TregoEDge Newsletter - What's new, process highlights & more!

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Our May newsletter highlights the great collaborative work going on in the districts we are working with.  This work features TregoED process being used on student achievement, advisory, school start times, curriculum choices, special education and more.

Great decisions reap great results!

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Using TregoED tools, Sewanhaka Central High School District began a long journey to increase student access to technology, that has reaped so many rewards including simplifying accommodations for  special education students, equal access to technology and tools in a diverse socio-economic community, improved testing equity, increased parent communications, etc.  We are proud that our Decision Analysis and Situation Appraisal tools helped them select the best device for this long term project and gave them an implementation plan that ensured their success.  This Case Study describes some of the positive results they are achieving every day.

How Leaders Use Balanced Decision-Making Skills to Move Organizations Forward

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Our parent organization, KT recently published this white paper that speaks directly to all decision-making leaders.

In every organization, decisions must be made and actions taken. Usually the realm of decision making is the responsibility of leaders. They must select the actions, determine how they will be carried out, and be accountable for the implementation of the decision and for the subsequent results.
Gut feelings and years of experience may be sufficient for most day-to-day decisions, but major decisions that move an organization forward come with a real element of risk. Leaders need a structured process that is based on an informed analysis and participation from key stakeholders to arrive at a balanced decision that everyone can support.

Creating a Culture of Collaborative Decision Making

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After leaders at Johnson County Public Schools (NC) developed a new strategic plan, JOCO 2020, they worked hard to ensure that their new plan would be implemented with fidelity and commitment from each stakeholder.  Change can bring anxiety as well as exciting opportunities to a district.  Before implementation, several big decisions needed to be made. One such decision was the need to reassess insurance benefits. Previously, emotion‐laden, big‐money decisions of this nature had not utilized a formal, transparent, and systematic evaluation process. Consequently, there was a lack of confidence and trust in decisions that had been made. Read how they used process in this decision and more to take the plan from the aspirational to the operational.

 

TregoEDge Newsletter-Process Highlights, Success Stories & More

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Our spring newsletter highlights the great work going on in the school districts we are working with.

Involving Diverse Stakeholders in Complex Decision-Making

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York County School Division (VA)  faced several key issues affecting multiple stakeholders, including: revising a primary grading scale, addressing school website needs, assessing high school mid‐term exam expectations, and expanding special education classrooms and staffing. Each issue required collaboration from several diverse departments. YCSD needed a shared, systematic, and proven way to successfully tackle these complex issues and ensure critical objectives and priorities were fully considered. Division leaders hoped that a common approach could improve communications, use of time, and progress monitoring. In addition, they needed to capture the best thinking of the community and secure the involvement and commitment of multiple departments and stakeholders.  Read More.

Benjamin B. Tregoe Strategic Leadership in Education Awards

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Benjamin B. Tregoe Strategic Leadership in Education Awards highlight individuals or organizations for achieving exemplary results using TregoED strategies. These awards, conferred by TregoED, recognize educational leaders in school districts and agencies for using problem-solving and decision-making processes to more effectively address the issues, decisions, and problems they face.

Winning entries for the Strategic Leadership Awards are selected by TregoED based on several criteria including but not limited to:

  • Demonstrated problem-solving and decision-making skills that have increased collaboration, cost savings and/or the resolution of critical issues
  • Sustained improvements within the school district or agency which have increased leadership capacity and/or improved procedures and implementation of strategic decisions

Applications for the 2019 Benjamin B. Tregoe Award for Strategic Leadership in Education are open.

  • Call for Entries
  • Application (Word) and all supporting documentation deadline is August 30, 2019
  • Winners will be announced October 4, 2019

If you would like more information, contact swozniak@TregoED.org.

