Professional Issues Update

February 11, 2016

PROFESSIONAL NEWS YOU CAN USE:

 US Dept. of Ed. Seeks Summer Interns

Have you or someone you know ever wondered about pursuing a federal career? Are you interested in public service? Would you like to gain valuable work experience and help move the needle on education issues in this country? The Department of Education may have opportunities that match your interests – and we’re currently accepting applications for interns! Our Department is a place where you can explore fields like education policy, education law, business and finance, research and analysis, intergovernmental relations and public affairs, or traditional and digital communications, all while learning about the role federal government plays in education. Our interns also participate in professional development sessions and events outside of the office, such as lunches with ED and other government officials, movie nights, and tours of the Capitol, Supreme Court and other local sights. One of the many advantages of interning at ED is our proximity to some of the most historic and celebrated sites in our nation’s capital, all accessible by walking or taking the Metro. ED is accepting applications for Summer 2016 internships through March 15, 2016. http://blog.ed.gov/2016/02/ed-seeks-summer-interns-2/

Don’t Be Fooled: You Never Have to Pay for Student Loan Help

We’ve seen online ads claiming that “Obama Wants to Forgive Your Student Loans!” or “Erase Default Statuses in 4–6 Weeks!” The link takes you to companies that want to help you manage your loans — for a fee. You never need to pay for help with your student loans. For the great price of free, the U.S. Department of Education can help you:

Your loan servicer — the company that collects your payments on behalf of the Department of Education—can also help you with these goals for free. If you need help with your debt, you should contact your servicer. Click here (https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/understand/servicers#my-servicer) for a list of servicers’ contact information. And you should — because you never need to pay for these services. Read more here: http://blog.ed.gov/2016/01/dont-be-fooled-you-never-have-to-pay-for-student-loan-help/

 

 

UPCOMING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES:

Note regarding webinars: While I understand that most educators cannot leave class to attend webinars that occur during school hours, I cannot control when the various organizations choose to hold them. I include the information here in case any of our members have a schedule that allows their participation.

Ø  What is “Text Complexity” and Why Does It Matter?

Join “Achieve the Core” for a free, evening webinar! 

Tuesday, February 16

5:00-6:00 PM MST (7:00-8:00 PM EST)

The Common Core State Standards require all students to engage meaningfully with complex texts on a regular basis. But what does the term “complex” actually mean in relation to the reading materials you use with your students? How does a Lexile score factor into the determination?  Register  (https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/865010358584972546?utm_content=bufferb9c68&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer)   to join literacy expert Silas Kulkarni on Tuesday, February 16 from 5-6 PM MST, as he discusses the three components of text complexity and how to analyze them.

 

Ø  2016 General & Special Education Conferences

Seattle- March 2, 3, & 4:  Brain-based Science, Learning and Achievement Pre-K through 12th Grade

Houston- May 18, 19 & 20:  21st Century Learning and Collaboration for Teaching ALL Students Including Gifted & Talented Pre-K through 12th Grade

For all conference details, including brochures and web links to discounted hotel rooms, go to the conference website at  www.rehabseminars.org.

 

Ø  Spring 2016 Learning & the Brain Conference: “The Science of Imagination: Cultivating Curiosity & Creativity in Our Schools”

April 7-9

Orlando, FL

Discover the importance of curiosity, creativity, fantasy fiction, pretend play, & the passion for learning; ways to develop these skills in students; and how to transform & re-imagine our schools & colleges for the 21st Century. Discounted early registration through Feb. 10.   http://www.learningandthebrain.com/    

 

 

GRANTS AND FUN: DING OPPORTUNITIES:

 

ü  Braitmayer Foundation Grants for K-12 Innovation: The Braitmayer Foundation is interested in proposals utilizing innovative practices in K-12 education throughout the United States. Of particular interest are:

o   Curricular and school reform initiatives.

o    Preparation of and professional development opportunities for teachers, particularly those which encourage people of high ability and diverse background to enter and remain in K-12 teaching.

The Foundation is pleased to have its grants used anywhere in the United States as seed money, challenge grants, or to match other grants to the recipient organizations. The Foundation does not make grants to individuals, multi-year grants, nor grants for general operating, endowment purposes or building programs. Unless a small percentage of the total amount requested, normally the Foundation does not make grants for childcare, pre-kindergarten, or after school programs nor for equipment including hardware, software, and books. Please note: This grant cycle takes one full year from submission of a Letter of Inquiry to notification and may include a site visit. The Foundation awards Grants up to $35,000. Letters of Inquiry (35K) Accepted: February 1st to March 15, 2016 (midnight)http://www.braitmayerfoundation.org/guidelines/

 

ü  Collaboration Nation Contest:  http://www.eschoolnews.com/collaboration/ — From February 1 to April 30, enter the Collaboration Nation video contest by telling us about your school or district’s exemplary educational technology collaboration and the measurable impact it’s had on learning and teaching. We’re looking for the finest examples of ed tech collaboration – share your school or district’s successes, and you could win a $50,000 grand prize or one of three $15,000 monthly prizes from CDW·G. Here’s how it works: Create a 90-second video highlighting your school’s or district’s cross-departmental collaboration project. Upload the video to YouTube. Complete the entry form and submit. Monthly contests are won by votes received through our Facebook page, while the Grand Prize is judged by three industry experts. For more details, visit the Official Rules page at:   http://www.eschoolnews.com/collaboration/rules/

 

