October 12th Edition

Virtual Connection: 5 Ways to Improve Community Engagement Through Social Media

by Andrea Gribble, Founder of #SocialSchool4EDU

Communication. It’s tough these days. With your students, staff, parents and community members seemingly more distracted than ever, how can your school make the needed connections?

Social media can be a key driver in engaging your community in the daily activities of your school district. With channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, photos and videos can easily be broadcast. The thing is, it takes work to fully utilize the platforms to increase the interaction.

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Global Educator of the Year Award

Please consider nominating a deserving candidate for the Global Educator of the Year Award. The program annually honors those who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students as well as demonstrating exemplary contributions to the profession specifically related to global education. Nominations are no more than 200 words and include the candidates full name, email address, school name, and a brief rationale for the nomination.  Nominations can be sent to [email protected].  More information can be found here.

Preparing for Academic and Career Planning (ACP) in Your School

by Joe Schroeder, PhD, Associate Executive Director, AWSA

As you are likely aware, beginning in the 2017-18 school year, all Wisconsin school districts will be required to provide a comprehensive process to help 6-12th grade students develop, plan, and achieve goals for post-secondary education and careers.  This process, called Academic and Career Planning (ACP), will provide students with access to coordinated activities and guidance over several years.  This article is the first in a three-part series on ACP that we will be bringing to you over the course of this school year through The AWSA Update.  This first article provides basic background information and ways to get connected with the latest resources and developments about this effort.  Future articles from ACP leaders at DPI (one in the winter, another in the spring) will discuss how to set up and lead for successful implementation of ACP in your school and district.

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Connecting With Every Student: Life Options

by Jennifer Krzewina, PhD, School Psychologist, Menasha High School

It’s Tuesday at 10:10 a.m. and for the next 30 minutes, students see a familiar face that they will be greeted by for the entire duration of their high school career. A connection. A caring adult. A relationship that could be one of the most important protective factors in buffering against truancy and dropout, and one of the most impactful factors in promoting school connectedness. For thirty minutes, two times a week, they will attend Life Options, a Menasha-born four-year curriculum and class that addresses the ever-changing needs of our high school population, but most of all the need to feel cared for by someone at school.

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Fab Lab Grants Available

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is now accepting applications for the Fabrication Laboratories (Fab Lab) Grant Program, which provides funding to help public schools build or expand Fab Labs that provide students with training on valuable job skills.

The WEDC program supports hands-on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education by assisting public school districts with equipment purchases for instructional and educational purposes in Fab Labs. Fab Labs are high-tech workshops with the latest equipment including computer-controlled manufacturing components, such as 3-D printers, laser engravers, and computer numerical control routers.

In May of 2016, grants totaling $600,000 were awarded to 25 school districts in the first year of the program. WEDC is allocating another $500,000 in this fiscal year and anticipates awarding 20 grants this time around. Grant recipients will be announced in the spring of 2017.

WEDC will provide grants of up to $25,000 to public school districts or up to $50,000 to consortiums of two or more districts for the creation or expansion of Fab Labs. The funds may be used to purchase equipment used for instructional and educational purposes by elementary, middle, junior high, or high school students. Applicants must match the amount of funding provided by WEDC.

Fab Lab grants will be awarded through a competitive process, with applicants evaluated based on readiness and long-range planning, curriculum, business and community partnerships, financial need, and previous awards.

In this round of funding, WEDC is requiring award recipients to make the Fab Labs accessible to the public so the schools can offer training and workshops to members of the community after school hours. This facet of the program is expected to drive innovation throughout the community.

Application information can be found at www.InWisconsin.com/fablabs. The deadline for submission is December 15.

National Conference of Student Activities Comes to Wisconsin for the First Time!

The Wisconsin Association of School Councils is pleased to announce that the NCSA National Conference will be held at the Concourse Hotel in Madison, Wisconsin December 2 - December 4This will be the first time in the 44 year history of this conference that it is held in Wisconsin.  NCSA-2016 is sponsored by the National Association of Workshop Directors (NAWD), a national professional association for school activity directors and those who are involved with state and regional leadership training.

The NCSA-2016 program will feature:

  • Friday afternoon FAST FORWARD Speakers Showcase for WI students at the Historic Orpheum Theater featuring 8 of the top youth speakers in the country 
  • 16 National Keynote Speakers including: TIM ELMORE, Harriet Turk, Jason Kotecki, & Eddie Slowikowski
  • Three 40-minute workshop presentations based on 5 conference strands and more than 25 topic options
  • Focus Group sessions within the arena of student activities and leadership training and development
  • Targeted sessions to learn about new materials, methods, projects successfully implemented in middle schools and high schools across the nation 
Special Offer for individuals from Wisconsin schools within 150 miles of Madison:
This is a great opportunity for your activity advisors (which may include student council advisors, NHS advisors, class government advisors and club advisors) or any member of your team.  Although, we feel that the entire conference program is of value, an additional SATURDAYONLY conference registration option is available to Wisconsin participants within a 150 mile radius of Madison. Click here to learn more:  http://wasc.org/ncsa/

September 28th Poll Results

Recognizing the "Redefining Ready" indicators from the September 28th Update Newsletter may be a new way to organize and monitor your own data.

My school/district monitors and publicly shares data for: