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  The Leadership for Educators series aims to bridge the gap between our schools and the local business economy and to address career development for our students through informing and educating the leaders within each district. 

Research shows that some of the best high schools in the country prepare students for post-secondary careers through the military, college, or workforce pathways in high school. This program focuses on blending the expertise of stakeholders within and across communities to serve the purpose of producing a robust high school graduate and the future workforce for the community and strengthening the pipeline for Ashtabula County's workforce development system. 

This teacher-focused program, developed with assistance from AACS's Krista Shean, Director of Data, Accountability, and Professional Development, includes two intense days of activities and meetings throughout the county. The two-day format can be tailored to meet the Professional Development scheduling or set up for each district. Continuing Education and CEU credits are available for educators with our approved curriculum. These experiences help strengthen the teacher's bond to the local community and enlighten both teachers and industry leaders on the realities each face throughout the year. 

This programming was designed to help foster a system-wide alignment of career preparation, building support at primary, intermediate, junior high, and high school levels. We hope to redesign the traditional education model centered on the student in a classroom demonstrating success through mastering academic and testing skills. These conventional methods of instruction are no longer alone, adequate to prepare students for the 21st-century workforce and for success as global citizens in a network economy of knowledge, skills, experiences, and character necessary to excel in all aspects of their post-high school lives, whether college, military, workforce or individual-personal. 

Working with District Leadership in our schools, LEADERship's team designed a two-day professional development workshop that brings educators onto the factory floor to watch how the fiberglass body of a Corvette is manufactured. Teachers venture into the lab to discover the world's leader in the colorant industry and introduce behind-the-scenes experiences that highlight the best of Ashtabula County - opening the doorway of the community into the classroom. County and municipal leadership, industry professionals, and civic leaders join participants in this experience, as our educators discover the community assets and how to bring these much-needed resources back to their students. Inspiring both civic pride and the inspiration to explore the incredible industry and assets in our backyard are results of the experience. Employers also focused on opportunities in the local workforce for students, enabling teachers to bring this information directly to students to help guide their pathway to success. 

Teachers develop a working lesson plan over the course of the two-day workshop, implementing PBL (Project Based Learning), and a local business challenge or driving question. The project outline process is incorporated, ensuring that teachers have a guide when bringing a local business driven challenge back to the classroom, tying implementation to state standards, and truly bringing the community into the school. It's also a good idea for a school to use a common framework for PBL unit planning, so teachers can collaborate using the same language, and share projects more efficiently with colleagues. The Project Planner has five parts: 1. Project Overview: Key features of your project 2. Learning Goals: Standards, success skills, literacy skills, rubrics 3. Project Milestones: Significant steps in the project 4. Project Calendar: Day-by-day activities in the project 5. Lesson Planner: Supporting resources with guidance on planning daily lessons to meet the needs of all learners 

By increasing the connectedness of individuals throughout the area, Leadership Ashtabula County is continuing the development of these programs with INSPIRE's goal to expand educators' perspectives and help gain new supporters for these educators through local businesses and organizations. 

The plan is to tailor sessions per district need. The sample Agenda attached details the outline utilized for the Ashtabula Area City School District workshop held in June of 2021. If your district is interested in partnering with another district, that is also another option.


If teachers choose to get continuing education hours for this program, they can register through Ashland University.  A two-day course, with the project work submitted, is valid for 1 semester hour.  Executive Director Kelli Jones is an adjunct faculty member through Ashland University for this course.


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Contact Kelli for More Info!


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