Online Events for Teachers, Students & Administrators During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Online Events for Teachers, Students & Administrators During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Waterford.org Launches Ascend 2020 Online Conference to Focus on Early Learning

The six-week series will provide administrators no-cost access to speakers, panels, and workshops, with the goal of creating a cohort to improve early education through equity.

Waterford.org, a national early education nonprofit with a mission to achieve universal literacy through equity, access, and parent empowerment, today announced Ascend 2020, an online conference series that will bring together the greatest minds in education to focus on improving early education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The virtual series begins October 21 and will run for six weeks, with several sessions each week. Educators can register here at no cost, and can customize their experience by attending live sessions or watching speakers and panels on-demand. Ascend 2020 will offer attendees the opportunity to:

  • Be inspired by thought leaders including Waterford.org’s CEO Benjamin Heuston; Bethany Butzer, an expert in positive psychology and transpersonal psychology; and Julie A. Evans, the CEO of Project Tomorrow.
  • Share ideas in weekly workshops about leadership, how to avoid burnout, and more.
  • Network with education professionals from across the country.

Information on the issue of early education will include content normally available only to Fortune 500 companies. Speakers will also share messages of hope to alleviate the stress of trying to deliver “normal” education despite the rapid transition to online learning and the budget cuts that many districts are now facing.

“During this pandemic, we are experiencing hurdles the education world has never seen,” said Waterford.org President & COO Andy Myers. “The goal of Ascend 2020 is to bring together leaders from nonprofits, schools, the government, and our philanthropic partners to launch a cohort focused on improving early education through equity, access, and family empowerment. If we want to reach universal literacy, one thing is certain: we must all work together.”


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Aperture Education

The research-based DESSA from Aperture Education provides actionable data to help schools confidently meet students’ individual social-emotional learning needs

Riverside Insights and Aperture Education have partnered to add Aperture’s entirely strengths-based DESSA social-emotional learning assessment to Riverside Insights’ portfolio of trusted assessments for schools. The partnership between the two companies helps Riverside Insights support schools that are seeking an evidence-based SEL assessment and helps Aperture reach more schools that are serviced by Riverside Insights.

“Research shows data-driven social-emotional learning programs have a positive impact on student mental health, behavior and achievement,” said Jessica Adamson, CEO of Aperture Education. “By obtaining important, timely SEL data through the DESSA, Riverside Insight’s customers will gain confidence by having a practical, accurate and equitable gauge of how they are meeting their students’ individual SEL needs.”

Riverside Insights offers assessment solutions that give schools actionable insights to support student learning and growth. The DESSA is a strengths-based SEL assessment that provides reliable data to help schools measure students’ SEL competence. Data from Riverside Insights’ combined portfolio of assessments provides schools with a complete picture of a student’s learning potential (ability), demonstrated learning (achievement), and SEL competency, which ultimately helps schools support that student’s growth.

“Our goal is to provide comprehensive insights to educators that help them identify and unlock each student’s full potential,” said Rajib Roy, President and CEO of Riverside Insights. “Social-emotional learning is a key pillar to that mission and adding the DESSA to our portfolio helps us take one step closer to that goal.”

Aperture Education and Riverside Insights will hold a joint webinar at 3 p.m. EDT, Oct. 20, 2020. To register, visit https://info.riversideinsights.com/aperture-webinar.

The webinar, “Promoting Educational Equity through SEL Assessment,” will feature Paul LeBuffe, vice president of research & development for Aperture Education and Van Mabie, senior director of special products & services for Riverside Insights. They will discuss how to:

  • Define educational equity
  • Describe the essential role of SEL assessment in promoting educational equity
  • Identify the key characteristics of assessments that promote equity
  • Promote educational equity using the DESSA Comprehensive System

Aperture Education specializes in social and emotional learning (SEL) solutions. Our flagship product, the DESSA Comprehensive SEL System, allows educators to measure, strengthen, and support social-emotional competence in youth in grades K-12. The DESSA System includes a suite of strength-based assessments, a universal screener that can be administered in less than a minute, and growth strategies and foundational practices to strengthen social and emotional competence. The DESSA System is lauded by researchers because it meets high standards for reliability and validity and is appreciated by educators for its ability to easily and quickly identify each student’s personal SEL strengths and provide practical supports that result in improved student outcomes. Because strengthening social-emotional skills is as important for educators as it is for students, we also offer the Educator Social Emotional Reflection and Training (EdSERT) tool. EdSERT is a professional development program to support the social-emotional competency and well-being of educators. For more information, go to www.ApertureEd.com.

Riverside Insights, one of the nation’s leading and most longstanding developers of research-based assessments, is guided by a powerful mission: to provide insights that help elevate potential and enrich the lives of students, clinical patients, employees and organizations globally. For more information, visit www.riversideinsights.com.


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National Education Summit Oct. 9-10, 2020 Focuses on Equity and Leadership in Action

Association of Latino Administrators & Superintendents (ALAS) Virtual Summit features keynote speakers John Leguizamo and education evangelist Jaime Casap, as well as a panel including New York City Department of Education Chancellor Richard A. Carranza

The Association of Latino Administrators & Superintendents (ALAS) will host its National Education Summit virtually live on Oct. 9-10, 2020. The conference features inspiring keynote speakers such as actor and Latino/a/x advocate John Leguizamo and global education evangelist Jaime Casap, along with panel discussions with action-oriented superintendents from across the country to discuss the issues of equity and leadership in education and a musical performance by Grammy nominee Lupita Infante.

“The events of this year have exposed deep educational inequities for students across our country which underscore our Latino/a/x youth,” said Dr. Maria Armstrong, Executive Director of ALAS. “Strong leadership is critical to address these inequities. Our virtual National Education Summit will, for the first time, bring together parents, teachers, counselors, administrators, superintendents and board members to help get everyone on the same page in providing a quality educational experience for our students.  There has never been a better time to bring the ALAS community together to address educational inequities.”

The summit “Equity Leadership in Action: When to Sprint and When to Pivot,” will take place from 3:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. EST Oct. 9, 2020, and from 11:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. EST on Oct. 10, 2020. Every paid administrator registration includes one complimentary registration for a school board member and one complimentary registration for a parent.

In addition to impressive keynote speakers and thought provoking breakout sessions, the event features two informative Superintendents Plenary Panels. One panel COVID and Beyond: Exposed Inequities Part Two reunites five superintendents from an ALAS event held in April for a panel discussion about the education inequities that have surfaced during the pandemic. Speakers include:

Richard A. Carranza is Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education. He leads the largest system in the nation, serving 1.1 million students, as parents and educators address the current crisis, in addition to long term issues of bias, structural inequities, and low expectations that in his words have, for too long, impacted black and brown students, students with disabilities, and those whose families speak English as a second language.

