Summer 2021 IMPACT Journal from NYSASCD

Page 1


Summer 2021

Volume 46 No. 1

On Instructional Improvement

Building Resilience



Mission Statement

NYSASCD aims to assist educators in the development and delivery of quality instructional programs and supervisory practices to maximize success for all learners.


Executive Board 2021-2022 President Dr. Mary Loesing STEM Chairperson, Connetquot CSD

Board Members

President-Elect Dr. Mark Secaur Superintendent, Smithtown CSD

Mr. Brian Kesel Assistant Superintendent, West Genesee CSD

Immediate Past-President Dr. Ted Fulton Asst. Superintendent, Bayport-Blue Point CSD Vice President for Communications and Affiliate Relations Ms. Amanda Zullo Massena CSD

Mrs. Stefanie Olbrys Teacher, Windsor CSD

Dr. Matthew Younghans Principal, Clarkstown CSD Dr. Timothy Eagen Superintendent, Kings Park CSD Marcia Ranieri Admin. for World Language and ENL, Guilderland Central School District

Treasurer Dr. Deborah Hoeft Director of Special Eduation and Student Services Young Women’s College Prep

Gregory Borman NYC Department of Education

Secretary Dr. Martha Group Vernon-Verona -Sherrill CSD

Cindy Connors Orchard Park CSD

Ex-officio NYS Education Department Erik Sweet Curriculum & Instruction

LaQuita Outlaw Bay Shore UFSD

Lisa B. Brosnick North Collins CSD/SUNY Buffalo

Dominick A. Fantacone SUNY (Master Teacher Program)

Executive Director Mr. Eric Larison Solvay UFSD (retired)


impact Published by: NYSASCD PO Box 282 Camillus, NY 13031 (518) 225-5020 Editor - IMPACT LaQuita Outlaw, Ed.D. Design & Digital Publication: CatStone Press (434) 960-0036

On Instructional Improvement Summer 2021 Volume 46 No. 1

Foreward...........................................................................5 LaQuita Outlaw, Ed.D. Introduction.....................................................................7 LaQuita Outlaw, Ed.D. Can We Leverage Covid as Schooling’s Reckoning?........8 Pete Hall Building Resilience Through Shared Voices..................15 Andrea Honigsfeld, Maria G. Dove, Audrey Cohan, Carrie McDermott Goldman, Molloy College Professional Learning that Lasts....................................23 Jeanette Adams-Price, Giselle O. Martin-Kniep Looking Forward...................................................... 32 Amanda Zullo

Publication Statement Impact on Instructional Improvement is the official journal of NYSASCD. Membership in NYSASCD includes a subscription to Impact and the newsletter, NYSASCD Developments. The views expressed or implied in the articles in this publication are not necessarily official positions of NYSASCD or the editor. 3 visit OUR WEBSITE!

As registered members of the New York State ASCD website, we want to encourage you to please visit!

Also if you aren’t already a member please consider joining New York ASCD or suggesting that a colleague join for only $55.00 annually. As a member of NYASCD you will receive our on-line newsletter, NYSASCD DEVELOPMENTS, as well as our on-line journal, Impact and discounts for all of our professional development activities. Complete information about NYSASCD may be found on our website. This website gives you information about our organization, professional development activities, information about affiliates across the state, and links to other professional organizations and resources.

join NOW 4

Introduction To say that we’ve had a challenging year would be an understatement. There is not one person who did not feel the impact of the pandemic on a personal or professional level. Whether you were confined to your home or limited in the number of interactions you had with others, life as we know it was not the same. Dr. LaQuita Outlaw has worked in school leadership for over a decade. Dr. Outlaw serves as a peer editor for Corwin Press and assists several local organizations with organizing professional development opportunities for educators across Long Island.

Fast forward to the year ahead and although there is still a lot of uncertainty around what will happen, we are able to reflect on the previous year with hope for the future. We’ve weathered the most difficult part of the challenge, and now it is time to examine past practices to see what we would keep, what we would reconsider, and what we would discard. The difficulties allowed everyone a chance to reflect on what was important to them and how to take that forward. Michelle

Ackers, regarded as one of the most famous female soccer players of all time, put it best when she expressed, “I think the challenge is to take difficult and painful times and turn them into something beneficial, something that makes you grow.” Over the next few months, jot down what you struggled with this past year. Next to that, list what you learned from it and how it helped you grow. From there, note what you’ll do with that growth in the future. We’ve been given a unique opportunity in the year ahead to push our thinking in ways that we never dreamed of; it’s a chance to make things better than they had ever been before! Don’t let that opportunity slip by. Make the most of what was, and cherish what you can now let be. 5



The ASCD PASS program offers ASCD affiliates an opportunity to earn additional revenue. Through PASS, NYASCD can earn income

from new and returning business generated for ASCD programs, products, and services. Affiliates are assigned a unique source code (ours is NYAFF), and each person that uses the affiliate codes when making an eligible purchase will be contributing to our affiliate’s financial health, further enabling us to accomplish important work.

Use NYAFF when Purchasing!



NYSASCD is Pleased to Announce our Newest Corporate Partnerships!

Click each logo to learn more.


Foreword You will enjoy this summer edition of the Impact Journal! With every page turned, you will take away a tip or idea that will help you as you make instructional plans for the year. From classroom-level to district-wide considerations, there’s something here for everyone. When thinking about lessons learned, you’ll find a goldmine Dr. LaQuita Outlaw has worked in school leadership for over a decade. Dr. Outlaw serves as a peer editor for Corwin Press and assists several local organizations with organizing professional development opportunities for educators across Long Island.

of ideas in Pete Hall’s article, “Can We Reckon COVID as Schooling’s Reckoning?” Hear from practitioners who share strategies to make the best of the difficulties that were brought about by this challenging year. From there, Andrea Honingsfeld and her co-authors talk about the support that teachers provided to ESL students, as these learners navigated through learning a new language and finding their way.

It’s clear how important the supports offered to students are in “Building Resilience Through Shared Voices.” You’ll finish the article with a plan about developing your program practices. Gisele Martin-Kniep touches upon a professional development approach that resulted in a lasting impact in the article “Professional Development that Lasts.” Participants talk about their experiences, and readers are provided with a list of questions that will help them think about their current practices. We end with a building-level principal, Amanda Zullilo, who worked closely with her staff to meet their needs as they all navigated through the unknown. In “Looking Forward!,” readers get a close look at the big-picture practices that keep staff working together toward a common goal. When you are met with a challenge, it is never easy to get to the other side—but it is possible. With the information shared in each of these articles, you will find comfort in knowing that you are not alone, along with some thoughts on how to move forward. It is possible! 7

Can We Leverage Covid as Schooling’s Reckoning? Pete Hall

Educators bristle at politicians’ and media’s current hyperfocus on “learning loss” and the implication that this cadre of “Covid kids” is irreparably damaged. While the global pandemic’s effect is long-lasting and far-reaching in a lot of ways Pete Hall is a capacity-builder. A former teacher and school principal, Pete now serves in the professional-development world as the Executive Director of EducationHall, LLC (www. and President of Strive Success Solutions (www. He has authored 11 books and lives in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. You can reach him via email at PeteHall@EducationHall. com or follow him on Twitter at @EducationHall.

