|CS North Positioning the North Country to Lead the State in K-12 Computer Science Implementation|
A collaborative initiative of White Mountain Science Inc. and North Country Education Services, CS North is supporting North Country schools in planning for comprehensive and strategic implementation of computer science in grades K through 12.
The overarching goal is for the region’s schools to be leaders in developing STEM-capable graduates as a pipeline for an innovation economy in the North Country. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2020 there will be 1.4 million computer-science-related jobs available and only 400,000 computer science graduates with the skills to apply for those jobs.
NCES and White Mountain Science Inc. (WMSI) collaborated to pursue, and successfully obtain, funding aimed at the integration of computer science in North Country schools. With an award from Jane’s Trust, the project has three priorities:
#1. Deepening the understanding of what CS is and looks like in the elementary classroom.
#2. Promoting CS as a workforce development strategy.
#3. Focus #3. Jazzing students up about CS!
The initiative's timing is ideal. NH House Bill 1674 was signed into law on June 18, 2018, adding Computer Science as a core subject in grades K through 12 in NH’s definition of an adequate education. While the implementation schedule has yet to be set - the bill will go through rule making first - the work currently underway to support North Country schools will position schools to be well prepared for these changes and give our students a head start in this rapidly growing career field.
Learn more or download pdf info sheet
|Implementation Science Training Institute for North Country Schools and Partners|
|Dates: Wednesday, November 28th and Thursday, November 29th, 2018|
Time: 8:00 to 3:30
Location: Town & Country Motor Inn, Gorham, NH
Cost: Free to eligible teams (normally $599/person!!!)
Trainer: Beth Steenwyk
This training will allow teams to apply the proven principles and features of Implementation Science to real life practice/s they select. Understanding the key elements of implementation helps agencies and schools to more effectively choose and implement a new practice or initiative (such as Multi-Tiered Systems of Support in Schools, Trauma-Sensitive Schools, PBIS, SEL curriculum, etc.).
Who should attend? Teams who are responsible for implementing practices and/or are supporting large-scale initiatives. This learning forum will be an introduction to the implementation science through team application and activities. Teams will benefit the most if they have a key practice or initiative they are planning or currently implementing.
Participation eligibility: SAUs 3, 7, 9, 20, 23, 35, 36, 58, 68, 77 & 84, and as space allows from children/family-serving agencies in the region overlapping these North Country SAUs (as part of a school/district team or a single organization team or a multi-agency team).
Learn more (and/or register)
Sponsored by North Country Education Services with support from the Endowment for Health.
|North Country Partnership for SEL Practices|
|A coordinated effort focusing on social and emotional learning from a system framework is underway in the region served by NCES. Early last spring, to share the Project GROW experience, Shelli Roberts, principal of Bethlehem Elementary School, convened principals and other school personnel who are concerned about trauma-informed practices. Kelly Dussault, SAU 36’s System of Care Grant Coordinator, joined in shortly thereafter to co-facilitate the group.|
Since supporting students’ SEL is a trauma-sensitive practice, the partnership has evolved to a broader framework and is now referred to as the North Country Partnership for Social and Emotional Learning Practices. Mollie White, Executive Manager of the Coos Coalition of Young Children and Families, and Lori Langlois, Executive Director of NCES, have joined Shelli and Kelly in facilitating the effort of this regional partnership.
In collaboration with this partnership, NCES and the North Country Principals Association teamed up to provide a two-day foundational training with Cassie Yackley, Psy.D. to build the trauma-informed competence of educators and professionals in the region working with children. Over 80 people participated in the training this fall.
|WMSI's Mobile STEM After-School Program Supporting Workforce Development|
Photo: Jeremy Knowlton - WMSI Youth Director, Garrett Hodge - SAU 7 Student, Bill Church - Executive Director, Congresswoman Annie Kuster, Phoebe Ross - SAU 20 Student, Maddie Ellms - SAU 35 Student, Mike Carmon - WMSI Instructor, Patti Dugan-Henrikson - Groveton Educator, and Rebecca Hodge - Stewartstown Educator.
Congresswoman Annie Kuster visited WMSI at their soon to be new headquarters in downtown Littleton, NH to learn more about WMSI's workforce development project being supported by funding through the Northern Border Regional Commission. Building upon the existing mobile-stem lab program already being implemented in schools throughout the North Country, the project will focus on developing STEM and workplace skills of high school youth instructors who will be leading after-school programming in the elementary grades. The project will include entrepreneurial elements including a workshop series for high schoolers that will be conducted by White Mountains Community College.
|K-5 Computer Science Fundamentals|
|NCES will be working the Code.org Regional Partner, the UNH STEM Teachers Collaborative, to bring the one-day Computer Science Fundamentals workshop to the North Country. We are working to schedule training in Gorham, Lancaster, and Littleton during February vacation. If you would like to be contacted with the details, please add your name to this "interested" list. These will be free of charge. |
|What makes Social-Emotional Learning so Important?|
|From our colleagues at the SAU 36 System of Care, here are some highlights from their newsletter on SEL. Read more and see other monthly topics here.|
Social and emotional abilities are said to be indicators of how well a person adjusts to his or her environment, adapts to change and ultimately, how successful she or he will be in life. In fact, core developmental abilities such as conscientiousness, emotional stability, openness and agreeableness can be as or even more important than cognitive intelligence in determining future employment. Despite these competencies being related to consequential life outcomes, it can be challenging for educators to find effective ways to prioritize, teach and assess social and emotional skills. Developing these core life abilities through social and
emotional learning (SEL) is critical to a child’s development, as it directly correlates to success and happiness as an adult. For many children, school is the only place where any deficiencies in these abilities can be addressed before they become active members of society.
Is SEL worth the investment?
According to a report based on a national principal survey on how SEL can prepare children and transform schools, there is data to support the importance of embedding social and emotional development in schools. The report cites a 2011 analysis that found that students who receive high-quality SEL instruction have achievement scores on average of 11 percentile points higher than students who did not receive SEL instruction. However, the benefits of SEL do not end at graduation. Another recent study looked at five primary social and emotional skills - open-mindedness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, extraversion and agreeableness – to determine which are the strongest indicators of success. The study revealed a lack of SEL regularly correlated with unfavorable outcomes such as an increased chance of unemployment, divorce, poor health, criminal behavior and imprisonment.
To further justify the advantages of the SEL, a report shared that advances in neuroscience imply developing SEL skills in kindergarten can have long-term academic benefits on students’ reading and vocabulary, including high-poverty schools, suggesting that SEL may assist in closing achievement gaps. Researchers at Columbia University concluded that
for every dollar a school spends on social-emotional learning programs, it sees an eleven dollar return on its investment. According to the American Journal of Public Health (2016),
for every one point increase in a child’s social competency score in kindergarten, they were twice as likely to obtain a college degree and 46% more likely to have a full time job by the age of 26. Likewise, for every one point decrease in a child’s social skills score in kindergarten, she or he had a 67% higher chance of having been arrested in early adulthood, a 52% higher rate of binge drinking and an 82% higher chance of being in or on a waiting list for public housing.
Framework for Systemic Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)
5 core competencies:
- social awareness
- relationship skills
- responsible decision-making
SEL is not a single program or teaching method. It involves coordinated strategies across classrooms, schools, homes and communities, and districts. Learn more at casel.org.