Dr. Gustavo Balderas is Superintendent of Edmonds School District, Washington and the 2020 National Superintendent of the Year. Throughout his career Dr. Balderas has focused on leadership and increasing cultural proficiency, including developing equity systems around student behavior and teacher hiring practices. Currently, his team is providing tens of thousands of meals, child care, and distance learning to his students and community.

Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney serves as the Superintendent of Schools for the Aldine Independent School District. She has received several distinctions and honors, including being named a finalist for the 2020 Female Superintendent of the Year by AASA and was named Superintendent of the Year for Texas in 2017. During the current coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Goffney is ensuring that Aldine ISD continues to focus on issues of equity – including ensuring all families have access to learning, meals, and consistent contact with teachers and counselors for support.

Dr. Don Austin is the Superintendent of Schools for the Palo Alto Unified School District. As one of the premiere school districts in California, PAUSD serves a diverse range of students from advantaged children of tech industry giants and Stanford University professors to historically underrepresented students from poverty. Dr. Austin was born and raised in Chula Vista, California, attended Baker University in Kansas, and has served the students of California for the last 25 years.

Ms. Theresa Plascencia is Superintendent of Waukegan Public Schools, District 60, in Waukegan IL. Ms. Plascencia has made social activism and equity the key focus of her educational career, with an emphasis on providing all students with the tools they need to be successful in society. She is leading the efforts to provide remote learning, internet devices, and meal services.

The second panel Latina/x Leadership in Action: Media, Politics and the Economy During the Time of COVID features Celina Estrada Thomas, superintendent of Hutto ISD in Texas, Dr. Danna Diaz, superintendent of the Reynolds School District in Oregon, Socorro Shiels, superintendent of the Sonoma Valley Unified School District in California, Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, superintendent of Hartford Public Schools in Connecticut, Elsie Rodriguez, superintendent of the Monroe-Woodbury School District in New York and is facilitated by Dr. Maria Chavez Armstrong, ALAS executive director.

The virtual online Summit will also include more than 20 live workshops for attendees, including some in Spanish, and networking opportunities. The event is made possible in part by the pro bono support of Education Elements, a K-12 strategy consulting firm that believes schools grow when people grow.

To register, visit https://www.alasedu.org/event/alas-17th-annual-education-summit/


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Why Tough Conversations Matter: Democratic Preparation and America's Schools

How can teachers and school leaders nurture students’ civic capacities?

We can help them learn to engage with controversial issues, examine multiple perspectives on a given subject, and form thoughtful judgments over time.

International research suggests that normalizing classroom debate and deliberation has an outsized, positive effect on civic outcomes later in life. Unfortunately, it is easier said than done, particularly in today’s toxic political climate.

The school year has begun – just in time for the most contentious election cycle in recent memory. Now more than ever, we need to equip young people with the political knowledge, political skills, habits of engagement, and civil tolerance that alone sustain democratic society.

Join the Johns Hopkins University Institute for Education Policy and the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University on Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 11am EST for a 45-minute webinar, Why Tough Conversations Matter: Democratic Preparation and America’s Schools.

Hear from Raj Vinnakota, President, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation in conversation with Ashley Berner, Associate Professor and Deputy Director, Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy & Fellow, SNF Agora Institute and Kelly Siegel-Stechler, Research Fellow, Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy & Fellow, SNF Agora Institute.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Johns Hopkins University has created a suite of tools to help schools assess and improve their civic culture. The October 8th webinar will focus on two of them: School Culture 360™ and Election 2020: Engaging Students in Civic Discourse. 

Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.
— Alexander Hamilton


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CoSN 2021

Will Offer Interactive Breakout Sessions, Networking Opportunities and Innovative Keynote Speakers for Lower Cost to Encourage Team Participation.

CoSN has announced that its Board of Directors approved shifting the organization’s 2021 Conference, originally scheduled as an in-person event March 1-4 in Austin, TX, to an all-virtual format from March 2-4, 2021.

CoSN2021 registration rates for members will be tiered by school system size to encourage broader participation and start 40 percent lower than the standard cost for the annual in-person Conference. CoSN member school systems range in size and are categorized as: small – under 2,500 students; medium – 2,501-10,000 students; large – 10,001-50,000 students; and mega-large – 50,000+ students.

For example, the new registration structure will allow a small district that would typically pay for two registrations to send an unlimited number of other guests for no additional cost. Similarly, a mega-large district can now send their entire district technology leadership team for the equivalent cost of ten registrations. 

“CoSN’s Board of Directors and Conference Co-Chairs are committed to delivering the same high-quality content that Conference attendees are accustomed to. We look forward to exploring new and innovative ways to provide this content in an all-virtual setting in 2021. Creating unique networking opportunities is a critical component of our strategy,” said Steve Langford, Conference Co-Chair, incoming Chair of CoSN’s Board of Directors and Chief Information Officer, Beaverton School District (OR).

“In a time when funding for professional learning is low or is being cut, CoSN’s new pricing structure will allow districts to get more for their money and have a greater reach. I hope that many school systems will take advantage of the opportunity to offer this outstanding professional development opportunity beyond their CTO to the leadership teams,” said Marlo Gaddis, CETL, Conference Co-Chair, Secretary of CoSN’s Board of Directors and Chief Technology Officer, Wake County Public Schools (NC).

“It is our hope that with reduced pricing and the elimination of travel costs, school districts that have not had the funds available to attend the CoSN Conference in the past can partake in this year’s up-to-the-minute interactive sessions and networking opportunities. We are excited to delve further into virtual content-delivery options that ensure member-to-member connections happen online!” said CoSN CEO Keith Krueger.

Details for CoSN2021 can be found at cosnconference.org.

CoSN2022 remains scheduled as an in-person Conference in Nashville, TN. CoSN plans to return to Austin, TX for the 2023 annual Conference.

CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. CoSN provides thought leadership resources, community best practices and advocacy tools to help leaders succeed in the digital transformation. CoSN represents over 13 million students in school districts nationwide and continues to grow as a powerful and influential voice in K-12 education. cosn.org


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EduCanada Virtual Fair

Students and their families will have free one-on-one access to representatives from colleges and universities to learn about the value of a Canadian education.

EduCanada, a collaborative effort between the provinces and territories through the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) and Global Affairs Canada which supports the international education offerings of Canada’s provinces and territories, is hosting an EduCanada Virtual Fair from October 5th to 6th.  This virtual fair will showcase the variety of programs and educational opportunities that Canadian high schools, colleges, and universities have to offer students from the United States.

On Tuesday, October 6, from 5 to 10 p.m. EDT, students and their families will have a unique opportunity to learn about all the advantages a Canadian education has to offer. Forty-nine Canadian institutions, including colleges, universities, and high schools, will be available to answer questions via one-on-one chats.

When attendees log into the EduCanada Virtual Fair website, they will be able to search institutions by name, type of program or course, and location. Just like a physical event, attendees can then visit the “booth” of each educational institution to obtain more information and chat directly with their representatives – virtually! You can connect directly with your institution of choice through audio and video calls.

