COVID-19 Resources

As it becomes clear that COVID-19 is closing schools for more than a few weeks, educators are marshaling energy and resources to accomplish goals for the remainder of this school year—and to anticipate challenges for students’ return to school.

Stay connected

We’re here to help. Below you’ll find resources that support your professional practice and help you connect with educators in other parts of the world.

Webinar series >

Join experts from multiple disciplines to discuss issues faced by education leaders and staff members, students, and parents.

Trusted Partner offers >

Access a variety of professional development and engagement tools especially curated for education providers.

Resource library >

Find pre-recorded webinars, watch videos, or download documents that can offer guidance.

State resources >

See a conveniently consolidated list of COVID-19 resources posted by individual states.

This page will be updated as we develop new offerings. Sign up to receive notices when new resources are added.

A message from Dr. Mark Elgart

Recorded April 27, 2020

Webinar series

Panel discussions, interviews, and expert advice will be presented. Register to attend the live sessions or listen to the post-event recordings. More sessions will be rolled out over the coming months, so please return frequently to stay connected.

Upcoming live events

Addressing Gaps in Learning through Formative Assessment | July 15, 2020, 2pm ET

Audience: Educators, Administrators

Featured Presenters: Moderator – Jessica Yonker; Panelists –Michelle Zimmerman (Renton), Sandy Ledwell (AMSTI), Julia Rawlings (Rowan County), Ketsy Fields (Cognia), Eric Brooks (Yuma Union)

In this second webinar of a three-part series, we investigate how formative assessment processes can be used to help educators identify students’ knowledge in foundational concepts that will support their success in the coming year.  By identifying priority standards from an aligned curriculum, educators can use just-in-time formative assessment to gauge what students already know, where there are gaps in learning, and how best to design instruction to ensure success.  This panel will provide perspectives from the state department to the school level on the use of effective formative assessment. 

Michelle Zimmerman, PhD, author of Teaching AI: Exploring New Frontiers for Learning is a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, and four time Microsoft MVP for global impact, and in leadership of Microsoft’s first K-12 school in the US to be selected for the Flagship Schools program. She briefed Satya Nadella and her executive team on research in practice in education and on Sway. With 18 years in the classroom (PreK–10), 12 years implementing research into practice, designing Renton Prep, and serving on the University of Washington, College of Education Professional Education Advisory Board, and adjunct, Concordia University, she experiences education through multiple lenses. Her research and student voice are published in Springer’s International Human-Computer Interaction Series, and press such as GeekWire, VentureBeat, and Forbes.

Dr. Sandy Ledwell is the Director of the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI) at the Alabama Department of Education.  She has worked with AMSTI since its planning stages on committees and then as a teacher, a trainer, and as a specialist.  Dr. Ledwell has twenty-five years of experience in education.  She has been a classroom teacher in elementary and middle school, a teacher leader and coach, and a professional development provider.  Her expertise lies in developing curricula, leading three-dimensional science instruction, and incorporating the use of strategic teaching across the curriculum.  Dr. Ledwell also teaches methods courses to preservice teachers at Faulkner University.  Dr. Ledwell has been honored as the Alabama Science Teachers Association’s Outstanding Middle School Science Teacher, a state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, an Outstanding Alumnus of the Year for the College of Education at the University of Montevallo and has earned early childhood certification with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.  She resides in Alabama with her husband and two sons.

Julia Rawlings is currently the Assistant Superintendent for Rowan County Schools, Morehead, KY.  In this role, her primary responsibility is all facets of curriculum, assessment and instruction for the district. Prior to work with Rowan County Schools, Mrs. Rawlings was an Educational Recovery Director with the Kentucky Department of Education,  central office administrator and science teacher for Fleming County Schools, a rural school district in north eastern Kentucky.  Her duties included Title 1, Limited English Proficiency, Preschool, and Curriculum/Assessment/Instruction.  Mrs. Rawlings has also served as a state science consultant and a high school classroom science teacher.

Ketsy Fields currently works for Cognia as Senior Director, Client Services in Kentucky. She is retired from public education after 31 years of service.  During that time, she worked as an elementary and middle school teacher for 15 years in different counties, serving diverse populations in Eastern and Northern Kentucky.  She also worked as a middle school assistant principal and middle school principal in Clark County (Winchester, KY) before moving to Fayette County, (Lexington, KY) as principal of Yates Elementary School.  She served nine years as principal of Yates Elementary School, turning this high poverty, low achieving school into a high performing model of continuous improvement. With a schoolwide focus on aligning systems and structures, Yates was able to increase proficiency for all students and close achievement gaps.  Upon leaving Yates, Ketsy moved to the Fayette County district office as a Director of School Improvement and Innovation.  She served in that capacity for five years before retiring in 2014.  She holds an undergraduate degree in elementary education from the University of Kentucky, a Master’s Degree in curriculum and instruction from Morehead State University and a Rank I from Eastern Kentucky University in school leadership.

