This past week, our Madagascar Jr Musical debuted at Feaster Charter School! Our entire crew – the stage actors, tech team, stage crew, directors, and custodial team – came together to build a stage from scratch and put on an amazing production.
This statement got me thinking…this scene was in the movie, but the student didn’t understand why it was so funny until she had a personal connection with the characters. In addition to putting on an amazing performance, the students who saw this show also made important connections between the scenes and high-level vocabulary. When learners can connect with who they are learning from, with, and for, they are more likely to understand complex ideas. The connections we make with our learners matter; finding those ways to build relationships will create powerful learning opportunities.
This past week, our Feaster Charter counselors held a powerful Student Success Workshop titled, “The Harmful Effects of Social Media.” During this session, our counselors reminded parents to go through their students’ iPad search history and to look through their photos and recently deleted images. This blog post is being written to share a reminder that teachers should do the same with their school-issued devices.
Checking Search History
The search history on an iPad can give us a lot of information about how the student is spending their time on their device. If you would like to have any restrictions enabled on the device, please reach out to your tech team.
Click the paper icon at the top left of the screen below the clock
Scroll through the history
Long press on a website to preview the site without opening it
If you want to see how long students are spending on certain websites, you can
Scroll down to Safari
Look at how much data is being used on specific websites
Looking Through Photos
Another app to check on student devices is the Photos app. When looking through this app, you can
Scroll through images
Click on a photo and swipe up to see more about the time and date when the photo was taken
Go to Recently Deleted photos
Repeat steps 2 and 3
The screentime on a device, if it has been turned on, can tell us how long a student has spent on certain apps and programs:
Scroll down to Screentime
Click See All Activity
Look through “Most Used”
It is a great practice to periodically spot-check student iPad devices. This will help students stay accountable for using their devices for school purposes. If you see anything inappropriate on the device, please reach out to admin and your tech team, send the iPad to room 121, and set up a meeting with the students’ parent/guardian.
Activity: Provide learners with a set of symbols, show them the set of symbols for 10 seconds and have them write the symbols they recall. Repeat this with partners. Do the activity a third time with a small group.
When we can chunk the information and rely on others to help us identify what is important, we can more easily recall what we are learning.
Information Processing Model:
Rehearsal Maintenance: hold information for immediate use
Organization – chunk the content
Elaborative – store information to aid learning
Meaningful Learning – students can make connections to what they are learning; for example, they must know subtraction before they can divide)
Types of Memory
Sensory Register/Sensory Memory:
Filters raw data from visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, and gustatory
Unconscious – passive process
Limited capacity – visual (half a second) and auditory (lasts 3-4 seconds)
Seconds before decay – 2-3 seconds or less
Short Term (Working) Memory
Encoding, organizational, and retrieval processes occur
Defined more by quantity than time (5-9 items)
Rehearsal Maintenance – hold information for immediate use
Organization – chunk information
Elaborative – tap into prior knowledge
Meaningful Learning – make connections, use stored information
Permanent storehouse of unlimited capacity; more or less permanent
Organized as schemata (plural of schema)
Retrieval of information is extremely rapid and accurate
Retrieval of information is extremely rapid and accurate
Strategies to Support Memory:
Total Physical Response – adding movements to words
Chants – GLAD strategy
Songs – rhythmic music that connects to the learning
Input – deciding what is important
Elaboration – making information meaningful
Application – within 24-48 hours, revisit the knowledge
Building Intellective Capacity
Cannot start learning until the brain knows to pay attention to it
Use culturally oriented attention-getting strategies to wake up the RAS (reticular activating system) in the brain
Oral traditions start storytelling or learning with an attention-getting activity – drumming, chanting, music, hand clapping
Use novelty, curiosity, or relevance to generate excitement.
Call & Response – back and forth chants
Music – transition songs
Provocations – content in interesting ways
Talk – think/pair/share, talk time..
Provide the brain with information in amounts that it can retain
7 to 1 (like a phone number)
Start with big picture then get into details
Unstructured Think Time: give time to process learning
15-20 minutes of instruction followed by 5-7 minutes of think time where students can draw, write with a prompt, or complete one of these discussion protocols.
Cognitive Routines: basic mental maneuvers
How is this new material connected to what I already know?
What are the natural relationships and patterns in the material?
How does it fit together? What larger system is it apart of?
Whose POV does it represent?
