South East Education Cooperative Newsletter - February 2018
You're busy. We get it.
Spring fever is beginning to hit the classroom, testing is coming, extracurriculars are pulling students in all directions... we know you're time is precious and limited! 

What we want to focus on this month are professional learning recaps of professional learning along with opportunities are coming up to keep your eye out for, plus a handful of great resources in many different areas: see links to the right and find one that interests you!

Please don't hesitate to send us your questions/comments on what topics/resources could be helpful for you in your schools and classrooms. We are here to support you and help find solutions to make sure you can be at the top of your game.
In this issue:

Standards professional learning 
Great progress has been made... and more is to come!
Multiple grants were awarded in fall 2017 to the ND Regional Education Associations (REAs) by NDDPI to provide statewide opportunities open to ALL ND Educators. The competitive grant process yielded several outstanding opportunities and offer a variety of supports for schools to engage in based on their unique needs. The alignment and quality of these opportunities demonstrates the effectiveness of the REAs to identify, develop and deliver high-quality professional learning that is flexible and responsive to educator needs.  

These are open to EVERYONE across the state.
Info on the NDREA website and register via the statewide calendar!

Here's a quick recap of our February 8 and 9 trainings:

Bismarck: Feb. 8   [34 participants, 14 districts, 19 schools]
  • 100% reported the presenter as "very effective" or "effective"
  • 100% reported the session information as "very valuable" or "valuable
  • 100% reported that they would be able to apply what they learned (75.0% to a great extent)
  • 100% reported what they learned would have either a "substantial" or "moderate" impact on those they serve (87.5% substantial impact)
  • 91% reported either "substantial" or "moderate" increases in their knowledge
  • 95% reported either "substantial" or "moderate" increases in their skills
  Fargo: Feb. 9  [67 participants, 14 districts, 19 schools]
  • 97% reported the presenter as "very effective" or "effective"
  • 100% reported the session information as "very valuable" or "valuable
  • 100% reported that they would be able to apply what they learned (83.8% to a great extent)
  • 100% reported what they learned would have either a "substantial" or "moderate" impact on those they serve (86.5% substantial impact)
  • 94% reported either "substantial" or "moderate" increases in their knowledge
  • 92% reported either "substantial" or "moderate" increases in their skills

What works best in education
The politics of Distraction & Collaborative Expertise

How can we ensure that every student
Distraction 1 of 5: Appease the Parents

Solution Task 1 or 8: Shift the Narrative
achieves at least one year's progress for one year of schooling?

Governments and schools have spent billions of dollars trying to fix education. But evidence shows that many popular solutions have little impact on student learning.

In two new reports, renowned education researcher  John Hattie explores common policy "fixes" that distract from other, potentially better, solutions.

5 Distractions:
  1. Appease the Parents: Choice of school and smaller class sizes
  2. Fix the Infrastructure: Curriculum, assessments and buildings
  3. Fix the Students: Early childhood education, holding students back and learning styles
  4. Fix the Schools: New schools, transformational leaders and longer school days
  5. Fix the Teacher: Teacher education, performance pay and technology
8 Solutions:
  1. Shift the Narrative
  2. Agree on what a year's progress looks like
  3. Expect a year's worth of progress
  4. Develop a new assessment and evaluation tools
  5. Know thy Impact!
  6. Ensure teachers have expertise in diagnosis, intervention and evaluation
  7. Stop ignoring what we know and scale up success
  8. Link autonomy to a year's progress
Data Champions
Resources you'll Love!

It's February, which means love is in the air and we're sharing a beautiful bouquet of data knowledge! 

This article includes lists of publications, websites, and data users for you to dive into and find what aligns to your current issues and/or questions. If you have resources you'd like to contribute to this list, please email SEEC Data Specialist Chris Thompson at

Personalized, Customized, 
Innovative learning ideas

Flex time: 
Schools break out of scheduling ruts to improve learning for students, teachers at Bismarck Legacy High School
Newer designs accommodate instructional needs and teach students time management skills

"I don't think all classes need to have the same number of minutes," says Principal Tom Schmidt of Bismarck Legacy High School. The school, now in its fifth year, also tried a block schedule before shifting to this model when it moved into a new building. "We were given the green light to go ahead and do something different."

Will Letter Grades Survive? 
A century-old pillar of the school system is under fire as schools look to modernize student assessment.

