Third annual Title I conference held Aug. 16

The school division’s Title I program hosted its third annual summer conference Aug. 16, attended by more than 400 people and featuring various speakers.

Title I logo

Following remarks by Title I Programs Director Tina Alsop and Executive Director for Elementary Teaching and Learning Lesley Hughes, William Parrett and Kathleen Budge discussed how to turn high-poverty schools into high-performing schools.

Parrett is the director of the Center for School Improvement & Policy Studies and a professor of Education at Boise State University. Budge is the coordinator of the Leadership Development Program at Boise State University and an associate professor in the Curriculum, Instruction and Foundational Studies Department.

“We know more about teaching and learning today than we have ever known,” stressed Parrett before asking the audience to reflect on “what’s getting in our way” to closing achievement gaps.

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Budge highlighted a knowing/doing gap and asked the audience, “How can we close the gap between what we know from research and what we do?”

The pair described their Framework for Action which emphasizes taking action to focus on learning, build leadership capacity and foster healthy, safe and supportive learning environments. Building relationships with students and families, using data, and fostering a school culture where there is a commitment to equity, high expectations and professional accountability for learning are other components of the framework.

Budge

“Do people think my classroom instead of our school?” posed Parrett about the shared responsibility necessary for positive change to occur.

The conference’s second session featured Jennifer Serravallo, author of various books focused on teaching reading and writing.

Serravallo discussed the importance of conferring with students to develop their growth and independence as readers. She recommended teachers have weekly one-to-one conferences with students to determine what they have learned and what they need to practice in terms of reading skills and strategies. Serravallo also offered suggestions on how to target instruction to meet students’ specific needs.

Title I program partners Scholastic and Imagine Learning help support the summer conference. All attendees received complimentary copies of the speakers’ books and additional resources for the start of the new school year.

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