Three NTN elementary schools, Katherine Smith, Napa Junction, and Washington Discovery Academy, have been meeting periodically to learn, share, and think about the NTN elementary model. This week, they gathered “bright spots,” or practices that had been successful at their schools. Read more about their “bright spots” below.School:Katherine Smith ElementarySan Jose, [email protected] Spot: CirclesPurpose:Establish a safe environment so that students and adults feel a sense of  equality, safety, trust , responsibility, connection to each other,  and ownership to support social emotional growth. The result be a school community that is empathetic and responsive to the deeper issues we face.Description:The group in the room forms a stand-up or sit down circle.  The circle leader states the circle norms and uses a talking piece to facilitate the conversation.  Some circles are simple one-word check ins, other reflect on the learning process, others are designed to repair harm when students and adults find conflict.How:Step 1:  Establish Circle normsStep 2:  State questions or response topics.Step 3: Use the talking piece to either sequentially or non-sequentially share ideas, reflections, feelings, solutions, questions etc. to participate in the conversation.Step 4:  Adjust purpose of the circle as needed-opportunity to be responsiveSchool: Napa Junction Magnet SchoolAmerican Canyon, [email protected] Spot: Building Leadership CapacityPurpose:To build leadership to ensure sustainability of the work and school modelTo build a system of action-research, driven by interests and needs of staffTo build teachers’ knowledge, voice and confidence in facilitation skillsDescription:At our site, teachers have a role on one of two committees: culture or PBL.  Each committee meets monthly to research a specific topic based on input from staff and/or outcomes of data (surveys, student outcomes, etc).  Committees plan thoughtful agendas for professional learning, which they facilitate on a monthly basis with the whole staff.  How:  A school defines its top 2-3 needs and divides staff to serve on a committee that addresses one of the needs.  The committees are facilitated by school leaders who understand the dual purpose of each committee- deepen knowledge and build leadership.  The committees meet regularly to define specific needs and plan a professional learning activity for staff.  Each committee takes responsibility for a specific PL and plans accordingly.  On the day of the PL, the entire committee has a shared responsibility in leading the training.  The committee members then play a key role on their grade level team for applying and extending the PL.School: Washington Discovery AcademyPlymouth, [email protected] Spot: Building Capacity in Support TeachersPurpose:To build a unified culture that celebrates the professionalism and value added benefits of all staff members.Description:Classified staff has time to meet. Initially they gave feedback on school challenges and their role. Then they shifted to identifying adult learning needs and adaptive problem solving.How:Regular time to meet with aidesSurvey to identify needs-based learning of teamTime for classified staff to meet with NTN coach to build background knowledge and connection to the NetworkShift of language to “support teachers” instead of “aides” or “classified staff”Evolution of meetings from feedback/listening to active learning and problem solvingShift to give ownership of their own role and schedule to support student needs

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