Congratulations NAEP Partner Principal Dr. Keegan, Rhode Island New Principal of the Year!

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Congratulations NAEP Partner Principal Dr. Keegan, Rhode Island New Principal of the Year!

NAEP is honored and most enthused to announce that one of its partner principals, Dr. Michaela Keegan of Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex has been announced the 2015 First Year Principal of the Year for the state of Rhode Island! Dr. Keegan has been collaborating with NAEP staff in two of its Lead Partner schools: Mount Pleasant High School (as an Assistant Principal) and more recently Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex (as the school Principal).

Dr. Keegan is a much-needed “brand” of school leader as school improvement and transformation becomes more and more of a necessity in today’s educational arena. Although her academic background and educational leadership experience are both rather extensive and impressive, Dr. Keegan is an educator who is always striving to improve for herself and more importantly, the communities that she serves.  In her first year and in collaboration with NAEP, she led Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex to significant gains in student math proficiency and over 10% gains in ELA on the statewide proficiency exam. Furthermore, she pushed each district initiative, from the Get School Attendance Challenge, to the Graduation Campaign, and her school was even visited by the first lady as recognition for their achievement as a transformational school. She is testament to the fact that a great leader is always open to collaboration and always striving for improvement regardless of prior accomplishments. Dr. Keegan stated “It has been an honor to work collaboratively with teachers, community partners, the Providence Public School District and our NAEP lead partners to enhance educational opportunities for our students.  I look forward to continuing these efforts in the future.” Congratulations Dr. Keegan!

Dr. Keegan’s recognition marks the second major recognition and award for a NAEP Lead Partner Principal in the Providence Public School District. Just last year, Mr. Scott Sutherland, who recently became the Executive Director for Curriculum and Instruction for the district, was recognized as the Principal of the Year for the state of Rhode Island. Mr. Sutherland was a principal at Mount Pleasant High School, a NAEP Lead Partner school, during the time span for which he won this very prestigious award and had several other significant accomplishments as an administrator in Hope High School.  Mr. Sutherland is very enthused about the work and commented “It is with great pleasure that we were able to represent the hard work of teachers and the strategic planning of our NAEP Lead Partners to place Providence Schools and the State of Rhode Island in a place to represent urban education reform initiatives on a national platform.”

Jeffrey J. Hernandez, NAEP’s CEO, stated that “It has been an pleasure to work with both Mr. Sutherland and Dr. Keegan and we could not be more proud of their growth as educational leaders and are honored by being part of their leadership journey.” Both principals received significant support through NAEP’s leadership development efforts since January of 2012 and continue their collaboration with NAEP today. Through their hard work and collaboration with district leaders such as Superintendent Dr. Susan Lusi and Chief of Instruction, Leadership and Equity Dr. Lori McEwen, they serve as testament that PPSD is indeed “on the move!”

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NAEP CONTINUES ITS LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT EFFORT IN PROVIDENCE

In partnership with district personnel from Providence Public School District (PPSD), Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Hernandez, Chief Operations Officer Artur Glants, Executive Director of Literacy Services Diane Raude and Mathematics Director Jason Patterson head to Providence during the week of December 8, 2014, to facilitate another session of its’ Academy for Leveraging Leadership (ALL).   This ALL session will be used to further support PPSD’s quest for effective Common Core implementation. Building on the work from the September through November sessions, this month’s agenda will take PPSD Principals’, Assistant Principals’, Instructional Coaches’, and District Leaders’ knowledge of CCSS Reading Anchor Standard One and Standards for Mathematical Practice #1 and #6 to an even higher level with a deeper dive into the Instructional Core (Content, Methodology, and Student Engagement).

Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Hernandez stated “After more than three months of (ALL) implementation, school leadership teams have pushed aggressively to ensure that the content and strategies trained during ALL sessions have transferred to better CCSS implementation within the classrooms. Principals and Assistant Principals have had tremendous focus on making the shift to intensive instructional leadership. A key victory within this effort is the unified and aligned approach to strategy implementation that is flowing throughout the district.   We are very proud of our partnership with PPSD and the work we are pushing on behalf of children.”

Also and as part of the ALL effort, follow up strategy and coaching sessions have been taking place since October in elementary and secondary schools to further push the work into schools and classrooms. School leadership teams have been very receptive with both the guidance and have been quite action-oriented to ensure that teachers and students are the ultimate objective of this entire effort.   Executive Director of Literacy Services Diane Raude stated “It is both exhilarating and promising to see the level of implementation of Anchor Standard One in the classrooms of Providence.  Students are engaged in the citing of evidence to rationalize and discern meaning from the text.”

