What's on the Calendar

  • The Leader's Role in Meeting the Challenges of 2021-2022

    Westwood Regional School District's Admin Team will meet again to examine the leader's role in improving schools.  Our first session focused on how to create school improvement plans that actually improve schools.  During this session, we will work togeher to establish a clear, common understanding of the leadership behaviors that improve schools by answering, "What must leaders do to improve schools?"  Then we will develop a systemic and strategic approach to implementing key leadership actions by answering the question, "What strategies can be used to improve schools at scale?"  

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  • Students as Partners in the Learning Process

    Franklin Elementary School in Union Township is working hard to address the challenges before them.  Large classes of students with a wide range of social, emotional, self-regulation, and academic needs, combined with shortages of support staff and substitutues, requires an approach to teaching that involves students in tracking their learning.  After meeting with teachers in PLCs to identify their needs, the faculty meeting was used to share strategies and resources that can be used to engage students in setting goals and graphing their progress.     

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  • Addressing the Academic, Social, Emotional and Self-Regulation Needs of Middle School Students

    Slocum School in the Ridgefield School District is determined to find creative and effective ways to meet the needs of post-pandemic middle schoolers.  In the same way that students require a differentiated approach to meet their needs, so too do teachers.  To ensure that the content and resources shared with teachers are tailored to their needs, I will be meeting during common planning times to specifically address the issues and concerns identified by each group.  

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  • Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes II

    Monmouth Beach Elementary School will continue their efforts to create a learning community that uses data identify and address students' needs.  After beginning the day with a 1-1 consultation with the superintendent, interventionists will participate in a hands-on session during which they will learn how to use data to tailor supports to the needs of struggling learners.  The afternoon will be dedicated to helping the entire faculty practice and apply data analysis techniques and instructional strategies they can use in their classrooms to optimize teaching and learning.  

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  • Now what?

    Seaview Elementary School in Linwood 

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A Look Back

  • The Leader's Role in Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes II

    Tenafly School District's Admin Team is commited to using data to improve professional practice, increase student wellness and achievement, and meet (or exceed!) ambitious goals.  During this interactive learning experience, administrators practiced and applied the principles, practices & protocols of effective data analysis using their own district and school data and examined ways to lead the work of using data to improve student outcomes & achieve school goals.

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  • Revising I&RS to Meet Today's Challenges

    Bound Brook School District understands that I&RS practices and procedures of the past are not going to work in the post-pandemic schools of today.  To address the scope and scale of today's challenges, districts are going to need new ways of supporting struggling students and the teachers who serve them.  During this combination think tank/work session, teams from each school came together to review and revise the procedures used to guide referrals, develop intervention plans, provide services, monitor implementation, and measure results.      

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  • Identifying Supports for Classroom Teachers

    Saddle River School District recognizes that classroom teachers are trying to "reach and teach" students with a wider range of social, emotional and academic needs than ever before.  In order to help teachers meet these formidable challenges, leaders must know and experience them first-hand.  This means spending time in each classroom, gathering baseline data that can be used to determine where kids "are" so we can get them to where they need "to be."  To do so, the entire day was spent visiting every classroom, pre-K to grade 5, and then providing teachers feedback and strategies to help them address the observed challenges. 

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  • Using Data-Informed PLCs to Improve Student Outcomes II

    Byram School Districts teachers and administrators continued their efforts to transform individual teachers who share common planning time into high-performing teams that use data to improve professional practice and student outcomes for all students.  During this two-part session, we addressed the steps necessary to create data-informed PLCs and then turned our attention to how to classroom data to know students "by name and by need" and use high-impact instructional practices to optimize growth. 

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  • L.E.A.R.N. and Using High-Impact Practices to Accelerate Learning

    Pennsville School District is committed to addressing the social, emotional and academic needs of their students and their staff.  During this PD day, elementary (in the AM) and secondary (in the PM) educators participated in a two-part program. The first segment provided an informational and inspirational exploration of what students need in order to LEARN.  The second involved teachers in an interactive learning exxperience during which they learned, practiced and applied high-impact instructional practices that can be used to elevate student engagement and accelerate achievement. 

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  • Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes

    West Essex Regional has prioritized the effective use of data to improve student achievement and school culture/climate as one of their major goals for the 21-22 school year. During this interactive session, the full faculty examined the role of data in identifying and addressing students' needs, refining professional practice, and achieving individual, school and district goals. 

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  • Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes & Using Data Coaches to Improve Teaching and Learning

    Atlantic County Institute of Technology's professional development plan is aligned to their four critical initiatives (SEL, DEI, UDL and data literacy).  The goal of this four-hour session was to develop an understanding of the role and importance of data in addressing each of their inititatives as well as propeling on ongoing cycle of school improvement.  Hands-on activities were used to teach the principles, practices and protocols of effective and efficident data use in an effort to create a culture in which educators are willing and able to work together to improve instructional practice and optimize outcomes for students.

    The afternoon was dedicated to helping the new data coaches to get off to a strong start.  Content, activities and resources included clarifying the role of the coach, how to structure and schedule coaching sessions, and what to do before, during and after each data meeting.  

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  • Engaging Principals and Interventionists in Developing School-Based Support Strategies

    Manchester School District understands that each of their schools are facing unique challenges.  During these school-based visits, school leaders and interventionists shared their site-specific needs and received support, strategies and resources to help them address and achieve their goals.    

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  • Using Data to Improve Students Outcomes II

    Deer Park, Ohio continued their foray into the use of data to know where kids "are" and get them to where they need to be.  During this completely "hands-on/minds-on" session, teachers used the DRAFT data analysis protocol to analyze the data, results (student work), assessment/task itself, and feedback on one of their own assessments.  Based on this information, teachers developed tailored supports for students and identified ways to hone their professional practice to better meet their needs.  

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  • Appreciative Inquiry

    Saddle River Schooll District recognizes that the pandemic caused educators to rethink the way we engage in teaching, learning and leading in schools.  During this completely interactive experience, teachers had the opportunity to identify, discuss and celebrate the many ways they rose to the challenges they faced and found innovative ways to reach and teach students while supporting each other.  The process is called Appreciative Inquiry and the outcome is a sense of power, pride and potential to "do school" in new and different ways. 

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  • Appreciative Inquiry

    Ridgefield School District understands that the pandemic caused educators to rethink the way we engage in teaching, learning and leading in schools.  During this completely interactive experience, teachers had the opportunity to identify, discuss and celebrate the many ways they rose to the challenges they faced and found innovative ways to "reach and teach" students while supporting each other. The process is called Appreciative Inquiry and the outcome is a sense of power, pride and potential to "do school" in new and different ways. 

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  • Creating SGOs and PDPs that Actually Improve Teaching and Learning

    Atlantic County Institute of Technology believes in the power and importance of using data-informed performance goals (SGOs) and well-developed learning plans (PDPs) to improve student achievement and strengthen professional practice.  During this session, supervisors explored their role in ensuring the development of SGOs and PDPs that do much more than meet compliance requirements; they actually improve teaching and learning. 

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  • L.E.A.R.N.

    Bound Brook's faculty members are committed to ensuring every child achieves his/her/their greatest potential. To get the year off to a strong start, teachers and administrators for grades 7-12 were welcomed back with an informational and inspirational look at what students need in order to L.E.A.R.N. The goal was to reconnect faculty with their passion and their purpose, while recognizing their role and responsibility in ensuring that all students grow and achieve.

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  • How to Write the Right Resume

    Without the right resume, even the most knowledgeable, talented and hardworking educator won't get an interview, let alone a job. To get an interview, your resume must include more than your education and employment history: it must be a strategic marketing tool that distinguishes you from every other applicant. During this session, participants learned how to design a resume and craft a cover letter that will help them land that dream job.

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  • Teaching in 2021-2022: How to Meet the Challenges that Lie Ahead

    Ridgefield School District understands that as caregivers and communities turn their attention to the 21-22 school year, educators must prepare to address new questions and unprecedented challenges.  During this interactive learning experience, which was tailored to address the needs and interests of educators at the high school, middle school and elementary schools, educators examined how to use high-impact instructional strategies to increase student engagement and optimize achievement for all students. 

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  • L.E.A.R.N.

    Rising Star Academy in Union City is committed to "reaching and teaching" all students so every child achieves his/her/their greatest potential. To get the year off to a strong start, faculty members were welcomed back with an informational and inspirational look at what students need in order to L.E.A.R.N. The goal of this keynote was to reconnect faculty and administrators with their passion and their purpose, while recognizing their role and responsibility in ensuring that all students grow and achieve.

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  • L.E.A.R.N.

    Cinnaminson School District is committed to "reaching and teaching" all students so every child achieves his/her/their greatest potential. To get the year off to a strong start, faculty members were welcomed back with an informational and inspirational look at what students need in order to L.E.A.R.N. The goal of this keynote is to reconnect instructional and non-instructional staff and administrators with their passion and their purpose, while recognizing their role and responsibility in ensuring that all students grow and achieve.

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  • Differentiatng Mathematics Instruction and The Role of Assessment in Improving Student Outcomes

    Merchantville took on these two high-leverage topics during this full-day learning experience.  During the morning session, faculty from all disciplines explored the role of quality assessment in advancing student achievement.  In the afternoon, Math teachers tackled the critical topic of why and how to differentiate mathematics instruction.  

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  • L.E.A.R.N. and Using Data-Informed PLCs to Improve Student Outcomes

    Byram Township kicked off the year with a rousing look at what all students need to LEARN.  Following this informational and inspirational keynote, teachers engaged in an interactive learning experience designed to answer the question, what distinguishes a high-functioning PLC from a group of teachers who share common planning time?  Together, we explored how to develop PLCs that actually improve student achievement and professional practice as well as how to use data in PLCs to know students "by name and by need." 

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  • L.E.A.R.N. and Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes

    Shore Regional High School and Monmouth Beach Elementary School came together to begin the year with an informational and inspirational look at what students need in order to L.E.A.R.N. The goal of this keynote was to reconnect faculty and administrators with their passion and their purpose, while recognizing their role and responsibility in ensuring that all students grow and achieve.

    Following the keynote, the "party" moved to Monmouth Beach Elementary School, where teachers participated in a professional learning experience designed to address how to use classroom data to know students "by name and by need" and get them to where they need to be.

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  • Teaching in 2021-2022: How to Meet the Challenges that Lie Ahead

    Seaview Elementary in Linwood understands that as caregivers and communities turn their attention to the 21-22 school year, educators must prepare to address new questions and unprecedented challenges.  During this interactive learning experience, participants examined how to use data and high-impact instructional strategies to optimize achievement for all students, refine professional practice,and achieve individual and school goals.  

    Specific outcomes included:

    How to use data individually and collectively to enhance instruction and optimize the WIN period.

    How to use classroom assignments and local assessments to maximize students' progress and performance.

    How to use data to know students "by name and by need" and use differentiated instructional practices to "reach and teach" all learners.

    How to "grow" high achievers and remediate struggling learners while "bringing up" the kids in the middle.

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  • L.E.A.R.N. and Using High-Impact Instructional Practices to Accelerate Learning

    Great Meadows Regional and Warren Tech joined forces to begin the year with an informational and inspirational exploration of what students need in order to LEARN.  Following the keynote, teachers participated in an interactive session during which they learned, practiced and applied high-impact instructional practices that can be used to elevate student engagement and accelerate achievement. 

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  • Admin Retreat: Working Together to Address the Challenges that Lie Ahead

    Dover School District's Admin Team gathered to answer what may be the most important question of the summer:  What does it take to be a high-performing team that achieves ambitious goals?  During this completely interactive session, administrators worked through the process of establishing a set of shared expectations that will foster the clarity, communication, collaboration and courage needed to serve their students and improve their schools. 

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  • The Leader's Role in Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes

    Tenafly School District's Admin Team is committed to optimizing outcomes for all students.  They understand that acting on this committment requires the effective use of data to evaluate progress and performance, establish goals and mobilize efforts, leverage resources, inform practice, guide decision-making and measure, monnitor and market results. During this professional learning experience, administrators explored how to lead the work of using data to strengthen professional practice, improve student outcomes, enhance the efficacy of programs and practices, and achieve school and district goals.

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  • The Leader's Role in Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes

    Bound Brook's Admin Team maintains an unwavering committment to their students, their faculty and their school community. They understand that acting on this committment requires the effective use of data to evaluate progress and performance, establish goals and mobilize efforts, leverage resources, inform practice, guide decision-making and measure, monnitor and market results. During this professional learning experience, administrators learned how to lead the work of using data to strengthen professional practice, improve student outcomes, enhance the efficacy of programs and practices, and achieve school and district goals.

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  • Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes

    West Essex Regional has prioritized the effective use of data to improve student achievement and school culture/climate as one of their major goals for the 21-22 school year. During this interactive session, data teams joined administrators to learn how to use individual classroom data and common data in PLCs to tailor instruction, refine professional practice, and achieve goals. Throughout the presentation, teams had the opportunity to plan how they will turnkey what they learned with their grade/subject area colleagues.

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  • The Leader's Role in Using Data to Address the Challenges that Lie Ahead

    West Essex Regional School District is committed to using data to optimize student achievement and achieve ambitious goals. During this full-day Admin Retreat, school and district leaders engaged in collaborative activities to:

    1. Develop a shared understanding of what it means to lead in the post-pandemic era.

    2. Understand the leader's role in reestablishing rigor and relationships.

    3. Know how to use data to set and achieve school and district goals.

    4. Examine how to use data to know where kids "are" and get them to where they need "to be."

    5. Consider how to use high-impact instructional practices to optimize student outcomes.

    6. Learn how to build a collaborative culture of collective responsibility for all students.

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  • L.E.A.R.N. and Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes

    Deer Park Community School District in Ohio is committed to "reaching and teaching" all students so every child achieves his/her/their greatest potential. To get the year off to a strong start, faculty members will be welcomed back with an informational and inspirational look at what students need in order to L.E.A.R.N. The goal of this keynote is to reconnect instructional and non-instructional faculty and administrators with their passion and their purpose, while recognizing their role and responsibility in ensuring that all students grow and achieve.

    Following the keynote, middle school and high school teachers will participate in a professional learning experience designed to address how to use data to know students "by name and by need" and get them to where they need to be.

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  • Creating a Shared Vision for Instruction and Intervention

    Manchester Township's Admin Team is committed to addressing the challenges that lie ahead by creating common expectations for instruction and intervention based on practical, research-based strategies. During this completely interactive session, elementary administrators (Aug 10) the secondary administrators (Aug 11)  worked alongside central office administrators to identify, clarify and codify a shared set of systems and structures that will be used to scale up their improvement efforts.

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  • Using Inquiry to Examine and Address Racial Equity at the District Level

    What is your impact on students of color? To ensure all students benefit equitably from their educational experience, we must first be willing to engage in honest investigation of the current reality. During this interactive session hosted by the 2021 NJ Statewide Equity Conference, participants learned how to use a structured inquiry process to reveal and remediate areas in which systemic practices, organizational "blind spots" and unconscious bias may be contributing to racial disparities in opportunities and outcomes. Activities included demonstrations, discussions and live simulations designed to equip leaders with the skills and strategies needed to facilitate this work in schools and districts.

