The Source

Iowa ASCD...THE SOURCE for Instructional Leadership

Volume 1 Number 4 - February 19, 2021

In this issue:

  • Iowa ASCD Spring Leadership Academy - April 22
  • Advocacy in Iowa - Tools & Resources - Anna Upah
  • Register Today for Social Justice and Equity in Education Conference
  • Higher Education Conference on Equity - March 3-5
  • Time Keeps on Slippin' . . . - Dr. Jared Smith
  • Does Your District Have the Next Teacher of the Year?
  • Meeting Announcement: Drake Continual Improvement Network
  • ASCD Proclaims February as Month of International Celebration of Affiliates
  • Mark Your Calendars - Summer Event with Jimmy Casas - June 17, 2021

United Front: Preparing to Move Forward

Iowa ASCD Spring Academy - April 22, 2021 - Virtual

Danielle Theis, expert on trauma in schools, will lead the virtual event.

This past year brought numerous sudden and drastic changes. Our country has been plagued with a pandemic, bringing mental stress, loss and turmoil into their lives. The decline in the quality of so many people’s lives, and the shift from in-person education to virtual and hybrid schedules, has made the task of motivating and leading our staff even more challenging.

During this interactive session, Administrators, School Counselors and Instructional Coaches will learn what to Anticipate as we begin the process of restoring what has been lost, what to Prepare for as we approach the return to 100% in-person learning, and how to Respond to the negativity that often accompanies system restoration and transformation.

As a result of attending this workshop, School Leaders will be able to do the following:

  1. Identify trauma responsive indicators and thought patterns that indicate additional supports may be needed for staff and students;
  2. Recognize risk factors for systemic impact due to negative undercurrents;
  3. Outline a responsive plan to position your teams for the establishment of healing and solution focused momentum moving forward.

Who should attend: Administrators, Counselors, Coaches, this is designed for you.

Where: Virtual Event – a personalized link will be sent to you prior to event.
Registration Iowa ASCD events tab
Iowa ASCD Members: $125.00
Iowa ASCD Non-members: $170.00 includes a one year membership in Iowa ASCD.
Date: April 22, 2021
Special Offer!! Thanks to ISEA! Counselors who are members of ISEA! Register for Free! Follow these registration instructions. In the payment section – select PO and type ISEA in the blank.

When: April 22, 2021 Virtual 8:15 am - 3:00 pm

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Advocacy in Iowa - Tools & Resources

Anna Upah, Iowa ASCD Director and Curriculum Leader and Elementary Principal of the Benton Community School District, has shared the following:

There has been so much this past school year that has caused educators all over the country to scratch their heads and then, virtually, put all hands in just as teams have done for years on the sideline of a court or field. In Iowa, we have experienced everything from the movement to remote instruction, dealing with a devastating land hurricane, and managing life as educators as we work to support the students we missed so much last spring. The piece that remains clearer than ever is that educators matter. What is said, shared, and believed in a classroom has an impact on students. There is no doubt that this opportunity to educate really is a privilege.

The political environments at both the state and federal levels seem as polarized and loud as ever. As the Iowa legislature resumed, so did the conversations around topics like “Education Savings Accounts” or more affectionately known as vouchers. The term vouchers has been used for the past few years in Iowa and has been a point of conversation for the Iowa ASCD Legislative Advocacy Committee.

From the 2020 Iowa ASCD Legislative Advocacy Agenda:

“As the most significant in-school factors for student achievement, teachers and school leaders deserve the support and resources to maximize student learning outcomes to prepare our young people for their future. As an organization, we are opposed to all forms of voucher programs/additional public funds appropriated to support private school used.”

This advocacy point remains true as we have turned the calendar to 2021. Advocating for what you believe is a fundamental right. Sharing your perspective with elected officials in a respectful manner and remembering that those officials are human, have feelings, and deserve respect is exactly the kind of citizenship we want to be modeling for our students. Below are a few resources offered by Iowa ASCD to support you in your advocacy efforts. Advocacy is a right in the United States. The only wrong way to advocate is to do it in a way that is unkind or not at all. As you consider what is best for all students and educators throughout Iowa, find your voice and advocate. Until then, remember the words of wisdom shared by Amanda Gorman, “There is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”

Iowa ASCD Advocacy Resources:

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Register Today for Social Justice and Equity in Education Conference

Registration under way for equity, social justice conference

Register today for the Iowa Department of Education's virtual conference April 14 focusing on social justice and equity in education.

