Learning from Your Neighbors’ Journeys: Back to Normal/New Normal/Pray for Normal


You can learn a lot from school and district leaders these days. No matter what stage they are in – hybrid, remote, AA-BB scheduling or some unique combination not mentioned, everyone is innovating as they go, and sharing what they are learning. In this regional Learning Counsel Digital Transition Discussion event, Tennessee, Kentucky and National leaders came together to share their wisdom gleaned from their own unique situations. So, no matter where you are in your Back to Normal/New Normal/Pray for Normal journey, you are sure to find new strategies to keep your students learning.

According to Jessica Lotz, Director or Research & Performance Management at Shelby County Schools, “We're going to start getting more stakeholder feedback on what remote learning should look like going forward, so that we can give students more of a balance, with time on screen, actively participating with the teacher versus time to do independent work and other things. At some point, we will also have to figure out how to do true re-entry in brick and mortar buildings. Yeah. This is a different moment.”

It is a different moment to be sure. But with your grit, your determination and advice from some of the world’s smartest educators, our students are in very good hands. To find that advice, simply click on the sessions below and get ready to start solving challenges in your own school or district.


Educator Session on Hybrid Organizing: "Going Digital: Continuous Improvement and School Support in 2020" & “The New Bouquet of Safety Protocols”

Districts around the nation have been pivoting in response to unprecedented circumstances for education amidst a global pandemic.  For Shelby County, this pivot meant creating the circumstances for high quality digital learning.  Learn more about the tools and techniques applied by the Chris Hill, Continuous Improvement Advisor and the Shelby County Schools Continuous Improvement Team to support schools in an all virtual learning environment. Then, you’ll hear from Dr. Amy Hunt, Chief Academic officer at the Park City School District in Utah, who will explain the “New Bouquet of Safety Protocols," her district’s approach to managing health and safety of our students and staff.


Educator Session on Hybrid Organizing 

“Vetting Resources for Data Governance,” with Ivy Nelson, Education Technology Manager at Belton School District #124 in Kansas City. Hear how this district accelerated their technology timeline, being careful to observe FERPA and COPPA compliance, and working through the myriad challenges involved. Then in our "Motivation in Math: How Blended Learning Transformed My Hybrid Model" segment, you’ll hear Sister Teresa Joy, Fifth Grade Teacher at St. Mary's School in Oak Ridge share how blended learning helped transform her fifth grade math class, fostering academic independence and motivation in each student, and she will pass along some best practices that could help this blended hybrid model work for you.


Educator Session on Models & Practice: "Community of Inquiry Model (COI) for Learning Online"

Dr. Travis Taylor, Instructional Technology Specialist at Little Rock School District explains the three core areas of the model, social presence, cognitive presence, and teaching presence, and how they work together to create the online educational experience for students. Want to have your students engaged and learning? This is must-have intelligence for every educator in the time of COVID-19.


Educator Session Models & Practice: "OoRah Leadership: Transform yourself if you want others to follow"

Dr. Michael Steele, Executive Principal at Metro Nashville Public Schools invented OoRah Leadership because he kept seeing too much failed leadership. When he was in his doctoral program, he listened to his professors talk about Transformational and Servant and Emotionally-Intelligent and Transactional leadership. But, according to Dr. Steele, you cannot be a great leader, unless you can encompass all those things. Hear how great (OoRah) leadership can play a significant part in your school’s success during this unusual time in education.


Local Panel of Administrators: Our Digital Transition

Education is in a period of intellectual change and culture shift. As we work our way through the rigors of the pandemic and the many changes involved in a hybrid or fully remote environment, it is also worth exploring what the future holds. What are the long-term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic? How will education change, and what will be our roles in this future? You’ll hear Ivy Nelson, Education Technology Manager at Belton School District #124, Jessica Lotz, Director or Research & Performance Management at Shelby County Schools and Michael Steele, Executive Principal at Metro Nashville Public Schools ponder these questions and share some very practical advice.   

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After teaching and learning in a pandemic for the past few months, it is very understandable if many educators feel like they have been working in the middle of a long, dark tunnel

Jamie Bricker