Get Ready to Speak Up New Hampshire!

Project Tomorrow is re-framing our Speak Up Research Project for the 2020-21 school year to be more responsive to the needs of our participating schools and districts nationwide in these challenging times. We look forward to helping education leaders translate the voices and ideas of your stakeholders into actionable knowledge that can inform your plans and help you make better decisions.

New Speak Up surveys for schools and districts: to collect feedback from your K-12 students, teachers, administrators, and parents.

▪ Shorter surveys
▪ Easier to use
▪ Still no costs to participate – open to all K-12 schools and districts
▪ Leverages Project Tomorrow expertise in effective data collection and analysis
▪ Focus on the impact of digital learning – in school and at home
▪ Surveys open for your use from October 14 – May 28, 2021
▪ New tools to help you use the feedback data more effectively to make decisions
▪ Learn more here: (need to update page for this info)

Introduction of new Speak Up program: Speak Up Select – for a select set of schools and districts who need customized survey tools for their stakeholder feedback

▪ We will develop for your school or district three fully customized surveys for your own use
▪ You pick the audience and the topics – we will do the question and survey development for you
▪ Entire turnkey process facilitated by Project Tomorrow – no costs to you
▪ Leverages Project Tomorrow expertise in effective data collection and analysis
▪ Only available this year for 25 schools or districts nationwide – first come, first serve
▪ Interested in learning more? Fill out this interest form!

To be considered, please contact Dr. Julie Evans directly at jevans@tomorrow.org by September 30

Interest Form link: https://madmimi.com/signups/b5793fb2b85a48ef9b9f631bf2e09bce/join

Our special SpeakUp New Hampshire! page.

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NHDOE and CAST Launch UDL Video Assessment Series

Helping teachers create assessments to improve classroom and remote instruction

The New Hampshire Department of Education today launched a new video series designed to help teachers connect to students returning to school, understanding where they are on their individual learning pathway through creative formative assessments, and design instruction, both in-person and remote. The Department worked with CAST to develop the series using the groundbreaking Universal Design for Learning (UDL) approach which has helped hundreds of New Hampshire educators break down barriers to learning with their students. The six-part video series provides educators with new techniques to assess where students have progressed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and where gaps in their education need to be filled.

“New Hampshire schools were responsive in switching to remote instruction in the spring. We know that returning students will have a much greater variation in their learning and these tools will help teachers determine where students are and how they can craft instruction for each child,” said Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut. “It is important that we equip our teachers to be as effective as possible with each child, to help develop a learning program that lets them succeed and continue on a path to a bright future.”

The video series includes:

  • Intro to Assessment
  • Evaluating Assessments
  • Grade Level Video: K–2
  • Grade Level Video: 3–5
  • Grade Level Video: 6–8
  • Grade Level Video: 9–12

CAST is also developing a UDL Playbook to accompany the series, and a survey to provide feedback to continually improve the UDL process. The video series is available to the public. Parents working closely with their children in remote instruction may also find UDL techniques useful to assess student performance.

“This video series is a great way to spread the UDL approach to more New Hampshire teachers,” added Amanda Bastoni, an education specialist at CAST who also serves as host for the video series. “The disruption from COVID-19 potentially created gaps that we need to find, and close. Formative assessment is one of the ways we do it.

The UDL video assessment series can be viewed on YouTube.

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Shifts Happening for 2020 Christa McAuliffe Conference

Shifts Happen 2020

CMTC20 has a new “tagline” ~ SHIFTS HAPPEN!!! As we all look to the fall of 2020 with more questions than answers regarding what teaching and learning will look like, CMTC20 has decided to offer its content via virtual sessions the week of January 11th. We have postponed our keynote by Kate Darling on robotics in the classroom until the fall of 2021 and replaced it with an opening keynote panel of renown educators ~ Karen, Hess, Rose Colby, Daniel Joseph discussing a more relevant topic, “Shifts Happen: New CBE Opportunities with Remote Learning”.

We are in the process of determining the specifics and we seek your input on what you envision would work best for you. We all know this is a “best guess” situation and very much appreciate your input.

Upon determining the specific times for concurrent sessions and hands-on workshops we will relaunch the online Call for Presenters with the new schedule included.

Please reply to the survey by THIS Friday, August 28th. 

https://forms.gle/gLA9vDtV2Gav3wa38

Thanks for helping us make “SHIFTS HAPPEN” happen as smoothly as possible,
Cyndi Dunlap
CMTC Co-Chair

Cyndi Dunlap
CMTC Co-Chair

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Guidance and Resources for Back to School Planning

Below are a few resources that will be useful for educators and school leaders to use in order to develop and implement effective plans and strategies for returning to school in the fall.

New Hampshire Back to School Guidance

This document is intended to provide guidance for local officials for the planned physical reopening of New Hampshire’s K–12schools. This guide is not a “one-size-fits-all” document. Rather, it recognizes the varied local contexts of each school district and acknowledges that many districts may develop their own operational guidelines utilizing this document as their base of minimum requirements.

