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February 2022

What's New with LFTX

Learning Forward Texas Conference Scholarship

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Learning Forward Texas is proud to promote high-quality professional learning in Texas through our sponsorship of this Annual Conference Scholarship.

 

Learning Forward Texas will award a scholarship to an educator who wants to learn and grow professionally by attending our conference. The scholarship covers conference registration and up to $450 in travel expenses!

Scholarship Eligibility:

  • Be a member of LFTX (Non-members may submit membership at the time of entry.)

  • Be employed full-time in the field of education.

  • Active LFTX board members, staff, or family are not eligible to receive this award.

  • Previous Scholarship winners are not eligible.

Applicants should complete the online application by March 25, 2022, at 5:00 pm.

2022 Outstanding Professional Learning

Award Winners Announced

  

Learning Forward Texas named the Humble ISD Teaching and Learning Department and the Midway ISD Innovation and Learning Department winners of the 2022 Outstanding Professional Learning Award. The annual award recognizes exemplary districts, teams, or campuses that utilize high-quality, results-driven professional learning designed to impact student achievement. LFTX Executive Director, Lisa Ham, presented Dr. Becky Odajima, Director of Innovation and Learning in Midway ISD, and Directors of Professional Learning, Deborah Perez and Carolyn Finley in Humble ISD with their awards at their respective school board meetings.

Midway ISD’s Innovation & Learning Network, a network of three Professional Learning-themed shows to bring, just in time, relevant best practices to teachers.  Their Live with Innovation and Learning, Game Night Live, and Midmark Movies were informative, relevant, and presented in a fun and easy-to-participate environment.

Humble ISD's Student Voice Ambassadors application stated the program "started as a need to address the problem with remote and hybrid learning ended with an innovative approach to meeting the needs of teachers and students through district professional learning." This initiative partnered with students and relied on their voices to shape the district's vision around instruction and professional learning.  

 

The Learning Forward Texas Board would like to congratulate these two exceptional professional learning departments!  Click here to view their application presentations

The Teaching and Learning Team at the Humble ISD School Board Meeting 

The Teaching and Learning Team at the Humble ISD School Board Meeting 

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The Innovation and Learning Team at the Midway ISD School Board Meeting 

Terri Iles Learning Forward Texas
Academy Scholarship

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The Learning Forward Academy provides a forum for educators to analyze their practices and engage in dedicated, uninterrupted think tank-type experiences with individuals from all facets of the education. Learning Forward Texas annually provides a scholarship for a member of our Texas affiliate to participate in the Learning Forward Academy.

In June of 2020, Terri Iles retired after 5 years as Executive Director of Learning Forward Texas.  Terri has a passion for professional learning and she loves Texas.  She wanted to ensure that LFTX supported the Academy by providing support and funding for a Texan to participate. At the June Board meeting, the LFTX board unanimously voted to name our academy scholarship the Terri Iles Learning Forward Texas Academy Scholarship.  Due to Covid restrictions, Learning Forward did not have a cohort last year, so 2022 will be the first year LFTX will be giving the scholarship in Terri's honor. 

We encourage LFTX members to explore the benefits of participating in the Learning Forward Academy and consider applying.  Once the 2024 cohort has been announced, Learning Forward Texas will select its scholarship winner. Click the link below to find additional information about the Academy. 

2022 LFTX Annual Conference Top Topics Survey

The January survey results indicate that Professional Learning and Leadership are the top strands that align with their vision for the 2022 Annual Conference with both strands receiving 82%.

According to the survey, conference participants will be looking for sessions on these two topics:

  • Alternative Delivery Methods for Professional Learning

  • Assessing the Impact of Professional Learning with. The Conference 

Proposal reviewers will use this data to help select sessions to meet these needs. 

This survey was based on last month's blog post Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Learning Forward Texas 30th Annual Conference click here to read.   ​

February Survey

Protocol Proficiency
According to author and conference presenter Thomas Van Soelen, skillful use of discussion protocols in collaborative gatherings, including meetings and professional learning sessions, enhances adult learning and development and builds collective efficacy and trust.  Click here to take the February Survey

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2022 Conference Update

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Additional Featured Speakers Added 
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Additional Featured Speakers have been added to an already exciting list of educational leaders.  Visit the Conference portal to view their bios and read about their sessions.  