The conference is designed for educators, practitioners and industry experts to share best practices and to equip educators with research-based tools to promote the academic and social emotional learning for all students. The conference theme, “From Conversation to Practice - A Call to Action,” is a culmination of the Department’s ongoing webinar series going back to last fall.

There also will be an invitation-only pre-conference April 13 that will provide training specifically targeting academic leadership in secondary and postsecondary, community-based and policy related decision-making roles.

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Higher Education Conference on Equity - March 3-5

Drake is partnering with the University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) to host a virtual conference on equity and inclusion in higher education March 3-5, 2021.

Register Now!


Institutions of Higher Education face diversity, equity, and inclusion issues globally with unique challenges and creative solutions. The 2021 Global Citizen Forum will bring together educators, students, policy makers and citizens from around the world to explore the struggles, strategies, and solutions for creating a more equitable and inclusive higher education field. Visit our About page to review the conference objectives and event details.


This conference will take place entirely online, and registration is required via Eventbrite. The cost to attend the conference is $50, paid at the time of registration. All undergraduate and graduate students from any institution are eligible for free entry. Visit our Registration page to learn about fee waivers and group discounts.


The conference schedule and a list of presenters is now available. Please note that additional sessions may be added in early February, and the digital program will be available soon!.

Time Keeps on Slippin' . . .

Dr. Jared Smith, Iowa ASCD member and Superintendent of South Tama County Community School District shares this article:

"There just isn't enough time in the day."

How many times have you heard others use this phrase? How many times have you used this phrase?

Unfortunately, any plan for personal growth begins - and ends - with finding time.

Most people recognize the importance of getting better but struggle to find time in their busy lives to make it happen. They would read more books, start more projects, complete more workouts, begin new hobbies, generate more income ... if only they had more time.

Herein lies the question for many educational leaders: Where do I find time for personal growth?


Lifelong learners must look at each day as two separate days.

The first day is the workday. Most school leaders work an average of nine hours per day (anything more is silly and the result of poor resource allocation). While hours vary by position, 7:30am - 4:30pm is pretty standard. The second day is the non-workday. Assuming the schedule above, the second day begins at 4:30pm and ends at 7:30am.

Most people believe the first day is meant for work and the second day is meant for leisure. Once the workday is complete, the remaining fifteen hours are reserved for sleep, eating, family, and relaxation."I've earned this time," they reason as they sit down on the couch, put their feet up on the coffee table, grab a bag of Doritos, and flip on the television.

There is nothing wrong with this attitude - this is the default mindset for most Americans.

But what most Americans don't realize is time away from works constitutes nearly two-thirds of the workweek - without factoring in the weekend! While family responsibilities narrow the window of opportunity, saying "there just isn't enough time in the day" for personal growth is laughable.

As has been discussed in previous blog posts, personal growth does not need several hours each day. Instead, finding 30 to 60 minutes each day to read a book, complete a workout, or tackle a project is plenty. While one day may not seem like a lot, over the course of a lifetime the results are life-changing.

Rather than waste away their hours before and after work, lifelong learners view the second day as an opportunity for personal growth.


One common excuse for ignoring personal growth is at the end of the workday we are tired. Certainly, school leaders experience stressful days. Countless studies confirm that school administration is among the most exhausting professions. However, I would agree that "tired" is just a mindset.

For example, say you have a date lined up at the end of the workday. Whether the date is with your spouse or someone you are currently dating, you likely spend all day looking forward to the date. When the workday ends, you rush home to prepare for the date. You quickly head to dinner, catch a movie, and grab a late night dessert. Before you know it it's 10:00 P.M.

Assuming the date was enjoyable, you likely felt little fatigue from the workday.

The end of the workday not your thing? Ah yes ... you have a family. No time for dates!

Well then perhaps early morning is your ideal time for personal growth.

