National speakers coming to FWCS! - November 28, 2005
Nationally-known educators, authors and consultants Dr. Rick DuFour and Becky DuFour will present a keynote address to all elementary staff from Fort Wayne Community Schools’ 34 schools. The session will take place from 8-9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 8 at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum Expo Center. The address is scheduled during the district’s third of six elementary two-hour delay days that provide time for in-service and professional training for staff. It is the first time the district has gathered all of its elementary staff together for training. The DuFours will be in Fort Wayne for two days to work with elementary, middle and high school principals to help staff learn more about their phenomenally successful “Professional Learning Communities (PLC)” model. Thursday morning's keynote is the largest of several scheduled events. The two-day event is supported through The Wallace Foundation's LEAD Grant. The most promising strategy for sustained, substantive school improvement is building the capacity of school personnel to function as a Professional Learning Community, said Milbrey McLaughln, Ed.D., of Stanford University. Thursday, the DuFours will discuss “Critical Priorities in Building a PLC.” In the ground-breaking book, “Good to Great,” researchers found that organizations able to make that leap “had the discipline to stop doing all the extraneous junk.” As important as a “to do” list is a “stop doing” list! The DuFours’ keynote address will clarify both the things staff must do and the things staff must stop doing to create professional learning communities in their schools. “This approach is shown to be highly successful in improving student achievement and at the same time giving us the tools we need to keep the focus on what works,” said Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson. Dr. DuFour was a public school educator for 34 years, serving as a teacher, principal and superintendent. His high school is one of three in the nation to win the US Department of Education Blue Ribbon Award on four occasions. He is the author of seven books and over 40 professional articles. Becky DuFour, M.Ed., has served as a teacher, school administrator and central office coordinator. She has co-authored three books and written for numerous professional journals. The couple has consulted with school districts and state departments of education across the nation. FWCS is in its fourth year of its five-year, $5 million LEAD grant from The Wallace Foundation to develop and implement strategies to improve academic achievement through strong instructional leadership. The district is one of only 12 in the nation selected to participate. To learn more about the foundation and its work, visit www.wallacefoundation.org NOTE TO MEDIA: You are invited to this session. The DuFours will be available for interviews at the end of the session at about 9:30 a.m.