school-year program

Creating a Team of Teacher Leaders in Remote Schools and Local Communities: The Yellowstone Writing Project’s New Pathway to Leadership

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Authors: Allison Wynhoff Olsen, Kirk Branch, Alan Hoffmann, Amber Henwood, Hali Kirby, Cassandra Moos, Tyrel Shannon, Peter Strand, and Nigel Waterton

Summary: Written as part of the Building New Pathways to Leadership initiative, this narrative and accompanying resources tell one site’s story of building a pathway to teacher leadership in a remote rural school district. Site leaders interested in supporting teacher leadership development in remote rural areas of their service area may find this narrative helpful.

The Professional Leadership Development Project: Building Writing Project and School-Site Teacher Leadership in Urban Schools

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Author: Zsa Boykin, Jennifer Scrivner, and Sarah Robbins

Summary: Motivated by a desire to have opportunities for professional development for their teaching colleagues similar to those they had experienced as participants in the Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project, teacher-consultants created a structure for building a school-based professional leadership development project. The authors of this NWP monograph describe a flexible model–grounded in participating teachers’ own collaborative inquiry into their work–for promoting teacher leadership within six urban schools. Teacher leaders interested in developing similar models of school-based learning communities will find inspiration in this resource along with a useful planning guide.

Sustainable Practices through Purposeful Partnering at Shoreline

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Author: Steve Pearse

Summary: This article describes the successful, longterm partnership between the Puget Sound Writing Project and the Shoreline School District that focused on improving student achievement in writing. Following a model of a year-long, embedded invitational institute, P-12 teachers engaged in writing, working in writing groups, and conducting research on the teaching of writing. The resulting teacher-designed curriculum, aligned with NWP core principles, was posted on the district’s website for district-wide use by teaching colleagues.

From Summer to Yearlong Institute: Transitioning the ISI to a Yearlong Program

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Summary: The Hudson Valley Writing Project shares how the site transitioned from a traditional Invitational Summer Institute to a year-round program that includes a mix of face-to-face and blended programming. Whether looking to adapt the Invitational Institute to take advantage of new and emerging technologies, to address issues of course credit and recruitment, or for any other reason, sites and site leaders can benefit from considering the model year-round program shared by the HVWP.

School-Based Study Groups Build Community

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Summary: Teacher leaders involved in planning and/or facilitating teacher study groups will find a useful resource in this brief article describing how the NWP in Vermont developed and launched a long-term school-based teacher study group with several districts. The leaders of the program found the “open-endedness of the study group replicates the principles that make a summer institute succeed…teachers are intellectually and emotionally nurtured, rejuvenated, and empowered. They assume a measure of authority over their own learning.”

Teacher Study Group Movement: From Pilot to Districtwide Study Groups in Four Years

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Authors:Mary Weaver, Mary Calliari, Janet Rentsch

Summary: This NWP monograph from leaders of the Saginaw Bay WP (Michigan) takes a deep dive into a districtwide approach to teacher-led study groups that resulted in significant changes in teacher practice and student learning as well as leadership development among teacher facilitators. The appendices include study group schedules, facilitation guides, evaluation tools, etc. Teacher leaders developing and facilitating school-based study groups will find that this offers a wealth of useful resources.

Site-Based Leadership Reforms the Writing Curriculum on the Other Side of the Tracks

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Author: Nancy Remington and Robert McGinty

Summary: Leaders from the Great Basin Writing Project in Nevada describe a long-term school partnership that gave teachers at Southside Elementary the opportunity to redesign curriculum and reshape the writing culture of their school. This inquiry-centered approach to professional development, designed and led by teachers with the support of the writing project’s teacher consultants, could serve as a model for any school engaged in similar work.

Planning a Cohesive, Year-long Program with a Partner School: The Arc of Professional Development

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Authors: Jane Frick, Tom Pankiewcz, and Terri McAvoy

Summary: In this NWP webinar, teacher leaders from the Prairie Lands Writing Project share specific examples of the steps they followed to develop and implement a yearlong intensive professional development partnership. The webinar begins with a discussion of how site leaders approached the partner school, built a strong relationship with key staff, conducted needs assessments, and collaboratively developed the program budget and a list of common goals. The focus then shifts to specific examples of how the site developed and facilitated the PD sessions throughout the year. A particular strength of the webinar, for teacher leaders developing their own long term professional development partnerships, is the inclusion of a link to a google folder with all of the materials discussed in the webinar.

On-Site Consulting: New York City Writing Project

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Author: Nancy Mintz, Alan L. Stein, and Marcie Wolfe

Summary: This NWP monograph provides an in-depth look at the longstanding New York City WP program of school-based professional development partnerships with the New York City public schools. Former NYCWP Director Marcie Wolfe provides background information on the development and evolution of the program which places TCs on-site at partner schools for multi-year cycles. Two TCs with extensive experience in the on-site consultant role, Nancy Mintz and Alan Stein, then share their experiences. Mintz explores a fundamental consulting/coaching dilemma: how do you hold onto your core beliefs and values, while not trying to enact those beliefs and visions in someone else’s classroom. Stein’s story describes a crucial shift in school culture and the importance of the collaboration between himself, the principal, and several key teachers at the school. This thoughtful, extensive exploration of work in and with schools serves as a valuable resource for any leadership team considering extended professional development partnerships.

Creating a Culture of Inquiry Through the Use of Model Lessons

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Author: Suzanne Linebarger

Summary: Suzanne Linebarger, associate director of the Northern California Writing Project, describes how her site conducts an inservice program of model lessons that supports collective teacher inquiry into key concepts in teaching reading and writing. Useful for teacher leaders developing or leading school-based or outside professional development, the resource includes a sample schedule for a yearlong professional development program along with tools for evaluating student writing.