November 2016

November is often a time to reflect and remember the things for which you are thankful. CSTP is thankful for the supportive partnerships with organizations like OSPI and WEA. We are thankful for the many educators and administrators who everyday put their best foot forward to positively impact students. Most of all, CSTP is thankful for our readers, and those who engage in our work to strengthen the teaching profession. Thank you for staying connected and helping us make an impact in our state and beyond. 

As always, be sure to   and encourage them to sign-up for our emails  to stay on top of events and opportunities.
2016 NBCT Policy Summit
2016 NBCT Policy Summit

CSTP had the privilege to partner with OSPI and WEA and invite 132 NBCT leaders to the NBCT Policy Summit at Cedarbrook Lodge on November 19 to discuss s econd tier licensure (Professional Certification) and the NBCT incentive structure. The day opened up with a Q&A panel featuring Holly Koon, NBCT from the Mount Baker School District and State Board of Education member; Kim Mead, President of the Washington Education Association; Gil Mendoza, Deputy Superintendent of Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction; Nasue Nishida, Executive Director of Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession and Luke Thomas, NBCT from the Mead School District and Chair for Professional Educator Standards Board.

After the panel, NBCTs broke into small groups to spend the remainder of the morning  discussing issues with the second tier licensure system (professional certification) and NBCT incentive structure. After a delicious  lunch, NBCTs gathered in their groups to discuss solutions to the issues they had identified earlier.

NBCTs Mandy Manning and Tom White were circulating the conference and gathering the top ideas from each of the groups. At the end of the day, the top ideas from each group were presented back to all participants. The day ended with an inspirational speech  from  National Board's President and CEO, NBCT Peggy Brookins.

Read about policy summit experiences from Stories from School bloggers, Jan Kragen and Mark Gardner at

Stay tuned to our January 2017 newsletter for the final report and recommendations from this conference.
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In This Issue
Upcoming Events & Opportunities
CSTP & Lake Washington Teacher Leadership Lab
When:  December 8, 2016
Where: Redmond, WA
Cost: Free 
PESB Educator Retooling Scholarship
When:  January 6, 2017
Amount:  $3,000
Advocacy Training
When:  January 21, 2017
Where: Olympia, WA
Advocacy Training
When:  February 4, 2017
Where: Yakima, WA
TPEP Best Practices Colloquium
When:  March 1, 2017
Where: SeaTac WA, TBA
PESB Educator Retooling Scholarship
When:  April 28, 2017
Amount:  $3,000
CSTP's NBCT Leadership Conference
When:  May 2017
Where: Leavenworth, WA
OSPI's NBCT Facilitator Training, Day 1, 2, & 3
When:  June 27-29, 2017
Where: Spokane Area, TBA
NBCT Spotlight: Holly Koon, Mandy Manning and Tom White

We want to highlight the contributions of the NBCT Planning Team that took on the enormous responsibility of shaping and planning the 2016 NBCT Policy Summit. A huge "Thank You" goes out to Holly Koon, NBCT from the Mount Baker School District; Mandy Manning, NBCT from Spokane Public Schools; and Tom White, NBCT from Edmonds School District. 
The planning team spent countless hours participating in planning meetings and webinars to ensure the NBCT Policy Summit went off without a hitch. Thank you, Holly, Mandy and Tom! We couldn't have done this work without you.
Register for the Teacher Leadership Lab in the Lake Washington School District

The Lake Washington School District and CSTP are hosting a Teacher Leadership Lab on Thursday, December 8, 2016, in the Lake Washington School District. The focus of the  Teacher Leadership Lab is to examine how this district has infused teacher leadership into their technology initiative -- Mobile Access for Every Student (MAS). Come and learn how they are utilizing teacher leadership to spread the use of technology access and training to teachers across the district.
At this free event, participants will have opportunity to hear from a group of Lake Washington teachers and administrators discuss this work -- the successes, the barriers, the work ahead -- in a facilitated fish bowl protocol. Participants will also have an opportunity to process the information with other attendees and contextualize it for their work and district/school.
  • WHAT: Lake Washington Teacher Leadership Lab
  • WHEN: 9 am - 2:30 pm on December 8, 2016
  • WHERE: Lake Washington School District Resource Center, 16250 NE 74th St, Redmond, WA 98052, Board Room A & B
  • COST: Free
  • WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Teachers, principals and central office administrators will be interested this work.
  • WHAT ELSE: A light breakfast and lunch provided. CSTP will also provide substitute reimbursement to attendees. Clock hours available. 
Questions: Contact Cindy Rockholt at
CSTP's Advocacy Training for Teachers

Have an education issue you're passionate about? Want to impart your knowledge and expertise of that issue in a clear, concise and convincing message to others? You're looking in the right place! CSTP's Advocacy Training is an opportunity to create and refine a message, hone your systems-thinking knowledge and create an action plan for taking your message to decision makers and others who need to hear it.
Upcoming Trainings:
When: Saturday, January 21, 2017
Where: The Coach House at the Washington State Capital Museum, 211 21st Ave. SW, Olympia, WA 98501
Day 1: 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Cost: $75
Registration Includes: All materials, coffee, lunch and snacks
Register Now
When: Saturday, February 4, 2017
Where: Yakima School District, Yakima, WA
Day 1: 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Cost: $75
Registration Includes: All materials, coffee, lunch and snacks
Register Now

