Articles in the Announcements category

NSBA Technology Innovation Showcase brings new solutions to school boards

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) recently announced its first Technology Innovation Showcase, which will help school board members realize the potential of new and innovative educational technology products for their schools.

The Technology Innovation Showcase is designed to show emerging companies that represent the diversity of new solutions in education, according to Ann Flynn, NSBA’s Director of Education Technology.

“The education market sector is experiencing rapid growth from investors and creative entrepreneurs, yet few of the nation’s 90,000 board members and their school districts are fully aware of the innovations enabled by technology that can transform old practices,” said Flynn. “NSBA wants to be a bridge between the entrepreneurial community and the nation’s decision-makers by encouraging districts to embrace a culture of innovation that is open to new approaches and looks to the Showcase examples as a way to ignite those conversations.”

The 2013 Technology Innovation Showcase includes the following companies:

  • BloomBoard – Helping educators grow by providing a free platform to manage the entire feedback cycle for improving educator effectiveness (e.g.: observations, coaching, and individualized learning plans, etc.), connected to recommendations from an open marketplace of professional development resources.
  • Guide K12 – Using the power of geovisual analytics, districts can look at student data in new ways for the purpose of forecasting, capacity planning, and boundary discussions and get immediate answers to “what if” questions.
  • Nearpod – An all-in-one solution for the synchronized use of iPads (and other mobile devices) in the classroom that is helping redefine the traditional classroom lecture through interactive presentations and real-time assessments.
  • TenMarks – An engaging web-based learning environment that super-charges math instruction by delivering contextual help, automatic interventions, real-time assessments, and a personalized curriculum for every student.
  • VizZle® — District Edition / Monarch Teaching Technologies – Committed to providing technology-enhanced solutions that offer districts more effective, yet cost-efficient data-driven tools that support children with autism and other special learning needs.
  • World Wide Workshop, Globaloria – A blended-learning platform with a results-proven curriculum and educator support system to teach youth to produce STEM games with industry-standard methods and tools to increase digital literacy and global citizenship skills, and promote engagement in STEM and Computing.

The 2013 class will be featured by NSBA in an exclusive Innovation Showcase Pavilion and Showcase session during the NSBA Annual Conference in San Diego, April 13-15, 2013. In addition, they will be featured in NSBA’s magazine for school leaders, American School Board Journal, and highlighted in a February 27th webinar hosted by NSBA’s Technology Leadership Network. Go to www.nsba.org/tln to register.

Submissions were solicited from start-up companies providing new approaches to challenges across the K-12 curriculum, administrative operations, and communication channels. Reviewers included educators from NSBA’s “20 to Watch”, a recognition program that honors emerging technology leaders.

TLN, launched in 1985 by NSBA and its state school boards associations, helps advance the wise use of technology in K-12 education to support learning, operations, and communications.

 

Joetta Sack-Min|January 4th, 2013|Categories: 21st Century Skills, American School Board Journal, Announcements, STEM Education, Student Achievement, Student Engagement, Technology Leadership Network|Tags: , |

Safety experts to advise school leaders in NSBA webinar

The school shootings in Newtown, Conn., have left school leaders searching for ways to make sure they are keeping their students, staff, and communities safe from harm.

When looking for advice, it’s best to seek out people who have experience – and Shamus O’Meara and Rick Kaufman certainly fit the bill. O’Meara, a partner with the Minneapolis law firm Johnson Condon, Attorneys at Law P.A., represented and advised the Red Lake and Rocori school districts in their school shooting incidents. Kaufman was the communications director for Colorado’s Jefferson County School District during the Columbine High School shootings 13 years ago.

Both men will be featured in a free webinar for school leaders, administrators, and school attorneys: “Planning For and Managing the School Crisis You Hope Never Comes.” The webinar, sponsored by NSBA’s Office of General Counsel and the Council of School Attorneys (COSA) will be held Friday from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. EST. Register at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/219019864.

“We hope that this webinar provides school leaders and attorneys with a solid foundation for review or development of school emergency plans and procedures,” says Sonja Trainor, director of COSA. “We are deeply thankful to Shamus O’Meara and Rick Kaufman, both national experts on school emergency planning and response, for giving their time and expertise for this webinar.”

O’Meara will discuss the importance of school safety plans as “living and breathing, not stuck in drawers,” he says. “School leaders, administrator, parents, and students — everyone involved with the school should take ownership of plan, so we are safely educating our students.”

In the decade since the Columbine High School shootings and 9/11, awareness about the need for security in public buildings, including schools, has been heightened, says O’Meara. And schools also have recognized that they are not alone in dealing with security and safety issues.

