Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Student Focused Study Tours of Arkansas (Northeast Region)

Memo Information

Memo Number
LS-20-024
Memo Date
9/9/2019
Memo Type
Informational
Unit
Learning Services
Regulatory Authority
Response Required
NO
Attention
Federal Programs; Superintendents; Assistant Superintendent; Technology Coordinators; Gifted & Talented Coordinators; Curriculum Coordinators; School Counselors; Techstart Coordinators or Contact Name; Equity Coordinators (Disability/Race/Gender/National Origin); Data Stewards (SIS; eSchool; eFinance; TRIAND); District Coordinators (ALE; Homeless; ESOL; SDFS & Foster); Parent Involvement Coordinators/Facilitators

Primary Contact Information

Secondary Contact/s Information

Memo Reference

No references available.

Memo Text

As a result of the overwhelmingly positive response to the November 2018 and March 2019 Student Focused Study Tours, the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), in collaboration with the Office of Innovation for Education (OIE), will again be shining a spotlight on highly effective practices, programs, and innovative schools within the state by hosting another tour. This year's spotlight will be on Northeast Arkansas. We are excited to coordinate tours of: 

  • Weiner Elementary, Harrisburg School District
  • Wynne Intermediate, Wynne School District
  • Cross County Elementary School, Cross County School District
  • Cross County High School, Cross County School District

The tours will be held on October 23, 2019, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. There is no charge to participate and lunch will be provided.

 

The following practices and programs will be highlighted during the Northeast Arkansas tour: 

 

Weiner

Wynne

Cross County Elementary

Cross County High School

Must Sees

 

Programs and practices to “equip children with the skills and attitudes necessary for today’s world,” including

creativity, communication skills, character education/community service,world cultures,

acquisition of multiple languages, and command of technology

 

Structures and processes focusing on culture, such as

morning assemblies with a “school family focus” and integrating art and modeling skills while exposing learners to different cultures' works of art, music, places of interest, and creative individuals

 

Implementation of innovative waivers from DESE, including a waiver that allows new language acquisition as early as 5th grade

 

School-wide emphasis on social and emotional growth as a partner to academic success

Must Sees

 

Blended learning focused on STEAM activities and providing experience-based learning activities embracing the whole child; curriculum alignment and team time for teachers to align practices

 

Student-driven goal setting and assessment practices, integrated with flexible learning opportunities for students to work on standards that are adaptive to their learning needs

 

Student-led clubs that are co-led by community volunteers and staff, based on student passions and built into the school day (e.g., dance, art, violin, culinary, career, and mobile apps)

 

Future-focused opportunities, such as new language acquisition and programming/coding

Must Sees

 

School-wide learning outcomes (SWLO) that are assessed in all classes:

* Written communication (K-6)

* Oral communication (K-6)

* Problem Solving (K-6)

* Collaboration (4-6)

 

Every teacher assesses SWLOs through the context of their content to foster the development of real-world skills to lay a foundation that promotes success at a New Tech High School.

 

PLC experience with several years of utilizing a weekly “cluster” meeting, or weekly professional learning time for teachers, focused on student needs and teaching strategies

 

Technology use in the classroom is a “must see,”

with nearly a decade of functioning as a 1:1 school

Must Sees

 

Co-taught courses at the high school level with project-based learning using the NewTech model

 

A college and career program that supports students, beginning at grade 7, to help them investigate and make decisions for post-secondary options, a model of a college/career advising session with a high school senior, and a growing internship/externship program for high school students, despite being a rural school with limited local opportunities

 

PLC experience with several years of utilizing a weekly “cluster” meeting, or weekly professional learning time for teachers, focused on student needs and teaching strategies

 

Technology use in the classroom is a “must see,” with nearly a decade of functioning as a 1:1 school


Below are examples of what participants from past study tours had to say about what they learned from their school visits: 

  • "Build a school that kids want to run to!"
  • It was really enlightening to hear about the things they do to shape the culture and environment of the school.”
  • I am hoping to incorporate something similar to this in our junior high schools.”
  • “I was highly impressed by the products of learning created by students and felt their students graduate as problem solvers and thinkers much more than a traditional environment.”
  • “Students were prepared to speak or interview at [such] a young age. It was impressive to watch the learning take place in this unique environment!”
  • “I am hoping to incorporate something similar to this in our junior high schools.”
  • “The teachers were true facilitators in the learning process as students worked on their individual missions.”
  • “Hearing students talk about how having choice and responsibility in their learning makes them feel accomplished--that sticks with me”

Please join us for the Northeast Student Focused Study Tour. Registration for this event must be completed by October 14, 2019 at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfMR4D0qSm10M1siOkQp9_3-T-VedvYCy-gie4-EgSnymS2pg/viewform.

 

Please note: There will be a $50 charge for all registrants who cancel less than 24 hours in advance or fail to notify DESE they will no longer be participating.  

 

A Student-Focused Learning Tour spotlighting the southwest area of the state will be held this spring. More information for this event will be coming soon.

 

 


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