(to wit: half a million dead in a highly politicized environment causing economic and lifestyle shutdowns on the backdrop of significant racial tensions and equity issues), we know better than to harp on what’s “lost” when we’ve got a veritable bounty of information on our Zoom-exhausted laptops showing us a much brighter, much more optimistic view. For decades—generations, even—we’ve lamented the shortcomings of the American education system (see A Nation at Risk, No Child Left Behind, and others for the scathing imperatives), so this perspective is not new. And now, on the eve of school reopenings as we prepare to welcome students back to the buildings, if we’re to listen to the cacophony of pontificating from those outside of education, we’d curse the virus and our inconsistent reactions to it, and we’d believe that there’s a monumental lack of learning because kids haven’t been able to attend the very schools that don’t do the job they’re purported to do in the first place. Hmm. 8

community. As a society, don’t we value the

Covid shutdowns and our collective quick-pivot to virtual/hybrid/distance

inherent wonder of human beings? Don’t we

learning have been a disruption. Disruptive

want responsible, civic-oriented neighbors?

forces tend to bring us back to our

Are we, as parents, more interested in raising

“mision”—a word I’ve coined that describes

healthy, happy, virtuous children than widgets

that enlightened intersection of our mission

with high test scores? I’d like to think so.

(why we do what we do) and our vision (the

In order to accomplish this lofty and

mental picture of what it looks like when we’re

reasonable goal, our schooling system needs a

accomplishing our goals). Disruptions also

fundamental disruption. A hard reset. With it,

embolden and activate the innovative, creative

let’s embolden and activate those innovative,

thinkers among us, enabling us to learn, to

creative thinkers—most of them educators,

grow, to change, to adapt, and to reimagine

coincidentally. If we take advantage of this

whatever’s been disrupted.

moment, in what could be a once-in-a-lifetime

So what’s been disrupted? Schooling. Not

opportunity, we can maximize learning and

learning, not education. Schooling.

education…by rethinking schooling.

Is a disruption to schooling unwelcome?

Now, it’s likely that we’ll fall back on our

Absolutely not. Unless the intended purpose

same-old, same-old practices in the kneejerk

of schooling is to exacerbate our society’s

reaction to get back to “normal” as quickly

inequitable structures by mass producing

as possible, in some ill-advised attempt to

drone-like workers in a factory model

believe the worst is behind us and we can

that ranks children and sorts them into

return to the way things were. It’ll make

caste-like tiers based on race, income, and

us feel better, slipping back into the ruts of

other factors, that is. If that’s our goal, our

our pre-pandemic warehouse of schooling

school systems have been remarkably—and

practices and routines. However, that mirage


is fleeting, and it’ll send us back into the jagged embrace of the “learning loss” rhetoric.

However, I’d like to believe our mision is more enlightened. Perhaps if we reframe our

Fortunately, over the course of the past

education system with a very clear, universally

year-plus, I’ve had the great fortune to meet

embraced goal it would help. Let’s try this:

(over Zoom, mostly, on an exhausted laptop)

To raise, educate, and prepare young people

and talk with thousands of educators. Some of

to be valuable, contributing members of an

the most innovative and creative have forged

ever-better, equitable, and peaceful global

ahead with education and learning, even 9

One of the key environmental shifts we can make is to ramp up our flexibility. with (and often because of) the disruption of

regulation tools—a timer, stress ball, piece

schooling. I’m hopeful that some of their ideas

of felt, and other tangible items. I sent them

will help us reimagine how we move forward

home with students when the school year

from this tipping point. Dare I suggest that

started so they’ve got a kit at home, too. The

we may have possibly found ways to become

students can self-select when they need to

better educators and provide a more impactful

utilize these tools in order to help them get

learning experience due to the pandemic?

back on track.”

Here’s a short list that might offer some

Helping students regulate their emotions

guidance as universally-applied best practices:

and activate the “learning” part of their brains

At the classroom level:

seems like, well, a no-brainer. Sometimes students need their teacher to help. “I make

If we truly believe in supporting the

sure that I welcome every student at the door

growth and learning of all our students, seeing

every day,” continues Analisa. “I connect with

them as young people in our community,

them throughout the class, and it’s not always

then we must prioritize the social-emotional

about academics. My students are children,

wellbeing of each and every child. Our

and they often need that human interaction.”

families have experienced a whole array of trauma over the past year and a half, and first

“Relationships are the cornerstone of

and foremost, students need to feel safe when

learning,” agrees teacher Adrian Bolado of

they come to school.

Point Isabel, Texas. “As teachers, we must show an abundance of empathy for our

“There are many ways to create that sense

colleagues, parents, staff, and especially our

of security,” says first-grade teacher Analisa

students.” We needn’t know exactly what’s

McCann of Spokane Valley, Washington.

stressing our students or what trauma they’re

“In addition to normalizing discussions of emotions in my classroom, I’ve built in some

experiencing to support them through tough

options for students to self-regulate when

times, either. If students are struggling, we

they’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or

don’t need to know why they’re struggling, we

upset. I have a break spot in my classroom

simply need to attune—or understand their

that students can access, and we’ve also

emotions and honor that reality—in order to

compiled individual break boxes that include

create a safe environment for them to thrive. 10

“Rather than dive right into rigorous

One of the key environmental shifts we can make is to ramp up our flexibility.

academic work, we start with a little recess,”

How do we do this? Offering student

Sara says. “Combining a bit of physical

choice in assignments, arranging fluidity

activity with some light socializing and a dose of vitamin D has created all sorts of positive

in deadlines, and utilizing a variety of

“Combining a bit of physical activity with some light socializing and a dose of vitamin D has created all sorts of positive results. In fact, it’s been magical!” assessment techniques to give our students

results. In fact, it’s been magical!” After

ample opportunity to grow, develop, and

some time in the fresh air, students enter the

demonstrate their learning. “Flexibility with

building and engage in a Morning Meeting—a

pretty much anything dealing with education

time for exchanging observations, thoughts, feelings, and stories—before digging into

is essential right now,” says Adrian. “Rigid,

academic work.

all-or-nothing, inside-the-box structures will alienate a huge portion of our students.

And what about the call for rigorous

Bringing a flexible, personalized approach

bell-to-bell instruction, you ask? “We value

can only benefit them now and for the

our instructional minutes,” Sara responds. “In

foreseeable future.”

fact, we value them so much that we’re willing to allocate time to help our students prepare

At the building level:

for learning, to do the things brain science has taught us about how students learn, before

Teaching social-emotional skills and self-

forcing them into it.” Intuitively, we believe

regulation approaches are essential, no matter

the best path to learning includes non-stop

what structures, policies, curriculum, or

teaching and learning activities. As Sara’s

schedules our schooling takes. Sara Holm, a

school has exposed, learning increases when

teacher in Incline Village, Nevada, works in a

students are ready to learn.

school that has employed what school officials refer to as a “rolling start.” As students arrive

Teachers, also, must be ready to teach,

on campus, even after the opening bell, they

according to school principal Ericka Hursey

gather on the campus grounds for exercise

of Richland, South Carolina. “We’ve begun

and some natural play.

prioritizing authentic self-care,” she says. 11

At the district level:

And for those of you whose experiences with self-care include trips to the spa, taking a

You might think that a standards-

day off, or eating away your stress, that’s not

based focus has taken a back seat during

what she’s referencing. “Authentic self-care

this pandemic. Au contraire! Raising and

means I’m actually taking care of myself on a

nurturing well-rounded, self-regulated,

regular basis,” Ericka shares. “I’m now back to

Gone are the days where we revere the first-to-arrive, lastto-leave crowd. Long hours, it turns out, rarely equate to improved performance and top-notch results. working out at least three days per week and

curious, engaged, and academically charged

eating better. I intentionally leave my work

students who reliably master key academic

computer at school, and I’ve scheduled a ‘get

benchmarks requires more than simply

going’ time so I reduce the number of hours

allocating more time-on-task. As you’ve read

I’m physically present in the building.”

already, it requires us to tap into the human element. Connections. Relationships. And,