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  • The Leader's Role in Improving Student Outcomes

    Westwood Regional School District is committed to setting ambitious goals for the 2021-2022 school year. During this completely interactive session, administrators from every school and department came together to reflect on the past, consider the present, and plan for the future. After completing an Appreciative Inquiry activity, we turned our attention to the Learning Intentions for their Admin Retreat.

    1. Develop a shared understanding of what it means to lead in the post-pandemic era.

    2. Know how to use data to develop school improvement plans that achieve intended results.

    3. Learn strategies that can be used with faculty to mobilize action, monitor the plan, and achieve goals.

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  • Leading Schools in 2021-2022: How to Address the Challenges that Lie Ahead

    Military Connected school districts from Texas, Missouri, Illinois and New Jersey met in Chicago to tackle the new questions and unprecedented challenges leaders will face as we emerge from the COVID crisis. During this interactive learning experience, school leaders examined how to use high-leverage leadership practices to answer these critical questions:

    What does it mean to lead in a post-pandemic era?

    How will we use data to know where kids "are" and get them to where they need "to be"?

    What is the role of school leaders in reestablishing rigor and relationships?

    How will we use high-impact instructional practices to optimize student outcomes?

    How do we build a collaborative culture of collective responsibility for all students?

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  • Using Data to Examine and Address Educational Equity

    Kingsway Regional's Admin Team is committed to providing all students with equitable access to high-quality educational programs and services. To ensure their reality matches their aspirations, participants learned how to use data and a structured inquiry process to reveal areas in which unconscious bias may be contributing to disparities in opportunties and outcomes. A toolkit of techniques and ready-to-implement resources were provided to support this important work. The session culminated in "collective committments" in the form of an actionable plan to improve diversity, equity and inclusion.

    Participants gained knowledge and skills in:
    1. Defining educational equity and why it matters,
    2. Using questions to uncover the inclusivity of the climate in schools and in classrooms,
    3. Using inquiry to expose unconscious bias in academic programs and instructional practices.

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  • Jenkintown 2021-2022: Stronger than Ever by Working Together

    Jenkintown's administrators and administrative assistants participated in a completely interactive Admin Retreat designed to lay the groundwork for a successful 2021-2022 school year. The day opened with an Appreciative Inquiry (AI) activity that used the 4Ds (Discovery, Dream, Design, Destiny) of AI to create school improvement plans aligned to the district's strengths, opportunities, aspirations, and desired results. From there, the team engaged in content and activities that created shared understandings and culminated in collective committments for each of the district's goals: enhancing curriculum and assessment; using data to optimize student outcomes; and addressing diversity, equity and inclusion. It was a positive, productive and powerful day of learning!

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  • Leading Schools in 2021-2022: How to Use High-Leverage Leadership Practices to Address the Challenges that Lie Ahead

    As schools and communities emerge from the COVID crisis, educational leaders will face new questions and unprecedented challenges. During this interactive learning experience with Abington's Admin Team, school leaders will examine how to use high-leverage leadership practices to answer critical questions such as:
    What does it mean to lead in a post-pandemic era?
    What is the role of the principal in reestablishing rigor and relationships?
    How will we use high-impact practices to optimize student outcomes?
    How do we build a collaborative culture of collective responsibility for all students?

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  • Creating School Improvement Plans that Actually Improve Schools

    Chattanooga, TN was rocking during this high-powered, school improvement planning retreat.  Throughout the day, the leadership teams from Hamilton County's 18 schools worked through the process of developing site-specific school plans to improve student outcomes. First, we identified data sources (school performance indicators/measures) to determine priorities. Then, they selected three priorities as their "Action Areas."  Next, we created SMARTER goals and action steps to achieve the intended objectives. It was a high-energy day of hands-on learning and leadership!

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  • How to Speak so People Listen

    NJSBA's virtual conference addressed critical competencies for school board members. I was so happy to offer the following session on effective communication strategies:

    Public speaking is an essential skill for school administrators and school board members. The manner in which ideas and information are presented can influence the decisions boards make and the confidence the public has in its leadership team. During this session, we will discuss how to avoid common mistakes people make when speaking and explore how to use easy-to-implement public speaking strategies to ensure that your communication is effective in remote and in-person forums.

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  • Assessment Committee Data Analysis Sessions

    Manchester Regional's Assessment Committees understand that the ability to use assessment data is an essential skill for educators who are committed to optimizing outcomes for all students. During this highly interactive session, participants learned how to use individual teacher data (classroom), local common assessment data, and standardized/benchmark data to identify students' needs, set goals, strengthen professional practice, and measure students' progress and performance. Hands-on activities and simulations were used to demonstrate the principles, practices and protocols of effective and efficient data analysis. By the end of the session, attendees were prepared to use an inquiry-based process and collaborative practices to propel an ongoing cycle of instructional improvement.

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  • Using Appreciative Inquiry to Look Forward to 2021-2022

    There are two paradigms for organizational change. The most common is a problem-solving approach in which we identify a problem, conduct a root cause analysis, propose potential solutions, and develop an action plan. An alternative to this problem-centered/something-must-be-wrong approach is Appreciative Inquiry, during which we identify strengths, envision what is possible, determine what is desired, and innovate to create the desired future. Little Falls understands the latter is far more powerful than the former. During this completely interactive session with the District's DEAC, participants will use the 4-Ds of Appreciative Inquiry to Discover, Dream, Design and create their Destiny. The process will culminate in the development of the District's three goals for 2021-2022.

    "Appreciative Inquiry turns the problem-solving habits of the field on thier head, and shows that change is more powerful, energizing, and effective when we inquiry into the true, the good, the better and the possible - everything that gives life to a system when it is most alive and at its exceptional best."

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  • Leading Schools

    South Orange Maplewood's Admin Team will continue to examine the leader's role in using data to strengthen professional practice, improve schools and optimize student outcomes. During these sessions, administrators will learn how to use a data carousel, scatterplots and several root cause analysis strategies to create shared goals, design focused and aligned professional development plans, and develop systems and structures that make the work meaningful, manageable, and the results measurable.

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  • Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes

    Kingsway Regional's lead teachers and administrators understand that the ability to use data is an essential skill for educators who want to make a difference in the learning lives of students. During this highly interactive session, participants learned how to use data from their own classroom, common assessments and standardized tests to identify students' needs, set goals, strengthen professional practice, and measure students' progress and performance. Hands-on activities and simulations were used to demonstrate the principles, practices and protocols of effective and efficient data analysis. By the end of the session, attendees were ready to use an inquiry-based process and collaborative practices to propel an ongoing cycle of instructional improvement.

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  • The Leader's Role in Successfully Transitioning to "the Block"

    Ridgefield School District's administrators understand that transitioning to "the block" involves more than just adding minutes to class periods. It requires a significant shift in the way teachers teach and students learn. During this completely interactive session, administrators addressed the "what, why and how" of block scheduling and examined the instructional and administrative considerations that must be anticipated and addressed to ensure a successful transition.

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  • Leading Schools

    The South Orange Maplewood Admin Team gathered for interactive learning experiences designed to address how to finish the year strong and how to establish systems and structures to improve effectiveness and efficiency for 2021-2022.

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  • Differentiating in Mathematics

    Merchantville School District's teachers of gr 4-8 math gathered to deepen their knowledge of differentiated instruction. The first portion of the program focused on the "what, why and how" of differentiation as it applies specifically to math. The second half focused on strategies that can be used easily and effectively to "reach and teach" all students.

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  • The Analytics of Schools

    The Ohio Superintendent's Academy will focus on the Analytics of School as their fourth and final topic. As outlined in the Academy framework, "A lack of data is certainly not a problem in today's school environment. But, knowing what data matters, how to analyze the data and how best to use the data can be a problem." During this session, superintendents will explore tools and resources available to school leaders and develop a framework for a school district data portfolio to guide, focus and prioritize the work of leading a school district.

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  • How to Write the Right Resume

    Without the right resume, even the most knowledgeable, talented and hardworking educator won't get an interview, let alone a job. To get an interview, your resume must include more than your education and employment history: it must be a strategic marketing tool that distinguishes you from every other applicant. During this session, participants learned how to design a resume and craft a cover letter that will help them land that dream job.

    read more
  • Connecting with Kids: The Role of Inquiry, Choice and Funds of Knowledge

    South Orange Maplewood School District's admin team is committed to providing students with instructional opportunities that they experience as relevant and engaging. During this session, administrators learned how to use inquiry, voice/choice and cultural referents to create lessons, programs and practices that provide meaningful connections for all students.

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  • Leading with Power & Purpose

    The Passaic County Women in Educational Leadership group understands that female administrators face challenges their male counterparts don't. In addition to managing the professional demands associated with leading schools during and after a pandemic, women must also balance the responsibilities of their personal life, which often include a home and family, all while navigating the socio-political hazards of trying to thrive, if not rise in what is still a male-dominated field. During this session, I shared the lessons I've learned along my journey from a teacher's assistant to Assistant Commissions for the NJDOE. My goal was to ofter ideas, insights and strategies that can be used by women as they walk their own journey.

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  • The Leader's Role in Improving the Instructional Core

    The South Orange Maplewood School District's admin team is committed to providing every student a high-quality instructional program that is rigorous, relevent and aligned to District curricula. During this session, administrators explored ways to act on what Richard Elmore identifies as the three ways to improve the instructional core: raise the level of content that students are taught; increase the skill and knowledge that teachers bring to teaching the content; and increase the level of students' active learning of the content.

    Strategies for improving the instructional core included how to use Evidence-Centered Design to align standards, assessment and instruction, how to use "Look for Learning Walks" and "stack audits" to analyze and improve instruction and instructional tasks, and how to use assessments and the gradual release of responsibility to ensure students apply what they are learning on their own.

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  • How to Use Social, Emotional and Academic Data to Support Student Growth

    How has the sudden and sustained closure of schools impacted your students? In what ways and to what degree have children been affected by the pandemic, rising racial tensions, and economic insecurities? How might students' experiences with these societal issues influence their readiness and ability to learn?

    During this workshop, Jamesburg School District's faculty will explore ways to reach and teach students during these tumultuous times. During this 60-minute session, participants will learn how to identify, utilize and integrate data sources for each domain in order to optimize student outcomes.

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  • Using Data-Informed PLCs to Improve Student Outcomes Part II

    Franklin Elementary School's faculty continued the work started during our first session, which focused on what high-performing PLCs are and what they do to strengthen professional practice and optimize student outcomes, by exploring how high-performing PLCs use data to guide their work and know students "by name and by need." Participants learned how to use various sources of data and several data analysis protocols to identify students' needs, establish goals, improve programs and practices, and measure and monitor students' progress and performance. By the end of the session, attendees were ready to use an inquiry-based process and collaborative practices to propel an ongoing cycle of instructional improvement.

    read more
  • How to Write the Right Resume

    Without the right resume, even the most knowledgeable, talented and hardworking educator won't get an interview, let alone a job. To get an interview, your resume must include more than your education and employment history: it must be a strategic marketing tool that distinguishes you from every other applicant. During this group session, participants learned how to design a resume and craft a cover letter that will help them land that dream job.

    read more
  • How to Use Data to Improve Student Outcomes

    During the final session of a four-part series, Manchester Township's faculty came together to learn the principles, practices & protocols of effective data analysis.  Specific outcomes included learning how to use data to:  strengthen professional practice, improve student outcomes, and set and achieve school/district goals.   During the second portion of the program, we focused on how to engage students in the use of data to assess their own progress and set their own goals.

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  • How to Use Inquiry to Examine Racial Equity in Schools

    Matthew Jago School's faculty are committed to providing all students with equitable access to high-quality educational programs and services. To ensure their reality matches their aspirations, the faculty participated in a 60-minute learning experience designed to address a critical question: What is your impact on students of color?

    The first step to ensure all students benefit equitably from their school experience is to investigate the current reality. During this interactive session, participants learned how to use a structured inquiry process to reveal areas in which unconscious bias may be contributing to racial disparities. A tool kit of techniques and strategies was provided to support this important work.

    Participants gained knowledge and skills in:
    1. Defining educational equity and why it matters,
    2. Using questions to uncover the racial climate in schools and in classrooms,
    3. Using inquiry to expose unconscious bias in academic programs and instructional practices.

    read more
  • How to "Grow" from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

    Leadership is more than a destination. It is a journey of professional growth and personal development. For me, the path from classroom aide to Assistant Commissioner to successful entrepreneur has provided invaluable lessons that continue to shape my life and inform my choices. During this meeting of the Bergen County Women in Educational Leadership group, we examined these "lessons learned" and considered how they may offer guidance along the journey from where you are to where you want to be.

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  • How to Write the Right Resume

    Without the right resume, even the most knowledgeable, talented and hardworking educator won't get an interview, let alone a job. To get an interview, your resume must include more than your education and employment history: it must be a strategic marketing tool that distinguishes you from every other applicant. During this free session, participants learned how to design a resume and craft a cover letter that will help them land that dream job. 

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  • How to Use High-Impact Practices to Accelerate Learning

    Manchester's secondary faculty met for the third session of a four-part series designed to address how to reach and teach students during tumultous times. This session focused on how to use high-impact instructional practices and evidence (data) to optimize student outcomes. Particular emphasis was placed on improving the use of teacher clarity, student talk, thinking tasks and feedback, along with day-to-day data sources to maximize instructional impact.

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  • The Role of Communication and Connection in Consultation

    LinkIt! is much more than a data warehousing company. It is a team of educational professionals dedicated to providing products and services that use data to enhance the effectiveness of educational organizations and optimize student outcomes. During this half-day retreat, the LinkIt! team gathered to explore concepts, skills and mindsets that influence the quality and character of communication and connection. Following the examination of ideas and strategies that foster effective communication and positive interactions, the team participated in five "Priority Activities" designed to support ongoing efforts to enhance the work LinkIt! does for schools and districts.

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  • Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes

    Holmdel School District kicked off their PD Day with a rousing keynote designed to refresh, renew and reconnect educators with their power, their purpose and their importance.  Immediately following the keynote, the faculty for grades 7-12 participated in a 90-minute professional learning experience that spoke to the role of data in connecting to students, refining professional practice and optimizing student achievement.      

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  • How to use Social, Emotional and Academic Data to Support Student Success

    Vineland High School understands the importance of reaching and teaching students during these incredibly difficult times. More than ever before, teachers and leaders need to use social, emotional and academic data to reveal and address students' academic, social and emotional needs. During this 90-minute session, participants learned how to identify, utilize and integrate data sources for each domain in order to optimize student outcomes.

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  • Using Data-Informed PLCs to Improve Student Outcomes

    Franklin School faculty in Union Township are all about making sure they are meeting the needs of their students. During this professional learning experience, educators learned how to use data in PLCs to assess and refine professional practice, tailor and target instruction to meet students' needs, and set and achieve meaningful and "reasonably ambitious" goals. It was a high-impact, high-energy presentation!

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  • The Leader's Role in Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes

    Holmdel's Admin Team maintains an unwavering committment to their students, their faculty and their school community. They understand that acting on this committment requires the effective use of data to evaluate progress and performance, establish goals and mobilize efforts, leverage resources, inform practice, guide decision-making and measure, monnitor and market results. During this professional learning experience, leaders learned how to lead the work of using data to strengthen professional practice, improve student outcomes, enhance the efficacy of programs and practices, and achieve school and district goals.