Eric Brooks’ true passion is creating learning environments for adults that are interactive, meaningful, and inspire them to take action. He is fortunate to have had extensive experience in the field of education as a consultant on learning styles for more effective presentations. As a trainer and facilitator for over 20 years, He takes great pride in being able to bring groups together to examine their practices, learn new skills, and eventually see real transformative change. In his previous positions, he has served as both the Director of Professional Learning and the Director of Effective Teachers and Leaders for the Arizona Department of Education instilling more creative and collaborative working environments for schools, LEAs, and internal department staff. He has held the position of Principal/Director of a High School Equivalency Program housed on a university campus just outside of New York City and has served as an Academic Advisor at Montclair State University for pre-service teachers. He currently serves as Chief Academic Officer in the Yuma Union High School District.

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Addressing Gaps in Learning through Differentiated Instruction | July 22, 2020, 2pm ET

Audience: Educators, Administrators 

Featured Presenters: Moderator – Jessica Yonker; Panelists –Julia Rawlings (Rowan County), Sandy Ledwell & Amy Murphy (AMSTI), Amy McVey (Cognia)

With the advent of a new school year responding to unprecedented circumstances, schools are thinking about how to ensure instruction addresses gaps in learning due to COVID.  In this final webinar in a three-part series, we discuss the benefits of differentiated instruction and how it supports accelerated learning versus remediation.  Panelists will share strategies for using differentiated learning through a lens of acceleration.  

Julia Rawlings is currently the Assistant Superintendent for Rowan County Schools, Morehead, KY.  In this role, her primary responsibility is all facets of curriculum, assessment and instruction for the district. Prior to work with Rowan County Schools, Mrs. Rawlings was an Educational Recovery Director with the Kentucky Department of Education,  central office administrator and science teacher for Fleming County Schools, a rural school district in north eastern Kentucky.  Her duties included Title 1, Limited English Proficiency, Preschool, and Curriculum/Assessment/Instruction.  Mrs. Rawlings has also served as a state science consultant and a high school classroom science teacher.

Dr. Sandy Ledwell is the Director of the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI) at the Alabama Department of Education.  She has worked with AMSTI since its planning stages on committees and then as a teacher, a trainer, and as a specialist.  Dr. Ledwell has twenty-five years of experience in education.  She has been a classroom teacher in elementary and middle school, a teacher leader and coach, and a professional development provider.  Her expertise lies in developing curricula, leading three-dimensional science instruction, and incorporating the use of strategic teaching across the curriculum.  Dr. Ledwell also teaches methods courses to preservice teachers at Faulkner University.  Dr. Ledwell has been honored as the Alabama Science Teachers Association’s Outstanding Middle School Science Teacher, a state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, an Outstanding Alumnus of the Year for the College of Education at the University of Montevallo and has earned early childhood certification with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.  She resides in Alabama with her husband and two sons.

Dr. Amy Fowler Murphy currently serves as an administrator with the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI) at the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE). Prior to coming to the ALSDE, she served as the secondary science supervisor for Jefferson County Schools and as a science specialist with AMSTI in the University of Montevallo (UM) region. Dr. Murphy also served as a science teacher in both Hoover City Schools and Birmingham City Schools. During her 21 years in education, Dr. Murphy has designed and facilitated professional learning opportunities as well as developed curriculum at the at the local, state, and national level. She is dedicated to research-based, student-centered methods of instruction as a means of creating and nurturing lifelong learners. Dr. Murphy earned her EdD in Curriculum and Instruction from UA, holds Instructional Leadership certification from UM, is a National Board Certified Teacher and Candidate Support Provider, and is on the Alabama ASCD Executive Board. She resides in Alabama with her husband.

