Adam Welcome – February 2
Who’s been feeling overwhelmed and stressed lately? Adam Welcome has been a teacher, principal, Director of Innovation for a 35,000-student district and is now a best-selling author. Adam continues Horace Mann’s free Virtual Speaker Series with energy, passion and new ideas that will empower and motivate you to become the best version of yourself in the new year. Don’t miss it! Save your spot!
Wise County Public Schools, in collaboration with the Wise County Board of Supervisors, has launched an innovative new project with SpaceX to expand internet access in Wise County. Wise County is the first school district in Virginia to utilize SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet constellation to connect Wise County students with high-speed, low latency broadband.
By Marcus J. Newsome
According to Tory Frerichs, vice president of investment services at Country Financial, “There are many reasons Americans could be feeling good about their financial futures right now. Savings rates have gone up, we are hearing positive news about a Covid-19 vaccine and the stock market is at an all-time high.” As more Americans are staying home, personal savings rates have hit a record high fueling hopes for a strong economic recovery. Conversely, groups including people of color, lower earners, women and workers with less education, continue to struggle (Dickler, 2020).
Budgets are tight and school leaders have more pressure than ever to maximize every revenue stream, including Medicaid reimbursements. If you’re looking for strategies to enhance your Medicaid claiming program, check out this helpful Guide: Cost Reconciliation 101: Enhancing Medicaid Reimbursements for Schools.
We understand that these are difficult times for all stakeholders in K-12 education and Virginia Schools Divisions may be experiencing challenges around remote, hybrid or technology use in the classroom. In our discussions with educators across the country we have heard the following concerns and NetRef can help address all of these: Remote Student Attendance; Student Engagement; Track Usage of Online Programs; and Equity.
Virginia Superintendent Leadership Academy (VSLA) Conferences were held on September 26 and October 17. Superintendents were engaged in interactive sessions facilitated by some of the top thought leaders in the nation. AASA hosted the September conference that was facilitated by Amy Sichel and Stephen Murley. Amy is the Lead Superintendent for the AASA National Superintendent Certification Program® and former superintendent. Stephen is the Lead Teacher for the AASA National Superintendent Certification Program® and Superintendent of Green Bay Public Schools. The focus for the day was on the Professional Standards for Education Leaders published by the National Policy Board for Educational Administration (2015) and essential questions for Ethics, Professional Norms, and Equity of Future Ready Superintendents.
School division leaders across the Commonwealth have difficult and complicated decisions to make every day, including decisions regarding personnel, schedules, student and staff safety, transportation, special education, and finances just to name a few. On a typical day, these decisions are all encompassing. Now, factor in a pandemic….
The Virginia Lottery, in partnership with the Virginia PTA, is excited to announce the fourth annual Thank a Teacher Art Contest, and we invite all K-12 public school artists to share their talent with us!
Three student artists, whether enrolled virtually or face-to-face, will be selected to win a $150 gift card, and their school’s art department will be awarded $1,000 from the Virginia Lottery and $1,000 from our partners at The Supply Room.
The winning designs (one each from an elementary, middle and high school student artist) will then be featured on thousands of thank-you notes distributed to teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week in May. Those notes will each feature a unique code for teachers to enter for a chance to win a Virginia-themed vacation.
Check out last year’s top artwork here.
Help us spread the word, and encourage the students in your life to enter their original artwork! Submissions will be accepted December 14, 2020 – February 1, 2021.
No issue is more urgent in public education than achieving and ensuring equity in student learning throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. Equity is a multifaceted issue that reflects variability in both geographic location and student demographics across the Commonwealth as well as per pupil expenditures and students’ access to the full range of instructional content and programs essential to success after graduation, regardless of where a student lives. As leaders of public education, we must take a comprehensive approach to achieving and ensuring an equitable education for all students in Virginia so that race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, special education status, learning ability level, family circumstances, culture, and gender identity are no longer predictors of success. The Commonwealth can achieve these systemic improvements by ensuring that all students have what they need, exactly when they need it, to be successful in school. In order to accomplish this, we must be deliberate in providing the appropriate supports, removing barriers, creating needed learning environments, closing current gaps in opportunity, and changing the current level of educational funding that will ensure equitable opportunities for all students.
VASS Senior Partner Horace Mann is giving all public school educators and school districts nationwide access to their Student Loan Solutions suite of student loan management resources, which includes guidance on how to successfully qualify for federal student loan forgiveness available to educators. Horace Mann's Student Loan Solutions program is an easy-to-use suite of resources to help educators manage student loan debt and get guidance on federal loan forgiveness programs.