York County School Division (2018)

York County School Division (VA), under the leadership of Dr. Victor Shandor, Superintendent, was recognized for their systemic use of process to increase confidence and clarity in decision making with diverse stakeholders. Read more

New Brighton Area School District (2018)

New Brighton Area School District (PA),  under the guidance of Dr. Joseph A. Guarino, Superintendent was recognized for using process to determine cause and develop solutions for a disparity in math scores on one grade level.  Read more

Johnston County Public Schools (2018)

Under the leadership of Superintendent Dr. Ross Renfrow, Johnston County Public Schools (NC) are being recognized for their use of process to ensure the successful implementation of their new strategic plan, JOCO 2020.  Read more

Charleston County School District (2018)

Charleston County School District (SC), is being recognized for meeting challenges with transitions in the Exceptional Children Department and increasing leadership capacity.

2018 Benjamin B. Tregoe Strategic Leadership in Education Award Winners

Charleston County School District (SC), Dr. Gerrita Postlewait – Meeting challenges with transitions in Exceptional Children Department and increasing leadership capacity.

Johnston County Public Schools (NC), Dr. Ross Renfrow, Superintendent-Using process to ensure the successful implementation of their new strategic plan, JOCO 2020.

New Brighton Area School District (PA), Dr. Joseph A. Guarino, Superintendent-Using process to determine cause and develop solutions to disparity in math scores at a given grade level.

York County School Division (VA), Dr. Victor Shandor, Superintendent- Systemic use of process to increase confidence and clarity in decision making with diverse stakeholders

 

 

Ann Arbor Public Schools (2017)

TregoED is proud to recognize the Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) with the Benjamin B. Tregoe Award for Strategic Excellence in Education! Led by Michigan’s State Superintendent of the Year, Jeanice K. Swift, the district used TregoED tools to help develop a fair and inclusive process to disseminate bond monies by fully evaluating and understanding current conditions, prioritizing immediate needs, detailing what could be included in the budget and developing a long-term vision for each of the four selected areas.  Read more

TregoED adds Special Education Expertise to Team

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TregoED, providers of collaborative problem-solving and decision-making processes for K-12 education leaders, welcomes Dr.  Alicia Tate to their professional development team.  Alicia is an expert in using process to successfully navigate the complex demands put on today’s education leaders.  She brings a high degree of technical knowledge as well as experience in instructional leadership and using collaborative problem solving in Exceptional (Special) Education. Read more

Newsletter Highlights Fall Success Stories

Our latest newsletter features the power of collaborative decision making and problem solving done by leaders at Tuscaloosa City Schools, Clarke County School District, Cheltenham School District, Colquitt County Schools, NC Principals Fellow Program, and Summit Academy Management.  Also highlighted is our Golden Nugget Series available in the Leadership Portal.

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Learn more about TregoED's Services

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Need more information?  Our new brochure provides the information that you need to determine if we fit your needs.  Download the TregoED Corporate Brochure.

 

Strategic Tools for Excellent Problem Solving 1: Build Skills

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Our flagship workshop, Strategic Tools for Excellent Problem Solving 1: Build Skills (S.T.E.P.S.), helps education leaders build essential skills in collaborative problem solving and decision making. Participants learn practical, systematic methodologies to effectively resolve a school or district’s toughest issues.

Consulting for Special Education

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Special Education leaders often face challenging situations in helping meet the complex needs of our most vulnerable populations.  When timely resolution- or impartial, expert facilitation – is needed, TregoED consulting services can help you develop lasting solutions for your most vexing issues including:  leadership transitions, facilitation of legal and other high-stakes issues, departmental planning and effectiveness, and implementing change with cross-collaborative support.

Find Root Cause to resolve complex student achievement issues

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Using our systematic Problem Analysis tool can help you understand and address student achievement issues, resolve discipline problems, and diffuse emotions on controversial issues involving special education, safety, school violence, etc. using your school data.

Special Education

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Successfully navigating the demands of today’s special education environment requires educators to have diverse skill sets for the job. Procedural knowledge alone is not sufficient. Individuals who provide, lead, or manage the provision of special education services require a high level of collaborative problem-solving skills. TregoED process provide a framework that can help leaders navigate high-conflict and emotionally-laden issues with transparency and confidence.