What are the results? “By taking care

not surprisingly, a willingness to personalize

of myself, I can take better care of my staff,”

the learning experience.

continues Ericka. “Through my modeling and explicit direction, they can do the same for

This leads us to a couple of strategies

themselves, and it all trickles down to benefit

that districts are utilizing with great success.

our students.” Gone are the days where we

“If we’re going to expect teachers to offer

revere the first-to-arrive, last-to-leave crowd.

personalized learning, we’ve got to do the

Long hours, it turns out, rarely equate to

same with our professional development,”

improved performance and top-notch results.

says Mimi Guzman, a curriculum specialist in Point Isabel, Texas. “We used to lump all our

“We want healthy, stable human beings

PD together and expect every teacher to learn

in our schools,” Ericka says. “It doesn’t help anyone to have over-worked, stressed, frantic

the same things on the same pace as everyone

adults working here. By becoming more

else. With the advent of technology, a series of

strategic with our time, we can achieve a better

staff surveys, and targeted needs assessments,

sense of balance, and we can be more in-the-

we now offer a PD schedule that matches staff

moment with our students and our families.”

with their level of mastery.” 12

and planning puzzle. Because you can’t

No more one-size-fits-all? According to Mimi, “The cookie-cutter approach is gone.

have 20/20 vision in the midst of a once-

The content, the depth, the pace, the method

in-a-lifetime pandemic, it helps to collect

of delivery, the technology, and the coaching

information from as many sources as possible

we offer now takes into account the different

to guide our planning.”

goals teachers have set, the different needs

A final word

teachers have, the different ways they learn, and the different support they’ll need along the

The unfortunate and irresponsible

way. And because PD is such an integral part

promotion of “learning loss” messaging has

of a school district, we must individualize it in

obscured a couple of disarming realities of

order to get the biggest bang for the buck.”

our school systems. First, it’s that teaching is hard, complex, and demanding work, far

All the changes referenced so far—in daily routines, social-emotional check-ins,

outweighing the rigors that most education

self-care, and personalized PD—require

licensing programs would have us believe,

one consistent element: relationships. And

and well more grueling and arduous than you

in order to alter the trajectory of our young

might read while you’re doomscrolling online.

people on a grander scale, Tammy Campbell,

And second, it’s that our schooling practices

a superintendent in Federal Way, Washington,

and policies reflect the inherently inequitable

has fostered relationships throughout the

structures of our society writ large.

community in order to make informed,

Of the thousands of educators I’ve been

strategic decisions. “At the beginning of

honored to work with, learn from, talk to,

the pandemic when we first went to online

and read about over the past 18 months or

instruction, it wasn’t working too well,”

so, I don’t recall a single one who hasn’t felt

she admits. “And we know that because we

overwhelmed by the workload, exhausted

surveyed our scholars and families several

by the requirements, exasperated by the

times throughout the year to get their input.”

structural limitations, and disturbed by the

In addition, open forums, scholar

embedded racial, cultural, and community-

advisory groups, and other structures set

based inequities entrenched in systems across

the tone that stakeholder input isn’t just

the country. Unfortunately, each has also felt

requested, it’s listened to and acted upon.

rather alone in the charge to enact change.

“This is how we know what’s working and

So, while I’ve outlined some steps we

what’s not,” Tammy says. “And this 360 degree

can take at the classroom, schoolhouse,

feedback is a critical piece of our assessment 13

and district level to revamp our schooling

connections, opportunity, and assistance in

practices to benefit all our students, in

order to overhaul centuries of harm. This is

order for us to truly benefit and grow from

work we can do, and we must.

the pandemic’s disruption of our school

Let’s not lament what we lost or get

systems, we cannot force our teachers to

dragged into the doomsayers’ messaging.

fight these battles on their own. Addressing

Let’s learn. Let’s adapt. And let’s eschew the

issues of race and equity need to be part of a larger, community-centered series of

status quo, low expectations, the racially-

conversations and decisions. Districts must

imbalanced structures, and ineffective

work with urgency and purpose to confront

practices for a couple of enduring, equitable,

the inequitable access to resources, materials,

and educationally sound approaches. We

technology, and support. Systems must work

might not get another chance at a hard reset

in concert to build networks of services,

in this lifetime. If not now, when?


on Social Media

Please join us and follow along:


Building Resilience Through Shared Voices Andrea Honigsfeld, Maria G. Dove, Audrey Cohan, Carrie McDermottGoldman, Molloy College

Due to lack of experience, many students are having difficulties navigating the basic functions of school technology as they struggle with logistical tasks like navigating multiple tabs and accessing class video links. Additionally, students who are multi-language learners are contending with the added challenge Dr. Andrea Honigsfeld is Associate Dean and Director of the Doctoral Program (Educational Leadership for Diverse Learning Communities) at Molloy College, Rockville Centre, NY. Before entering the field of teacher education, she was an English as a Foreign Language teacher in Hungary (grades 5-8 and adult), an English as a Second Language teacher in New York City (grades K-3 and adult), and taught Hungarian at New York University. A Fulbright Scholar and sought after national presenter, Andrea is the coauthor or coeditor of 20 books on education and numerous chapters and research articles related to the needs of diverse learners. Andrea is coauthor of the Core Instructional Routines books with Judy Dodge.

of learning in a new language. In this shift to remote learning, I am constantly having new experiences where students show me how to better support them. Nadia K-R, High School English Teacher, NYC DOE, Journal entry #1

Most students have returned to in-person learning, however Juan, who lives with vulnerable family members has chosen not to return. His first language is Spanish, and he often chooses to remain silent for the majority of the period. During our lesson today, students were working in small groups. One group worked with my special education co-teacher to close-read sections of our class novel. The independent group read and completed tasks that did not require additional teacher support beyond the embedded scaffolds. And a group of newcomers worked with the ENL teacher on acquiring key vocabulary that appear in the novel we are reading. Juan was working in my heterogenous online group on comprehension. The novel is written primarily in English but has a smattering of Spanish. Juan used our class 15

calendar to look ahead to what we were reading today. He pulled out all of the phrases in Spanish in advance and used them as anchors to guide his comprehension of the chapter. During the group’s read aloud, Juan demonstrated an incredible confidence that I had not seen him exhibit previously. Though he only correctly answered about half of the questions he attempted, his participation in the small group discussion was indicative of a fully engaged mind. When class was over, I asked Juan privately Maria G. Dove, EdD, is professor in the School of Education and Human Services at Molloy College, Rockville Centre, New York, where she teaches preservice and inservice teachers about the research and best practices for developing effective programs and school policies for English learners. Before entering the field of higher education, she worked for more than 30 years as an English-as-a-second language teacher in public school settings (grades K–12) and in adult English language programs in Nassau County, New York. In 2010, Dove received the Outstanding ESOL Educator Award from New York State Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (NYS TESOL).

what inspired him in our discussion today. He explained that being able to understand some of the text made him more interested in finding out more about the story. He found that the phrases throughout the chapter helped guide him, the same way context clues can guide readers to comprehend a sentence. Juan’s work today was a moment of true learning for me. I never thought about using a comprehension strategy I applied only to one sentence at a time, to the structure of an entire chapter. Moving forward, I plan on having him teach it to others to further increase collaboration and engagement in our class. Nadia K-R, High School English Teacher, NYC DOE, Journal entry #68

