Greetings! As I continue my tenure as the president of Maryland ASCD, I wanted to take an opportunity to talk about this time in the field of education, the opportunities that this time holds, and the role that ASCD and its Maryland affiliate can play in your professional development and the professional development of our schools and school districts.
First of all, I’d like to wish you luck at the start of this new school year. Across the state, students and teachers, administrators and parents, are all gearing up for the many changes that are occurring throughout education. With the introduction of the Common Core standards, implementation of new evaluation systems, a renewed focus on anti-bullying programs, and new technology standards, just to name a few, ASCD and Maryland ASCD continue to focus on addressing the needs of the Whole Child. ASCD’s Whole Child Initiative is an association wide effort to change the conversation about education from a focus on narrowly defined academic achievement to one that promotes the whole development of the child. This means that no matter the initiative, new or old, every child that enters a school in our great state should be healthy, safe, supported, engaged, and challenged.
Activities supporting the Maryland ASCD mission have been planned, providing our members an opportunity to continue their professional growth, and ensuring that Maryland ASCD is supporting our members by providing access to the opportunity to make a difference for children. I encourage you and your colleagues to visit our website as well as our Facebook page and Twitter feed to get the latest information about our upcoming events. Of particular importance is our first event of the year, the Fall Mini-Conference. In partnership with the Anne Arundel County Reading Council and Prince George’s County Reading Council, we are hosting several speakers including Dr. Peter Afflerbach and Quality Quinn, as well as several breakout sessions from leaders around our state.
On the Maryland ASCD website (www.marylandascd.org), you’ll find that we are in the process of revamping the site. We are attempting something that our organization has not done before. We would like to create a space where our organizational leaders can share their thoughts and experience and create a cadre of state leaders that can have an influence on the direction of the education of children across the state of Maryland and beyond.
Another important program for Maryland ASCD this year is our expanded role in the Common Ground Conference. Formerly known as MSET’s annual conference, this year the event will remain in Ocean City. Maryland ASCD will be providing a national speaker and will be conducting several sessions throughout the event. We look to expand this event beyond its traditional focus on technology, and focus on the Whole Child and other educational topics.
As an organization, we have a lot that we want to accomplish, but none of it matters without you. Especially in light of new evaluations where participation in professional organizations is more important than ever, I encourage you and your colleagues to get involved. Together we can make Maryland ASCD a vocal leader in our field throughout the state. We have several opportunities for our members to get involved in governance and advocacy, and we look forward to including your voice in the conversation.
Again, good luck to you and your students as we all begin an exciting new school year. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or any of the members of our Executive Board. We look forward to seeing you at our events and speaking with you about topics that lead to the success of children.
Now more than ever: EVERY LEARNER, EVERY DAY!
David B. Stovenour