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Wolfe Street Academy in Baltimore, Maryland just received an unprecedented 8 year extension on their charter, and Govans Elementary was awarded a 5 year extension. Typically, schools receive 3 year extensions. Both of these successful schools are run by the Baltimore Curriculum Project, and feature Direct Instruction as their core curriculum.

Wolfe Street Academy serves mostly Hispanic and immigrant children and has had the same principal for 15 years. Baltimore City Schools chief Sonja Santelises said Wolfe Street has "embraced the power" that a high-functioning school can "play in the revitalization" of an area of the city. Principal Mark Gaither comments on the extension, "I am thrilled. It provides such a sense of stability for the families, the staff and the community to know that the school will be around for eight more years."

NIFDI sends congratulations to the staff and students of both schools. We are proud to continue to partner with Govans Elementary and Wolfe Street Academy in their efforts to provide quality education to their students.

The 2020 Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Convention, to be held in Portland Oregon, will feature a session honoring Direct Instruction inventor Siegfried Engelmann. The session is titled Special Education as Specially Designed Instruction: In Recognition and Honor of Zig Engelmann, and will be held on Thursday, February 6 from 1:00-2:00pm at the Oregon Convention Center. Session leader Ed Kame'enui will join Anita Archer, Doug Carnine, Geoff Colvin and Kurt Engelmann in presenting. Click here for more information on the session.

While you are at the convention, please visit us at booth 803 in the Exhibit Hall. Make sure to ask for your gift from NIFDI!

To honor the 50th anniversary of the arrival of Project Follow Through at the University of Oregon, the University of Oregon's College of Education recently hosted a panel of renowned experts to discuss the 50-year culture of research in the college. David Chard (Boston University), Doug Carnine (University of Oregon, Emeritus), Russell Gersten (University of Oregon, Emeritus), Colt Gill, (Oregon Department of Education) and Beth Harn (University of Oregon) discussed the research history that was born from Project Follow Through, its impact on educational pedagogy, its national and international reach, and its impact on the face of education overall. The event highlighted the lasting legacy initiated by Project Follow Through and how it advanced the Direct Instruction model and its numerous influences over the course of its 50-year journey.

The event traced some of education's most renowned and well-honored products, projects, practices, and people back fifty years to the arrival of a cohort of dedicated faculty and practitioners whose vision persists to this day. The influence and impact of Direct Instruction on current and ongoing education was celebrated, and honored. Click here to view the video.

Are you wanting to expand your ability to assist others in developing their skill in presenting DI lessons? NIFDI is offering our popular Coaching Academy, Enhanced Coaching and Facilitating Professional Development on February 20 & 21, in Columbus, Ohio. This two-day training, co- sponsored by McGraw-Hill Education, is designed for instructional coaches, peer coaches and others responsible for observing instruction and improving student performance.

If you attended the NIFDI Coaching Academy presented in October, this is a companion academy and not a repeat of the earlier session. Topics include:

  • Communicating with staff in order to increase instructional effectiveness.
  • Refining observational skills to increase the coach's ability to provide data-driven feedback.
  • Determining the appropriate intervention based on data and observation.
  • Utilizing a variety of interventions (in-class coaching, small group practice, 1:1 rehearsal sessions).
  • Designing and delivering efficient on-going professional development sessions.
  • Facilitating Data Analysis Team meetings to find and solve student performance problems in a timely manner.

The low fee of $269 includes lunch each day as well as a binder filled with resources. For a complete brochure and registration information, click here.

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