Canada has a high-quality educational system that includes 3 of the top 50 universities in the world, with average annual tuition costs that are comparable to out-of-state tuition at a public university in the United States (approximately $22,000 USD).

Students looking for more information on the benefits of studying with a Canadian institution can visit the EduCanada Virtual Fair booth hosted by the Canadian Embassy or Consulate in their state.

To learn more about the EduCanada Virtual Fair or to register, visit educanadavirtual.com/usa/fair.

EduCanada is a brand that supports the international education offerings of Canada’s provinces and territories. The EduCanada brand is the result of collaboration between the provinces and territories through the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) and Global Affairs Canada. It is a protected trademark of the Government of Canada and is subject to a Master Licence Agreement between the parties. For more information about study programs, cost estimates, and about study permit requirements for international students, visit the EduCanada website.


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The Digital Learning Gap Press Event

We cannot allow the COVID-19 pandemic to create an irreversible learning gap for students without the Internet.

On September 29 at 11 PT/2 ET, Cox will host a virtual press event with NCTA, Common Sense Media and local officials to dive into strategies that build critical, permanent digital equity in education. Speakers include:

  • Pat and Michael Powell of NCTA will introduce the Connect2Compete offer
  • Ashley Perkins of Cox Business will discuss an equity-focused CARES ACT program
  • James Steyer, CEO of Common Sense Media, will share research on the digital divide
  • Clark County School District (NV) Superintendent and Senator Rosen (D-NV)

Click below to register and listen in:

The Digital Learning Gap Press Event


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Johns Hopkins University School of Education

How can schools help young people become active, knowledgeable citizens?

The nation’s schools are back in session – just in time for the most contentious election cycle in recent memory. Now more than ever, we need to equip young people with the political knowledge, political skills, habits of engagement, and civil tolerance that alone sustain democratic society. The Institute for Education Policy and the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University have designed a suite of tools to help policymakers, school leaders, and teachers accomplish this task herehere, and here.

On September 29th, learn about their latest resource: the Social Studies Knowledge Map™

This new tool allows us to assess whether a given social studies curriculum offers systematic, robust knowledge building across students’ K-12 journey. We also evaluate whether the curriculum provides multiple perspectives on a given topic, and whether the teachers’ materials encourage an open classroom climate. The result is a landscape analysis that leaders can use for continuous curricular improvement in this critical subject.

Please join Peter Levine, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Tufts University’s Jonathan Tisch College of Civic Life and Visiting Scholar at the SNF Agora Institute; Janise Lane, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning at Baltimore City Public Schools; and Ashley Berner, Deputy Director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy for this discussion.

To register for the webinar, click here.


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Back-to-School but Not Back to Normal

Leading expert on trauma-informed approaches to support staff and students, Dr. Isaiah Pickens to discuss ways to support students during this free webinar on September 29 at 2:00 p.m. ET

Now more than ever, students are experiencing traumatic events including social, emotional, and economic impacts from COVID-19 and civil unrest in their communities. Because of this, school districts are under increased pressure to develop trauma-informed, culturally-responsive programs for their students. Often, however, they don’t know where to begin. This upcoming webinar can help.

PresenceLearning, the leading provider of live online behavioral and mental health services for K-12 schools, is partnering with Dr. Isaiah Pickens, CEO & Founder of iOpening Enterprises, a professional development and media company that implements trauma-informed and culturally responsive classroom strategies for schools across the country, to discuss how these practices can be used to meet the unique challenges students face in the 2020-2021 school year. During the webinar, “Back-to-School but Not Back to Normal: Trauma-Informed Approaches to Student Mental Health during COVID-19” on Tuesday, September 29 at 2 p.m. ET/ 11 a.m. PT, attendees will hear from Dr. Pickens and Stephanie Taylor, Ed.S, NCSP, clinical director of psychoeducational services at PresenceLearning.

Topics will include:

  • The impact that current events are having on students’ behavioral and mental health
  • Strategies to identify students who are most at risk and who would benefit from various approaches
  • Practical tools and resources to help schools navigate this challenging landscape and best support students

“It is incredibly stressful to be a middle or high school student right now. They have been isolated from their friends, they are coping with ever-changing schedules and structures, their families are coping with health and job changes, and their communities are processing the challenges of racial inequity. We are excited to bring the expertise of Dr. Isaiah Pickens to schools through this webinar, to help them navigate this challenging landscape and learn strategies and tools they can implement to support their staff and students,” said PresenceLearning CEO Kate Eberle Walker.

“School districts are under increased pressure to support students who have been impacted by current events. Now, more than ever, it’s critical that schools embrace practical trauma-informed and culturally responsive strategies that will help staff and students navigate and excel during this time,” said Dr. Isaiah Pickens, CEO & Founder of iOpening Enterprises.

To attend the upcoming webinar, register now.

PresenceLearning, Inc. is the leading provider of live online behavioral and mental health services and special education-related services to K-12 schools. The company connects speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and behavioral and mental health professionals with students through its proprietary online platform, and has delivered more than 2.5 million teletherapy sessions to hundreds of K-12 schools and districts across the U.S. through its network of more than 1,300 certified clinicians. Investors in the company include Bain Capital Double Impact, Catalyst Investors, Catamount Ventures, and New Markets Venture Partners. For more information, visit www.presencelearning.com.


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Soundtrap

The Soundtrap EDU Summit, set to take place from September 28 – October 7, will provide educators with strategies to empower student voice and help all learners make an impact on the world.

Soundtrap for Education today announced the details of the first-ever Soundtrap EDU Summit, a free online experience dedicated to helping educators learn how to empower their students and, in turn, helping to create the future world we all envision. Soundtrap is working in partnership with Matt Miller, creator of Ditch That Textbook, to present the Summit, and speakers will include music and STEAM educators, student storytellers, digital media creators, and more. The online event will take place from September 28 – October 7, 2020, and will bring together educators from around the world.

“Soundtrap makes it a priority to amplify the creative expression of authentic student voice through music and storytelling, and the Soundtrap EDU Summit will advance these goals by providing educators with immediately actionable strategies that can be used in any classroom, with any tools,” said Matteo Ottaviani, Head of Soundtrap for Education. “Knowledge is essential, but in order for students to become the best versions of themselves, we want to help educators pair instruction with lessons that unleash motivation and creativity―letting every student know they can make a difference in the world.”

Once the Summit begins on September 28, registered participants will receive an email each day with a new video presentation, which can be watched on-demand at a time of their convenience. The videos will be supplemented by downloadable PDF notes and educators can generate a certificate of completion for one professional development hour for each video they watch. Further, participants will have the opportunity to build a network with fellow educators from all over the world.

With Matt Miller’s contributions to Summit planning, participants will benefit from his expertise in creating a program that highlights the most relevant topics to today’s educators, as well as a focus on including the compelling and up-and-coming presenters best positioned to deliver meaningful, practical content. Each of these factors will enhance the value gained by participants of all roles in education.

