2017 PreK-3 Principal Leadership Series

The PreK-3 Principal Leadership Series provides “a structure and a set of principles that can guide principals in creating and supporting connections” between the intersecting worlds of PreK and K-12. School leaders will have opportunities to learn from national and state PreK-3 leaders on the principal’s role in leading PreK-3. Participants will reflect on their current context and needs identified through self-assessments. There will be time to discuss new, research-based information and create action plans to support effective PreK-3 implementation.The Leadership Series is designed to develop principal competencies outlined in the National Association of Elementary School Principals’ Leading Pre-K-3 Learning Communities: Competencies for Effective Principal Practice.

Goal: To build and support the capacity of principals to systematically and effectively lead PreK-3 efforts in their schools and communities to improve the learning outcomes for all children.

Sessions - Cohort 4 - Fall 2017

Session 1: Embracing the PreK-3 Learning Continuum

GOAL: Effective principals embrace a concept of high-quality early learning from age three to grade three as the foundation for children’s developmental growth (Leading Pre-K-3 Learning Communities: Competencies for Effective Principal Practice, p. 11).

Agenda - Day 1
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Group Work Time - Overview
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Group Work for District PreK-3 Implementation Teams - Strategy Building
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MDE Introduction to the PreK-3 Principal Leadership Series
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Current Science of Early Learning and Brain Development
Megan Gunnar, PhD, Director of the Institute of Child Development, Distinguished McKnight University Professor, University of Minnesota
Welcome from Dr. Gunnar, The Gunnar Laboratory for Developmental Psychobiology Research.
Click Here for slides
LENA Start: Minnesota 2016 Annual Report, Click Here, or MN Talks!, Click Here

Principal as P-3 Leader: Excellence in the Early Grades for All Students
Steve Tozer, PhD, Professor in Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago
Click Here, Presentation 1
Money, Race and Success: How Your School District Compares
Click Here, NY Times

How Effective Is Your School District? A New Measure Shows Where Students Learn the Most
Click Here, NY Times, December 5, 2017

Leadership for Teacher Learning, Dylan Wiliam, Leadership for Teacher Learning: Creating a Culture Where All Teachers Improve So That All Students Succeed, Click Here.
Peak: How to Master Anything by Anders Ericsson
Click Here, YouTube

PreK–3rd Grade System Design Strategies for Planning, Implementing and Evaluating Your World’s Best Workforce Plan
Bobbie Burnham, Director, Early Learning Services, Minnesota Department of Education
Click Here

Ensuring Better Understanding of Strategies for Leading PreK-3:
Steve Tozer, PhD, Professor in Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago
Click Here, Presentation 2

Child Development
Key Scientific Concepts on Child Development (Harvard Center on the Developing Child):
Brain Architecture, Click Here
Core Concepts on the Science of Early Childhood Development, Click Here
Executive Function and Self-Regulation Skills, Click Here
Five Numbers to Remember About Early Childhood Development, Click Here
Resilience, Click Here
Serve and Return, Click Here
Toxic Stress, Click Here

Educational System
Essential Organizational Supports for Early Education: The Development of a New Survey Tool to Measure Organizational Conditions
Click Here, University of Chicago Consortium on School Research

FirstSchool and PreK-3
Click Here

Lessons from Research and the Classroom: Implementing High-Quality Pre-K that Makes a Difference for Young Children
Click Here, Jim Minervino, Ready On Day One

Quality 101: Identifying the Core Components of a High-Quality Early Childhood Program
Click Here,

Scaling and Sustaining Effective Early Childhood Programs Through School–Family–University Collaboration
Click Here, Child Development, 88 (5), September/October 2017.
Pages 1453–1465

Using Developmental Science to Transform Children’s Early School Experiences
Click Here

Leadership and Policy
Effective Principal Leadership: What good leadership by principals entails and how it might be bolstered
Click Here, The Wallace Foundation

K-3 Policymakers' Guide to Action: Learning from the Education Commission of the States
Click Here, CPRE.org

PreK-3rd: Principals as Crucial Instructional Leaders
Click Here, Sara Mead, Foundation for Child Development

School Principal: Building Early Childhood Learning Capacity
Click Here, video, Steve Tozer

Urban Leadership
Click Here

Wallace Foundation
Click Here

Key Points & Strategies

Session 1: Embracing the P3 Learning Continuum

Click Here to contribute strategies for Competency 1

1.1 Engage your learning community in understanding the importance of the early learning continuum and the transitions along it.

