Just a few days ago, on a warm spring Monday morning, 10 participants of Menachem Education Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Program piled into a van that took them to the magnificent Walder Education Pavillion of Skokie Illinois.

This is the fourth set of sessions for the eleven women educators from across the United States, and they have met thus far in different location across New York City and Florida, before meeting in the suburb of Chicago.

The participants were lucky to gather in the Walder Education Pavillion, a space dedicated to helping teachers, made these sessions so unique, as participant Chana Goldberg, of Cheder Chabad of Morristown expressed, “Having the sessions in a place like the Walder Pavilion, where education comes alive and the appreciation for education is so evident, added an extra dimension to our learning.”

The Chicago sessions focused on four major areas: Assessment, Instructional Rounds, Professional Development, and Leadership Vision.

Participants took a “deep dive” into assessment by exploring their beliefs about assessment, reflecting on the assessment practices in their schools, practicing creating sample standards-based assessments to meet the needs of different types of learners, and identifying some next steps for future work around assessment in their schools.

Participants deepened their understanding of the Instructional Rounds process by refining essential questions to serve as a lens for observation. Then they participated in an extended debrief to become more familiar with a process for unpacking their observations, making predictions about student learning, and identifying next steps for instructional improvement. Participants explored the idea that one of the roles of the principal is leader of professional development for staff, and identified the challenges and the opportunities within that role. Finally, participants reflected on their vision as a leader and how they will engage their staff in that vision in service of student learning.

The participants will gather for a few more sessions before the close of the yearlong program, led and developed by the NYC Leadership Academy, under the Menachem Education Foundation.

For more information regarding other programs and services by MEF, please check out mymef.org or email [email protected].