Turnaround School Leaders Project participants from Battle Creek Public Schools and Kalamazoo Public Schools gathered in June at the Fetzer Center, on the campus of Western Michigan University. For some participants, it marked the third year of partnership with the Turnaround School Leader Project, a Department of Education two million dollar grant awarded to Western’s Special Education and Literacy Studies Department in 2014.
The June Summer Conference opened with Jacob Booth, a recent graduate of Otsego Public High School. Jake shared an inspiring story of the impact made on his life by a few of his teachers. Jake urged educational leaders in the room to “be a life saver”. He encouraged them to take the time to get to know their students especially those who go unnoticed like him. With the inspirational keynote address from Jacob, the day unfolded with multiple sessions building on participant’s leadership knowledge in a number of areas. The annual TSLP Summer Conference provided opportunities for each district to attend sessions on behavioral interventions, data analysis, and future efforts within the districts. Sessions on data analysis were tailored to each district and brought a deeper comprehension of data driven instruction.
Throughout the day participants were caught on camera as they were interviewed regarding their experiences over the past three years of working with TSLP project. Participants highlighted local successes, as well as the evident impact that the Turnaround School Leaders Project has had on their educational careers.
The TSLP Management Team is currently planning the last Summer Conference of the three-year grant. The final summer conference will take place at the Fetzer Center in August 2017. The conference will allow the district and teacher leaders to model the best educational practices while working alongside their educational partners to impact student learning and professional development initiatives. Both school districts are looking forward to the final summer conference and the beginning of another school year filled with new opportunities to directly impact the students in their districts.