Amy McVey currently serves as a Vice President with Cognia in Improvement Services, supporting institutions, teachers, leaders and learners in all areas of continuous school improvement and professional learning. A 30-year veteran in education, Amy has experience as a primary and intermediate teacher, curriculum coach, and principal. Before joining Cognia she was the principal of Veterans Park Elementary, an NCLB Blue Ribbon School, in Lexington, Kentucky. She has served on and chaired the AdvancED/SACS CASI Kentucky Council, as well as serving as a voting member on the AdvancED National Accreditation Commission. Ms. McVey worked as a Lead Evaluator and team member on numerous Engagement and Diagnostic Review Teams for schools and systems over the past 20 years. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in elementary education from Eastern Kentucky University, a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Georgetown College, and a School Leadership Certification from the University of Kentucky. Amy is an engaging professional learning facilitator and presenter with experience across a wide range of audiences from students and teachers, to school and district leaders in large group and small group settings.

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Available on-demand

Addressing Gaps in Learning through Curriculum Alignment

Audience: Educators, Administrators 

Featured Presenters: Moderator – Lisa Stone; Panelists – Sandy Ledwell & Amy Murphy (AMSTI), Julia Rawlings (Rowan County), Ketsy Fields (Cognia), Soraya Matthews (Fayette County) 

As we move toward resuming school in the fall, educators are concerned about how to address gaps in student learning due to the wide variety of access and participation in remote learning at the end of the 2019-20 school year.  In the first of a three-part series, we examine the importance of vertically aligned curriculum.  A viable curriculum, intentionally aligned to rigorous standards both within and across grade levels, is key to the success of schools identifying gaps in learning and how to address those gaps upon students’ return to school.  Panelists representing state departments of education, districts, and Cognia will share recommendations for facilitating intentional curriculum alignment for the coming school year. 

Ketsy Fields currently works for Cognia as Senior Director, Client Services in Kentucky. She is retired from public education after 31 years of service.  During that time, she worked as an elementary and middle school teacher for 15 years in different counties, serving diverse populations in Eastern and Northern Kentucky.  She also worked as a middle school assistant principal and middle school principal in Clark County (Winchester, KY) before moving to Fayette County, (Lexington, KY) as principal of Yates Elementary School.  She served nine years as principal of Yates Elementary School, turning this high poverty, low achieving school into a high performing model of continuous improvement. With a schoolwide focus on aligning systems and structures, Yates was able to increase proficiency for all students and close achievement gaps.  Upon leaving Yates, Ketsy moved to the Fayette County district office as a Director of School Improvement and Innovation.  She served in that capacity for five years before retiring in 2014.  She holds an undergraduate degree in elementary education from the University of Kentucky, a Master’s Degree in curriculum and instruction from Morehead State University and a Rank I from Eastern Kentucky University in school leadership.

Julia Rawlings is currently the Assistant Superintendent for Rowan County Schools, Morehead, KY.  In this role, her primary responsibility is all facets of curriculum, assessment and instruction for the district. Prior to work with Rowan County Schools, Mrs. Rawlings was an Educational Recovery Director with the Kentucky Department of Education,  central office administrator and science teacher for Fleming County Schools, a rural school district in north eastern Kentucky.  Her duties included Title 1, Limited English Proficiency, Preschool, and Curriculum/Assessment/Instruction.  Mrs. Rawlings has also served as a state science consultant and a high school classroom science teacher.

Dr. Amy Fowler Murphy currently serves as an administrator with the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI) at the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE). Prior to coming to the ALSDE, she served as the secondary science supervisor for Jefferson County Schools and as a science specialist with AMSTI in the University of Montevallo (UM) region. Dr. Murphy also served as a science teacher in both Hoover City Schools and Birmingham City Schools. During her 21 years in education, Dr. Murphy has designed and facilitated professional learning opportunities as well as developed curriculum at the at the local, state, and national level. She is dedicated to research-based, student-centered methods of instruction as a means of creating and nurturing lifelong learners. Dr. Murphy earned her EdD in Curriculum and Instruction from UA, holds Instructional Leadership certification from UM, is a National Board Certified Teacher and Candidate Support Provider, and is on the Alabama ASCD Executive Board. She resides in Alabama with her husband.

Dr. Sandy Ledwell is the Director of the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI) at the Alabama Department of Education.  She has worked with AMSTI since its planning stages on committees and then as a teacher, a trainer, and as a specialist.  Dr. Ledwell has twenty-five years of experience in education.  She has been a classroom teacher in elementary and middle school, a teacher leader and coach, and a professional development provider.  Her expertise lies in developing curricula, leading three-dimensional science instruction, and incorporating the use of strategic teaching across the curriculum.  Dr. Ledwell also teaches methods courses to preservice teachers at Faulkner University.  Dr. Ledwell has been honored as the Alabama Science Teachers Association’s Outstanding Middle School Science Teacher, a state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, an Outstanding Alumnus of the Year for the College of Education at the University of Montevallo and has earned early childhood certification with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.  She resides in Alabama with her husband and two sons.