Learner must apply new understanding within 24 hours for new neural pathways to consolidate
After 20 minutes –> 60% remembered
After 24 hours –> 30% remembered
Practice once in 24 hours and once more –> 80% remembered
Shifting Academic Mindset in the Learning Partnership
An academic mindset means that learners are more willing to engage, work hard, and persevere through challenges. Completing a Mindset Quiz like the one linked here can us better understand our mindsets and the mindsets of our learners.
Microagressions & Academic Mindset
Microassaults- give more severe punishment to a student of color; overemphasizing military-like behavior management strategies; excluding students from fun activities as punishment Microinsults- not learning to pronounce a student’s name or giving the student and anglicized name; confusing two students of the same race and brushing it off as “they all look alike.” Microinvalidations- trivializing and dismissing students’ experiences as in telling them they are being too sensitive or accusing them of “playing the race card.”
Shift in Mindset
Help students create a counter narrative about their identity as learners
Use images, quotes, and poetry to ignite student’s imagination about what’s possible
Notice and acknowledge students when they are acting according to the elements of academic mindset
Help students connect with their current expertise and competencies
Help students interrupt negative self-talk
We are incredibly appreciative of our lead, counselors, and admin teams for helping to host our PD this weeK! Feaster Charter teachers can see the complete presentations by going to the Feaster Elementary OneNote and looking under the 21-22 tab.
During our Professional Development this week, we began with a reflection on our purpose and connected that to what we are doing with the workshop model and how that is related to what we are doing with our classroom libraries.
•Participants will discuss a professional reading about the workshop model and connect it to learning environment.
•Participants will come to a common understanding of what workshop model is.
•Participants will discuss how to organize the classroom libraries.
•Participants will be able to articulate connections between workshop model and the school’s vision and value.
•Participants will be able to name the three core areas of a workshop model.
•Participants will be able to articulate how they will organize their libraries.
Mission & Vision
Mission: Our mission is to use resources, research, and data to help all students develop the skills, knowledge, and expertise necessary to succeed in work and life. Within a context of core knowledge instruction based on the Common Core State Standards, students will learn the 21st-century essential skills of critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and collaboration.
Vision: At Feaster Charter School, students are at the center of our decision-making. We are focused on instructional excellence and accept no excuses for lack of student performance. We are a school where instruction matters, teachers engage in the identification and implementation of research-based practices that make a positive impact on student learning. Our teachers use current research on teaching and learning to improve their instructional practice for the success of all students. All staff is committed to increasing student achievement for all students. Teachers and staff are evaluated and can be rewarded for their performance in moving student achievement forward. Through the focus on standards, assessment, curriculum and instruction, professional development, and learning environments, students leave our school prepared to thrive in today’s global economy.
Connection: Our work to facilitate learning is connected to our vision and mission because both help support our learners in becoming independent learners who are also critical thinkers, problem solvers, communicators, and collaborators.
Workshop Model Goal for 2022/2023
By June 2023, all teachers and students will be able to articulate their roles and responsibilities in the workshop model and implement elements of the workshop model as evidenced by the quality indicators (teacher, student, learning environment).
Take-aways from the Edutopia article, “Using the Workshop Model to Foster Independence:”
“In the mini-lesson, teachers model a skill, strategy, or step of a project.”
-brevity, direct instruction happens during the mini-lesson, cognitive load is on the teacher
“In the workshop portion, students work on their own or in small groups.”
Opportunities for individualized feedback, increased independent time
“In the final portion of the workshop model, students come back together as a whole group for a reflection or debrief.”
Share successes and challenges, option to do a Google Form
Mini-Lesson: teacher leads the learning and focuses on one standard
Workshop: teacher’s Role during Workshop time is to work with small group based on the content that was just taught while students are working independently
Debrief: students have an opportunity to present their work and get feedback
Learning Environment Goal: By June 2022, all learning spaces at Feaster will be designed to promote student independence in support of the implementation of a workshop model as evident by the blended learning environment and students’ knowledge of how to access resources.
“Booksource is a leading provider of classroom libraries for school districts, literacy coaches and classroom teachers across the country. We are experts in children’s and young adult literature for the classroom and have spent decades helping build thousands of classroom libraries that fit every classroom need imaginable. We can help you choose just the right book to engage every student.”
This week’s Feaster Charter School professional development was hosted by Shannen McKinney who is a Resource Specialist at McMillin Elementary and has studied with The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
This training is intended to be used as a general resource for recognizing the various levels of behavior escalation and intervention strategies. Shannen McKinney focuses this PD on Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI). CPI is about maximizing safety and minimizing harm. These strategies can be used in a behavior plan, but a plan must be created in order to prevent failure and repeated crises.
