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Looking to grow professionally? Here are some options

Date: Friday, April 12, 2019

Opportunities abound for professional development this summer. The Iowa Department of Education is offering several conferences, from those who teach English language learners to social studies to fine arts.

Here are the details:

Our Kids Summer Institute coming June 18-19

Save the date for the 15th annual Our Kids Summer Institute, scheduled for June 18-19 at the FFA Enrichment Center at the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) campus in Ankeny. This conference will be for all educators who support English Learner (EL) students.

All PK-12 educators will have the opportunity to network with other educational professionals, discover new strategies for working with EL students in Iowa, and meet national and local experts to enrich practices for increasing EL achievement.

Conference topics Include:

  • Key strategies for supporting core content learning
  • EL parent engagement
  • Building academic language
  • Benefits of co-teaching for EL learners
  • EL laws and implications of the laws for instruction

First-ever fine arts conference June 20

A first-ever statewide fine arts conference will be held June 20 in Ankeny.

The Iowa Fine Arts Education Summit, designed for fine arts educators will focus on best practices and aligning the fine arts curriculum to the standards.

“The conference is especially important since we had our fine arts standards approved in 2017,” said Angela Matsuoka, the fine arts consultant at the Iowa Department of Education. “This will enable educators to refine their work or get them started.”

Keynote speaker will be Olivia Gude, chair of art education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Early bird tickets are available now through April 30 at $25 a piece. After that, the price goes up to $35. Included in the ticket price is a light breakfast and lunch. Register here.

The conference is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Education in association with the Iowa Arts Council, as well as the Iowa Alliance for Education and Des Moines Area Community College.

Social studies institute June 19-20

Registration is under way for the 2019 Best Practices in Social Studies Institute, which will be held in Johnston June 19-20.

The Best Practices in Social Studies Institute is designed to support Iowa teachers in implementing Iowa's new social studies standards. There will be two strands – elementary and secondary – to provide specific support around the inquiry and content expectations of the standards. Attendees will attend an all-day elementary or secondary workshop on one day of the institute and have the opportunity to attend breakout sessions on the other day of the institute.

The institute is no cost to participants.