Learning from the Field Memo

With Learning Forward Pennsylvania

We ARE the Professional Learning Organization in PA.


Learning Forward Pennsylvania seeks to enhance the quality of professional learning through advocacy and the provision of high quality resources to educators in order to ensure that all students have the opportunity to learn at high levels.


Excellent teaching and learning every day.

Organization of this Memo

"I'm LFPA!"

"I'm" = Inspiration and Message from Learning Forward Pennsylvania

"LF" = Learning / Leadership Focus

"P" = Professional Learning Resources / Activities

"A" = Advocacy for the Standards for Professional Learning


Jimmy Casas: "When You Forget Your Why, You Forget Your Way"

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The thought of schools using measures of success based on the status quo is frightening, especially when we consider what a mediocre culture means for our children, our teachers, our schools, and ultimately for our school communities. As I began this work on examining the critical role educators play in “culturizing” schools, I asked teachers, support staff, principals, and superintendents alike the following question: “Where does average exist in your organization?”

As school teachers and leaders, it is our responsibility to prohibit average from becoming our standard. We must take time to reflect on and be willing to be vigilant in examining our school cultures through the eyes of students and staff...

From Jimmy Casas' Blog (June 14, 2020)

Click here for the Full Blog Post

Message to Members of Learning Forward Pennsylvania

We welcome our five new Learning Forward Pennsylvania Board Members!

Hi Learning Forward Pennsylvania Members!

Thank you so much for our recent general membership vote to fill our five board seats.

Learning Forward Pennsylvania would like to take this opportunity to introduce these individuals to our membership and to welcome the following five people to our board:

  • Dr. Lisa Hess, Director of Teaching and Learning from Governor Mifflin School District

  • Dr. Elena Tachau, Director of Curriculum and Instruction fro Octorara School District

You can learn a little bit about each one by clicking on their names.

As an organization, we look forward to learning from and working with our newly-elected board members.

Kind regards,

Donna Spangler (Learning Forward Pennsylvania Co-President)

Learning / Leadership Focus

The Main Idea: Book Summaries and PD Resources to Improve Instructional Leadership

How many books do you have on your "I want to read this" list? Maybe you have a running list of professional books you want to buy on Amazon. Or, maybe you are like me ,and have a huge stack of books that I have already purchased, but there doesn't seem to be enough time in a 24 hour day to read all the professional books I would like to read.

What if there were a different way? What if you could buy a subscription to a professional book summary service where you could get 8 to 10 thorough, in-depth 8-page summaries of current education books and get suggestions on implementing those ideas?

A year-long subscription to THE MAIN IDEA not only includes these monthly book summaries, but it also includes free access to over 120 book summaries and workshops in the archives.

Jenn David-Lang founded THE MAIN IDEA in the spring of 2007 because she witnessed too many school leaders who were so busy with the day to day responsibilities of running their schools and organizations, that they had no time for their own professional development. Through THE MAIN IDEA, education leaders have ready access to the most current and powerful ideas in education to help them serve as strong instructional leaders.

You can find out more about the full subscription service at the The Main Idea or through the button link below.

In addition, get a small taste of Jenn's shorter work below (called "Book Bits") in our Professional Learning Resources / Activities part of this newsletter.

The Main Idea

Book summaries and professional development resources to improve instructional leadership.

Professional Learning Resources / Activities

A Sample of Jenn David-Lang's Book Bits: The Power of Positive Leadership

If you asked me about a skill that you should develop now that will best serve your school in this crisis and beyond, I would say the first skill is the following:

1. Become a positive leader in everything you do. You don't need to be a born cheerleader; there are concrete steps to become a positive leader. See my 3-page overview of Jon Gordon's The Power of Positive Leadership attached below or here: https://bit.ly/2WW8hbL.

From The Main Idea

A Sample of Jenn David-Lang's Book Bits: What Connected Educators Do Differently

A second skill you should develop now that will best serve your school in this crisis and beyond, is the following:

Find the
best ideas for addressing the pandemic. Where? Online. Literally every school leader is dealing with the same crisis - it's time to connect online. Again, you don't need to be a born Twitter genius; there are concrete steps to become skilled at learning from social media. See my 2-page overview of What Connected Educators Do Differently by Jimmy Casas, Todd Whitaker, and Jeffrey Zoul attached or here: https://bit.ly/2Lvih6s.
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Free Two-Day Better Together Summit - Registration Closes Friday, June 26th

The world is changing. Learning is changing. Is your professional development? This summit is free and available to anyone. Learn how innovative educators around the country are creating professional learning opportunities that connect and empower teachers to drive their own professional growth. If you are considering changing your model of professional development or revolutionizing your PD outcomes, either personally or for your team, this summit is for you!

This two day session is June 29th and June 30th. Times for sessions on the schedule are noted as CST. Please make note of this and change it to your time zone if needed.

Sessions will be recorded so if you are unable to attend them live, you can visit the recordings if you have registered.

Keynote general sessions include: Elena Aguilar, Steve Barkley, Justin Baeder, and Doug Fisher.

There are also over 40 breakout sessions and some Ed Camp style sessions with 50 + experts. Over 1,100 people have registered as of Tuesday for this opportunity.

Registration is free, but it closes this Friday, June 26th.