  • Attending and sharing at preschool collaborative meetings. (Austin)
  • Develop a common definition of the PreK-3 learning continuum.
  • Determine what the current early learning system(s) look like in your community.
  • Define and work to learn all the players in our PreK-3 learning community.
  • Talk to people in your learning community about the importance of the early learning continuum.
  • Developed materials that show the early learning continuum, which included key research findings, and transitions.
  • Form committee consisting of early childhood staff and elementary staff. (Litchfield)
  • Early Childhood Initiative that has worked to create an connected environment in the community. We have also set up a team of PreK - ECSE and Kindergarten group that has met to discuss transitions. (Northside/Armstrong)
  • Define our learning communities (targeted groups). (Pine City)
  • Collaborate with daycares, private and public preschools, HeadStart, Mental Health, Medical. (Pine City)
  • Through Early Childhood Coalition we conducted a strategic planning and will use this information to make changes and set goals. (Pine City)
  • Continue to increase and improve our communicate with parents (e.g., Dragon Wagon opportunities, sneak peaks into classrooms shared with families via you-tube. (Pine City)
  • Sit and chat at Footsteps about Kindergarten in the spring. Maybe a community ed. class about preparing your child for kindergarten. Maybe offer a session for day care providers on early childhood to help them earn their continuing ed. credits. (Dover-Eyota)
  • Article for winter district newsletter stating the importance of our community-school connection. (New Prague)
  • Early Childhood Supervisor doing school visits to connect with all staff. (New Prague)
  • EC created a bookmark to share with students/families as they transition to Kindergarten with expectations. (New Prague)
  • In the Fall of 2017, we will be opening a new building which will be the home of all district kindergarten and early childhood programs. I will be engaging our new community in November and December. We will use an "Infinity Exercise" to ask questions like: how do we create a culture that makes our Early Childhood/Kindergarten Center a place that Families go for 1-6 years? (Monticello)
  • By adding more voices to the table would help to show the importance ofPrek-3rd grade learning and transitions. Started to share more data and strategies of early learning and the importance of it. (Farmington)
  • Began with a study of early childhood literature review and best practice. Visited other districts pre K-3. Followed by a community survey around universal preK interest and various models. (Hopkins)
  • Teachers need to have a clear understanding of the development of their students, i.e. Yardsticks by Chip Wood. Book study? Principals received a copy of this at the Responsive Classroom training. (Stillwater)
  • Investing time to collaborate among staff through PreK-3 and QComp programming. Utilizing this time to develop curriculum transition throughout PreK-3. (Stephen-Argyle)
  • Use of social media to engage communities (Website, FB, Twitter) as well as providing and offering Newsletters, Open House, Pop in and Play, Early Childhood Family Education Opportunities, Special Events, Learning Fair, Early Childhood Initiative/Dolly Parton Imagination Library, etc. (Stephen-Argyle)
  • Commitment from school board and superintendent to grow our PreK programs (more 1/2 day every day opportunities; offer full day program option). (Hastings)
  • Offer wrap-around services (before and after school care). (Hastings)
  • Weekly Principal email includes an "Early Childhood Facts" section to increase the knowledge of the early learning continuum - needs next steps to continue to build collective knowledge about all early learning stages - utilizing EC Family Outreach person (Mounds View)
  • In order to be better prepared for incoming preK children, we have begun a partnership with officials from around Morrison County. These partners include public health, Head Start, ECFE, schools, and more. We are hoping to have better knowledge of births, in and near our district, to families who intend to have their children attend our school. The purpose of our task is to give us the ability to have contact with families at a very early age so we can begin to build a relationship with parents long before children come to school. We think, if we can gather this information, we can help educate parents regarding the importance of this competency. (Pierz)
  • Learning Walks - Create opportunities for PreK and K teachers to spend time in each other's rooms to observe routines, schedules, and student learning at that level. (Moorhead)

1.2 Set expectations that the continuum of learning from age three to grade three is fundamental to your school’s mission.