Consulting

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Approach the toughest problems with confidence! TregoED consultants provide impartial facilitation while helping you resolve issues with effective, enduring solutions.

  • Plan for Improvement
  • Resolve high-impact decisions, disparities or situations
  • Receive Individual or Team Coaching

Cultivating a Community of Trust...and Good Thinking

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Read our most recent case study which describes how 2018 Michigan Superintendent of the Year, Jeanice Kerr Swift, challenged her staff to develop a collaborative and systematic approach to get the best thinking of those in her community.  The outcome? Dr. Swift states that “we are refreshing and renewing the learning environment across our 32 schools to enhance the learning experience for every student, yet we are also transforming our organizational capacity to listen and engage meaningfully with students, staff, parents, and community to build trust and work toward shared decisions that lead to durable and sustainable progress in our Ann Arbor community.”  Read more…

Great New Resource in our Spring 2018 Newsletter

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Our Spring Newsletter features a link to our most requested resource—our digital process worksheets. Now you can type your collaborative work right into the document and share! Our newsletter also highlights our recent work with Charleston County School District (SC), Richmond County Schools (NC) and Scotland County (NC).

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Problem Analysis Workshop for PA School Leaders through MCIU

We are excited to be partnering with the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit to offer PD that will help school leaders develop problem-solving skills to deal with their most pressing issues. Network and collaborate with other leaders from your area on the unique issues that you face.

*Seats still available for these three sessions:

Friday, April 20, 2018
8:30 am–3:30 pm

Register here

 Invest in the capacity of your leadership team! Please share this opportunity with colleagues!

“School leadership is second only to teaching among school-related factors in its impact in student learning, according to research.”  The Wallace Foundation

 

Find the Cause-Lose the Problem A White Paper

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Research shows that problem‐solvers often jump right to developing solutions—missing the
opportunity to fix a problem once and for all.
Problem solving that fully and permanently eliminates problems requires us to know true
cause. Too often problem‐solvers act quickly on one problem and then move on to the next
problem—only to have the original problem later reappear. Effective problem solving requires
us to:
1. Identify and understand the problem
2. Determine true cause
3. Develop a solution
4. Implement the solution
This white paper explores research on the common pitfalls of problem solving and
the best practices that ensure lasting solutions.

 

Intermediate Unit Offering Benefits PA School Districts

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In order to provide leaders with the opportunity to gain problem-solving and decision-making processes, Pennsylvania’s Montgomery County Intermediate Unit (MCIU) hosted a TregoED introductory workshop. MCIU provides support to meet the educational and social service needs of the County’s 200+ schools, including 25 public school districts, 150+ nonpublic schools, 4 career-technical schools and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Over 40 education leaders from 25 districts/organizations participated. After each of the three one-day sessions, participants applied the processes to issues in their own districts.

Read More MCIU Success Story (1)

How will you achieve your ESSA goals?

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State ESSA plans demand an even greater focus on improving schools and ensuring the success of all learners. How will you: Engage stakeholders and secure commitment? Achieve equity and excellence for all students? Implement accountability measures? Identify and address root causes for struggling students and schools!  We can help!

Creating and Sustaining Decision-Making Excellence - A White Paper

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Does your district…

  • See people at all levels and positions as capable decision makers?
  • Eagerly seek stakeholder involvement…even when conflict is likely?
  • Use data to assess results, measure outcomes and drive decision-making?
  • Have well-run, purposeful, and productive meetings?
  • Plan proactively for meaningful change?
  • Have a positive climate characterized by collaboration, trust, and transparency?

If you could not answer yes to all of these questions, you may be missing some key components for building organizational capacity.

Download our White Paper:  Creating and Sustaining Decision-Making Excellence

New Features on TregoED's Refreshed Site

TregoED is a small nonprofit with a great passion for what we do – help leaders in education solve complex administrative issues and build the leadership capacity of the people around them.  Our new website is designed to share that passion in a clear and simple manner. Read more..