Back to School Plan Rubric

This rubric exists in the public domain as a living document to help schools and districts self assess their plans and readiness for remote learning and returning back to school for the 2020-21 school year.

Back to School Readiness Guide

Resources and tools to help schools and districts evaluate their readiness to return to school in the fall.

SETDA eLearning Coalition

The SETDA Coalition for eLearning focuses state leaders, affiliates, and partners in collective action around teaching and learning in the digital age. This portal, and the associated edWeb community and series of webinars, are an ever-evolving compilation of rapidly developing resources around eLearning for state education agencies and school districts.                 

NH Learns Alliance

The NH Learns Alliance, while an immediate response to providing necessary support to our coalition constituents during the COVID-19 crisis, is intended to live beyond the crisis to continue to provide vetted resources for the NH education community. The Alliance includes leadership from NHSAA, NHSLMA, NHTI, NHASP, NHSTE, NHCTO, NHASCD, CAST, NHDoE, NEA-NH, NCDE, NHASEA, NHSBA, and VLACS and is intended to support the efforts of the New Hampshire educational community.

NEA-New Hampshire’s Principles For Reopening

This document reflects NEA-New Hampshire’s values regarding the safe reopening of our schools. Individual locals reserve the right to add to, delete from and further modify the steps outlined in the document. To the extent this document conflicts with any local collective bargaining agreement, the local collective bargaining agreement controls.

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New Hampshire Back to School Guidance Released

Press Release

Concord, NH – Today, the State of New Hampshire released Back-To-School guidance for New Hampshire schools. This guidance offers a roadmap for school districts across the state to reopen safely. In keeping with New Hampshire’s longstanding commitment to local control, the State allowing school districts flexibility and is offering guidance that public health officials believe can allow for safe in-person classroom instruction.

“We all share a goal in getting our kids back to school safely and believe this guidance allows schools to open , but we know each school district will have a different path forward,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, this is a guide that values local control, and helps each school district make the best decision for their students and teachers.”

“This guidance provides concrete steps schools can take to re-open with built in layers of protection to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, while also allowing school systems the flexibility to establish a process that will help them meet the unique needs of their student populations and communities,.” Said State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan. “The novel coronavirus is still present in our state and our communities, and as with any re-opening during the pandemic, school officials have the difficult task of maximizing the benefits of students returning to school and minimizing or mitigating the risks of spreading COVID-19 in schools. We will continue to work with individual schools, school districts and the broader education community to support their efforts to reopen in a safe manner.”

“I want to thank the thousands of experts, parents, teachers, school leaders and community members who provided invaluable input to the School Transition Reopening and Redesign Taskforce in the development of our reopening guidance,” said Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut. “We expect students to be back in school in September, with local schools making decisions that work for their communities. These plans should emphasize good hygiene practices and mitigation procedures that are appropriate for their communities. Schools should be prepared to accommodate students and staff with underlying health risks, and have a robust response plan in place if coronavirus is detected. Nothing can ever eliminate all risk, but we must balance that risk with the need to educate New Hampshire children.”

Student and staff safety remain the primary factor in developing these recommendations, recognizing that, through various mitigation efforts, risk can be reduced. With these recommendations, schools can fully reopen for in-person instruction in a safe manner.

Among the highlights:

  • Robust daily screening process for staff, students and visitors for symptoms of COVID-19 or risk factors for exposure prior to entering the educational facility.
  • Recommendation for classroom arrangement to minimize close contact between students.
  • Masks are not mandated for students when seated in the classroom, but are recommended in circumstances when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Educators and staff who are working with students are also encouraged to wear a face cloth covering when physical distancing is difficult to maintain.
  • Masks are mandated for all outside visitors when visiting a school.
  • Plans for how a school can provide in-person education as well remote-learning options for those who choose not to return to school for health or safety reasons.
  • District transportation plans must implement safety protocols that are realistic and not overly disruptive of the instructional models.

A copy of the guidance can be found here.

Link to the Guidance at https://www.covidguidance.nh.gov/sites/g/files/ehbemt381/files/inline-documents/sonh/k-12-back-to-school.pdf

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Equipping Teachers to Help Students Returning from Remote Instruction Two free options build on successful Department UDL Programs

DOE-Logo-new

The New Hampshire Department of Education announced two new programs to help educators assess and address student learning when they go back to school this fall. Building on the success of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), the Department has contracted with CAST, the nonprofit education research and development organization that created the Universal Design for Learning framework, to offer two new professional development options for teachers this summer to help them gauge their students’ baseline for the new academic year.

  • A free UDL 1 certificate to train educators to differentiate instruction so that it is accessible to all students and all students can make progress. This approach will help teachers design instruction to meet each child were they are when they return in September.
  • A free five-part video series on formative assessment to measure what a student does and does not know. This training series will hone those skills for our educators to better serve students returning in September.