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  • How to Know Where Kids "Are" and Get Them to Where They Need to "Be"

    Matthew Jago's faculty understand the importance of using formative assessments to determine the starting point for instruction. During this completely interactive professional learning experience, educators learned how to use effective and engaging classroom-based instructional strategies to determine what students already know and are able to do before beginning a lesson and a unit. The content and activities were customized for each "audience" - Teachers of preschool and students with Autism on Feb 3rd; Teachers of grades K-2 on Feb 9th; Teachers of grades 3-5 on Feb 11th.

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  • The Leader's Role in Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes

    Stand Tall Steve is at it again! This time he hosted a Stand Tall Leadership Summit for current and aspiring school leaders from across the country. For my part, I addressed the critical role that data plays in strengthening professional practice, improving student outcomes, increasing the efficacy of school practices, and achieving district and school goals.

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  • How to Use Social, Emotional and Academic Data to Support Student Growth

    How has the sudden and sustained closure of schools impacted your students? In what ways and to what degree have children been affected by the pandemic, rising racial tensions, and economic insecurities? How might students' experiences with these societal issues influence their readiness and ability to learn?

    During this workshop with faculty members from the Manchester Township School District explored ways to reach and teach students during these tumultuous times. More than ever before, teachers and leaders will need to use social, emotional and academic data to reveal and address students' needs. During this 90-minute session, participants learned how to identify, utilize and integrate data sources for each domain in order to optimize student outcomes.  The session was customized to address the needs and interests of middle school and high school teachers.

    Participants will gain knowledge and skills in:
    1. Identifying sources of social, emotional and academic data,
    2. Integrating and using data sources to develop school-wide and individualized supports,
    3. Developing systems and structures to support the effective and efficient use of social, emotional and academic data.

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  • How to Use Student Engagement Strategies to Increase Effort and Improve Outcomes

    Manchester educators gathered (virtually) to learn how to select and use instructional strategies that elicit interest, increase effort and foster "deep learning." Much of the session focused on the power and potential of questions to spark curiosity and elevate cognitive engagement. Specific questioning strategies included using: cognitive conflict, controversy, current events, choice, high-interest contexts, student-generated questions and thinking routines. I can't wait to see how these creative high school teachers use what they learned!

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  • How to Use Social, Emotional and Academic Data to Support Student Growth

    How has the sudden and sustained closure of schools impacted your students? In what ways and to what degree have children been affected by the pandemic, rising racial tensions, and economic insecurities? How might students' experiences with these societal issues influence their readiness and ability to learn?

    During this workshop with faculty members from the Matthew Jago School in Woodbridge we explored ways to reach and teach students during these tumultuous times. More than ever before, teachers and leaders will need to use social, emotional and academic data to reveal and address students' needs. During this 90-minute session, participants learned how to identify, utilize and integrate data sources for each domain in order to optimize student outcomes. Each session was tailored specifically to the needs and interests of participants.  Jan 12th - Teachers of grades K-2, Jan 13th - Teachers of preschool and students with Autism, Jan 14th - Teachers of grades 3-5.

    Participants will gain knowledge and skills in:
    1. Identifying sources of social, emotional and academic data,
    2. Integrating and using data sources to develop school-wide and individualized supports,
    3. Developing systems and structures to support the effective and efficient use of social, emotional and academic data.

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  • What do Educators Need to go from Surviving to Thriving?

    Teaching during the best of times is extremely difficult. Teaching during a pandemic is downright depleting. During this interview with Danielle Felton as part of the Teaching Forward Now summit, we addressed the question, what do educators need to stop surviving and start thriving? I invite you to hear my answer, which focuses Gentleness and Clarity, by going to my Video Library and accessing the video.

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  • Using Inquiry to Examine Racial Equity

    Allamuchy School District is committed to providing all students with equitable access to high-quality educational programs and services. To ensure that their reality matches their aspirations, the faculty participated in a 90-minute learning experience designed to address a critical question: What is your impact on students of color?

    The first step to ensure all students benefit equitably from their school experience is to investigate the current reality. During this interactive session, participants learned how to use a structured inquiry process to reveal areas in which unconscious bias may be contributing to racial disparities. A tool kit of techniques and strategies was provided to support this important work.

    Participants gained knowledge and skills in:
    1. Defining educational equity and why it matters,
    2. Using questions to uncover the racial climate in schools and in classrooms,
    3. Using inquiry to expose unconscious bias in academic programs and instructional practices.

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  • How to Interpret and Utilize NJDOE Performance Comparison Reports

    My partners at LinkIt! have developed a comprehensive set of reports that provide statewide, district-level and school-specific data on College and Career Readiness (Course Enrollment, PSAT/SAT/ACT/AP/CTE, Graduation and Drop Out Rate, Post-Secondary Outomes/Enrollment), Faculty Analysis (SGP, teacher and administrator demographics, education, attendance and experience), Student Attendance and Behavior (chronic absenteeism, behavioral incidents and suspensions), NJSLA/PARCC (proficiency, progress) and LEP (ACCESS for ELLS, enrollment by home language). In addition to presenting statewide aggregated data, the reports include data disaggregated by DFG, Free/Reduced Meals, LEP, race, gender, grade, and subject. During these two, one-hour sessions Ryan, Chad and I demonstrated how educational leaders can use these reports to assess and improve their schools.

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  • How to Write the Right Resume

    The Somerset County Future Administrators' Professional Development Group understands that without the right resume, even the most knowledgeable, talented and hardworking future administrator won't get an interview, let alone a job. To get an interview, your resume must include more than your education and employment history: it must be a strategic marketing tool that distinguishes you from every other applicant. During this session, participants learned how to design a resume and craft a cover letter that will help them go from a future administrator to hired school administrator.

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  • Leading Adaptive Change & Using Social, Emotional & Academic Data to Support Student Growth

    Little Falls continued its proud tradition of providing teachers and administrators with professional learning experiences that address their expressed needs and interests in a timeframe that works best for them. For my part, I facilitated Leading Adaptive Change: The Answer is the Questions for the Admin Team and How to Use Social, Emotional and Academic Data to Support Student Growth for teachers.

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  • Brain-Based Student Engagement Strategies for Teaching in the Block

    Ridgefield School District understands the importance of using instructional techniques that elicit and maintain cognitive engagement while attending to the social and physical needs of students who are learning in extended time periods. During this highly interactive session, teachers and administrators learned (and experience!) student engagement strategies that work for K-12 students who are learning in a block schedule, whether doing so from home or in the classroom. It was one action-packed PD session!

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  • How to Use Social, Emotional and Academic Data to Support Student Growth

    How has the sudden and sustained closure of schools impacted your students? In what ways and to what degree have children been affected by the pandemic, rising racial tensions, and economic insecurities? How might students' experiences with these societal issues influence their readiness and ability to learn? As superintendent, the school community will look to you for answers and direction as they work to reach and teach students during these tumultuous times. More than ever before, teachers and leaders will need to use social, emotional and academic data to reveal and address students' needs. During this 90-minute session, participants will learn how to identify, utilize and integrate data sources for each domain in order to optimize student outcomes.

    Participants will gain knowledge and skills in:
    1. Identifying sources of social, emotional and academic data,
    2. Integrating and using data sources to develop school-wide and individualized supports,
    3. Developing systems and structures to support the effective and efficient use of social, emotional and academic data.

    This program is being offered to Ohio superintendents through the Ohio School Leadership Foundation. Participation is limited to members only.

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  • Leading Adaptive Change: The Answer IS the Questions

    In Leadership on the Line (2002), Heifetz & Linsky distinguish between "technical challenges" that can be resolved by leaders using current know-how, and "adaptive challenges" that require people throughout the organization to use new ways to solve unprecedented problems. During times of rapid change and uncertainty, like reopening schools in a post-pandemic era, anxiety and adaptive challenges abound. Heifetz and Linsky warn, "When fears and passions run high, people can become desperate as they look to authorities for the answers. This dynamic renders adaptive contexts inherently dangerous." Despite the demands for immediate answers, the work of the leader is to stop doing, stop knowiIng, and start asking. This requires three things: the willingness to ask, the skill to question, and the knowledge of what to do with the questions once they've been raised. Facilitated as an actual simulation of a "real leader" engaged in the "real work" of leading question-based activities in a "real district," participants will leave with a clear understanding of the power of question-centered leadership and a set of immediately implementable resources to get started.

    Participants will gain knowledge and skills in:
    1. Understanding and applying the research on question-centered leadership.
    2. Using the "Why, What if, How" framework to lead a process of collaborative inquiry that promotes reflection, elicits engagement, creates possibilities, and produces new ways of thinking and acting.
    3. Cultivating a culture of inquiry that uses questions to fuel a continuous cycle of school improvement.
    4. Developing the competence and confidence to lead a variety of question-based leadership activities.

    This program was offered to Ohio superintendents through the Ohio School Leadership Foundation for members only.

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  • Turning Last Year's "Learnings" into This Year's Results

    Collegium Charter School's leadership team met for the first time in 7 months to work in groups to facilitate an activity designed to turn what was learned last year into this year's results. After revisiting the big ideas and the administrative actions associated with each of the topics included in the 5-part series we completed last year, each team used the What? So What? Now What? protocol to lead the entire group in the development of a prioritized list of leadership actions they will employ in the coming year.  It was a powerful day of learning for all (including those who elected to Zoom in from home)!

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  • How to Teach so Students L.E.A.R.N.

    Ridgefield Public Schools is committed to ensuring that all students benefit from high quality instruction, regardless of the challenges and uncertainties that lie ahead. To get the year off to a strong start, faculty members were welcomed back with this informational and inspirational look at what all students need in order to L.E.A.R.N. The goal of this keynote is to reconnect instructional and non-instructional faculty and administrators with their passion and their purpose, while recognizing their role and responsibility in ensuring that all students grow and achieve.

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  • How to Teach so Students L.E.A.R.N.

    Manchester Township Schools is on a mission to ensure that 2020-21 will be a positive and productive school year, despite the challenges and uncertainties that lie ahead. To get the year off to a strong start, faculty members were welcomed back with this informational and inspirational look at what all students need in order to L.E.A.R.N. The goal of this keynote is to reconnect instructional and non-instructional faculty and administrators with their passion and their purpose, while recognizing their role and responsibility in ensuring that all students grow and achieve.

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  • How to Teach so Students L.E.A.R.N.

    The Vineland School District welcomed their faculty back with this informational and inspirational look at what all students need in order to L.E.A.R.N. The goal of this keynote was to reconnect ifaculty and administrators with their passion, their purpose and their power, while recognizing their role and responsibility in ensuring that all students grow and achieve despite the challenges that lie ahead.

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  • Student Engagement Strategies for Remote & In-person Learning

    Little Falls teachers gathered outside for a drive-in theater style PD session that was unlike anything I've ever done. Designed to address the biggest concern identified in a recent teacher survey, this workshop provided a wide array of easy-to-implement instructional strategies that can be used to elevate engagement, elicit interest, increase effort, and optimize achievement. This completely interactive workshop was presented as a live simulation that featured examples of how each strategy can be used from grades K-8 and across all content areas. Teachers left with a set of ready-to-use resources that will allow the techniques to be used in their next lesson!

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  • How to Know Where Kids "Are" & Get Them to Where They Need "To Be"

    The Hazlet Township SD is beginning the school year with a series of professional learning experiences designed to help teachers address the unprecedented challenges that lie ahead. My session addressed the importance of using on-going, classroom-based, formative assessment as a means to identify what students already know and are able to do so teachers can plan and provide instruction that will help students move forward.  

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  • Turning a Strategic Plan into a Leadership Tool

    Rockaway Township's administrators gathered again for the second half of their Leadership Retreat.  During this "hands-on" session, school and district leaders were given the greatest gift of all - time to work together.  The focus of this completely interactive professional learning experience was to transform their new three-year strategic plan into an implementable action guide.  By the end of the workshop, they synthesized the 3-year plan into a graphic to depict the entire plan as a plan-on-a-page and turn goals into a series of time-bound, evidence-based action steps.  Incredible!  

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  • Virtual Admin PD Sessions

    Manchester Township's Admin Team understands the unprecedented challenges associated with leading schools during these rapidly changing times. To address the key competancies that school leaders will need to re-open schools and re-engage their school communities in high-quality learning experiences, three customized professional learning experiences were provided during 90-minute Zoom sessions.

    1. How to Use Social, Emotional and Academic Data to Support Student Growth

    2. How to Know Where Kids "Are" and Get Them to Where They Need "To Be."

    3. Using High-Impact Instructional Practices to Accelerate Achievement.

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  • Leading During Changing Times

    Rockaway Township's Admin Team gathered to reconnect, reset and reaffirm their role as instructional leaders.  After taking "A Look Back" at 2019-2020 and sharing what made them proud, the team took "A Look Ahead" and expolored opportunities that may exist among the uncertainties of 2020-2021.  We then examined the research-based factors that must be in place to ensure all students learn and grow despite the challenges.  The program concluded with a discussion of the importance of leading through questions during times of adaptive change.  

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  • L.E.A.R.N.

    The Innovative Schools Summit provided educators from around the world the opportunity to explore how to "reach and teach" students during this time of unprecedented change and uncertainly.  During this keynote address, participants learned the research-based factors that need to be in place to ensure all students learn and grow, regardless of their individual or community-based circumstance.     

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  • L.E.A.R.N.

    The leadership teams from Southern York and Northeastern York School Districts in PA gathered for this informational and inspirational look at what all students need in order to L.E.A.R.N. The purpose was to reconnect administrators with their passion and their purpose, while recognizing their role and responsibility in ensuring that teachers teach in ways that ensure students learn.

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  • How to Teach Students to Self-Assess & Set Goals

    Stand Tall Steve's virtual educational leadership series provided educators an oppurtunity to engage in meanignful remote learning opportunities while sequestered at home.  For my part, I shared practical strategies and resources that can be used to teach students to become leaders of their own learning.  

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  • Salem County PD Day

    I was so excited to offer three sessions as part of the county-wide PD day. Descriptions of my workshops are provided below.

    Using Data to Optimize Student Outcomes

    The ability to use data is an essential skill for teachers and administrators who want to make a real and lasting difference in the learning lives of students. During this highly interactive session, participants will learn how to apply the principles, practices and protocols of effective data analysis to various sources of data (including the day-to-day data that can be collected and utilized as part of daily instruction). "Hands-on" activities will be used to practice data strategies and ready-to-use resources will be provided to support easy and immediate implementation.

    Leading with Questions: How to Use a Shared Inquiry Process to Improve Schools

    Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." I say, "The unexamined school is not worth attending." Too many schools perpetuate past practices without questioning their impact or efficacy. As a result, outcomes remain unchanged, people become frustrated, and opportunities to innovate are lost. During this interactive session, participants will learn how to use the "Why, What if, How" framework to lead a journey of collaborative inquiry that creates new possibilities and culminates in change.