Stars At Night - 30th Anniversary Reception

The 30th Anniversary committee met this week to plan the celebration of our 30th Conference. We will honor the "giants who came before us" who began this great tradition of meeting annually to network, collaborate, and learn.  If you are a former board member and are interested in attending the reception, contact Terri Iles.

LFTX is looking for Conference Sponsors
Sponsor and Exhibitor information is now available on the
2022 Learning Forward Texas Annual Conference Website. 

Click here for Sponsorship Packages, Exhibitor Information, or to sponsor specific conference items.

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LFTX Blog

Power Up Your Meetings with Purpose-Driven Protocols

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Imagine a meeting that educators are eager to attend because they understand the meeting’s purpose and know the meeting will be structured in support of this purpose. Imagine a school or district culture where such meetings are the norm, where adults recognize these purpose-driven discussions as essential to their own effectiveness and the effectiveness and well-being of the learning community.

Click here to read the February Blog.

Regional Affliates 

What are Regional Affiliates?

All Learning Forward Texas Regional Affiliates meet regularly to discuss professional learning topics that are relevant to their context and leadership responsibility is shared among participants.  

LFSETX - For districts in the Houston area including ESC Regions 4, 5, and 6. 

The next virtual meeting will be on March 29, 10:00 am and Fort Bend ISD will be presenting. Click here for more information about LFSETX.

 

LFNTX - For districts in North Texas including ESC Regions 10, 11, and 12.

Learning Forward North Texas will be meeting at Keller ISD on April 8, 2022.  Click here for more information about the LFNTX Meeting.

 

LFWTX -  For districts in West Texas including ESC Regions 14, 15, 17, and 18.

Learning Forward West Texas canceled their January meeting but is scheduled to meet on March 23, 11:30 - 1:00 pm. Contact Anna Jackson at ajackson@learningforwardtexas.com to join the meeting. 

LFCTX - For districts in Central Texas including ESC Regions 13 and 20. The LFCTX steering committee met last week and is making plans this spring for a launch later this year.  Look for more news from the Central Texas steering committee. 

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Board Member Spotlight

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We are continuing our series to help “connect” you with our board members. We asked each board member to complete a survey that revealed some fun facts about them.

 

Gaya Jefferson is this month’s featured Board Member. Gaya is the Executive Director of Professional Learning at Richardson ISD.   She is about to complete her first year on the board.  While serving as a Coordinator in Arlington ISD her team won the 2018 Learning Forward Team of Excellence Award in Professional Learning.

What is the most unusual job you have had? What did you learn from that experience?

I worked at Comerica Bank in the Safety Deposit Box at the North Park location. I learned that silence in a safety deposit box was noise for me.

If you could win an Olympic medal for any sport, real or fake, what would it be?

Olympic Medal for Smiling

Do you have a hidden talent? What is it?

Making fun art out of 3D Panels from Amazon.

What's one hobby you would love to get into? 

Spice Gardening

What is one thing that you include in every meeting or professional learning session you design?

An opportunity to go to your phone to select a picture, or video to show your why for serving in the work you do every day.

Learning Forward Texas is better because of dedicated board members like Gaya Jefferson! Follow her on Twitter @gayajefferson

Shared Resources 

  • Protocols - School Reform Initiative - SRI’s tools include protocols that offer structured processes to support focused and productive conversations, build collective understanding, and drive school improvement. Thoughtful use of these protocols is an integral part of building resilient professional learning communities.

Upcoming Events from Learning Forward Texas  

​In-Person Workshops 

Virtual Synchronous

Online Asynchronous

Summer Workshop information coming soon!

Contact Lisa Ham, Executive Director, to book a workshop in your district.

ed@learningforwardtexas.org

512-266-3086 ext. 1

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Upcoming Events from Learning Forward 

The following events are hosted by the national organization of Learning Forward or other state affiliates.

Learning Forward Academy  - Now Accepting Applications 

The Learning Forward Academy is Learning Forward’s flagship deep learning experience. With a rich history that spans 20 years, the Academy has supported the problem-based learning of teachers, teacher-leaders, instructional coaches, principals, regional leaders, superintendents, and others whose jobs involve supporting the learning of other adults and students.

When you join the Academy, your learning journey is no longer a solo experience. Instead, you will spend 2 ½ years working with expert coaches and practitioners from around the world as you construct knowledge, improve your practice, create better learning conditions for your colleagues, and improve results for your students.

The Learning Forward cohort is now forming.  Click here for more information about becoming a member of the 2024 Class of the Learning Foward Academy