Dr. Soraya Matthews was born and raised in one of the most impoverished and segregated towns in the Mississippi Delta. She brings a unique and enriched perspective in her role as an educational leader, especially in the realm of academic equity. She has served in multiple capacities within our educational system including, first and foremost as a parent and teacher; but also as an instructional supervisor, principal, college professor, an online instructional designer and at the Kentucky Department of Education as State Schools Director for Kentucky School for the Deaf and Kentucky School for the Blind.  In her current role, she serves as the secondary Director of Teaching and Learning for Fayette County Public Schools and as a part-time Adjunct Professor in the Masters of Education Teacher Leader program at Georgetown College. Dr. Matthews is most passionate about ensuring a guaranteed and viable curriculum and differentiated instructional design for diverse learners. She considers herself a lifelong learner and believes that education coupled with opportunity are the keys to Freedom for our young learners! 

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Beyond the Traditional Classroom: Creating a Culture of Thinking with Effective Questioning | 3-part series

Audience: Teacher, School Leaders, Instructional Coaches

Featured Presenter(s): Osiris Jolayemi, Director of Product Training, Cognia

This three-part recorded webinar series explores how to integrate effective questioning into virtual and traditional instruction by first, taking a step back and looking at how to create a culture of thinking. Strategies to develop a culture of thinking include questioning, collaboration, and problem-solving. During these webinars, participants will get an introduction to the forces necessary to establish a thriving culture of thinking and build student capacity while using effective questioning in our ever changing educational community. This webinar series will help participants:

  1. Identify forces necessary to establish a thinking culture within the virtual classroom learning environment
  2. Build student capacity to think deeply and enhance peer collaboration and problem solving
  3. Pair active instructional strategies with higher-level questions to enhance remote learning

Osiris Jolayemi, is a Director of Product Training with Cognia. Her current role merges her experiences working in Childhood education and her expertise teaching adults in the corporate world. Her passion for teaching and learning led her to pursue a career in education. She served as classroom teacher for 14 years, teaching Childhood Education(K-6), and High School English. Osiris also enjoyed a successful career in Learning and Development in the corporate world, and served as a Corporate Trainer and Training Consultant. Working in Learning and Development cultivated her skills as an adult educator. She is an active member/volunteer in the Association of Talent and Development (ATD- Greater Atlanta Chapter), and serves as Vice President of Programming. Osiris holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education/English and a Master’s Degree in Adult Education and Development. Osiris’ passion for teaching and learning has been a guiding principle throughout her life. She has served on various types Engagement review teams in the United States and Internationally.

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Educator and Parent Panel - Tips and Tricks for Supporting Home Learning

Audience: Parents and Teachers

Featured Presenter(s): Rachael Havey, Professional Learning Director and Parent Cognia, Chad Musselwhite, Assistant Principal and Parent, Edgewood High School – Ellettsville, IN, and Beth Tharp, Teacher and Parent, Avon Middle School South – Bainbridge, IN

Community support is essential in this time of uncertainty. It is especially important to let parents know they are not alone in helping their children navigate their home learning during this time. This webinar will provide parents with tips and supports for managing the new reality of parenting, teaching, and working from home. A panel will share ideas being utilized in their home districts and schools, discuss best practices for balancing the workload, give tips for support, and answer questions from parents.

Rachael Havey is located in Indianapolis, IN and currently serves as a Professional Learning Director for Cognia. In this role, Rachael supports institutions in building the capacity of school leaders, instructional staff, and learners through professional development services and coaching. Prior to coming to Cognia in July of 2017, Rachael worked with the Indiana Department of Education as a specialist for school improvement with the State Board of Education intervention schools, where she also managed federal funds and programs for school improvement grants, and worked with diagnostic assessments. Rachael has taught literature and language arts at the middle school level, was a building literacy coach, team leader, department chair, and part of the school improvement team. Rachael holds an undergraduate degree from Indiana University Bloomington and graduate degree from the University of Indianapolis; she has a K-12 teaching and building level administrator license. Currently, Rachael and her husband are supporting a third grader and preschooler with their home learning.

Chad Musselwhite is located in Ellettsville, IN and currently serves as the Assistant Principal at Edgewood High School.  Some of Chad’s duties include working on curriculum development, student discipline, teacher evaluation and day to day school improvement items. Prior to becoming the Assistant Principal, Chad was a math teacher and department chair at Edgewood High School for the previous 17 years.  Chad holds an undergraduate degree from Indiana State University and a Master’s degree from Indiana Wesleyan University; he also has a K-12 Administration license. Currently, Chad and his wife are supporting a third and first grader with their home learning while also teaching and working as an administrator for their respective schools. 