We have peeked into a high school English/English as a New Language (ENL) class in New York City through two reflective journal entries of a teacher, Nadia K-R, who recorded her thoughts during the pandemic. What moments do you recall that are outstanding in some way? Moving forward, what needs to be accomplished to best support students as they return to our classrooms? Nadia’s two journal entries and her portrayal of Juan’s experience in her class tell the story of the significant learning that continuously occurred and the resilience both teachers 16

and their students demonstrated throughout the pandemic. Teachers have been a lifeline for students both before and during the COVID-19 crisis and will continue supporting students once it passes. As educators, we need to find the value in and the purpose of our own strengths and others to provide safe spaces for students to remain resilient to succeed academically, as we all figure out a way forward. When we begin by looking at students’ strengths rather than deficiencies or perceived learning losses, we can learn from our students and have a more balanced view of their skills and abilities that we can complement and enhance. Then we all benefit. Why Build Resilience? We each experienced hardships in our home and school communities during the pandemic. Some communities were harder hit due to repeated or lengthy lockdowns, lack of or limited access to high quality healthcare, services, and available resources. To further magnify the disconnect, some students were separated from parents, guardians, family, friends, and others due to hospitalization and quarantine. Many families faced devastating losses—of work, living space, stability, their perceived sense of ‘normal’, independence, and in so many cases, a loved one. Immigrant youth and children of immigrants experienced many of these issues and found the complexity to be more acute and prevalent during the pandemic. Even as circumstances surrounding the pandemic improve, many students remained fearful of the future, wondering what’s next? Key Responses To support the academic achievement of our students, it is imperative that we focus on creating safe learning environments that foster high expectations and promote 17

Dr. Carrie L. McDermottGoldman is an Associate Professor in the Division of Education at Molloy College, Rockville Centre, New York with concentrations in action research, cultural and linguistic diversity, ESOL methodology, theory, and language acquisition. Prior to entering the field of teacher education, she was an educator for over twelve years and previously worked in the business industry. Her areas of expertise include teaching English to students of other languages for grades K-12 and adults; elementary, middle, and secondary education; PBL; Science; Technology; Entrepreneurship; Response to Intervention; Curriculum Writing; New Teacher Mentoring; Learning Styles; and College and Career Readiness.

positive relationships with all members of the school community. Recognizing how crucial it is to sincerely connect with our students and their families and how important it is to build and maintain safe learning environments has never been more necessary than during or immediately following a time of crisis. Therefore, let’s commit to: • Examining our curriculum and instruction closely to Audrey Cohan, EdD, is senior dean for research and scholarship at Molloy College, Rockville Centre, New York. During her 25-year tenure at Molloy College, she has served as professor, chair of the Education Department, and interim dean for the Division of Natural Sciences. Cohan has taught in the undergraduate and graduate programs and is currently teaching critical issues at the doctoral level for the EdD Program. She began her career as a special education teacher in New York City, working with students with special needs in both self-contained and resource-room settings.

understand how Multi-Language (MLs) are represented and included in our classrooms. • Shaping the conditions that empower students to excel by setting high expectations and reinforcing their worth and well-being. • Creating a vibrant, affirming learning environment, be it online, in person or any sort of blended fashion where students are both supported and challenged. • Amplifying how MLs’ unique contributions add to the classroom culture. Creating safe and nurturing learning environments for students is certainly not a new concept. What is new, however, is the depth of trauma and loss that many of our students have faced. Our call to action is to create safe spaces for every child, every day. High School Students Sharing Their Voices

Using post-pandemic and equity lenses, it is important for students to be able to connect to global change. Using post-pandemic and equity lenses, it is important for students to be able to connect to global change. In response to a New York Times open call for college essays, Hartocollis (2021) identified, “This year perhaps more than 18

• How do you think the events of

ever before, the college essay has served as a canvas for high school seniors to reflect on a

2020-21 have impacted your journey

turbulent and, for many, sorrowful year” ( p.

as a student?

A21). She noted that when reading the over

• What did you learn that surprised you?

900 submitted essays there was a mirror to

• What were you able to learn

not only the pandemic but the “rise of a new

independently? Skill? Strategy?

civil rights movement.” The importance

New passion?

of family, love, racial and social justice,

What books, articles, blogs,

and protest were key

websites kept you informed during

themes. Using these

the pandemic?

essays as a springboard

Middle School Students

for classroom discussion

Sharing Their Voices

and relationship building (as well as models for

Middle school is an important

students’ own writing) is

time in a child’s development,

one key strategy for teachers

and social interaction is

to personally connect with

even more critical when

students in upper grades

students begin to form a

as well as nurture safe learning

greater sense of self. Tapping


into students’ understanding about their immediate worlds

Topics for Writing and

is one direct connection to their

Discussion for High School Students

personal histories and what Click to view on Amazon.

they are learning. To start the conversation and explore their

• Share a time when you or someone else experienced inequitable

pandemic experiences, we suggest reading Don

circumstances. How did this

Brown’s book, A Shot in the Arm!: Big Ideas

experience impact you or the people

that Changed the World #3. This is a graphic

around you?

novel recommended for ages 8-12. The book is narrated by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

• If there is one thing you could tell your

(1689-1762), who suffered from smallpox,

teacher about your experiences during

and focuses on how vaccines were developed

the pandemic, what would it be? 19

and introduces aspects of germ theory for

themselves outside their home and develop

children. As youngsters begin to adjust to new

relationships with their peers and others

school routines, teachers must support them by

throughout the school community. Making

providing ample opportunities to uncover and

connections is essential to help students build

overcome the possible emotional trauma caused

self-confidence as integral members of their

by the pandemic and engage in fulfilling, joyful

learning community and build or strengthen

learning with meaningful interactions between

relationships with those they interact with

them and their teachers and peers.

each day. Pivotal to their success, students learn to take risks based on how safe they feel

Topics for Writing and Discussion for

within their environment. Moving beyond the

Middle Schoolers

pandemic, we want to focus on our students, their voices, and how we can empower them

• If you were going to narrate your

in school.

pandemic story, what big ideas and essential information would you include?

Topics for Writing and Discussion for Elementary Students

• How might your pandemic experience parallel Lady Mary’s, the narrator of

• Can you sketch your family or

the story? How does your experience


parallel that of a classmate?

• What are five words that best

• Compare how people felt about being

describe you?

vaccinated for smallpox with how

• Can you write a journal entry or draw

people generally feel today about being

a portrait that shows how you feel

vaccinated for COVID-19. What is the

about being back in school?

same and what might be different?

• How did you feel being away from

• Why are vaccines critical to the health

your friends, or your family members,

and wellbeing of humans as well as

or your teachers during the pandemic?

animals? How might the world be

What do you want your peers and

different if there were no vaccines?

teachers to know?

Elementary Students Sharing Their Voices

• If you were the main character in a

Elementary school is a critical time

book about the pandemic, who would you be and why?

when students first begin to learn about 20

Final Thoughts


No matter what the age of your students (high school, middle school, or elementary school), we believe that the “pandemic stories” will be a topic of discussion for years to come. The lens with which our students reflect will depend upon their ability to process this unprecedented event. As teachers and students begin to reposition themselves for next year, their shared stories will matter! Therefore, parents and teachers need to encourage open dialogue, shared writing, and oral reflections to shine a spotlight on a difficult passage of time. Dramatic representations, artistic and creative depictions, journal writing, songs, memes and social media posts can all be expressions of students’ lives and part of the healing process that leads to resiliency as we collectively move to the other side of the global pandemic. The ways in which students are encouraged to process their experiences will impact the ways in which we register their “learning leaps.” Let’s move forward together and rebrand this time by encouraging student self-expression within safe learning spaces.

Brown, D. (2021). A shot in the arm! Big ideas that changed the world. Amulet Books. Garrett, C. (2021). Relevant curriculum is equitable curriculum. Educational Leadership, 78(6), 48-53. Hartocollis, A. (March 18, 2021). ‘When a normal life stopped’: College essays reflect a turbulent year. The New York Times, p. A21. https://www.nytimes. com/2021/03/17/us/covid-collegeadmissions.html?searchResultPosition=1 Zacarian, D., Alvarez-Ortiz, L., & Haynes, J. (2017). Teaching to strengths: Supporting students living with trauma, violence, and chronic stress. ASCD.



