parks Library

Extron Electronics Follett School Solutions




Moving Minds

French Quarter Phantoms


Myrtle Beach Convention Center


Upper Iowa


NEC Displays


Visit Norfolk



Georgia College Howard County, MD Tourism


Spring/Summer 2018



SouthEast Education Network


In Norfolk, hands-on learning means more than hands-on fun. That’s why so many student groups visit Norfolk to explore the Chesapeake Bay and delve into wetlands preservation, oyster restoration, maritime sciences, animal wellness and beyond. Contact Melissa Hopper, Associate Director of Tour & Travel, to learn more. Discover all the details at


Atlanta, Georgia

June 27–29

Georgia World Congress Center

Featured experts* Keynote speakers

Jack Baldermann

Rebecca DuFour

Troy Gobble

Diane Kerr

Jasmine Kullar

Brig Leane

Anthony Muhammad

Regina Stephens Owens

Lisa M. Reddel

Leading learning for all Join us for a career-changing learning experience

Organize staff into high-performing learning teams

Create and lead a safe school learning culture with effective systems, procedures, and high expectations

Share leadership with a guiding coalition, collaborative teams, and community partners

Build strong relationships with students, staff, parents, and the community

presented by award-winning PLC at Work™ principals. As an active participant, you’ll connect with a community of leaders, build a toolkit of strategies for creating a positive culture, and get one-to-one help from seasoned experts who have faced challenges like the ones you are facing now.

The content for this institute is designed for: principals, aspiring principals, assistant principals, building-level leadership.

REGISTER TODAY—Seats are filling quickly | 855.880.4624

Solution Tree *Presenters subject to change

SEEN Spring 2018  

Southeast Education Network Spring 2018 Issue

SEEN Spring 2018  

Southeast Education Network Spring 2018 Issue