Beth Tharp is located in Bainbridge, IN. She currently teaches math and Pre-Algebra and is a team lead at Avon Middle School South. Beth previously taught at Avon Intermediate School East, as well as Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation. She has also been a camp and program director for Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. Beth graduated from Indiana University in 2008 with a degree in elementary education and Ball State University in 2012 with a master’s degree in Educational Leadership; she has a K-12 building level administrator license. Currently, Beth and her husband are supporting a kindergartner with home learning while also teaching and working as an administrator for their respective schools and districts. 

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Educator and Parent Panel - Tips and Tricks for Supporting Summer Learning at Home

Featured Presenter(s): Rachel Havey: Moderator , Professional Learning Director, Cognia, Katie Hall, former teacher, military family with 4 kids, elementary-high school, Shelly Pugel, elementary teacher – super engaging with her students in person and virtually, Carly Burdock, Senior Content Specialist at Cognia, Jim Hardman, Director of Curriculum, Crown Point Community School Corporation

Community support continues to be essential in this time of uncertainty. It is especially important to let parents know they are not alone in supporting their children with activities at home during the summer months. This webinar will provide parents with tips and support for managing working from home with occupying students who are at home without camps and other activities for the summer. A panel will share ideas being utilized in their home districts and schools, discuss best practices for balancing the workload, give tips for support, and answer questions.

AleahJoshua20 is located in Indianapolis, IN and currently serves as an Improvement Services Director for Cognia. In this role, Rachael supports institutions in building the capacity of school leaders, instructional staff, and learners through professional learning services and coaching. Prior to coming to Cognia in July of 2017, Rachael worked with the Indiana Department of Education as a specialist for school improvement with the State Board of Education intervention schools, where she also managed federal funds and programs for school improvement grants, and worked with diagnostic assessments. Rachael has taught literature and language arts at the middle school level, was a building literacy coach, team leader, department chair, and part of the school improvement team. Rachael holds an undergraduate degree from Indiana University Bloomington and graduate degree from the University of Indianapolis; she has a K-12 teaching and building level administrator license.

Katie Hall is a military spouse and mom to four children currently located in Yorktown, VA.  Katie is from Michigan. She holds an undergraduate degree from Calvin College and a Master’s degree in Education from Grand Valley State University.  She has seven years teaching experience at the secondary level and four years at the college level.  Additionally, she has three years of experience as a long term substitute teacher in grades K-12.  She has taught in Michigan, Texas, and Hawaii.  Katie is an active volunteer in local schools, community groups, and military spouse organizations.  She recently served as a board chairperson for a non-profit organization responsible for granting $75,000 in college scholarships to military dependents. She is currently preparing her family for their 10th move in 16 years with the United States Air Force. During that time she has lived in Texas, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Washington, Ohio, Alabama, Washington DC, Hawaii, Virginia and will relocate to Illinois in June 2020. She is an independent business owner and works from home while simultaneously supporting her children and husband with their home learning in grades 3, 4, 7, 8 and post-graduate respectively. 

Shelly Pugel is a teacher located in Lexington, Kentucky. She has been an educator for 12 years and teaches at Veterans Park Elementary in Fayette County. Shelly received her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from Asbury University and earned her Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership from Asbury University as well. She is a National Board certified teacher in K-8 Literacy. Prior to current NTI realities, Shelly earned her Google Educator Certification, Level 1 and 2 to continue to support her use of technology as a teaching tool in the classroom. (This skill set has proved to be very timely!) At her school, Shelly has served as a teacher mentor, a member of their site-based decision making council, a grade level chair, and a member of several school improvement committees. She strongly believes in the power of relationships with students and is inspired to create a meaningful classroom community between peers and adults. Currently, Shelly is wrapping up the NTI school year teaching from home while she and her husband, Dustin, are helping their incoming Kindergartner manage his learning as well as keeping up with the needs of their 9-month-old.

Carly Burdock is the Senior Specialist for Content Development for the Innovation Lab Division in Alpharetta, Georgia. In that position, she manages and creates content that educational institutions use for their continuous improvement purposes. Additionally, she works collaboratively with other experts internally and externally to develop strategic products and solutions. Ms. Burdock has experience as a classroom teacher, teacher leader and curriculum specialist in elementary education. She began her career in early childhood education and then served several years at the elementary level. She also developed and taught, Strategic Thinking and Reasoning (STAR) Lab, a class that puts elementary students at the center of critical thinking and creative problem solving. Carly Burdock holds a master’s degree in education with a focus in gifted education and certification in school leadership and administration.

