DESCRIPTION:  When the need is signifiant and urgent, it’s tempting to try anything and everything  to achieve results. Narrowing the focus and going deep on a few key transformative practices is the secret sauce to successful systemic transformation.  In this message the superintendent shares the district leadership’s focus for the coming year.


One of the most critical jobs leaders face in transformation schools is getting everyone on board with the vision for change.We call this building collective aspiration. The Santa Fe Center describes collective aspiration as “A strong desire by a group of people to create something important.” Linda will examine one of the best ways to build your team’s collective aspiration — creating shared images of success. Participants will experiment with creating such images, learn why it’s important, and hear how to take this learning back to their schools.



DESCRIPTION: Michael Lipset, a teaching artist researching hip-hop based school reform, will speak about the imperative for and the structures supporting project-based learning.  He will offer examples from High School for Recording Arts, a project-based high school in St. Paul, MN.

TITLE:  The Graduate Profile 

Dr. Davis will present the Graduate Profile that FFSD will shape in the coming school term.

COURSE:  CULTURE EATS STRATEGY FOR BREAKFASTDr. Linda Henke, Founder and Director of the Santa Fe Center for Transformational School Leadership

Peter Drucker’s phrase rings true in transformative schools.  This 3-session seminar explores how we can collaborate with our staff members and students to create a culture where everyone is focused on doing high quality learning work.  We will practice strategies for high-level collaboration, shared leadership, and growth mindset — all of which shape culture and propel achievement.

COURSE:  COACHING FROM THEORY TO APPLICATION — Lettecia Kratz, Certified Art of Coaching Trainer 

Coaching is a form of development in which a person called a coach supports a learner or client in achieving a personal or professional goal by providing training, advice and guidance.  There are many facets to coaching.  This seminar will address active listening, belief systems, sphere of influence, and how to have difficult conversations based on the work form Elena Aguilar, The Art of Coaching.

COURSE:  DEEPER LEARNING SLICE:  A TASTE OF PROJECT-BASED LEARNING — District Leaders, Kevin Voepel, Eric Hadley, Adrienne Bland, Chris Ries have organized a deeper learning experience, via Project-Based Learning protocols, that takes the entire institute deep into the culture of the FFSD community. Through immersion in the community via interviews, observations, and face-to-face discourse with our neighbors, we will learn deeply what it means to live and work in this community.  This is a day in the life of project-based learning at its best.


Exploring Endless Possibilities by Design – Ferguson Middle School – Team: Katy Chambers, Holly James, Beth Derhake — Working through the Action Research Plan, one goal consistently rose to the top.  The primary goal of Ferguson Middle School is to move students from a culture of sit-n-git to project-based learning in their newly designed school garden.  Learn how transformation has grown from the ground up with the help

of donors, stakeholders, administrators, students, teachers, and the community.  The presenters also will address some of the victories and challenges they encountered throughout the process.

Exploring Deeper Learning through Project-Based Instruction — Matt Fletcher, Corry Culp, Ashley Burke — Come learn about how district 7th grade social studies teachers explored deep learning through the development of a PBL unit:  Magna Carta.  In this sessions teachers will share their reflections.

Developing a Nested Pattern of Broad Participation, Belonging, and Agency for All Members of Robinwood Community — Malinda Ice, Kelley Schnettgoecke, Jacqueline Moonier, Beth Wojciechowski — Over the course of the 2016-2017 school year, Robinwood staff examined ways to engage all stakeholders to create a sense of belonging and community.

Fostering Belonging and Agency to Promote Success at Parker Road Elementary — Jane Crawford, Ingrid Carter, Chanel Higgins, Casey Hunt, Angela Mitchell — During the course of the school year, Parker Road’s Action Research Team realized the importance of moving from a friendly and welcoming school community to one of team work and collaboration for all stakeholders.  This involved examining the current culture and finding ways to encourage and create a more inclusive and responsive school culture.  The presenters will discuss what they learning, the action steps they took and the positive outcomes from efforts to transform Parker Road’s school culture.

The Power of Shared Leadership at Walnut Grove – Teresa Green, Leslie Dailey, Jen Andrade, Liz Vegovisch — Through our action research project we learned to place authentic learning at the core of our

work and to nurture a culture of empathy and compassion with a goal of share

d leadership throughout the organization.  Learn about how our team began to develop high-level skills in collaboration, apply systems thinking, and des

ign around complex issues.

How Design Thinking Shared Central Elementary School Culture — Sheldon McAfee, Stacey Robinson, Jennifer Redd, Julie Hoener, Amber Spencer, Marty Blandford, Jennifer Williams — The Central Elementary School team explored ways to improve the school culture, specifically ways to get students to be nice, polite, peaceful and respectful to each other.  We set this area of focus because the staff of Central agreed that students’ negative attitudes and behavior toward other students makes teaching difficult.  Using the Design Thinking approach, we challenged ourselves to do the work that our students needed us to do for them to be successful.

From Punitive to Positive:  A Deeper Look at Restorative Practices at Parker Road — Jane Crawford, Ingrid Carter, Chanel Higgins, Casey Hunt, Angela Mitchell — In this action research project, we were given the time, talent, and resources to tackle a problem of practice.  With few resources and support for students with challenging behaviors, student referrals and suspensions were increasing this school year.  Learn how we utilized the Plan, Act, Reflect process to determine a method to address the issue through restorative practices.

Building a Culture of Empathy and Compassion at Commons Land Elementary — Heather Carroll, Christy Brooks, Shannon Grey, Hollie Barron — The staff at Commons Land Elementary School made it a priority this year to problem solve how we could create a more positive climate and culture for our students by supporting the behavioral needs of our students in new ways.  Learn how we used dialogue, check-in circles, and the Iceberg Model as tools throughout this action research project.

Changing Mindsets: Lessons Learned Through The Art of Coaching at Lee Hamilton — Pam Burroughs and Elise Hoke — Learn how the use of the strategies of transformative coaching, used in writing,  results in a change in belief systems and mindsets.

How Does Math Instruction Begin?  A Look at the Importance of Developing Number Sense in Kindergarten and How it Impacts Future Mathematical Reasoning Skills — Karen Antalick, Kathy Knutson, Beth Wojciechowski — The kindergarten team will share what early math instruction looks like at the beginning of the year, which includes calendar math, concepts of early numeracy, and how it impacts subsequent math skills taught in later grades.  The team provided PD to kindergarten teachers on district units of study.

Deeper Learning in STEM at Parker Road Elementary — Roxanne Provence — Reflections of a journey into deeper learning through facilitation of after-school math professional development.

The Impact of Intentional Questioning — Lori Sammelmann — The results of an action research project between an ISL and a lab classroom teacher on the impact of intentional questioning on 6th grade students’ responses.

SCHEDULE for Summer Institute for Excellence in School Leadership