Discuss core Nonviolent Crisis Intervention training concepts to specific de-escalation and verbal intervention
Introduce preventative techniques of Nonviolent Crisis Intervention training
Learn levels of behavior for a person in crisis and corresponding staff responses
Promot the Care, Welfare, Safety, and security of all stakeholders in your care
The CPI Crisis Development Model
Crisis Development/ Behavior Levels
3. Risk Behavior
3. Safety Interventions
4. Tension Reduction
4. Therapeutic Rapport
Shannen McKinney shares this resource and discusses slight changes that we can make when we are addressing students who may be experiencing the above Crisis Development/Behavior Levels
Anxietyfrom learner = support from staff
What do you do as an adult facilitator when you are using restorative practices?
Hold a restorative conversation
Take students to a private location
Give time and space and allow for “the story to happen” – an alternative to restorative practices and asking questions
“Tell me about it”
“Tell me more”
Reflect on how the student is responding and how their demeanor may have changed
Defensivebehavior from learner = directives from staff
Recognize when the learner is not exhibiting typical behavior. If the question being asked is a rational question, that should illicit a rational response. For example, if the student asks repeatedly when lunch is, the teacher can respond and/or write the answer in a visible location.
When challenging questions arise, the challenge should be downplayed and the topic being studied should become the focus. The goal is to avoid the power struggle because the second that you are in the power struggle, you lost.
Release is a common characteristic of defensiveness when a learner just needs to get their words out. If this is the first time that this has happened, let it happen and ensure that all learners are safe.
Learners can be fighters, flighters, or freezers when they are feeling defensive.
In the face of danger, what is your body’s first reaction? That is the go-to reaction when they are in a defensive mode?
When a learner is in fight mode, the first step is to remove the spectators and connect with admin and support staff.
Risk Behavior from learner= safety interventions from staff
Risk behavior is when a learner is exhibiting behavior that creates a dangerous situation to themselves or others.
Two types of safety interventions are restrictive and non-restrictive, restraints always require 3 adults
Non-restrictive strategies are our go-to’s…they should be practiced, risk behavior drills should be held and a system should be in place
Tension/Reduction from learner = therapeutic rapport from staff
When a learner is calm and expresses guilt over actions, staff can give it time and we can hold a reflective conversation to learn what in the environment is missing that is not supporting the learner. The reflection should be focused on what the staff member can do to support the needs of the learner.
Nonverbal Behavior: Personal Space
Even when a single word is not spoken, we can create a narrative. This means that we need to get better at people-watching and creating narratives. Observing the signs and non-verbal communications can help us understand the needs of the learner. We can get better at identifying where our bubble is and understanding where the bubble of our students’ is.
Nonverbal Behavior: Supportive Stance
A supportive stance looks like:
Toes facing away from the person
Hands are down and relaxed
Nonverbal Behavior: Paraverbal Communication
Rate & Rhythm: how are we making our voice sound interesting while recognizing learners who are noise sensitive?
Tone: remain calm and supportive while also recognizing how learners respond to different tones of voice
Volume: we have students who are noise sensitive and we can be our best selves by recognizing the needs of those learners
Behavior communicates our emotions and influences our actions. When we stay calm and consistent, the learner knows what to expect and gives us a moment to take a deep breath and consider the routines we have set.
Rational detachment can be the hardest to do because we have put so much effort into our work and detaching feels like failing.
Don’t take things personally
Use a strategy
Engage in self-care
Stay consistent and calm
These are factors that influence behavior, they can be internal and external, but we have little to no control over them. We do not know the situations and the home lives of many of our learners, but imaging what we see as an iceberg where the majority of the emotions are underwater can help us focus on what we can influence.
Following a Crisis – Come Together to Make a Plan
How can we change our behavior to make the environment more supportive for the struggling learner?
This past week, our amazing Feaster Charter teachers worked to create short videos that would inspire our learners. The purpose of these videos is to help our learners at Feaster Charter remember their experiences from this school year and to recall that they have come so far. Watching these videos prior to testing will help build confidence and will help our students feel even more supported.
Test Pep with Feaster Charter TK-2nd, 3rd & 4th, and Admin
Test Pep with IA’s, Mindlabs, & Intervention Teachers
Test Pep with Admin, Dual Immersion & Library, 5th & 6th
Test Pep with Instructional Coaches, Intervention Teachers, & Counselors
We hope that these videos work to give all of our Feaster Charter students some inspiration and help them recall all their amazing experiences and learning!
