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Afterschool Professional Learning Strands

ISSAP_Nov8Vermont Afterschool provides training and technical assistance to afterschool programs via the Afterschool Professional Learning Strands (APLS). This intensive professional learning community brings afterschool leaders together around specific topics or “strands” for a focused experience. Each APLS is facilitated by an instructor with expertise in the area, and all strands incorporate both group experiences with individualized coaching that takes place between the instructor and afterschool participant. APLS require participants to engage in the material and group learning process by attending all sessions. Each strand expects participants to invest in program quality through a change in personal practice, policy, or completing a program pilot. All 21st Century Community Learning Center and licensed program participants are able to enroll at no cost in one full strand per year. Support for APLS comes from the Vermont Agency of Education and Child Development Division.

Registration for 2016-17 is closed. 

NEW FOR 2016!

We’ve changed things up this year! Individual learning strands will meet in the morning from 9 a.m-1 p.m. We’ll break from 1-2 p.m. for lunch and then reconvene together for a unifying strand called Advanced Topic: Social Emotional Learning, a full group session each afternoon from 2-3:45 p.m (see below for description). This gives everyone greater opportunities for networking and collaboration, and we’re excited to collate our collective wisdom for the greater benefit of program quality.

8:00-8:45 a.m. | Breakfast
8:45-9:00 a.m. | Welcome & Announcements
9:00-1:00 p.m. | Afterschool Professional Learning Strands
11:00-11:30 a.m. | Snack Break (provided)
1:00-2:00 p.m. | Lunch (provided)
2:00-3:45 p.m. | Advanced Topic: Social Emotional Learning

Advanced Topic: Social Emotional Learning
The topic for the full group session (2-3:45 p.m.) this year is Social Emotional Learning. We’ll use this time together to explore recent research and new resources, look at how social emotional learning connects to youth success, and dig into program practices that support children and youth in building these essential skills. The afternoon session promises to be interactive, engaging, and full of opportunities to network and share with one another. Join us for a yearlong exploration of this important topic!

2016-2017 DATES:

  • Fall Workshop 1: Friday, September 23, 2016
  • Fall Workshop 2: Friday, November 18, 2016
  • Spring Workshop 1: Friday, January 27, 2017
  • Spring Workshop 2: Friday, March 31, 2017
  • [Snow date make-up: Friday, May 12, 2017]


All workshops will be held at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, Vermont. Each strand will meet during the workshop dates above as well as receive individual coaching support, access to online modules, and other teaching techniques according to each unique strand.

2016-2017 STRANDS:

1. Afterschool Essentials (Fall and Spring sections)
Instructor: Tricia Pawlik-York, Vermont Afterschool
Afterschool Essentials is an accelerated half-year program. Two sessions are offered: one in Fall 2016 and one in Spring 2017. It is designed to meet the needs of the professional with limited experience in the afterschool setting. Afterschool Essentials participants bring varied experiences and backgrounds, and look to gain a greater understanding of the field. This program covers a full range of topics, including school-age child development, program development, health and safety issues, and partnerships with families, inclusion and cultural diversity. The program content is delivered via face-to-face discussion and workshops, online learning modules with the Youth Development Institute, self-study, and consultation with a coach.
*NOTE: Afterschool Essentials will benefit the newly hired professional working directly with children, or a new program director who has not worked in this setting before. This course meets some basic training requirements in the new licensing regulations.

2. Connecting Afterschool and Summer to Personalized Learning
Instructors: Holly Morehouse, Executive Director Vermont Afterschool; Barb Russ, former 21st Century Community Learning Center Director and Educator
Afterschool and summer learning programs are natural places for students to explore personalized learning and build proficiency. This strand will take an in-depth and applied look at actively integrating your afterschool and/or summer program into students’ personalized learning plans. We will learn how to support and strengthen the use of evidence in your programs, how to connect with school-based standards for proficiency, and how to work with school administrators, teachers, students, and parents so that afterschool and summer become an integral part of every student’s path and plan.
*NOTE: The expectation for this strand is that by the end of the year, at least 40% of your regular attendees will be incorporating their afterschool/summer learning opportunities into their personalized learning plans.

3. STEM: Building Program Quality and Staff Competency
Instructors: Tracy Truzansky, Vermont Afterschool Project Manager for Training/STEM Initiative; Perrin Chick and Sue Allen, Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance ACRES Project
This yearlong strand is designed for afterschool site directors/coordinators who want to develop STEM program quality by building professional skill and confidence coaching their on-site staff. We are fortunate to have significant support from educators and researchers with the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance’s Afterschool Coaching for Rural Educators in STEM (ACRES) project. Participants will explore skills in conducting science processes, leading inquiry techniques, facilitating youth voice and choice, and creating STEM identity – skills and best practices that research has shown to be essential for more purposeful hands-on, minds-on STEM learning. Learn how to use videos, face-to-face and virtual coaching, and reflection techniques specifically designed for afterschool programs who want to move the needle toward more quality STEM experiences.
*NOTE: A stipend of $150 is offered for strand participants who agree to participate in the ACRES research. An additional $150 is available to designated direct service staff who participate in ACRES through on-site videotaping of their STEM lessons and online feedback and coaching.

4. Sustainability and Partnerships
Instructor: Lindsey Lathrop, Professional Consultant LLC, and Change the Story
This strand is designed for program and site directors who are in the early stages of forming and planning and those looking to reignite and refresh their sustainability efforts. We will cover fundraising and resource development, using stories and data to influence action, network mapping and partnership cultivation, and shaping program culture to move towards improving sustainability. Time will be carved out during each session for individual program work and planning. Tools and techniques will be given to bring back to your everyday work. By the end of our time together participants will have developed or refined their programs’ sustainability action plan and cultivated at least one new partnership.

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