“A number of partners have to be involved, not just law enforcement,” he says. “Mental health, counseling services, and social services – they all need to be part of a dialog that is in turn part of school safety planning.”

One aspect of a good safety plan is how to communicate to parents, staff, students, and the community during and after a crisis. Kaufman, who is now director of community relations and emergency management for Minnesota’s Bloomington Public Schools, lived through the nightmare of Columbine.

The Columbine shootings changed the landscape of school security and raised questions of school climate. The biggest change that Kaufman has seen since the Colorado shootings has been the rise of social media use and the speed in which information travels. He encourages school districts to consider communications through many different ways.

“Districts must respond very quickly through different channels. If your district doesn’t use social media, you will be caught behind the eight ball in dealing with the crisis,” he says. “You can’t rely on just email or a rapid notification system.”

Through his work with the National School Public Relations Association, Kaufman helped in the development of rapid response teams of school communications professionals that are available to help districts that are dealing with a crisis.

O’Meara and Kaufman will offer strategies and resources for school leaders, and will be responding to questions during the webinar.

 

Kathleen Vail|December 19th, 2012|Categories: American School Board Journal, Announcements, Board governance, School Buildings, School Climate, School Law, School Security|Tags: |

Technology survey seeks information from school boards

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) and the Center for Digital Education are launching the nation’s eighth annual Digital School Districts Survey, which shows exemplary ways that school boards and districts use technology to govern, improve district operations, and communicate with students, parents, and the community.

All school boards are invited to participate, and top-ranked school districts will receive awards and will be featured on the Center’s website and in newsletters. Responses will be used for reports, research, trends and analysis. Districts also will be recognized during the NSBA Annual Conference in San Diego, April 13-15, 2013.

The Center is a national research and advisory institute specializing in K-12 and higher education technology trends, policy and funding.

The deadline to submit survey responses online is December 13. For more details about the survey and criteria for its awards, please visit the Center for Digital Education website.

 

 

Joetta Sack-Min|November 15th, 2012|Categories: Announcements, Board governance, School Boards, Technology Leadership Network|Tags: , |

Nominate your district for a Magna Award – deadline extended to Nov. 9

The Magna Awards 2013 program is extending its deadline for nominations to November 9 because of the widespread power outages in the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and eastern portion of the Midwest following the recent storms in those regions.

The Magna Awards is a national recognition program co-sponsored by the American School Board Journal, NSBA, and Sodexo School Services that honors school board best practices and innovative programs that advance student learning. Three grand prize winners each receive a $4,000 contribution from Sodexo.

Learn more about the Magna Awards and nominate your program.

 

Joetta Sack-Min|November 1st, 2012|Categories: American School Board Journal, Announcements, NSBA Publications, NSBA Recognition Programs|Tags: |

North Carolina school board leader to serve as chair of the Council of Urban Boards of Education

The National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) has selected Minnie Forte-Brown of Durham, N.C. to serve as Chair of CUBE’s Steering Committee, completing the term of Sandra Jensen of Omaha, Neb. who has retired. Forte-Brown previously served as Vice Chair of CUBE’s Steering Committee.

The selection of Forte-Brown for Chair was made by CUBE’s Steering Committee. Forte-Brown’s term as Chair will last through April 2013 when CUBE elections will take place. As Chair of CUBE, Forte-Brown will serve on the Board of Directors of NSBA.

CUBE is an organization guided by Steering Committee members who represent a diverse group of urban school board members dedicated to the needs of children in urban centers. CUBE represents more than 100 urban school districts in 35 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The districts that comprise CUBE educate nearly 7.5 million students in over 12,000 schools, with a collective budget of approximately $99 billion. CUBE helps urban school boards find solutions to challenges at the local level and helps them to strengthen their policymaking effectiveness.

“It is an honor to serve as Chair of the Council of Urban Boards of Education, as I am strongly passionate about equity and excellence and believe effective, focused, and committed governance can aid in making those tenets of justice a reality for all students,” said Forte-Brown.

Forte-Brown is currently the Vice Chair of Durham Public Schools (DPS) Board of Education and has served on the board since 2004 and was the Chair from 2006-2012. Under her leadership, the DPS Board of Education participated in Reform Governance in Action training, a two-year program of the Center for Reform of School Systems. Forte-Brown is committed to engaging students, parents and the community. Forte-Brown was appointed by Gov. Bev Perdue to the North Carolina Council of the Status of Women and the Gang Advisory Task Force. She is the co-founder of the East Durham Children’s Initiative and serves on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina School Boards Association and National School Boards Action Center.

“Minnie Forte-Brown is a strong leader who will help CUBE advance its work supporting urban school boards as they find solutions to critical policy issues in urban education that enhances student and academic achievement,” said CUBE’s Director Deborah Keys.

