February 14th Edition 

AWSA Early Post-Secondary Opportunities Article: ECCP, SCN, ETC!

by Tim Schell, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Waunakee Community School District

Last year’s state budget bill enacted important changes into law affecting the access of high school students to early post-secondary opportunities.  These changes eliminated the Course Options and Youth Options programs.  The Early College Credit Program (ECCP) replaces Youth Options for four year colleges and universities and the Start College Now (SCN) program is the technical college replacement.  In some respects, ECCP and SCN are related.  In other respects, they operate differently.  Student applications for fall term courses are due on March 1, so understanding the parameters of these new programs, what is new, what is the same, has some immediacy.

Read More.

Act Today to Support Title II Funding

On February 8, the Senate and the House approved a two-year budget deal that includes significant funding increases for defense and discretionary programs —the budget deal paves the way for, but does not guarantee, robust investments in Title II, Part A, which is the only dedicated source of federal funding for professional learning and leadership support for teachers and principals.

Overwhelmingly approved by a bipartisan Congress, ESSA provides new opportunities for states to use Title II, Part A funds to invest in principal leadership and support, which will lead to improved student outcomes. Wisconsin  plans to invest three percent of Title II, Part A funds for in-depth professional learning opportunities prioritized by school principals.

We are extremely disappointed by President Trump’s decision to eliminate funding entirely for Title II, Part A in his 2018 budget proposal to Congress. We urge Congress to instead provide the full funding level authorized for Title II, Part A in ESSA.  

We ask that you please voice your support for Title II by:

  1. Using the NAESP or NASSP Legislative Action Center to email your US Representative/Senators. 
  2. Completing this form confirming you took action.

 As Congress negotiates the budget in the coming weeks it is a critical time for AWSA members to be heard.

Lighting the Path to Improvement: Hope is not Strategy & Accountability is not Commitment

by Patricia Greco, Ph.D., Superintendent School District of Menomonee Falls

We all know improving schools and systems is hard. High stakes accountability and the initiative swirl have failed to lead to lasting improvement. Every educator went into our profession wanting to make a difference.  Each child enters kindergarten full of promise wanting to succeed.  Leaders, formal and informal, accept the challenge to lead because they believe they can impact both positive change and organization culture.  So why do we fail to pull it together as a field?  How do we reshape our thinking about our real work? We are not leading initiatives.  We are leading complex organizations full of human decision making. 

In most communities, the school district is the largest employer.  Deming, the godfather of continuous improvement, stated an organization with 500 employees makes 4 million decisions a day. Organizational outcomes and success depend on the alignment of all of them. The challenge in our field is we understand systems thinking and quality tools at the 50,000 ft. level. We learn about systems and transformational change.  What’s been missing?  We struggle gaining access to the principles, tools and processes of improvement. The skillset we need as a field to move people and organizations forward.  

Read more.

How to Reframe Your Negative Reactions with a Coach Approach

by Jessica Johnson, Dodgeland Elementary School Principal/District Assessment Coordinator, co-author of The Coach Approach to School Leadership

Every year, AWSA members publish books on educational leadership. We invite AWSA authors to submit articles on their books that we can include in the Update.

Leading with a Coach Approach is joyful work. We enjoy spending our time in classrooms to recognize and appreciate instructional strengths, we follow-up and ask teachers reflective questions to help them be aware of why they do what they do so they continue to do more of “that”, and we learn from their reflections so we can share their teaching wisdom to help all of our teachers learn and grow from each others’ strengths.

Wouldn’t it be great if that’s how it was for every classroom visit?

Read more.

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AWSA 2018 Election

The AWSA Board of Directors election will be held electronically from April 16-April 30, 2018. This year, Directors will be elected from Regions 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 12. Members of each of these regions will be emailed a notification on April 16, 2018 with a link to an online ballot listing the candidate(s) for that region. As part of its succession planning, the Board has recruited candidates in each region. 

  • Region 1 (co-director): Danielle Bosanec, Director of Curriculum & Instruction, Pewaukee
  • Region 2 (co-director): Paul Brost, Principal, Monona Grove
  • Region 3: Carmen Burkum, Principal, Fennimore
  • Region 7: Ty Breitlow, Principal, Chilton
  • Region 8: Lance Bagstad, Principal, Clintonville
  • Region 10: Susan Kern, Principal, Chippewa Falls
  • Region 11: Sara Eichten, Principal, Somerset
  • Region 12: Dave Scholz, Principal, Phillips

In addition, write-in candidates can stand for election by submitting a petition to the AWSA headquarters by March 16. If you have any questions, contact Robin Herring at [email protected] or (608) 241-0300.

DPI Online Communications Survey

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is working with a consulting firm to conduct a communications audit to examine how it communicates with school districts and education professionals. This process will help the DPI indentify ways to more effectively and efficiently communicate and interact with its stakeholders. The communications audit includes an online survey with the agency’s various stakeholders.

Hundreds of education professionals across Wisconsin have already shared their insights and opinions by participating in the survey. Everyone’s voice is valued. If you have not already completed the online survey, you are invited and encouraged to do so by Thursday, February 15th.  

Here is the link to the survey.

2018 National Principals Conference 

School leaders share the same goals for student success from kindergarten through high school. And when you come together, something very powerful happens: collaboration, synergy, and inspiration soar. Join NASSP at the 2018 National Principals Conference for authentic peer-to-peer conversations, innovative learning opportunities, and world-class thought leaders. Expect programming that addresses your specific needs and challenges, and get excited that you are laying the groundwork to help students successfully transition from one school level to another. NPC18 will be held July 11–13, in Chicago. Details and registration information can be found at www.principalsconference.org.

NAESP Pre-K–8 Principals Conference

Make plans to attend the premier professional development conference for elementary and middle-level principals at @NAESP Pre-K-8 Principals Conference. During the course of three days, you will connect with your peers, learn best practices, and have access to today’s education movers and shakers. Apply the knowledge and skills you learn in your school and in your career. Read more at bit.ly/2u4Aj8z