ü  Snapdragon Book Foundation:  The Snapdragon Book Foundation was started in December 2008 to provide funds to improve school libraries for disadvantaged children. Grants will be awarded to public, private, and experimental schools. Founded by a former school librarian, this foundation exists to put books in the hands of kids. In a time when many schools are reallocating their funds to technology and audiovisual equipment, we hope to make sure that school libraries are still offering children good books to read. Applications may be submitted between January 1, 2016 and Friday, April 15, 2016.  http://www.snapdragonbookfoundation.org/index.html

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Summary of Memos to District Superintendents for Feb. 10, 2016.  To access the full contents of each memo in which you are interested, highlight and copy the ENTIRE Web URL listed and paste it into your browser.  PLEASE NOTE: If the URL to the memo doesn’t work, go directly to http://edu.wyoming.gov/communications/memos/, and scroll down to the document(s) in which you are interested

 

1)      2017 Wyoming Teacher of the Year Application and Process:  http://edu.wyoming.gov/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/2016-020.pdf — Application forms and instructions for the 2017 Wyoming Teacher of the Year (WTOY) Program are now available on the Wyoming Department of Education website:  http://edu.wyoming.gov/educators/teachers/toy/Application packages are due May 6. The 2017 WTOY Program will present $1,000 to each 2017 District Teacher of the Year and $5,000 to the 2017 Wyoming Teacher of the Year. The WTOY is selected from the pool of Wyoming District Teachers of the Year and will be announced in the fall of 2016. Wyoming’s Teacher of the Year automatically becomes a nominee for the National Teacher of the Year.

 

2)      2016 UW Science Summits:  http://edu.wyoming.gov/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/2016-014.pdf —    The UW Life Sciences Program and Wyoming School-University Partnership are hosting two science summits on February 19-20, 2016, in Casper, Wyoming.

  1. 10th Annual K-16 Life Sciences Lost in Transition Summitwill take place at UW-Casper on Friday, February 19, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  2. 1st Annual All Sciences K-16 Summitwill follow at the Casper Hilton Garden Inn on February 19, at 5:30 p.m., and continue at the Star Lane Center from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 20.

See the full memo at the URL above for more information and links to the registration sites.

 

3)      Bridges Summer School Teacher Summit:  http://edu.wyoming.gov/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/2016-015.pdf —  GEAR UP Wyoming and WDE are co-sponsoring the 2016 Bridges Summer School Teachers Summit on April 7-8, 2016 at UW in Laramie. This two-day summit is open to all Bridges summer school teachers and administrators. This summit includes interactive and informational workshops on differentiated learning and student engagement. In addition, administrators have the option to attend a WDE sponsored half-day boot camp training session on April 7, 2016. Registration must be completed online at:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2016BridgesSummer

 

4)      Spring Instructional Facilitators Summit:  http://edu.wyoming.gov/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/2016-016.pdf — GEAR UP Wyoming and WDE are co-sponsoring a training and networking opportunity for Instructional Facilitators of 7th-12th grade students with Jim Knight on April 27, 2016, in Casper. Registration must be completed online at:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2016sprngIFsummit.

 

5)      School Health Toolkit Available:  http://edu.wyoming.gov/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/2016-017.pdf — The US Dept. of Education has a new student health resource available to schools called “Healthy Students, Promising Futures, State and Local Action Steps and Practices to Improve School-Based Health.” It can be accessed at:  http://www2.ed.gov/admins/lead/safety/healthy-students/index.html.  The kit concisely explains high-impact opportunities that schools can take to assist students by reinforcing the link between health and education. The kit can be used in conjunction with other programs and efforts the district already implements.

 

6)      Suicide Prevention Resource:  http://edu.wyoming.gov/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/2016-018.pdf — A new web-based suicide prevention tool is available to Wyoming schools at  www.classroommentalhealth.org. This tool can be incorporated into various prevention strategies for schools. The site is designed to serve teachers, students, parents, principals, and counselors. It predominantly supports educators of grades 8-12. The website serves as an additional resource to support existing school-based mental health and suicide prevention programs. It also provides school staff with a variety of tools and resources which can be easily accessed and utilized within the context of a teacher’s regular classroom routine.

 

7)      Alternative Schools Application Available:  http://edu.wyoming.gov/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/2016-019.pdf — The 2016 application for approval of new alternative schools is available. Any district planning to include a new alternative school in the district’s configuration of schools under the block grant funding model for the 2016-17 school year is required to obtain approval from the Wyoming Department of Education using this application. See full memo for additional details and the application form. Applications will be accepted beginning March 1, 2016 through July 15, 2016 for the 2016-17 school year.

 

8)      2016 WAVE Academy: Call for presenters:  http://edu.wyoming.gov/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/2016-021.pdf — WDE is extending an invitation to the Week of Academic Vision and Excellence (WAVE) Academy (formerly known as the Leadership Symposium) on August 1-4, 2016, at Little America in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The WAVE Academy brings together national presenters and state leaders in education to share knowledge and expertise about best practices, quality instruction, regulations, and legal educational requirements. This memo serves as an open call for proposals to district and school professionals to present at WAVE. Presentations should be structured to run as 75 minute breakout sessions, with an additional 15 minutes for question and answer. See full memo for presentation topics that will be considered. If interested, please complete the electronic proposal form at  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WAVEPresentationProposal  and submit the document by March 7, 2016.

 

9)      Art Education Spring Conference:  http://edu.wyoming.gov/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/2016-022.pdf — The Wyoming Art Education Association would like to invite superintendents and art educators in their districts to attend the WYAEA Spring Conference at Triumph High School in Cheyenne, on February 27-28, 2016. For more information and registration, visit  www.wyarted.org. PTSB and UW graduate credit will be available.

