A few blog posts back, I noted that the staffing and training needs of the EAST team had grown to a point that we had to add office space. We now, officially (unofficially) have a “campus.” What started as one computer lab, one shared conference room and three offices has now grown into three suites and a whole building. Since last week, that may prove to not be enough.
I suppose last week was the official kickoff to the summer here at the Initiative, and boy are we kicking it off in style. We are hosting the first Phase I and Tier II trainings of the season and an administrative workshop. I’m not 100% sure how we’ve figured out who goes where when, but rest assured, there’s talented staff who have already planned and tested and otherwise made sure that no one gets lost in the shuffle. This much training all at one time–at the same time and in the same place—is a first for us. I’m not much one for signs and portents, but this certainly looks like one. Big doings are happening in our little corner of the world.
If you’re not sure of the differences among all these trainings, it’s pretty easy to disaggregate. Phase Training is the training that we have honed (and are constantly re-honing) for the new facilitators in our EAST programs. Tier Training is training that we are building for the facilitators in our EAST Core schools. We’re in the second year of this training and have learned much from our pilot year, but Tier is not quite as well developed as Phase (which had a 14 year head start). Our administrative training is professional development for principals, superintendents and the rest of the support infrastructure for all things EAST.
The trainers for all of this come from EAST staff, from facilitators who give us some of their summer to work with their newest colleagues and from representatives of various colleges, agencies and assorted aligned partners. Oh, did I mention the students? Yes we even tap into the EAST student pool to help make sure that we can offer the best training possible.
Something else interesting is happening while all the rest is going on. Delivery trucks by the dozens are starting to unload massive shipments of technology that we will assemble for our new classrooms. Roughly a zabillion pieces of technology (big and small) are carefully being sorted, tagged and prepared for delivery to the schools. Whole new EAST Classrooms and Coordinated Learning Centers are springing into existence right in front of our eyes.
As if that wasn’t enough, our events team is also in the final stages of planning our Summer Seminar (read more about it at http://www.eastinitiative.org/summerseminar2013/). It’s going to be amazing, but that’s a story for later.
Until then, we are running full throttle here at our headquarters in Little Rock, Ark. I hope your summer is just as exciting as ours.