CASDA’s newsletter was a vital resource throughout the organization’s early years as it served as a forum for exchange between researchers at the New York State Teacher’s College and practitioners in the field. While newsletters featured research articles written by professors at the college, a great deal of the publication’s value emerged from brief articles and letters written by teachers in the field. CASDA was able to provide a platform for the dissemination of a wide range of effective programs and practices being successfully implemented in schools throughout the Greater Capital Region. This activity was driven by an ongoing collaboration between CASDA staff and a District Liaison who represented each member school.
District Liaisons served as the primary point of contact between CASDA and its members. Liaisons distributed relevant information about CASDA’s programs and services amongst their colleagues. They also solicited contributions from their peers highlighting noteworthy initiatives in their district. The broad reach of CASDA’s newsletter allowed educators across the region to benefit from these specific insights. The 1957-58 Winter edition featured Mrs. Cleta Lyons of Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk detailing her approach to using the stock market to teach her 8th grade class practical applications of mathematics. Over two weeks, students were given a budget to purchase shares in companies and each day students would consult the newspaper’s financial section to determine the gains or losses in their portfolio. This forced students to practice accurate calculations while encouraging “a little research on sound companies.” This interdisciplinary approach to mathematics also offered an invaluable lesson – “definite proof that you can lose.”
CASDA is bringing back the School Liaison program for the 2018-19 schoolyear in a similar way. Liaisons will circulate a survey that asks their colleagues to opt in to specific email lists in their areas of practice that will share relevant information on upcoming professional offerings and services. This will drastically reduce the volume of emails that educators receive from CASDA and ensure that those that do land in their inbox are relevant and helpful. Liaisons will have the opportunity to share promising practices from their schools and help us identify areas of need to better support educators and students.