  • Include preschool teachers in Kindergarten PLCs.
  • Aligned expectations across PreK-K (e.g. 10 thing parents can do to make their child ready for K). (Austin)
  • It is a part of our district goals and addressed monthly at ACGC board meetings. (ACGC)
  • Principal is active in ensuring that expectations and practices for PreK and K-3 are similar. This ranges from class start times to transportation to the availability of resources (e.g. materials, space, specialists, etc).
  • Principal treats PreK like another grade level. He/she ensures that PreK is always involved, whether it is professional development or building improvement plans.
  • The goal of the committee will be to develop an action plan to bridge the gap between early childhood and the elementary school. (Litchfield)
  • Worlds Best Workforce placed Kindergarten Readiness as key strategy for the District. Voluntary PreK has integrated Preschool into the K12 system. (Northside/Armstrong)
  • Building principal shares in and supports the school's mission for this continuum by incorporating this into WBWF, encourage and support K-3 staff. (Pine City)
  • Teachers engage in vertical learning of standards and common goals within our PLC work. (Pine City)
  • Continue to bring to light and have expectations of research based learning (ie: John Hattie, Carol Dweck) (Pine City)
  • Our World's Best Workforce goal to ensure readiness for kindergarten and reading on grade level by grade 3 helps to drive our curricular changes and PLC discussions. (New Prague)
  • Continued collaboration between our Early Childhood Supervisor, Curriculum Director and Elementary Principals to ensure common language and high expectations. (New Prague)
  • We have our superintendents and former superintendent leading us in some exercises to see what is important in the three buildings and building a new mission, expectations, and visions. Expectations: 1) Make learning fun while teaching standards 2) Engagement with hands-on activities that lead students towards critical thinking, creative play, and focused learning 3) Students in our programs need opportunities to get dirty and sweaty (Monticello)
  • Collaboration with Special Education. We also need to focus on the parent education to focus on fine motor, social behavior and age appropriate needs of their children. (Farmington)
  • Having ECFE and preschools in each elementary school is a very visual reminder for us that Pre K is fundamental. (Hopkins)
  • Raise awareness of Worlds Best Workforce. (Stillwater)
  • Making certain to include prek in all school activities. Build a culture of prek inclusion. District committed to prek in every elementary building by 2017-18. (Stillwater)
  • District-wide goals in improving early learning transitions. Expansion to 3 day a week, 4 year old, PreK program. (Stephen-Argyle)
  • Creating a positive school community through social media forms (Newspaper, Posters, FB, Twitter, Website). (Stephen-Argyle)
  • This was the area our group identified as the highest priority area. We need to reach out to key stakeholders. We need to define expectations for continuum of learning—-what are the benchmarks? What does continuum of learning look like in Hastings? How are they articulated, realized, and shared to whole district community. (Hastings)
  • Stress the value of age 3 to grade 3 in the development of school vision / mission at the Kindergarten Centers - reflect with our Early Childhood colleagues as to the components needed in our elementary school's mission statements as well (Mounds View)
  • Feedback Loop - Strengthen the in-house vertical alignment piece with EIS/Jump Start through additional meeting times and shared files to improve the transition to Kindergarten. (Moorhead)

1.3 Expand the concept of “learning community” to include collaboration among external, as well as internal, stakeholders.