Alexis Rice|October 26th, 2012|Categories: Announcements, CUBE, Urban Schools|Tags: , |

NJSBA director named Chief Operating Officer of NSBA

Marie S. Bilik

Marie S. Bilik will join the National School Boards Association (NSBA) as its Chief Operating Officer in December, incoming Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel has announced. Bilik is retiring as the executive director of the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA).

“We are thrilled that Marie Bilik will be joining NSBA’s leadership team,” said NSBA President C. Ed. Massey, a member of the Boone County, Ky., Board of Education. “Marie is a former school board member, mayor, and town council member, and her skills and diverse experiences will be a terrific asset to NSBA’s Board of Directors and the State Associations they represent.”

“Marie has compiled an outstanding list of accomplishments leading the New Jersey School Boards Association,” Gentzel added. “I am confident that her experience and keen insights into association management will be a strong addition to our team.”

As NJSBA’s executive director, Bilik manages the organization’s 70-member staff and an annual operating budget of about $10 million. NJSBA serves more than 4,800 school board members in 587 local districts, as well as 65 charter schools.

Bilik has guided NJSBA through the state’s economic crisis, the creation of a new state school-funding formula, the implementation of a 2-percent tax levy cap, the move of school board elections to November, and proposed reforms in teacher evaluation and tenure. She has focused on improving academic achievement in all of New Jersey’s public schools.

Under Bilik’s direction, NJSBA established the Educational Leadership Foundation of New Jersey (ELFNJ), an independent non-profit organization that advances public education governance through training, research and attaining grants to further professional development. Bilik was appointed by Gov. Chris Christie earlier this year to serve on the Evaluation Pilot Advisory Committee, a group of 21 education stakeholders that is advising the state as it develops a new teacher evaluation process. She also serves on the board of directors for the American School Foundation Alliance.

“I am honored to be chosen for this national position,” Bilik said. “It is an exciting and challenging time for public education. Local boards of education play a critical role in the advancement of student achievement, and the National School Boards Association is committed to enabling them to fulfill that responsibility effectively.”

Bilik has worked for NJSBA since 1993. Before being selected as executive director in 2007, she served as NJSBA’s director of field services. She also has worked as the association’s membership advocacy coordinator, as a field service representative, and as a county program coordinator.

She served as a school board member in New Jersey’s Green Township School District from 1981 to 1988, on Green Township’s municipal council from 1988 to 1993, and as Green Township’s first female mayor in 1993. Bilik will begin her work at NSBA in early December.

Joetta Sack-Min|October 24th, 2012|Categories: Announcements|Tags: , |

Learning by Design shows award-winning facilities in new issue

Learning By Design’s  Fall 2012 edition is focusing on projects committed to advancing educational design excellence and creating innovative, collaborative learning environments. The magazine, which is published twice each year by the National School Boards Association, American School Board Journal, and Stratton Publishing,  shows the nation’s best education design and construction projects, from pre-k-12 to college and university facilities.

The three 2012 Grand Award winners included: Trilogy Architecture • Urban Design • Research (Redding, Calif.) for Redding School of the Arts; NAC|Architecture (Seattle) for Riverview Elementary School; and Nagle Hartray Architecture (Chicago) for Latin School of Chicago.

A jury of architects reviewed and selected the projects that appear in the Fall 2012 edition and named this year’s honorees. The judges noted that although the three Grand Award-winning projects are vastly different in terms of function and context, all of the projects adopted an innovative design approach that prioritizes collaborative learning. The three Grand Award-winning educational facilities provide a variety of formal and informal learning spaces that foster growth and development.

For details and to access the magazine’s digital edition, visit www.learningbydesign.biz.

 

Joetta Sack-Min|October 19th, 2012|Categories: 21st Century Skills, Announcements, NSBA Publications, NSBA Recognition Programs, School Buildings|Tags: |

Nominations open for $10,000 Kennedy Center/NSBA arts education award

For 25 years the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education and the National School Boards Association (NSBA) have honored school boards that support high-quality arts education programs in their schools.

The $10,000 annual prize recognizes districts that have included all four major artistic disciplines– visual arts, music, theater and dance– in their programs. Last year’s award went to the School Board of Palm Beach County.

Each state may nominate one school district for the award, and applications are available at the Kennedy Center’s website. Each state’s nomination to the national-level may come from the State School Boards Association, the State Alliance for Arts Education, or the State Association and the State Alliance jointly. (In states where an Alliance is not active, please contact your state school boards association for a letter of support that you must upload and submit with the online form.) Final selection is made by a national panel of arts educators and arts administrators including representatives of the Kennedy Center and NSBA.

