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Session Descriptions

2014 Middle Level Conference

Jan 27-28, 2014
Tampa Marriott Westshore
Tampa, FL.

The AVID Strategies and Advanced Placement Rigor in Middle Schools

Participants will examine, experiment with, and evaluate the use of AVID strategies for analyzing primary and secondary sources based on the AP World History document-based question. Using these strategies will help middle school teachers introduce rigorous methods of analysis that align with Common Core Standards and that will prepare students for Advanced Placement rigor in high school. Participants will examine a model four-day course designed for social studies and AVID teachers (grades 6–12) that prepares them to implement these and other strategies.

Audience: Curriculum Specialists, Counselors, Department Chairs, District Administrators, 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 decide whether, where, and how to go to college — and then complete the 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 research and online tools to help students and families explore, choose, and enroll in college.

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"

Participants will learn how to use the transformative process to promote equity in student outcomes by using NOSCA's Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling, and 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 better align 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 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 are:

  • To discover tools to involve students in their own second–language–learning experience.
  • To explore meeting peers in different parts of the world — literally — and participating together in service–learning projects dealing with global issues.
  • To consider how to make the language–learning experience "real," practical and engaging.

Learn about the advantages of a strong language immersion 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 educators who wish to examine the difference between a student who is college eligible and one who is college ready. Participants will investigate how these concepts translate to the middle school setting and 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. They 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 staff, some schools have difficulty providing the support students need to become college ready. Participants will assess their programs and create action plans to better serve their population with resources that their students can use from middle school through 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 "blame and complain" sessions).

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 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 and discover the important link between higher-level thinking and enduring understanding. They will learn practical strategies, easily implemented in any classroom, to infuse higher levels of thinking so that all students have 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 establish a case for rigor using prior knowledge, educational experiences, and current research, and then begin to develop their own vision of rigorous instruction, comparing and contrasting that vision with 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.
  • 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? Come to this session to analyze ways of operating your classroom differently. Be prepared to question some of your long-standing 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
  • 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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