  • Development of "Packer in Training" videos with mayor and other public officials so we ALL see that we ALL want high-quality learning. (Austin)
  • Formed a Birth to Grade 3 committee, which includes public, private, charter, child care providers, preschool, to participate in the effort to have ALL children in our community ready for K. (Winona)
  • Include PreK parents and educators on district advisory committee. Gather ideas for collaboration, gain support by external stakeholders. This also includes district education goals for P-3 literacy. (ACGC)
  • Principal makes connections to community preschool providers in addition to other programs that work with preschool-aged children.
  • Meet with community PreK providers to discuss children who will be entering Kindergarten.
  • Collaborative partnerships are built.
  • The committee will expand the learning community to be inclusive of all children within our district. (Litchfield)
  • Establish a District Advisory Team that will provide feedback ad support for Prek - 3 efforts. (Northside/Armstrong)
  • Informing families of school activities. (Pine City)
  • Continue the collaboration with daycares, private and public preschools etc. (Pine City)
  • Provide time embedded in our contracted day or after school for a stipend for our PreK and K teachers, within our district, time to collaborate and share expectations of learning and mastery. (New Prague)
  • We will be creating commercials to plug the mission of our new district early childhood programming. It is our hope that external partners see the videos and feel the need to collaborate. (Monticello)
  • By being able to involve parents, educators and students we can learn what needs we have and be able to let children drive our instruction. They need to play and learn social needs through play. (Farmington)
  • Using outside expert, such as Cheri Reeves, to work with PreK and Kindergarten teachers in a PLC model promote the concept of a learning community (Hopkins)
  • Learning Fair, Early Childhood Initiative Meetings, Early Childhood Regional Coordinator Connections, Staff/QComp Meetings and Collaboration, Federal Advocacy, School Board Support, Child Care Appreciation (Stephen Argyle)
  • Conversations started about external collaboration Critical internal stakeholders are informed and collaborate Started having conversations with caregivers — very well received Outreach with Hastings Family Services for preschool Engaging the larger community Ongoing philosophical conversation in early childhood and outside providers (particularly with home FFN - family/friend/neighbor care) (Hastings)
  • Promote NIC (Networked Improvement Communities) that are focused on an identified problem and learning from others internally and externally. (Mounds View)
  • Continue to value professional learning community practices through weekly "Plan, Do, Study, Act" models (Mounds View)
  • PreK Screening - Share files with Kindergarten teachers, nurse, social workers, behavior interventionists, and other key adults. (Moorhead)

1.4 Articulate the long-term value of early learning and the benefit of inclusive early learning to parents and all learning community stakeholders.

  • Worked with our ECFE program to incorporate parenting education into our PreK-3 system. One goal of this was to work with families so that parents/caregivers understand what can be done at home (or out of school) to support children's learning.
  • We gathered internal school data on children reading at grade level. Then, we developed a plan to ensure all children would be reading by grade level (the plan included key benchmarks at by age, starting at two).
  • The long term value will be that all Litchfield children will be ready for Kindergarten. (Litchfield)
  • Developed a strong partnership with Kindergarten to provide several parent engagement opportunities for PreK parents and children together. Use local media to promote parents working with their children in collaboration with the school for age appropriate school readiness skills (Northside/Armstrong)
  • Early learning is the foundation for the rest of a child's educational career. (Pine City)
  • Our Early Childhood Supervisor plans events with our Community Ed Director to ensure programming for our entire PreK-12 community. (New Prague)
  • Early learning directly relates to maximizing growth, development, and preparation for children to experience future success at each school level (elementary school, middle school, and high school). (Monticello)
  • Monthly newsletters to parents of preschoolers articulate the importance of early learning. (Hopkins)
  • A video on our district website is available for the community. (Hopkins)
  • The district newsletter has dedicated a couple of editions to early childhood and this goes to all residents. (Hopkins)
  • Elementary principal visits ECFE class. (Hopkins)
  • Providing information and opportunities for families through newsletters, social media, ECFE, special events, DPI Library, Pop in and Play. (Stephen-Argyle)
  • Good conversations and programming started (i.e. Little Raiders, Full time programming). Philosophical change from preschool programming being designed for kids at risk only to all community. (Mounds View)
  • Change in perception of the programming. Kids are still heavily part of the program with scholarships but now do both transportation and going to full day is necessary - very clear GT training for precocious learners (Mounds View)
  • PTAC - Educate parents on the importance of and benefits from supporting their child's learning at home. Provide literacy and math game nights for teachers to model strategies that are being taught in the classroom. (Moorhead)