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CLARK COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT CABINET AND BOARD OF TRUSTEES LEAD WITH CULTURAL INTELLIGENCE

Today, Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Hernandez and Chief Operations Officer Artur Glants provided a targeted overview of the Cultural Responsiveness Framework to the Clark County School District (CCSD) Board of Trustees, Superintendent, and other District and school leaders.  CEO Hernandez stated “NAEP applauds CCSD for bringing strategic closure and unity to the completion of the first segment of the implementation of the CRF. As a result of today’s school board presentation, all district leaders are now aware of and empowered with the knowledge of how principals and assistant principals are being trained to address the challenges of cultural diversity.

COO Glants stated “While today’s session completes only the first segment of a very comprehensive segment, it is a major success for CCSD as all district leaders are now aligned with both information and direction regarding CRF implementation.” With this effort, ALL CCSD stakeholders have taken several important steps to get closer to having a more culturally responsive school district that leverages cultural diversity as a STRENGTH to meet student needs. This month, school administrators and other district leaders will participate in a virtual webinar hosted by NAEP during which they will have the opportunity to reflect on implementation successes and challenges and apply their new cultural responsiveness knowledge in an outcome-driven learning environment.

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NAEP DELIVERS CULTURAL RESPONSIVENESS TRAINING TO 900 CLARK COUNTY ADMINISTRATORS

This week, NAEP completed whole group training sessions for 28 cohorts of school leaders that comprise the first segment of its implementation of the Cultural Responsiveness Framework (CRF) in the Clark County School District (CCSD). NAEP is grateful to the more than 900 school administrators and countless district leaders for their active participation in this mission critical effort. In this first segment of the CRF, each participant attended a comprehensive four-hour whole group training and working session on key models for cultural responsiveness. Participants engaged in a plethora of group activities designed to build awareness and knowledge around the importance and grand effect of cultural diversity within the modern day public school.

Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Hernandez stated “Clark County school administrators displayed tremendous courage and dedication as they discussed issues and challenges at their own school dealing with cultural diversity.” Participants were quite pleased to hear a keen focus on real-life examples that went beyond the technical models discussed and were thus better able to understand the application to real life. While this is just the first step of this effort, it is a markedly important one as the district now has unified focus on cultural responsiveness. Chief Operations Officer Artur Glants stated “NAEP salutes Clark County for its tenacity and structured approach to such challenging work!”

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PROVIDENCE SCHOOLS SHOW FOUR-YEAR REDUCTION

The Providence Public School Department (PPSD) has released a new report providing a look at chronic absenteeism rates, defined as students missing 10% or more of school during a year, highlighting data for the overall district, grade levels and individual schools over the last five school years. 

In November 2011, PPSD began raising awareness about the need to address chronic absenteeism, which included hosting a workshop with a national issue leader, Hedy Chang, creating school-based attendance teams at schools throughout the district, and several high schools partnering with Get Schooled, a national non-profit that leverages key teen influencers and media to encourage attendance, which has since grown to now include nine high schools.  Mount Pleasant High School, one of the schools that partners with Get Schooled, reduced their chronic absenteeism rate drastically in just two years, from 58.7% in the 2011-2012 school year to 42.4% in the 2013-14 school year.

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NAEP PARTNERS WITH SCHOOL DISTRICT OF ST. CROIX TO DELIVER ANOTHER LEADERSHIP ACADEMY FOR SCHOOL AND DISTRICT LEADERS

NAEP is tremendously proud of its five-year partnership with the School District of St. Croix providing Leadership Development for principals, assistant principals and aspiring leaders. During the week of December 3, 2014, NAEP Chief Operations Officer Artur Glants and Mathematics Director Corey Williams were in the School District of St. Croix once again facilitating another successful leadership academy session focusing on Common Core Implementation.  

In this week’s session, school and district leaders engaged in an intensive two-pronged development effort of school-site instructional analysis and Common Core State Standards-driven mathematics professional development. The first effort, a follow up to the instructional rounds for ELA implemented in October, involved groups of Principals, Assistant Principals, Aspiring Leaders visiting select schools within the District and calibrating on instruction aligned to Standards for Mathematical Practice #1. Participants visited classrooms and then calibrated and debriefed with the ultimate purpose of sharpening their observational and strategy-development skills with regards to Common Core mathematics instruction.