Jim Hardman serves as Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the 8,750 students attending the Crown Point Community School Corporation in Crown Point, Indiana. Prior to his service in the position, professional experiences include teacher of secondary mathematics, Assistant Principal, and Principal. He has served on several Cognia Engagement Reviews and leads the continuous improvement process for his home school corporation.

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Effective Best Practices in Digital Learning

Audience: State Departments, Ministries of Education, District/System leaders, Teachers/Staff

Featured Presenter(s): Dang Phan, Senior Director Digital Learning, Cognia

Cognia’s Digital Learning Services team will share our knowledge of digital schools and the best practices that make them effective. This webinar is provided as a resource to educational communities that are transitioning instruction to a digital environment due to school closures.

Dang Phan is currently the senior director of digital learning services for Cognia. Over the past nineteen years, he has had numerous experiences working within the public school system, including high school and higher education, and the private sector. He has served as a classroom teacher, department chair, administrator, adjunct faculty, senior instructional specialist, senior program coordinator, curriculum manager, and director of curriculum support services.  Mr. Phan is a graduate of Arizona State University and Grand Canyon University and has an undergraduate degree in mathematics education and a graduate degree in education administration. 

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Engaging Stakeholders through Surveys

Audience: District/System leaders; School leaders

Featured Presenter(s): Nicole Reeves, Improvement Services Director, Cognia

The purpose of this webinar is to provide schools with information on effectively using surveys as a tool to gain valuable, timely information and insight into the experiences, perceptions, and concerns of stakeholder groups during this time. During the webinar, school leaders will learn how to create a solution team to gather stakeholder input and how to create meaningful questions for each stakeholder group in order to have robust, useful data from which to make informed decisions. Although this session focuses on guidance in the context of public K-12 education in the U.S., similar considerations and implications for survey use can be adapted for all schools as needed.

Nicole Reeves serves as Director Improvement Services for Cognia. A doctoral candidate, Nicole assists institutions in all areas of professional learning and school improvement. An experienced trainer, presenter, and facilitator, Nicole has presented at several local, regional, and national conferences including those hosted by AdvancED, Cognia, LAP, SACS/CASI, A+PEL, and NCEA and has trained and facilitated a number of active work sessions for teachers, administrators, and board level personnel at all levels. Nicole is a certified national trainer for Time To Teach and has vast educational experiences in schools spanning 24 years including teaching special needs students, 6th grade, and 1st grade before becoming curriculum coordinator/librarian, assistant principal, and principal. To date, Nicole has 29 years of experience in education.

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Keeping Up With Ever Changing Policy Guidance and COVID-19

Featured Presenter(s): Monica Daniels, Associate Research Analyst, Cognia

The purpose of this webinar is to connect state, region, district, and school leaders with information and resources relating to education policy guidance under COVID-19. This session will focus on four primary areas of education policy: assessment, accountability, school improvement, and equitable access to learning.

During this session, we will unpack how education agencies (local, state, and federal) have responded to the challenges of COVID-19, as well as areas of high priority as we look forward. Although this session will pull from guidance and responses primarily seen in the context of public K-12 education in the U.S., similar considerations and implications are appropriate for all schools.

Monica Daniels, M.S. is a former teacher, district consultant, and state department of education official. She is currently an Associate Research Analyst at Cognia, specializing in policy and effectiveness. Monica has held various roles in K-12 and higher education for the last decade, teaching students grades 3-11 and postsecondary, culminating in leading the accountability department of the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE). As Executive Director of Accountability, she led OSDE’s transition to a new accountability system under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), through approval from the federal government, education and communication to local stakeholders, and implementation of complex data collection and analysis. Monica holds an undergraduate degree in Mathematics from the University of Colorado and a graduate degree in Applied Mathematical Sciences from the University of West Florida. 