    Learning Through Questions

    In his book, Driven by Data, Paul Bambrick-Santoyo says, "The level of mastery that will be reached is determined entirely by what sort of questions students are expected to answer." During this session, participants will learn how to increase achievement and student engagement by addressing the questions used during instruction and on assessments. Through a variety of simulated classroom activities, attendees will leave with a clear understanding of how to use questions raise the level of rigor, deepen understanding, and "get kids thinking." Teachers will also learn how to use Rothstein and Santana's Question Formulation Technique to teach students how to generate their own questions and pursue their own answers.

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  • Leading the Work of Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes

    West Essex brought together teacher leaders and administrators to learn how to use data to strengthen professional practice, set and achieve school goals, assess the effectiveness of practices and programs, and optimize student outcomes. It was a full day of "hands-on," collaborative professional learning experiences designed to build the culture and capacity of all faculty members to weave the use of data into daily instructional and administrative practices.

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  • Strategic Planning in North Plainfield

    North Plainfield School District understands that no strategic planning process is complete without the meaningful engagement of a school district's most important constituency - the students. On Monday, I facilitated student input sessions with students in grades seven through twelve at the middle school and high school. Then, I led a completely interactive session with faculty members from West End School and Stony Brook School. Sessions with staff and students from the other schools will follow shortly.

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  • Using Data to Optimize Student Outcomes

    Wayne Township provided all fourth and fifth grade teachers the opportunity to learn how to use day-to-day, classroom data as well as standardized data sources to inform professional practice and improve student outcomes. Throughout the day, teachers engaged in "hands-on" data analysis activities that demonstrated how to integrate these strategies into their daily instructional practice. A comprehensive set of resources was provided to support immediate implementation. 

    There is nothing better than getting feedback like this from the person who hired you to come to their district and work with their teachers! 

    Dr. Severns recently presented her 'Data to Improve Outcomes' workshop to our fourth and fifth grade teachers. Feedback from those in attendance was overwhelmingly positive! Teachers were thrilled to leave the session with strategies and resources which are easy to implement in their classrooms. They expressed enthusiasm that data use was presented in a non-threatening, purposeful way, and with a focus on student success.

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  • Make it Happen! How to Turn a Job Opening into a Job Offer

    A great resume may get you in the door, but you won't get the job unless you "nail" the interview. During this completely interactive session, participants learned the interviewing skills necessary to land that dream job. We focused on how to prepare for an interview, how to address questions during individual and group interviews, and what to do after the interview. We also discussed what to bring to an interview and how to impress if asked to complete a performance task. This should be considered a "must" for anyone seeking a new employment opportunity! 

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  • The Leader's Role in Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes

    Plainfield understands that as instructional leaders, administrators must not only understand data and how to use it for their own purposes; they must also know how to engage teachers in practices that place data at the center of their work. During this interactive inservice, Plainfield's administrative team addressed the leader's role in helping teachers view data as essential to the work that is done with students and colleagues and provided strategies to engage educators in data-based, instructional decision making. Participants learned how to use data to measure student progress, analyze performance, and examine the effectiveness of programs and practices. Specific activities addressed the leader's role in identifying and utilizing data from various sources, facilitating data analysis activities and using data to set and achieve goals.

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  • Creating Systems and Structures that Support and Sustain School Improvement

    Collegium Charter School understands that to improve the way students learn, you need enhance the way teachers teach. And to enhance the way teachers teach, you need to strengthen the way leaders lead. During this culminating session of a five-part leadership series, Collegium's leadership team first examined school and student data through an equity lense. As Jim Collins said in Good to Great, "an honest assessment of the current reality" is the first step in any change process. After discovering "what is" we used an inquiry process to move through the "why, what if, how" progression. Then, we turned our attention to learning how to create and employ systems and structures that improve organizational effectiveness, increase efficiency, and address equity. To say it was a powerful day would be an understatement!

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  • Inquiry as the Heart of Data Analysis

    Sparta Township really knows how to celebrate Valentine's Day! What could be better than a full day on data?! In the morning, Julia (from LinkIt!) and I facilitated an interactive workshop with elementary data teams and in the afternoon I presented a session for middle school and high school teachers on the role of data in enhancing professional practice and optimizing student outcomes. Both sessions demonstrated how to use data and inquiry to propel an ongoing cycle of school improvement.

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  • Using Data to Improve Teaching & Learning

    As instructional leaders, administrators must not only understand data and how to use it for their own purposes; they must also know how to engage teachers in practices that place data at the center of their work. This interactive inservice. held at the Morris Union Jointure Commission, addressed the leader's role in helping teachers view data as essential to the work that is done with students and colleagues and provided strategies to engage educators in data-based, instructional decision making. Participants learned how to use data to measure student progress, analyze teacher performance, and examine the effectiveness of programs and practices. Specific activities addressed the leader's role in identifying and utilizing data from various sources, facilitating data analysis activities and optimizing the use of local assessments to improve instruction.

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  • Strategic Planning - Student & Faculty Input Sessions

    North Plainfield School District understands that no strategic planning process is complete without the meaningful engagement of a school district's most important constituency - the students. On Monday, I facilitated student input sessions with third and fourth graders at East End School, West End School and Stony Brook School. Then, I went on to Somerset School to hear from fifth and sixth grade students. The day culminated in a completely interactive input session with faculty members from East End School and Somerset School. Sessions with staff and students from the other schools will follow shortly.

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  • Improving Results by Raising Rigor & Engagement

    Esperanza Academy Charter School is dedicated to providing students with an educational program that is both challenging and engaging. During this workshop, faculty members learned how to use high-impact instructional practices to optimize teaching and learning.  Together, we explored how to use teacher clarity, student talk, rigorous tasks and specific feedback to elevate student engagement and improve academic achievement.

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  • Make it Happen! How to Turn a Job Opening into a Job Offer

    Our schools need leaders who can help students and staff achieve their greatest potential. At the same time, many aspiring leaders remain untapped because they don't know how to market themselves and turn their potential into a position.

    NJASCD and I tackled both issues through one great partnership. During this two-part series, current and future leaders will learn, practice and apply how to navigate the job search process from the job posting to the job offer. On Jan. 29th, participants learned how to "write the right" resume and craft a "killer" cover letter.  On Feb. 24th attendees will get feedback on their resume and learn how to prepare for, participate in and follow-up after an interview. Additional topics will include how to create a professional portfolio and develop a 90 day plan to ensure a successful transition into a new role.

    At $100 per person, per session, it's the best investment in your career you will ever make.

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  • Can You Hear Me Now? The Role of Student Voice in School Quality and Student Performance

    Monroe Township is committed to reaching and teaching every single one of their students. I am honored to return to Monroe for the second year in a row to deliver the keynote address and provide a two-hour breakout session. The keynote addressed the critical role of student voice in school success. Informed by the Quaglia Report on School Voice, we explored the research and rationale for "listening to, learning from and leading with" students. In keeping with the theme for the day, my breakout session addressed Learner-Engaged Instruction and Assessment. Participants left with practical strategies and ready-to-use resources they can use to teach and "test" in ways that engage students as partners in the learning process.

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  • NJ Superintendents' Study Council

    As a graduate of Seton Hall's doctoral program in Educational Leadership, it was a thrill to return to this fine institution to facilitate the NJ Superintendents' Study Council. During this interactive session, I worked alongside my LinkIt friends to demonstrate the superintendent's role in in leading an on-going cycle of school improvement that is fueled by data and propelled by meaningful questions.

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  • Using Data to Improve Teaching & Learning

    Collegium Charter School's leadership team came together for the fourth of a five-part series designed to elevate the culture of the district and the capacity of school leaders to engage in behaviors that improve professional practice and optimize student outcomes. This session focused on the role of data in school improvement efforts and featured a variety of data analysis activities that can be used to turn an entire school (and district!) into a high-performing data team.

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  • Now What? How to Use Benchmark Data to Address Each Student's Needs

    Teachers at the Matthew Jago Elementary School in Woodbridge met in PLCs for guided practice in how to use Q2 benchmark assessment results to address the needs of their class as a whole and each child individually. We also used the data to reflect on professional practice, program alignment and strategies to provide intervention and enrichment. It was an opportunity to engage in the most meaningful kind of data analysis training - the kind that uses teachers' real data from their current students to plan actual, implementable instructional strategies.

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  • Strategic Planning in North Plainfield

    North Plainfield School District began the process of "Looking Forward" with a meeting of the Core Committee followed by an interactive input session with high school faculty members. Over the next several months, similar dynamic input sessions with students, faculty and community members will be conducted at each school. By the end of the multifaceted process, every member of the school community (students, parents, faculty, staff, administrators, BOE members, and community members) will have had the opportunity to reflect on the past, evaluate the present, and create a new future for the district.

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  • The Leader's Role in Using Data to Optimize Student Outcomes

    Principals in Chattanooga, TN began 2020 with a hands-on professional learning experience during which they learned, practiced and applied data analysis techniques that improve student outcomes and achieve school goals. I was happy to see that Tennessee was "all in" for this high-powered PD session facilitated by a high-energy Jersey girl!

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  • Evidence-Centered Leadership, Part II

    Mountain Lakes School District's school leaders gathered for the second day of our two-part series on Evidence-Centered Leadership. After our initial examination of concepts pertaining to Culture and Capacity, we turned our attention to the research and practices associated with Coherence and Courage. Together, we are building the individual and collective ability of leaders to make substantive and sustained impact on student outcomes.

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  • Building a Data Culture of Capacity and Commitment. Are we willing? Are we able?

    The South Jersey and Data Leadership Partnership and LinkIt! hosted this dynamic session focused on elevating the willingness and ability of school personnel to use data. Topics included:

    • Cultivating the perceived need and a sense of urgency to use data
    • Identifying and addressing obstacles and opportunities that influence the use of data
    • Using inquiry to propel an ongoing cycle of school improvement
    • Leading faculty engagement activities that build capacity and motivation for using data
    • Developing systems and structures that make the use of data meaningful, manageable, and measurable
    • Reviewing case studies of successful New Jersey districts' data-driven initiatives

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  • Using Feedback to Support Teaching & Learning

    Collegium's school leaders worked together to apply what they've learned about role of clarity, student engagement, and meaningful tasks to the practice of using feedback to improve teaching and learning. The morning session focused on the role of task, process and self-regulation feedback by and among students in the classroom. The afternoon will address the "why, what and how" of using feedback with teachers to strengthen professional practice and improve student outcomes.  

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  • Leadership in Special Education: Data Analysis & Instructional Improvement Techniques

    While all students benefit when educators use data and high-impact strategies, students with learning differences need these practices. During this interactive session, special education teachers, child study team members and administrators learned how to:

    1. Employ an inquiry-based cycle of improvement (assess, analyze, act);

    2. Use data to evaluate the effectiveness of programs & practices;

    3. Accelerate progress by using high-impact instructional strategies;

    4. Improve planning & student performance by using classroom data;

    5. Engage students in using data to set goals & create growth plans.

    Participants left with ready-to-use resources to support immediate implementation of the proven, practical strategies they learned.

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  • The Analytics of Schools

    The Ohio School Leadership Foundation hosted a two-day professional learning experience for superintendents on The Analytics of Schools. The purpose of the program was to provide superintendents with the tools, skills and strategies necessary to use data to communicate the "story" of their school district and improve student outcomes. Day 1 was facilitated by Forecast 5, a data company that puts powerful data analytics in the hands of superintendents. Day 2 (my turn!) focused on "the how" - how to use analytics to elicit and engage school boards, district faculty and local communities in the use of data to improve effectiveness and efficiency.

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  • Courageous Leadership

    Creating a new business requires courage, especially when the leader is a woman. During this highly interactive and introspective session, participants of B.I.G. (Belive. Inspire. Grow) in Morristown examined the unique role that courage plays in female entrepreneurial leadership. Topics included why women find it so difficult, what's at stake, and factors that influence the ability to engage in what Viviane Robinson calls "constructive problem talk" and what Susan Scott refers to as "fierce conversations." Together, we explored the five dimensions of courageous leadership as they apply to women: the courage to question, the courage to listen, the courage to name the "nondiscussables", the courage to "speak truth to power" and the courage to learn. Resources were provided to "bring home" what is learned.

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  • LinkIt! Teacher & Principal Academy

    Jefferson, Freehold and Vineland were the sites for this year's Teacher & Principal Academies in north, central and south Jersey.  Each day started with a keynote and was followed by two completely interactive sessions:  Learner-Engaged Instruction and Assessment and Can You Hear Me Now? The Role of Student Voice in School Quaity and Student Performance.  

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  • Special Education: How to Maximize Progress & Performance

    While all students benefit when educators use data and high-impact strategies, students with learning differences need these practices. During this interactive session, participants learned how to:

    1. Employ an inquiry-based cycle of improvement (assess, analyze, act);

    2. Use data to evaluate the effectiveness of programs & practices;

    3. Accelerate progress by using high-impact instructional strategies;

    4. Improve planning & student performance by using classroom data;

    5. Engage students in using data to set goals & create growth plans.

    This was a high-energy, high-impact session for a room full of special education teachers, CST members and administrators. 

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  • The Role of Student Engagement and Meaningful Work

    Collegium's admin team and coaches continued their study and practice of instructional leadership skills that maximize student outcomes. During this session, we focused on two critical elements: student engagement and instructional tasks. After discussing and analyzing each of the factors separately, we examined the impact they have when they come together in the classroom.

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  • Using High-Impact Practices to Optimize Student Outcomes

    Waynesville, Missouri was the sight for some high-powered learning! During this completely interactive professional learning experience, high school teachers (in the AM) and middle school teachers (in the PM) learned how to use high-impact instructional practices and evidence (AKA data) to optimize student outcomes. Particular emphasis was placed on improving the use of teacher clarity, student talk, thinking tasks and feedback, along with day-to-day data sources to maximize instructional impact.

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  • Can you Hear Me Now? The Role of Student Voice in School Quality & Student Performance

    The four districts of Passaic Valley Regional came together for a PD day focused on ensuring that all schools are "reaching and teaching" every child. During my keynote, I addressed two critical questions:

    1. What is the role of student voice in school quality and student performance?

    2. What practical strategies can we use to elicit, engage and act on student voice?

    During my breakout sessions, participants examined and shared research on the power and importance of student voice and then worked together to create collective commitments for employing strategies to connect with every kid.

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  • Building a High-Performing Leadership Team

    The Mountain Lakes School District understands the critical role leaders play in shaping the present and determining the future of the District and the students it serves. During this first of five sessions, we focused on developing the relational and procedural foundation on which subsequent culture and capacity-building work will take place. Over the course of our time together, we will endeavor to:

    1. Develop a shared understanding of the knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary to enhance individual professional practice, strengthen the collective efficacy of the admin team, and achieve school/District goals.

    2. Deepen and extend the use of instructional leadership practices that optimize student outcomes.

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  • The Ties that Bind: Using Data to Connect Efforts to Improve Outcomes

    Effectively connecting the dots between complex mandates, instructional programs, and initiatives is a tremendous challenge. With the right culture, tools, and support data can become the universal language that connects curriculum, instruction, personnel, PD, and financial leaders. During this session at the NJSBA Workshop in Atlantic City, I joined the Superintendent of Mt. Olive, Dr. Rob Zwyicki to provide an overview of the "why, what and how" of Mount Olive's assessment and data strategic plan.

