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  • Welcome to Learning Forward Virginia!Learning Forward Virginia is dedicated to connecting Virginia educators to information, strategies, and best practices that demonstrate high quality professional learning to produce positive results for students and learning communities.
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2016 Learning Forward Conference - Vancouver

2016 Annual Conference

December 3 – 7, 2016

Vancouver Convention Centre
1055 Canada Place
Vancouver, BC V6C 0C3, Canada

Curry Leadership Academy: Coaching for Change

Falls Church, July 11-13, 2016

Charlottesville, July 18-20, 2016

Schedule: Coffee and Conversation – 8:30 a.m. | Session – 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily

Intended Audience: Existing or prospective instructional coaches, principals, assistant principals, division-wide instructional leaders, educators in charge of professional development.

Cost: $475 for the 3-day academy (Participants are expected to attend all three days. Coffee/tea, morning snacks, lunch and materials are included in the registration fee) Registration is limited to 40 people in Falls Church and 100 people in Charlottesville.

Falls Church Location:
UVA Northern Virginia Center
7054 Haycock Road, Falls Church, VA 22043
Charlottesville Location:
Holloway Hall in Bavaro, Curry School of Education
405 Emmet Street, Charlottesville, VA 22904

The Curry School of Education in partnership with the Statewide K-12 Education Advisory Council is pleased to announce the fourth annual coaching academy for individuals who want to develop or refine their coaching skills.

Goal: Our goal is to support principals, assistant principals, instructional coaches and teacher leaders who want to improve their coaching skills and cultivate more professionally stimulating work environments for adult learning in their schools. The workshop will focus on the improvement of instruction through better articulation of quality teaching, carefully crafted coaching questions and more effective feedback.

Learning Outcomes for Participants:
  • Understand the purposes of different types of coaching
  • Recognize the importance of relationships and trust as foundational in your coaching
  • Deepen your communication and observation skills to enhance the impact of feedback on practice
  • Effectively respond to the coaching needs of adults in your building
  • Understand how to address coaching barriers and challenges
Message from the Director
ESSA Includes Improved Definition of Professional Development
From Stephanie Hirsh - Director of Learning Forward

Stephanie Hirsh - Director of LFEarlier this week, the House of Representatives passed the Every Student Succeeds Act by a 359-64 vote. While there is much to explore and discuss in the bill, Learning Forward's advocacy efforts related to the reauthorization of ESEA have concentrated solely on professional development.

We believe that ensuring a clear and specific definition of professional development in federal policy, one that aligns with our Standards for Professional Learning, lays the groundwork for states, districts, and schools to create professional learning that has impact. The definition of professional development that appears in the bill is important because it applies to every example of professional development mentioned in the bill.

Overall, we are satisfied with the definition that is included in Every Student Succeeds Act, though we believe that effective professional learning requires more than what the bill describes.

We're pleased with the first part of the definition. It begins: Professional development means activities that "(A) are an integral part of school and local education agency strategies for providing educators (including teachers, principals, other school leaders, specialized instructional support personnel, paraprofessionals, and, as applicable, early childhood educators) with the knowledge and skills necessary to enable students to succeed in the core academic subjects and to meet challenging State academic standards; and (B) are sustained (not stand-alone, 1-day, and short-term workshops), intensive, collaborative, job-embedded, data-driven, classroom-focused...."

While there are additional ways to improve upon this part of the definition -- it would be ideal to move away from thinking of professional development as "activities" rather than a continuous learning journey -- it is affirming that the key words included within it tie directly to Learning Forward's Standards for Professional Learning. Congress has affirmed that educators' professional development must be collaborative, job-embedded, sustained, classroom-focused, and data-driven. The definition is also significant because it so clearly focused on school- and classroom-level professional learning.

The legislation continues with this phrase: Professional development "may include activities that ..." followed by a long list of professional learning elements, experiences, and topics. For example, professional development may include activities that "improve and increase teachers' knowledge of the academic subjects the teachers teach."

The placement of the "may" is significant. Everything before "may include" is essential and officially part of the definition. Everything after "may include" is dependent on the context and needs of the local educators planning and implementing professional learning. To define professional learning too tightly would overlook the differentiated needs of educators and could contribute to schools and systems addressing adult learning through one-size-fits-all solutions. We trust educators to use the key words before the "may" to assess their needs and design their learning objectives and processes, then identify the priorities that best fit their circumstances among those listed after the "may."