University of Washignton study of Auburn Teacher Leader Academy (ATLA) Shows Students, Schools and Districts Benefit from Teacher Leaders

In  a new study, researchers from the University of Washington say the Auburn Teacher Leadership Academy (ATLA) in the Auburn School District has made a significant impact on improved instructional practice through teacher leadership development. The study examined ATLA's impact on developing collaborative teacher leadership skills to support student learning. The program, headed up by the  Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP), aims to help teachers become better classroom instructors and help build teaching capacity in their peers.
"What this study shows is that developing teacher leaders directly impacts both the quality of classroom instruction and the level of school and district collaboration," said Nasue Nishida, executive director of the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession. "Auburn has invested in the ATLA program because it provides high-quality, professional development and the time and opportunity for teachers to collaborate and CSTP has been fortunate to work side-by-side with them to figure it out.
"The UW study shows that  ATLA teachers were stronger, more confident educators as a direct result of this program. This creates opportunities for teachers to engage with one another and with their school and district in new ways. We believe this is critical for the implementation of various school improvement initiatives, which ultimately benefits students."
In 2010, CSTP began working with Auburn to provide specialized training with an initial cohort of teachers. Since then, five additional cohorts have been added, representing more than 400 Auburn elementary, middle and high school teachers. ATLA begins with a two-day summer academy to develop teacher leadership skills in a collaborative setting and a deep focus on the CSTP Teacher Leadership Framework. Throughout the year, teachers meet for additional training and support, reflecting on their work, revising their leadership goals and honing their leadership skills.
The study, which examined the district's first five years of teacher leadership work supported by ATLA, reflects a combination of surveys, focus groups and interviews. All told, 48 staff from 19 of Auburn's 22 schools were represented in UW interviews or focus groups. An online survey conducted in the fall of 2015 included 102 certificated staff from 21 schools, and 28 school and district administrators. 

"ATLA has transformed our professional development process in the Auburn School District, which has directly benefited the students we serve," said Doug Gonzalez,assistant director of instructional technology for the Auburn School District. "We look forward to building this program out and continuing our work to create more teacher leaders for Auburn."
There were many key takeaways from the research. For teachers, the study found that ATLA:
  • BUILT CONFIDENCE TO LEAD: The vast majority of teachers surveyed (88%) and all of Auburn's administrators (100%) either strongly or somewhat strongly agreed that ATLA increased participants' self-confidence as a teacher leader.
  • ENCOURAGED WORKING WITH ADULT LEARNERS:  ATLA teachers were able to work more effectively with other adults and understand differences in professional work styles.
  • REINFORCED THE USE OF SYSTEMS-LEVEL THINKING: 83% of ATLA teachers agreed somewhat or strongly that the ATLA training equipped them to use systems-level thinking in decision-making. Ninety-two percent of principals agreed teachers had improved in their ability to use systems-level thinking in decision-making as a result of ATLA training.
  • EXPANDED TEACHER NETWORKS: Survey data for teachers and principals indicated that ATLA supported collaboration with other teachers across the district and within buildings.
  • PROVIDED QUALITY TRAINING: 90% agreed ATLA training helped them communicate more effectively with colleagues and 90% said the training was directly applicable to their work as a teacher. 
  • IMPACTED STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT: 80% of teachers and 92% of administrators agreed somewhat or strongly that ATLA positively impacts the achievement of students in their classes. Teachers (86%) and administrators (92%) indicated ATLA helped improve the quality of instruction.
For schools and districts, the study found that ATLA:
  • IMPACTED TEACHING: Teachers agreed that ATLA supported formal and informal leadership roles and led them to make changes in their teaching.
  • INCREASED TEACHING CAPACITY: 97 % of principals agreed that ATLA enhanced teachers' capacity to engage in school or district improvement initiatives.
  • ENCOURAGED TEACHER LEADERSHIP: 85% of teachers agree ATLA encouraged them to pursue new teacher leadership opportunities. And 96% of principals agree ATLA increased teachers' leadership and/or instructional coaching skills.
  • IMPROVED COLLABORATION: A majority of teachers (84%) and administrators (96%) agree that ATLA has supported collaboration in their building.
"We are excited about the possibilities the ATLA model presents for other schools and districts looking to build teacher leadership," added Nishida. "Context matters. It's important to realize that a teacher leadership program could look dramatically different in a district like Bellingham or Highline or Sunnyside but still deliver the same professional learning to their teachers. We hope this study inspires other districts to consider new ways of developing and utilizing teacher leaders in schools."

University of Washington's Masters in Instructional Leadership 


Interested in a cohort-based program for teacher leaders? The University of Washington's Masters in Instructional Leadership is just that! Applications are available for Summer or Fall 2017 and priority applications are due by January 6, 2017. For more information check out their website:


Stories From School Roundup