“The Soundtrap EDU Summit provides for several needs that educators have right now. It’s a source of inspiration at a time in our world when educators are struggling and already beginning to burn out,” said Miller. “The Summit will deliver practical teaching ideas that educators can use in class immediately. In short, by participating in the Soundtrap EDU Summit, educators can gain fresh excitement about their profession and strategies to empower all students to share their voices with the world.”

Creativity, music, podcasting and storytelling are just some of the relevant 21st century topics that will be covered in the Soundtrap EDU Summit. Presenters will include a unique group of passionate creators and educators from various walks of life, whose messages will motivate participants and equip them with practical ideas. Some of the presenters already announced include:

  • Marcus Blackwell―CEO and Founder, Make Music Count
  • Micaela Blei―Educator, Storyteller and Story Editor
  • Jeannine Flores―Arts and STEAM Coordinator, Los Angeles County Office of Education
  • Deron Hall―Assistant Director of Youth Programs, Carnegie Hall
  • Tim Needles―Art and Media Teacher, and Author of STEAM Power
  • Jake Sandakly―Virtual Music Educator and Consultant
  • Lila Shroff―Storyteller & Student, Stanford University
  • Daniel Wang―Student Podcaster and creator of studentpodcasts.com
  • Claudio Zavala, Jr.―Digital Media Consultant, I Am Claudius LLC

New presenters will be announced each week and interested participants can visit the Soundtrap EDU Summit website to follow along. Presenters aim to connect with participants’ creative sides, spark new ideas for lessons and activities, and make educators think―and laugh.

Educators of all roles, from around the world, are invited to register for the Soundtrap EDU Summit by visiting http://soundtrapedusummit.com.

Soundtrap, a part of Spotify, is on a mission to make music creation and storytelling simple and collaborative for everyone. Soundtrap for Education is an online audio recording studio that enables students and teachers to collaborate in a safe learning environment, using any device, at any time, from any location. Soundtrap is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden with offices in New York and Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.soundtrap.com/edu


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PBLWorks Launches New Podcast Series – The Project

Series to highlight the power and impact of Project Based Learning for students.

PBLWorks, the leading provider of professional development for high-quality Project Based Learning (PBL), has launched a new podcast series called The Project with the goal of diving deep into the power, the potential, the pitfalls and the possibilities of PBL.

Hosted by PBLWorks’ curriculum and program manager Laureen Adams and digital curriculum manager Stanley Richards, the first six episodes present conversations with and stories from leaders and practitioners of PBL.

“Many of us at PBLWorks are fans of podcasts. They’re a great medium for storytelling and they offer teachers a way to learn about PBL during their drive time or on-the-go,” said Bob Lenz, CEO of PBLWorks. “And The Project lets our team speak to teachers more directly, and for our audience to get to know us in a more personal way.”

Episodes include:

  • “Don’t send a professional to do an 8th grader’s job,” a conversation with EL Education’s Chief Academic Officer Ron Berger about powerful PBL projects he’s worked on with students, including an 8th grade science project that prompted a town to invest $156,000 in energy renovations of its schools.
  • “This Teachable Moment,” a talk with PBLWorks CEO Bob Lenz about the opportunity he sees during this pandemic to transform the way kids learn.
  • “The education all students deserve: PBL and racial equity,” in which Big Picture Learning CEO Carlos Moreno and Equity Consultant Dinah Becton-Consuegra discuss redesigning schools with equity in mind.

The Project is available now on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Spotify. To start listening to the podcast series, go to www.pblworks.org/podcast.

PBLWorks (the brand name of the Buck Institute for Education) believes that all students – no matter where they live or what their background – should have access to quality Project Based Learning to deepen their learning and achieve success in college, career, and life. Our focus is on building the capacity of teachers to design and facilitate quality Project Based Learning, and on supporting school and system leaders in creating the conditions for these teachers to succeed with all students. For more information, visit www.pblworks.org.


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Registration Opens for 2020-21 Conrad Challenge

Unique STEM competition provides student innovators and entrepreneurs
an opportunity to address pressing global challenges

HOUSTON, TX – Registration has officially opened for the 2020-2021 Conrad Challenge, now celebrating its 15th year of driving student entrepreneurship across a variety of STEM fields. One of the most highly ranked STEM competitions globally, the annual Challenge invites students between the ages of 13-18 from around the world to form teams of 2-5 and develop sustainable solutions to global challenges. Along the way, coaches and judges from the best in business, industry, research and academia worldwide guide the teams’ development of their innovative ideas.

Founded and chaired by Nancy Conrad to honor the legacy of her late husband, entrepreneur and third man to walk on the Moon, Charles ‘Pete’ Conrad, the Conrad Foundation produces the Conrad Challenge each year, not only to provide students the opportunity to create innovative solutions benefitting global sustainability, but also to prepare them for success in the global workplace.

“Our Challenge provides the ideal platform for students and educators who are now navigating a very different upcoming school year. Student participants learn to measure success in terms of creativity, collaboration and a commitment to creating a better future for all of us,” said Conrad. “This year is extra special as we celebrate reaching the 15-year milestone of empowering students to design a sustainable future and collaborate digitally, without borders.”

With the 2020-21 Challenge’s special emphasis on sustainability, students will address global challenges in any of seven categories:

Due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring, the Conrad Challenge pivoted from its previously planned Round 3 event, usually held at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, celebrating the top five Finalist teams from each category. The Challenge instead hosted its first-ever Virtual Innovation Summit using the online event platform Hopin, which received overwhelmingly positive feedback from participants. At the Virtual Innovation Summit, student teams presented their innovations before an esteemed panel of judges and were allowed a 15-minute Q&A session, as well as community and team building sessions. Throughout the online event, students, educators, Challenge alumni, subject matter experts, judges and corporate sponsors alike were able to interact directly as well as attend the live-streamed opening and awards ceremonies.

Teams who were awarded the Challenge’s top honor and recognized as Pete Conrad Scholars qualified for scholarships, independent product assessment studies, speaking engagements, patent support and business services to support the growth of their concepts. As there are still many unknowns as to what global health and safety regulations will be in place next spring, the Conrad team will be announcing its plans for either a virtual or in-person 2021 Innovation Summit by February 1, 2021.

Teams interested in participating this season should visit the registration page and 2020-2021 Conrad Challenge Overview for more information on this year’s competition. Registration will remain open until Friday, Nov. 6, 2020 at [11:59] PM EST, when all registered teams must have submitted the requirements for Round 1: The Investor Pitch. Expert judges will then select teams in each Challenge category who will advance to develop comprehensive business plans for their innovation in Round 2 of the competition.

The Conrad Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting collaborative, student-centered, real world-relevant learning that fosters innovation and entrepreneurship. Through its programs, the Foundation unleashes students’ potential to create impactful solutions and a sustainable society for generations to come. For more information about the Conrad Foundation, its Challenge, or the 2020-2021 competition, visit www.conradchallenge.org.