As educators consider a blended or hybrid learning model to start the 2020–21 school year, teachers need tools to effectively deliver instruction to students inside and outside the classroom. With VIEWpath Blend, teachers can record video content to share with students through a Learning Management System (LMS) or download to distribute to students without internet service.
Worried how your team will maintain continuity of learning as you pivot among educational settings in the coming school year? Lexia’s evidence-based, research-proven programs are helping over 4 million students around the world (including over 60,000 in Virginia) continue their literacy development during these uncertain times.
When students return to school, educators will have to quickly assess skill gaps. Accurate, continuous assessments, administered from home or school, will be more essential than ever. Plus, reliable data will be the bridge to support educators and offer insight for differentiating instruction. Join this live webinar for school leaders featuring educational author/researcher and international reading expert Joseph Torgesen, PhD, Istation President and Chief Operating Officer Ossa Fisher, and Istation's educational consultant Dr. Karen Ingram from Istation.
EF Education First has partnered with Southern New Hampshire University over the past years to provide professional development opportunities for educators. This year, EF is proud to provide 500 scholarships for teachers across the United States in an exploratory course on distance learning. EF and SNHU recognize the past several months have been the truest form of professional development. In this course, students reflect upon their efforts to support students and their school during the COVID-19 crisis. Emphasis is placed on the ways in which teachers transformed their curriculum, pedagogy, instruction, and collaboration with one another to ensure the continued delivery of K12 education.
VASS Associate Partner Rethink Ed’s new Rethink Ed Equity and Inclusion Track for Adults & Students is a digital, K-12, evidence-based SEL program that can be implemented in both online and in-classroom learning environments. Social Emotional Learning provides the necessary tools for interrupting systemic inequity in our schools by building strong, respectful relationships founded on an appreciation of similarities and differences. This curriculum teaches you how to critically examine the root causes of inequity and develop collaborative solutions that create the inclusive school environments that are key to ensuring educational equity for all students.
There have been many studies done and books written on what it means to be a good leader; however, few to none took into account the current circumstances. In the face of such high levels of uncertainty, anxiety, inequity, and angst, it is understandable that many leaders believe they need to create a whole new playbook. In most cases, though, the opposite is true. Now more than ever, leadership should rely on what research and practice have shown to work. More specifically, leaders need to consider frameworks, goals, and mission statements that were in place pre-COVID-19 to determine which elements still work and which need modification. After all, effective leadership traits focused on student success inform the familiar frameworks that ensure equitable instruction for all students. These frameworks drive the contingencies (continue, adapt, preserve, monitor) that facilitate continuity of learning in unfamiliar circumstances.
The power of data…Goochland County Public Schools, a high-performing district just outside of Richmond, is prioritizing growth over achievement to address equity gaps. And it’s working.
Goochland County is nestled just outside of Richmond,Virginia. With bucolic landscapes up close and the BlueRidge Mountains oﬀ in the distance, this farming community oﬀers small-town living and easy access to the city. “It’s the best of both worlds,” says Sean Campbell, coordinator of student data for Goochland County Public Schools.
With schools out, businesses closed, and many working from their living rooms, leaders across the country have quickly found ways to adapt to the new virtual environment. Change was forced during this unexpected pandemic, and for many leaders, this is the first time you’ve experienced a crisis like the one we’re in. While savvy managers understand how to motivate and unite teams outside of a national disaster, leading during turbulent times presents new and unchartered challenges. You’ve heard the saying “As goes the leader, so goes the organization.” Because everything rises and falls on leadership, what must leaders do to keep people engaged and motivated during this pandemic?
Equitable, engaging, and proven successful, Achieve3000 Math offers a powerful experience to support math fluency and skills mastery. Similar to Achieve3000 Literacy, the solution delivers differentiated practice and intervention that closes knowledge gaps and builds confidence for all students, grades K to 12.
Click on the LINK BELOW to access VA DOE Coronavirus Information and Resources, communication and recommendations from VASS, and VASS Business Partner Resources to assist educators.
VASS worked with Strategic Value Media to create the guide, a web portal to a large network of vendors that supply goods and services to educators. The guide, which highlights companies that are VASS Business Members, is designed to help school division leaders make efficient and fully informed purchasing decisions.
Do You Have a Job Posting?
Please email the information to Liza Scallet