Free Webinars


ASCD’s free webinar series brings experts in the field of education to a computer near you. Our webinars address timely and relevant topics like student engagement, the Common Core State Standards, and classroom technology. We archive each webinar, so you can get your professional development on-demand.



New York ASCD’s e-newsletter has become a valued source of information on national education issues with a New York focus. Topics like observation, evaluation, student achievement, standardized testing, educating the whole child, special education, and communication, STEM, CTE, new graduation requirements, etc. are of interest to everyone and much is written about all of it nationally. Our e-newsletter focuses on how they impact us here in New York State. Subscribing to our e-newsletter guarantees monthly insight into New York issues contributed by practitioners from across the state. Not only is it a place to gain information, we invite all subscribers to submit articles reflecting their thinking and experiences for consideration. The year ahead should be a dynamic one in our state with changes in evaluation again and a new commissioner, to name only two. Subscribe today to keep abreast of what is happening and what people are thinking about!


Professional Learning that Lasts Giselle O. Martin-Kniep, Jeanette Adams-Price

Over time, we gathered compelling evidence of ongoing, sustained and deep learning for participants that transferred to remote and hybrid learning environments. Dr. Giselle O. Martin-Kniep is President and Founder of Learner-Centered Initiatives, Ltd., in NYC, NY. She is a recognized author and international consultant in the areas of standardsbased assessment, systems thinking, professional learning communities, and program evaluation. Her current work focuses on the integration of learner-centered and culturally responsive practices. Follow her on Twitter at @GiselleLCI. We acknowledge the contributions from MAPpers Barry DeSain (video), Jude Dietz, Karen Finter, Molly Fuller, Linda Law, Lindsay Porter, Jennifer Vibber, and Tracy Wyant.

Have you ever attended a professional learning experience and wondered why you were there? Have you ever wondered how you would get enough support to implement what you were learning? We’ve all been there at some point in our careers, yet when done right it can lead to lasting improved teacher and student outcomes (Darling-Hammond, et al., 2017). When professional learning is structured as a concerted effort over time, wedding theory to practice and creating ownership of the experience because of the way it is personalized, it can be transformative. This was the case for the Monroe Assessment Project (M.A.P.), a five-year program focused on the curriculum-embedded use of formative assessments. Over time, we gathered compelling evidence of ongoing, sustained and deep learning for participants that transferred to remote and hybrid learning environments. When the lines of time, space, and distance were blurred due to COVID-19, teachers who participated in M.A.P. were more readily able to pivot to the hybrid and remote learning environments. Five components comprise an impactful professional learning 23

experience that enables teachers to transfer their learning to unfamiliar and challenging learning environments. Components of the M.A.P. Program M.A.P. was a multi-faceted program developed as a collaborative among 9 districts led by Jeanette Adams-Price, Professional Developer, from Monroe One BOCES in New York Jeanette Adams-Price is a professional developer at Monroe 1 BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services) in Rochester, NY. She is a former elementary teacher and has been an instructional leader for almost twenty years. She currently leads initiatives on student-centered and formative assessment; standards-based learning, grading and reporting; and LGBTQ+ education. Follow her on Twitter @JAdamsPrice.

State and Dr. Giselle O. Martin-Kniep, President of LearnerCentered Initiatives, Ltd., in New York City. The design and facilitation of M.A.P. was a shared endeavor of these agencies and leaders. Additionally, three other professional development leaders with expertise in assessment design and technology served as program facilitators and coaches. The overall structure of the program included the following components: • Foundational shared blocks of learning for all participants and opportunities for personalized learning. • Ongoing interactions and feedback among participants and facilitators. • Classroom visitations with coaching (virtual or in-person). • Longevity (multi-year process with a new cohort participating every year) that fostered deep community ties and commitment. • Parallel learning experiences for leaders. The collective power of these components created the right environment for continuous learning and skill development while building the confidence of teachers in their assessment design and implementation. Pittsford CSD ELA teacher, Jude Dietz, described the impact that the structure of M.A.P. had on her learning: 24

“MAP professional learning

improve learning using formative assessment.

stuck. We were given time—time to

These examples not only provided evidence

learn, process independently, discuss

of their journey and progress but also

with others, play and practice, revise,

ameliorated concerns about doing it right.

implement, and revise some more.

Models helped participants envision what

The full-day sessions, in combination

success might look like for themselves. Less experienced MAPpers always had access to

with ongoing feedback, classroom

more experienced MAPpers for informal

observations, and the multi-year

peer support and coaching. Learning comes

commitment made it possible for real learning and growth to take place.”

from the continuous efforts of professionals

These components can be leveraged by

experience to experiment, appropriate and

on the same level but with differing levels of

district and school leaders.

share practices that made sense to them. Teachers became each other’s teachers and

What were the conditions that made

sources of inspiration.

M.A.P. work?

The following were key questions asked:

When MAPpers began their inaugural

• How can we remind teachers that

learning journeys as members of a newly

learning is about experimenting and

formed cohort, they were worried about

trying and not about getting it right?

getting things right. As the program kicked off each summer, they pondered the power of

• How can we allow teachers the

embedded formative assessment and feedback

freedom to pursue their own lines of

practices. We invited them to consider the


what and why of potential changes in their

• How might we capture examples

practices as well as how their practices

of teachers’ learning so that more

affected student engagement. As facilitators,

teachers can use them as inspiration to

we did not expect them to incorporate

create new versions and examples?

anything in one specific way but rather encouraged them to maximize the practices

Conditions that made it possible, not only

of assessing for learning and assessment of

for this situation, but also to transfer to other

learning to best support students.

challenging learning environments were: • Participants grounding their design

Over time, participants interacted across

work in their inquiry.

cohorts to build more examples of ways to 25

• A laser-like focus on the role

years of teaching, it gets much easier.

of students as constructors of

While that is true to some extent, it is

meaning and owners of their

deceptive. Around the third or fourth

learning embodied by facilitators

year of teaching, content and confidence

and the processes used to support

come easier. So, essentially, the “what”

teachers’ learning.

is more fluid. But in the effort to survive those first years, there’s no time for

• Opportunities for whole group, small

acknowledging, let alone addressing, the

group, and individualized learning

how or why.”

best practices, coupled with feedback and engagement with mentor texts.

Relevance and meaning helped define the entry points and design paths forward

• Participants sharing their learning

in M.A.P. Every participant was able to find

with others and learning from it (both formally and informally) in a

a relevant entry point for his/her design

community built on mutual trust and

work. Over 5 years, we learned to help

shared commitment to the work and

educators become proficient users and

to one another.

advocates of student-centered assessment

Magical things happened when participants examined their assumptions and practices, asked questions based on this examination, and pursued this inquiry supported by good coaching and feedback. Participant-driven inquiry

practices while honoring the many ways of demonstrating such proficiency. The products

Magical things happened when

of MAPpers were as unique and different as

participants examined their assumptions

the participants themselves. They included

and practices, asked questions based on

units, lessons, self-reflective processes and

this examination, and pursued this inquiry

protocols, assessment tools, grading schemes,

supported by good coaching and feedback.

portfolios, professional development modules,

Linda Law from Webster CSD states,

and observation protocols. Here’s an example

“MAP is a deep-dive. There’s a[n

of West Irondequoit CSD MAPper, Lindsay’s

assumption] that after the first few

Porter’s, year-long work. 26

A laser-like focus on the role of students

Inquiry is deeply enhanced when it is supported by the following components:

as constructors of meaning and owners of their learning

• Sound research grounded in best practice.

