CASDA’s Roundtable Series is expanding during the winter season as Literacy in the Content Areas, facilitated by CASDA faculty member Susan Stoya and the Superintendents Roundtable, hosted by CASDA Interim Executive Director Jim Hoffman will be launching their first sessions in early 2018. Both groups will be provided with relevant resources, space for reflection and a forum to share insights and experiences with colleagues and peers. Ms. Stoya’s Literacy in the Content Areas and Dr. Hoffman’s Superintendents Roundtable address subjects that are ideally suited to the sustained dialog and collaboration that define professional learning communities and attendees are sure to benefit from this collective engagement with their fellow educators.
Literacy in the Content Areas will hold its first session on February 13, 2018 in Room A407 of UAlbany’s Health Sciences Campus. The first meeting will frame the issues around literacy instruction, discuss some challenges facing literacy instructors and lay the groundwork for more in depth explorations of specific elements of literacy instruction in later sessions. Participants can expect to explore strategies for identifying struggling readers and practices to develop vocabulary skills and reading comprehension. Other meetings will focus on integrating vocabulary, reading, and writing concepts into effective instructional practices to support student achievement.
The Superintendents Roundtable was developed to recognize that school superintendents often exist on an island within their own districts. While they work closely with the school board and make decisions that impact all district stakeholders, they often lack the time and space to gather valuable perspective from peers and mentors. Constant demands on time and attention are also an undeniable part of a superintendent’s reality. To accommodate this fact, meetings will take place in three locations: Bethlehem, Queensbury and Oppenheim-Ephratah so that participants can attend sessions at a venue close to their home district. This will enable superintendents to be back in their office shortly after the beginning of the school day.
Discussion topics will be generated by surveying participants at each site to identify their most pressing needs and issues. These subjects will form the substance of facilitated discussions and provide material for debate and dialog among superintendents on matters of practice and policy. The most significant benefit for participants in the Superintendents Roundtable will be access to their peers who face similar decisions and interact with the same sets of stakeholders. CASDA Interim Executive Director Jim Hoffman stated that for school superintendents, “it is lonely at the top.” The Superintendents Roundtable aims to ameliorate this isolation by providing space for district leaders to engage in reflection and collaboration.
Literacy in the Content Areas and the Superintendents Roundtable mark CASDA’s first efforts to facilitate professional learning communities in these areas of practice. The collaborative inquiry that characterizes our Roundtable Series will provide participants with fresh perspective and open avenues for exploration and growth.