"The grading system right now is demoralizing and is designed to produce winners and losers," said Scott Looney, head of the Hawken School in Cleveland. "The purpose of education is not to sort kids-it's to grow kids. Teachers need to coach and mentor, but with grades, teachers turn into judges. I think we can show the unique abilities of kids without stratifying them."

A Support Team for Every Student
Three lessons from a marathon runner's training that we can apply to customizing education for each student.

"This is teamwork, I get information from the scientists, information from the management, and from the coaching system. So it's really a circle. You cannot train alone and expect to run faster. There's a formula." -Eliud Kipchoge, marathon runner. 

A takeaway lesson to be learned and embraced from the Breaking2 team is that helping students learn at impressive rates requires not only a skilled support team of educators dedicated to go the distance but also a customized learning plan for each student.

How a Focus on Independent Learning Transformed My Most At-Risk Students
Amanda Lotz is a life sciences teacher at at Southside Middle School in New Hampshire.

The goal: Five centers: lab, science skills, reading, technology and a makerspace. Students spend an entire block of class time at a single center, completing a content-based activity or open-ended prompt. Over the course of two weeks, students would alternate each day between being at a center and being in direct instruction. By the end of the cycle, they would have completed four centers and spent four days with me. The other two days are free for whole-class meetings, assemblies, remediation, larger labs or other activities. Students would build a portfolio of center work, add a reflection and I would have the perfect assessment, tailored to each student.
Digital Skills for 21st Century Teachers
Creating engaging presentations

At one point or another, we have all suffered through a speaker or attended a webinar that was so boring or unengagingWe can all agree that a poor presentation is a negative experience for both parties involved. This is why we dove into ways educators are creatively minimizing the monotony and capturing the curiosity during presentations in their classrooms!

There was a variety of resources shared with us this month for creating engaging presentations (it looks like there are a lot of people and companies interested in making presentations more interactive!). We've reviewed how educators are using 10 different presentation platforms... see what might work for you! Summits

Upcoming Summits
ND Afterschool Summit
Feb. 21 - Bismarck
Healthy Schools Summit
March 21 - Fargo
Prairie Public Workshop Series

A series of FREE, short workshops (available in Fargo or via webinars) are open for registration through Prairie Public. These workshops can be used as perfect additions to any cafeteria PD plan and with a variety of resources, tech tips and best practices presented by area teachers, there is something for everyone!

Plus, Teacher Ambassador Darcy Bakkegard is available to you FOR FREE for multiple professional learning opportunities. Click to hear from Darcy what she can help you with AND download her menu of available services here.

SEEC Upcoming Events
Click an event title below to view more information and/or register.

Event Title, Location
Feb. 16
Feb. 21 3rd Annual N.D. Afterschool Summit - Bismarck
Feb. 24
- Blended course using in-person sessions, online work and a book study
March 7
NDMTSS Implementation Structured Support Day - Bismarck
March 7, April 3 & May 1 NDMTSS: Developing Pathways for Behavior Year 1 (3 Days) - Fargo
March 13
Academic Vocabulary Program - Jamestown
March 14 ND Afterschool Network Webinar Series: Making your summer program spectacular - Online
March 15 N.D. Cyber Security Conference - Fargo
- Early-bird pricing through Jan. 15
March 16-17 NDCTM/NDSTA Collaborative Spring Conference
March 20 SEEC Principals Meeting - Valley City
March 21 Healthy Schools Summit - Fargo
March 22 SEEC Administrators Meeting - Valley City
April 18
NDMTSS Implementation Structured Support Day - Jamestown
April 30
Using Effective Classroom Assessment to Personalize Student Learning
Save the Date
May 29 - June 1 ND Roughrider Health Conference - Medora
June 11-13 NDMTSS Conference - Fargo
June 11-14 Lignite Education Seminar - Bismarck

SEEC Top Social Media Posts

Like us on Facebook
ND Department of Public Instruction Superintendent Kirsten Baesler shared two HS instructional programs that can save time and money for students who plan to attend a ND college after they graduate from HS.
Chad Benson, the superintendent at Hankinson Public School, has taught in many ways and at different levels, but knew it was for him from early on... when he was a high school lifeguard teaching swimming lessons to be exact! 
Richland School District #44 was announced as 1 of 51 winners in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest - a nationwide competition that challenges students to creatively use STEAM skills to address real-world issues and inspire change in their local communities!
South East Education Cooperative
1305 9th Ave S  Fargo, ND 58103
701-446-3170  |  |