We modeled protocols (Peer Review process; Target Tracker) for engaging in

• Mentor texts (e.g., Embedding Formative Assessment by Dylan

learning, design processes, and subsequent

Wiliam; How to Create and Use Rubrics

reflective and analysis processes because if

for Formative Assessment and Grading

participants experienced these as learners,

by Susan Brookhart; and Grading from

they would be better equipped to apply

the Inside Out by Tom Schimmer), to

them in their work. Linda Law speaks to

guide the work throughout the year.

this directly, “Overall, what we experienced is what we want students to experience

• Assignments and reflective protocols

in the classroom: the feelings of being

completed online and discussed

heard, supported, challenged, and growing

during in-person sessions to unpack

individually as well as collectively.”

the readings.

Throughout the program, educators

The texts selected illustrated exemplary

sought to create classrooms in which

embedded formative assessment and feedback practices, while the protocols supported a

students have greater autonomy over their

deep analysis of these practices, inquiry, and

learning. They articulated the most important

design work. As a result, participants became

outcomes for their students, reviewed and

confident enough to carry this work out

analyzed multiple student-driven examples,

beyond the scope of their classrooms.

discussed literature on best assessment 27

practices, and experimented with assessment

Feedback Form; Formative Assessment and

design elements that placed students at the

Feedback Continuum) from a program facilitator.

center of learning. Molly Fuller’s work, a

MAPpers experienced multiple rounds

second-grade teacher from Penfield CSD ,

of feedback from peers across cohorts as

shows how she enabled her students to track

well as program facilitators. Jennifer Vibber

their progress as readers.

of Penfield CSD reflected on the impact

We realized that enabling teachers to

of multiple feedback sources, “There’s a

articulate valued student outcomes and

prevailing idea that HS and Elementary grades

scaffolding their learning with powerful

can’t share ideas. The input of the other teachers

student-driven curriculum and assessment

in MAP had me reevaluating my ideas about

examples, along with modeling for teachers

students and teaching every time we met.”

what we were asking them to do with their students, accelerated the transfer of what they

We discovered that professional programs

learned into their own classrooms.

that center on teacher-driven inquiry demand differentiated and collaborative learning

Whole group, small group, and

experiences with their peers and with other

individualized learning

teachers, along with opportunities to learn in different settings and access to multiple

Each MAPper received two classroom visits

rounds of feedback.

with immediate feedback (Classroom Visit


A shared commitment to learning within a

created accountability in the


participants. It made us want to go back and share what we created or tried out

At the heart of MAP’s success was a

since the last meeting.”

community built on trust with a shared

Leaders played a central role in MAP. In

commitment to learning. “We’re in this together” is a mantra ingrained in being

addition to witnessing their teachers’ learning,

a MAPper. As teachers got to know one

they engaged in their own professional

another—as colleagues, friends, parents,

exploration about the role of formative

neighbors, and fellow citizens, their bond and

assessments in their own practice and in

commitment to one another strengthened.

developing robust school cultures. Karen

The norms established for discussion and

Finter, Administrator at West Irondequoit

feedback became a way of being, thinking,

CSD shared that,

questioning, and problem-solving. The

“As a school or district leader, it can

language we invented as “MAPpers,” the

be challenging to find ways to stretch and

milestones (Video of End of year MAP

grow professionally in a “safe space” and

Formative Assessment Forum) we celebrated,

in a manner that promotes the ultimate

the challenges that we faced, the MAP

growth of the system as a whole. MAP

stickers we granted after a full year or more of

opened that door and differentiated the

participation, the sayings we adopted such as

learning for administrators to move the

“once a MAPper, always a MApper,” became

aligned work of the system forward.”

a part of the lexicon of the program—they defined who we are as a community.

Considerations for leaders

Tracy Wyant of Webster Spry Middle

Here are some questions which could help

School summed up these sentiments well

leaders incorporate the attributes of lasting

when she said,

professional development:

“MAP is designed the way I think

Building a school culture

all professional learning should be.

• How do you, as a leader, develop a culture

Multiple meetings throughout the school

of shared ownership and commitment?

year, over the years, created a sincere and trusting learning environment.

• What rituals and traditions are unique

Committing to attending multiple

to your setting that communicate a

meetings and completing assignments

shared identity? 29

• What rites of passage do the adults and

practice, understand the conditions

students in your setting aspire to meet?

of their work, and support their continued learning?

• How do you ensure that the culture you are creating is inclusive of every

• How might you strengthen the

adult and child in your setting?

alignment of new and prior professional learning in your school so that teachers

Keeping students at the center

experience that learning as an ongoing journey and not a series of events?

• How might you structure learnercentered PLCs so that participants

• What might you need to participate so

are learning by doing, discussing

that you can be a learner along with

ideas, pondering alternatives to

your teachers?

inform decision-making, or creating something together?

Promoting teachers’ agency

• How could you administer and analyze

• As a leader, what choices could

data from students and parents about

you offer teachers about what to

their experiences?

learn, where to learn, with whom to learn, and how to demonstrate their

• How might you work with groups


of teachers to develop strategies for addressing student learning gaps?

• Are there structures such as lunch and learns, book studies, asynchronous

• In what ways could you brainstorm

learning experiences that could

strategies with staff about embedding

provide teachers with meaningful and

SEL and CRP into teachers’ lessons

manageable learning opportunities?

and assessments?

• In what ways could you create

Cross-pollination of learning

structures that allow for the ongoing

• How might you encourage teachers’

provision of feedback to teachers by

learning beyond their grade level,

yourself and others?

school, or district so they can benefit

Concluding thoughts

from a collective expertise?

One could argue that M.A.P. is an

• How could you develop processes and structures for visiting teachers’

initiative difficult to replicate, especially when

classrooms to learn about their

one considers its scope (129 teachers and 50 30

administrators from 9 districts across 5 cohorts)

We can turn this time of uncertainty into an

and duration (5 years). Yet we believe that

opportunity and provide safe and continuous

its components are transportable and useful,

spaces for adults to reflect upon, learn, and

especially as we consider the increased use

improve upon their practice. We can leverage

and reliance of remote and blended learning

the benefits that remote learning provides for

environments. COVID-19 put this to the test.

adults as well as children because of its ability

MAPpers agree and credit their participation

to transcend the limitations of physical access.

in M.A.P. to being better able to pivot to remote

Time will tell if we have the will to do so.

learning for three main reasons: REFERENCES

• Their experience in providing students with targeted, specific, and actionable

Bush, R.N. (1984). Effective staff development

feedback enabled their students in

in making schools more effective:

a remote environment to become

Proceedings of three state conferences. San

assessment-capable learners and use

Francisco, CA: Far West Laboratory.

feedback to grow.

Darling-Hammond, L., Chung Wei, R.,

• As MAPpers, they had already defined

Andree, A., & Richardson, N. (2009).

and articulated the most important

Professional learning in the learning

aspects of the what and why of their

profession: A status report on teacher

teaching, helping them prioritize

development in the United States and

remote learning outcomes.

abroad. Oxford, OH: National Staff

• Shifting grading practices to a standards-

Development Council.

based approach was natural and

The Mirage: Confronting the Hard Truth About

welcomed as MAPpers were experienced in assessing for learning, which was

Our Quest for Teacher Development. TNTP.

emphasized remotely over the traditional

Heather C. Hill. September 30, 2015.

number and letter grades.

