Volume 4 Issue 4 |February 2019
PEP Talk
Save the Date: Literacy Institute--June 13-14, 2019 at CUW
Elevating Small Group Instruction

Small-group instruction offers an opportunity to target students' unique needs by providing scaffolding, feedback and guided practice. Despite the benefits, planning for effective small-group instruction demands a carefully orchestrated classroom management system and requires conscientious planning. Gather with other educators to learn effective routines and strategies to make small-group instruction work, including conferencing and planning techniques. Also, explore ways to use small-group instruction age students in productive struggle that will lead to growth for all students.

Mark June 13-14 on your calendar--we'll see you on Concordia Wisconsin's Mequon campus!
Literacy Institute Call for Proposals!
We invite you to submit a proposal for presenting at the Concordia University Literacy
Institute to be held in Mequon, WI on June 13-14th, 2019.

The conference theme is Elevating Small Group Instruction. Small-group instruction
offers an opportunity to target students' unique needs by providing scaffolding,
feedback and guided practice. Despite the benefits, planning for effective small-group
instruction demands a carefully orchestrated classroom management system and
requires conscientious planning. Gather with other educators to learn effective routines
and strategies to make small-group instruction work, including conferencing and
planning techniques. Also, explore ways to use small-group instruction to engage
students in productive struggle that will lead to growth for all students.

If you’ve had success with small-group instruction in your school, we’d love to have you
on our presenter team! There are two ways you can be involved:

• Session Presenter: There will be two types of breakout sessions offered in a 60-
minute format or 120-minute format. The longer sessions will offer a more
interactive, hands-on experience. Individuals or teams can submit a proposal to
facilitate a session.

• Panel Participant: We will close the institute with a panel of “experts” who are
willing to offer suggestions for overcoming obstacles that get in the way of
implementing effective small-group instruction. If you’ve had success with smallgroup
instruction, we’d love to have your voice. We are looking for a diverse group
to represent experience with different grade levels and student populations.

To submit a proposal for a break-out session or to serve on the panel, please complete
this online application.

If we select you to be a panel member or select your session for the conference, you will
be able to attend the conference for free. The submission deadline is March 15, 2019.
You will hear back regarding your proposal by April 1, 2019. If you have any questions,
please reach out to Kristen Braatz: kristen.braatz@cuw.edu

We Want YOU To Inform Our Professional Practice
Have you implemented a new practice that is working well? Please share your experience with us, so that we can use this newsletter to share information with others.

Please email your success story to amy.hillenbrand@cuw.edu .

Save the Date: Graduate Education 2019 Summit--August 8 at CUW
This year's Graduate Education summit is themed Learning Forward: New Beginnings . The keynote presentation will be: The Emerging Vision of Education in the State of Wisconsin.

Join us on Thursday, August 8, 2019 from 10:00-noon.

What is Your Value Proposition?
With choice, vouchers and charter options, among others, schools and school leaders are operating in an increasingly competitive environment. Why should families select your school? One potential answer to all of this is understanding, sharing and promoting your school’s value proposition. Doing this can help to recruit new students and families and to retain them after enrolling.

A value proposition is the specific benefits and unique qualities of your school in comparison to others from which to choose. Considerations may include some of the following:

·          Safety
·          Location
·          Equity
·          Programs [STEM, STEAM], AP, AVID, Dual Credit, Project Lead the Way
·          Arts
·          Athletics/Sports/Co-curriculars
·          Religion/Spirituality
·          Before/After School Programs
·          Vocational training
·          Guidance/Counseling/Post Graduation Placement
·          High Performance Results
·          Costs/Fees
·          The school “knows” my child

However, none of the above really matter unless they positively differentiate your school from others in the minds of the customers aka families and their children.

Slogans and mission statements are not value propositions. Similarly, whatever school leaders and staff value is not, in itself, a value proposition. Lists and bullet points actually need to address why they make a difference and how they differentiate your school from others in the market.

The point of all of this is that all schools are in a competitive market and there is no easy or single best solution to attracting and retaining students and their families. Understanding the duality of “students and their families” is critical to effectiveness in all of this. Those who decry the reality of a market based environment for school selection miss the point that it already exists in the present and will on into the future. As leaders work to develop a communication strategy for their school, having clarity about the value proposition needs to be part of the strategy. 

Undertaking a journey into the area of value proposition and school branding requires a willingness to take time to reflect and do research internally while doing the same with external stakeholders. Specifically, leaders first need to identify the core values of the school and how they manifest themselves in the day-to-day reality of the school for all children. This suggests designing an internal audit that can identify the concerns, interests and needs of those already teaching and learning within the school. This also means taking time to engage with and listen to those stakeholders who are outside of the operation of the school but have a connection to it. This can mean graduates, businesses, community groups, agencies and others with perceptions about the school.

In reality, the effectiveness of the value proposition depends upon the truths it contains. This transcends slick brochures, websites, and videos. Rather, it depends upon one-to-one communication, the opportunities to visit and see the school in action, and testimonials from existing stakeholders. Failure of the staff, including teachers, custodians, administrative assistants, and others to be aligned with the espoused value propositions undermines the entire effort. Therefore, leaders need to take time to utilize the opportunities within existing culture and context, including staff and one-on-one meetings, to actively engage and align on the value propositions. It means that principals and staff actually meet with other stakeholders such as PTA/PTO, advisories, boards, etc. to discuss the value propositions and align on message points. In this way, a school can effectively talk with multiple voices to families in ways that makes sense, has meaning, and influences them to take the step to enroll or re-enroll their children at your school.

If you would like help in the area developing a value proposition, contact Dr. Mike Dietz, Dir. Innovation and Global Outreach at michael.dietz@cuw.edu , 262-365-3947. 

Concordia University Wisconsin Graduate Education 262-243-2708