I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

National School Boards Association Convention San Diego 2009 Day 4

Today is the final day of the 2009 NSBA conference in San Diego. Today's session is shortened, with only one break out workshop this morning and then the 4th General Session.

The workshop session I chose to attend this morning focused on strategies for effective dissemination of conference information; The forum was well attended-- and the topic discussed was methods for conveying the value of the yearly NSBA conference to each attendee's home district.

Some strategies suggested included the following:

1. Contacting local media to let them know about the NSBA conference, and the value it brings locally.
2. Putting a NSBA conference report on the next school board agenda. (I'm planning on doing this)
3. Issuing a press release
4. Discussing the sessions with the Superintendent and district leadership team.

In addition, this morning session provided the opportunity to network with other board members at the table. I met and spoke with fellow school board members from Washington State, Kentucky, California, Alberta Canada, and Quebec Canada.

The Quebec school board member, Mrs. Brenda Bailey, and I discussed utilization of laptops for learning. I explained to her that I had suggested that my Florida district purchase inexpensive laptops for distribution to poverty stricken students to jump-start learning. I explained to her that the idea was, unfortunately, not well received and did not go anywhere.

Mrs. Bailey then went into great detail and described her district's SUCCESS with such a program---they distribute a laptop to every child in the district, (6,000 students) and have been doing so for 6 years with amazing results. Her school district, Commission Scolaire Eastern Townships, has a web site that discusses how the program works, pedagogical techniques for teachers, objectives, outcomes, and press releases. Here is a link to that page:

I was very impressed with what this small district in Quebec was able to do--and meeting Mrs. Bailey and hearing her district's story was one of the highlights for me at this year's conference. Her story has re-ignited my desire to pursue laptops for students at risk in Escambia County.

Next up for the NSBA convention 2009's final day will be the 4th general session, featuring a keynote speech from Three Cups of Tea co-author and nonprofit Central Aisa Institute co-founder Greg Mortenson.

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