Our small-but-mighty Ed100 team has just returned from the California State PTA convention, which this year was held in Ontario, California. (Next year: May 16-18, 2019 in Monterey.)
The last Ed100 drawing of this school year will be held on the morning of May 10.
It was a great opportunity to interact with leaders of PTAs from across the state. In just three days, over 200 individuals who visite our booth joined Ed100. We also had a lot of opportunities to converse with PTA leaders and gather feedback. Here are some of the things on our minds.
Wanted: Outreach Coordinator for the Ed100 team. In order to get where we're going, we need another person on the team to drive our outreach efforts, supporting parent leaders. We imagine this as a flexible, part-time contract role, about 20 hours per week. Here's the full job description. Who do you know, friends?
Being at the Convention gave us useful time for reflection. Here are some of our top-of-mind insights.
The drawings are a useful tool for leaders. We hope more PTAs will "lean into it" in the coming school year. When is it ever urgent for PTA leaders (and members) to get informed about California's education system? It's the kind of thing you can put off until, well, forever, right? Ed100 drawings help create urgency. They happen on specific, preannounced dates. Those dates can serve as deadlines you can organize for. We have one more drawing for this school year, on the morning of May 10. We have scheduled two for next school year (want to see the dates? Check our Win page.)
Planning good PTA meetings is hard. Ed100 could help more with that. Many PTA leaders we spoke with didn't know that it is OK to use Ed100's lessons and blog posts as material to make their mailings and meetings more informative. When we showed them our Parent Leader Guide (which includes sample meeting plans and announcements), many weren't aware of it. (It's in the Resources menu.)
Summer is a key time to plan. Our conversations with seasoned PTA leaders uncovered some possible approaches. For example: At a summer planning session, council or district leaders could pencil out a curriculum for the year in consultation with their unit presidents, using Ed100. At that meeting they could select which Ed100 lessons they will emphasize in which month and then send those lessons out as pre-reading for meetings. When planning how to promote these meetings in email or social media, the questions from the "In This Lesson" block for each lesson can serve as handy teasers.
Education Myths are weirdly... helpful? Our most effective handout at Convention was a page with three multiple-choice questions about California's education system. All of the questions were fairly basic. In the course of the event, many individuals expressed confidence in their answers… but they were wrong. Only four people answered all three questions correctly. Of those four, three were graduates of Ed100. The point? The education system is complex. Understanding it is important and achievable, but requires learning about it on purpose. That's what Ed100 is for.
The Ed100 Big Deck of Questions is a tasty tray of "appetizers" to get you thinking. Try it!
Celebrate Ed100 graduates. At present, about 200 people have earned their Ed100 completion certificate, passing the quiz for every lesson offered. In the coming school year we want to focus on boosting that number. We aren't quite sure how we will do it, but it feels like an important goal. We would appreciate ideas and suggestions that don't require a big budget or a big staff.
It's Time to Reset the Leaderboard. We will hold our last drawing of the school year very soon, on May 10. After the drawing, we will "reset" the Ed100 leaderboard, putting everyone on the same, level playing field. At this time, we will re-open all of the quizzes. Existing participants can freshen up on the lessons, re-take quizzes and earn new tickets for the new school year. (To Beacon Park Elementary and King-Drew Medical Magnet High: Be advised — you won't be able to rest on your laurels!)
Español. All of our lessons are available in Spanish, but being "available" isn't enough. At present less than a tenth of the pages viewed are in Spanish. OK, hive mind: we aren't getting this done on our own. We need help. How can Ed100 to build a more diverse movement of parent leaders? Got a connection? Email me directly if you know what to do!
Ed100 exists to demystify California's education system for people who want to make it work better for kids. Most of our readers are frequent volunteers, like us. As this school year draws to a close, we are looking forward to a transformative summer. Thank you for all you do. We have an exciting to-do list. If you have a little time and want to get involved in making it happen, please drop me a line!
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