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….
American Fidelity thanks everyone for attending the VASS 2020 Virtual Fall Conference. Although our representatives were not able to chat with other participants, as we would normally have been able to do, we would still like to continue some of our usual “in person” conference traditions. As well as providing information and answering questions, we normally give away gifts and gifts cards during VASS Annual Conferences. If you would like to enter a raffle for a Yeti Cooler or for gift cards, all you have to do is complete a quick Fillable Raffle Card, and send it back to Brian “Putty” David at: Brian.email@example.com
If Superintendents would like someone else from your Leadership Team to be registered for the Raffle or to request information, they are welcome to complete a Raffle Card as well. Any school division leader who completes and returns the card will be registered to win. No purchase is necessary. American Fidelity just wants to be able to get information to anyone who requests it, and give a chance to win a “thank you” gift to all school division leaders. Thanks, and looking forward to hearing from you.
VASS Senior Partner, Horace Mann, is giving away up to $500 in DonorsChoose funding for your school. Two lucky winners will be drawn who will each receive up to $250 in DonorsChoose funding for their school.
Click here to register for the drawing. To Learn more about how Horace Mann can help you and your educators, click here.
Horace Mann is a national sponsor of DonorsChoose, a not-for-profit organization that connects teachers in need of resources with donors who want to help,
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.
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.
Dr. Melody D. Hackney, Superintendent of Hopewell City Schools, was named Virginia’s Superintendent of the Year during the virtual Ceremony to Celebrate Virginia’s Superintendents held today by the Virginia Association of School Superintendents. She was selected from among eight regional finalists by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Presidents of the Virginia Board of Education, the Virginia Education Association, the Virginia Parent and Teacher Association, the Virginia School Boards Association, the Virginia Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals, the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals, and the Virginia Association of School Superintendents.
VASS Associate Partner Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) is hosting a free virtual event during the month of October on leadership challenges for district administrators. The event, entitled “Think Connected: Exploring Leadership Challenges” will feature national speakers who will address four different leadership challenges on four different dates during the entire month:
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.
School has started, but the struggles of keeping students engaged and accounted for during remote learning are real. How do you keep students engaged, take attendance and ensure equitable access to technology whether students are learning at home, in the building, or in a hybrid environment?
NetRef is a Virginia-based education technology company that is helping divisions with attendance, determining digital equity and keeping students safe and engaged during these unique and challenging times. We also provide usage data to help determine the effectiveness of your online learning investments.
On July 11, 2020, VASS launched its first Virginia Superintendents Leadership Academy (VSLA) Conference. It was a terrific success! Participants included Cohort I superintendents, executive coaches, sponsors, and VASS staff. The vision for the Academy began approximately two years ago when Executive Director, Ben Kiser and Associate Director, Andy Stamp initiated conversations with representatives from the Virginia Department of Education, universities, and professional development organizations among others, to create a professional learning community for Virginia superintendents. The focus of the conference was the Profile of a Virginia Leader, facilitated by Dr. Peter Gorman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Peter Gorman Leadership Associates LLC, and former superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools.
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.
Looking for a unique way to virtually engage staff, foster collaboration and spark some fun, friendly competition? VASS Senior Partner, Horace Mann has just the thing. Their Back in the Game virtual trivia tournament is a great way to get re-energized and geared up for back-to-school season! Here’s how it’ll work:
My 10th grade daughter has had a great experience through @EdgenuityInc program @ACPSk12 - outstanding solution for #distancelearning! I would love to see expansion of this program for middle school this next year & throughout the state! @VirginiaPTA @DonnaCbo1964 @VASecofEdu— Rebecca Tiffany (@rebeccajtiffany) June 12, 2020
There’s a lot to consider as educators plan to reopen schools in the fall. How can you satisfy CDC and local guidelines while supporting students and teachers? What options exist for addressing learning loss? How easily can you pivot between in-person and online instruction? With more time to plan, thinking through these different scenarios and anticipating various challenges can help.
According to a USA Today/Ipsos poll conducted in late May, 20% of teachers anticipate not returning to the school building, and 60% of parents of K–12 students plan to pursue online learning options instead of sending their kids back to school. These numbers indicate the importance of developing reopening plans that are adaptable and incorporate virtual instruction.
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.
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