Focus on Freshmen - Los Angeles
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Freshman Transition Leadership Institute
from The George Washington University's Freshman Transition Initiative

Session Descriptions

Conference Attendees 1: Leadership Quotient: The Role of the Principal

Studies clearly show school leadership, starting with the principal, is vital to the success of any new effort. It’s like the trickle-down economics of high school redesign. We know you’ve only got one principal and he/she already has great demands on their time. Learn why he/she is indispensable to the process and gain strategies for maximizing the principal’s role through the use of readymade resources and solid planning.

2: Step Three - Form a Team of Champions: Recruiting Your Coordinating Committee

Recruit top performers for your coordinating committee and you’ll save time and frustration. This session gives you the strategies and the resources (in the form of responsibility and decision making charts, job descriptions, project timelines, etc.) to make forming your “team of champions” easy. Come ready to learn timehonored techniques for motivating your team to meet its common goal—in this case, implementing a Freshman Transition initiative.

Step Four - Generate Buyin for the New Course and the 10-year Plan

Major changes mean major upheaval, right? Only if you skip this all-important step: Generating buy-in. If you want to institutionalize a new course in your school, you first need to institutionalize it in the hearts and minds of your “stakeholders”—parents, teachers, school administrators, board members, and community partners. Walk away from this session with new techniques and resources to make this process easy.

4: Step Five - Identify a Curriculum That Will Accomplish Your Course Goals

Administrators, teachers, and students alike are frustrated by courses that lack focus, content, and results. This is often because they lack the right tools for the job. Asking your teachers to provide a comprehensive freshman transition course without a comprehensive curriculum is like asking a contractor to dig a foundation for your new school with a shovel rather than a backhoe. This session gives you strategies for finding a curriculum that will accomplish your freshman transition goals and provides an overview of a proven model, the Career Choices curriculum.

5: Step Six - Recruiting and Retaining Your Most Experienced Teachers

Having the right tools for the job is only one part of the equation; you also need the right person wielding those tools. This session helps you formalize your recruitment process, outlining the characteristics common to successful freshman transition teachers and providing retention strategies.

6: Step Seven - Professional Development Strategies for Institutionalizing Your Freshman Transition Effort

It’s not optional, it’s a necessity. For course instructors to develop a comprehensive, rigorous classroom experience, they need professional development and course planning time. This session discusses the role professional development must play in your planning process and provides checklists and sample agendas to make the process easy.

7:® Online Advisory Tool for Personalized Instruction

Take your advisories to a whole new level with®. See how this online enhancement provides your faculty with a direct link to students’ plans for the future and allows students an easy way to update and revise their plans throughout high school.

Spend time developing your initial plans for launching your freshman transition initiative using the tools you’ve received over the last three days.