Winter 2016 Update from the Professional Development Center

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Maintaining its vision that this country’s high school youth should be fully engaged in their education, our professional development center (PDC) team started off the New Year the same way they start every week — busy and engaged.

The PDC staff kicked off the new year with Dan Condon, associate director of professional development, and Mia Stroutsos, our 2015/2016 PDC Public Allies fellow, making their way to New Mexico for four separate leadership events. Our PDC associate, Anastacia Galloway spent that same week providing follow-up support for Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School (FLHFHS) in the Bronx, New York, where we are engaged in a multi-year project to institute peer observations.

On Jan. 5, Dan Condon found himself in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for leadership support of Tech Leadership High School’s senior management team where he spoke on the importance of intersecting technology with pedagogy for the next generation of students. And on the next day, he visited ACE Leadership High School for project tuning, and then attended an event for a soon-to-open charter school focused on entrepreneurship.

Siembra Leadership is the latest school we support through our work with the New Mexico Center for School Leadership. Mia Stroutsos and Dan Condon wrapped up their stay in Albuquerque by focusing on supporting formative assessment in the classroom for the Health Leadership staff.


Anastacia Galloway’s four-day visit to New York included a follow-up visit with the staff at FLHFHS where, through a series of class visits and teacher interviews, she surfaced the most successful practices for integrating peer-coaching into their professional learning plans.

It was a busy week, but the PDC team is just getting warmed up. Here’s a quick look at what’s to come in the next few months:

Jan. 20 – 22

Michael Soguero flew out to Portland, Ore., for a visit with Rosemary Anderson High School (RAHS). RAHS is an alternative education high school where Michael will begin supporting the campus to increase personalized learning pathways.

Jan. 25 – 26

Mia Stroutsos headed back to New Mexico to Capital High School in Santa Fe in order to support student facilitators in presenting their community through a filmmaking initiative in partnership with Littleglobe.

Jan. 25 – 27

Eagle Rock Director of Professional Development, Michael Soguero, is in San Diego, Calif., where High Tech High is convening organizational teams to improve student readiness for college, career and civic life. Michael serves as team leader for a Big Picture School cohort and facilitates the use of school improvement science and networked improvement communities. Other organizations participating include Asia Society, Envision Schools, New Tech, ConnectEd and High Tech High.

Jan. 25 – 28

Right here in our own backyard, PDC Associate Sarah Bertucci and Eagle Rock Director of Curriculum, Jen Frickey, will be attending Public Education & Business Coalition (PEBC) professional development training in Denver, Colo., to advance Eagle Rock School’s own practices with literacy across the curriculum.


Jan. 28

Michael Soguero will be connecting with Georgia State University’s CREATE Teacher Residency Program in Atlanta, Ga. We are active with fellow Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) Centers as well as participants in School Reform Initiatives Pre-service teacher-preparation cohort using the principles of critical friendship in teacher preparation.

Feb. 17 – 19

Anastacia Galloway is heading to Cadiz, Ohio, to work with Harrison High School. There, she will be facilitating interviews and conducting fieldwork for new ways of teaching and incorporating project-based learning. Michael Soguero will be joining Anastacia to review the good work being done in collaboration with the Jefferson County Educational Service Center.

Feb. 22 – 23

Big Picture Learning is bringing back the Senior Thesis Project Conference. Michael Soguero will be designing and facilitating this conference with Eagle Rock School instructional specialist, Dan Hoffman, at Met East High School in Camden, N.J.

Feb. 23 – 25

Sarah Bertucci will be heading to Reno, Nev., to work on Restorative Justice practices for Innovation High School.

March 8 – 11

Sarah Bertucci will then make her way to Burlington, Vt., to work with the Partnership for Change — an organization that supports the work of remodeling public education in Winooski and Burlington, Vt., in order to better prepare young people for success in today’s rapidly changing world. On March 10, she will visit Winooski, Vt., to work with Winooski School Transformation to facilitation the transformation into smaller school communities.  The following day she will facilitate a conference on student centered learning, also in Winooski.

March 16

Michael Soguero and Anastacia Galloway return to Albuquerque to continue work on the New Metrics project. As part of its third year, the project includes developing metrics and a tool that can document and measure the current and future effectiveness of public schools. The framework will also be used to facilitate cross-school collaboration to foster instruction and learning that is responsive to the community. We will revise the tool so that it’s usable and ready to field test by Aprilin multiple schools, as well as develop data collection plan for field testing.

March 21 – 25

Following up on the January meeting, Michael Soguero will return to San Diego to wrap up the career, college and civic readiness work with Big Picture Learning and the affiliated organizations. Sarah Bertucci will be in the same area as part of her work as a Deeper Learning Equity Fellow. And Dan Condon will join later that week as all of us attend the Deeper Learning Conference and use that setting to reconvene the Coalition of Essential School Center Directors.

April 4 – 8

Dan Condon is returning to New Mexico — this time to meet with the entire Leadership High School network. The idea is to help them form themselves into professional learning communities.

April 26

Dan Condon visits with Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Minneapolis, Minn., to explore proficiency-based graduation support.

April 27

Dan Condon returns to the E’Tude Group, part of the Sheboygan Area School District Sheboygan, Wis., as it begins to strengthen a proficiency-based education model with its three public and tuition-free charter schools.

April 28 – 29

Dan Condon returns to Public Allies Inc. in Milwaukee, Wis., to continue strengthening the National Program Team’s Protocol Strategy.

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