Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Jeff Fastnacht on 19-10-2011

I recall a time when teacher education focused on those finite years between HS graduation and the student teaching experience.  After an educator left higher education continued education consisted of a few inservice days filled with first-aide, a motivational speaker, or one of a mismatch of in vogue topics selected exclusively by the Superintendent.  In the hours before the annual ND NDEA & NDCEL conventions I think it a good time to share with those outside the walls how teacher education has changed.

One of the benefits of NCLB has been an intense focus on not only student performance but also teacher development.   Now entire teams of educators work all year to develop school wide learning objectives then craft learning opportunities that are more sustained and supported than in years past.  Teachers are asked/required to learn more after graduation then ever.  The need for continual education not only at the higher ed level but also for local initiatives is almost ceaseless.  To characterize what I am saying let me share with you what my teachers have been doing this last year.  I think this will show the difference in our modern professional educators:

Jan-May 2011 – Book Study “Classroom Assessment for Student Learning” – 13 teachers
July – “6 Traits – Trainer Training” – sent two faculty to become trainers to Seattle WA
Aug 17th & 18th –  Promethean Activboard Training – beginner and intermediate training.  This was attended by EPS teachers (24) and faculty from Edgeley School.
Aug 22nd – Ron Clarke – a motivational speaker for the beginning of the year – all faculty attended
Aug 23rd – CPR/AED – 4 hr class for all faculty & staff to re-certify everyone on this life saving skill.
Aug 26th – 6+1 Training for entire faculty taught by our new 6 Traits Trainers.
Aug 29th – Viewpoint – continued support for faculty on the use of the districts student data warehouse (Viewpoint) – 25 faculty
Oct 2011 – ND Face to Face – technology conference in Minot – focusing on the adoption of 1:1 and iPads in the classroom.  2 attended
Sept – Dec 2011 – PLC’s for elementary faculty – partnering with 3 surrounding schools to conduct 5 grade level meeting to learn more on how to evaluate student performance data – 12 faculty participated along with some of our new student teachers.
NDHSAA Courses – all coaches are now required to take a 25 min course on concussion symptoms and response.  In addition EPS has been encouraging all coaches to complete the basic coaching & first-aid/sports medicine course.
Tech Training – all faculty will participate in 2 – 3 hr technology integration trainings to be held later in the school year focusing on Google Tools in the classroom.
** In addition EPS has a teacher completing the drivers education credential (12 credits), one completing the librarian credential (18 credits), and three more working toward their ESL endorsement. (24 credits)

When you make the list it is obvious times have changed and that the profession of education is no longer a 9 month endeavor.  Teachers are now asked to continually advance their degrees and hone their skills.  The era of walking into the classroom and never becoming a learner again is well in our past.   I feel many on the outside of our walls don’t know this has changed over the year and I wish more would appreciate the many dedicated professionals in our school and around the nation.  In conclusion, I want to say THANKS to all of the 21st century educators for their dedication and commitment to the profession.

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Jeff Fastnacht on 07-10-2011

I had the opportunity and pleasure to meet with Dept of Education Secretary Duncan this last week during my visit to Washington DC.  I want to thank Sec Duncan for taking over an hour to meet with and discuss education issues with the Supt of the Year recipients of 2011.  This meeting was put on by AASA in partnership with Aramark and ING.

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Jeff Fastnacht on 01-10-2011

The Ellendale School Board is seeking public input on  Monday, Oct 10th in regard to the continued pursuit of the alternate project for the wrestling/fitness addition.  This alternate was one of the 5 the Ellendale School Foundation sought to seek funds for earlier in the year.  However, it was not funded as the board did not have sufficient funds (308,000) to complete this aspect of the project.  The School Board is seeking to meet with supporters of this project to determine what can be done to raise funds to complete the project, or a discussion of what should be the boards focus.  This public input meeting will be taking place at 6:30 on Oct 10th with the gathering being held in the HS Library.

If you are interested in this alternate and the future of Ellendale Public School we really need you at this meeting.  You voices are important to the board and they really do want your insights as they plan for the future of EHS.