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  • Diving Deeper with Data

    Teachers at the Matthew Jago School in Woodbridge met in PLCs to examine ways to deepen and extend their use of data to improve student outcomes. The content and activities were tailored to address the unique needs and interests of teachers from pre-K to 5.

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  • Leading with Questions: How to Use a Shared Inquiry Process to Improve Schools

    What an amazing session!  I was so excited to offer this new workshop at FEA/NJPSA/NJASCD's Annual Conference in Long Branch, NJ. The purpose of this workshop was to address the leader's role in cultivating a culture of inquiry that uses questions to challenge every facet of how we "do school" today to create better schools for tomorrow. During this interactive session, participants learned how to use the "Why, What if, How" framework to lead a journey of collaborative inquiry that opens up thinking, generates new possibilities and culminates in change.

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  • Using Data to Move it & Prove it

    NJ Charter Schools Association hosted their annual conference in AC this year and I was there to host this completely interactive session on how to engage faculty members in the use data to improve student outcomes and achieve school goals. Facilitated as a live simulation of a "real" school administrator engaged in the "real" work of leading data-informed improvement efforts, participant gained a clear understanding of how to do begin, sustain and support the work and left with a set of resources to ensure easy and immediate implementation.

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  • Using Data to Improve Teaching and Learning

    West Milford teachers and administrators understand that the ability to use data is an essential skill for educators who want to make a difference in the learning lives of students. During this highly interactive session, participants learned how to apply the principles, practices and protocols of effective data analysis to various sources data. "Hands-on" activities were used to practice data strategies and ready-to-use resources were provided to support easy implementation. 

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  • Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes

    Woodstown-Pilesgrove's teachers and administrators (all 160 of them!) participated in an interactive session that addressed how to apply the principles, practices and protocols of effective data analysis to various sources data. "Hands-on" activities were used to practice data strategies and ready-to-use resources were provided to support easy implementation.  It was a high-energy day of true co-labor-ation!

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  • Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes

    Manchester Township's data teams spent the day learning how to use data to improve student outcomes and achieve district goals. Through a series of "hands-on" activities and focused conversations, participants learned how to: use local data sources and standardized assessment resutls to reflect upon and refine instructional practice; measure and monitor student progress and performance; and evaluate the effectiveness of programs and practices. It was an action-packed day!

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  • The Role of Clarity in Teaching & Learning

    In the words of Brene Brown, "Clear is kind." In education, clear is king. During this interactive session, Collegium Charter School's district and school leaders addressed the importance of clarity in the classroom. Together, we learned, practiced and applied proven strategies that ensure all students know what they are learning, why it matters and what mastery looks like. We even included a lunch time "Look 4 Learning" walk to see what we found in the classrooms!

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  • Raising the Rigor

    What factors distinguish academic levels in your school? In Methacton, PA teachers from science, social studies, mathematics and English Language Arts met during subject-specific, half-day sessions to clarify the differences between "Honors" and "Academic" level classes. Together, we explored the concept of rigor and examined how it applies to instruction, curriculum and assessment. 

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  • PA Summit for Assistant Superintendents

    Assistant superintendents face unique challenges. "Leading from the middle" often makes it difficult to impact student outcomes and school operations in the ways they wish. During this completely interactive presentation, assistant superintendents from across PA gathered to study Evidence-Centered Leadership and explore how to use practical, proven strategies associated with each of the 4Cs of ECL (Culture, Capacity, Coherence and Courage) to enhance their ability to make a difference in the learning lives of students and staff.

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  • Leading Educational Equity

    How do you ensure all students have an equitable opportunity to realize their greatest potential? Edmentum hosted a one-day conference in Princeton for educational leaders who have the courage and committment to engage in tough conversations about equity. I was honored to provide a truth-filled, thought-provoking keynote designed to reveal the obstacles and opportunities to educational equity. .

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  • From Concept to Creation: The Development of Learning Design Teams

    Middletown is integrating and elevating their efforts to improve student outcomes by transforming their previous SCIP and Teacher Teams into Learning Design Teams. During this completely interactive day, teams worked together to lay the foundation for a successful year.

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  • Establishing High-Impact School Improvement & Innovation Teams

    Collegium Charter Schools kicked-off the school year by creating new teams, one from each of the five schools, that will guide and support building-based improvement and innovation efforts. During this first session, we focused on the people, the principles, the practices and the protocols of leading change.

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  • Using Data to Optimize Student Outcomes

    West Milford Township's secondary teachers kicked-off the year with an interactive professional learning experience designed to address the role of data in maximizing outcomes for secondary students. During this full-day program, participants identified the types, sources & uses of data; learned the principles, practices & protocols of effective data analysis; and discovered how to use day-to-day data to improve students' progress and performance.

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  • L.E.A.R.N.

    The Fair Haven School District welcomed faculty members back to school with an informational and inspirational keynote that sought to reconnect educators with their passion and their purpose. Together, we explored what all students need in order to LEARN.  Based on the feedback from teachers and administrators, it was a high-energy, high-impact experience!

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  • Using High-Impact Practices to Accelerate Learning

    Paulsboro Township's teachers were welcomed back with a completely interactive professional learning experience designed to reconnect them with their purpose, rekindle their passion, and refine their practice so more will become possible for their students. After a brief inspirational keynote, pre-K to 12 teachers explored how to use teacher clarity, student talk, thinking tasks and feedback to optimize student progress and performance.

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  • Data Carousel Webinar

    LinkIt! and I partnered to host a webinar designed to equip school leaders with the skills and strategies necessary to facilitate one of the most dynamic and effective data analysis activities out there: the Data Carousel. During the webinar, participants learned how to use a data carousel to: get faculty members interested, engaged and invested in using data; provide information that can be used to conduct root cause analyses; introduce your school's performance outcomes and reporting resources; and establish common goals and school improvement plans.

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  • The Leader's Role in Turning Staff Meetings into Professional Learning Experiences

    Rockaway Township administrators participated in a unique PD/collaborative work session designed to equip them with the knowledge, skills, tools and techniques necessary to transform staff meetings into professional learning experiences that will improve student outcomes and achieve district goals.  By the end of the session, they created a shared operational definition, decided on a new name, established a common process & procedures, and agreed on a clear set of collective commitments that will ensure quality and consistency across the district.

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  • The Role of Data in Decision-Making by the Board of Education

    The Holmdel School District is "committed to excellence" and "producing superior results for all" (Holmdel homepage). During this interactive session with members of the Curriculum & Instruction Committee of the Board, we explored the types, sources and uses of data, as well as data analysis principles, practices and protocols that can be used to assess current performance, conduct root cause analyses, set and achieve ambitious goals and improve student outcomes. 

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  • The Leader's Role in Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes

    Ocean City School District dedicated a full-day to learning how to turn raw data into real results. During this completely interactive, "hands-on" session, team leaders and administrators learned, practiced and applied the principles and protocols of data analysis that propel an on-going cycle of improvement (assess, analyze, act).  It was such a great pleasure to work with such an impressive team.

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  • The Leader's Role in Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes

    Sparta's admin team is committed to using data to strengthen professional practice, achieve school goals and optimize student achievement. During this half-day, "hands-on," intensive session, school and district leaders learned, practiced and applied the principles, practices and protocols that turn data into results.  I am already looking forward to my return on Valentine's Day!

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  • Make it Matter! A Conversation about Data.

    The Somerset County Executive Superintendent's Office of the NJDOE hosted a dynamic day of learning for school district teams at Branchburg Central Middle School. Participants learned how to: use an inquiry process to surface and examine their "truth," conduct a data inventory and assessment audit to reveal redundancies and gaps, engage educators in root cause analyses, and use data to evaluate programs and practices and set meaningful and measurable goals.

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  • Big Lessons from Little Falls: Three Data Practices that Turned Untapped Potential into Unprecedented Performance

    Washington,DC was where data leaders from across the US gathered at the NCES-STATS Data Conference, sponsored by the US Dept. of Education, to learn how educators and organizations are improving outcomes for kids through the thoughtful and effective use of data. I was honored to co-present with Tracey Marinelli, Superintendent of Little Falls School District, to tell the story of their transformation from an average to an exceptional (Blue Ribbon nominated!) school system. It was a high-powered, two-Tracey performance!

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  • Student Voice & Choice and Learner Engaged Instruction & Assessment

    LinkIt! hosted two dynamic days of learning at the Montgomery IU and Bucks IU in PA that addressed The Role of Voice and Choice in Student Outcomes and Learner-Engaged Instruction and Assessment. Participants left equiped with the resources and "know how" to use a wide variety of practical strategies to connect with their students and teach them in ways that produce more than one year's growth in one year's time.

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  • The Leader's Role in Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes

    School and district leaders in Methacton, PA gathered to address the critical role of data in achieving school goals and reaching and teaching every student.  As a high-performing school district, we discussed the importance of using data to create a perceived need to evaluate the effectiveness of instructional practices and to develop an openness to change what may not be working.   

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  • Using Walk-Throughs to Improve Student Outcomes

    Collegium Charter School in PA assembled their admin team and instructional coaches to develop a revised "Look 4 Learning" (walk-through) tool and process.  Their goal is to improve student outcomes by elevating the quality of instruction and the caliber of learning tasks through feedback gathered during walk throughs (learning walks). Together, we focused on four key outcomes:  a shared operational definition, a common process & procedures, an effective and efficient tool, and a clear set of collective commitments.

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  • The Leader's Role in Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes

    Manchester Township leaders are committed to using data to improve professional practice and achieve school goals.  During this completely interactive day of learning, district administrators worked together the practice and apply the principles and protocols of effective data analysis.  To continue this effort, I've been invited to return in October to work with their Assessment Committees. 

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  • Military Connected Admin Retreat

    In Nashville, TN four districts that serve students from military connect families gathered to learn how to reach and teach children who come to school with a unique set of social, emotional and academic challenges.  Admin teams from Missouri, Kansas, Texas and New Jersey worked together from 8:30am - 5:30pm to address three key topics:  the role of data in optimizing outcomes for "short-timers" (students who relocate frequently), the use of high-impact instructional practices to accelerate learning, and how to get kids engaged and thinking.  This was truly a highlight of my professional career.   

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  • "Hand-on" Analysis of District Performance Data

    Pinelands Regional and Little Egg Harbor School District's admin teams gathered to learn, practice and apply the principles of sound data analysis. Guidance and support for admin teams was then be provided as they conducted an analysis of their District Performance Data. Content also included strategies for engaging faculty in data analysis activities and how to use the results to set goals (e.g. school goals, SGOs) and develop high-impact, data-informed strategic plans (e.g. school improvement plans, professional development plans).

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  • NJDOE Field Services Support

    Communication, collaboration and conversation strategies were used to delve more deeply into the work of supporting statewide school improvement. Topics included the role of data in "naming" and addressing issues of equity and ways to foster new approaches to thinking about perennial problems.

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  • Creating High-Performing Data Teams

    West Milford kicked off the summer with a full-day workshop designed to address the purpose and principles of effective data analysis for their newly established data team and administrators. It's was an action-packed day of hands-on learning!  And they've already asked me to come back and continue our work together!  There's no better affirmation of a job well-done!

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  • Evidence-Centered Leadership

    Delaware Valley Regional's Admin Team gathered for an intensive, interactive and reflective day of learning that addressed the leadership behaviors that have the greatest impact on student outcomes and professional practice. Research and resources were used to address how to enhance the culture, elevate the capacity, provide the coherence and muster the courage to make a real and lasting difference in their schools and the learning lives of their students.

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  • NJDOE Field Services Support for ESSA Districts

    How can districts use data to "market" results, motivate improvement, set goals and develop school improvement plans that lead to substantive improvements in student outcomes?  The answer to this question was the focus of this interactive session.  In addition, participants learned, practiced and applied several data analysis techniques that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of programs and practices, conduct root cause analyses, and scale up practices that are achieving desired outcomes.  The role of data in identifying and addressing equity in schools was also explored.  The day ended with "converstations" - an opportunity for participants to engage in self-selected discussion topics. 

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  • Differentiated Data Analysis

    A total of 189 educators from across NJ gathered to learn how to use the day-to-day data sources, as well as standardized assessments results, to improve their students' outcomes.  For each session, the content and activities were differentiated to address the unique needs, interests, contexts, data sources and mindsets of educators at each grade span:  K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.  Based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback, this series will be offered again in the fall.  

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  • How to Write the Right Resume

    Without the right resume, even the most qualified candidates don't get an interview.  During this small group session, five educators with aspirations for new opportunities learned how to create a resume that will get them in the door.  

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  • Autism Think Tank

    Rather than begin this new initiative by searching for answers, we decided to begin by brainstorming the questions.  My role was to facilitate this high-energy, completely interactive session.  In less than 2 hours, this distinguished group generated more than 200 powerful and important questions.  From here, questions will be prioritized and picked as focus areas for out collective efforts.   

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  • How to Create School Improvement Plans that Actually Improve Schools

    Bound Brook School District is committed to developing school improvement plans that actually improve schools. During this highly interactive day, administrators practiced and applied ways to use their data and a collaborative approach to planning to develop goals and strategies that will produce measurable improvements in identified areas.

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  • NJDOE Field Services Support for ESSA Districts

    After analyzing and discussing the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL), the NJDOE's county leaders examined the relationship between the content of the Standards and the indicators included in the Comprehensive Needs Assessment of the Annual School Planning System (ASPS). In addition to focusing on the "what" (content) of the aforementioned documents, we continued to develop the "how" (techniques that can be used to effectively engage adults in active learning experiences).

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  • Galloway Township's Title I Parent Night

    During this third and final return to Galloway Township, I had the opportunity to talk with parents about how to use student "voice and choice" to activate and advance their child's learning. This was an exciting evening focused on practical, easy-to-implement strategies to engage students as partners in the learning process.

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  • Bayonne School Disrict

    Bayonne's K-2 teachers deepened their understanding of how to use data to hone their instructional practice and optimize student outcomes.  Particular emphasis was focused on strategies for involving students in the process of using their own data to own their own learning.

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  • NJDOE Field Services Support for ESSA Districts

    After analyzing and discussing the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL), the NJDOE's county leaders examined the relationship between the content of the Standards and the indicators included in the Comprehensive Needs Assessment of the Annual School Planning System (ASPS). In addition to focusing on the "what" (content) of the aforementioned documents, we will continue to develop the "how" (techniques that can be used to effectively engage adults in active learning experiences).

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  • Instructional Leadership Coaching

    Collegium Charter School continues to support the development of their administrators and supervisors into the instructional leaders they aspire to become and their teaches and students need.  On Tuesday, I spent the day "elbow to elbow" with the high school principal and coach as we focused on strategies to improve what we observed in classrooms.  On Wednesday, I met with six teams of teachers to share patterns of practice noticed during my previous visit and to share strategies they can use to shift the "cognitive load" from the adults to the students.    

