Dec 1-3, Senior Associates David Cramer and Ralph Jahr attended the annual AdvancEd Conference held in Atlanta, Georgia, in the U.S. Each year this conference hosts a gathering of school administrators from schools in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Because AdvancEd is an accreditation organization, the focus of the conference was, not surprisingly, on the accreditation process and continuous improvement.
However, there were many professional development sessions geared to other aspects of international school operations. Participants attended two-hour sessions that covered topics, such as increasing student motivation, engaging learners in assessment, building trust among all members of a school community, curriculum mapping, strengthening the school board, and measuring the effectiveness of a school's child protection program.
Three engaging keynote speakers began each day. Tuesday's talk by Dr. Lee Jenkins offered simple, but powerful tips on how to increase student engagement, using examples from elementary through high school. On Wednesday morning, Jack Berckemeyer spoke humorously about using data to drive decision-making in an optimistic and positive way in order to become an advocate for kids and to change the culture and climate of schools. Dr. Mark Elgart, President and CEO of AdvancEd, spoke on Thursday about both the fragility and boundless potential of education today. He discussed the commitment needed for an environment of innovation necessary in a school with sustainable, continuous improvement, the kind of school that will always inspire successful teaching and learning.
The conference afforded David and Ralph opportunities to meet school heads new to the region and reconnect with the many school heads they already know. The event was not only enlightening, but also a productive networking situation that was hopefully, as valuable for the international schools involved, as it was for the Associates.
"Engaging Learners for Success." AdvancEd Latin America Conference Agenda. 2015. Web. 05 January 2016. http://www.cvent.com/events/advanced-latin-american-conference-2015/agenda.