The second effort, also a continuation of work commenced in October within the district, involved intensive training for Principals, Assistant Principals, Aspiring Leaders, and District Administrators on four of eight Standards for Mathematical Practice. Participants engaged in hands-on activities and planning exercises designed to develop their instructional leadership for mathematics classrooms.

The three-day leadership development effort concluded with a strategic planning session in which participants leveraged all knowledge and were guided through a structured implementation process for their school sites. The key “ingredient” within this action planning process is that while metrics for implementation effectiveness were set and strategies were discussed, each school has a great deal of flexibility in its own respective approach to ensure that professional development efforts are customized to specific staff and student needs.  Chief Operations Officer Artur Glants stated “NAEP congratulates School District of St. Croix Principals, Assistant Principals, Aspiring Leaders, and District Administrators for successfully completing another sequence in its Common Core Leadership Academy series and transferring learning to action. Way to go St. Croix! “

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Clark County School District

Even the greatest transformational or leadership support plan may sink before it ever sets sail if is not appropriately communicated. Even more so, such intensive efforts as the introduction of a Cultural Responsiveness Framework (CRF), one NAEP is partnering for with the Clark County School District (CCSD), require the integration of key leadership perspectives prior to launch and rollout. This was precisely the task at hand when on September 16, a team of NAEP consultants met with CCCSD Chiefs and Assistant Chiefs to vet and fine-tune the planned implementation of the district’s Cultural Responsiveness Framework (CRF)

Behind the scenes, NAEP consultants have been hard at work, in collaboration with personnel from CCSD, to ensure that the content of the CRF equips over 900 CCSD school leaders with the knowledge, awareness, tools, and skills to become appropriately culturally responsive to CCSD’s diverse student population. This work was discussed, analyzed, and planned out further during the September 16th session – much in part to the CCSD leadership team’s openness and collaboration. The session equipped Assistant Chiefs with the logistics and information necessary for these senior leaders to support their school zone Principals and Assistant Principals.

“NAEP is very much looking forward to co-leading the implementation of the CRF with its CCSD partners through the utilization of whole group training venues, virtual webinars, and support-based site visits and would like to applaud CCSD on embarking on this journey to accomplish this controversial yet critical work for students in the Las Vegas and surrounding community”, said CEO Mr. Jeffrey J. Hernandez. 

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PPSD Leadership Project

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PPSD Leadership Project

On September 16th and September 17th, NAEP and the Providence Public School District’s (PPSD) leadership team launched the very much anticipated 2014-2015 Academy for Leveraging Leadership (ALL). In light of the fact that the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are no longer coming, but, in fact, have arrived, this academy is designed to equip leaders with the content knowledge and more importantly, the leadership shifts and methodologies necessary to facilitate the shifts within the classroom.  Based on an intensive two-day district leadership retreat our CEO Jeffrey Hernandez said, “this academy will not only show school-site leaders the types of actions and transitions that teachers have to make to prepare students to acquire the new standards, it will provide these individuals with actual strategies and mechanisms to progress monitor and support this important work.”

To approach the objective of empowering school leaders to “lead the core” - NAEP and PPSD implemented a very intricate and strategic approach in which the Assistant Principals and school Instructional Coaches focus literacy instruction while school principals will focus on mathematics instruction for the first three months then swap foci to balance BOTH understanding AND implementation. Currently, the literacy focus is CCSS Reading Anchor Standard #1 “Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text” and the mathematics focus is Standard for Mathematical Practices # 1 “Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.”

ALL Participants were quite enthused about the knowledge and tools gained during the first session of the academy and are even more enthused to return to their school sites and provide support while employing strategic data gathering methods to determine CCSS implementation fidelity. PPSD is also currently hard at work at equipping its teachers with critical CCSS tools and operational knowledge; however, without understanding and action from its school leaders, this work cannot be done with the necessary efficiency and effectiveness.  “NAEP would like to thank its PPSD school and district partners for the hard work and collaboration – the firm/district partnership is now going on its third year and there is no limit to the educational achievement possibilities to come” said NAEP’s CEO Mr. Jeffrey J. Hernandez. 

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St. Croix

Following up on its launch of the School District of St. Croix’s Leadership Academy in 2013, NAEP delivered an intensive and highly engaging three-day leadership development retreat for St. Croix Principals, Assistant Principals, and Aspiring Leaders. This program built on the knowledge developed during prior Leadership Academy sessions and took school leaders from the “PD Room” to the classroom. With laser-like focus, school leaders were able to take their knowledge of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for literacy, as well as the three corresponding ELA shifts, and apply it to the observation of instruction via a modified version of Harvard’s Instructional Rounds. 

