Reflections from EdLeader 21 2016 Annual Meeting

From September 28-30, Adam Levinstein, our District Coordinator for Technology, joined me in Denver, Colorado, for the EdLeader 21 annual meeting. What I appreciate most about this event is that it is viewed as a robust PLC meeting rather than just as a traditional conference. During the meeting, progressive districts from across the country come together to engage in conversations and collaborative projects that will promote student and teacher proficiency of the 4Cs.

During my time at EdLeader21, I participated in a facilitator training session to learn how we will begin implementing performance tasks in several fourth-grade classrooms in Deerfield District 109. This innovative approach to assessment will engage students in authentic work and provide teachers with an opportunity to assess the quality of student performance. Our teachers will join nearly 40 districts in the work of providing students with a common performance task. In addition to the task, we will take part in a scoring calibration exercise to analyze common data and explore the instructional improvements needed to enhance this learning. I look forward to sharing the outcomes of this experience with our leaders and teachers to bring more performance tasks to Deerfield as a form of assessment.

Other important takeaways from EdLeader21 came from a keynote delivered by Deborah Delisle, the Executive Director of ASCD. Deb reminded us that our responsibility as educators is to fill kids with hope so that they can find success in a complex, ever-changing world. Along with hope, we must focus on the individual students behind each and every data point so that we truly personalize the educational experience of all learners. Deb challenged all EdLeader21 members to keep students in our hearts as we carry on the important work of ensuring a 4 Cs education for all kids. What a privilege to hear Deb share her powerful message!

As we look ahead, District 109 will send a small team of teachers and leaders to Colombus, Ohio this spring to participate in EdLeader21’s Professional Learning Days where we will leave with a creativity and innovation toolkit. We are grateful to be part of EdLeader21 and are eager to continue our involvement with this influential community of educators.