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HOPE in Action - 2007 Holiday Edition

Title: HOPE in Action - 2007 Holiday Edition

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 Professional Development Newsletter
Issue 2 ~ December 2007 
  • What's Inside  

Happy Holidays!

On behalf of everyone at the HOPE Foundation, we would like to wish you a safe and happy holiday season! To usher in the New Year, we would like to provide you the second installment of our quarterly newsletter, HOPE in Action. Enclosed are powerful implementation strategies as well as success stories to build and encourage your efforts to engage your entire learning community. Here at HOPE, we appreciate your passion and drive for ensuring success for all of your students and we are committed to working with you to make schools places where teachers love to teach and students are excited to learn.

Inside this Issue: Professional Development In Action | Success Stories | Inspiration and Resources

  • Professional Development in Action  

Bea Mah HollandAppreciative Inquiry: A Stategy for Reshaping Education that Builds on Strengths and Hopes
by Bea Mah Holland

Imagine an approach to strengthening your workplace that is based on solutions that have worked, that is collaborative, and that harnesses the collective wisdom of everyone—not just those in traditional leadership roles, but representatives of every constituency with a stake in the outcome. Instead of repeating deeply ingrained patterns of “doing things the same old way and expecting different results,” Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a powerful opportunity to work in radically different ways—and produce radically different results. While deceptively simple in its practice, AI has brought about noteworthy outcomes around the world in virtually every sector: business, health care, education, and both not-for profit and government agencies. AI has been used in working with educational systems of every size: individuals in one-on-one coaching situations, groups of students, work teams, school districts, and entire communities that have committed themselves to educational transformation. Read more

  Deborah Wortham Simple Strategies for Collaboration
by Deborah Wortham

One strategy used to foster collaboration is called “Say-So." Say-So is used to foster collaboration during faculty meetings or other potentially collaborative gatherings. It is created by drawing a circle on a sheet of paper with lines radiating out from the circle and enlarging it to poster size. Staff members write a “burning issue” in the middle of the circle and write possible solutions on the lines. Resolutions are published and actions taken because they “said-so.”

Another method for fostering collaboration is called “Entry Ticket.” Prior to a meeting, place table numbers on each table. As staff members enter the meeting, they receive a ticket with a corresponding table number. This allows staff to have the opportunity to communicate (and maybe collaborate) with colleagues with whom they rarely communicate. Read more

  Terrence E. Deal Leading on a Teeter-Totter: Balancing Rationality and Spirituality
by Terrence E. Deal

Top-performing organizations have high standards; they measure progress consistently and systematically. Achieving excellence has an equally vital existential pillar, however—one that is ethereal and hard to quantify, but with powerful and farreaching effects. Attaining distinction demands bi-focal leaders who can counterpoise rationality and spirituality. An overly logical organization lacks vigor; an overly zealous spirit-driven enterprise often lacks rigor.

Imagine a playground teeter-totter. Most of us can recall being on a see-saw with someone much heavier on the other end. When that happens, the teeter-totter loses its stable fulcrum point and is thrown out of balance. Equilibrium becomes impossible, spoiling the ups and downs that make a seesaw so much fun. Read more

spacer • Success Stories
  • Success Spotlight  

Jefferson Elementary Sign Choir performs all its songs in sign language. Here they prepare to perform at a Colorado Rockies game at Coors Field in Denver for 15,000 people. Jefferson Elementary School (Colorado Springs, CO)

Theresa Newsom has made it a point to create unique opportunities for the large number of Deaf/Hard of Hearing (D/HH) students at Jefferson Elementary, a traditionally underserved student population in public schools.  As the Colorado Springs School District 11 Elementary Program for the D/HH students, Jefferson has committed to a “total communication approach” to learning that includes speech production training, intense oral and written language instruction, and use of Signing Exact English (SEE). The most inspiring result of this commitment to D/HH students has been the remarkable and immediate success of the Jefferson Elementary Sign Choir which performs all its songs in sign language. Read more


HOPE Foundation Executive Director Nancy Shin (far right) and Wichita educators celebrate during a Failure Is Not an Option® Courageous Leadership Academy session in the fall of 2006.Wichita Public Schools Report Student Achievement on the Rise

Bloomington, Indiana – In the middle of the second year participating in the HOPE Foundation’s Courageous Leadership Academy, a district-wide reform effort that develops collaborative learning communities within and between schools, Wichita Public Schools reports that more schools in the district are making AYP in 2007 than in 2006. The improved student achievement in Wichita is made even more significant in light of the fact that AYP targets increased significantly during the same time period.  

On the district level, Wichita met 36 of 42 AYP subgroup targets, narrowed the achievement gap between Caucasian and African-American students and exceeded the states’ graduation target. The district met AYP for all students in reading and math, along with goals in participation, attendance and graduation. Read more

  RooseveltRoosevelt Magnet School (Peoria, IL)

Taunya Jenkins, Principal of Roosevelt Magnet School in Peoria, Illinois, is well aware of the challenges her school faces. These challenges not only include the federal mandates under the No Child Left Behind legislation that apply to every school, but a further set of self-imposed expectations that come from Jenkins herself. These include: meeting all requirements set by the community; meeting all the needs of parents; and meeting all the academic and emotional needs of each individual student. These challenges are daunting, so it’s a good thing that Roosevelt Magnet School is a special place. Read more

    • Inspiration and Resources    

HOPE Quilt HOPE Unveils Inspirational Quilt at the Denver International Event

Bloomington, Indiana – Fabric artist Zenobia Washington unveiled the Hope Quilt, created by 15 middle school students from Georgetown, South Carolina on the opening day of the first Failure Is Not an Option® International Conference in Denver on October 23-26, 2007. The display of the quilt was one piece of a multi-part Voices of Youth presentation on the opening of the conference that also included a showing of the Imagine a School video created by Canadian students in collaboration with the Canadian Education Association and a musical performance by 40 students from the Rocky Mountain Children’s Choir. Taken together, the Voices of Youth presentations displayed the inspiring potential for creative student _expression_ and emphasized the importance of creating an educational climate in which students’ own visions are placed at the center of how educators teach and engage children. Read more

    Spirituality in Educational Leadership HOPE Announces Release of Spirituality in Educational Leadership

Bloomington, Indiana –  Spirituality in Educational Leadership, volume 3 of The Soul of Educational Leadership series -- edited by Alan Blankstein, award-winning author of Failure Is Not an Option®; Paul Houston, Executive Director of the American Association of School Administrators; and Robert Cole,  proprietor and founder of Edu-Data -- is scheduled to be released on December 11 by Corwin Press. Spirituality in Educational Leadership explores the underlying spiritual principles that shape educators’ core values and serves to re-energize educators who are committed to giving their full physical and moral energy to their profession.

Answering the question posed by editor Paul Houston, “What’s Spirituality Got to Do With It?” this concise volume makes the key distinction that “spiritual” is not used in a religious sense, but rather as a element of enlightened leadership that brings inner wisdom and moral purpose to bear on educational practices. According to Houston, the purpose of bringing spirituality into current discussions of educational leadership is “to shape a better future for our organizations and the children we serve.” Read more

Where There Is HOPE, Failure Is Not an Option®
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HOPE Foundation
1252 N. Loesch Rd. • PO Box 906
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812.355.6000 • www.hopefoundation.org

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