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  • Little Falls - Strategic Planning Community Forum

    Incredible!  Seventy-two people came out on a cold March Monday evening to lend their voice to the Strategic Planning process in Little Falls.  In order to elicit 100% engagement and to ensure complete transparency, I used an Interview Design to provide every participant the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings regarding 5 key questions:  What do you consider to be the strengths of the District? What do you consider to be the weaknesses of the District?  What opportunities can be used to leverage improvement in the District?  What do you believe are the internal threats that may compromise the future of the District? and What do you believe are the external threats that may compromise the future of the District?  Participants then analyzed the data they collected during their 1-1 conversations, blended their findings together with their "like question colleagues" and presented the outcomes to the entire group.  It was the most powerful, positive and productive session I have ever had the opportunity to lead.

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  • Instructional Leadership Coaching

    Three principals, three schools, three days.  I was excited to return to Collegium Charter School in Exton, PA to continue working alongside principals in their own schools to advance their instructional leadership skills.

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  • Strategic Planning - Little Falls School District

    The BOE and Admin Team at Little Falls are completely committed to engaging all voices in the development of their next strategic plan. On this date, I facilitated interactive stakeholder sessions at School #1 with students in grades 3,4 and 5 and then with faculty.  There is so much to learn if you just listen!

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  • NJDOE Field Services Support for ESSA Districts

    Change Leadership was the topic for the first of what will be five sessions designed to address the role of NJDOE's county leaders in supporting substantive and sustainable school improvement.  It was thought-provoking, action-inducing exploration of this critical topic.

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  • The Role of Student Voice in School Safety and Student Performance

    Galloway School District hosted a dynamic day of learning that provided a combination of choice and required PD sessions.  Thank you to everyone who opted to join me to learn more about the power and importance of eliciting, engaging and acting on student voice in our schools.  Not only does voice and choice improve student learning, it also goes a long way toward keeping our schools safe.  

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  • Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes

    The Wharton School District is dedicated to improving the "learning lives" of all their students. During this two-part, PD program, leaders participated in a morning session that addressed their role in using data to inform and guide school improvement. In the afternoon, faculty members engaged in a session designed to address their role in using data to improve teaching and learning.

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  • Unlocking Learning

    Middlesex High School was the site of a dynamic learning experience on this brisk Saturday morning.  For my part, I was pleased to present two sessions:  How to Write the Right Resume and Practices In Possibility.  Both were a joy to offer for these outstanding, over-and-above educators. 

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  • L.E.A.R.N., The Answer is the Questions, Making Thinking Visible

    Monroe Township School District in Gloucester County was pulsing with activity as all 400+ faculty members engaged in a full day of professional development.  I was honored to deliver the keynote, LEARN, as well as provide two breakout sessions.

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  • Pick Me! How to Land that Next Great Leadership Opportunity.

    During this culminating activity, members of the Bucks County IU's Leadership Cohorts learned how to "write the right" resume, craft a "killer" cover letter and "show what they know" during interviews.  According to the evaluations, this was one of the most important and impactful workshops they ever attended. In fact, every participant rated it a 5!  The highest score possible!  I can't wait to hear where their new resumes take them! 

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  • The Role of Communication in Personal & Professional Success

    During this highly interactive session at Delaware Valley Regional High School, all 160 of the district's faculty and staff explored the factors that influence the quality and character of interpersonal communication.  Why care about communication among the adults in a school?  Because it has a direct impact on the level of social and academic progress of its students!

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  • Instructional Leadership Coaching

    The most effective PD we can offer principals is working shoulder to shoulder with them in their own schools.  On Tuesday,I spent the day with Gavin in his K-4 school.  On Wednesday, I worked alongside Shaun in his grade 5-6 school. Everything we did was completely tailored to the unique context of each school.  I am already looking forward to partnering again with them in late February!

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  • Strategic Planning - Cedar Grove, Secondary Students & Faculty

    Cedar Grove has partnered with Rutgers University's Center for Effective School Practices to facilitate the development of a high-quality, comprehensive strategic plan that will guide their improvement efforts for the next three years.  On this date, I hosted sessions with middle school and high school students and all grade 5-12 faculty members.  Each forum was designed to engage participants in focused conversations regarding the district's strengths, weaknesses, obstacles and opportunities for improvement.

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  • Using Data to Move It & Prove It

    The Passaic County Curriculum Consortium hosted a learning opportunity that engaged their members in a live simulation of data analysis activities designed to be brought back and used in thier schools.  It was a completely interactive, application-based experience. Fortunately, they came ready to move!

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  • Principal & Teacher Data Academies

    LinkIt! hosted five, high-power, hands-on, SOLD OUT data analysis academies at locations across NJ and PA. I was thrilled to be a part of their efforts to equip teachers and administrators with the knowledge, skills and tools they need to turn data into actions that improve student outcomes and professional practice.

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  • Strategic Planning - Community Forum

    Cedar Grove has partnered with Rutgers University's Center for Effective School Practices to facilitate the development of a high-quality, comprehensive strategic plan that will guide their improvement efforts for the next three years. After an initial presentation by Rob Zywicki to the Board of Education and district administrators, the next step in the process was a community forum during which parents and community members engaged in focused conversations designed to elicit input regarding the district's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Based on the  data we collected and the feedback we received, it was a great success!

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  • Partnering with Principals

    Collegium Charter School understands the critical role principals play in leading the core work of schools - the process of teaching and learning. For two days, I worked and learned alongside each of the five principals as they served the students and staff in their respective school. The goal was to provide personalized professional support for each principal that addresses their particular needs, interests and aspirations. I could not be more honored and excited about this opportunity.

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  • Using Data, Instruction and Assessment to Improve Teaching and Learning

    The City of Burlington School District hosted a dynamic day of professional learning for their K-12 faculty during two, half-day programs. I was thrilled to share the full-day in-service with Steve Bollar, who presented, Maximizing School Culture and Climate to half the staff while I presented Using Data, Instruction & Assessment to Improve Teaching and Learning to the other half. After lunch, we switched!  

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  • PASA Statewide Summit for Assistant Superintendents

    PASA is committed to providing Pennsylvania's Assistant Superintendents with professional learning experiences that address their unique role, responsibilities and challenges. During this initial session, 60 Assistant Superintendents engaged in a series of collaborative activities designed to facilitate networking and elevate their capacity to lead in a way that improves learning for every member of the school community.

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  • STEAM Tank, NJSBA in AC

    Being a judge at this year's STEAM Tank competition gave me great hope for the future.  As a middle school judge, I had the opportunity to witness the creative, clever and innovative solutions students developed to address a wide array of real world problems.  Kudos to all the students, their teachers, their families and NJSBA for your efforts to make a meaningful contribution to our planet and our society. 

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  • Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes

    Egg Harbor City Public Schools are committed to using data to maximize student growth and optimize student outcomes. During this interactive session, their 70 faculty members engaged in a professional learning experience designed to address three fundamental objectives: How to identify the types, sources and uses of data; How to use questions to guide data analysis; and How to use data with students, parents and educators to improve student outcomes.

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  • There is no "Them." Only Us. How to Lead Alongside Teachers and Students.

    For schools to be safe and successful, we must "listen to, learn from, and lead with" teachers and students. During this interactive session, participants worked in groups to read and report out on the research and recommendations in the 2016 School Voice Report by the Quaglia Institute to answer two critical questions: What is the role of voice in school safety, culture, and teacher and student performance? and How can we use practical strategies to elicit, engage and act on teacher and student voice? If even half of the people who came do something with what they learned, this will be a better year.

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  • How to Make Schools Safe, Secure & Successful

    What should be hard on the outside and soft on the inside? Schools. During this presentation, Dr. Jill Takacs, Superintendent of Jenkintown, PA and I will co-facilitated a presentation that provided participants at this year's PA School Boards Association Conference in Hershey, PA, practical strategies to maximize school security by implementing safety measures on the outside and enhancing relationships on the inside.  We had a standing-room-only crowd and received extremely positive feedback.  Hopefully, will act on what they learned!

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  • Courageous Leadership

    What is the role of courage in achieving our professional goals and personal aspirations? During this interactive session with the members of B.I.G. (Believe, Inspire, Grow), participants were asked to consider this question along with the reasons why acting courageously is so difficult, what's at stake if we don't behave boldly, and the factors that influence the ability to engage in courageous conversations. Participants were provided specific strategies to develop the confidence and competence necessary to live boldly and speak courageously.

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  • Using High-Impact Instructional Strategies to Accelerate Student Learning

    Students who come to school below grade level require instructional practices that help them achieve more than one year's growth in one year's time.  During this interactive presentation, participants learned how to examine the impact of factors that influence student outcomes, identify practices with a high effect size, and increase their use of instrutional strategies that accelerate learning.  The goal was to turn research into results. This session focused on five high-impact practices: teacher clarity, student talk, thinking tasks, assessment and feedback.  

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  • LEARN (keynote) and Why Data Matters (3 breakouts)

    Toms River Regional hosted an outstanding day of learning for their 1500+ faculty members. I was so excited to be able to kick off the day with my keynote presentation, LEARN, during which we explored the research-based strategies that must be in place to ensure all students achieve their greatest potential. During the breakout sessions that followed, I presented Why Data Matters, a workshop designed to help practitioners use data to identify needs, establish goals, improve professional practice and measure progress and performance. It was an action-packed day of learning!

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  • The Role of Assessment in Improving Student Outcomes

    Northern Burlington Regional School District began their three-year journey into the improvement of student assessment with a full-day program designed to address the research, principles and practices of effective assessment.  I was thrilled to have the opportunity to shed light on this critical pedagogical practice with their 200 faculty members. It was a high-energy, high-impact day of learning!

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  • New Year. New You!

    I was thrilled to facilitate my brand new program at NJASCD North's first meeting of the school year.  Based on the book, The Art of Possibility, by Zander and Zander (2000), this introspective and interactive experience provided educators the opportunity to explore three "practices in possibility."  Each practice included a practical application they could use in the context of their personal and their professional lives.  After the program, I was so excited to hear how people were already planning to use what they learned!   

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  • Visible Learning

    The Science of How We Learn has come to NJ! It was such an honor to join John Almarode and Peter DeWitt in this two-day institute on the principles and practices that enhance the learning outcomes for all students. During the two-day program, we examined the VL research and philosophy, studied the concept of effect size, and discussed how to use high effect size strategies to optimize learning outcomes.  In addition, the role of feedback in the learning process, the characteristics of "assessment capable visible learners," and the mindframes leaders and teachers need to impact student achievement were explored.  As for my role, I shared the "story" of Mount Olive's implementation and integration of VL into the work we do to optimize instructional effectiveness.  

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  • Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes

    Eatontown educators worked alongside colleagues to learn how to use local and state data to identify needs, set meaningful goals and monitor student progress.

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  • L.E.A.R.N. and Lunch and Learns

    Stafford Township faculty received a warm welcome back on Sept. 4th. During the keynote presentation, L.E.A.R.N, my goal was to reignite the passion and revisit our purpose while reviewing what it takes to teach so all children learn. Judging from the feedback, we achieved our goal!

    During two follow-up sessions, teachers were invited to attend an optional  discussion/Q&A session during which we shared strategies to reach and teach every student make this the teachers' best year yet.

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  • L.E.A.R.N and Making Thinking Visible

    Frelinghuysen and Knowlton teachers and leaders received a warm welcome back on Aug. 30th. During the keynote presentation, L.E.A.R.N, we sought to reignite the passion and revisit our purpose while reviewing what it takes to teach so all children learn. In a follow-up session, educators participated in a high-energy learning experience designed to demonstrate how to get kids thinking in every grade level and subject area.

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  • Developing PLCs That Strengthen Professional Practice and Improve Student Outcomes

    Union City leaders understand the power of PLCs to refine instructional practice and accelerate student outcomes. During this "hands-on" learning experience, school and district leaders revisited the critical components that turn a Potential Learning Community into a Professional Learning Community that makes a real and lasting difference in student outcomes.

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  • The Leader's Role in Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes

    Rockaway Township leaders understand the importance of using data to improve professional practice, increase student performance and achieve District goals. During this hands-on learning experience, district administrators studied, practiced and applied the skills and strategies required to use data to achieve results.

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  • Evidence-Centered Leadership

    Leaders from Abington School District and Jenkintown School District are committed to leading their schools in a manner that elevates the professional capacity of their educators and optimizes the achievement of their students. During this highly interactive session, leaders examined the research on leadership practices that positively influence student outcomes and used what they learned to establish priorities and set goals for the coming year.

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  • L.E.A.R.N.

    Upper Perkiomen School District's educators received a warm welcome back on August 21st. During this keynote presentation, my goal was to reconnect the 400+ faculty members to their passion and purpose while revisiting what it takes to teach so that all children learn.  Judging from the feedback, it worked!

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  • LinkIt's 3rd Annual Data Forward Summer Institute: Planning, Training and Collaboration

    I was thrilled to partner with LinkIt to facilitate the second day of their 2-day regional data retreat focused on implementation strategies. My role was to lead data teams through a series of high interest data activities that can be used to get their entire school operating as a highly effective data team. Good thing they ate a good breakfast! This was an action-packed learning experience!

    July 25 - Montgomery County Intermediate Unit

    Aug 1 - Bucks County Intermediate Unit

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  • The Courage to Lead in Technological Times

    My first experience at Hunterdon County EdTech Fest was a great one!  During my session, we addressed these important questions: How do we balance the obligation to protect our students with the opportunity to engage our students in learning experiences that transcend the physical limitations of our schools?  How can we keep kids safe when walls cannot curtail contact, communication or access to information? How do we stay current and create policies, practices and protocols that aren't outdated before they are adolpted?  Together, we will explored the role of courage in leading schools during rapidly changing technological times.

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  • Learning Forward New Jersey

    The Learning Forward team planned a high-powered series of learning experiences for participants at this year's LFNJ Conference. I was so excited to be part of the all star line up! On Thursday, August 2nd, I presented Connecting the Pieces: Using Coherence to Improve Effectiveness, Efficiency and Outcomes. On Friday, August 3rd, I led the session, From Co-blab-oration to Co-labor-ation: Developing PLCs that Actually Improve Teaching and Learning.

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  • The Leader's Role in Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes

    North Penn's district and school leaders understand the importance of using data to identify needs, set goals, and evaluate the effectiveness of improvement efforts. During this highly engaging, completely interactive session, they will learn how to lead these efforts within their unique context while using their data.

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  • How to Write the Right Resume - North Jersey

    Administrators sort resumes into a "yes" pile or "no" pile in a matter of seconds. Where does your land? To get an interview, your resume must include more than your education and employment history. A "yes" resume is a strategic marketing tool that distinguishes you from every other applicant. During this seminar, participants learned how to create the powerful, performance-based resume needed to get a call for an interview.  Need a resume rescue?  Call 908-217-0657 or email docsev@teach4results.com.

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  • Assessing the Assessments

    Gateway Regional understands the essential role assessments play in influencing how students are taught and how much (as well as what) they learn. During this two-day workshop, teachers, supervisors and I worked together to assess the assessments being used in English, Math, Science and Social Studies course in the high school.  Our was to evaluate the degree to which their assessments evaluate students' ability to integrate and apply key concepts and skills, rather than their ability to memorize discreet and disconnected facts. Kudos to Gateway Regional for engaging in this bold and important work!