News and Resources for School Leaders: Spring Newsletter 2017

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Our newsletter describes the many unique ways that school leaders have used TregoED processes to improve everything from grading systems to budget recommendations in our success stories, project highlights and latest blog post.  In addition, you can find out about our next open sessions for TregoED workshops, Benjamin B. Tregoe Award Applications, and our latest board news.

Our Fall Newsletter is Here!

 

Our fall newsletter features districts who are making clear thinking a part of their culture in dealing with issues like student achievement disparities, increasing budget transparency, student behavioral issues and supporting achievement.  Also included are Fall open sessions in New York and Pennsylvania, our latest blog post,and information about our upcoming Community of Practice for TregoED Facilitators.

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Ann Arbor Schools Win 2017 BBT Award for Strategic Leadership

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The Ann Arbor Public School District (AAPS), led by Superintendent Dr. Jeanice K. Swift, has been awarded TregoED’s 2017 Benjamin B. Tregoe Award for Strategic Leadership in Education.

The award recognizes the district’s comprehensive and diligent work in developing a fair and inclusive process to disseminate bond monies by fully evaluating and understanding current conditions, prioritizing immediate needs, detailing what could be included in the budget and developing a long-term vision for each of four selected areas. The project included multiple stakeholder groups and created transparent, meaningful community engagement. According to Jenna Bacolor, Executive Director of the Community Division of AAPS, it has given the district “a model, tools, and staff capacity to use this process in systems change work for years to come.”

Ann Arbor News Online

Case Study demonstrates Strategies that break down Workplace Silos

A recent case study demonstrates how one school district used an approach developed by Kepner-Tregoe to increase collaboration and build the problem-solving and decision-making capabilities of departments formerly working as independent silos.  Read More

At the Heart of What We Do

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2016 Winter Newsletter

Meeting the challenge of equitable access to technology and using Problem Analysis to focus on closing the achievement gap are just two of the ways that TregoED processes have been used in school districts.  Read our latest newsletter to find out how other districts have benefited from clearer thinking.

 

Making Tough Technology Choices

No school districts want to be featured on the nightly news because of their poor choices in technology decisions or for implementing technology plans that end up wasting the taxpayers’ dollars.

But technology decisions are tough, first, because there are so many options—simple upgrades, new purchases, different platforms, tablets, laptops, 1:1, BYOD—and second, because there are so many other considerations such as cost, curriculum needs, deployment, professional development, and public relations, which all seem to be the purview of individualized departments. Read More

 

Burlington County Institute of Technology & Burlington County Special Services (2016)

 

The Burlington County Institute of Technology and Burlington County Special Services School District (BCIT/BCSSSD) will be recognized for their systemic use of TregoED processes to face several district‐wide challenges including transparent communication of expectations, vertical alignment of organizational goals, analysis of data to inform instruction, identifying the root cause of achievement issues, and discovering ways to capitalize on new initiatives.

Cabarrus County Schools (2016)

Cabarrus County Schools is being recognized for creating a system‐wide culture of collaborative decision making and problem solving to develop a comprehensive and systematic budget process. Their commitment to the collaborative approach has enabled them to move the district forward in math achievement and to develop and implement a comprehensive choice plan for their schools. Read more

Sewanhaka Central High School District (2016)

Sewanhaka is being recognized for using TregoED processes to help them make tough, collaborative decisions including selecting a student technology plan, determining device and platform, and developing a viable roll out and implementation plan to increase student access to technology in a manner that is both equitable and sustainable across the district.  Read more

Newton-Conover Schools (2015)

This district needed to replace an extremely popular and successful high school principal. A team used Decision Analysis to create the criteria and crafted interview questions. They then split up into interview teams, each with a different focus. When teams compared results, it became clear which candidates were consistently strong and which performed well only with some groups. “TregoED ensured no strong personalities swayed the group and that all voices were heard…. No longer does bias play a role in hiring and other decision-making processes. If board members or other stakeholders have questions, we can provide qualitative and quantitative data to share how crucial decisions were made.”  Read more