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American Psychiatric Association (APA)

On August 19th from [8:00]-9:00 pm ET, the APA Foundation will host a Virtual Town Hall on Mentally-Healthy Schools in Times of a Pandemic.

Across the country, communities and families are challenged by the prospect of sending children back to school. These unprecedented times have impacted us all.

During this virtual town hall , psychiatric experts will participate in a candid discussion about:

  • What to consider when choosing to return to the classroom
  • How to keep both students and staff safe and mentally healthy
  • How to notice changes in behavior that might indicate a need for support
  • How communities can address barriers preventing youth from receiving mental health care

To attend this free event, please register here. To learn more about this and other town halls, visit the APA Foundation’s Events page.


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Virtual Book Launch Party: Letters From the Inside

Please join me at a virtual book launch party to celebrate the publication of Letters From the Inside: Hope in the Journey Beyond Classroom and Cell.

Thursday, August 20 | 4:30 pm PDT | Online (RSVP for detailed instructions)

In conversation with author Mitali Perkins, I will discuss the backstory of how the book came to be, read a few excerpts, and answer questions from guests. Unfortunately, Jorge is still incarcerated and cannot join us, but we will discuss how to help him and his family as well.

Since we’ll be online, I can’t provide cake and champagne as I’d like to, but I hope you’ll bring your own beverage of choice to toast the new book.

When I wrote about my time teaching third grade in Literally Unbelievable: Stories from an East Oakland Classroom, I had no idea that my next book would be written by a very special co-author: one of my former students now in prison, a very real victim of the school-to-prison pipeline.

We have been working on this for the last few years, and are very excited that Letters From the Inside: Hope in the Journey Beyond Classroom and Cell, will be published on August 20, 2020. We hope the book provides a look behind the scenes: what happened in Jorge’s life to lead to prison, his daily life “inside,” and his hopes and dreams for the future.


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Flinn Scientific

Flinn Scientific, a flagship provider of science lab materials and safety and STEM solutions for the K-16 education market, is offering new webinars this month and next to help district leaders and science educators plan for a safe start to this coming school year. As part of the extended Professional Learning Summer Webinar Series, the free webinars provide timely facts and information about reopening schools and facilitating student instruction in a safe format, regardless of the learning model.

“Our latest webinars cover a myriad of topics rooted in school, staff, and student safety which is a primary concern for educators as districts across the country are in the midst of preparing for this coming school year,” said Michael Lavelle, CEO of Flinn Scientific. “The webinars will cover timely expert information and recommendations that district leaders and science educators can use as they continue their planning.”

The webinars curate the top recommendations from recognized leaders in education, safety, and protection worldwide to help education leaders understand effective safety measures, processes, and protocols, as well as to help them shape their own data-driven plans for the coming school year. Each webinar is an hour long.

For district leaders, the topic is:

  • Guidance to Safe School Re-entry (Part C): Will cover the results from the recent OECD COVID-19 survey of countries around the world with specific direction into the re-opening guidance for school districts in North America based on the results of best practices and multi-disciplinary insights.

For science educators, topics include:

  • How to Teach Science in a COVID-19 Environment (Part 1): Will cover benefits to re-opening schools, planning for the continuity of learning, synchronous and asynchronous learning, instructional education models and considerations, what teaching science will look like now, managing the socio-emotional traumatic impact, and more.
  • How to Teach Science in a COVID-19 Environment (Part 2): Will discuss a new Flinn-created framework curated from various educational and health authorities that provides guidance on teaching science and STEM. It will also cover topics including re-opening schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, considerations for safe-school opening, hygiene and PPE considerations, sanitizing and disinfection, teaching suggestions, safely offering science/STEM programs remotely, preventative measures to take in different in-person learning environments, science department order planning, and more.
  • Prep Room Concerns from a Prolonged School Closure: Will cover common concerns and remedies for safely handling and reopening science prep areas and chemical storerooms.

To learn more and register for these upcoming webinars and more, visit https://www.flinnsci.com/professional-learning/.

About Flinn Scientific

Flinn Scientific supports STEM/STEAM educators in opening young minds to the challenges and joys of scientific discovery and the design thinking process. The leader in science education and lab supplies and safety, Flinn Scientific also provides learning systems and professional development that incorporate differentiated digital experiences with hands-on learning grounded in the real-world to help all students think critically, explore like scientists and engineers, and solve problems creatively so they are ready for college and careers in an increasingly technology-driven world.


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Back-To-School: Integrating Teletherapy into Your Service Delivery Model

Special 2-part webinar series to help schools plan for fall

NEW YORK, July 7, 2020 – As districts across the country are grappling with back-to-school plans, there are still a number of uncertainties that can make it feel like an impossible task. But, there are also valuable lessons learned from school closures this spring that schools can apply to their re-entry strategies.

PresenceLearning, the leading provider of live online special education-related services to K-12 schools, is hosting a special webinar series with its clinical experts and district leaders to help guide fall planning, especially as it relates to serving special education students.

Back-To-School: Integrating Teletherapy into Your Service Delivery Model

Part One: July 16 at 12 pm ET

Part One will cover specific examples of how PresenceLearning district partners pivoted to be sure their students with special needs continued to receive their required services through teletherapy and tele-assessment. PresenceLearning clinical experts will outline a flexible framework and steps schools can take now to be prepared for both in-school and in-home delivery of services. Topics will include managing various schedule scenarios; training for confident, effective delivery; choosing the best platform; staff contingency planning; coordinating with parents; and more.

Part Two: July 23 at 12 pm ET

In Part Two district leaders will join PresenceLearning clinical experts for a dedicated Q&A session where they will answer questions with real-world examples of what has and hasn’t worked well, and share their plans for school re-entry.

“It is increasingly evident that back to school plans will need to incorporate at least some online service contingencies. We’re excited to offer clinical perspectives on what our school partners learned in the first months of remote schooling, and how to apply those lessons to do even better in the fall. We’ve learned in our webinars during COVID that our audience has a lot of questions and wants practical answers, so we’re excited to try our new webinar format which includes a second session dedicated entirely to Q&A,” said PresenceLearning CEO Kate Eberle Walker.

To attend the upcoming webinar series, register now.

PresenceLearning, Inc. is the leading provider of live online special education-related services to K-12 schools. The company connects speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and behavioral and mental health professionals with students through its proprietary online platform, and has delivered more than 2.5 million teletherapy sessions at hundreds of K-12 schools and districts across the U.S. through its network of nearly 1,000 certified clinicians. Investors in the company include Bain Capital Double Impact, Catalyst Investors, Catamount Ventures, and New Markets Venture Partners. For more information, visit https://www.presencelearning.com.


