As educators across the state face the challenge of creating and navigating virtual classrooms, the Alaska Staff Development Network (ASDN) and Alaska Council of School Administrators (ACSA), have stepped up to provide relevant, researched-based online programs for Alaska’s teachers and school administrators.
The sheer size of Alaska is daunting:
- 663,300 square miles
- 1420 miles, north to south, and 2500 miles, east to west
- 640 square miles of land for every mile of paved road
- 1 person per square mile
For educators across the state, many of whom who live off the road system, the need for online connection and collaboration is critical for their continued development as K-12 professionals. The the Alaska Professional Learning Network (AkPLN) is meeting that need for many of Alaska’s educators.
The AkPLN is in its 4th year of service, and continues to grow in resources and membership. The goal of AkPLN is to provide Alaskan educators valuable professional development by offering resources like curated video content and focused learning plans with an online platform to network and support each other. AkPLN currently has 2200+ members and 60+ open learning plans. Continue reading The Alaska Professional Learning Network (AkPLN) by Tammy Morris at ASDN
The Alaska School Leadership Academy (ASLA) is a professional development program for early career principals in Alaska. Started in 2018 and administered by the Alaska Council of School Administrators (ASCA) and the Alaska Staff Development Network (ASDN), the program now supports two cohorts of principals from 24 school districts across the state. Continue reading ‘The Alaska School Leadership Academy (ASLA)’ by Sam Jordan at ASDN
Dr. Jan Hasbrouck is a leading reading specialist and education consultant, and provides professional development to Alaskan educators through the Alaska Staff Development Network
Researchers have made extraordinary progress in understanding what “reading” really is. Numerous complex brain processes involved in the act of reading have been identified, along with many individual component skills that must be learned and used automatically and efficiently by a reader. At this point, compelling evidence from a convergence of reading research indicates that close to 95% of all students can achieve literacy levels at or approaching grade level. These statistics include students with dyslexia and other students with learning and cognitive disabilities. Continue reading Foundational Skills in K–5 by Jan Hasbrouck, Ph.D. Educational Consultant and Researcher
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District may encompass over 26,000 square miles, but the support new teachers have make it feel like everyone’s within walking distance of each other. The range of school sizes often results in singleton teachers with a grade level configuration or content area, so connecting teachers has been a priority for KPBSD leaders. Research by Hattie (2009) affirms what many knew instinctively; collective teacher efficacy almost quadruples typical teaching efficacy with an ultimate effective size 1.57! Continue reading ‘Collective Teacher Efficacy Takes Center Stage in Kenai’ by Christine M. Ermold, Ed.D.
This year, our district implemented a new initiative called “Shadow a Teacher” to build connections and enhance communication among district staff. It took place the week of October 1st and was a smashing success. Staff who work behind the scenes to support district functions spent an entire day shadowing teachers who volunteered to host guests in their classrooms. Visitors included staff from facilities maintenance, network services, business administration, human resources, teaching and learning, federal programs, special education, communications, and the superintendent’s office. Even school board members participated! Continue reading ‘Shadow A Teacher Day’ by Dr. Karen Gaborick, Superintendent of Fairbanks North Star Borough School District
Arts, culture, and technology are more than words in the Sitka School District. To us, arts, culture, and technology represent education that is grounded in our explicit embrace of culture as a context for learning, a desire to have students graduate with an appreciation for the role of arts in community life in Sitka, as well as in personal happiness, and a need to prepare students for success in a digitally-rich life. The Sitka School Board adopted our Arts, Culture, and Technology (ACT) Standards in 2014, and we haven’t stopped ACTing since then! Continue reading ACTing to Transform Learning by Dr. Mary Wegner, Superintendent of Sitka School District
It’s hard to believe it has been three months since my visit to Alaska as I had the honor and privilege of speaking at the Alaska Principals’ Conference. I was forever changed after this conference for one reason…the people. I met incredible school leaders from all corners of the great state of Alaska doing AMAZING things for students and staff. No matter the overwhelming obstacles that may face each of them, it was evident that each person I had the pleasure of meeting was all about making the world better because of the influence of his/her leadership. Continue reading Better Together: The Power of a Hashtag by Beth Houf, Co-Author of Lead Like A Pirate