Here is some information from Sibme:

In the meantime, you can take some time to peruse the conference schedule and decide on the breakout sessions you’d like to attend. We have over 40 sessions during our two-day summit. While you will be able to access recordings of the sessions on-demand, many presenters are planning active participation during their sessions, so you’ll want to make a personal schedule of the sessions you want to attend live!

Click here to view the Conference Schedule. Once you access the page, scroll down to view the overall schedule. You can then click on each session to see a listing of available presentations during that time as well as details about presenters.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at info@sibme.com. Otherwise, we look forward to seeing you June 29th and 30th!

The Better Together Conference Team

From Sibme

Click here for More Information and Registration Details

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Better Together Summit

The world is changing. Learning is changing. Is your professional development?

All Digital School: Tom Carry

This is a new site that just launched in March 2020.

Are you a teacher, a parent, or a school administrator who is struggling with educational tech and lesson planning for online classrooms that are becoming the norm during the COVID-19 pandemic?

You’re at a loss when it comes to what to teach or how to teach it now that you are in a virtual classroom? Or you simply have no idea what tools and resources to refer to as you become more involved and hands-on with your kid’s education?

Welcome to All Digital School, an online education resource platform that curates lesson plans, materials, and educational tech with the sole goal of helping educators and parents create better learning experiences for students.

In the coming weeks and months, our goal is to make All Digital School a place where you can find all the necessary materials that will help you organize online classrooms, create lessons, connect with students virtually, and master various software needed to teach online.

It has 2000+ educational resources (apps/tools/websites/ebook/videos etc..) for all school levels (k-12) organized by subject, year level, type as well as price (mostly free ones).

There is also a special filter in the directory so that only resources made free by their owners due to the Covid-19 outbreak are listed.

Note: The directory is being updated daily by a team of more than 10. The site and directory are 100% free.

From All Digital School

All Digital School

The Largest Community of Educators & Directory of Resources Online

Advocacy: Standards for Professional Learning Put Into Practice

Standards for Professional Learning - Focus: the Implementation Standard

Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students applies research on change and sustains support for implementation of professional learning for long-term change.

The primary goals for professional learning are changes in educator practice and increases in student learning. This is a process that occurs over time and requires support for implementation to embed the new learning into practices.

Those responsible for professional learning apply findings from change process research to support long-term change in practice by extending learning over time. They integrate a variety of supports for individuals, teams, and schools.

Finally, they integrate constructive feedback and reflection to support continuous improvement in practice that allows educators to move along a continuum from novice to expert through application of their professional learning.

District of Columbia Public Schools' Innovative Program: LEAP

D.C.’s LEAP program helps teachers become experts at teaching high-quality, standards-aligned content so that every student experiences rigorous and engaging instruction every day.

The Path to Instructional Excellence and Equitable Outcomes explores District of Columbia Public Schools’ innovative approach to supporting teaching instruction, called Learning Together to Advance our Practice, or LEAP.

LEAP is based on research that has found the most effective professional learning is school-based and content-specific, grounded in the instructional materials and strategies that teachers will use with their students.


  • Teacher effectiveness increases through professional learning cycles focused on student content and instructional materials.

  • Implementing high-quality instructional materials is complex and requires intensive support for educators.

  • Alignment of an instructional vision throughout a system is bolstered through collaboration with an external assistance provider.

  • Key enabling conditions for success include a plan for intentional scaling and intentional development of leaders throughout a system.

  • Educators who implemented LEAP with high fidelity saw marked improvements in student results.

LEAP was created through a partnership with Leading Educators, a professional learning nonprofit technical assistance organization. After two years of district capacity building and gradual release of design and implementation, the district has expanded the LEAP program to include teachers in all 116 DCPS schools.

Look below for a brief video [1:46] to find out more about the LEAP program, and a white paper on the project.

The Path to Instructional Excellence and Equitable Outcomes

Talking Points

Download these talking points to introduce the LEAP report to others and spark more conversations.

five-step inquiry cycle

One of the most foundational pieces of research used to design LEAP was Learning Forward’s book Becoming a Learning Team, which describes how teacher teams can engage in intentional, collaborative professional learning based on a five-step inquiry cycle (Hirsh & Crow, 2017). The teacher learning team model described in Becoming a Learning Team is echoed in the inquiry process, described in detail.

Blog: Nicholas Morgan - Change Management is Key to Successful Implementation

Quick Reference Guide: Standards For Professional Learning

See below for the free quick reference guide.

The full guide with complete explanation of each standard, research citations, and guidelines for how various stakeholder groups can make use of this document is available for purchase through Learning Forward International.

Executive Committee

Dr. Fran Miller (Co-President)

Dr. Donna Spangler (Co-President)

Dr. Kate Kieres (Treasurer)

Dr. Stacey Stoudt (Secretary)

Board Members

Dr. Ann Appolloni

Dr. Chris Clayton

Mrs. Barb Clouser

Dr. Amy Dellapenna

Miss Tracy Fasick

Dr. Geraldine Fitzpatrick-Doria

Dr. Andrea Grannum-Mosley

Dr. Lisa Hess

Ms. Rhonda Hill

Mr. Joseph E. McFarland, Jr.

Dr. Marybeth Irvin

Dr. Elena Tachau

Learning Forward Pennsylvania Website

This is the website of Learning Forward Pennsylvania.

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