Continue reading

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Resources for Effective Implementation of eLearning

State eLearning Plans, SETDA eLearning Coalition
In many cases, states have waived specific policies related to the limits for the number of consecutive days for eLearning and any application process in the wake of the COVID-19 school closures.
https://www.setda.org/main-coalitions/elearning/state-exemplars/

State Education Agency Considerations for CARES Act Funding as Related to Digital Learning
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides flexible funding for states to respond to the COVID-19 emergency in K-12 schools. CARES Act funds allow state and district funds to be spent on resources such as technology tools, professional development for educators, sanitation of buildings, and broadband access for students and teachers.SETDA developed this document to provide a resource for state leaders regarding considerations for expenditures.
https://www.setda.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/SETDA-CaresAct.pdf

Transformatived Digital Learning: A Guide to Implementation
Education leaders at the federal, state, and local level have the opportunity to provide leadership to ensure that all students have personalized, engaging learning experiences. This resource provides guidance, resources and best practices to support these efforts.
https://digitallearning.setda.org/

State Broadband Initiatives: Selected State and Local Approachesas Potential Models for Federal Initiatives to Address the Digital Divide
Access to high-speed internet, known as broadband, is becoming increasingly essential to daily life as more applications and activities move online. This has become particularly apparent during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as employers in some sectors transitioned their workers from on-site work to telework and schools migrated their students from classrooms to distance learning.
https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R46307

Essential Elements for eLearning
Essential Elements for eLearning is a free professional learning community that provides policy makers, school administrators and educator leaders a better understanding of policies and practices related to online learning, digital content, and e-learning days.
https://www.edweb.net/eLearning

SETDA eLearning Resources
A compilation of all the eLearning resources available from SETDA
https://www.setda.org/resources/?fwp_topic_areas=elearning

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Winners Announced for 2020 New Hampshire Online Mapping Competition

NHEdGIS and NHSTE is proud to announce the state winners of the 2020 New Hampshire’s Online Map Competition for middle and high school students. Students created original online maps focusing on topics of their choosing within New Hampshire.   From wetlands to trails to the veterans of Nashua, this year’s maps displayed remarkable creativity and thoughtfulness in a time of incredible uncertainty.   The continued effort of students and teachers to apply geospatial technologies, in light of the challenges of remote learning, is commendable.

Each of the winning state awardees will receive a monetary prize of $100 thanks to ESRI’s monetary support and the administrative support of NHSTE. The state finalists have been entered in ESRI’s national map competition.  Continue reading

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Virtual Assistive Technology Fair 2020 hosted by NH Department of Education

Join us May 20, 2020 for our Virtual 2020 Assistive Technology Fair!

Review the 2020 Assistive Technology Fair Schedule of Events

Register for the 2020 Assistive Technology Fair

The New Hampshire Department of Education is hosting their second annual Assistive Technology Fair virtually this year.  The 2020 Assistive Technology Fair is being developed by Inclusive Technology Solutions, and promises to be an exciting day long virtual event.

The Fair will run from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM EST.  This event will bring together New Hampshire based practitioners and organizations; national Assistive Technology presenters and vendors. The day is comprised of 25 minute assistive technology presentations.  The program will consist of 25 minute EdCamp-style conversations; and, 25 minute vendor presentations. Over 40 sessions will be available throughout the day and the best part of all – the event is FREE!

Plan. Explore. Create. Share – Assistive Technology
Wednesday, May 20, 2020;   10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

The virtual hybrid conference experience will include:

  • 25 Minute Sessions led by Local or National AT Experts
  • 25 Minute Sessions Edcamp-style conversations led by participants
  • 25 Minute  Vendor Sessions

Details and schedule can be found at https://pecs-at.com/pecs-at-conference-2020/.

Register for the event and explore the on-line schedule at bit.ly/atexpo520.

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How to Host Virtual Commencement Ceremonies for the Class of 2020

online-course-icon-55For those schools wondering about how to plan and implement Virtual Commencement Exercises, here are a few articles that you might find helpful with this process. Ghee are lots of ways to do it, and make it special for graduating senior, the school community, parents, relatives, and friends.  Districts might want to think about really doing a nice virtual celebration, to honor the Class of 2020!  It could really be an awesome experience with a recording that you’ll watch again and again!

Don’t Cancel It: How to Hold a “Virtual Graduation Ceremony”
https://medium.com/@chochinov/dont-cancel-it-how-to-hold-a-virtual-graduation-ceremony-3a6cc4053b63

Don’t Cancel Commencement
https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2020/03/31/tips-holding-your-institutions-commencement-ceremony-virtually-opinion

How to Plan and Execute a Virtual Graduation Experience that Truly Honors Seniors
https://www.finalsite.com/blog/p/~board/b/post/alternative-virtual-graduation-ideas

[How-To Guide] Planning for a Virtual Graduation
https://blog.edmentum.com/how-guide-planning-virtual-graduation

How to Hold a Virtual Graduation Ceremony
https://teens.lovetoknow.com/graduation-ideas/how-hold-virtual-graduation-ceremony

Image courtesy of Get Drawings.

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