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Western Arkansas Education Renewal Zone. Advisory Board Meeting Thursday, September 22, 2011. Introductions. The new ERZ staff. J ennifer J ennings D avis Director, Western ERZ. MA Ed—Higher Education Administration University of Nebraska—Lincoln

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Western Arkansas Education Renewal Zone

Advisory Board Meeting

Thursday, September 22, 2011


The new ERZ staff


Director, Western ERZ

  • MA Ed—Higher Education Administration

  • University of Nebraska—Lincoln

  • BA—English Language Arts Education University of Nebraska—Kearney

  • Public school teacher for 9 years

  • Folger Shakespeare Library’s Teaching Shakespeare Institute, Fellow

  • The National Writing Project, Teacher Consultant

  • Stanford University’s Teacher Tribute Award

  • John Rotert Teacher of the Year Award

  • Six-time recipient of the Influential Educator Award, Arkansas Governor’s School

  • Delta Kappa Gamma, Education Sorority

  • Sigma Tau Delta, English Honor Society

Marshal Hurst

Asst. Director, Western ERZ

  • MA –Educational Leadership

  • Southern Nazarene University

  • BA—Mathematics

  • East Central University

  • Doctoral Candidate

  • Oral Roberts University

  • Public school teacher for 9 years

  • Subject areas taught:

    • Algebra I

    • Geometry

    • AP Computer Science

    • Computer Programming

Laura Witherington

Director of School Partnerships

The mission of the ERZ initiative is to collaborate with Pre-K-16 educators, students, families, and their supporting communities in order to combine efforts to improve achievement and learning experiences for all students.

ERZ Mission

Each ERZ partner school has a comprehensive professional development program aligned to the growth needs of staff and learning goals of students.

ERZ Goal 1

Students in ERZ partner schools have access to a rigorous, intentionally aligned P-16 curriculum that reflects their needs and the needs of the community.

ERZ Goal 2

All teachers (pre-service, beginning, and career) and students in every ERZ school have an appropriate mentoring program.

ERZ Goal 3

ERZ partner schools have a system in place to recruit and retain highly qualified teachers. The university has a system for sharing its faculty with partner schools in core subject areas or by using electronic delivery when needed.

ERZ Goal 4

Each ERZ partner school has a parent and community involvement program which implements ongoing, sustainable programs that promote academic and social interactions among family, community, and schools.

ERZ Goal 5

The ERZ will promote meaningful collaboration among the university partners, COOPs, partner schools, and community in a manner that carries forth the ERZ mission and goals. The ERZ promotes networking among partners to increase leadership capacity.

ERZ Goal 6


What are the qualities of a solid partnership?

Qualities of a solid partnership

  • Cooperation

  • Sense of collegiality and kinship

  • Shared responsibility

  • Coming together for the greater good

  • Members exchange ideas

  • Togetherness and unity

UAFS Engagement opportunities For k-12 students

  • American Democracy Project

  • Athletes in the Classroom

  • BEST Robotics

  • Cub Camp—Incoming Freshman

  • Drennen Scott House

  • Global Ambassadors

  • International Festival

  • Visiting Professors

  • Writing Competition for Jr. High and Sr. High Writers

American Democracy Project

  • National, non-partisan program with 220 chapters on American Colleges and Universities

  • Mission to prepare the next generation of global citizens to be active and involved with their communities

  • Recently past topics

    • Importance of preserving community history

    • Freedom of speech

    • The power of the vote


  • Promoting higher education options to area school children through athletics

  • UAFS athletes have participated in Rise and Shine programs

  • Reading programs—buddy reading time

  • Available to speak on healthy lifestyles—staying in school and staying chemical free

Best robotics

  • Free to schools

  • Three ERZ partner schools participating in 2011

  • Mission: to inspire students to pursue careers in engineering, science, technology, and math through participation in a sports-like, science- and engineering-based robotics competition.

  • Open invitation to Oct. 22 competition in Stubblefield Arena

Cub camp

  • Main goal: to teach incoming freshmen about campus life and have them start the year excited, eager to learn and with many lasting friendships

  • Four-day, on-campus experience—lodging, meals, and many entertainment opportunities provided

  • Nominal fee

Drennenscott house

  • Fieldtrips to the site

  • Focus topics:

    • Arkansas History

    • Civil War

    • Western Arkansas/Indian Territory

    • WW I

    • WWII

    • Archeology

  • Possible internships for high school students

  • PD for history teachers

  • Free or nominal fees for public schools

Global ambassadors

  • Guest speakers for classroom visits

  • International students from China, Bolivia, Brazil, Estonia, Kenya, Qatar, Russia, Serbia, and Turkey

  • UAFS study abroad students have visited Costa Rica, England, Italy, Mexico, Trinidad Tobago, and Uganda

  • Free to public schools

International Festival

  • Saturday, April 14, 2012 on the campus green

  • Features 24+ countries displaying traditional dress, artifacts, and food

  • Variety of international entertainment on stage throughout the festival

  • Nominal entrance fee and cost for food tickets

Visiting Professors

  • Speakers Bureau list of offered topics

  • Personalized lectures and talks also available to meet needs of ERZ partners and communities

  • Free to schools and communities

Writing competition for Jr. High and Senior high writers

  • Applause student literary magazine sponsors competition

  • In the 2010 competition, students from ERZ partner schools Alma and Fort Smith placed

  • Due date for competition is October 12, 2011

  • Award Ceremony will be held on UAFS campus November 14, 2011

Recruitment and retention

A 2-Pronged approach

“By 2020, three-fourths of the jobs available in Arkansas will require advanced skills in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.”

~~Governor Beebe’s Weekly Column

Aug 19, 2011

Recruitment and retention

Campus Efforts

High School Efforts

Guest speaker at interested high school clubs:

Future teachers organizations

Math clubs

Science clubs

Ecology clubs

Possible visits to junior and senior math and science classes

  • Address specific university classes

    • Focus on students with STEM interest

    • Asking consideration of STEM education

  • Guest Speaker at various campus clubs

Common Core State Standards

  • Open Discussion

    • What have our partners already done?

    • What are our partners planning on doing?

    • In what ways can the ERZ assist in this roll-out?


  • Open to the floor


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