Colorado Springs School District 11 (2015)

District 11 used Problem Analysis in order to ensure a stronger correlation between school improvement efforts and student achievement. Problem Analysis was used at the district level and with school improvement teams. Teams identified four major areas of root causes affecting student achievement. District departments realigned themselves to support schools in addressing these 4 root causes and schools have focused their efforts on research-based, high-impact solutions. “The increased ownership by individuals has caused an infusion of excitement because the path is clear, the work is more defined and the work is being supported. The identified root causes have illuminated “fixable” problems of practice.” Instead of dozens of possible causes and solutions, the district and its schools are focusing efforts and resources on those that have been verified to be most relevant and influential. Read more

Sewanhaka Central High School District (2015 Winner)

A district team used Decision Analysis in order to find three million dollars in savings from its operating budget. Every proposed cut was accompanied by a Potential Problem Analysis to assess and mitigate accompanying risks. The clear criteria, stakeholder input, and decision-making transparency resulted in not only the desired savings, but in “very little push back or outcry from the community as they understood the decision-making process.” The district eventually had a successful voter-approved bond referendum – something that had never before been accomplished there.  Read more

Sewanhaka Receives Leadership Award

For the second consecutive year, the district was presented with TregoEd’s Benjamin B. Trego Award for Strategic Leadership in Education.

The award recognizes the district’s comprehensive and diligent work in including multiple stakeholders to develop and implement a plan that increases student access to technology in an equitable and sustainable manner. Read More

TregoED Awards Honor Collaborative use of KT Critical Thinking in Schools

The value of the Kepner-Tregoe problem solving and other critical thinking strategies is not confined to the world of business. Benjamin Tregoe recognized that there were other fields of endeavor where these skills would be of huge value, but where it is likely that budgets would not be available to invest in this type of education. Read More

 

TregoED Announces 2017 Board Members

TregoED, a leading expert in collaborative decision making and problem solving for school leaders, has announced changes for its board of directors.  Read More

Colorado District 11 recognized for "Strategic Leadership in Education"

Colorado Springs School District 11 is one of three school districts nationwide to receive the 2015 TregoED’s Benjamin B. Tregoe Award for Strategic Leadership in Education.

The award recognizes “organizational excellence in collaborative problem-solving and innovative use of root-cause analysis in determining significant drivers of student achievement at the school level.”  Read More

Tackling Student Achievement: Aligning Cause, Solutions, & Support

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After multiple years of using several standard root cause analysis tools (5 Whys and Fishbone), District 11 decided
they were not getting deep enough in their analysis to address the true root cause for lack of student achievement growth. School improvement efforts abounded yet few had sustainable embedded changes that resulted in higher student performance. They resolved to try a different, more systematic approach to dig deep enough to determine true cause to guide school improvement efforts and use resources more effectively.

Collaborative Processes Help Cut through Complexity to Bring About Successful Change with Clarity and Confidence

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Each of these school systems, with their wide range of programs, multiple campuses, complex legal requirements, multitude of sending districts and diverse student needs and abilities, required leadership at all levels that could quickly understand the issues and work with a wide variety of staff and community members to coordinate, collaborate, and problem solve. In addition, they wanted leaders prepared to create opportunities to move the district forward in its goals to provide innovative programs ensuring students have the skills needed to be college- and career-ready in the 21st Century.

