TCRWP led two leadership summit events

On February 1 and again on February 3 and 4, the TCRWP led two leadership summit events—one for principals and superintendents of 60 schools across Western and Central Connecticut, the other for 100 principals and superintendents of TCRWP California districts. Both events began with the school leaders listening to each host district’s superintendent—Dr McGee in Palo Alto and Dr Baldwin in Ridgefield. At both sites, the participating school leaders then visited a span of K-5 workshop classrooms together. Each school leader was responsible for looking with one lens and the group pooled their insights afterwards to talk together about possible next steps for both the classrooms they visited and their own schools.

At both Ridgebury School in Ridgefield and Nixon School in Palo Alto, principals witnessed the dramatic progress that can be made within just two years of work with Units of Study in Reading and Writing. Conversation afterwards revolved around the obvious power of a cohesive curriculum, and the leadership moves that rallied teachers across those schools to be willing to learn together. The principals who visited a second school, Palo Verde in Palo Alto, saw the results that can come from a sustained multi-year involvement with this curriculum.

“The central purpose of these events was really networking,” Calkins reports. “In both states, many schools work alone to reinvent the same wheel—and we want to do everything possible to help Connecticut and California create the same state-wide coalition of schools that exists in New York.” Both leadership summits led to plans for collaboration between districts. Inter-visitations were planned, and efforts to respond to state initiatives were launched. For example, in California, there is now a shared google doc for the California TCRWP Collaborative, with scores of districts contributing documents such as observation guides, revisions of history curriculum to reflect California curriculum, and the spine of what will become a shared effort to support ENLs studying within reading and writing workshops. In Connecticut, plans are now underway for a multi-district summer institute to be held this summer in a central Connecticut location.