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  • How to Write the Right Resume - South Jersey

    Administrators sort resumes into a "yes" pile or "no" pile in a matter of seconds. Where does your land? To get an interview, your resume must include more than your education and employment history. A "yes" resume is a strategic marketing tool that distinguishes you from every other applicant. During this seminar, participants will learned how to create the powerful, performance-based resume needed to get a call for an interview. Interested? Call 908-217-0657 or email docsev@teach4results.com.

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  • Using High-Impact Strategies to Accelerate Learning

    Mansfield Township is committed to putting their students at the center of the learning. During this two-part workshop, teachers learned how to use easy-to-implement strategies to get kids thinking and then learned how to use high-impact strategies (student talk, thinking tasks, formative assessment and feedback) to accelerate student learning so students achieve more than one year's growth in one year's time.

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  • Courageous Leadership

    Mansfield Township leaders and colleagues from neighboring schools came together for a half-day professional learning experience that addressed the role of courage in improving student outcomes. Specific topics included the courage to listen, the courage to question, the courage to name the "non-discussables," the courage to "speak truth to power" and the courage to learn.

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  • LinkIt! Teacher and Principal Data Academies

    Rutgers, Ramapo and Camden County Community College hosted three interactive, intensive workshops that addressed how to use data to improve teaching, learning and school leadership.  Kudos to the team at LinkIt! for developing a learning experience that specifically and explicitly addressed the respective role of teachers and administrators in engaging in this essential work.  I was thrilled to address the importance of getting everyone "pulling on the same rope in the same direction" during the keynote at each event and by supporting participants throughout the day.

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  • Using Data to Ensure Equity and Opportunity

    NJAFPA's Annual Conference is always a valuable learning experience. I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to contribute to this exciting learning experience. My session addressed the role and responsibilities of educational leaders charged with meeting the data requirements stipulated in ESSA.

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  • Using Data to Reach and Teach EVERY Child

    North Penn School District in PA hosted an amazing full-day program entitled, The Story of a Child. I was honored to offer the keynote to set the tone and awaken the need among all 1200 faculty members.

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  • How to Write the Right Resume

    Administrators sort resumes into a "yes" pile or "no" pile in a matter of seconds. Where does your land? To get an interview, your resume must include more than your education and employment history. A "yes" resume is a strategic marketing tool that distinguishes you from every other applicant. During this seminar, participants learned how to create the powerful, performance-based resume needed to get the call for an interview. Interested?  Call 908-217-0657.

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  • Courageous Leadership

    PASA's Women's Caucus hostied an outstanding learning experience for current and aspiring female educational leaders in beautiful Hershey, PA from May 6th through May 8th. I am honored to have had the opportunity to kick-off Monday's program with a keynote address and conversation about the role of courage in the leadership of schools and districts.

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  • Philadelphia School Partnership Keynote

    Honored to open The Philadelphia K-12 Instructional Leadership Conference with an informational and inspirational keynote on how to teach (and lead!) in a way that ensures students learn.  

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  • Connecting the Pieces: Using Coherence to Improve Effectiveness, Efficiency and Results

    The Philadelphia School Partnership hosted their first ever Instructional Conference for leaders of all public, private, parochial and charter schools in the city.  I was honored to provide the morning breakout session on Coherence!:

    Coherence exists when the entire school community is "pulling on the same rope in the same direction." It occurs when the leader connects people, plans and processes in a way that makes the work more effective and efficient. Coherence requires a collaborative culture, common objectives, collective accountability and individual and organizational capacity. Without coherence, time, energy and resources are wasted on competing priorities and contradictory practices that produce frustration, fragmentation and fatigue. During this workshop, administrators will learn how to integrate their work streams into a coherent school improvement strategy that makes the work of improving student outcomes meaningful, measurable and manageable. Participants will also learn how to use data to develop, measure and monitor the implementation and outcomes of strategic plans designed to achieve school goals.

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  • The Wizard is Us!

    More than 1.4 million students and their families rely on the NJDOE to provide schools with the guidance, support and direction needed to ensure all chldren achieve their true potential. To build a brighter future for every student, we must lead in a way that elevates and celebrates the gifts in each child and each other. During this informational and inspriational journey, DOE employees will explored the essential elements of this work and reignited their purpose, their passion and their power.

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  • SpEd Camp

    Long Branch School District hosted a dynamic day of participant-driven learning on Saturday from 7:45am - 12:30pm. I was so happy to have the opportunity to facilitate two sessions centered around important conversations about special education:

    What makes special education, special?  and 

    Think about the organizational context in which you work.  What are the obstacles that interfere with your ability to reach and teach children with special needs?  What could be done to better support your work with children with special needs?    

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  • Hosted DisruptED TV

    Autism impacts the lives and learning of tens of thousands of students across the US. Students with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) experience difficulty with communication, socialization, and self-regulation, making it diffiult for even the most highly trained teachers and therapists to "reach and teach" the students. During this five-part series, DisruptED TV explored the obstacles, opportunities and technologies that need to be addressed in order to optimize the social, emotional, developmental and intellectual outcomes for students with ASD.

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  • Using High-Impact Instructional Practices to Optimize Student Outcomes

    In Linden, educators have been putting more effort into using data to improve student outcomes than any place I know. Now that they have worked to know students "by name and by need" the next question is, "How do we change instructional practice to address those needs?" During this highly interactive session, all 150 of Linden High School's teachers gathered to examine the research and learn practical strategies to optmize teaching and learning.

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  • Courageous Leadership

    ECET2NJPA hosted an inspiring two-day learning experience at the College of New Jersey on March 3rd & 4th brought together thought leaders and dedicated educators from PA and NJ. On Sunday,I presented a session on the role of courage in instructional leadership. Participants examined, practiced and applied the five dimensions of courageous leadership: the courage to question, the courage to listen, the courage to learn, the courage to speak "truth to power" and the courage to name the "nondiscussables."  Based on the feedback I received and the level of activity in the Twittersphere, it really resonated with atendees!  

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  • Making Thinking Visible & How to Engage Students in Sustained Academic Discussions

    Eatontown educators engaged in a high-energy learning experience designed to get kids thinking and engaged in productive classroom conversations. Throughout the day, teachers experienced, practiced and applied high-impact instructional strategies that will improve interest and outcomes across grades and subject areas.

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  • Using Data to Move It & Prove It

    During this highly interactive, two-day learning experience, participants learned how to lead an inquiry-based approach to data analysis that can transform an entire school into a high-performing data team. Presented as a live simulation of an instructional leader doing the real work of engaging faculty in high-yield data analysis activities, this unique program presented the principles, practices, and protocols of data analysis through hands -on experiences that elicit interest, insight and energy among faculty. Personalized coaching and ready-to-use resources were provided to support easy implementation.

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  • Data Leadership

    School leaders from 13 districts in PA gathered at the Bucks County Internediate Unit to explore how evidence-centered leadership can be used to achieve real and lasting improvement in student outcomes. After examining the research and reflecting on current practice, participants examined more deeply into the principles, practices, and protocols associated with two of the 4Cs of school improvement: Culture and Capacity. The second two Cs, Coherence and Courage, will be addressed during a follow-up session.

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  • Using Feedback in High School to Improve Effort, Independence & Outcomes

    Students who are provided with feedback that addresses task, process and self-regulation become more independent, effective and efficient learners. During this "learn, practice, apply" PD session, high school social studies teachers learned how to use feedback to improve student achievement and autonomy.

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  • All for One and One for All: Creating a Community Where Every Child Succeeds

    Every school district wants to ensure the success of every student. Few, if any, do. Why? Too often time, energy and resources are wasted on competing priorities, contradictory practices and conflicting personalities that result in frustration, fragmentation and fatigue. In short, districts lack coherence. And students pay the price. Coherence is when the entire school community works in specific, intense and sustained ways to ensure learning for all students. It requires a collaborative culture, common objectives, collective accountability and individual and organizational capacity. During this high-impact session, participants will learn how to use each of these "drivers" to improve coherence at the district, school and classroom levels.

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  • Using Feedback to Enhance Learning

    According to Hattie's research, the effective use of feedback has an effect size of .90, which is the equivalent of more than two years growth in one year's time. During this workshop, Mt. Olive High School teachers learned how to use task, process and self-regulation feedback to improve student outcomes. In addition, specific strategies that can be used to teach students how to generate their own feedback through self-assessment and provide quality feedback for peers were shared.

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  • Courageous Leadership

    The 2017 FEA/NJPSA/NJASCD Fall Conference in Long Branch, NJ hosted a full day of empowering learning opportunities during their annual conference. This year's theme was "Empower" and I was thrilled to be among their distinguished presenters! My session on Courageous Leadership addressed the role of courage in instructional leadership. Topics included why leaders find it so difficult, what's at stake, and factors that influence the ability to engage in what Viviane Robinson calls "constructive problem talk" and what Susan Scott refers to as "fierce conversations." Participants practiced and applied strategies that address five dimensions of courageous leadership: the courage to question, the courage to listen, the courage to learn, the courage to speak "truth to power," and the courage to name the "nondiscussables." Resources were provided to help participants "bring home" what they learned.

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  • Optimizing the Progress and Performance of Students with Special Needs

    Linden's special education teachers and CST members gathered for a full-day learning experience that focused on how to improve outcomes for students with learning differences.  The content and activities were tailored specifically to the needs and interests of special educators.

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  • Using Data and PLCs to Improve Student Outcomes

    Eatontown educators participated in a professional learning experience designed to strengthen their ability to use data and assessments in PLCs to improve their students' progress and performance.  In addition, specific strategies that can be used to accelerate learning were shared.  

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  • Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes (Part I & II)

    Springfield Township and Mansfield educators came together for a two-part exploration of how to use data to improve student outcomes.  Kudos to the leaders of both districts for "learning alongside" their teachers!  They are outstanding examples of true instructional leaders!  

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  • Using Data to Improve Teaching and Learning

    Little Falls educators came together to dedicate a full day to diving into data!  This was probably one of the most high-energy programs I have ever facilitated!  The faculty and leadership team were amazing!  I can't wait to see how they use their data to reach and teach each and every one of their students..

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  • Keynote and Using Data in PLCs to Improve Student Outcomes

    Rockaway Borough educators began their year with a keynote that invited them to consider what they believe is necessary to teach so that students learn.  Following the opening address, teachers participated in one of two breakout sessons that focused on how to use data with colleagues in PLCs to enhance teaching and improve student outcomes.

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  • Using High-Impact Instructional Practices to Improve Student Achievement

    Riverton School District kicked off their year with a high powered learning experience that included the entire staff.  After beginning the day with a keynote that speaks to how to teach so students learn, participants engaged in four focus sessions:  Making Thinking Visible; The Answer is the Questions; Classroom Conversations that Promote Interest, Engagement and Understanding; and Using Formative Assessment and High-Yield Instructional Practices to Optimize Student Outcomes.  Good thing they came fired up and ready to learn!  It's was an action-packed day!

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  • Using Data to Move it & Provie It!

    During this all new presentation, participants learned how to lead an inquiry-based approach to data analysis through a series of "real" simulations.  The program introduced and demonstrated how to use the principles, practices and protocols of effective data analysis through their participation in a series of data activities that produce high levels of interest, energy and engagement among faculty.  Participants also received personalized coaching and support based on their own data to develop a plan that will be used to "bring honme" what they learned. 

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  • Evidence-Centered Leadership

    Riverside hosted a one day version of the Evidence-Centered Leadership Conference for school and district leaders in their beautiful media center.  What an amazing day of learning and co-labor-ation!.

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  • Tiered Leadership, Shared Expectations, Structured Evidence

    LinkIt! offers so much more than data warehousing, analytics and assessment solutions - They provide the kind of practical, high impact training that turns a resource into results!  On July 18th, 20th and 27th, I had the opportunity to kick off Day 2 of each regional institute with a keynote and workshop designed to help educators optimize their use of LinkIt! as a tool for school-wide improvement.  

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  • Deep and Wide: A District's Approach to Building Collectve fficacy Within and Across Schools

    The Annual Visible Learning Conference in San Francisco was an exciting learning experiencel. During this session, I shared how to integrate Visible Learning principles into the work school leaders are already doing and use the connectedness that exists among required tasks to improve their effectiveness, efficiency and student outcomes.  Participants learned how to use instructional leadership strategies and actual examples of district-provided supports to help principals build collective efficacy within their schools, achieve district goals and maximize learning.

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  • Using Data and Assessment to Improve Teaching and Learning

    Linden Public Schools ended the year on a high note!  This action packed day included three sessions.  In the morning, supervisors and administrators gathered to learn "The Leader's Role in Using Data and Assessment to Improve Student Outcomes."  During a "working lunch" coaches and members of the Instructional Leadership Teams joined the first group to explore "The Development of SGOs and PGOs that Increase Student Achievement and Improve Professional Practice."  The day ended with a large group presentation of "Using Data and Assessment to Improve Teaching and Learning" for all members of the Instructional Leadership Teams and building principals.   

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  • Summer Leadership Retreat

    Summer is the perfect time for skill building, knowledge sharing and action planning.  On June 20th and 21st, the leaders of Gloucester Township Schools participated in a dynamic learning experience designed to reconnect them with their peers, their passion and their purpose.  During this highly interactive two-day session, school and district leaders learned how to use research on instructional leadership to improve the culture, capacity and coherence of their district, schools and classrooms.  Through a process of true "co-labor-ation," they developed a shared sense of focus around common goals and collective accountability for district-wide outcomes. 

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  • Using Data & Progress Monitoring Strategies to Measure, Monitor & Maximize Achievement for Students with Disabilities

    North Bergen provided all teachers of students with special needs an opportunity to acquire, practice and apply progress monitoring strategies that optimize student learning.  Teachers learned how to combine the reserach on learning progressions with data gathered during frequent formative assessents to identify and address gaps in students' knowledge and skills.

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  • Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding and Independence for All Learners

    Your students may know what to do, but do they know how to think?  During this workshop based on Ron Ritchardt's book, Making Thinking Visible, participants learned high-leverage thinking strategies that can be used to create a positive, lively, thought-filled classroom.  The session included opportunities to practice and apply techniques for: introducing and exploring ideas; synthesizing and organizing ideas; and digging deeper into ideas.  Participants also learned how curiosity and questioning can be used to elevate engagement and deepen understanding.  These strategies can be learned one day and used the next.  And based on the feedback I received from the instructional coach, the teachers used the strategies the very next day!

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  • Depth of Knowledge: The Answer is the Questions

    How can Webb's research and writings on Depth of Knowledge be used to plan lessons and design assignments that "get kids thinking."  Teachers from Jersey City's Martin Center for the Arts used this information to reflect on their own practices and revise activities, assessments and assignments so that questions move students from Recall to Extended Thinking.  Teachers also learned how to use the Question Formulation Technique developed by Rothstein and Santana to teach students how to generate their own questions, which can be used to drive inquiry-based learning and develop a critical life skill.

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  • Student Discussions:How to Use Classroom Conversations to Improve Teaching & Learning

    Jersey City educators at the Martin Center for the Arts participated in a workshop designed to get kids talking!  During this highly interactive session, participants learned how to spark and sustain meaningful student discussions that deepen understanding, strengthen social skills, and elevate interest and enagement.  Strategies were modeled and resources were provided for teachers of all grades and content areas.