Critical thinking Processes Help District Develop Complex Technology Initiative Plan for Digital Transformation

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The Sewanhaka Central High School District was faced with the enviable challenge of using a one-time infusion of state funds to accelerate their district digital transformation in a manner that is equitable and sustainable across their five (7-12) high schools. Among the goals of their technology plan was to make students more competitive and college ready, have the support of the community and to ensure that the plan would be sustainable after funds were depleted. Along with meeting those requirements,the challenge necessitated developing a comprehensive
transformation plan including a shared vision for teaching and learning, selecting and purchasing devices, ensuring a supporting infrastructure, preparing for a smooth roll out, writing new policies to support the changes, building a professional development plan, and forming plans for assessment

Problem Solving Processes Help Large District Improve Communication, Transparency and Trust

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In a district this size, it is very difficult to maintain clear communication, transparency, trust
and good outcomes without a common language and system-wide process for decision
making and problem solving. The district was experiencing disagreement, lack of buy-in,
unrest, and objectives moving in different directions particularly around the budget
process. Leaders were looking for a set of common tools that everyone could understand
and employ to help move the district forward.

High Stakes Position Filled

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Newton-Conover City Schools in North Carolina faced the daunting task of hiring a replacement for a beloved administrator. Given the visibility of this position and the affection that the community had for the outgoing principal, district leadership knew it was very important to include stakeholders in the process. Leaders used TregoED’s Decision Analysis to provide a structured, visible, collaborative, interview process which increased buy-in, trust and confidence.

Budget Challenges

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Leaders from the Sewanhaka Central High School District in Long Island, NY faced complex budget challenges made worse by aging buildings and new property tax caps. Using multiple TregoED tools, they were able to use innovative thinking and new solutions, while building trust and transparency, to find cost savings and pass a bond referendum.

Root Cause and Student Achievement

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District D11 in Colorado Springs, CO, worked hard at addressing student achievement goals, but wanted to find ways to “work smarter.” District leaders saw the opportunity to directly correlate school improvement efforts with student achievement by determining the root cause of student achievement problems in their individual schools. The resulting causes were vetted and helped staff members develop more focused school improvement plans and helped to better support their efforts.

Just Released! Better Schools through Better Thinking

 

Common Issues with Unique Solutions

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2016 Spring Newsletter

Many school districts deal with the same problems and decisions but solutions are often unique to their circumstances.  Read how school districts use a common process to find the solutions that are right for them!

 

Dealing with Budget, Hiring, and Achievement Gaps

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2015 Fall Newsletter

Using process to deal with tough budget decisions, filling a key leadership position, and determine cause of achievement gaps made these districts stand out as Benjamin B. Tregoe Strategic Leaders in Education.

Cabarrus County Receives Award for Strategic Leadership

Cabarrus County Schools has been selected as a recipient of the 2016 Benjamin B. Tregoe Award for Strategic Leadership in Education, which is given to school districts that achieve enduring results using TregoED tools for collaborative problem solving and decision making.  Read More

Reshaping Community Engagement

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The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District faced severe budget cuts and a series of difficult decisions surrounding school closures, program consolidation, facility use and attendance rezoning. TregoED’s critical thinking strategies helped reshape community engagement to facilitate tough decision making in the district.

Lasting Solutions

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Newsletter Spring 2015

Summer Leadership Institute

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Penn Excellence & Equity Consortia
District and School Leadership Institute

July 31 and August 1, 2017

8:30-4:30

Upper Dublin High School

800 Loch Alsh Ave

Fort Washington, PA 19034

We’re living in exciting, but unprecedented, and challenging educational, social and political times.

  • How well do you feel prepared to lead your schools, districts and communities in the challenging conversations around race, equity, poverty, immigration, politics and school improvement in today’s complex world?
  • Are you equipped with the critical problem-solving and decision-making skills needed to make ethical and effective choices as a part of your daily life in your school or district setting?
  • How do you respond daily to challenging and complex leadership dilemmas that ultimately define who you are- as a respected educational leader, as a member of your community, and a concerned citizen?

This summer the Penn Excellence and Equity Consortia will host a two-day institute for district and school leadership teams that will focus on effectively addressing the “real-life” challenges of leading for equity, and developing dispositions and skills needed to make ethical and effective decisions. The Institute will include a variety of learning experiences led by nationally, regionally and locally recognized leaders (including TregoED’s own Kathy Blackburn) in our equity work in both formal and informal sessions.

To Register click here.