Friday, February 26, 2010

Take Leadership in School Reform

ACE Leadership High School seeks the founding instructional leader for a cutting edge small high school in Albuquerque, New Mexico

The New Mexico School for Architecture, Construction and Engineering (NMACE) will open in July 2010 and our goal is to name the Principal in June of the 2010. The Principal position is the most critical initial hire for the school and he/she is considered to be a co-founder of the institution who is chiefly responsible for further developing and ultimately implementing the vision of the school. Our goal is for ACE Leadership to be a catalyst for reform in New Mexico and across the country and the principal will be intimately involved with creating a strategy to make this happen.
The Principal will be a partner to the Executive Director who is chiefly responsible for the business operations of the school and public positioning of the institution as a leader in school reform. We envision a dynamic working relationship that leverages philanthropy, public-private partnerships with the construction industry, and relationships with policy makers to ensure a lasting impact of the school.
ACE Leadership has a three pronged strategy for change:
9-12 high school (325 students) focused on preparing low income young people of color to become leaders in the construction profession
Re-engagement Center (100 students) focused on providing industry specific coursework and support that prepares young adults who wish to re-engage in high school and transition to an apprenticeship upon graduation.
Professional Development Center that will ultimately replicate the ACE Leadership model, provide for the ongoing training needs of the staff and disseminate the best practice to others outside the institution.

Essential Facts: Opening July 2010 ∞ 430 students when fully developed ∞ Year round calendar ∞ six annual weeks of staff planning/training ∞ Competitive compensation and benefits ∞ Relocation expenses ∞ Sponsored by the Associated General Contractors, the most highly regarded Construction industry organization in the country ∞ small high school leadership experience and applied learning expertise are the key attributes for the position.

Contact: Tony Monfiletto, Executive Director New Mexico Building and Education Congress, (505) 573-4024,

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Participate in Student Exhibitions

We celebrate National Exhibition Month ( three times a year at the nationally recognized Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center ( located in Estes Park, Colorado.

At the end of our trimesters, Eagle Rock students prepare a presentation that displays evidence of their learning during that trimester. The presentations are made before members of the Eagle Rock community and a panel composed of guests who may be teachers, administrators, community members, representatives of participating school districts and higher education, and others who are interested in alternative assessment, education renewal & the progress of Eagle Rock School & our students.

Each student prepares for a 30-minute discussion of her/his learning: 15 minutes for a formal presentation and 15 minutes to answer questions from the panel.

Would you consider being a part of our panel for our winter/spring trimester? The Presentations of Learning will take place on Monday, April 5th and Tuesday, April 6th, 2010. We would be pleased to have you participate on a panel for a morning, an afternoon, or a full day. A reply form may be found here (print and return by mail or fax):

Because of the scheduling involved, we would like to have your reply by March 1, 2010. If the form is not returned by then, we will assume you are unable to join us for our celebration of learning this trimester. Additionally, we may be able to provide overnight accommodations and meals, with prior reservations made with Kelsey Glass ( )

Please learn more about our exhibitions here (including viewing video samples online):

We hope to see you in April in the Mountains!

Feel free to forward this email to other educators who may benefit from learning about schools that promote and celebrate exhibitions as a preferred form of student assessment!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Spanish Instructional Specialist / Houseparent

Newest position avaialable at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center. It's a great place to work.

RESPONSIBILITIES: Instructor Component: Develop, implement, and oversee Spanish instruction, coordinate other part-time language instructors (historically we’ve offered Latin, French, Italian, and American Sign Language). Includes opportunity to expand current program; construct curriculum; co-teach interdisciplinary classes; draft and maintain a budget; and mentor a Public Allies fellow (teacher in training). Participate as part of the instructional team. Actively participate in other duties related to a residential, community oriented high school (leading evening and periodic weekend duty, playing intramurals, attending all school events, house parenting, leading an advisory, etc.). Review Eagle Rock's curriculum overview here:

House Parent Component: Depending upon availability move into house parent role (openings occur periodically, candidate would typically not become a house parent until after 1st year on staff). Role includes living in an apartment attached to student housing. Providing supervision and support to up to 8 female and 8 male students. Coordinate the house team consisting of 4 full time staff and 2 Public Allies Teaching Fellows. Review Eagle Rock's living village here:

