A monthly eblast highlighting school-based successful practices, tools, and resources that support teaching and learning.
April 2017

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We hope you're getting as excited as we are about our third quarterly on-line Learning Exchange:
Leadership and Innovation: Using Technology to Enhance
Teaching and Learning

with topic expert and CIL's Director of Innovation and Technology,
Dr. Janet Twyman.
Register for this webinar: Using Technology to Enhance Teaching and Learning.
Wednesday, May 10, 2017 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT
Register Here
If you've been wondering how to use new digital technologies to be more productive, collaborative, creative, or even to do something completely different, this webinar is for you. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves as we'll be taking a number of digital tools for a virtual spin, AND you get to help shape what tools we'll share.

We'd love to know your thoughts on education productivity and technology. Please complete our very brief survey at
We'd love to hear from you by May 5th.
Have you explored the new Indistar website?  If not, this webinar, hosted by Al Pfeiffer of the Maine Department of Education and Stephanie Benedict of the Academic Development Institute will provide a brief overview so you can understand how it’s organized and benefit from all the useful resources on the site.  In addition, for any school that has been using Indistar for a few years, Stephanie will walk you through the Flag to Re-assess process.  Reassessment of indicators, after a period of time determined by the state, assures that a school’s practices continue to be implemented with fidelity after being assessed as fully implemented or planned, implemented and completed with evidence.
Last month we highlighted a research brief on teaming practices in rural schools. We’d like to continue with this thread by looking at research presented in the School Community Journal. One small rural school assessed the needs of at-risk families and concluded,
“Rather than finding the need for improved delivery of services that is commonly reported, especially in urban areas, what families most sought was respect. In addition, teachers and parents held different perspectives on many issues, and a successful project would need to address those differences directly.” (p.31) Although the article presents research about a small rural school, we think the conclusions apply to many schools as they attempt to build relationships with their parents. This process may very well start by the staff challenging its assumptions about at-risk parents and including more parents in the process of prioritizing their needs.
Perceived Needs of At-Risk Families in a Small Town: Implications for Full-Service Community Schools. Voyles, Martha M. School Community Journal. Vol 22, No 2 - Fall/Winter 2012

We present our final Personal Competency in this issue of IndistarBURST - Social/Emotional Competency. Our definition of social/emotional competency includes understanding and managing emotions, seeing and achieving positive goals, feeling and showing empathy for others, establishing and maintaining positive relationships, and making responsible decisions.

“As with other competencies, social/emotional competency is malleable, subject to enhancement through instruction as well as through the example set by teachers and peers and through the school’s and classroom’s norms for relationships among teachers and students.”  (Redding, 2014, p.21)

In addition, learning from and supporting parents yields positive results in both improved social/emotional competency and academic achievement.

To read more about Social/Emotional Competency, read pages 17-23 in Personal Competency: A Framework for Building Students' Capacity to Learn (Center on Innovations in Learning, 2014). 

Click here to see a list of indicators and research briefs about Social/Emotional Competencies.

Do you need a quick and easy way for you and your students to search for all types of media to support teaching and learning?  Try Creative Commons Search. You can find photos, websites, YouTube videos, images, and more by just typing in a few key words and then selecting a source for your search. This is not a search engine, but an app that connects you to a variety of search engines. 
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