Hanover County and Botetourt County schools win SIM™ Impact Award

*Four schools from Virginia’s Adolescent Literacy Partnerships project were awarded the 2011 SIM™ Impact Award at last summer’s International SIM™ Conference in Lawrence, Kansas. From the Center for Research on Learning website:

The 2011 SIM Impact Award honors four Virginia schools that are pioneers in their use of the Content Literacy Continuum™ to promote schoolwide improvements in literacy for all students. James River High School and Central Academy Middle School in Botetourt County and Patrick Henry High School and Liberty Middle School in Hanover County are this year’s recipients of the award, given by the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning to recognize schools or school systems that have widely adopted many components of the Strategic Instruction Model™ and that have collected and analyzed data related to their efforts to improve instruction and learning with SIM™.

Though other schools across the country have adopted CLC™, the extent to which the Virginia schools have embraced it is groundbreaking. The CLC™ framework they have put in place includes features not found in other CLC™ projects: They make extensive use of speech-language pathologists at all five CLC™ levels (see our feature on this innovative approach beginning on page 21), and they have transformed relationships made possible by middle school-high school feeder patterns to create meaningful, deep collaboration across schools.

To learn more, visit a profile of the SIM™ Impact Award on the Center for Research on Learning website. A PDF of the profile is also available.

Congratulations to our Hanover and Botetourt schools!

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Video: The Content Literacy Continuum™ at Patrick Henry High School

This video, developed with a team of students at the Virginia CLC™ Demonstration site in Hanover County, showcases the Content Literacy Continuum™ and the importance literacy plays in reaching one’s goals. Also available via the Center for Research on Learning’s Vimeo account.

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iPods are on their way!

As many of you know by now, we’ll be sending several of you home from next week’s Instructional Coaching Conference with a new iPod touch.

10ipodtouch_ftgroup.jpgAs you take your iPod back to your home and school and begin using it, don’t think of it as an MP3 player so much as it’s a pocket-sized computer. You can browse the web, check e-mail, record and play back video, read books, listen to the news, keep in touch with friends and colleagues, and even play a game or listen to your favorite albums.

You can read about our initial thoughts and ideas about what we’d like to try with the iPods (see link below), but I’m hoping you’ll have ideas of your own of how they can be used in coaching and decision-making. We’re not doing anything to lock down the devices or limit what you do with them, so I’m looking forward to hearing about the creative ways you put them to use.

Here are a few links to help kick-start your thinking:

See you next week in Lawrence!

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Ning and campus web filters

I know many (perhaps most) of you are unable to access our Ning community site from work due to campus web filters restricting access to Ning, the social networking service we’re using to build this community. I have written a standard letter that I can send to anyone who needs justification or technical details to get to the site; it just needs to be reviewed before I disseminate it.

Amber and I will cross-post anything important from the Ning site here, so you won’t be out of the loop. I’m sorry for the inconvenience this may have caused to date but am looking forward to building a strong community with all of you moving forward. Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.

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Virginia CLC™ Demonstration Site Selection Information

Archived video from a live event held December 14, 2009. Continue reading

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Lessons in School Change

Changing the way schools work is a complex business, requiring flexibility, collaboration, and effective instructional programs. As KU-CRL tackles more projects with the goal of school-wide improvement in mind, we are learning much about what school wide improvement is and one thing it is not: A one-size-fits-all approach to school improvement will not meet the needs of every school and ultimately will not bring about the kind of changes needed to improve learning experiences for students. Here, three KU-CRL researchers share lessons they have learned as they explore what it takes to be successful in school wide change. Continue reading

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A CLC Primer

During the 2006 International SIM™ Conference, we organized a series of sessions related to the Content Literacy Continuum™, our framework for evaluating and developing schoolwide literacy programs. The sessions themselves presented a continuum of information. At one end of the spectrum, we provided information to allow SIM™ Professional Developers who were novices or unfamiliar with CLC™ to speak knowledgeably about the CLC™ at a basic level. At the other end of the spectrum, we addressed advanced topics related to CLC™ professional development for those who have been working with CLC™ for some time. Continue reading

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Big Ideas in Schoolwide Change

In recent years, one of the messages we’ve received from the network is that members are struggling with a number of issues in regard to implementing the Strategic Instruction Model™ or Content Literacy Continuum™. Just getting started in a new school or district presents an initial challenge, and keeping them going is an even bigger challenge.
Continue reading

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A Closer Look: Closing the Perfomance Gap

The problems that at-risk adolescents face when trying to succeed within the rigorous general education curriculum are great. Unless they have the necessary skills and strategies in place to respond to the heavy curriculum demands, they will encounter failure and significant frustration. Continue reading

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Literacy Leadership

In developing the Strategic Instruction Model™ and, more recently, the Content Literacy Continuum™, we have found our most successful work involves partnerships with strong administrative leaders within the school. When building administrators attend professional development sessions with teachers, regularly visit classrooms and encourage use of SIM™ interventions, and create a shared vision for school improvement, we see increased adoption of these methods in classrooms schoolwide. The ultimate winners are the students these schools serve. Continue reading

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