At the State Department of Education, we send frequent emails and e-newsletters to communicate important programs to educators throughout the state. I would like to reiterate a few of those offerings in my regular column.
First, teachers and school administrators have the opportunity to participate in regional Oklahoma C3 Standards training sessions. The sessions offered focus on secondary and elementary training in Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and math, and state standards in science, social studies and leadership. Several of our department directors model new lessons and even allow evaluation of the model lessons by administrators using our new Teacher and Leader Effectiveness evaluations, giving educators double the benefit for free.
We’ve already had very successful training sessions in Stillwater and Bartlesville, drawing almost 1,000 educators. The sessions scheduled for February and March will take place in Hugo and Weatherford. Educators can click on the link below to get more details and register for specific trainings! For questions regarding the trainings, please contact the State Department of Education’s Office of Instruction at (405) 521-3361.
Another thing I want to draw attention to is Oklahoma Speed Test Month, which begins February 1.
As we prepare for next generation online assessments, to be launched beginning in 2014, we need to ensure that every school in the state has Internet access fast enough for digital learning. Every student and teacher deserves access to transformative tools -- such as the best online apps for video, interactive content, learning management, and digital assessment.
The goal of School Speed Test month is to take an inventory of the Internet connection speed in the classroom at every one of Oklahoma’s 1,700+ K-12 schools. This information will be used not only as we plan for new assessments, but also as part of our budget process to make the case for increased investment in Internet access for our schools. Starting February 1, students, teachers, or any person on a school network can go to http://partners.schoolspeedtest.org/oklahoma, to test the speed of their school’s Internet access and to become part of the movement to upgrade their school to learning-ready high speed Internet.
Finally, I’d like to alert all educators to the valuable program, AlcoholEDU.
This free alcohol prevention resource is available to all Oklahoma high schools. It is a 90-minute online, evidence-based alcohol education course offered through funding provided by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
A videoconference will be held from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Friday, January 25. This presentation will demonstrate the simple steps for activating and implementing this course in your school. Superintendents, principals, and other educators dealing with health education and alcohol prevention for grades 7 through 12 should plan to take part in this conference. Sign up by going to http://ok.gov/sde/node/2983.