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.