Yoon, K. S., Garet, M., Birman, B., & Jacobson, R. (2007). Examining the effects

M.A.P. has demonstrated that when adult learning experiences embody what

of mathematics and science professional

learning should look like in the classroom,

development on teachers’ instructional

and when teachers and leaders learn together,

practice: Using professional development

the outcome is increased student agency and

activity log. Washington, DC: Council of

engagement, which leads to enhanced learning.

Chief State School Officers 31

Looking Forward Amanda Zullo

The pandemic has impacted classroom instruction. Challenges exist for families that were never an issue, thereby impacting their children and adding more stress to educators. The platitudes are accurate. There are numerous crises on many different levels and in leadership, especially for novices. Amanda Zullo is the principal of J. William Leary Junior High School. She was previously in the classroom for 11 years teaching middle school science and chemistry. From her experience as an Associate at the New York State Education Department (NYSED) and on the NGSS Implementation team, she now actively supports policy and implementation efforts related to New York State’s P-12 Science Learning Standards and Computer Science and Digital Fluency standards. Amanda has been honored with numerous grants along with the 2020 Clarkson Woodstock Award, the 2018 Mayfield Wall of Dedication, the 2016 Empire State Excellence in Teaching Award, and the 2016 ASCD Emerging Leader recognition.

These were new situations for everyone; circumstances that no administrator, principal, or teacher had previously experienced. But when all is considered, this pandemic simultaneously presents challenges and opportunities. Addressing the impact required a strong focus on sustaining the mental health of all individuals in the school because everyone experienced various levels of trauma. The work included both stabilizing/surviving during the pandemic and then rebuilding the internal school community to support everyone. The path to start was evident; the administration had to get to know the needs and strengths of the educators and the community. Only after developing that knowledge could the processes start. People My path forward was clear; it was critical to develop relationships with the faculty and staff. Fullan (2020) states, “It is actually the relationships that make the difference” (p. 63). My first words on my first day to the faculty and staff were 32

“My #1 goal is that my work supports your work.” In looking back at my career, regardless of the position, I had been more effective, happier, and worked harder when I knew the people I was working for. I started with an email outlining the first faculty meeting and a request to schedule a 15-minute meeting with each staff member to get to know people. I was shocked when my first day filled up with meetings 3 hours after sending the email. The quick sign-ups indicated that everyone sought to be heard and were willing to engage. Google Meet was the meeting platform due to a sudden rise in local COVID-19 cases and the need to adhere to local mandates. My goal was to listen and learn about everyone and the “know-how” that was present in the building (Bryk, p. 118, 2015). I had initially started with seven questions; after the first meeting, it was evident that three questions would be perfect: Tell me about yourself (personal and/or professional); how the year was going; and what I could do to support them. After 63 conversations, a theme emerged about the school’s emotional state and their established priorities (Donohoo, J.; Hattie, J.; Eells, R. 2018). It also became clear that continuing the connection and contact would be needed; these are amazing people! To maintain that connection, meaningful and personal conversations (beyond surface-level) are deliberately had at least every 2 to 3 weeks with each adult. People and Process In their book Turning High-Poverty Schools into HighPerforming Schools, Parrett and Budge (2020) share that “leadership-collaborative and distributed-served as the linchpin for success” (p.10). Two distinct groups were already in place to guide all decisions and processes within the 33

school. To compliment this work, two other

discussions around what would be best for

decision making groups were established:

our specific building to establish specific building goals and measures.

• Academic Leadership Team; 60 minutes every other week

For the collectively developed building

• Office staff; 60 minutes every other week

goals to be sustainable, enhance the

• Faculty; 60 minutes monthly

capability to ground, guide, and implement agreed-upon initiatives all while creating

• Building Departments/Teams; weekly

coherence between the initiatives, current

~15-30 minutes

and previous (past three years) student data and staff surveys were used (Lawson

The Academic Leadership Team (ALT), is the “think tank” for the building. The 12

et al., 2017, Mayne 2015 and Honig and

members consisted of educators from all

Hatch, 2004). The group also engaged in a discussion around the 2021 schedule,

departments, across grade levels, teams,

gaining consensus around a drop-block,

and divisions within the building. Initially,

although a 42 minute period schedule

the members discussed general concerns

best fit the current and projected COVID

and items before shifting to the review of


academic data and student grades every 5 weeks, as well as reviewing student

The Office staff group consists of two

engagement and attendance data (graph

secretaries, two counselors, a school nurse,

in the Communication section). With an

a school psychologist, a dean of students, a

intense focus on the future, this group

support for Native students advisor and a

detailed what used to be awesome, what was

support services staff member. This group

awesome now, and what we needed to look

serves to support the general functioning of

at. The first few sets of the PLC+ framework

the building and connect to other initiatives.

specifically focused on sharing individual

As a natural outgrowth, the group integrates

identities and setting group norms/goals

social constructs that institutionalize the

(Corwin, 2020). Simultaneously, at the

activity, hopefully leading to its sustainability

district level, discussions about the strategic

(Honig and Hatch, 2004). The significant

plan were taking place. Three members

priority here has been coordinating daily

of ALT were members of that group.

student health screenings (guided by data

The members of both teams helped with

around who was completing the screening

ensuring alignment to district goals and

each day) and then ensuring accurate

priorities. The members also helped guide

student attendance/increasing student 34

attendance. Members of the office group are

chapter 6). As the building administrator,

also involved in ALT and join the faculty

I sit and observe the group conversations,


only contributing if necessary. The department chairs and academic leadership

The faculty group works with the

representatives compile composite

shared members of the ALT to regularly

information that they share with the broader

communicate at the monthly faculty

leadership team. By letting each department

meetings. Initial sharing was about practices

chair carry out the work, trust is developed

in the Google Classroom, with the second

that will serve as “social glue” during the

monthly meeting progressing towards

implementation of initiatives (Lawson,

sharing “Goals for today’s students to prepare

2017). For example, there was a discussion

them for tomorrow’s opportunities” (MCSD

in one department about their struggling

vision statement). These goals were shared

to meet the current students’ diverse needs.

at Academic Leadership, contributing to

Collaboratively, the department decided

the building-level goals created by ALT.

to structure the class differently through a

Subsequent faculty meetings will center

5-week pilot that continues to this day. When

around framing expectations of student

there was a discussion about finals, one

work and strategies other than finals (ALT

department shared a graded project that could

unanimously voted to get rid of final exams

supplement a quarter average and would be a

for 2021) for assessing what students know

better indicator of student achievement in the

and can do.

subject. Collectively the department proposed a project idea, rating rubric and shared the

The English, Math, Science, Social

documents with the leadership team.

Studies, and Special Education staff meet as department and/or grade groups for

Communication/Follow Up

grades 7 and 8 weekly. Foreign Language,

My predecessor sent a weekly

Music, Physical Education, and Technology meet P-12 weekly. Additionally, there are

Monday Morning Email that outlined

two grade 7 teams and two grade 8 teams

the meetings and general information for

that meet weekly. Within department and

everyone. Recognizing the importance of

team meetings, information from academic

communication helps insights and identify

leadership is shared and discussed, as is each

problems. Monday Morning Emails continue

department’s overall operations, supporting

as an effective communication tool (Fullan,

continuous, purposeful interaction that is

2020; Parrett and Budge, 2020). Through

both horizontal and vertical (Fullan, 2020,

the Monday Morning Emails a framework 35

for discussing student attendance and engagement was shared. This framework became the common language when discussing the 430 students the school serves. 25 Week Engagement vs. Attendance-note, 1 blue dot may overlap with additional dots

Generalizations about the types of students in each identified category included: • High Engagement and High Attendance: These kids were present/online and doing their work and ultimately performed well. The key was to continue challenging these students. • High Attendance and Low Engagement: These kids are probably the most at-risk in the graphic. These are kids that we have an opportunity to reach because they are here, but for whatever reason, they are not doing their work consistently (or at all). • Low Attendance and Low Engagement: These students are not connected for whatever reason. The concern is both behavioral and academic. • High Engagement and Low Attendance: These students are maddening as they don’t come to class as often as they should, but they are getting their work done, or another individual is completing their work. This group holds the potential to have distinct gaps for missing instruction and not having transferable knowledge. 36

In the earlier graph, the passing of the four

and to highlight the awesome work

core classes is the unit of analysis. All students

happening in classrooms.

take English Language Arts, Math, Science, and


Social Studies classes. Patterns on the restricted lists indicate for 95% of students that if they are

At this point, there have been four main

not passing a core class, they are not passing at

goals accomplished thus far:

least one other course.

