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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

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
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
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
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
athletes in the classroom
  • 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
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
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
drennen scott house
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
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
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
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
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
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 retention1
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
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?
announcements comments
  • Open to the floor