 

February 3, 2016

Wyoming Libraries’ Teen Video Challenge

Wyoming teens are invited to “Get in the Game” and compete in the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) 2016 Teen Video Challenge by creating a video that promotes summer reading at their local library. Videos must be 30 to 90 seconds long, promote the idea of using public libraries and reading, include their interpretation of the 2016 CSLP teen slogan “Get in the Game – Read,” be designed for use at any library, and be appropriate for viewing by audiences of all ages. Videos will be judged on creativity, message clarity and relevance, motivation and inspiration, and overall impact. Deadline to submit videos is March 11, 2016;winners will be announced in April. Full guidelines may be found at:  www.wyominglibraries.org/teenvideochallenge.html. The page also includes links to resources for teachers and librarians and a short, humorous video on creating a video for those who may be new to it.

CCSS Resources for PD and Practice from “Achieve the Core”: What Makes a Text Complex?: SCIENCE EDUCATION

Make sure your students spend time on texts that deserve it. The first step in planning a Common Core-aligned close reading lesson is picking the right text. You may wonder if the text you’ve selected — whether it’s an old favorite or newly discovered — is sufficiently complex to help your students meet the Standards. The first module in the Instructional Practice Guide Lesson Planning Tool:  Planning a Standards-Aligned Close-Reading Lesson (http://achievethecore.org/lesson-planning-tool/)  will introduce you to several quantitative analysis tools designed to determine the elements that contribute to text complexity (such as vocabulary and sentence structure), helping you identify the complexity level of your chosen text.

 

 

UPCOMING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES:

Note regarding webinars: While I understand that most educators cannot leave class to attend webinars that occur during school hours, I cannot control when the various organizations choose to hold them. I include the information here in case any of our members have a schedule that allows their participation.
     

Ø  2016 Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference

February 19 + 20, 2016

Colorado Convention Center

Denver, CO    

Register:   http://www.ecconference.com/

Check out our great workshops that help support and solidify the growing understanding of the importance of investing in our youngest children. Whether you are an early childhood teacher, practitioner, or advocate, you will benefit by attending this outstanding conference focusing on the many facets and challenges of early childhood education. Use this link to download workshop descriptions to help you plan your days at the conference:  http://www.ecconference.com/program/workshops

 

Ø  Wyoming Art Education Association Spring Conference

February 27 & 28, 2016

Triumph High School in Cheyenne

Zak Pullen, Wyoming’s own award winning illustrator, will be the keynote speaker. The keynote presentation is free and open to the public on February 27 at 10 am. Additionally Zak will be part of a panel discussion on Sunday morning at 9 am. The conference will have great workshops, including ones related to STEAM, Arts Integration, Museum Education, Managing Difficult Behaviors in the art room, and many more. For more information or registration, please visit  www.wyarted.org .

 

Ø  AdvancED Wyoming Spring 2016 Continuous Improvement Conference

March 7-9

Parkway Plaza Hotel, Casper

The AdvancED Wyoming Spring 2016 Continuous Improvement Conference will prompt and facilitate discussions on how performance-based accreditation and school improvement efforts empower education providers to leverage their knowledge, expertise and resources in innovative ways to achieve higher levels of student performance and organizational effectiveness. Join us for a high-quality professional learning experience designed to explore the AdvancED Standards for Quality, the AdvancED Accreditation Protocol, the Adaptive System of School Improvement Support Tools (ASSIST™) and much more.  Register now at:  http://www.cvent.com/d/s3y8th5_Sk-CAtmza8v6eg/p7st/P1/1Q

    

Ø  Project-Based Learning: Blended & Balanced Instruction     

WDE’s Career Technical Education section is offering a professional development opportunity presented by Marty Sugerik, a Project-Based Learning Specialist and Trainer. A pair of two-day workshops will be held that will focus on pedagogy, partnerships, classroom innovation and hands-on learning, in addition to a one-day training session for educators that attended last year’s training. We encourage you to bring a team of representatives from your district, school or institution to create a project relevant to your instruction. The two-day workshop will be available on two different dates and locations:  May 2-3 at Spring Creek Ranch in Jackson, and May 5-6 at Rawlins High School in Rawlins. The one-day event will also be held at Rawlins High School, on May 4, 2016. Registration for all workshops closes on April 15, 2016. For registration and more information, visit: http://goo.gl/forms/vF6OJVkRJM .

 

 

GRANTS AND FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES:

 

ü  Enter for Your Chance to Win a LEGO Education MINDSTORMS Classroom Set!  Take your students by storm with LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3! LEGO and STEM education are a perfect match—especially for middle schoolers, whose brains are just craving the complex problem-solving skills that come with really digging deeper as they learn essential skills in science, technology, engineering and math.  Tell us how you would describe your ultimate middle school classroom and you could win the ultimate middle school classroom resource: a LEGO MINDSTORMS Education Ev3 set that includes a set of MINDSTORMS EV3 bricks for every two students, LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 software and more. One (1) grand-prize winner will receive a LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 Core Set (value $1,078) that includes: A LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education Ev3 Brick Set for every two students, & LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education Ev3 software. Contest ends: February 16, 2016.  http://www.weareteachers.com/grants-contests/giveaways/lego-education-mindstorms-ev3-giveaway

 

ü  Project Produce – Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schools — The Chef Ann Foundation has teamed up with Skoop, a superfoods company committed to bringing the health benefits of superfoods to every American. Together we have launched Project Produce: Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schools. These $2,500 grants assist you in expanding your students’ palates, and encouraging increased consumption of and exposure to fresh produce through engagement in lunchroom education activities that encourage students to taste new vegetables and fruits offered either in a dish, cooked, or raw. The goal of Project Produce is to provide funds to support the food cost of these activities which are designed to touch every child. Offering these events to all kids whether they bring or buy lunch requires additional funds. Project Produce grants can help you fill that gap. Any district or independent school participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is eligible to apply; the application must be submitted by your district’s food service director. Districts may apply for up to 10 schools at $2,500 per school. Grant funds must be used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables to support your planned Project Produce programming. There is no deadline; grants will be determined on an ongoing basis depending on available funding.  See more at:http://www.thelunchbox.org/programs/grants/#sthash.V6bVQqlb.dpuf.

