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TASS (Teaching All Secondary Students) has been supporting middle and high schools in their efforts to improve outcomes for all students since 2005 by offering embedded professional learning opportunities, coaching and leadership support. Now TASS is building on that foundation to offer schools and individual educators more ways to focus on the nature and needs of adolescent learners in the current world of proficiencies, graduation expectations and new testing.
Beginning in the fall of 2014 TASS will begin offering courses required for middle grades licensing endorsement. The first course will be Nature and Needs of the Adolescent Learner. These courses are designed to teach well researched skills, strategies, and tools, that will enable teachers to provide safe learning environments that will nurture students’ intellectual capacities, develop their leadership skills and voice, and differentiate instruction to meet the needs of diverse learners. The current course sequence is:
This year TASS will be offering a series of three workshops to provide leaders and educators more examples of how they can respond to the special needs of the adolescent learner given the current environment of standards-based learning, Common Core, etc.
A series of four WORKshops that can be taken individually, as a series or as a course that focus on the practical application of the principles of education neuroscience to standards-based learning in middle and high schools. These WORKshops have been designed by Bill Rich and will be supported by other TASS consultants with plenty of time allocated for participants to apply the new learning to their own setting.
TASS is a VT-HEC Program focused on supporting middle and high school in their efforts to improve outcomes for all students. TASS delivers a comprehensive, coordinated and coherent array of supports and learning opportunities designed to apply the principles of Education Neuroscience in a standards-based learning context for the 21st Century. TASS provides a long-term, integrated system of embedded professional development, coaching and leadership support within a system of collaborative implementation that is tailored to the long-term goals and short-term needs of each school. TASS consultants include Bill Rich, Val Gardner, Wendy Cohen, Susie Girardin and Otho Thompson; all long-time educators working in Vermont schools.
Val Gardner and Bill Rich have designed a series of WORKshops for leaders interested in and committed to applying principles of brain-based learning design to create cultures of ongoing learning. This learning opportunity has been offered at the VPA Leadership Academy and will be offered as a series of WORKshops this year for education leaders. This year the first WORKshops will be held on October 3, 2014, Who Are Our Learners? Applying Brain Research to How We Lead our Adult Learners. This will be followed by three more support sessions for those who have attended one of the introductory sessions at the VPA or are from a TASS school.
TASS Middle School Progam will be coordinated by Susie Girardin. Susie is a middle grades specialist who has worked in middle schools and with middle school teachers for 40 years. She is a leadership and teacher coach for TASS and is also part of the design team for the TASS teacher leader Certificate of Learning Design program. Susie has taught all of the courses in the middle school sequence and will be working to design the workshop series.
It would be hard to find someone more committed to middle level students and to addressing their unique characteristics. Susie is a dynamic presenter, coach and instructor who makes her passion about student-centered learning contagious. She has been working in a number of schools around Vermont and is always in demand. Susie is available for consultation and coaching in schools through the TASS program.
This past year TASS consultants, Bill Rich, Wendy Cohen & Val Gardner, offered a very successful series of WORKshops focused on applying principles of neuroscience to the practical implementation of standards-based learning. The topics covered included developing learning targets, using performance tasks, instituting standards-based grading and utilizing management tools to keep it all together.
Individuals and teams who attended experienced learning opportunities that were designed around the very principles from education neuroscience that formed the content of the series. They assessed their level of learning using learning scales, set goals and measured their progress. Participants devoted considerable time working with the concepts to further their understanding and practiced applying the principles to their own work with the support of Bill, Val and Wendy and others in the room. They were able to share their work, get their questions answered, see the work of others and get feedback on their efforts.
Participants worked with the teams they came with or with other participants to experience collaborative application of the principles. They were given access to resources and models that they could use during the session and in the future. Not only was the content aimed at the practical issues facing educators implementing the Common Core and other sets of standards but they were able to experience the concepts in action applied to their own learning and work.
Based on this year’s success TASS will be offering this series again in 2014-2015. WORKshops may be taken individually, as a series or as a graduate course. More details will be coming soon on how to register for these exciting and different sessions that will help educators put their ideas to work and reach their goals for the year.
TASS (Teaching All Secondary Students) is the VT-HEC program that supports middle and high schools in their efforts to improve outcomes for all students utilizing the best from research on the brain and learning, education and systems change. TASS works to offer schools a comprehensive and coherent approach to implementing standards-based learning and improving outcomes for all students. TASS can deliver a tailored array of coaching and consultation to teachers and leaders as well as embedded professional learning opportunities designed specially for individual schools. In addition, TASS offers a variety of learning opportunities that are open to all but built on the same foundation and research. TASS has an impressive team of experts who can meet most any school or professional learning need – all based on the same values and principles of learning.
VT-HEC’s WORKshops are special learning opportunities designed to put into practice what we know from neuroscience about effective learning design to better ensure the content of the session is applied in the school setting. Each session will present some key concepts on the topic that is the focus of the day along with examples and models of application of the concepts. Participants assess their current status, set goals for their learning and mark their progress using tools consistent with the principles being covered. At least half the day is devoted to the participants applying the principles to their own work situation along with their colleagues. Support will be available from the presenters and other participants who have had experience with the work. Participants get feedback and support on taking their work farther and, if they are taking the WORKshop as part of a course, they will get continued support in putting their new knowledge and skills into practice in their own settings.
On a snowy afternoon in February school administrators shared compelling stories relating their experiences in working toward improving their schools in partnership with TASS, Teaching All Secondary Students. TASS is the VT-HEC program that supports middle and high schools with a tailored array of coaching and learning opportunities. Each administrator in their own way confirmed the TASS belief in the Michael Fullan statement about school improvement: (more…)
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