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Leading Continuous Improvement through COVID-19 – Superintendents discuss reentering school

Session 1

Panelists:
Gary Tipsord- CUSD Superintendent, LeRoy, IL
Scott Hawkins, Woodford County PS Superintendent, Versailles, KY
Sherry Hage, CEO of Noble Education Initiative
Dr. Lee Childress, Corinth SD Superintendent, Corinth, MS

Moderator:
Cognia Professional Learning Director, Dr. Barbara-Jane Paris

Session 2

Panelists:
Dr. Jeff Langham, Chief of Staff, Alabama State Department of Education
Dr. John Skretta – Educational Service Unit 6 Administrator, Milford, NE
Beth Slette, West Fargo PS Superintendent, West Fargo, ND
Dr. Tyler Hansford, Union PS District Superintendent, Union, MS

Moderator:
Cognia Sr. VP Improvement Services, Lisa Stone

As so many have observed, the Coronavirus pandemic has presented challenges—and opportunities. School superintendents across the country are among those displaying remarkable resourcefulness and dedication in the face of the challenges. We’re privileged to offer an opportunity for several of these education leaders to share their insights on reimagining education and preparing for re-entry into school in the 2020–2021 school year.

To give voice to a range of input, Cognia moderated and recorded two panel discussions. Participants include a state superintendent, several district superintendents, and the leader of an educational innovation organization. The discussions were moderated by Barbara-Jane Paris, Ph.D., Director, Professional Learning at Cognia and Lisa Stone, Ed.D., Senior Vice President of Improvement Services for Cognia.

Tune in to one or both recordings to hear how these leaders supported their teams remotely during the last few months of the school year, and what they are doing now to reimagine education in the coming school year.

Dr. Barbara-Jane Paris has been a teacher, principal, and director at every level of education from birth to college. As president of both the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the Texas Association, Dr. Paris has facilitated educator learning in more than forty states and multiple countries. Throughout her career, Dr. Paris has been a contributor to all tenets of the educational landscape as a writer, speaker, accreditation evaluator, instructional leader, and board member of numerous organizations.

Lisa Stone has served as a teacher, elementary principal, Director of Student Achievement and Elementary Area Superintendent for Fayette County Public Schools, Education Leader for the Kentucky Association of School Councils, and Director of School Improvement for Montgomery County Schools, all in Kentucky.

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Leveraging the Cognia Formative Assessment Tools

Featured Presenter(s): Maureen Johnson, Manager of Content Development in the Content Acquisition Group at Cognia and Jessica Yonker, Improvement Specialist at Cognia

Formative assessment is a critical part of assessing student learning in real time. This process has become even more important as teachers shift to remote learning and have fewer clues as to how well students are comprehending and applying information presented.  Cognia’s formative assessments, located in our improvement platform, provide a variety of formative tools to help educators determine if their students are progressing. This webinar:

  • Defines formative assessment within a balanced assessment system
  • Illustrates the formative assessment cycle
  • Describes the formative library tools available in ELA, Math, and Science
  • Provides examples of how the formative tools can be used in both virtual and in person learning environments

Maureen Johnson currently serves as the Manager of Content Development in the Content Acquisition Group at Cognia, Inc. She holds a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership with a specialization in curriculum and instruction. Maureen served as a classroom teacher in grades K-12 in public and private school settings. She possesses a wealth of knowledge, skills, and experience related to curriculum and instruction and providing support for students learning in virtual environments. Maureen has more than 15 years’ experience in educational assessment. Maureen worked closely with students, teachers, department of education officials, and government officials from large and small school districts on custom contracts. In her current position with Cognia, Inc. , she oversees Formative assessments and analyzes data related to student performance.

Jessica Yonker is an improvement specialist at Cognia. She taught science for six years, instructing all secondary science preps and high school grade levels. During this time she also developed middle school and high school science curricula, constructed high school science assessments, and coordinated her school’s science benchmarks. After leaving the classroom she worked in assessment development at the district, state, and national levels on elementary, middle, high school, and post graduate certification exams.  Among her current responsibilities are coordinating and presenting workshops that focus on school improvement, reviewing existing assessments for clients, and developing custom assessment tools for districts throughout the United States.

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Schooled: Students Speak Up

Audience: Students, Educators, Parents

Featured Panelists:  The panel consists of high school students from the United States, South America, Europe, and the Middle East.

The upheaval and anxiety caused by the pandemic has impacted students’ lives more than we can imagine. With approximately nine out of ten students worldwide out of school because of the Coronavirus, it is more important than ever to focus on the learners. This webinar gives us, the adults, an opportunity to hear firsthand from high school students about how their lives have changed—how they feel about learning from home, missing school events, and being separated from their friends.

Join this webinar and hear the voices of eight students from around the world who are unknown to each other but who may share similar experiences and emotions.

This panel, moderated by Cognia’s CEO and President, Dr. Mark Elgart, is the first-ever live global student panel offered by Cognia™. Be part of this experience to learn what it is like to be a high school student during this time when their school experience—perhaps their senior year—has been forever changed.