This past week, our Feaster Charter teachers in grades 3rd-8th attend a training focused on adminstering the 2022 CAASPP. This blog post is a reflection of that learning.
Review the 2021/2022 CAASPP Test Administration guidelines
Ensure all materials are handled securely and appropriately
Ensure our school follows correct, current CAASPP procedures
All materials are available in the Fesater Elementary OneNote Notebook. Feaster Charter teachers can visit the OneNote to access the following documents:
2021/2022 TOMS User Roles
Section 1: Roles and Responsibilities
Read and sign the digital security affidavit
Complete CAASPP training
Review all policies and administration documents prior to testing
Administer CAASPP assessments
Ensure student(s) are receiving appropriate test settings
Ensure that testing is a positive experience
Report all potential test security incidents to TSC immediately
Test Examiner (in addition to the above)
Trained by CAA and view the Test Examiner Tutorial
Review DFAs before testing and return to CAASPP Site Coordinator
Security (see slide 10 for more details)
All summative test items and test material are secure and must be appropriately handled
Secure handling protects the integrity, validity, and confidentiality of assessment items, prompts, and student information
Any deviation in test administration must be reported as a test security incident
It is the responsibility of each person to maintain the integrity of the test
The TSC is responsible for immediately reporting any security violation to the LEA CAASPP coordinator
Test Security Incidents
These are three different types of test security incidents:
Section 2: Test Security & Incident Protocol
Each test is coded with a bar that can be decoded and tracked.
Any test security incident must be reported immediately to any of the test site coordinators.
Test Administrators cannot:
Review test questions before, during, or after testing
Check students’ answers including (but not limited to)
Advise students regarding how to manipulate technology-enhanced questions
Advise or coach students regarding wrong answers or to check an answer
Halt a student from continuing their test until they demonstrate that they have the right answers
At the end of testing, the Test Adminstrators and Test Examiners must sign in the following items after testing is done:
Section 3 Timelines and Schedules
Summative Assessments: Smarter Balanced Assessments for ELA and Math
All students in grades 3rd – 8th take the Smarter Balanced Assessment in ELA and Mathematics with the following expectations:
English learners who have been enrolled in a school in the United States for fewer than 12 months for ELA-Newcomer EL Date of 4/15/2021
SBAC Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) and Performance Task
CAT: Adjusts the level of difficulty to student’s ability and includes a variety of item types; student is scored based on the number of correct answers AND difficulty of questions completed
PT: Opportunity to demonstrate higher-order thinking skills to explore and analyze a complex, real-world scenario; students must access both the CAT and PT to receive a score but not necessarily complete all items
Testing Times (May Vary)
Updates to the Smarter Balanced for ELA and Mathematics
Presented with the question or passage he or she was working on whenthe test was paused; and
Permitted to answer previously shown questions within a segment.
If the CAT is paused for more than 20 minutes, the student is:
Required to log back on to the student interface;
Presented with the page containing the question last worked on (if the page contains at least one unanswered question) or presented with the next page (if all questions on the previous page were answered); and
Not permitted to review or change any previously answered questions (except questions on a page that contains at least one unanswered question).
20 minutes or less, students may go back in and make changes
Affirmation & Validation with Mrs. Meagan Ramirez, Mrs. Marissa Hernandez, and Ms. Alicia Bravo
“Trust between teachers and students is the affective glue that binds educational relationships together. Not trusting teachers has several consequences for students. They are unwilling to submit themselves to the perilous uncertainties of new learning. They avoid risk. They keep their most deeply felt concerns private. They view with cynical reserve the exhortations and instructions of teachers.” (pg. 162) Stephen Brookfiled, The Skillful Teacher
Affirmation is not just about building self-esteem, we are understanding the identity and showing that we care about who the students are
Fear can cause a reaction that makes it physically impossible to learn – learners can stay in this mode for 20 minutes, this causes the learner to shut down, 20 minutes is the standard length of a learning block
Trust has the opposite impact; when students feel trusted, the brain releases cortisol
Non-verbal communication is part of the relationships we build
Learners may forget your words, but they will never forget how you made them feel
Ways to Build Trust
Selective Vulnerability – show your human side
Sharing those personal stories
Familiarity – being seen at different spaces on and off-campus
A teacher shared that she has a writing piece that she shared with her students
Being prepared and knowledgeable helps others build trust
Planning: understand the needs of learners, have a purpose/goal, be consistent, choose a location where students can be in a circle, facilitate the conversation
Set-Up Checklist: Signals for non-verbal communication, talking piece, centerpiece where students can look, norms are posted and visible, activity materials, sit in a circle – consider who is next to who
Feaster Charter teachers can check the Feaster Charter Elementary OneNote for a few trust circleprompts
Alliance & Feedback with Ms. Elizabeth Aderholdt & Mr. Roel Mislan
“Alliance focuses on helping the dependent learner begin and stay on the arduous path toward independent learning. An alliance is more than a friendship. It is a relationship of mutual respect.”
