Seven teachers from the Cossatot River School District attended the College-and-Career-Readiness Standards Networking Conference hosted by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) July 14-16 in Nashville, Tennessee. Four of the teachers in attendance were from Cossatot River High School: Beverly Higgins (English), Jill Hunter (Counselor), Tim Walston (Music), and Leona Martin (Math Coach). Mary Ferguson and Sharon Miles represented the Cossatot River Elementary Wickes Campus math department. Umpire High School was represented by Math Teacher, Carla Golden.
Over 1,100 teachers, administrators, and experts attended the conference in which Melinda Gates was the keynote speaker. Arkansas had the largest teacher representation with 130 participants.
Teachers attended training sessions by SREB staff and presentations by teachers from across the nation, gaining valuable techniques, strategies, and ideas to implement in their classroom. Three of the local teachers also presented at the conference. Higgins presented the strategies used to successfully implement Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC), one of the main comprehensive literacy programs recommended by the Arkansas Department of Education, in a rural district. Golden’s and Martin’s presentation detailed the steps taken to train other teachers to utilize Formative Assessment Lessons as part of the Math Design Collaborative (MDC) which is designed to enable students to become problem solvers. Cossatot River High School, as the former Wickes High School, was one of the eight high schools in Arkansas chosen to pilot LDC and MDC in 2011.
These teachers received scholarships from both SREB and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to fund the trip.