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Session Descriptions

2013 Middle Level Conference

Feb. 7–8, 2013
Westin Atlanta Airport Hotel
Atlanta, Georgia

The AVID® College Readiness System

A college–preparatory path is important to each step of a child's educational career. AVID encourages middle school students to pursue college–preparatory course work. Participants will learn:

  • How to implement AVID strategies to increase achievement and promotion/graduation rates for all students
  • Proven strategies and practices that schools have used across the country to improve achievement, especially for students who are the first in their families to go to college
  • Insight into the lessons AVID has learned in its 30+ years of helping students achieve at higher levels, regardless of their skin color or ZIP code

The AVID middle–level program better prepares students for rigorous high school and college courses. Key components for teachers are the training and support provided by the program.

Audience: Administrators, Curriculum Specialists and Teachers

Big Future™: Inspired by the Belief that All Students Deserve Good Guidance

What's more daunting than going to college? Figuring out how to get there. Students, families and educators must sift through mountains of information to answer challenging questions about whether, where and how to go to college — and then complete the challenging application process. Students from low–resource families face additional hurdles, often doubting they can attend at all. In this session, a panel of expert educators will provide participants with research and online tools to help students and families aspire, explore, choose and enroll in college and develop plans for utilizing these tools in their institutions.

Audience: Administrators, Counselors, Curriculum Specialists, Department Chairs and Teachers

Building Partnerships to Increase College Readiness and Success

As public funds tighten, supporting your college readiness vision can be difficult. In this session you will review resources for supplementing your college readiness development plan, such as education philanthropy and higher education partnerships.

Audience: Administrators, Curriculum Specialists and Department Chairs

College and Career Readiness: "A Transformative Process"

Learn how to use the transformative process to promote equity in student outcomes when using NOSCA's Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling. You'll also learn how to use the Eight Components publication as a tool to promote college and career readiness.

Audience: Administrators, Counselors, Curriculum Specialists and Department Chairs

Common Core Assessment Strategies and Challenges

In order to be better aligned with the Common Core State Standards and upcoming PARCC assessments, states have faced challenges such as determining:

  • the best way to measure the Common Core under current testing constraints
  • the most effective way to leverage the relationship between assessment and instruction
  • the clearest way to convey the instructional and assessment shifts that the Common Core Standards require

Beth Hart, senior director of research and development, will discuss these challenges and the strategies to mitigate them. Participants will take away best practices for implementation in their schools and districts.

Audience: Administrators, Counselors, Curriculum Specialists and Teachers

Connecting Students from the classroom to the world!

Goals for this session:

  • Discover tools to involve students in their own second language learning experience
  • Literally meet your peers in different parts of the world and participate together in service–learning projects dealing with global issues
  • Make the language–learning experience "real," practical and engaging.

Ascertain the advantages of a strong immersion language program that leads to bilingualism with the development of strong language skills.

Audience: Administrators, Curriculum Specialists, Department Chairs and Teachers

Establishing a Foundation for College Readiness at the Middle School Level

This session is designed for administrators, counselors, curriculum specialists, department chairs and teachers who wish to examine the difference between a student who is college eligible and college ready. In addition to examining these differences, you’ll investigate how these concepts translate to the middle school setting. Acknowledging the importance of creating a foundation for college and career readiness at the middle school level, you’ll develop strategies for building a culture of college readiness that is developmentally appropriate for middle school students.

Audience: Administrators, Counselors, Curriculum Specialists, Department Chairs and Teachers

Establishing a Middle School STEM Camp Through Public School/University Collaboration

Participants will examine a first year STEM Camp model developed by Methodist University in collaboration with Cumberland County Schools' AIG program. Participants will then develop strategies for implementing best practices in their own communities. Planning, funding and development of the camp schedule will be highlighted.

Audience: Administrators, Counselors, Curriculum Specialists and Teachers

Higher Learning: Encouraging Students to Create College and Career Goals That Will Sustain Them Through Middle School, High School and Into College

Higher Learning is a college readiness program dedicated to serving the community. With budget cuts, increasing caseloads and decreasing supportive staff, some schools have difficulty in providing the support students need regarding college readiness. Participants will understand how to use college search engines to assist their population with college and career readiness. They will assess their programs and create action plans to better serve their population with resources that their students can use from middle school throughout high school.

Audience: Administrators, Curriculum Specialists and Teachers

I Have a Vertical Team. Now What?

Examples of activities that can be used to discuss curriculum, instruction and assessment with a group of teachers from multiple grade levels will be shared and discussed. Participants will develop strategies to make vertical team meetings a positive and productive experience (as opposed to a "blame and complain" session).

Audience: Administrators, Counselors and Curriculum Specialists

Increasing College and Career Readiness through Parent, Family and Community Partnerships

In this session, participants will learn about the sensitivity necessary to effectively engage diverse parent, family and community populations in the college and career readiness process. School counselors will acquire the knowledge and skills needed to develop and deliver innovative and nontraditional college and career readiness interventions and strategies for parent, family and community partners.

Audience: Administrators, Counselors, Curriculum Specialists and Department Chairs

Inquiring Minds: Infusing Common Core Standards Part I and Part II

Inquiry is an important component of any good lesson. Too often the time given to inquiry is stymied at the recall level. Participants in this session will explore their own practices as they discover the important link between higher–level thinking and enduring understanding. Practical strategies, easily implemented into any classroom, will be presented as tools to infuse higher levels of thinking so that all students have more opportunities to develop the critical–thinking skills underscored by the Common Core Standards.

Audience: Administrators, Counselors, Curriculum Specialists, Department Chairs and Teachers

Inspect What You Expect: What to Look for in Rigorous Instruction

In this interactive session, participants will develop a clear definition of rigorous instruction and leave with the ability to identify and foster that instruction in their classrooms. Participants will begin by establishing a case for rigor using prior knowledge, educational experiences and current research. Through personal reflection and group discussion, individuals will begin to develop their own vision of rigorous instruction, and to compare and contrast that vision against research–based definitions from the field. By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  • Synthesize their experiences into a leadership vision of rigorous instruction
  • Take away tools for identifying that instruction in the classroom
  • Have a firm understanding of what it takes to create a culture of college readiness for all students

Audience: Administrators, Curriculum Specialists, Department Chairs and Teachers

What Do Pre–AP® and a Supportive Classroom Look Like?

Examples of what Pre–AP course work looks like for the four core subject areas will be shared and discussed. What distinguishes Pre–AP from honors or regular course work? What strategies exist to help more students reach the higher standard we are promoting? Lowering standards is simply not an option. Come to this session to analyze ways of operating your classroom differently. Be prepared to question some of your longstanding practices, and embrace new methods that have proven to be successful with a wide range of students.

Audience: Administrators, Curriculum Specialists, Department Chairs and Teachers

Customized Entry Pages


  • Southern Regional Office
  • The College Board
  • 3700 Crestwood Parkway
  • Suite 700
  • Duluth, Georgia 30096
  • Phone: (866) 392-4088
  • FAX: (770) 225-4062
  • Send us a message. SRO services the following states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

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