Learned helplessness means that a learner believes that they cannot change their situation regardless of the circumstances. If bad things happen consistently, the belief is that there is nothing one can do to get out of the bad situation.
Validation, acknowledging the realities of the situation and validating the personhood of the student, can help restore hope
A warm demander uses a supportive tone of voice, listens to students, appreciates the uniqueness of individual students, makes students feel comfortable, shows a positive attitude, shows a sense of humor, shows interest in students, involves students in making decisions about the class and the curriculum, looks for improvements students have made, expresses warmth through smiling/touch/tone of voice/joking
Types of Feedback
Instructive and Corrective
Advice not Actionable
Evaluative not Instructive
Quality feedback has the following distinct characteristics:
Instructive rather than evaluative
Specific and in the right dose
Delivered in a low stress, supportive environment
It is delivered in a timely manner
Elementary Feedback Resources:
Resources are linked in the Feaster Charter Elementary OneNote
For more ideas and resources, Feaster Charter teachers are encouraged to visit the Elementary OneNote where you can find updated documents and links.
This blog post is being composed while at the California Charter School Conference in March of 2022. The links and resources are being compiled to share learning and to act as a reference guide when we reflect back on our learning and our takeaways from this conference. When questions arise regarding our charter school, we can refer back to this resource and share answers to potential questions based on the training and knowledge gained during this conference. This blog post will share the reflections on day 2 and day 3, to see the learning from day 1 and day 2, click this link.
“Schools often struggle with providing a rigorous education to students who are academically struggling. This session will provide an example of how to create a Response to Intervention system that provides support for all students at their level, to help close the achievement gap, through a Reading Enrichment Math class, while maintaining a high level of rigor in all classes. Strategies will be provided to increase reading comprehension for ALL learners across all curriculums schoolwide.” -CCSA Charter Schools Conference 2022
Consider how supports are planned and how students get what they need
Helping students advocate and share when they are in need of support regarding their well-being
Creating a system of progression with differentiated learning (see OCS REM images below) – intervention teachers could work with this model
Defined levels of content for ELA and math with clear objectives creates opportunities for all learners to meet objectives while differentiating for the needs of each child
Flexibility is included so that studetns can move through the levels as needed based on data and teacher feedback
Student scheudle says “REM” for math/ELA – eliminates the
Level 3 is a “honors” style class where they cover multiple grade levels
See schedule on the page 12 “Logistics” slide of the presentation
Goal of program is to help students progress and get the instruction that they need in order to help them grow
Purpose of REM is to support ALL students – making sure that students who are ready to advance are progressing and accessing curriculum that sets them up for the next peice and students who need additional supports in different areas have access to those supports…REM creates a culture where everyone gets intervention regardless of academic level and needs
Teacher training included collaboration between department chairs, each REM class has a “novel study” and teacher cross-collaborate
100% of teachers are trained in AVID critical reading
Session Description: “You need more students – and fast! In this Solutions Session, learn how to boost student recruitment and enrollment by optimizing your school’s digital presence. We’ll teach you how to strategize your social media channels, to attract more interested families, and to streamline your recruitment process to convert more prospects into fully enrolled students. Learn how to make the most of your budget to put more funds back into the classroom where they belong!” -CCSA Charter Schools Conference 2022
Session Description: “Engaging your community for input on your school, programs, or initiatives is bound to elicit a range of sentiments — from the enlivening to the disempowering. In this networking session, explore and take on communication practices (1) where stakeholder’s input is the difference-maker, and (2) grant you a sense of freedom and comfort with any and all types of feedback. What to expect: An ice breaker and small group discussion” -CCSA Charter Schools Conference 2022
Feedback can be taken in a variety of ways, it creates an opportunity to make community feel heard and it can be considered and used to improve the organization and school
Focus on thge content, not the person
Look for opportunities to improve and maintain a focus on the students
Starting a Student Tech Team? Curriculum & Tools for a Student-led Repair Center (Session Linked Here)
Session Description: “Vivacity Tech Student Repair Academy provides students with interactive training and core knowledge to help create an in house repair center. Students gain an understanding of Chromebook components, repairs, safe practices, hardware configuration and troubleshooting. E-Learning modules include videos, resource materials, and assessments.” -CCSA Charter Schools Conference 2022