The deadline for submissions this year is Dec. 3, and the winning school district may receive its award in front of thousands of peers at the NSBA Annual Conference, held April 13 to 15, 2013 in San Diego.

Learn more about the winning school districts in this previous School Board News Today article.

 

Joetta Sack-Min|October 19th, 2012|Categories: Announcements, Arts Education, NSBA Annual Conference 2013|Tags: , , |

NSBA’s 2013 Annual Conference to feature Geena Davis, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Diane Ravitch

Registration and housing for the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) 73rd Annual Conference, to be held April 13 to 15 in San Diego, is now open. Join more than 5,000 school board members and administrators for an event with hundreds of sessions, workshops, and exhibits that will help your school district programs and help you hone your leadership and management skills.

General Session speakers include Academy Award winning speaker Geena Davis, who will be speaking about her work off-screen as founder of the non-profit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Davis works with film and television creators to reduce gender stereotyping and increase the number of female characters in media targeted for children 11 and under. She will explain how media plays a key role in children’s development, and how her organization is making a difference.

Television star Neil deGrasse Tyson, one of the world’s most engaging and passionate science advocates, will headline Sunday’s General Session. From PBS to NASA to Presidential Commissions, organizations have depended on Tyson’s down-to-earth approach to astrophysics. He has been a frequent guest on “The Daily Show”, “The Colbert Report”, R”eal Time with Bill Maher”, and “Jeopardy!”. Tyson hopes to reach “all the people who never knew how much they’d love learning about space and science.”

Monday’s General Session features acclaimed researcher and author Diane Ravitch, who has become one of the most passionate voices for public schools. Her most recent book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, makes the case that public education today is in peril and offers a clear prescription for improving public schools.

Learn more about the common core standards, new research on differentiated learning styles, and teaching “unteachable” children at the Focus On lecture series. Learn about new technologies for your classrooms as part of the Technology + Learning programs.

Special discounted rates are available for early registrants who sign up by Jan. 10, 2013. NSBA National Affiliate and Technology Leadership Network Districts save even more.

View the conference brochure for more details. Be sure to check the Annual Conference website for updates and more information.

 

 

New Charter School Resource Center helps school boards assess information on charters

With the rapid growth of charter schools and their increasing implications for traditional public schools, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) has launched the Charter School Resource Center, an online resource containing practical information and research to help state school boards associations and local school board members respond to charter legislation and policy in their states.

This comprehensive online tool focuses on the following key areas:

• Understanding of various state policies for charter schools and how they impact local school districts differently.

• Information on how to work with state legislatures when considering whether charter schools should be created and/or expanded.

• Guidance on assessing charter school applications and authorizing decisions with suggested questions and issues school boards should consider.

• Research addressing various elements of charter schools including student achievement.

“With a variation of state policy governing the oversight, operation and funding of charter schools, local school districts’ experience with charters varies substantially based on how state policy affects traditional public schools, “ said Michael A. Resnick, NSBA’s associate executive director for federal advocacy and public policy. “School board members can use the information on this website to respond to legislation in their states and to assess whether charters are a good fit in their communities.”

NSBA supports charter schools as a tool to renovate and boost student achievement, provided they are authorized by the local school boards in the communities where they are located. School boards currently authorize more than half of the nation’s 5,600 charter schools. The local school board is already the steward of public funds and accountability and should have the authority to decertify or not renew the charter of any school that fails to meet criteria set forth in the charter or as otherwise specified by the local school boards. NSBA also believes charter schools should have to abide by the same environmental, labor, due process, and fiscal laws as community public schools.

The Charter School Resource Center includes the following contents:

• Charter School Guide for School Board Members: Two new documents developed by NSBA give practical advice to school boards: “A School Board’s Guide To Understanding Charter Schools and Their Variations Across States” shows various types of charter schools and how they can impact traditional public schools; “A Charter School Toolkit for School Board Members” guides school boards in reviewing charter applications, including suggested questions school boards should ask and consider.

• NSBA Advocacy: NSBA’s position on charter schools, advocacy messages and happenings on Capitol Hill.

• Research: Information on research and articles about charter schools, including studies from NSBA’s Center for Public Education on a wide range of issues such as their impact on student achievement.

• In the News: Postings of charter school happenings across the country.

• State policy: Resources for charter school policy across the states.

The website will be updated as new information emerges. You can access it at www.nsba.org/charterschools. Please contact Katherine Shek, NSBA’s legislative analyst  with questions or suggestions.

Joetta Sack-Min|October 15th, 2012|Categories: Announcements, Board governance, Charter Schools, Educational Finance, Educational Research, Federal Advocacy, Federal Programs, Governance, Leadership, Legislative advocacy, Policy Formation, School Boards, School Reform, Student Achievement|Tags: , , , |
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