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Virtual Superintendent Symposium and Retreat

All district leaders are invited to a no-cost virtual retreat held by the Institute for Education Innovation to outline how to open schools safely and equitably in the fall

(Asheville, NC) July 7, 2020—All district leaders are invited to Institute for Education Innovation’s Superintendent Symposium and Retreat from July 24 to July 25 to workshop ideas for reopening schools in the safest and smartest way possible. With a focus on equity and social justice, the retreat will offer an innovative space both virtually and in person for Institute for Education Innovation (IEI) members as well as non-member superintendents and district administrators from across the country to come together and develop a blueprint for 2020’s version of back to school.

By the end of the symposium, IEI will have outlined a vision of concrete strategies for how districts can open safely and equitably. Workgroup discussions will be organized around district needs, taking into account the need for urban, suburban, and rural districts to connect with colleagues from similar contexts.

Themes and challenges will include:

  • The use of physical space;
  • Mental health and health protocols;
  • Cybersecurity and digital access;
  • Curriculum, instruction, and planning, and
  • Lessons learned from spring 2020 data.

Virtual attendees and in-person attendees will have equal opportunities to participate in the discussions via IEI’s virtual conference platform. In-person attendance at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, is by invitation only to ensure the safety of attendees and adherence to CDC guidance during the pandemic, but all are welcome to register and participate virtually.

“The irony of the pandemic is that district leaders have never so badly needed to get in a room together to problem solve and workshop creative ideas,” said Doug Roberts, founder and CEO of Institute of Education Innovation. “When members asked us to figure out a way to gather the group safely, we got to work figuring out how to make it happen. The IEI community, along with our colleagues in districts across the nation, have the rare opportunity to reopen schools with a focus on undoing some of the structural barriers to equity.”

Dr. Danny Merck, the superintendent of Pickens County (SC) Schools, who will be speaking at the symposium, said that this gathering of leaders to share strategies for coping with extraordinary circumstances is “about an attitude of continuous learning, the ability to learn from other leaders, and being vulnerable yourself. Our three priorities are the well-being and safety of our students, providing excellent teaching and learning, and supporting the economy. How we keep those priorities in order and be mindful that all three are important, without sacrificing the others is just one of the many difficult questions we will seek answers to at the upcoming symposium”

The retreat will have no more than 50 in-person attendees and an unlimited number of virtual attendees. This balanced environment will create a strong community, focused interaction, and positive change. The IEI Superintendent Symposium and Retreat will begin Friday, July 24 at 12 p.m. EDT and ends Saturday, July 25 at 3 p.m. EDT. Free registration will be open until Friday, July 24.

All district leaders are invited to join the Symposium’s virtual component. A la carte partial attendance by topic and session will be available. Interested educators may self-register here.

Institute for Education Innovation (IEI) builds relationships and hosts conferences and workshops that bring together educational innovators to explore new solutions to old challenges in schools across North America. By bridging gaps between the individuals and organizations committed to seeing students succeed in school, IEI creates a safe space for constructive problem-solving and innovative thinking. Learn more at InstituteForEdInnovation.com.


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Flinn Scientific Professional Learning

Flinn Scientific, a flagship provider of science lab materials and safety and STEM solutions for the K-16 education market, is offering district and school leaders the Professional Learning Summer Webinar Series to help them plan for a safe return to school. Taking place during June and July, the free webinars are designed to provide facts and information to enhance student learning and facilitate instruction in a safe way, regardless of the learning modality.

“It is critical for district and school personnel, safety officers, and science educators to have the most timely and relevant safety information as they plan for what next school year may look like,” said Michael Lavelle, CEO of Flinn Scientific. “Our new Professional Learning Summer Webinar Series provides the facts and recommendations these leaders need to make informed decisions that will keep students and staff safe once school returns.”

The webinars curate the top recommendations from recognized leaders in education, safety, and protection worldwide to help education leaders understand effective safety measures, processes, and protocols, as well as to help them shape their own data-driven plans for the coming school year. Each webinar is an hour long.

For school and district personnel, topics include:

  • Guidance to Safe School Re-Entry (Part A): Will cover safety preparation and concerns within schools and maintaining a physically and mentally healthy school environment.
  • Guidance to Safe School Re-Entry (Part B): Will cover maintaining healthy operations when schools are open and COVID-19 school modifications, as well as continuity in education.
  • School Leadership OSHA Science Safety Guidance: Will cover the OSHA Lab Standard and how it applies to teachers and the overall school system.

For safety officers, science department chairs, and science teachers, topics include:

  • Lab Safety 101 (Part 1): Will cover common safety protocols and best-practices including safety contracts; chemical storage; how to deal with emergency situations such as fires, floods, chemical spills; orphan chemicals; and more.
  • Lab Safety 101 (Part 2): Will cover common science department safety concerns including chemical storage issues, labelling, Globally Harmonized System (GHS), inventory controls, personal protective equipment (PPE) usage, and best practices in the lab and prep areas.
  • Elementary Science and STEM Safety K-8: Will cover the safe and proper use and storage of science equipment, apparatuses, hand tools, and more, as well as review checklists and things to watch for with students.

To learn more and register for these upcoming webinars, visit https://www.flinnsci.com/professional-learning/.

Flinn Scientific supports STEM/STEAM educators in opening young minds to the challenges and joys of scientific discovery and the design thinking process. The leader in science education and lab supplies and safety, Flinn Scientific also provides learning systems and professional development that incorporate differentiated digital experiences with hands-on learning grounded in the real-world to help all students think critically, explore like scientists and engineers, and solve problems creatively so they are ready for college and careers in an increasingly technology-driven world.


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The Character Tree

Free June 11, 2020 webinar features early elementary school teacher Sara VanderWel who plays the role of “Miss Sara” in The Character Tree videos

Renton, WA. (June 2, 2020) — Character education in the early years can help set students up for success in school, and in life. To help teachers incorporate character lessons throughout the school day, The Character Tree, an online video resource for character development, is hosting a free webinar at 3 p.m. Eastern Time/noon Pacific Time on June 11, 2020.

The webinar, “How to Incorporate Character Development Across Curriculum,” features popular elementary school teacher Sara VanderWel, who plays “Miss Sara” in The Character Tree’s videos. She will share how she structures each school day to support social-emotional learning and character development and provide practical advice for teachers to use in their own classrooms. To register for the webinar, visit https://bit.ly/2TXvqKj.

“When schools eventually reconvene, character education will be even more important to support students’ social-emotional needs and re-engage them in learning after so many months away from the classroom,” said Bill Apperson, VanderWel’s father and chairman of Apperson, which developed The Character Tree. “Sara has more than a decade of experience teaching character development in early elementary school and she has developed a strong following in the teacher community. This webinar will be a great resource for teachers who want to incorporate more character education into their lessons.”

This webinar will cover how to:

  • Support social-emotional and character development throughout the day in the classroom
  • Interweave opportunities for social emotional learning and character development across the curriculum
  • Use intentional language to promote students’ social-emotional and character development

Participants will also receive a character education distance learning handout: “Lessons for Hope.” Those who can’t attend live can register to receive a copy of the recording after the webinar to watch at their convenience.