As education leaders and policymakers make sense of the bill once it moves into law, which is expected to happen next week, we are hopeful that in implementing the definition of professional development, they will also consider the following:

  • Evaluation of impact must be a part of any professional learning, as it is part of so many other school improvement elements outlined in the legislation.

  • The cycle of continuous improvement is the ideal vehicle for making so much of this definition come to life in schools. Through collaborative, continuous problem solving, teachers examine data to understand what student and adult learners need, set professional learning goals and determine learning strategies, apply their new learning with ongoing support, and assess the impact of what they've applied in their classrooms.

  • Clearly defining the professional learning roles and responsibilities of educators throughout the system helps ensure meaningful implementation and collective accountability for results.

  • While the definition of professional development in the bill describes that educators gain "knowledge and skills," intentionally addressing changes in practice is essential to achieving better results for students.
Defining professional learning meaningfully in policy is one key step. But the definition doesn't equate to implementation. The hard work of planning, facilitating, implementing, sustaining, and evaluating professional learning happens every day in states, districts, and schools.

As always, Learning Forward is eager to provide educators the support they need to create learning that meets this definition and aligns to the Standards for Professional Learning. Please let us know how we can continue to do so.

Learning Forward Virginia hosted:
Executive Leadership Program Day 1 Workshop
  • Executive Leadership Program 2015
  • Executive Leadership Program 2015
  • Executive Leadership Program 2015
  • Executive Leadership Program 2015
  • Executive Leadership Program 2015
  • Executive Leadership Program 2015
  • Executive Leadership Program 2015
  • Executive Leadership Program 2015
  • Executive Leadership Program 2015
  • Executive Leadership Program 2015
  • Executive Leadership Program 2015
  • Executive Leadership Program 2015
  • Executive Leadership Program 2015
  • Executive Leadership Program 2015
  • Executive Leadership Program 2015
  • Executive Leadership Program 2015
  • Executive Leadership Program 2015
  • Executive Leadership Program 2015
  • Executive Leadership Program 2015
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CCPS PBL Edcamp 2016
CCPS PBL Edcamp 2016
What is an "unconference" you ask? Instead of organizers driving the conference content, the attendees drive the content. Attendees are encouraged to engage in organic, authentic discussions rather than presenters with power points droning on for hours (no offense to power points). And the best part, this conference is FREE OF CHARGE!

WHEN: Friday, August 12, 2016
7:30 AM to 3:00 PM

WHERE: Thomas Fulghum Conference Center Chesterfield
Career and Technical Center @ Hull
13900 Hull Street Road Midlothian, VA 23112
Join the discussion!

Download the Flyer
(schedule included)
According to edcamp.org, EdCamps are:
  • FREE
  • non-commercial and conducted with a vendor-free presence
  • hosted by any organization interested in furthering the edcamp mission
  • made up of sessions that are determined on the day of the event
  • events where anyone who attends can be a presenter
  • reliant on the "law of two feet" that encourages participants to find a session that meets their needs

posted on: 4.28.2016
Learning Forward's Spring Webinar Series
Join authors and leaders in the field of education for webinars on key topics that will prepare you to successfully implement professional learning that increases teaching effectiveness and student achievement.

Webinars are free for members. Members also get access to our on-demand library of webinars. Not a member? Join today!

» Listen to Past Webinars from LF

March 3: 2p.m. - 3p.m. ET
Increasing Rigor to Meet Today's Standards
Facilitated by Toni Enloe

April 7: 2p.m. - 3p.m. ET
Creating Communities of Thought: Enhancing Social Capital
Facilitated by Laura Lipton and Bruce Wellman

May 5: 2p.m. - 3p.m. ET
Differentiating the Flipped Classroom
Facilitated by Eric Carbaugh and Kristina Doubet

updated on: 2.15.2016
A Learning Community for School Leaders
ELP Day 2
Learning Forward Virginia recently launched its Executive Leadership Program, with over 20 participants. This 30-hour yearlong leadership program is offered in a blended, collaborative format. Participants acquire skills, practices, strategies, and resources to develop their expertise as agents of change, create cultures of continuous improvement, build collective responsibility, and provide individual and team support for acquiring and implementing new practices. Read more...
posted on: 10.16.2015
Standards for Professional Learning...The More You Know
Know Standards

posted on: 11.12.2014
Thank you to our 2015 Conference Sponsors!
Apple Federal Credit Union Education Foundation

F2F 2016 Meetings:

Thursday, May 5, 2016
Fairfax, VA
1:00 p.m.

Technical Assistance Calls
First Fridays of the Month
from 10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

March 4, 2016
May 6, 2016
June 3, 2016

» more...

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