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Securing Buy-In for Service-Learning: Tips and Strategies for Teachers.

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Presentation on theme: "Securing Buy-In for Service-Learning: Tips and Strategies for Teachers."— Presentation transcript:

1 Securing Buy-In for Service-Learning: Tips and Strategies for Teachers

2 Welcome Introduction of Facilitators Bill Hughes, Superintendent, Greendale School District George Slupski, District Administrator, Raymond School District Whos on the Line? Wisline Web Help ICS Helpline : 1-800-442-4614

3 Key Questions What are the service-learning messages that resonate with administrators? How do I strategically position service-learning as an important initiative for my district? What are the key ways that administrators can help me advance service-learning in my district?

4 Research that links service-learning with student academic, social and emotional success Actual cost of implementing service-learning is minor What resonates with administrators?

5 For Example: Students who participate in service-learning Find more relevance in their learning See themselves as being more socially competent Score higher on state tests of basic skills Display increases in personal and social responsibility Increase critical thinking and problem solving skills Are more accepting of cultural diversity Experience increased trust in peers and adults Develop leadership skills Are more likely to act responsibly and feel comfortable in helping others Take more responsibility for their learning Develop lasting ties with the community Are more likely to come to class on time Are more likely to finish classroom tasks Are more likely to ask questions

6 How can I be strategic about service-learning? Conduct an assessment: What are major district initiatives? Whats currently going on that might fit with Service learning? What policies and procedures are service-learning friendly?

7 Sample policies and missions… The mission of the Greendale School District, in partnership with students, families and community is committed to leadership in educational excellence and to develop each students unique abilities to achieve success and contribute positively to society (Greendale School District, Wisconsin). Raymond School District is dedicated to providing a child-centered learning environment, expecting all students to learn and succeed. We commit to providing and utilizing a progressive, relevant, high quality curriculum encouraging all students to become responsible citizens prepared to meet the challenges of the future. [d]evelop and demonstrate responsible citizenship through school and community service (Millbury Public Schools, Massachusetts).

8 In Duluth, all service-learning activities are guided by a committee comprised of community partners, high school students, district teachers and administrators, and students and faculty from a nearby university (Duluth Public Schools, Minnesota). In Minnesota, the Duluth, St. Peter and Moorhead Public School districts also provide a service-learning orientation to curriculum advisory committees and accountability committees that advise and inform the school boards. In South Carolina, service-learning is part of every principals professional growth plan (Marion School District Seven, South Carolina). Elsewhere, the service-learning coordinator is also the director of community relations, a highranking administrator who works directly for the superintendent (Richland School District Two, South Carolina)

9 In June 1998, the Board of Education of the School District of Philadelphia passed a resolution mandating that all students demonstrate citizenship competencies by completing a service-learning project for promotion to grades 5 and 9 and for high school graduation. This resolution, part of Children Achieving--Philadelphia's education reform plan--launched an initiative supporting service-learning practice on an unprecedented scale for one school district. Four years later, the District had formed partnerships with over 250 community agencies, trained 2,400 teachers in the philosophy and methodology of service-learning, and leveraged approximately $20 million per year in financial and in-kind resources to support this initiative.Since then, the District has received countless requests for information about this initiative.

10 Raymonds Citizenship/Service-Learning Fish Mission Statement The Raymond School Community is dedicated to promoting student voice and leadership while assisting in the integration of learning standards in the classroom with community experiences to strengthen citizenship, enhance personal growth, enrich the community, and help all students learn to adapt to a multicultural and interdependent world. As a school community we are committed: to expand and diversify the base of faculty involved in service-learning, providing students with quality service-learning, emphasizing civic engagement; to expand and improve relationships with community partners; to increase the level of commitment, partnerships, support, and communication between staff and community; to provide faculty with unique professional development opportunities; to contribute to the field of service-learning through research and evaluations. to help staff connect with students to promote an invigorating, positive, and fun learning environment; to provide a positive, common language The Fish that gives us all a foundation for building vibrant relationships, and to promote the importance of rights, respect, and responsibility for all.

11 What can you ask of principals? To develop a school improvement plan and budget that incorporates structures and mechanisms to ensure high quality service-learning takes place in classrooms throughout the school. To analyze curricula in light of the K-12 Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice, assessing where service-learning can be best integrated in quality ways. To hire, provide ongoing professional development for, and assign teachers with interest and expertise in promoting service-learning and providing support to all teachers in facilitating service-learning in their classrooms. To develop and nurture professional learning communities that seek continuous improvement in service-learning practice through reflective dialogue and study groups.

12 Principals, cont. To promote a democratic governance structure in classrooms and throughout the school. To require teachers to use service-learning as one of their instructional pedagogies in their classrooms at least once per year. To create age appropriate student leadership opportunities in both classroom and school governance. To protect subject areas rich in civic content from cuts in instructional time and staffing assignments.

13 What can you ask of administrators? To develop a vision for the district which promotes a climate conducive to using service- learning as an effective instructional tool to engage students and enhance academic achievement. To seek new funding or new uses of current funding for service-learning approaches. To create opportunities for teachers to develop curriculum that incorporates service-learning as an instructional practice using backward curriculum design. To build service-learning into the ongoing professional development plan for the district. To incorporate an understanding of service-learning as one of the criteria for hiring new teachers.

14 Administrators, cont. Use op-eds, media interviews, the school district website, and state-of-the-school addresses to proclaim service-learning as a fundamental education priority and feature exemplary service- learning practice. Messages must be explicit, consistent, and frequent enough to make service- learning a key theme in public conversation. Elevate civic education priorities and foster links between academic learning and community problem-solving and service-learning opportunities. Identify and supply curriculum materials and resources to incorporate service-learning, either in individual subjects or thematically across disciplines. Issue statements that encourage schools to engage in linking civic issues to classroom learning and encourage school boards to do the same. Allocate sufficient resources for district staff to adopt, monitor, support, and enhance service- learning practice.

15 Other potential Service-Learning allies: How do I approach them? School Boards Curriculum Directors Parents Community members

16 Other Resources Service-Learning Talking Points, March 2009. The Service-Learning Policy Toolkit Learning In Deed An overview of policy changes to support service-learning. National Service-Learning Clearinghouse Policy resources compiled by the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse. Education Commission of the States National Center for Learning and Citizenship resources related to service-learning and policy development.

17 Contact Information: Teri Betsy Questions?

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