Session Description: “We’ll discuss ePortfolios, passage protocols and senior defense models showcasing student work/skills using relevant technology. Schools, programs and districts create a common capstone for students that allow them to more effectively compete for college & career opportunities, as well as market success of your instruction and site for student/ teacher / donor recruitment. Showcase students, teachers, alumni & content and replace your binders with digital artifacts that echo SLO’s, graduate profile, WASC, LCAP& shareholder/accreditation evidence.” -CCSA Charter Schools Conference 2022
“Portfolios provide a planned professional presentation of past projects, projecting potential possibilities for post-graduate prosperity.” – Dawn Fregosa
ePortfolios showcase learning and show the progression of learning
Opens the students’ work to a whole new audience = purpose and world wide connections
Creates a public feedback loop when students and teachers can comment on posts
Opportunity to showcase student vision and mission, create a name for themselves
Work with a plagarism program
Use during parent-teacher conferences
Google Sites recommended as a starter…make sure that the resource is not deleted when the student leaves – check who owns the site…use Google Takeout to export student resources
Utilize student portfolios in Mindlabs classes (RIASEC connections are made throughout the portfolio)
Digital Showcase – students present their work share what they have learned over their time at Feaster Charter School (presentation is done before students “accelerate” or promote)
Digital portfolio gives student an opportunity to share with potential employers or recruiters
Athletics can record highlights and add them to their portfolio
Organization of portfolio:
By course anchor standards
By mission, graduate profile
By school mission
Portfolio should include: About Me, Work-Based Learning Samples, objectives, progression of learning
Enabling Authentic STEM Learning through Collaboration with Experts (Session Linked Here)
Session Details: “Participants will explore examples of impactful collaborations with professionals through interactive activities. A framework will be introduced and used to develop their own written products to use with their students to develop collaborative relationships with industry experts, which can be assessed by a single-point rubric for effectiveness. Attendees will also participate in an open panel discussion with experts and seasoned educators to address challenges, concerns, and how to create learning opportunities.” -CCSA Charter Schools Conference 2022
“How do we foster collaborative relationships between learners and professionals to support hte development and authentic use of science and engineering practices and mindsets?” – Guiding Question
Session Description: “The state’s new growth metric shows New Heights Charter School’s success with students. The session will showcase some of what our team is doing regarding student learning and well-being. We will share a framework for thinking about teaching, learning, and school culture. Then we will engage in problem-solving groups where participants can bring their own questions to a facilitated process/discussion.” -CCSA Charter Schools Conference 2022
Identify the structures that the classroom needs, then individualize the plan
“There are things that are impacting the way you do your work because you have not been exposed to new experiences.” – loosely quoted from Genein Letford
VUCA World: “VUCA stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. It describes the situation of constant, unpredictable change that is now the norm in certain industries and areas of the business world. VUCA demands that you avoid traditional, outdated approaches to management and leadership, and day-to-day working.” – Mindtools.com
7 Gems of Intercultural Creativity:
1. Creative Growth Mindset – be transparent and share your struggles and ways that you persevere
2. Empathetic Way – experience changes your brain
3. Cultural Observation
4. Cultural Curiosity
5. Perspective Shifting
6. Authentic Adaptation
7. Creating Across Cultures
Other – Resources from Sessions Discussed During Connections with Other Educators
Session Description: “At least 1 in 7 students will experience a mental health disorder this year. The average delay of 11 years between first symptoms and diagnosis /treatment negatively impacts students, families, schools, and communities. With 50% of all mental illness occurring by age 14, middle and high schools play a significant role in identifying and referring students to care through annual mental health screening – promoting the capacity to learn and overall safety at school.” -CCSA Charter Schools Conference 2022
“Heads Up Checkup is the brainchild of Dr. Martin Eaton, a clinical psychologist with over 25 years experience working with children and families. After a speaking engagement on Childhood Mental Health at the local chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Eaton recognized the need for a comprehensive screening tool that would be thorough yet quick and easy to access. After assembling a team of research professionals, software architects, and programmers, Dr. Eaton spent two years developing and testing the Heads Up Checkup prototype. Advisors from the fields of psychology, psychiatry, pediatrics, and education contributed their time and feedback. Members of the Mental Health Committee of the local chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics provided immeasurable support, feedback, and encouragement.
