Collaborating at Work

leadership & 
SCHOOL culture

Introduction

Leadership and school culture have been foundational focus areas for The EdVenture Group. Over the past twenty years, EdVenture has provided leadership and professional development to thousands of educators, students, and community stakeholders. This year, leadership and school culture have never been more important as schools face insurmountable challenges. Through partnerships with the West Virginia Department of Education, after school programs, and research institutions, customized programming designed to meet the unique needs of clients during this year helped strengthen leadership and school culture and provide much needed support to the region’s educators. 

elevated leadership development program

The Elevated Leadership Development Program is designed for working professionals interested in elevating  their leadership potential, lead successful teams, and form stronger connections between their personal and professional goals. The program fosters growth of the whole self, addressing leadership competencies for both personal and professional development.  The program was designed for the WVDE and delivered in a hybrid approach to leadership development.  Monthly units of instruction, individual coaching sessions and collaborative working units provide an engaging format for development of meaningful leadership skills. 

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During the 2020-2021 academic year, The EdVenture Group worked with thirteen leaders from WVDE in a virtual format. Traditionally an in-person delivery, monthly sessions were held via Microsoft Teams to encourage leadership skills development and cross-department collaboration. Teams worked on challenging problems of practice within targeted educational communities. 100% of participants found the individual coaching sessions valuable. 

“The coaching sessions were the most beneficial part of the experience for me personally. Having someone to talk through different ideas with was very supportive, especially as we were all navigating working remotely.”

2020-2021 Participant

preston county schools after school explorers program

The Preston County Schools, After School Explorers Program (ASE) supports students’ academic, social, and emotional learning. As a core partner on this program, The EdVenture Group provides consulting, planning, and professional development services to the ASE program. The EdVenture Group has provided varying levels of support to Preston County Schools and ASE for the over years, most recently assisting with the transition to an all virtual after school program and in-person summer learning opportunities for the 2020-2021 school year. The EdVenture Group is becoming a recognized thought leader in after school program technical assistance and looks forward to expanding these opportunities in the future. 

The EdVenture Group supported After School Explorers in the planning and implementation of the “READ ACROSS THE MOUNTAINS”.  This month-long event provided “Story Time” each Wednesday in March.  Videos of community members, businesses, students, and teachers from across and even outside Preston County were posted each Wednesday as volunteers read their favorite children’s book. A special live event occurred on Wednesday, March 24th when local published authors, Kelsey Clark, Ellen Shubert, and Jake Stump each read books that they authored LIVE. The virtual event concluded with a reading from West Virginia Mountaineer Colson Glover.  Participants in the live event took part in a question-and-answer session with the authors who shared their stories including what inspired them to write and the process of writing and publishing a book. Due to the overwhelming response from the community, recorded stories are still being posted each Wednesday with plans to continue as long as new videos are available. 

rel appalachia's addressing trauma in educational settings

The EdVenture Group serves as a partner and West Virginia liaison for the Regional Education Laboratory (REL) Appalachia project, operated by SRI International. REL Appalachia translates research to practice in partnership with policymakers and practitioners in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. During the 20-21 academic year, The EdVenture Group supported projects on school culture, leadership development, and trauma-informed best practices in partnership with REL Appalachia.  

REL’s Addressing Trauma in Educational Settings was a three-module webinar series in which The EdVenture Group partnered with experts from SRI International and Marshall University to share research, resources, and strategies to support students and educators in the context of trauma. Over the three series, over 500 educators participated and were welcomed to open coaching sessions for further support.  

 

Webinars focused on:

  • Impacts and symptoms of trauma and relevant strategies to support students,

  • Implementation of practices and strategies to support students and educators, and

  • School systems, policies, and procedures to support students experiencing trauma.   

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