            

ü  Voya Unsung Heroes — Are you an educator with a class project that is short on funding but long on potential? Do you know a teacher looking for grant dollars? Voya Unsung Heroes™ could help you turn great ideas into reality for students. Each year, educators submit applications for a Voya Unsung Heroes grant by describing projects they have initiated or would like to pursue. Each project is judged on its:

o   Innovative method

o   Creativity

o   Ability to positively influence the students

Each year, 100 finalists are selected to receive a $2,000 grant, payable to both the winning teacher and his or her school. At least one grant is awarded in each of the 50 states, provided at least one qualified application was received from each state. Of the 100 finalists, three are selected for additional financial awards: $25,000 for first place; $10,000 for second place; and $5,000 for third place. If you or someone you know leads or has an idea for an outstanding educational project, we encourage you to apply for the Voya Unsung Heroes program today. Deadline: April 30, 2016. To complete the online application, visit:  https://unsungheroes.scholarshipamerica.org.

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Summary of Memos to District Superintendents for February 3, 2016.  To access the full contents of each memo in which you are interested, highlight and copy the ENTIRE Web URL listed and paste it into your browser.  PLEASE NOTE: If the URL to the memo doesn’t work, go directly to http://edu.wyoming.gov/communications/memos/, and scroll down to the document(s) in which you are interested

 

1)      Alternative Schedule Timelines:  http://edu.wyoming.gov/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2016-012.pdf  — Alternative schedules that propose fewer than 175 days of teacher-student contact in a given school year need to be approved by the State Board of Education. If your school/district is interested in applying for an alternative schedule, please submit your request and documentation to WDE by May 1, 2016. Please see full memo for instructions, forms, and guidelines.

 

2)      2015-16 Revised Federal Allocations:  http://edu.wyoming.gov/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2016-013.pdf —  The US Dept. of Education has notified the Title I and Title II Office of revised allocations for Title I Part A and Title II Part A, and II A Subpart 3, that restore funds previously reduced by the FY 2016 Continuing Resolution. The additional funds will be added to the district allocation in GMS, and districts will need to submit an amendment to the WDE so these funds can be budgeted within the relevant grants. See full memo for links to revised allocation amounts.

 

January 20, 2016

PROFESSIONAL NEWS YOU CAN USE:

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are the nation’s highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science (including computer science). Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education. Since 1983, more than 4,400 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession. If you know great teachers, nominate them to join this prestigious network of professionals. The 2016 Awards will honor mathematics and science (including computer science) teachers working in grades K-6.Nominations close on April 1, 2016. Nominate a teacher here: https://paemst.org/nomination/nominate

 After School Enrichment Classes: Hi-Tech Fury

Suggested Grade Range: 4th – 8th

Classes are suggested to meet for 2 hours once a week after school (or on Saturdays) for at least 4 weeks.

Hi-Tech Fury is an enrichment course designed to stimulate problem solving and creativity using new and innovative ideas. This course is jam packed with science and Engineering! Students will build up to 4 robust vehicles using a design pamphlet for each vehicle.

Students become Mini-Engineers, challenged to design new vehicles utilizing pieces from supplied vehicle. Over the course of the class students participate in experiments designed to demonstrate science and engineering concepts and laws such as gravity, potential energy and kinetic energy. You provide the Instructor, we provide the curriculum and projects. For more information on any of our classes, feel free to visit any of our websites: www.allaboutlearning.co , www.banbaousa.com , or www.facebook.com/allaboutlearninginc

CCSS Resources for PD and Practice from “Achieve the Core”: Tips from Teachers – Academic Word Finder

Tiffany Gruen, Social Studies Teacher, Covington, KY, writes about her use of the Academic Word Finder  (http://achievethecore.org/academic-word-finder/) :   I love the ease of being able to input any text into the Academic Word Finder to identify those tier 2 words. This especially comes in handy when using primary sources, like the Declaration of Independence. Quite often, my students do a word study with the identified words prior to ever reading the text. They analyze the root words, discuss prior knowledge concerning the word, or any similarities to words in other languages. Students then make predictions about the meaning of the word and compare their predictions to the context of the text. A complex text no longer seems overwhelming or scary for my readers, because they have had plenty of exposure to the words and realize that misunderstandings can always be corrected. As a social studies teacher, I had no trouble identifying the tier 3 (domain-specific) words of a text or primary source; however, I often overlooked the vocabulary outside of my content area. This oversight negatively impacted the comprehension of many of my social studies students. When I began using the Academic Word Finder, I was amazed by how many grade-level words it identified within a text that I would have never considered explicitly teaching. This tool made it simple to anticipate the needs of my students and plan for action.

 

 

UPCOMING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES:

 

Ø  2016 Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference

February 19 + 20, 2016

Colorado Convention Center

Denver, CO     

http://www.ecconference.com/  Register today!

