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  • At this year’s Summit…

    Teachersketch...On Oct 2, speakers Kent Pekel Ed.D., Search Institute and David O'Fallon Ph.D., MN Humanities Center, made it clear relationships are the imperative for 21st century learning. In the words of Dr. Pekel, "Relationships don't just matter, they make THE difference." Ask your site councils, PTAs, teachers, Principals and Superintendents what's happening in your district to support positive developmental relationships between educators and students. As Policy Director Mary Cecconi closed, "It's up to parents to disrupt the current narrative." More information...
  • Dyslexia Awareness Month

    Do you relate to this story? "Even though my son was in preschool, a speech program and held back from Kindergarten for a year, he still didn't know the letters of the alphabet, nor their sounds, nor was he able to read. Since schools were the experts, I trusted everything they said. Over the years our school responded by intensifying intervention, but never changed their methodology. At the beginning of 3rd grade, he fell into the 4th % in the nation. They recommended I look into behavior therapy. I paid for an outside evaluation and he was diagnosed with dyslexia. I wish the school would have known the warning signs of dyslexia and could have steered me in the right direction in Kindergarten rather than waiting for my son to fail." Please, read more...
  • Expeditionary Learning Schools

    unnamedAt our October 2 Parent Leadership Summit, speakers presented research demonstrating how non-academic and non-cognitive learning in schools deeply affects academic achievement. Kent Pekel spoke to the influence of development relationships between students and educators. David O’Fallon shared how the inclusion of absent narratives in academic settings replaces stereotypes and invigorates learning.

    A recent American Radio Works podcast, “Beyond the Blackboard,” highlights schools teaching well beyond tests; Expeditionary Learning Schools, which are built upon the Outward Bound model. They report, “there’s a wide body of recent research that shows…non-cognitive skills that are really important too: things like persistence and courage and getting along with other people. Those kinds of skills help kids do better on tests…complete degrees…get good jobs…stay employed…do better in life.”

    Three of these schools exist in Minnesota and one is in our backyard: River’s Edge Academy. The vision of their EL charter school is, “River’s Edge Academy graduates are academically, socially, and personally prepared to pursue life beyond high school with honor, empathy, honesty, perseverance, and a sense of exploration.”

    The student to staff ratio is seven to one and school culture “emphasizes relationships, community building, leadership and character growth. As a measure of success, since opening REA has seen 100% of their students enter college after graduation. Please visit REA to learn more and read our recent interview with their Principal, Meghan Cavalier.