Heads Up Checkup was beta tested in multiple pediatric practices in Southern California as well as Northern California, Arizona, and Indiana. The screening tool is developed for use by schools, businesses, HMOs, and healthcare providers.” – Heads Up Check Up
Session Description: “For the past three years, Educators Thriving has helped teachers across the country practice research-based strategies to improve their well-being. Come to our session to learn about the five most common pitfalls leading to teacher burnout. Practice with two strategies empirically proven to increase well-being. And see why 84% of our participants have reported that the program made teaching feel more sustainable.” -CCSA Charter Schools Conference 2022
Session Description: “Attendees will engage with school leaders who have successfully navigated multiple charter renewals across several authorizers to review their school’s current performance data against the AB 1505 criteria for low, middle and high performing tracks. Participants will then engage in analyzing the current results to plot a path to renewal that will put them in the high performing track for the upcoming charter renewal year.” -CCSA Charter Schools Conference 2022
This blog post is being composed while at the California Charter School Conference in March of 2022. The links and resources are being compiled to share learning and to act as a reference guide when we reflect back on our learning and our takeaways from this conference. When questions arise regarding our charter school, we can refer back to this resource and share answers to potential questions based on the training and knowledge gained during this conference.
About Alex Sheen: “Alex Sheen is the founder of because I said I would, a social movement and nonprofit dedicated to bettering humanity through promises made and kept. Sparked by the loss of his father, Alex and his organization send “promise cards” to anyone anywhere in the world at no cost. Alex is someone who truly honors commitment. He once walked over 240 miles across the entire state of Ohio in 10 days to fulfill a promise. In just two years, because I said I would has sent over 12.3 million promise cards to over 153 different countries. The promises written on these cards have made headlines around the world. Alex is a five time Tedx Talk speaker and his charitable work has been featured on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, CNN, The Today Show, NPR, The Los Angeles Times and many other programs.” -CCSA Charter Schools Conference 2022
“The promise we choose to make and keep defines our character.” -Alex Sheen (loosely quoted)
“A promise alone is not a good thing, that is why you also need compassion.” – Alex Sheen sharing how to make sure that a promise results in a positive outcome
“It’s okay to think that you can’t do it, but that doesn’t mean you’re right.” – Alex Sheen sharing an idea from one of the because I said I would team members
Session Description: Increase student engagement, celebrate high-quality work, engage community partners, showcase community service & entrepreneurship & STEAM projects with middle-high school students through customs ‘plug-and-play’ PBL projects & competitions. These amazing programs can build schoolwide-culture allowing for extensive differentiation & student choice We’ll showcase proven content, PD & exemplars. Teachers can coach students through choice-based curricula, while implementing age-appropriate instruction. Students compete for academic trophies, digital badges, micro-credentials & prizes. -CCSA Charter Schools Conference 2022
Activity: tell me about your charter school without telling me about your charter school
Reverse career fair – students have a day where they showcase what they are doing and parents and community members come around and learn what the kids do each day
Session Description: “This workshop will teach you everything you need to know to run a charter school complying with the Ralph M. Brown Act. Learn the ins and outs of areas cited by district attorneys and school districts as the most common violations of the law. Learn strategies for avoiding mistakes that can lead to revocation or nonrenewal of your charter.” -CCSA Charter Schools Conference 2022
Session Description: “Updated for 2022, this semi-scripted mock board meeting will highlight issues ranging from new Brown Act rules to conflicts of interest, while managing the occasional unruly guest. Sample agendas and policies included in session packet. Full cast. Public comments encouraged.” -CCSA Charter Schools Conference 2022
During the mock board meeting, the panel of Procopio lawyers and school leaders addressed common events that occur that during board meetings
Categories for goal setting as a board: academic performance, financial management, leadership culture, overseeing operation management, board communciations – these can be reflected on as a board
Open vs Closed Sessions: cannot discuss dollar of salaries amount in closed session, dollar amount must be held in open session, recommendation must be made public
Director Comments: if listed on the meeting agenda, the baord members can share what they are doing within the school community and address items that they wish to share in regards to school-wide and community events; there cannot be a robust discussion about agenda items, but requests can be made for items to be added to a future meeting – advice is given to keep all agenda items in the same area of the discussion so that meeting participants can hear the complete discussion
Idea for board members to bring forth ideas for a future agenda: Board members can request to have items added on the agenda, these requests can be made through the Executive Director or the Board President
Agenda – put enough words on the agenda to tell the community what is going to be discussed
Session Description: “There is a growing body of case law and state agency decisions in addition to the Charter Schools Act that impact the operations of charter schools. Some of these critical decisions are unpublished or hard to find. Attendees will learn how these decisions impact their operations and legal compliance. Jerry and Paul will update attendees on recent decisions, pending cases, and trends in court and agency decisions.” -CCSA Charter Schools Conference 2022
Law Updates & Take-Aways:
Matilde Ek v See’s Candies In (2021): legislation focused on what happens when a member of the workforce can track a COVID case back to the workplace; exposure in the workplace resulting in death should be discussed with legal representation
Santiago Medina va Equilon Enterprises, LLC (2021): Your school or CMO might be considered a “join employer”
US Supreme Court Case – Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L.: student was suspended for violating code of conduct, parents sued and prevailed in an 8:1 majority under free speech.