Check out our great workshops that help support and solidify the growing understanding of the importance of investing in our youngest children. Whether you are an early childhood teacher, practitioner, or advocate, you will benefit by attending this outstanding conference focusing on the many facets and challenges of early childhood education. Use this link to download workshop descriptions to help you plan your days at the conference:  http://www.ecconference.com/program/workshops

 

Ø  All Roads Lead to ECHO:  UW ECHO Network Conference

February 22-23, 2016

University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY

All Roads Lead to ECHO is a conference for professionals working across disability, education, and health interested in learning about and participating in the UW ECHO networks.

  • UW ECHO in Assistive Technology
  • UW ECHO in Autism
  • UW ECHO for Early Childhood Transition
  • UW ECHO in Early Literacy
  • UW ECHO in Educational Leadership
  • UW ECHO in Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support
  • UW ECHO for Secondary Transition
  • UW ECHO for Waiver Services

Learn how multi-disciplinary teams throughout Wyoming and the United States are meeting virtually to improve outcomes for their clients, students, and patients. PTSB credits are offered. Registration fee: $100. Please register online with the option to pay using a credit card or sending a check/voucher:  http://www.uwyo.edu/wind/echo/conference/registration.html .  Registration closes Feb. 10. 

 

Ø  Spring 2016 Learning & the Brain Conference

“The Science of Imagination: Cultivating Curiosity & Creativity in Our Schools”

April 7-9

Orlando, FL

Discover the importance of curiosity, creativity, fantasy fiction, pretend play, & the passion for learning; ways to develop these skills in students; and how to transform & re-imagine our schools & colleges for the 21st Century. Discounted early registration through Feb. 10.      http://www.learningandthebrain.com/ 

 

 

GRANTS AND FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES:

 

ü  National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) The Big Read — NEA’s The Big Read program will provide funding to 75 community organizations throughout the U.S. in 2016 to support “community-wide reading programs.” Each program should support and promote reading by diverse audiences. And funding can be used to support lectures, author readings, book discussions, exhibits, and theater performances, among other types of activities and literacy events. Eligible applicants include organizations such as literary centers, libraries, museums, colleges and universities, art centers, historical societies, arts councils, tribal governments, humanities councils, literary festivals, and arts organizations. Note: K–12 schools, school districts, boards of education, or other school governing bodies, whether public or private, are not eligible applicants, but may partner with eligible applicants. Funding varies by project, and there are 75 grants available.  Deadline: January 27, 2016.  http://www.neabigread.org/application_process.php

 

ü  American Honda Foundation Grants —   The American Honda Foundation engages in grant making that reflects the basic tenets, beliefs and philosophies of Honda companies, which are characterized by the following qualities: imaginative, creative, youthful, forward-thinking, scientific, humanistic and innovative. We support youth education with a specific focus on the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects in addition to the environment.  Eligible Organizations: Nonprofit charitable organizations classified as a 501(c) (3) public charity by the Internal Revenue Service, or a public school district, private/public elementary and secondary schools as listed by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Organizations may only submit one request in a 12-month period. This includes colleges and universities with several departments/outreach programs. The grant range is from $20,000 to $75,000 over a one-year period. Proposals should be submitted online. Deadlines for submission: Feb. 1, May 1, Aug. 1, and Nov. 1.  http://corporate.honda.com/america/philanthropy.aspx?id=ahf

 

ü  Dolciani Mathematics Enrichment Grants (DMEG) —  The Mary P. Dolciani Halloran Foundation has provided funding for the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) to award grants for projects designed to develop mathematical enrichment programs for talented students in middle school or high school. The goal of the program is to interest students who are ready for more challenge in the study of mathematics and encourage them to further their mathematical studies. Proposals are sought from college and university mathematical sciences faculty working in partnership with middle and/or high school mathematics teachers. Interested middle and high school teachers are strongly encouraged to seek out college and university mathematic sciences faculty in the formulation of proposals to benefit middle and high school students. The Foundation is particularly interested in projects originating from the middle or high schools. Proposed projects may replicate existing successful projects, adapt components of such projects, or be new.  Grants will be up to $6000 and will be made to the college or university of the project director for a one-year project. However, short-term events (one to three days) are generally limited to $2,500. An institution is expected to supply in-kind support as an indication of commitment to the project; these grants will not support any institutional indirect costs or provide fringe benefits. Deadline: Feb. 12, 2016.   http://www.maa.org/programs/maa-grants/dolciani-mathematics-enrichment-grants

 

ü  AIAA Foundation Classroom Grant Program —  The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Foundation believes that one of the most significant means to inspire and advance the future of Aerospace is to fund grants to meet the unmet and unfunded educational need of students. Each school year, AIAA awards grants of up to $250 to worthy projects that significantly influence student learning. A clear connection to Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) with an emphasis on Aerospace must be made in the grant proposal. Teachers must be current AIAA Educator Associate members actively engaged in kindergarten through twelfth grade classroom education prior to receiving this grant. Priority will be given to projects that reach the greatest number of students over many years. All grant proposals must be submitted through our online application database. No paper submissions will be accepted. Submission deadline for Cycle 2:  Feb. 12, 2016.  http://www.aiaa.org/Secondary.aspx?id=4184&terms=grants

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Summary of Memos to District Superintendents for Jan. 20, 2016.  To access the full contents of each memo in which you are interested, highlight and copy the ENTIRE Web URL listed and paste it into your browser.  PLEASE NOTE: If the URL to the memo doesn’t work, go directly to http://edu.wyoming.gov/communications/memos/, and scroll down to the document(s) in which you are interested

 

1)      DEADLINE Jan. 22! 2014-15 Graduation Rate Data Verification Process:   http://edu.wyoming.gov/wordpress/downloads/communications/memos/2016/2016-001.pdf — WDE has provided districts their 2014-15 student level graduate and non-graduate records for confidential review for accuracy until Friday, January 22, 2016. Data is securely provided to district personnel via the Wyoming Education Fusion Portal. At this time, the WDE is only reporting student level graduation information. The report is called Graduation Results Student Level. Once reviewed, the student level data will be used to calculate graduation rates as well as Wyoming State Accountability school performance ratings. It is imperative that data is accurate. See full memo for instructions.

