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Bring on the Smiles at "Shoes for School"

Kids tour helicopter at Franklin Elementary (Provo, UT) It's a common scenario each year: teachers use money from their own wallets to purchase school supplies for their classroom. Of course, even when school budgets cover the purchase of school supplies, too many families still can't afford to buy new school clothing, shoes, backpacks, and school supplies for their children. Enter the annual "Shoes for School" campaign. What Is "Shoes for School"? Each year in America, too many underprivileged kids will return to school without even the most basic of school supplies.
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National Title I Conference: Day two

This week we will be bringing you daily updates from the National Title I Conference in Tampa, Florida. Here is the entry for day two, Tuesday, February 1. Read the recap of day one here. I think it’s safe to say that most attendees are grateful to be at the conference today—especially those from Oklahoma, Missouri, and Illinois. The weather here in Tampa is gorgeous! While we conference attendees relax at the hotel pools and soak up the warm Florida sun after a full day of mingling, listening to instructional sessions, and interacting with exhibitors, our families and friends are telling us to bring home the warm weather. With certain states getting as much as 30 inches of blinding snow, it’s no wonder that schools across the country are closed today. During a short break, one principal from Oklahoma showed me a picture on his phone as proof of just how much snow is currently blocking his doorstep at home. So a big THANK YOU to the National Title I Association for holding the conference in Tampa this year—we will be forever grateful! Marybeth Flachbary and Steve Underwood Presentation Along with the great weather, we attendees have been privileged to hear outstanding presenters. Each session is built around one of three themes: instruction, leadership, and policy. Yesterday I enjoyed a policy session by Marybeth Flachbart, deputy superintendent (Idaho DOE) and Steve Underwood. Marybeth and Steve shared how Idaho developed and defined a research-based description of “new school” that was both supported by policy makers and enacted by LEAs. They defined “new school” as as a school in the process of restructuring and showing substantial improvement. They encouraged leaders to collect evidence of how restructuring results in improvement. My biggest takeaway was “intelligent accountability.” You determine your best practices and find the evidence that shows how your school is being transformed.
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National Title I Conference: Day one

This week we will be bringing you daily updates from the National Title I Conference in Tampa, Florida. Here is the entry for day one, Monday, January 31. Educational leaders from all across the county gathered in Tampa, Florida this morning for the start of the 2011 National Title I Conference, and I think the majority of attendees—including myself—are staying at the Embassy Suites downtown. The jam-packed workout room and long, staggering breakfast lines were evidence of just how many people are here for the conference. Waiting in a line for breakfast may be nothing new, but having to wait in line to use the treadmill at a hotel workout room was definitely a first for me! But the lines didn’t end there. Attendees lined up at the Imagine Learning booth to play the interactive “Free the Aliens” game for a chance to win an iPod and the glory of being the highest scorer. It brought out the competitive side in all of us as we experienced just one of the engaging activities of Imagine Learning English. Herb Monroe, from Henrico County in Virginia, was just one of many attendees who competed for the top spot. After playing the game he said, “I’ve got to come back.” He was determined to give it another shot and get the highest score. He went on to say, “It’s fun and colorful. The kids would love this!” Read the day two recap here. - Emily Bybee is an area partnership manager for Imagine Learning
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