• Increase in student attendance: 39.4% Fall attendance to 78% in the Spring.

Attendance trends have shifted from 60.4% chronic absenteeism in the Fall to ~22.0%

• The establishment of agreed-upon

chronic absenteeism. For the most severe

building goals. The goals brought

absenteeism cases (~30 children) collaboration

no faculty push back, and there is

with outside agencies has occurred.

concrete action in every classroom towards accomplishing them. The

Information shared through ALT or

goals have served as anchors as we

general overarching themes raised during

look forward toward 2021-2022.

the previous week is circled back within the

• The retraction of 2021 finals in each

emails. For example, after a survey was sent

course. Universally agreed upon by

out about Parent-Teacher Conferences, the

all educators, this has provided the

survey data was shared back to the group.

opportunity to think broadly about

The same circling back on data happens

how we gauge student learning and

after faculty meetings as faculty are asked to

the data we can collect to help guide

complete a survey following the meetings.

work forward. Throughout this

Several staff members have shared that the

conversation, great questions have

ongoing sharing has helped keep them “in the loop”; others have mentioned that they

been raised, shared, and answered.

“figured they would ask…” because they did

• The establishment of four main groups (Academic, Office, Faculty, and Building

not see it in an update.

Departments) bringing ongoing

Weekly updates are shared with

ideas, collaboration, innovations,

faculty and staff on Fridays and then out

conversations, and feedback.

to families on Saturday mornings through

This process is ongoing. The critical

email and the J.W.Leary JR High School News Facebook group. The purpose of the

focus, as time passes, will be to determine

updates are to share pertinent information

the best methods for managing the change 37

and continuing to adapt to the current ever-


changing conditions. I continue to focus

Bryk, A. S., Gomez, L. M., Grunow, A., &

on the mental health of staff and students

LeMahieu, P. G. (2015). Learning to

looking to provide ongoing support. Support

improve: How America’s schools can get

and management during the process will be

better at getting better. Cambridge, MA:

critical in moving from surviving to thriving.

Harvard Education Publishing.

Work thus far in the school building

Donohoo, J.; Hattie, J.; Eells, R. (2018). The

provides indication buy-in for the process,

Power of Collective Efficacy. Educational

practices are growing, and trust is being

Leadership. Volume 75, Number 6, p 40-44.

established. Communication containing questions and insights gained from the

Fullan, M. (2020). Leading in a Culture of Change.

conversations have been shared with

2nd edition. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

supporters for the remainder of the school year. Weekly discussions are serving to align

Honig, M.I., and Hatch, T.C. (2004). Crafting

the work and foster all faculty/staff ’s inclusion

Coherence: How Schools Strategically

in planning and preparing for 2021-2022. It

Manage Multiple, External Demands.

is too early to predict the result, but there is

Educational Researcher. Vol 33, No.8, p. 16-30.

much promise for a successful outcome at

Lawson, H., Durand, F.T., Cambell-Wilcox,

this stage in the process. The sustainability of

K., Gregory, K.M., Schiller, K.S.,

the processes and outcomes will depend on

Zuckerman, S.J. (2017). The Role of

confirming or correcting actions during the

District and School Leaders’ Trust and

start of the 2021-2022 school year. As Mayne

Communications in the Simultaneous

notes (2015), the theory of change and its

Implementation of Innovative Policies.

associated actions may adapt or evolve to meet

Journal of School Leadership, 27, p. 31-67.

the building’s changing needs, and the changes should only stay if they remain beneficial to

Mayne, J. (2015). Useful Theories of Change.

the children’s learning. My fingers are crossed

Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation.

for the calmer days ahead where this work

January 2015. DOI: 10.3138/cjpe.30.2.142.

serves to simultaneously support and catalyze everyone moving forward.

Parrett, W.H., Budge, K.M. (2020). Turning High-Poverty Schools Into High-Performing Schools. 2nd edition. Alexandria, Virginia: ASCD. 38


• Is a diverse organization with a strong, representative infrastructure and ties to other professional organizations

• Anticipates and responds to needs and issues in a timely manner

• Provides quality, personalized, accessible and affordable professional development services that support research-based programs and practices, particularly in high need areas

• Recognizes a responsibility to identify and communicate the views of members

• Promotes the renewal and recognition of educators

• Supports the development of teachers and leaders, with an emphasis of those new to the profession


• NYSASCD will provide research-based quality programs and resources that meet the needs of members

• NYSASCD will ensure that NY’s diverse community of learners is reflected in our programs, resources, membership and governance. Diversity will be reflected in the following ways: board members, association members and committees are diverse in terms of gender, age, ethnicity, region of the state, professional position, and years within the position, with the intention of building the capacity of the organizations

• NYSASCD will influence educational policies, practices and resources in order to increase success for all learners

• NYSASCD will create and utilize structures/tools which enable us to be flexible in our actions and responsive to the changing climate and environment within education


• To improve educational programs and supervisory practices at all levels and in all curricular fields throughout New York State

• To help schools achieve balanced programs so that equal and quality educational opportunities are assured for all students

• To identify and disseminate successful practices in instruction, curriculum development and supervision

• To have a strong voice in the educational affairs of the state by working closely with the State Education Department and other educational groups across the state and nation.


• IMPACT-New York State ASCD’s professional journal provides in depth background on state and local issues facing New York State Educators

• ASCDevelopments-the newsletter, furnishes timely announcements on state and local events related to curriculum and instruction

• Institutes-two or three day institutes that bring together national experts and state recognized presenters with practitioners to share ideas and promising educational practices

• Regional Workshops-bring together recognized presenters with practitioners to share ideas and promising educational practices

• Diverse Professional Network-enables members to share state-of-the-art resources, face challenges together and explore new ideas


NYSASCD Over 60 Years of Service to New York State Educators 1941-2021 NYSASCD has provided over 60 years of service under the capable leadership of the following Presidents:

Lance Hunnicut Fred Ambellan Ethel Huggard Lillian Wilcox Ernest Weinrich Amy Christ William Bristow Bernard Kinsella Grace Gates Joseph Leese Charles Shapp Gerald Cleveland Mark Atkinson Ward Satterlee Lilian Brooks John Owens Dorthy Foley Anthony Deuilio Tim Melchoir Arlene Soifer

Mildred Whittaker Lawrence Finkel David Manly George Jeffers George McInerney Thomas Schottman Helen Rice Albert Eichel Conrad Toepher, Jr. Peter Incalacaterra Albert Eichel Robert Brellis James Beane Thomas Curtis Marcia Knoll Don Harkness Nick Vitalo Florence Seldin Donna Moss Lynn Richbart 40

John Glynn Robert Plaia Robert Schneider John Cooper Diane Kilfoile Diane Cornell Marilyn Zaretsky John Gangemi Sandra Voigt Mary Ellen Freeley Jan Hammond Linda Quinn James Collins Lynn Macan Judy Morgan John Bell Judy Morgan Brian Kesel Timothy Eagen Ted Fulton