  1. Graduation Rate FAQ Document: http://edu.wyoming.gov/wordpress/downloads/communications/memos/2016/2016-001-attachment.pdf

January 12, 2016

PROFESSIONAL NEWS YOU CAN USE:

WDE wants your input on a five-year statewide digital learning plan

Technology shortfalls limit equal access to a quality education for some Wyoming students. A comprehensive education technology plan can help change this. The Wyoming Department of Education will be conducting a listening tour to gather information from school, business, postsecondary, and other community members about their ed. tech. ideas, needs, and hopes. This is your chance to help improve education technology access and use in Wyoming. Join WDE from 4-6 p.m. at the following locations:

  • 1/25 – Evanston – High School: Seminar Room
  • 1/26 – Rock Springs – Central Admin Building Board Room
  • 1/27 – Rawlins – High School Cafeteria
  • 1/28 – Riverton – Central Office Board Room
  • 2/1 – Casper – Central Services Jefferson Room
  • 2/2 – Cody – Middle School Commons
  • 2/3 – Sheridan – Central Office Board Room
  • 2/4 – Gillette – Staff Development Center Willow Room
  • 2/9 – Laramie – Special Services Building: District Training Room
  • 2/10 – Cheyenne – Storey Gym: District Boardroom

 

2016 Teen Video Challenge

Wyoming teens are invited to “Get in the Game” and compete in the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) 2016 Teen Video Challenge by creating a video that promotes summer reading at their local library. Videos must be 30 to 90 seconds long, promote the idea of using public libraries and reading, include their interpretation of the 2016 CSLP teen slogan “Get in the Game – Read,” be designed for use at any library, and be appropriate for viewing by audiences of all ages. Videos will be judged on creativity, message clarity and relevance, motivation and inspiration, and overall impact.

Deadline to submit videos is March 11, 2016; winners will be announced in April. Full guidelines may be found at  www.wyominglibraries.org/teenvideochallenge.html . The page also includes links to resources for teachers and librarians and a short, humorous video on creating a video, for those who may be new to it.

 

CCSS Resources for PD and Practice from “Achieve the Core”: Achieve the Core on Pinterest RED TOPIC: SCIENCE EDUCATION

Have you seen Achieve the Core’s Common Core Tools Pinterest Page?  https://www.pinterest.com/achievethecore/common-core-tools/   This board includes all of Achieve the Core’s most popular tools, allowing you to easily pin and share your favorites and discover new ones.

 

 

UPCOMING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES:

Note regarding webinars: While I understand that most educators cannot leave class to attend webinars that occur during school hours, I cannot control when the various organizations choose to hold them. I include the information here in case any of our members have a schedule that allows their participation.

Ø  2016 NEA Leadership Summit

February 26 – 28, 2016

Dallas, Texas

The NEA Leadership Summit is held once annually and is for NEA members only. The Summit site,  http://www.nea.org/leadershipsummit , is the go-to source for registration and updated information. The deadline for registering is January 22, 2016, at 11:59 pm EST. Registrations will NOT be accepted after this time and on-site registration is NOT available. Your Summit registration does not reserve a hotel room or include the cost of hotel accommodations; you will need to make your hotel reservations separately.

 

Ø  2016 NEA Higher Ed. Conference: “Unite. Inspire. Lead. Transforming Lives Through Higher Education.”

April 1-3, 2016

San Diego, CA

Registration:  http://www.nea.org/he . 

 

Ø  PIC lunchtime webinar series: Learning to be a Super Hero through Self-Determination

Tuesday, Feb. 9, from noon to 1:00 pm.

This is the first in a series of lunchtime Parent Information Center webinars on youth and self-determination, presented by Dr. Liz Simpson. Email us at  info@wpic.org  to register.

 

Ø  4th Annual Parent Conference on disAbilities 

Feb. 26-28, 2016 

Casper 

Friday, Feb. 26, all day, will feature Paula Kluth, renowned author on Inclusion and autism. Feb. 27 & 28 topics will include student-directed IEP’s, practical assistive technology for every day, and ideas to resolve conflict at IEPs. Parent/family members $50 and $100 for educators, which includes banquet tickets for PHP’s 25th Anniversary Celebration Sat. night, Feb. 27th. PTSB & STARS credit available. More details and registration info:  http://www.wpic.org/10-events/36-16-pic-parent-conference?utm_source=Jan+2016&utm_campaign=Jan+2016&utm_medium=email .       

 

Ø  “Google Tools & Projects for Your Classroom” Free Online Event

Saturday, January 30th

8 am-1:30 pm MT

Whether you’re looking for classroom tools that encourage student collaboration or that make formative assessment easy…Simple K12 has you covered with our FREE upcoming online event.