When you're up early and all alone you are away from the overstimulation and noise that consumes today's society. After a good night's rest your attention is fresh and primed for personal growth rather than fragmented by technology, meetings, and emails.

For many, there is nothing better than waking up while the house is asleep, making a fresh cup of coffee, and bettering one's self. The solitude, silence and stillness of daybreak creates the perfect setting for lifelong learners to work on their craft.

Whether your preference is after work or before work is of little relevance. What matters is that personal growth is viewed with anticipation, not drudgery.


When we see others who are ultra-successful we often justify their success compared to ours.

"They have more money."

"They have more connections."

"They have more resources."

"They have more luck."

There is always a reason why others are doing more than ourselves.

What makes us all equal is time. Time is the ultimate equalizer. Regardless of money, connections, resources, or luck - we all have only 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week and 365 days in a year.

It all comes down to how you spend it.

You can binge another show on Netflix. You can live someone else’s life on Instagram.

Or you can commit to working on yourself.

Spend your time wisely, as we all operate on an even playing field.

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Does Your District Have the Next Teacher of the Year?

Thousands of talented Iowa educators lead and inspire their students, but only one is chosen annually as the state’s ambassador to education. The deadline to nominate the 2022 Iowa Teacher of the Year is April 1.

The award is an opportunity to recognize an exceptional Iowa teacher who is helping redefine education. Nominations will be accepted from anyone, including students, parents, school administrators, colleagues, college faculty members, and associations (self-nominations, and nominations from family members are not accepted).

Nomination forms can be found at Iowa Teacher of the Year 2022.

In addition to being an ambassador of education, the Iowa Teacher of the Year serves as a liaison to primary and secondary schools, higher education and organizations across the state.

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Meeting Announcement: Drake Continual Improvement Network

Are you interested in how educators can elicit and operationalize student feedback in order to transform their learning experiences? Then join the Drake Continual Improvement Network for our next meeting on February 24 from 6-8 p.m., delivered via Zoom. To join, register at:

The Drake Continual Improvement Network began in 2016 in order to facilitate learning and support educators in their quest to simply “get better at getting better.” At each of the four meetings during the year, participants have the opportunity to learn about and engage in quality/continual improvement (QCI) principles and practices while networking with others who are passionate about transforming and improving education.

ASCD Proclaims February as Month of International Celebration of Affiliates

Whereas, ASCD is the largest, most esteemed professional education association in the world, proudly serving as the standard of excellence for educators; and

Whereas, ASCD Affiliates have served the organization with distinction throughout its storied history, since 1943; and

Whereas, there has never been a more critical moment in time to serve in education and support the Whole Child; and

Whereas, global humankind depends on education as its pathway to a promising future; and

Whereas, ASCD Affiliates now number 64 and continue to grow in influence and impact worldwide;

ASCD does hereby proclaim February, 2021 a month of international celebration of its Affiliate program, celebrating all its accomplishments near and far, and even more so its promise to our children and the educators who serve them for a better tomorrow.

Thank you to all of our ASCD Affiliates, for all the ways you serve as ambassadors of the association, and for the many ways you elevate the profession!

ASCD Affiliates, Connected Communities, Emerging Leaders, Professional Interest Communities and Student Chapters are encouraged to go forth far and wide to spread the news of this month-long celebration, both face-to-face and in the cybersphere, posthaste!

With deepest, heartfelt appreciation, on behalf of the ASCD staff,

Walter McKenzie ·

Senior Director for Constituent Services


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Every Child - Every Day - Whatever it Takes

Iowa ASCD Conference

June 17, 2021 2021 - More Details to come!

Every Child - Every Day - Whatever it Takes
with Jimmy Casas and Iowa Educators

Conference will be virtual.

Thank you for your input for dates!

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Iowa ASCD Events

April 22, 2021 - Spring Leadership Academy: United Front : Preparing to Move Forward

featuring Danielle Theis, expert on Trauma Response in Schools Presented Virtually

Registration open now

June 17, 2021 Summer Institute Every Child - Every Day - Whatever it Takes

with Jimmy Casas Conference will be virtual. More details in near future