From time to time, we share a snapshot the ways schools and districts are working with Engaging Schools. Today, let’s visit Anchorage, Alaska, where for more than 25 years, Engaging Schools has been supporting teachers and leaders in the Anchorage School District to integrate academics with social and emotional learning (SEL) for almost 48,000 students in more than 100 schools and programs. Anchorage was the first district outside of New York City to implement our Resolving Conflict Creatively Program (RCCP); every year we provide Anchorage educators with fresh copies of RCCP’s core curriculum, Connected and Respected. For more on the district’s commitment to SEL among all of its students, visit its SEL professional learning web page.
In June 2014, Engaging Schools expanded work in Anchorage when we delivered our four-day Engaged Classrooms Institute. Teams of teachers representing more than 20 middle and high schools across the district attended this institute, which was facilitated by Nicole Frazier, Engaging Schools consultant and co-author of Activators: Classroom Strategies for Engaging Middle and High School Students. Through participation in the institute and subsequent coaching and mentoring, teachers learned to improve their classroom management skills and to support students’ improved self- and social awareness, self-management, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. Teachers also learned how to engage all their students in academic work by using core practices such as responsive conferencing, group learning, effective teacher talk, habits of learning, and universal expectations.
Teachers learned techniques from Activators to increase students’ attention and interest and to maximize their class participation. The book was so well received at the institute that the district later ordered 600 additional copies to distribute to all middle and high schools in the district (for your own peek inside Activators, we’re offering Chapter 4, Foundational Activators, as a free download).
Here’s to another 25 years, Anchorage! It’s been an honor to be a partner in your work.