Plus, if you register today you will receive a FREE SimpleK12 resource, “8 Google Chrome Extensions for Your Classroom.” Register now at:  https://simplek12.leadpages.co/google-1-30-email-2/

 

 

GRANTS AND FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES:

 

ü  NEA Learning & Leadership Grants: NEA’s  Learning & Leadership grants support public school teachers, public education support professionals, and/or faculty and staff in public institutions of higher education for one of the following two purposes: Educational grants to individuals fund participation in high-quality professional development experiences, such as summer institutes or action research; or grants to groups fund collegial study, including study groups, action research, lesson study, or mentoring experiences for faculty or staff new to an assignment.  The grant amount is $2,000 for individuals and $5,000 for groups engaged in collegial study. All $5,000 group grant applicants must include partner information. Deadlines for applications are February 1, June 1, and October 15.  http://www.neafoundation.org/pages/learning-leadership-grants/

 

ü  Enter Today to Become a PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator! PBS is excited to announce the fourth annual Digital Innovators program for tech-savvy K-12 educators. The program recognizes educators nationwide who are incorporating digital media in classrooms and serving as leaders in educational technology. Over the course of the 2016/2017 school year, PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators will be part of a robust professional learning community that will foster new ways of thinking, while leading the way in using technology to drive student achievement. 54 applicants, one from each US state and territory, will be designated as Lead PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators and will also receive a three day, all-expense paid trip to Denver, CO to participate in the PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators Summit and the prestigious ISTE Conference from June 25-27, 2016. Plus, each Lead PBS Digital Innovator will receive a Samsung Galaxy® tablet. Applying is as easy as 1-2-3! Simply create a short video, answer two essay questions, and complete the online application. Apply by February 8.  http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/digitalinnovators/

 

ü  Active Learning Center (ALC) Grant:  The ALC grant program leverages classroom space to implement new teaching practices, centering on student focus and collaboration. Up to 15 grant recipients will have the opportunity to install one of four learning environments featuring Steelcase Education’s state-of-the-art furniture and technology. “Research has shown that active learning environments positively impact student engagement,” said Sean Corcorran, General Manager of Steelcase Education. “Our 2015 grant recipients have already seen improvements in student focus, and we are eager to partner with more educators who are committed to providing inspiring environments in order to enhance student learning.” New this year, technical and trade schools are eligible to apply for the ALC grant, in addition to grades six through twelve, colleges and universities. Schools are also permitted to submit applications for library and media center spaces this year. Steelcase Education will award up to 15 schools with a new classroom, valued at $62,000. As part of the ALC program, grantees receive training from Steelcase leaders on best practices for the new technology and furniture. Grantees will also participate in a community of practice with fellow grant recipients to share insights and best practices. Deadline: February 12, 2016.http://www.steelcase.com/discover/information/education/active-learning-center-grant/

(There are no Memos to District Superintendents posted thus far for January 2016.)

January 6, 2016

PROFESSIONAL NEWS YOU CAN USE:

LAST CHANCE! DEADLINE JAN. 11

Read. Be inspired. Write back. 

School librarians and teachers are encouraged to have your students participate in the annual Letters About Literature (LAL) contest either as a class project or individually. Wyoming children and teens in grades 4-8 are invited to read a book that inspires them, then write the author a letter about how that book changed their lives, for the 23rd annual Letters About Literature contest. Postmark deadline is January 11, 2016, for Level 1 (students in grades 4-6) and Level 2 (grades 7-8). Sorry, the deadline for grades 9-12 has already passed. State and national awards available. The LAL Teaching Guide  (http://read.gov/documents/LAL-Teaching-Guide-REVISED.pdf ) provides activities teachers can use to guide their students through the book discussion and letter-writing process. The guide addresses the LAL teaching strategies and ways in which the program can dovetail with national standards for teaching reading and writing as well as Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Also included are worksheets for duplication and assessment checklists. For more information:  http://www.wyominglibraries.org/read-be-inspired-write-back.html

 

Wyoming National Board Certification Virtual Cohorts 2015-2016

Several Candidate Support Providers (CSPs) have volunteered to offer virtual cohorts for Wyoming National Board Certification candidates. These cohorts will enable candidates to connect with a CSP and other candidates statewide to help answer questions as they go through the National Board Certification process. All cohorts are voluntary. Go to:  http://wnbci.org/index.php/candidate-support/virtual-cohorts/  for more information.

 

WDE wants your input on a five-year statewide digital learning plan

Technology shortfalls limit equal access to a quality education for some Wyoming students. A comprehensive education technology plan can help change this. The Wyoming Department of Education will be conducting a listening tour to gather information from school, business, postsecondary, and other community members about their ed. tech. ideas, needs, and hopes. This is your chance to help improve education technology access and use in Wyoming. Join WDE from 4-6 p.m. at the following locations:

  • 1/25 – Evanston – High School: Seminar Room
  • 1/26 – Rock Springs – Central Admin Building Board Room
  • 1/27 – Rawlins – High School Cafeteria
  • 1/28 – Riverton – Central Office Board Room
  • 2/1 – Casper – Central Services Jefferson Room
  • 2/2 – Cody – Middle School Commons
  • 2/3 – Sheridan – Central Office Board Room
  • 2/4 – Gillette – Staff Development Center Willow Room
  • 2/9 – Laramie – Special Services Building: District Training Room
  • 2/10 – Cheyenne – Storey Gym: District Boardroom

 

CCSS Resources for PD and Practice from “Achieve the Core”: New “Tools Being Talked About” List Released 

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has released a list of tools recommended by educators and experts in the field to support Common Core implementation. Organized by primary purpose (such as math resources, full curricula or PD tools), the list is a great resource to print, share and reference throughout the year. We are excited to report that Achieve the Core’s Coherence Map, Assessment Evaluation Tool, Academic Word Finder, Instructional Practice Guide: Coaching Tool, and Knowledge and Practice Survey are among the “Tools Being Talked About.” http://collegeready.gatesfoundation.org/learning/tools-being-talked-about/?utm_content=bufferc47ab&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

 

UPCOMING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES:

Note regarding webinars: While I understand that most educators cannot leave class to attend webinars that occur during school hours, I cannot control when the various organizations choose to hold them. I include the information here in case any of our members have a schedule that allows their participation.

