None of Us is as Smart as All of Us
Kenneth Blanchard, leadership guru and author of such leadership staples as The One Minute Manager, famously said, “None of us is as smart as all of us.” Never has this quote held more meaning, a point that the participants in the Learning Counsel’s Florida Digital Transition Discussion seemed to drive home at every opportunity. According to Stephanie Acosta Castro, ESE Chair and Coach at Coral Park Elementary, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, “We need to make sure that we have a plan, even if it's a plan that we have to deviate from, we want our students, our teachers and our families to know that we're working to help them meet their goals, to really be available. There is a lot of talk about self-care and taking care of each other, but we also need to learn, and as leaders still be available to our team and our staff. It's really just so important to have ideas. And sometimes, it is just picking up that phone, calling that colleague and most importantly, asking questions. So for those of you that are not in leadership roles or that are in leadership roles that require you to work with other leaders, it's extremely important not to be shy about asking those questions because that's where we built on.”
That is the beauty of our Florida educators. They are bright, experienced, and wise enough to know what they don’t know. You’ll want to click on each of these Florida event sessions and enjoy the wisdom that is freely shared. Because none of us is as smart as all of us – and few are as smart as our Florida brethren. Enjoy!
See how the experience of JoAnne Glenn, Principal at the Pasco eSchool translates into academic success during this time of hybrid and virtual learning. According to Glenn, “There's like a sweet spot between having complete control and losing some of that academic freedom that really makes a classroom a vibrant experience for our kids but wanting to limit the burden on teachers. It's definitely been an experience in terms of establishing some different communication patterns in our district so that when teachers feel like an activity is not the best way to teach something, they have a way to collaborate with our curriculum specialist and rethink it.”
Educator Session on Hybrid Organizing: "Exploring Best Practices in Organizing teams, Using Technology, and How Front-Loading Information to Your Team Can Ease Nerves and Increase Engagement and Productivity”
In this educator session, Stephanie Acosta Castro, ESE Chair and Coach at Coral Park Elementary, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, shares the particular tech she is using, as well as her particular wisdom. Castro is an ESE director, overseeing 20 staff members, including ESE teachers, district-assigned SLPs and occupational therapists. According to Castro, “We are not all in the same boat. We are all in the same storm. Although we're all going through COVID and we're all learning the new normal, no two families are experiencing it exactly the same way.”
Michael A. Randolph is the Principal at Leesburg High School at Lake County Schools in Florida. Randolph is familiar with the technology of success. His Title 1 high school became a Cambridge International Certificate of Education school and their inaugural candidates from the class of 2022 completed their first round of assessments last year and finished with an 81 percent pass rate on three different exams and honored over 320 college credits among 47 students. So, when Randolph extols the ease and benefits of launching a Virtual Open House, you’ll want to be sure and check it out. According to Randolph, “Although 2020 brought us challenges and in spite of our current situation, we remain committed to providing our parents, students and community the same levels of support and communication throughout this pandemic. We have really used this as an opportunity to provide access to our parents who may not have come, especially as a Title 1 school. In the past, we were lucky if we had 100 to 150 parents out of 1500 students participate in our open house. As a result of switching it to a virtual open house, we had over 500 participants, and we're looking to even double that number in the spring.”
No Student Lefted Unplugged: Launching and Sustaining 1:1 in a Large Urban School District" is presented by Mariel Milano, Director of Digital Curriculum at Orange County Public Schools (OCPS). OCPS has a goal to be the top producer of successful students in the nation. They have been on a journey to do that with digital learning and believe they will be able to increase student engagement and achievement by personalizing learning for all students through the use of digital content and tools. In part 2 of this Educator Session on Models and Practice, "PIVOT! Transitioning to Remote Learning in a Large Urban School District," Maurice Draggon, the Senior Director of Digital Learning at Orange County Public Schools shares how the district took a two year plan and implemented it in mere weeks, providing an additional 70,000 devices. When they made a pivot to asynchronous distance learning in the spring of 2020, and another pivot to remote learning in the fall of 2020, they had to focus on three levers: Capitalizing on communication, providing professional development and training, and investing in their instructional systems.
In every Learning Counsel Digital Transition Event, one of our most popular features is our Local Panel of Educators. It is an opportunity for the areas brightest minds to get together and solve the most pressing challenges of the day. This year’s Florida event featured Dr. Connie Kolosey, Director Media, Text and Digital Learning at Pinellas County Schools, Maurice Draggon, Senior Director of Digital Learning at Orange County Public Schools and Mariel Milano, Director of Digital Curriculum at Orange County Public Schools. According to Dr. Koloosey, “We're really excited about continuing to work with our traditional teaching and learning curriculum teams and helping them understand how to leverage the technology beyond just using a cool tool, but to really impact the creativity and the research and using technology to move us into those higher level learning platforms.”
As you listen to these national experts, you’ll find answers to many of the challenges your district is now facing, and you’ll soon be using technology to move into higher levels of learning as well.