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Teach Your 5-Year Old to Code

Discovery Education’s Director of Professional Development Andrew Tidswell will present a lively and engaging session on teaching computational thinking in remote learning settings. He will pose and answer questions such as:

  • Why is computational thinking important? Has it become a new literacy
  • What is computational thinking?
  • What are the four pillars of computational thinking
    • Decomposition
    • Abstraction
    • Pattern Recognition
    • Algorithms
  • How can computational thinking be developed offline?

As many parents can attest, home is not school. Andrew will show how we can help children learn at home, without trying to replicate our children’s institutions. He’ll give tips and ideas on making learning fun through coding and the associated computational thinking skills, by tapping into students’ playful curiosity and imagination and understanding how children learn.

Andrew will also talk about logic and the “computational thinking cycle” and will show how you can encourage these skills offline. He will share simple practical examples for each of the four pillars and address:

  • How does this move online? Algorithm + Code = App
  • Intro to Discovery Education Coding — structured to support creativity
  • Building sample apps using the “Event, Object, Action” process
  • Debugging: a practical example of an essential skill

Session participants will gain access to Discovery Education’s downloadable guide, “Offline Computational Thinking,” and also have free access to Discovery Education’s newly launched Coding resources for three months.

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Transform Your Progress Monitoring Practices for the Virtual Classroom

Audience: All; Educators, Administrators & Parents

Featured Presenter(s): Jessica Yonker, Improvement Specialist at Cognia

Progress monitoring and the feedback it provides are key components of an effective learning environment. Setting learning targets, monitoring learning and engagement, providing accurate and timely feedback, and assessing student progress are all actions that positively affect student achievement. The sudden shift from in-person to virtual learning has required educators to modify many of their instructional practices and norms, including their progress monitoring system.  In this webinar, participants will:

  • Review the purpose of progress monitoring
  • Examine the role of progress monitoring in an effective learning environment
  • Discuss methods of progress monitoring in both in-person and virtual classrooms
  • Explore examples of tools and activities that can be used in virtual progress monitoring

Jessica Yonker is an improvement specialist at Cognia. She taught science for six years, instructing all secondary science preps and high school grade levels. During this time she also developed middle school and high school science curricula, constructed high school science assessments, and coordinated her school’s science benchmarks. After leaving the classroom she worked in assessment development at the district, state, and national levels on elementary, middle, high school, and post graduate certification exams.  Among her current responsibilities are coordinating and presenting workshops that focus on school improvement, reviewing existing assessments for clients, and developing custom assessment tools for districts throughout the United States.

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Trusted Partner offers

Cognia’s Trusted Partner Program supports Cognia’s mission to empower institutions to focus on learning and the learner. Our partner organizations provide resources that meet our high standards for educational value. During this time, Cognia’s Trusted Partners have generously offered thoughtfully curated resources, available at no cost. Read the press release>

Funds for professional development
The U.S. Congress has set aside approximately $13.2B for grants to State Education Agencies (SEAs) with emergency relief funds for local education agencies (LEAs) to address the impact of COVID-19 on elementary and secondary schools across the nation.  Learn more>

Accelerate Remote Learning Success
Free professional learning resources

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LINC, The Learning Innovation Catalyst, has created a structured professional development package focused on rigorous, engaging remote learning experiences which ultimately lead to equitable, personalized, and student-centered learning, now and in the fall. Currently being used by thousands of educators, these resources are designed to help districts sustain and support their shift to remote learning and teaching innovation. These are a strong starting point for schools and districts now shifting to remote teaching and learning.

  • Asynchronous PD Focusing on Remote Learning
  • Remote Learning Readiness Assessment
  • Critical Tools to Support Remote Learning
  • Remote Learning “Look-For” Tool
  • Remote Learning Resource Center

LINC is a Recommended Coaching Partner for the Google for Education Certified Coach program.

Teacher Engagement and Support
Free access to the platform

Promote authentic voice and change | Make school culture real

MyVoice™ gives teachers an avenue to improve school culture. Use the MyVoice virtual platform to foster collaboration, encourage commitment, and benefit student learning. Because MyVoice invites and manages continuous input, it goes beyond traditional surveys. The unity, knowledge, and power of teachers and leaders creates the collective action and ownership for effective improvement. Teacher engagement is vitally important and MyVoice provides the simple opportunity to engage them in this critical process.

  • Teachers anonymously share their thoughts and engage in improving their schools
  • Education leaders receive actionable insight into the culture of their schools and districts

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