Dr. Mike Schmoker, Best-Selling Author, Brought to District by State Support Team. 

Swanton, April 21, 2016: At the regular meeting of the Board of Education on April 20, 2016, the board unanimously supported and approved the recommendation for a “waiver day” on May 23, 2016. All employees will report for work, but all Swanton students will be able to have a day off on the given date. This is made possible for our students due to the fact that we are well over the minimum hours for school attendance as required by the State.

“We’ve been working with the State Support Team on bringing Dr. Schmoker to the district, but weren’t expecting this to take place until the Fall of 2016. When we learned that he was scheduled to be in the area in late May, and as a result could come at a discounted rate we had to make a concerted effort to see if this could become a reality” said Swanton Superintendent Jeff Schlade. “I am very grateful to the Board for seeing the value in this type of experience, and to the State Support Team for financially supporting 100% of his presentation and workshop.”

Dr. Schmoker will provide a 1/2 day of the highest quality of professional development available in the educational field for teachers. “I am pleased and genuinely excited to let you know about the opportunity we are able to take advantage of in bringing educational consultant and best-selling author, Dr. Mike Schmoker, to the district.” Schlade told all district staff in an email.

FOCUS: First Things First for the 21st Century

In this session, participants will learn precisely where Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) should focus their precious time, efforts and resources to ensure that all students are prepared for the 21st century demands of college, careers and citizenship. They will learn about the three most essential elements of good schooling, and how to implement them immediately, successfully and on a very clear, straightforward model. The three elements are:

  • Coherent curriculum
  • Authentic literacy
  • Soundly-structured lessons

Despite their unrivalled power for improving performance in any and every school, these elements continue to be misunderstood–and grossly under-implemented. For this reason, these simple, familiar elements should be our first and highest priority.

Participants will leave this session knowing both what to do and how to do it, in ways that will yield immediate and significant results.

In short,

  • The teaching staff will meet at the SHS auditorium for Dr. Schmoker’s presentation and workshop session in the morning. The specific time frame and other details are still pending per discussions with the SEA and the State Support Team – Region 1 (SST1).
  • After lunch, principals and teachers will continue the effort implementing the best practices and concepts from Schmoker’s morning presentation and apply them directly to their subject area and/or grade level for immediate use in improving their craft.
  • The day for our custodial and secretarial staffs will remain the same in terms of hours of work and in terms of doing what needs to be done in your daily assignments.
  • The transportation and food services departments will work with their respective groups on how to best utilize such a time for work that is sometimes difficult to accomplish during a normal work day.

This opportunity has been made possible by the SST1 (SST1 is the team from the ODE that is assigned to our district for local support in terms of educational issues, specifically the Ohio Improvement Process [OIP]). Through their work with personnel from our District Leadership Team (DLT) on the OIP they identified this as something that would bring value to our district as well as the surrounding area. As a result, educators from across Northwest Ohio will be invited to join us on May 23rd as they are able.

With the Board’s support, Dr. Schmoker’s visit and subsequent follow-up practices, will help the district toward its Mission of “…providing a superior educational experience…” as well as our vision which includes creating “…an academic environment where student achievement is top priority…”

Mike Schmoker is a former administrator, English teacher, and football coach. He has written six books and dozens of articles for education journals, newspapers, and TIME magazine.

His most recent book is the best-selling Focus: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning. His previous bestseller Results Now: How We Can Achieve Unprecedented Improvements in Teaching and Learning was a finalist for book of the year by the Association of Education Publishers.

Schmoker is the 2014 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award by the National Association of Secondary School Principals for his publications and presentations. He has consulted and presented keynotes throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and the Kingdom of Jordan. He now lives in Tempe, Ariz., with his wife, Cheryl.

Where it is the District’s Vision to have “…an academic environment where student achievement is top priority…” and our Mission is “To provide a superior educational experience…” we are looking forward to making this workshop with Dr. Schmoker the most meaningful professional development opportunity ever experienced by our whole staff. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Superintendent Schlade (Jeff.Cchlade@swantonschools.org)