Mask Mandates (see images 6 & 7 in the gallery below)
Ban on For-Profit Operation – AB 406 provisions, be thoughtful when constructing contracts that the charter and the board are making administrative decisions; charter empoloyees and charter board should be making final decisions, eliminate any question about for-profit entities making charter day-to-day decisions.
Session Description: “Explore and experience what it is to truly engage and know your charter community’s stakeholders versus simply checking off a compliance box. Through a series of simple guided practice activities, you will swiftly build deep and meaningful connections to other conference attendees. All we ask is that you bring curiosity, fun, and vulnerability! Join us in practicing authentically engaging with others and walk away effective tools and practices to get to know your charter community at a new and profound level.” -CCSA Charter Schools Conference 2022
Understand the needs of parents and increase parent participation
Activity: You are in a scenario where you are preparing for a community event with parents, practice asking questions to establish authentic connections. Some of the questions asked and thoughts shared by the group were:
Bridge the relationships by breaking the ice – build empathy with the families and their children by asking questions like what do you like to do together?
Take opportunities like ingress and egress, social and athletic events to build relationships with families
Ask students about personal lives, make comments about items that can make connections
Converse with parent board members and parent stakeholders about their role and the impact they can have on campus
What are the hopes you would like to see become a reality because of your child’s education?
Session Description: Enrollment is critical to ensuring every charter school is a forever school. In this dynamic educational environment, connecting with prospective families is more important than ever. Engaging with current families to retain existing students is equally as vital. How to do it all and do it well? Join this information-packed session to learn of the “ground game” and “digital game” needed to support and elevate every charter school’s unique attributes. -CCSA Charter Schools Conference 2022
Post regularly and post often
Create a good mix of videos, pictures, and information
Session Description: “Operating in our increasingly politicized climate can make charter renewals especially stressful. Take advantage of the two years of renewal relief to implement a long-range approach to monitoring and demonstrating student growth. Learn the best ways to evaluate growth with renewal in mind and to integrate performance monitoring into your ongoing processes for data evaluation and compliance reporting.” -CCSA Charter Schools Conference 2022
Use focus goals in the LCAP when drafting updates and charter renewals
Session Description: How did a four-school charter network realize national top-quartile satisfaction levels regarding teacher compensation for three years running? The answer has at least as much to do with process as it does with the salary scale itself. In this workshop, participants will learn best practices for driving high-stakes change on a sensitive issue, placing equity and transparency at the center. This session will include opportunities to apply what participants learn to their own context.
Session Description: The most effective community engagement is not a “one and done” deal. Instead, each engagement effort should ideally be rooted in a year-round plan with intentional goals and outcomes. Come explore, discover, and create together what year-round authentic community engagement could look like for your network of stakeholders. And leave the session with a set of holistic, long-term strategies on how you might engage your local elected officials, parents, and other community stakeholders. Our annual community engagement roadmap is an invaluable resource that you will want to walk away with.
Greeting families during ingress and egress
10:2 check-ins with students
Greeting students in the hallway, creating a community of learners and making connections with all students
Holding an advisory committee where staff members and teachers connect with students on non-academic items, focus is on building relationships
Clubs and events – mariachi, ballet folklorico, VAPA and STEM focused events
Padlet with Day 1 & 2 Learning
We look forward to continuing our learning and sharing with our Feaster Learns community! We are excited to be able to share so many great resources and document the conference so that we have a resource to look back at as we make important charter decisions.