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Learn . . . Featured Presentations

Enjoy featured topics presented by LEAF, Inc, attorneys, Council staff, and strategic partners. More topics to be added this summer. 

How Superintendents Can Support Teacher Leaders

Speakers:  Mike Ford, Director of Leadership Development, Center for Professional Development and Education Reform, University of Rochester
Robert Ike, Superintendent, Palmyra-Macedon

Schools are complex organizations requiring multiple layers of leadership to meet the challenges they face. Teacher leaders are integral part of any school’s fabric, but all too often teacher leaders face obstacles they alone cannot overcome.This session will focus on what superintendents can do to maximize the effectiveness of the teacher leaders in their systems.

Sponsored by Premier Diamond Partner Mosaic Associates Architects

East Rising

Speakers:  Stephen Uebbing, Superintendent, East High School EPO
Shaun Nelms, Superintendent, East High School EPO, September 2015
Susan Meier, Chief Academic Officer

East High School, the oldest comprehensive high school in the city, was to be closed by NYSED, unless it could find an outside educational partner (EPO) to assume responsibility for the school’s operation. In March 2014, the Warner School of Education of the University of Rochester was approached by the President of the Board of Education of the Rochester City School District with an urgent request.

Across the nation, urban comprehensive high schools find themselves in similar positions. Over the years their highest performing students were drawn away by middle class flight, magnet schools, charter schools and other choice opportunities. Often what are left are the kids who didn’t, or couldn’t leave.

The University first declined, thinking a task of this size, and especially given the tight time frame required by the State, was simply not possible. However, the social justice implications of the East High School dilemma were too great to ignore. Making urban education work is one of the great civil rights issues of our time. University officials asked, “if not us, who…if not now, when.”  With the support of a visionary President and Dean, the Warner School of Education obtained an extension on the State timeline, and submitted a comprehensive proposal that was approved by the SED in February 2015.

Two University of Rochester professors guided the process through September when Dr. Shaun Nelms was appointed permanent Superintendent of East High School. The student body is the same.  What are different, are a carefully chosen faculty and staff employing best practice with the level of resources necessary for success. In this presentation, Uebbing, Meier and Nelms will present the story of the new East High School and report on progress. 

JASON Learning:  The Power of Authentic STEM Field Experiences

Speakers:  Eleanor Smalley, CEO & President, JASON Learning
Patrick Shea, Executive Vice President, Products, Programs & Partnerships, JASON Learning
Dylan Orcutt, Student, Fairport
Lorraine Marcis, Teacher, Bethpage

The JASON Argonaut program provides students and teachers an opportunity to travel into the field with scientists for a hands-on exploration and research experience. JASON’s most recent Argonaut adventure took place in July at the The Cape Eleuthera Institute in The Bahamas. Students and teachers actively participated in research related to marine biology, geology, ecology, and sustainable design side-by-side with JASON’s featured scientists.

Our presentation will include a teacher and student from New York who participated in this Argonaut adventure. They will share their experiences and discuss how this hands-on learning has enhanced their STEM knowledge and education, how it relates to JASON’s classroom curricula, and how they’ve used the experience to inspire other students and teachers to engage more deeply in STEM. The presentation will explore the real life connections that JASON brings to the classroom.

The Road to a Customer Service Organization

Speakers:
Charles A. Szuberla, Jr., Assistant Commissioner of School Operations, NYSED
Christina Coughlin, Director of Education Management Services, NYSED

Join Chuck Szuberla and Christina Coughlin as they discuss their efforts to make the New York State Education department more focused on customer service. They will highlight their work to make our collection of data more useful to school districts.

The State of Rural Schools

Speakers:  David A. Little, Esq., Executive Director, Rural Schools Association of NYS
John Sipple, Professor of Developmental Sociology, Cornell University 

No one can give you ‘the dirt” like Rural Schools. This will be a comprehensive State of Rural Schools session, where issues specific to rural school districts will be presented and discussed. The session will include a regulatory and legislative update  on rural school priorities. It will also include new statistical tools for analyzing performance.

Money Matters:  Strategies to Fund the Near and the Long-term of Standards Implementation

Speakers: Jannelle Kubinec, Director of Comprehensive School Assistance Program, WestEd

What are the true costs of implementing new standards? Implementation of new standards requires a long list of investments including, but not limited to professional development, instructional materials, and technology. Districts and schools received some added one-time funding to address implementation, but many costs extend over multiple years. This session provides strategies to identify, manage, and align resources to address the complex challenges of addressing new approaches to teaching and learning as a long-term investment in a short-term funding environment.