VanderWel has served as an early elementary teacher for more than 10 years. She specializes in literacy and writing and in 2018 received the Bonnie Campbell Hill Literacy Leader Award for Washington State. She holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and a B.S. in Spanish Language and Literature and an M.S. in K-6 Reading and Literacy. She also runs a Teachers Pay Teachers site called The Primary Pal. In her role as “Miss Sara” in The Character Tree’s videos, VanderWel guides discussions with puppet children and “Gray Squirrel” as they learn about positive character traits.

The webinar will be part of an ongoing series of webinars by The Character Tree to provide tips on how to support character education in schools.

The Character Tree is an educational video subscription series designed for K-2 students. The subscription includes 32 character education videos, sets of supplemental resources, and teacher’s guides. Every episode, hosted by a real first-grade teacher, discusses an important positive character trait exemplified by prominent figures like Kindness & Jane Goodall or Perseverance & Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The subscription is currently free through June 30, 2020. For more, visit https://charactertree.com/.


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Twitter Chat - Rural Education

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, May 20 at 2pm ET/11am PT. ACE-ED.org and the Kentucky Valley Educational Collaborative (KVEC) will host a live Twitter chat to discuss how the COVID-19 crisis is impacting equity and access in rural schools. Follow the hashtag #RuralKidsMatter on the day of the chat to participate.

Add to Calendar

When schools are closed, the learning must continue. Unfortunately, according to Pew Research, about a third of rural American homes don’t have broadband and nearly a quarter said getting access to high-speed internet is a major problem in their communities.

In homes that do have access and devices, most aren’t equipped to have numerous family members working online at once — Only 30 percent of rural adults said they own a desktop or laptop computer, a smartphone, a home broadband connection and a tablet.

Where does it all leave children who have abruptly transitioned to distance learning? What are organizations like KVEC doing to provide the tools and resources they need to succeed? What more needs to be done across the country?

We’ll Also Discuss…

  • Replacing current face-to-face systems with high-functioning hybrid systems
  • Improving school calendars to accommodate learners in rural communities
  • Blending traditional sessions, virtual at-home instruction and technical education

The pandemic is transforming public education. We need to make sure it results in a more effective structure that’s better adapted to personalized learning, access, opportunity and equity for ALL students. Join us to be part of this important discussion.

Wednesday, May 20 at 2pm ET/11am PT
Hashtag: #RuralKidsMatter

Twitter links: Follow ACE-Ed.org | Follow KVEC


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Edthena Launches New Webinar Series to Support Virtual Coaching

Free ‘Kitchen Table Coaching’ webinar series is part of the new #PLtogether project, a hub for topical resources to support instructional coaching

SAN FRANCISCO (May 5, 2020) – Edthena is kicking off a new webinar series to help instructional coaches provide newly-virtual teachers with timely and much-needed support. The four-part “Kitchen Table Coaching” series, launching this Thursday, will provide strategies and best practices for facilitating virtual coaching. The series is part of the #PLtogether project (PLtogether.org) which will provide a collection of free resources for instructional coaches, including tactical advice from notable thought leaders in the education industry.

“Effective coaching will lead to the ultimate success of distance teaching,” said Adam Geller, founder and CEO of Edthena. “The #PLtogether project will provide a hub for topical resources to support instructional coaching during this unprecedented time. The first resource – this new webinar series – offers coaches an opportunity to ask questions and get tips and best practices for supporting professional learning now.”

The 30-minute Kitchen Table Coaching webinars, which will be led by former classroom teachers Heather Purzner and Rob McCreary of the Edthena Partner Success team, will take place every Thursday in May at 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT. Educators can register for some or all of the following sessions:

  • Week 1: Virtually coaching distanced teachers
  • Week 2: Facilitating distanced teacher collaboration
  • Week 3: Developing coaching logs for virtual coaching
  • Week 4: Creating virtual training and coaching cycles

Later this month, Edthena will additionally be releasing “Lounge Talks” with Elena Aguilar, Deborah Ball, Joellen Killion, and other respected thought leaders on the #PLtogether portal. During these video interviews, the experts will discuss the challenges of teaching during COVID-19 and provide tactical “what now” advice for supporting teachers in this new reality.

To register for the live webinars or get free access to the content, visit http://pltogether.org.

Edthena is the leading classroom observation platform for using teaching videos as part of professional development. Teachers upload classroom videos to share with colleagues who leave time stamped comments. Edthena also offers specialized collaboration tools to help organizations implement best practices for video-based professional learning. Edthena is the recipient of numerous awards from organizations such as SIIA, District Administration, and Tech & Learning. For more information, visit www.edthena.com. For more news about Edthena, visit blog.edthena.com.


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Tele-Assessment: What You Need to Know

Leading researcher and clinical director come together to discuss the remote administration of psychological assessments during this free webinar on May 5, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. ET

NEW YORK, April 30, 2020 – With school closures extending throughout the country, some are calling for schools to suspend completing psychoeducational assessments, but does this do the least harm? For districts unsure of how to administer psychoeducational assessments in a teletherapy environment, this upcoming webinar can help.

PresenceLearning, Inc., the leading provider of live online special education-related services to K-12 schools, has been properly administering remote psychoeducational assessments to students at school and home for years. During its new webinar, “Tele-Assessment: What You Need to Know,” on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT, attendees will hear from A. Jordan Wright, PhD, ABAP, director of the Center for Counseling and Community Wellbeing at New York University, and Stephanie Taylor, Ed.S, NCSP, clinical director for psychoeducational services at PresenceLearning, who will break down what schools need to know about tele-assessment including:

  • The tele-assessment landscape related to school closures
  • What the research says about remote delivery of assessments
  • Best practices for transitioning to delivery in a home environment
  • Real world examples of schools utilizing in-home assessments

“There is a great debate happening across schools right now as to whether all assessment should be paused during COVID-19-related closures, until it can be done validly and in alignment with assessment maker guidance. This debate misses the fact that you can do both: there are already commonly used assessments that have been research-validated for appropriate use online with equivalency to in-person administrations. This webinar will help school administrators make informed decisions about what they can use to continue assessing appropriately during this time of extended closures,” said PresenceLearning CEO Kate Eberle Walker.

Both presenters have extensive experience with the Woodcock Johnson IV and the RIAS-2 for remote assessment. Participants will benefit from the experience of these two leading experts and have the opportunity to ask questions regarding moving services to home settings.

To attend the upcoming webinar, register now.

PresenceLearning, Inc. is the leading provider of live online special education-related services to K-12 schools. The company connects speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and behavioral and mental health professionals with students through its proprietary online platform, and has delivered more than 2.5 million teletherapy sessions at hundreds of K-12 schools and districts across the U.S. through its network of nearly 1,000 certified clinicians. Investors in the company include Catalyst Investors, Catamount Ventures, Birchmere Ventures, New Markets Venture Partners, and Blue Heron Capital. For more information, visit https://www.presencelearning.com.