QUALIFICATIONS: BS/BA required, 3 years previous experience in a high school language department with a wide variety of course designs and program models (i.e., Total Physical Response (TPR), Total Physical Response Storytelling (TPRS), the Natural Approach, immersion models, and / or the Communicative Approach). Native speakers are strongly encouraged to apply. Experience with interdisciplinary curriculum design, experiential education, project-based learning, and Understanding by Design process helpful. Experience embedding skill development through active-learning within the realm of authentic projects helpful. Excellent collaboration skills with teachers from other disciplines to supplement and enhance projects with language elements, instruction, themes, and products. Experience working with diverse populations including a mix of LGBTQ students; students from low and middle income backgrounds; students from suburban, urban, and rural settings; and students from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds all of whom have not found success in traditional educational settings. The successful candidate for this position will possess the following attributes: a deep love for high school students; demonstrated success in collaborative work with external and internal colleagues; adept interpersonal skills; a sense of humor; visionary thinking; a commitment to lifelong learning; and a realization that working at a residential school is more of a calling than a job.

COMPENSATION: Salary competitive based upon experience, excellent benefits, professional development support.

TO APPLY: Position open until filled. Start date August 30, 2010 with possible early start (Summer 2010). Send cover letter (please address 3 components of the job: instruction, community involvement, and house parenting in the letter), resume, 3 professional reference names & phone numbers, and a sample project-based learning experience to Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center, Attn: Spanish Language IS Search Committee, 2750 Notaiah Road, Estes Park, CO 80517 or email to No phone calls please. Eagle Rock School does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or disability. Eagle Rock School proactively seeks a diverse workplace and therefore members of racial/ethnic minorities and other protected classes are encouraged to apply.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Twitter and Quality Professional Development

There has been a lot of talk about Twitter as a useful tool for educators. Some folks I follow on Twitter rave about their Professional Learning Network (PLN) and how they receive so much support from folks far and wide tweeting from the comfort of their laptops.

I do appreciate the tweets that provide a link to material that I find helpful. I’ve bookmarked (“favorited”) links on learning to podcast, making sense out of Google Wave and teaching a lesson on the Bill of Rights. Good stuff.

On the other hand, I look back at questions I "tweeted" to the amorphous group of educators – my PLN – and most just stay out there in the cloud. Looking at the past 20 questions I have posted, about 4 have received direct answers. I’ve asked about resources for counseling first-generation college goers, understanding response to intervention, looking for sources of classroom simulations and researching performance based assessments. No response. Perhaps they were tweeted at the wrong time.

One new and pleasant development has been noticing certain tweeters out there who seem to be engaged in efforts similar to my own. When I rea their blogs or websites and contact them offline, it appears there may be some promising leads.

Specifically, I am interested in how to provide high quality professional development in a school or district. Research points to using local expertise, job embedded work, sustained focus over time and protocols to make the students' work and teachers' practice more amenable to study. This constrasts with bringing in experts and delivering some decontextualized set of lessons without sufficient follow up.

Here are some cool folks I have met virtually through Twitter who appear to be implementing high quality PD.

Neil Stephenson
@Neilstephenson on Twitter
Calgary Science School

Neil has launched an inquiry process around the work students produce in response to projects. I love that he has posted audio of teacher comments, powerpoint of his presentation and a clip of a professional development session. Check out his post on Examining Student Work – Reflective PD

Kim McGill
@KimMcGill on Twitter

Another great one. Check out Kim’s blog here and Open School Network. Kim takes a deliberate and reflective approach to professional development linked to dilemmas experienced by the teachers. The site has useful resources for developing inquiry based professional learning communities.

In fact, since I drafted the comments above about Kim and Neil, Kim organized a web conference using Elluminate and brought together a dozen consultants to discuss the meaning of job embedded staff development. I was inspired by some new ideas to better integrate our teaching context into powerful professional development.

Unbeknownst to these two, they have inspired me to push harder for quality PD as well as share more widely. They are examples of a great contribution to the field.

The Eagle Rock School version of professional development has some similarities. School leadership and staff identify an instructional need (i.e., literacy practices) and we introduce and model how some of that instruction can be incorporated into one's practice. Then teachers are asked to incorporate in a way that makes sense to them and they (a) are observed, videotaped and receive feedback from colleagues, (b) bring their lesson plans and reflections of how implementation went back to a small group and use protocols to receive feedback and (c) bring student work produced as a result of implementation and we use protocols to dig into what we can infer from the student work.

We keep this focus for one school year. Planning the time together is done with a core team of teachers and leadership but all meetings are open so interested additional teachers can come and plan sessions anytime they want. We run the PD planning sessions itself as a critical friends group using protocols to look at our plans and studying some common text together (i.e, reading Linda Darling Hammond).

I am excited about how we can improve professional development here as well as connecting with educators world wide to help me in this endeavor. Maybe Twitter does have something to offer. Follow me at @tiomikel.