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  • Using Data & High-Leverage Instructional Practices to Improve Teaching & Learning

    Pinelands Regional School District's Cross Curricular Focus Group and full faclty continued their efforts to implement school-wide instructional practices and targeted intervention strategies that optimize student achievement.  Participants discussed readings and research from renowned educational leaders such as Hattie, Elmore, Lemov and Fullan in relation to their current practices.

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  • Using Data to Improve Teaching and Learning

    Every school in North Bergen participated in a district-wide initiative to improve the use of data and assessment strategies to increase student outcomes.  Trainings at each school were provided after all district and school leaders partcipated in a workshop that addressed the role of the leader in supporting this work..   

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  • Formative Assessment - Sharing, Refining and Planning Effective Practices

    During this culminating session, teaches shared artifacts that demonstrate what they have learned during our four previous formative assessment learning experiences.  During the "reporting out" process, teachers used the "ladder of feeback" to ask clarifying questions, comment on strengths, raise any concerns, and make suggestons for impovements.  This activity served two purposes: it elicited meaningful collaboration among colleagues and it modeled how this process can be used with students.  Teachers then worked in small groups to create new formative assessments and present them to their colleaues during a gallery work.  The day ended with a look back at what has been learned and accomplished and a look ahead at next steps for Paramus High School.

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  • Using Data and Cognitive Engagement Strategies to Improve Teaching and Learning

    Matawan Aberdeen's teachers and administrators are committed to using data and instructional strategies that "get kids thinking" in order to improve teaching and learning.  On March 10th, the District's educators participated in one of two, three-hour programs designed to take their efforts to the next level.  Based on the feedback from teachers and administrators, everyone left with lots of goodies in their intellectual goody bags! 

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  • Student Discussions: How to Use Classroom Conversations to Improve Teaching and Learning

    Classroom discussion has the potential to elicit two years of student growth in one year's time.  In addition, student talk is required in order to address the content standards for every subject, the Speaking and Listening Standards, key "look fors" in teacher evaluation instruments, and the disconnect between how teachers often teach and students prefer to learn.  During this highly interactive session, participants learned a variety of techniques that can be used to spark and sustain student-led conversations that promote purposeful speaking, engaged listening and deep thinking.

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  • The Leader's Role in Improving Student Achievement

    The Burlington County Curriculum Consortium, BCPSA and BCASA joined forces to provide school administrators with a program designed to strengthen their ability to do the work of a true instructional leader.  Participants left with immediately "implementable" strategies for each of the 4Cs of school change, which can be used to create the culture, build the capacity, develop the coherence, and muster the courage necessary to achieve real and lasting school improvement.

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  • Book Walk Talk

    Those who have attended my presentations know I often refer to my books as "my friends."  In response to requests from faculty who wanted to learn more about my "friends," l shared some of my favorite books and described why they have been so important in my life and impactful in my career.

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  • The Leader's Role in Using Data to Improve Teaching & Learning

    North Bergen administrators participated in one of two, half-day sessions designed to address the role of the leader in using data to improve student achievement and achieve school goals.

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  • Using Formative Assessment to Accelerate Student Achievement

    Formative assessment is one of the most impactful, yet rarely implemented practices in public education.  Paramus High School plans to change that for their students by making the implementation of formative assessment practices one of their goals for the 2016-2017 school year.  By rotating through one of four, half-day sessions, every member of the high school faculty participated in a guided learning experience that addressed the "what" and the "why: of formative assessment.  During the three follow-up sessions planned for later in the year, teacher leaders will dig deeper into concepts regarding formative assessment and then practice and apply what they learn to their respective content area.

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  • The Leader's Role in Using Data

    Toms River Regional's administrators participated in one of two, half-day sessions designed to address the leader's role in using data to increase student achievement and achieve school goals.       

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  • Evidence-Centered Leadership: Turning Research into Results

    MCAEMSA' Winter Conference provided Morris County administrators and their teacher guests an opportunity to explore evidence-based practices that improve outcomes for kids. What a wonderful forum for learning alongside colleagues who care deeply about the work we do in service of students. 

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  • Using Formative Assessment to Improve Teaching and Learning

    As a follow-up to the initial presentation that addressed the "what" and "why" of formative assessment, a representative group of high school teachers (all volunteers!) from each deaprtment, practiced and applied the "how" of formative assessment.  During this "hands on", "minds on" session, teachers worked together to integrate formative assessment strategies into their respective content areas and explore ways use the results to tailor instruction to meet the needs of their students.   

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  • Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes

    Teachers and administrators at each of Camden's Promise Charter Schools participated in a "hands on," guided learning experience designed to enhance their ability to use data to increase student achievement and accomplish school goals.  The content of each session was tailored to address the needs and interests of teachers at the elementary, middle and high school levels.     

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  • The Wizard is Us - NJSBA Workshop

    If our goal is to reach and teach every student, we must lead our schools in a manner that brings forth the gifts of each and every child.  During this session, participants learned specific strategies that can be used to develop the culture, capacity,coherence and courage necessary to know students "by name and by need." 

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  • Using Data to Improve Curriculum and Instruction

    This was a first!  There was no PowerPoint, no pre-established script, no set timeline of activities.  Instead, I conducted this data analysis workshop as if it was a "real" faculty meeting, with "real" faculty members, engaged in the very real, very raw work of analyzing student outcome data.  The inspriation for changing my approach (from a presentation to a simulation) came from countless individuals (including some who had attended a full day seminar on data analysis strategies!) who've asked me the same two questions:  "Where do I start?" and "What should I do next?"  Rather than telling them the answers, I decided to engage them as authentic participants in the actual process.  It was a HUGE success!  Not only did people enjoy it, they learned it!  This may become the format for future professional development seminars on data analysis and other topics!

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  • Keynote Address - Little Egg Harbor

    Pinelands Regional High School was the gathering place for more than 400 educators from three districts, who came together for a keynote address that sought to reignite their sense of passion and purpose for the life-changing work that they do.  My message was conveyed almost entirely through images (like an extended Ted Talk) and the narrative used each letter of the word "LEARN" to convey the essential conditions necessary for learning to take place.      

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  • Administrators' Retreat - North Plainfield

    North Plainfield's entire administrative team engaged in a deep study of Evidence-Centered Leadership.  During this intensive, two-day learning experience, district-level and building-based leaders engaged in the principles and practices that improve outcomes for students. 

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  • Evidence-Centered Leadership

    Camden County College served as the perfect setting for this "sold out," two-day professional learning experience.  Together, county, district-level and building-based leaders examined research, engaged in critical conversations and participated in practice-based instructional leadership activities.  By the conclusion of the program, participants left with a clear understanding of what instructional leaders must do to develop the culture, build the capacity, create the coherence and muster the courage neccesary to improve student outcomes.

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  • MC3 - Monmouth County Summer Institute

    After presenting the keynote address, I facilitated three breakout sessions designed to help Monmouth County's teachers get off to a strong start:  Using Data to Improve Teaching and Learning; Making Thinking Visible in the Elementary Classroom; and Making Thinking Visible in the Secondary Classroom. 

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  • Haddonfield's Administrative Retreat

    Evidence-Centered Leadership traveled to beautiful Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania to engage Haddonfield's leadership team in an intensive two-day study of the principles and practices of instructional leadership.  During this powerful and provocative learning experience, every school leader (including the Superintendent!) engaged in a deep analysis of the work that is necessary to change schools and improve outcomes for kids.     

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  • Annual Visible Learning Conference

    On Tuesday, July 12th, I had the opporrtunity to present, Evidence-Centered Leadership: How to Turn Research into Results. During this session, the research of Hattie, Robinson, Fullan and Elmore was woven into a coherent narrative that can be used to guide leaders along the path toward real and lasting school improvement. Participants left with specific strategies to implement the 4 research-based "Cs" of school change: Culture, Capacity, Coherehce and Courage.

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  • Creating a Schedule that Improves Student Outcomes

    One of the most important factors that determines and defines what is possible for students in a school is the school schedule.  Developing a schedule that address the needs of teachers so they can address the needs of students is difficult and deliberate work. I appreciate the opportunity to work alongside administrators and other thought partners in Asbury Park to revisit and revise the schedule of the middle school in order to enhance the way time, programs and personnel are used to improve student outcomes.

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  • Using PLCs to Improve Student Achievement - LEAP Academy

    During this two-part series, teachers worked and learned alongside their colleagues to engage in the tasks and conversations that improve student outcomes. As Dufour, DuFour, Eaker and Many say in Learning by Doing, "Schools that take the plunge and actually begin doing the work of a PLC develop their capacity to help all students learn at high levels far more effectively than schools that spend years preparing to become PLCs through reading or even training."  

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  • Mentor Training

    Mt. Olive is committed to providing novice teachers with the highest quality of training and support. While the district-led, monthly meetings address important skills and "survival strategies," it is the day-to-day support of the mentor that makes the greatest difference. This workshop is designed to address and then go beyond the recently adopted NJDOE regulations for mentor training so that all mentors are equipped with the skills, knowledge and dispositions necessary to fulfill this critical role.

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  • Making Thinking Visible

    This workshop is designed to transform instructional practice from a focus on doing to a focus on thinking. Participants learned how to use high-leverage thinking strategies that can be applied in all subject areas and with students of all ages and ability levels. They also learned several techniques that involve the use of student-generated questions to evoke curiousity, interest and engagement in learning. The strategies shared during this session are based on the work of Ron Ritchardt's book, Making Thinking Visible, and Make Just One Change by Rothstein and Santana.

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  • Using Data and Assessment to Improve Student Outcomes

    This completely customized professional development day included three sessions: Training for administrators on instructional leadership strategies and school improvement efforts; Training for the data team on how to use data and data-based faculty engagement strategies to achieve school goals; and professional development for the entire faculty on how to use data and assessment to improve teaching and learning.

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  • The Power of the Para

    During this highly interactive session, paraprofessionals participated in professional development that addressed communication strategies, how to provide effective feedback, characteristics of students with disabilities, de-escalation techniques and how to understand and use a student's IEP to support academic, social and emotional growth.

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  • Courageous Leadership

    During this session of Mt. Olive's Leaders of Learning Academy, teachers and administrators explored the role of courage in improving student outccomes. 

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  • Evidence-Centered Leadership Conference

    Evidence-Centered Leadership returned to the Morris Union Jointure Commission.

    What's the difference between leaders who improve their schools and those who don't? Leaders of change do things that others can't or won't. This conference will develop the ability of leaders to engage in the tasks that produce evidence to support the claims of true instructional leaders.

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  • Evidence-Centered Leadership Conference

    School leaders learned how to engage in the work that actually (and empirically) improves outcomes for students.  Thanks to Gloucester County Institute of Technology for hosting the ECL Conference for the south!

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  • Making Thinking Visible

    Mt. Olive teachers learned how to use various instructional practices to make their students' thinking "visible" to themselves and each other.

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  • Using Data, Assessment and High-Leverage Literacy Strategies to Improve Learning.

    Teachers and administrators at LEAP Academy dug deep into their data to reveal facotrs that may be shaping their students' progress and performance.  Then, faculty participated in activities that demonstrated the power and potential of various literacy strategies to engage students in reading and writing.

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  • Improving the Instructional Core

    How are you using the CCSS to set goals, design instruction and assess learning?  During this highly interaction session, teachers will hone their ability to use standards-aligned curricula and instruction to improve learning in meaningful and measurable ways.

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  • Using UDL to Reach and Teach Every Student

    Guttenberg teachers and leaders are learning how to use UDL principles to provide all students equal opportunities to learn.

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  • The Answer is the Questions

    NJASCD North hosted this evening of learning, dinner and discussion.  Proceeds were donated to schools in South Carolina that were impacted by recent floods.

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  • Asbury Park Middle School

    Learned alongside teachers in PLCs as they worked to incorporate instructional activities that raise the level of interest, engagement and achievement. 

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  • Guttenberg takes on UDL

    Teacher examined lesson plans downloaded from lessonbuilder.cast.org to identify how UDL principles were woven into the lesson.  We used The Lifecycle of a Butterfly with Pre K – 2, the Rock Cycle with grades 3-6, and Fractals with grades 7 and 8.  Teachers were then asked to think of a specific goal they plan to address with their students in the near future, share the goal with their partner and then indicate how they will include an option that would incorporate an element of UDL into the lesson designed to address that goal. 

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  • Kearny Keynote

    What an amazing opportunity to welcome Kearny's outstanding educators to the 2015-2016 school year! 

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  • Evidence-Centered Leadership Conference

    What's the difference between leaders who improve their schools and those who don't?  Leaders of change do things that others can't or won't.  This conference sought to develop the ability of leaders to engage in the tasks that produce evidence to support the claims of true instructional leaders.

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  • Developing SGOs that Serve Students, Staff and Schools Well

    Effective goals are created by teams, not for teams.  During this guided work session, faculty members had the opportunity to work together to begin the process of creating SGOs that are meaningful, manageable and measurable.

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  • SIG Summer Leadership Conference

    Using PLCs and Data to Improve Teaching and Learning

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  • Asbury Park Middle School

    Completed work on the new middle school schedule.

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  • LEAP Academy

    Worked with principals and coaches to create a coherent plan for school-wide improvement.

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  • LEAP Academy

    Returned to LEAP to facilitate their Professional Development Institutes on May 28th and 29th.  Presented How to Use the CCSS, PARCC and Quality Instruction to Improve Student Achievement to the faculty in two, half-day sessions (May 28th and 29th).

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  • LEAP Academy

    Returing to LEAP to do more instructional engagement walk throughs! 

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  • Guttenberg

    Guttenberg

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  • Asbury Park Middle School

    Engaging faculty in the redesign of the middle school master schedule.

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  • Fab Five

    Leaders of Learning Academy

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  • Leading the Way: How to Integrate Initiatives and Improve Student Achievement

    Passaic County Educational Partnership

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  • LEAP Academy University Charter Schools

    Beginning the work of providing professional development and coaching for teachers and school leaders.

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  • Courageous Leadership

    Leaders of Learning Academy, Mt. Olive Township Schools

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  • Guttenberg

    PLCs by day.  Parents by night!

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  • TEDx Youth Comes to Mt. Olive

    Mt. Olive Township will host a TEDx Youth conference in the PAC!

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  • Asbury Park

    Meeting to discuss ideas for an exciting middle school redesign.

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  • August Institute Follow Up with Dr. Tracey Severns

    A special event for RAC 3 school teams to showcase innovative strategies that promote digital literacy and engage in the work of PLCs that actually improve student achievement.

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  • Making Our Own Way

    James Caldwell High School's Self Advocacy Club

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  • Partnering with Paraprofessionals

    Leaders of Learning Academy, Mt. Olive Township Learning Center

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  • NJ Association of Middle Level Educators Conference

    Presented "Improving Outcomes for Students with Special Needs" and facilitated an Administrator's Roundtable that focused on school change.

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  • Asbury Park

    Facilitated a mid-year review and root cause analysis with Asbury Park Middle School teachers.

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  • Anna L. Klein Elementary School, Guttenberg

    Presented two sessions of Using Data in PLCs to Improve Student Achievement for an awesome group of educators.

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