For the past two years, four Alaskan school districts involved in a federal Teacher and School Leader (TSL) grant have been working to implement Visible Learning strategies. Visible Learning refers to a body of education research led by Dr. John Hattie that reflects data on what truly works to elevate student learning. The core message of Visible Learning is that teachers are at their best when they are reflecting on the impact of their instructional practices. This is perhaps most effectively summarized in Dr. Hattie’s often-quoted statement, “Know Thy Impact!”
Alaska’s teachers are some of the most devoted professionals in the country. Almost 1,000 educators from across the state of Alaska chose to spend two or three weekend days in January learning, collaborating, and reinvigorating their practice at the RTI/MTSS Effective Instruction Conference 2022 (and RTI Rural Schools Pre-Conference).
What educators took away from the conference was tremendous, and what we heard from them was worth sharing out. Continue reading ‘The 2022 Alaska RTI/MTSS Effective Instruction Conference’ by the Staff at ACSA/ASDN
During the first week of June 2021, over 180 education leaders from 31 school districts across Alaska came together virtually for the 13th annual Alaska School Leadership Institute (ASLI). Designed as an opportunity for Alaska’s rural school leaders to connect, reflect and plan for the next school year, the 2021 ASLI hosted a dynamic lineup of nationally and internationally recognized speakers that challenged conference attendees to reflect on the experience of leading through the pandemic and to plan for the next school year in a way that embraces lessons learned. The ASLI conference is organized each year by the Alaska Staff Development Network (ASDN). Continue reading ‘The 2021 Alaska School Leadership Institute (ASLI)’ by Sam Jordan at ASDN
Educators gathered virtually over the weekend of January 22-24 for the 10th Annual Alaska Staff Development Network (ASDN) 2021 Alaska Effective Instruction Conference, bridging the distance between school districts despite a challenging year.
Topics ranged from building a positive school culture, supporting schoolwide literacy efforts, using data science in the classroom, positive ways to incorporate technology in teaching, how to authentically assess students during distance or blended learning, and social and emotional supports. Continue reading ‘Educators Carry Inspiration Back to Classrooms after the 10th Annual 2021 Alaska Effective Instruction Conference’ by Seanna O’Sullivan
During these crazy times it’s hard to get what needs doing done! Even more difficult is focusing on planning for the future. Help is here.
The Alaska Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) and the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development (DEED) have partnered with the Southeast Regional Resource Center (SERRC) to build Transition Alaska.org as a virtual classroom for teachers and students to keep the focus on transition. Continue reading ‘Keeping the Focus on Secondary Transition’ by Jim Kreatschman
You may remember reading about a group of Interior Alaska educators that pulled off a last minute, virtual EdCamp in March of 2020. It was a team effort with contributions made by educators from several school districts. Sadly the team lost their mighty leader, Christina Hum, when she moved Outside this summer. Her enthusiasm for EdCamp inspired and directed us as we built the foundation. The team has carried on. The next virtual event is scheduled for Saturday, October 17th from 9:00am-1:30pm. ALL Alaskan educators (not just the Interior!) are invited!!! K-12 educators from all areas & all levels…especially our rural Alaska colleagues! https://tinyurl.com/yy5yz4zy
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