Ø  RECRUITING NOW: Educators Wanted For One Day ACT Workshop

Tuesday, January 19th, 9:00 – 4:30

Cheyenne

WDE is recruiting educators who are interested in working with colleagues in Wyoming to develop content-based performance level descriptors (PLDs) in reading/ELA, math, and science for the grade 11 ACT. These PLDs will describe the range of knowledge and skills for each of the performance levels (basic, proficient, and advanced) WDE reports on the ACT.  The one-day session, hosted by the WDE assessment and standards teams, will be facilitated by content experts from the ACT, and participants will benefit from a deep-dive into specific ACT content. Participants should have at least three years of experience teaching reading/ELA, math, or science in grades 9 -12+ and a working knowledge of the Wyoming Content and Performance Standards in these subjects.  WDE will provide a stipend of $300 to cover lodging, transportation, and meals.  Register here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1WWk7XuWc570CNaeLhdLwsiQD5fQyaELKgL0Sushu098/viewform?c=0&w=1

 

Ø  Wyoming National Board Certification Initiative Candidate Work Session

Feb. 12-13, 2016

Ramada Plaza Riverside, Casper

This will be an opportunity for National Board Certification Candidates to work individually or with other candidates on component entries. Registration for this work session can be completed online at the Initiative’s website,  www.wnbci.org . Please note that you must be a National Board Candidate to attend this workshop.

 

Ø  Register Now for the 2016 Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference

February 19 & 20, 2016

Colorado Convention Center, Denver

You’ll get LOTS (hundreds of workshops and exhibitors, top-notch keynote speakers, outstanding networking opportunities) for LESS by taking advantage of our Early-Bird Registration discounts. Join us at RMECC 2016,the largest and leading regional conference to support and solidify the growing understanding of the importance of investing in our youngest children. Hear and learn from a broad range of thought leaders and experts representing the wide variety of fields that impact early care and education. Workshop descriptions:   http://www.ecconference.com/program/workshops . Special savings on registrations are available for a limited time: Early Bird Discounts end Jan. 18.  http://www.ecconference.com/registration.

 

Ø  Brain-based Science, Learning and Achievement

Pre-K through 12th Grade

March 2, 3, & 4

Seattle

SEVENTEEN one-day courses offered! Download the brochure at:  http://www.rehabseminars.org

 

 

GRANTS AND FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES:

 

ü  DEADLINE LOOMING! California Casualty Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grant — Public high schools across the nation can score up to $3,000 for their sports departments with a California Casualty Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grant. Details and entry forms can be found at:  www.calcasathleticsgrant.com . Applications must be received by Jan. 15, 2016.

     

ü  American Association of School Librarians Innovative Reading Grant —  The AASL Innovative Reading Grant supports the planning and implementation of a unique and innovative program for children which motivates and encourages reading, especially with struggling readers.  Applicant must be a personal member of AASL. The reading program must be specifically designed for children (grades K-9) in the school library setting, and must encourage innovative ways to motivate and involve children in reading. Existing commercial programs will not be considered. Deadline: February 1, 2016.  http://www.ala.org/aasl/awards/innovative

 

ü  Charlie Lovett Fund for Elementary Drama — Funding is available for production of plays and musicals performed by elementary school students (grades 1–5) in a school program. The Charlie Lovett Fund for Elementary Drama is a philanthropic fund that supports production based theatre arts programs at the elementary school level. Each year, Charlie Lovett donates a portion of the royalties on his plays published by Pioneer Drama, Inc. to the fund, and that donation is matched by The Lovett Foundation. Grants are then made to elementary schools throughout the United States. Grants are made on a rolling basis, beginning in August of each school year, and we make every effort to make a decision on applications as quickly as possible. If we receive your application after the fund for that year is exhausted, we will invite you to reapply for the following year. Average grant size is $300. http://lovettfoundation.org/mainpages/foundation/Lovettt%20Fund.html

 

ü  Karma for Cara Foundation Micro-Grants — The Karma for Cara Foundation is encouraging kids 18 and under to apply for funds between $250 and $1,000 to complete service projects in their communities. Whether it is turning a vacant lot into a community garden, rebuilding a school playground or helping senior citizens get their homes ready for winter, they want to hear what project you’re passionate about. Learn how you can get involved, including applying for a micro-grant, at: http://www.karmaforcara.org/get-involved     

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Summary of Memos to District Superintendents for Jan. 5, 2016.  To access the full contents of each memo in which you are interested, highlight and copy the ENTIRE Web URL listed and paste it into your browser.  PLEASE NOTE: If the URL to the memo doesn’t work, go directly to http://edu.wyoming.gov/communications/memos/, and scroll down to the document(s) in which you are interested

 

1)      2014 Census Data to be Used to Allocate FY 2016 Title I, Part A Funds:  http://edu.wyoming.gov/downloads/communications/memos/2015/2015-145.pdf —  The estimated census data for calculating Title I allocations for Fiscal Year 2016 is now available. The Every Student Succeeds Act does not change the formulas that U.S. Department of Education (USDE) is required to use. Please review your district’s census data for accuracy. If you wish to challenge the accuracy of the data, see the full memo for procedures.  Wyoming data can be viewed at: http://edu.wyoming.gov/downloads/communications/memos/2015/2015-145-WY-Census.pdf .

 

Questions?

Contact Kathy Scheurman, Professional Issues Director kscheurman@wyoea.org