Festival of Ideas 2013

Creating a Climate for Student Success
Tom Gobeske, Emmonak School Instructional Leaders & Sharon Lemmert, School Counselor, LYSD (Endeavor Room)

Emmonak School has been working in improving school climate to increase student success. The focus areas are: meaningful community partnerships, professional counseling within the school, timely referrals to appropriate outpatient services, and a consistent use of “operating principles” with students and staff.  The use of an empathy model with students and families and a clinical therapist within the school who can connect students with resources has had a measurable positive impact on student behavior and academic performance.

Leading a Character-Based Literacy Program
Theresa Davis Teacher Trainer / IM, BSSD (Whitby Room)

The Character Base Leadership (CBL) program emphasizes building student’s character and leadership through selected readings. The emphasis encompasses five major themes discussed throughout the curriculum. The curriculum works to to help students examine their own character more deeply and increases class participation through greater engagement. It also develops meaningful connections between social studies and language arts. During the session, teachers will be guided through the CBL program and examine the correlation between CBL and the Alaska state standards for language arts and math.

Three Years of School Improvement in Bering Strait School District
Sue Johnson, SIG Coordinator, BSSD (Aft Deck Room)

This session will detail the journey the Bering Strait School District has taken with its four School Improvement sites; Gambell, Savoonga, Stebbins and Shishmaref. We will look at the process the District used to implement its RtI model as well as the academic and behavioral model programs that have been implemented not only for the SIG sites but the entire District. We will also look at the progress the District has made with its implementation of CHAMPS, iObservation, Explicit Instruction, AIMSweb and STEPP. Finally, we will we will outline the next steps the Bering Strait School District intends to take in the process of becoming a highly effective school district.

Pathways to Graduation: Career Preparation Coordinated with Regional Needs
Perry Corsetti, Coordinator of Program Support, BSSD (Voyager Room)

BSSD Pathways address individual student needs and interests for career preparedness as well as cultural and social needs for an educational system that is efficient, effective, and coordinated with regional and state workforce needs. BSSD Pathways are organized around seven broad career clusters. The career clusters are: (1) Health Sciences; (2) Architecture, Construction, and Engineering; (3) Human Services; (4) Business, Information Technology; (5) Education & Training; (6) Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics; and (7) Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources Emphasis is given to: preparing students to earn recognized industry certifications in Career & Technical Education, preparing students for post-secondary education and training, preparing students with entry level skills necessary for the work force in their chosen career area, and advising students with a Personal Learning and Career Plan transitioning them into a career/job opportunity or post-secondary education/training.

Promoting and Sustaining a Supportive Learning Environment
Dr. AnnMarie OBrien, Assistant Superintendent NWABSD and Leadership Team (Quadrant Room)

The NWABSD Leadership Team is pleased to present a suite of best practices currently used to promote and sustain the Supportive Learning Environment domain from the Alaska STEPP. Using a PowerPoint presentation with embedded video clips we will demonstrate how our district-wide school improvement procedures interface with learning environment dynamics. We will share our local process for selecting STEPP indicators and the resources brought on board to ensure consistent performance by school leaders and teachers. At NWABSD the STEPP indicators for the year are facilitated through a vertical integration of resources and staff.

Our presentation will demonstrate that STEPP indicators can be deployed as successful instructional goals through a careful process of professional development and coordination of public and private resources. Working connections between the separate instructional resources Safe & Civil Schools, Measures of Academic Progress, Response to Instruction and professional development for our principals will be examined.

Picking Up STEAM! Adding the Industrial and Visual Arts to Increase Engagement
John Weemes, Principal, Koyuk Malimuit School, BSSD (Adventure Room)

The Koyuk Malimiut School underwent a process of restructuring (Spring 2012) in order to allow an emphasis on “The Arts” (Visual/Performance-Industrial/CTE-Cultural) across our K-12 program. This “Arts” emphasis has been made feasible through the creative reconfiguration of staffing, scheduling and resource allocation. Sustainability has been addressed by seeking, developing and maintaining partnerships in our community, region and beyond. The intended outcomes are increased student satisfaction in quality of educational programs, strengthening core competencies through cross-curricular connections and increased family/community involvement. Initial anecdotal and empirical data sets suggest positive growth toward these outcome goals through an emphasis on “The Arts.”

Using Early Warning Data and New Teacher Preparation for Dropout Prevention
Carl White, GAINS Grant Coordinator, BSSD (Resolution Room)

This Festival of Ideas presentation will focus on two dropout prevention strategies that are being demonstrated through a BSSD Graduation and Academic Increase for Native Students (GAINS) Grant: 1) We will share the cultural awareness brochure and highlight staff development designed to prepare teachers for life in small Alaskan rural villages and; 2) We will share an online Dropout Early Warning Intervention System (DEWIS) that helps identify students most at risk of dropping out of school and then focuses on the development of individual prevention plans designed to help students stay in school.

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