In tandem to the morning instructional rounds sessions, school leaders met as a collective each afternoon to focus on key next steps and gain fluency in the leadership of the Standards for Mathematical Practice (SMPs).  NAEP consultants facilitated school leaders’ keen understanding of how to develop, progress monitor, and support the implementation of SMP#1 (Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them) and SMP #3 (Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others). To close this three-day portion of St. Croix Leadership Academy, NAEP facilitated a measurable and outcome-driven action planning session in which participants reflected on their knowledge and formulated it into action. With the understanding garnered from instructional rounds and the mathematics development sessions, school leaders formed a cohesive implementation plan for CCSS Reading Anchor Standard One and SMP#1.

Truly, NAEP tips its hat to St. Croix leaders for their stalwart determination to implement CCSS with fidelity, support their teachers, and compete with the best of them in its pursuit of student achievement in the new era of education. 

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Buffalo Schools Project

Forming a unified, efficient administrative leadership team is not an easy task, especially given a tight timeline and intensive transformational objectives, but this is exactly what is happening at Buffalo Public School of Technology #6. NAEP, in partnership with a non-profit organization entitled Research to Practice, is supporting the school’s new Principal and two Assistant Principals as they strive to leverage the transformational initiatives already implemented and form a single, cohesive school direction. The first school support visit took place on September 9th, 10th, and 11th during which NAEP team members:

-  Met with various stakeholder groups to conduct a transformational Needs Assessment and determine the alignment and progress of the school 

-  Conducted classroonm walkthroughs as part of the Needs Assessment to determine the “state of instruction” and support next steps

-  Developed a communication and organizational plan for the school to streamline its initiatives, stakeholder responsibilities, and general stakeholder interaction.

“NAEP would like to thank Buffalo Public School of Technology #6 for the warm welcome, and even more so for the vigor and tenacity with which school stakeholders embraced the transformational support and next steps. The next support visit promises to be just as exciting and efficient, if not more so”, said CEO Mr. Jeffrey J. Hernandez.

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ONCE AGAIN, NAEP PARTNERS WITH THE CLARK COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR DISTRICT-WIDE CULTURAL COMPETENCY IMPLEMENTATION TRAINING

This week, NAEP commenced its Cultural Competency Training project in collaboration with the Clark County School District (CCSD) for over 900 district and school-site administrators. This work is designed to equip administrators to lead educators and provide an equitable, educational opportunity to every student in the district, regardless of their background. The training campaign will encompass intensive collaboration with CCSD leaders and will be implemented via whole group training sessions, on-site visits, cultural strategy implementation analysis rounds, and various forms of virtual support. A Cultural Competency Advisory Team has been formed to lead the implementation, with NAEP’s support, and ensure that all stakeholder perspectives are integrated into this critical work for students, their families, and the Clark County community.

 NAEP’s Chief Executive Officer, Jeffrey J. Hernandez, stated “It is wonderful and refreshing to see a group of educators become passionate about addressing the needs of today’s diverse student population to ensure their successful tomorrows – I congratulate the Clark County School District for pioneering this work”.

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NAEP SELECTED AS PROVIDER OF TEACHER COACHING FOR SELECTED TRANSFORMATIONAL SCHOOLS IN PROVIDENCE

Extending its partnership with the Providence Public School District, on February 10, 2014, NAEP was selected to provide Common-Core aligned instructional practice training and development in the areas of Literacy and Mathematics for selected transformational schools. For this unique scope of work, NAEP is collaborating with a district and union established, non-profit organization entitled United Providence (UP!). NAEP will be supporting UP! in its effort to improve student achievement through intensive and strategic labor-management collaboration. 

NAEP’s Chief Executive Officer, Jeffrey J. Hernandez, states that he is “enthused to collaborate with UP! and school-site leadership and teaching personnel and empower school site instructors to teach CCSS through problem-solving and using effective instructional strategies that promote thinking and reasoning.” To support Providence Public School District’s vision, NAEP will implement a modular professional learning experience for two schools titled Empowering Educators with the Instructional Tools to Enhance Classroom Instruction & Assessments Using Common Core State Standards. This modular series will incorporate instructional methodologies and experiential learning for all participants to ensure that they are able to leave the sessions with an actionable understanding of CCSS-aligned instructional practices.

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