Michele Dick is a Technology Specialist in the Educational Technology Department of Evergreen Public Schools. In this episode of our EPSEdTech Podcast, Michele discusses her work, and the work of the EPSEdTech Teachers on Special Assignment, and speaks specifically to a professional development model called InFused. InFused is an embedded professional development model that allows teachers to observe model lessons that demonstrate the integration of technology learning tools into everyday classroom practice. She talks about the inspiration for the model, and how building on the work of other school districts has allowed Evergreen to leverage the limited number of support staff to engage students and teachers in classrooms.
Kristin Ziemke is a teacher, literacy consultant, and author of two books, Connecting Comprehension and Technology and Amplify.
She is recognized as an expert in literacy, inquiry and the use of technology to amplify student work. Kristin works with schools around the world to develop learning experiences that are student-centered, personalized and authentic.
In this podcast Kristin discusses her work with teachers in Evergreen Public Schools and how the introduction of technology tools can complement and amplify reading and writing instruction.
In Evergreen School District we are working on building some new schools. As part of this process we are looking into furniture for the new buildings, and also replacement furniture for a few other buildings. With this in mind, I had the opportunity to attend the EdSpaces conference. EdSpaces is an annuale conference that focuses on classroom design and classroom furniture. I found the sessions to be very informative and, unlike other conferences, I found the vendor exhibit area to be very engaging.
I was able to attend #EDCampPDX today at the Oregon Episcopal School in Southwest Portland. There was a pretty large turnout, and the organizers did a great job staging the event. It was great to connect with so many friends and learn with others. Particularly enjoyed the sessions on Scratch and Virtual and Augmented Reality. An added bonus was that the event was held in the new Lower School at OES. The building opened just this year and is a wonderful learning environment. Below are a few pictures.
Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Leading Schools Summit at the Friday Institute. The event was sponsored jointly by the Friday Institute and OETC. The event brought together school leaders from 9 states to explore school culture, professional learning, community engagement, and flexible learning spaces. The opportunity to dive into these issues with other school leaders, and in an environment such as provided by the Friday Institute, was an inspiring and satisfying experience.
One highlight in particular was a behind the scenes tour of the Hunt Library. The Hunt Library provides students with inspiring open spaces for study and collaboration. A decision was made during the design phase of the library to house the vast 1.5 million volume collection in robotic stacks, thus freeing up more room for students. The result is an amazing space.
Below is a link to a short video that provides more information about the library.
This weekend I shared with the Meriwether Lewis School communty that I would be retiring from Portland Public Schools and taking a position with the Evergreen School District in Vancouver, Washington as Director of Digital Learning.
It is very difficult to leave a place that you have grown to love. While excited for the new opportunity with the Evergreen School District, it is with a bit of sadness that I say goodbye to Lewis. To all of the staff, students, and parents I have had the honor to have worked with, I want to say thank you all for the opportunity to have served as your principal.
Dear Lewis Community,
I have had the distinct honor and privilege of serving as principal of Lewis Elementary School for the past 13 years. The trust placed in me by staff, students, and families is something that I don’t believe I can ever replicate or replace. Today I am announcing my retirement from Lewis Elementary, and Portland Public Schools. I have accepted a position as Director of Digital Leaning with the Evergreen School District, in Vancouver, Wa.
This is a difficult decision, but one that I have made after lengthy consideration. I am sad to leave such a dedicated and talented staff, and the wonderful students and families that bring out the best in them. Lewis is a special place, and the work that staff is doing is exceptional. I will miss my daily visits to classrooms, and my interactions with the staff, students, and families of Lewis, but look forward to following your work and keeping pace with your achievements. I also plan to bring my granddaughter by to play on our new playground, so I’ll be around.
Portland Public Schools has appointed, Helen Nolan, a PPS retired administrator, to be the interim principal to serve at Lewis for the 2016-2017 school year. Ms. Nolan is a very experienced principal, serving most recently at Buckman Elementary and Sellwood Middle School before retiring in 2009. Ms. Nolan will be in the building on August 8. The process for selecting a new principal will begin in January next year.
I thank you all for your support and kindness over the years, and thank you for the opportunity to have served as your principal.
At Lewis Elementary School we are fortunate to have a large garden space adjacent to the west side of the school. This is an area with garden beds, tress, shrubs, and flower beds. In addition we have several benches and an outdoor classroom space that provide places for students to work on various projects.
Recently, students from Mr. Richner’s 4th grade spent time in the garden space writing poetry, and then illustrating those poems. Their work is currently on display in the “dip” hallway between our two wings of the building. The poetry has also been compiled into a booklet, and you can find a copy linked on the Lewis Elementary web site: Team 20 Poetry Book.pdf
At Lewis the arts are valued and we have worked over the years to make sure our students are provided opportunities to express themselves via the arts. In my last post I shared about our annual Art Night and the work we do to provide our students with opportunities to express themselves via visual arts.
Last Thursday our music students had the opportunity to perform at our annual Spring Music Concert. Under the direction of our music teacher, Tony Jamesbarry, students from our Recorder Club, String Group, Instrumental Band, and Orff Ensemble performed for family and friends. In addition, our students also performed for on Friday afternoon for our student body.
We were able to stream a portion of the school concert via Periscope. You can see an archive of that stream below.
On Thursday, May 12, 2016 Lewis Elementary held its annual Art Night. This annual evening (I believe our 28th year) is an opportunity for our community to come together and celebrate the creativity of our students and staff. At Lewis, visual art and music are core parts of our program. Our annual Art Night is an opportunity to share our work with our community. Students act as docents, explaining the displayed art work to visitors, and our music students perform in our cafeteria. All in all, a great evening that reinforces the power of the arts in learning.
As April comes to a close, I wanted to share a great project that our 4th grade students took part in this past month. The #Write-On challenge involves writing a letter every day of the month. Through the generous support of Egg Press and Hello Lucky Cards, classrooms received a large quantity of letter cards to use in the project. It was great see our students involved in the daily practice of reflecting and writing to family and friends. Many parents and grandparents commented on how much they enjoyed receiving the cards, and the messages they contained.
Pictured below are just a few of the cards I received this month. A great project, and a great practice, that we plan to continue with...