NHASCD continues to serve as the state’s leading not-profit organization dedicated to inspiring excellence in teaching, learning and leading through professional development opportunities. By bringing outstanding nationally known authors and researchers to the state, NHASCD serves as a catalyst for conversation and action in school improvement. NHASCD works to make conditions for improvement robust . The NHASCD Board is deliberate in providing professional development opportunities and coordinates efforts with others, for example, the NH DOE, the NH Colleges and Universities and school districts throughout the state.
The Dufours, Rick and Becky, are rock stars in school improvement work. Eight hundred and eighteen NHASCD members were inspired by them to work together in Professional Learning Communities (PLC) to improve student outcomes. The Dufours demonstrated how to form learning groups and the 818 participants brought that structure back to their schools. In presenting leaders in their field, NHASCD hopes to initiate or reinforce practices and present inspiration and expertise for continuous improvement. If members of a school team attend an NHASCD conference that resonates with them and provides insight into their work, they share that learning with others in their PLC. In a learning community, professionals learn from each other about effective techniques and practices. Each member of the group participates in a conversation that makes the whole stronger than any single part. Remembering the days when teachers went into their own classrooms and closed the door, PLC Practice demonstrates how the culture has changed. The Dufours helped educators find the path for change and now each conference participant becomes an agent of change in his or her district.
Almost 500 educators joined us on a cold day last January as Lucy Calkins lead us through the research on effective strategies for teaching reading and writing. A national leader in literacy education, she started her career doing research for UNH Prof. Don Graves at Atkinson Academy elementary school. That early NH foundation, and her continued research, inspire teachers throughout the nation and world. She motivated attendees to share what they learned in their own district Professional Learning Communities in order to lead and inspire others. One attendee wrote” this was absolutely fabulous—an awesome day—Lucy gave me so many practical ideas and strategies that I’ll now model in my own reading and writing classroom instruction. I feel inspired!”
Educators now use data in intentional and important ways—we have supported workshops demonstrating the effectiveness of keeping clearly focused on concrete information. NHASCD is itself using technology both on-site and before and after actual workshops. The math workshops we supported, in collaboration with Pinkerton Academy, received excellent evaluations, the Journal, which we co-sponsor with Plymouth State University gives our educators the opportunity to test ideas and get feedback. The Journal provides additional ways for our national speakers to share to their thinking with an even larger audience. NHASCD works toward setting the stage for system change and for providing value added information to enhance teaching practices and ultimately to improve student outcomes.
Thank you for your support of NHASCD’s mission and for reading the 2015 issue of the outstanding New Hampshire Journal of Education. We are proud of this Journal and NHASCD’s on-going, active advocacy for comprehensive effective innovation in New Hampshire’s public schools.
It is indeed an honor to serve as the President of the NHASCD Board and its more than 850 members.