1.5 Align funding, resources and governance to support the Pre-K-3 framework.

  • Examined funding to see not only what funding goes into early childhood programming, but also what other funding (e.g. Title I) can be used to support PreK programming and services.
  • Carefully examined the administration of early childhood programs and clearly articulated the principal's role. In addition, we detailed the role of the principal in our PreK-3 work. We will be looking at the role of other administrators to determine their role, or level of support, in early childhood.
  • Our goal is to create one prek program with optional services. In our design, we will look at all funding sources and then blend and braid funds.
  • The Community Education director and elementary principal will lead the team and provide the necessary resources to all staff. (Litchfield)
  • VPK program provided valuable dollars and strategies that moved this strategy forward in our District. A District commitment has been made for support for teachers and buildings with out without the VPK funding. (Northside/Armstrong)
  • Continue/increase the collaboration with other agencies (i.e. Head Start, Private Preschools) (Pine City)
  • Through our SMIF grant, we will begin alignment. Our district will provide additional funding as needed. (New Prague)
  • We will look to grow our preschool student numbers to match our kindergarten numbers (300). (Monticello)
  • Work with legislators and the legislative action committee of the district to promote funding for early childhood education. (Hopkins)
  • Prek administrator is a part of the principal team and is required to have an administrative licensure. Articulate how prek teachers work with student support services within their buildings. (Stillwater)
  • School Board commitment to expanding PreK programming days/hours. School support for PreK-3 staff development opportunities. Resources available for EC space, activities, and opportunities. (Stephen-Argyle)
  • Pathway scholarship (early identifcation with Hastings Family Service); Sliding fee scale; School Readiness Money; Little Learner Funds; Registration fees (parents); ECSE-paid spots; Title 1 (starting in Kindergarten); General Fund to support "Jumpstart to Kindergarten"; (Hastings)
  • Strategic Priorities - The District philosophy, mission, and vision should be shared with all stakeholders. Building-level goals should support District goals within the PreK-3 framework continuum. (Moorhead)

1.6 Alignment: Lead and engage early childhood programs and staff consistent with elementary staff.

  • The first goal of he process is to include early childhood staff in staff development activities at the elementary level. (Litchfield)
  • Discussion of curriculum and assessment between K and PreK. (Northside/Armstrong)
  • Early Childhood and Elementary staff continue to collaborate during PLC (Pine City)
  • We are so happy to now have our early childhood program and staff in our building. We will be able to build alignment much more efficiently since they are on-site now (Dover-Eyota)
  • True PLC's will be created in our new building. Knowledge about and trust will be formed through upcoming staff development opportunities in November, December, January, and February. These opportunities will help district administration and me learn more about our new program/building staff members. This knowledge will lead us to develop staff development plans. (Monticello)
  • Professional development in the district is bringing preK and kindergarten together. PLCS with kindergarten and Pre K. CLR cohort with Prek and K (Hopkins)
  • Be intentional about conversations between prek-k teachers. Include prek staff in all meetings and activities of the school. Create a shared document that communicates FAQ and clarifies roles and responsibilities. (Stillwater)
  • QComp groups/PreK-3 Alignment Meetings (Stephen-Argyle)
  • Meetings with early childhood and kindergarten teachers throughout the year; Licensed early childhood teachers; PLCs; (Hastings)
  • Needs a focus on communication between K and EC staff at both of the district's Kindergarten Centers - K leaders and EC leaders need regular meetings, focused conversations, and ideas generating resource alignment (Mounds View)
  • Meet with building principal to determine meeting dates and set agenda for PreK and K staff meeting in October. (Moorhead)