CASDA to Convene Professional Learning Communities for Capital Region Educators

October 13, 2016

Bringing experts and educators together to explore best practices and new ideas is central to CASDA’s role as a convener.  As part of this mission, we will be expanding our roundtable offerings to include groups for Athletic Directors, Alternative Educators, Special Educators, teachers and administrators working with English Language Learners and Instructional Technology specialists. These professional learning communities will meet throughout the schoolyear to discuss issues in the field, analyze common challenges and provide resources and support.

 

The Athletic Directors Roundtable, hosted by Bob Stulmaker, is entering its third year of meeting and serves as a model for our new offerings.  Bob brings together Athletic Directors from throughout the Capital Region to network and discuss issues facing AD’s, coaches and physical education teachers. Sessions will focus on a range of topics, from student-athlete recruiting, hiring qualified coaches, safety and injury concerns, booster clubs, community relations and supporting Transgender athletes and students. Bob consults with experts and provides quality resources and references to help participants implement best practices throughout all aspects of their physical education departments and athletic programs.

 

CASDA’s Rebecca Gardner and facilitator Gregg Weinlein will present the first session of the inaugural Alternative Education Roundtable on November 3rd. This group will bring together teachers, administrators and support personnel to address the needs of students in Alternative Education placements. Gregg will draw upon diverse resources and more than forty years of experience working to support at-risk students in an effort to share effective strategies that meet the needs of students. Topics will include identifying students who will benefit from alternative placements, student interventions and effective support services. Educators who participate in the Alternative Education Roundtable will have the ability to connect with their peers and develop greater skills to connect with their students.

 

Following their successful English Language Learners (ELL) Conference, CASDA’s Linda Rudnick and Rachel Stead of Shenendehowa will be presenting an ELL Roundtable that commences on October 27th.  Addressing the needs of ELL students is an urgent priority for all school districts. The group will explore effective instructional practices, strategies to build a supportive learning environment and ways to engage parents and the larger community. Participants will share their experiences working with ELLs and collaborate to promote best practices that support equity, opportunity and excellence for students.

 

 Faculty members Diane Albano and Colleen Ulrich are presenting a five session Special Education Roundtable beginning on October 13th. This professional learning community will provide CSE Chairpersons, Special Education Directors and Principals with best practices for teaching strategies, assistive technology integration, IEP planning and review and utilizing data driven instruction. Participants will be well equipped to fulfill state reporting requirements, productively engage with parents and ensure that students receive a rigorous, quality education.

The Instructional Technology Roundtable will begin on October 18th. Host Tom McKee will guide participants through a range of best practices for the integration of instructional and assistive technology.  Strategies for flipped and blended classrooms, technology for struggling learners, engaging reluctant teachers and inter- district collaboration will be thoroughly explored. These tools will help administrators and specialists realize instructional technology’s vast potential to transform student learning.

 

The 2016-17 Roundtable Series offers educators a unique forum for collaboration and growth. CASDA believes that bringing motivated teachers and administrators together with experienced facilitators and respected experts will generate a meaningful dialog leading to profound improvements in school culture and student opportunities.  

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