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Resilience and Hope Summit Summit

As students struggle to adapt to the extended isolation of quarantine, mental health issues are on the rise and some at-risk students are falling through the cracks.

  • How can we engage students online?
  • How can we connect with kids who have gone missing?
  • How can we help students weather the isolation of quarantine?

Please join us for a live online panel discussion with a group of students and two thought leaders on this important topic.

This online summit will be hosted virtually and participants will be able to submit questions as we all learn from these field experts.

Hasan Davis
Former Commissioner of Juvenile Justice for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Hasan travels the country to help young people and adults find their voice, personal power, sense of self-respect, and dignity. And he uses his passion for theater to help others connect with historical African-American figures.

Christian Moore, LCSW
Author of The Resilience Breakthrough
Christian Moore is an internationally-renowned speaker, licensed clinical social worker, and advocate for youth. He is the founder of the WhyTry Program.

REGISTER TODAY


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Applying and qualifying for CARES Act funds

The recently signed CARES Act has made billions of dollars in stimulus funds available for educational purposes, including funding streams that can be utilized for education technology and student mental health services. Specified funds include:

  • $13.5 billion for K-12 education virtual offerings
  • $3 billion for governors to allocate emergency support to local educational agencies and institutions most impacted by COVID-19
  • $425 million for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to support student mental health initiatives

In addition, the U.S. Department of Education is now allowing states to apply for flexibility when using parts of existing Title funds to enhance distance learning efforts. These new guidelines ensure districts have the freedom to use federal funds to address their most urgent needs.

Register for this webinar with Dr. Kecia Ray to learn more about applying and qualifying for CARES Act funds.


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Happy and Healthy at Home: Student Mental Health and Distance Learning

Distance learning can be isolating for students, who may feel disconnected from friends and teachers. While schools may have protocols in place to support struggling students on campus, educators may be unsure of how they can help remotely.

Join this webinar for a discussion about this “new normal” of distance learning, trends of how students are doing as seen through Gaggle’s data, as well as how educators can keep students safe and connected while they learn at home.


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PBLWorks

Free webinar series this spring to guide educators through distance learning with Gold Standard Project Based Learning

Novato, CA (April 14, 2020) – PBLWorks, the leading provider of professional development for high-quality Project Based Learning (PBL), is offering a free webinar series designed to offer practical guidance for facilitating Gold Standard Project Based Learning online with students. To register, visit pblworks.org/free-webinars-pbl-online.

All webinars will be presented live and recorded versions will be made available for free upon request.

“We asked educators what they need most right now and their feedback helped us create this series of informative and resourceful webinars,” said Bob Lenz, CEO of PBLWorks. “It is important we continue to support educators as they work to engage students in learning through these uncertain times.”

The free webinar series is facilitated by Antoinette Magee, regional director of educational partnerships at PBLWorks, and will include a variety of guest experts. The first four webinars in the series include:

How to Adapt a Gold Standard Project for Online Learning (Wednesday, April 15 – [12:00][1:15] PM PST or Friday, April 17 – [9:00][10:15] AM PST) will teach educators how to adapt a Gold Standard PBL project for online learning and how to engage students in intellectually challenging and meaningful work online.

Solutions for Sticky Problems of Practice for Facilitating PBL Online (Wednesday, April 22 – [12:00][1:15] PM PST or Thursday, April 23 – [12:00][1:15] PM PST) will present practical solutions for the top challenges teachers are encountering as they design and facilitate PBL online.

How Can High Quality PBL Create Equity in the Classroom? (Wednesday, April 29 – [12:00][1:15] PM PST or Thursday, April 30 – [3:30][4:45] PM PST) will explore how bold educators can activate change to foster equitable learning environments that better equip all learners to reach their academic, vocational, and personal aspirations.

An already completed webinar on 7 Tech Tools for Supporting Online PBL took place the week of April 6. A recording can be requested here. This webinar offers technology tools that work well for online learning and align with PBLWorks’ 7 Essential Project Design Elements.

To learn more about PBLWorks’ webinar series, visit https://www.pblworks.org/free-webinars-pbl-online.

About PBLWorks

PBLWorks (the brand name of the Buck Institute for Education) believes that all students – no matter where they live or what their background – should have access to quality Project Based Learning to deepen their learning and achieve success in college, career, and life. Our focus is on building the capacity of teachers to design and facilitate quality Project Based Learning, and on supporting school and system leaders in creating the conditions for these teachers to succeed with all students. For more information, visit www.pblworks.org.


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PBLWorld Online 2020.png

Conference brings together a community of peers and experts to do deep, focused and real work to prepare teachers to deliver quality Project Based Learning to students

Novato, CA (April 7, 2020) – With announcements of school closures across the country and a commitment to ensuring the health and well-being of the PBL community, PBLWorks has decided to move its annual PBL World conference to an online format.

PBL World 2020 Online will take place over three days, June 16-18, 2020. To register, visit PBLWorld.org.

The online conference will bring all the elements of PBLWorks’ professional learning to attendees via digital connection and collaboration tools. Educators will participate in an engaging, highly interactive Project Based Learning experience, and will collaborate in virtual small and large group activities guided by PBLWorks’ expert National Faculty.

“These are challenging times for all of us as we work to be effective educators during school closures. We’re determined to bring to our community a robust, hands-on professional development experience that educators can participate in from the comfort of their homes,” said Bob Lenz, CEO of PBLWorks.

PBL World 2020 Online will feature keynote speaker Zaretta Hammond, an educational leader in culturally responsive teaching practices. Additional keynote speakers will be revealed in the coming months. PBL workshops that run over the course of the three-day conference include:

PBL 101 Workshop – A foundational course in Gold Standard Project Based Learning, this workshop delivers strategies that lead to sustained changes in educators’ practice.

PBL 201 Workshop – An in-depth course for experienced PBL practitioners focused on Gold Standard Project Based Teaching practices.

PBL Leadership Team Workshop – A dive into how school and district leaders can create the conditions needed for Project Based Learning to thrive in their systems.

To learn more about PBL World 2020, visit PBLWorld.org.

About PBL World

Now in its ninth year, PBL World brings together more than 1,400 K-12 teachers, instructional coaches, and school and district administrators for three days of immersive workshops based on the PBLWorks model for Gold Standard PBL. Workshops are designed for educators who are ready to start their PBL journey, or who want to advance their practice.

PBL World is known for its highly collaborative environment. It attracts a vibrant community of educators, who engage in deep, focused work together.  The conference also offers thought-provoking keynotes from PBL leaders and student speakers.

About PBLWorks

PBLWorks (the brand name of the Buck Institute for Education) believes that all students – no matter where they live or what their background – should have access to quality Project Based Learning to deepen their learning and achieve success in college, career, and life. Our focus is on building the capacity of teachers to design and facilitate quality Project Based Learning, and on supporting school and system leaders in creating the conditions for these teachers to succeed with all students. For more information, visit www.pblworks.org.


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