Encourage Service Learning at Your School

Erica Peron School Leadership Resources

December 5th is International Volunteering Day! This month we want to provide you with resources to encourage volunteering and service learning at your school.

Recruit Volunteers to Support Your School

Encourage Student Service Learning

Have you heard about reimaginED?

Step Up for Students has a blog called reimaginED that examines and reports on how expanded education choice options are transforming K-12 education in Florida and the nation. You can read about unique innovations in education like this article about the relationship between teacher expectations and student outcomes.

To view more Educational Resources click here.

Looking for new ways to develop as a leader?

Step Up For Students School Leadership Resources

Are you looking for new ways to develop as a leader? Tis month’s resources are dedicated to helping you grow! Check out the upcoming events and resources linked below.

  • Read about the “Five Conditions that Support Great Teaching” from Impact Florida’s guest column. Impact Florida’s President Mandy Clark and Associate Professors at the University of Florida Christopher Redding and F. Chris Curran discuss how to create the infrastructure at your school that is necessary to foster great teaching.
  • Check out Impact Florida’s Education Summit. This is a unique opportunity for education leaders to recognize, support, and scale great teaching practices in Florida schools. The event will occur on March 2-3 at the Wyndham Bonnet Creek in Orlando, Florida. During the Summit, education leaders will connect with colleagues across the state, learn from national experts and one another, and be re-inspired for the work ahead.
  • Explore these upcoming conferences from the Herzog Foundation. Herzog Foundation provides training, events, and conferences to address relevant topics within the Christian education sphere. These events will be a time to share best-practices on specifics from national thought leaders. Focuses will include Christian school administration training, network building events, marketing tools, and online education to name a few.
  • From reimaginED, the policy and public affairs blog for Step Up For Students: “Five Florida education providers are among 64 quarterfinalists from 33 states and the District of Columbia who are in the running for a prestigious $1 million award for educational excellence. SailFuture in St. Petersburg, RCMA Immokalee Community Academy, Hope Ranch Learning Academy in Hudson, Colossal Academy in Davie, and Kind Academy in Coral Springs all are vying for the prize that recognizes those providers who strive to offer education that meets the four adjectives whose first letters spell the acronym for the award: Sustainable, Transformational, Outstanding, and Permissionless.” To continue reading, click here.

To view more Educational Resources click here.

Celebrate International Literacy Day and Hispanic Heritage Month

Step Up For Students School Leadership Resources

On September 8th, we celebrated International Literacy Day. This day was founded in 1966 to keep the importance of literacy in the forefront of local communities. Tremendous progress has been made in the years since, however, illiteracy remains a world issue. This month serves as a reminder to encourage our youth to pick up a good book and explore new worlds.

Some easy ways to celebrate this day are:

  • Donate books to local classrooms
  • Gift a book to someone
  • Start a community “Free Little Library”
  • Check out these 27 Literacy Activities that work for K-12

Beginning September 15th, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.  This month celebrates the achievements of famous Hispanic Americans, along with everyday people and families. It is an opportunity to celebrate Latino culture in school and at home.

  • The Library of Congress has many resources that teachers can utilize in their classrooms.
  • Expose students to all kinds of Spanish music by playing it over you PA system. Here’s a playlist for ideas.
  • Decorate the hallways with flags from Hispanic countries.  Students can color their own here.
  • Set up a Domino table in a common area with simple play instructions. Have fun!
  • Explore the minds of famous Latinos by printing out their quotes and displaying at your school for all to see.

Have you heard about reimaginED?

Step Up for Students has a blog called reimaginED that examines and reports on how expanded education choice options are transforming K-12 education in Florida and the nation.

How many times have you wished for more adults in the classroom with you? Arizona State University’s new teacher education program is designed to do just that! It’s team teaching reinvented, and you can read about in on our reimaginED blog. Here’s a peek: “Each team shares about 150 students and is comprised of at least three certified teachers and a lead teacher, who both instructs and manages the classroom. Other educators join the core depending on students’ needs. Their roles include special educators, teachers of English language learners, teacher candidates who are completing residencies, and paraeducators… Instruction incorporates project- and inquiry-based learning to allow students to learn more deeply. Teachers are joined by community partners who also serve as team members. Gone is the traditional bell schedule.”

Scroll to the bottom of the article to subscribe to reimagiNATION and get our articles on how expanded education choice options are transforming K-12 education in Florida and beyond in your inbox every day!

To view more Educational Resources click here.

Classroom Management Resources for the New School Year

Step Up For Students School Leadership Resources

Welcome to the start of an exciting new school year! This month’s resources are dedicated to implementing effective classroom management. We hope these resources are useful as you help your teachers prepare for the new year.

To view more Educational Resources click here.

Planning for Professional Development

Step Up For Students School Leadership Resources

This month’s resources are dedicated to looking ahead to next year’s professional development options. Create your faculty’s professional development plan for the year now!

Look at your budget, examine the dollars you received from Title 2 Part A last year, and plan accordingly. Be sure to download our free printable professional development worksheet.

To view more Educational Resources click here.

Tips for Increasing School Enrollment

Step Up For Students School Leadership Resources

As the 2021-2022 school year comes to a close we hope you will take a moment to celebrate your successes! We’ve included a document to help you reflect on this year and begin thinking about the next school year. We also included some tips on increasing enrollment over the summer!

To view more Educational Resources click here.

Thank You Administrators! Teacher Appreciation Week Giveaway!

Step Up For Students School Leadership Resources

This month we want to take a moment to say thank you for all the work you do all year long! We also hope to give you some ideas to show your teachers how much you appreciate the work that they do every day!

The Student Learning and Partner Success team is giving away five $50 Amazon gift cards and a gift basket filled with Step Up swag! Be sure to share this post with your teachers!

Click here to enter out Teacher Appreciation Giveaway!

Register for the Choice in Education Celebration Free Virtual Event

Have you heard about the Choice in Education Celebration? We are throwing a virtual party to close out the school year! This FREE event will be held virtually on May 26th from 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. We will hear from Keynote Speaker Gerry Brooks, and giveaway fabulous prizes! Save your seat and REGISTER TODAY!

Teacher Appreciation Ideas

To view more Educational Resources click here.

Resources for Growing Your School Library

Step Up For Students School Leadership Resources

April is National School Library Month! We know that building and growing a school library is extremely challenging. This month’s resources aim to provide you with ideas and resources to grow and develop your school or classroom libraries.

Collecting Books and Building a Library Space at Your School

Resources For Classroom Libraries

  • Check out these free classroom library tools like book bin/shelf cards, classroom posters, and more from Follett Learning.
  • Make labeling your books easy with this reading level chart from Booksource.
  • Check out classroom books to students right from your phone with this free Classroom Checkout App!

Resources For School-Wide Libraries

Digital Library Options

  • Several free apps make it possible to access digital books through your local library instantly! All students, parents, or teachers need is a library card! Check out Hoopla Digital or Libby to learn more.
  • EPIC also offers educators access to thousands of high-quality books for free in the classroom!
  • Explore other free options for digital reading in this blog post from Differentiated Teaching!

Did You Know?

  • The Student Learning and Partner Success team at Step Up for Students is hosting a Choice in Education Celebration for teachers in May with inspiring speakers, giveaways, and more! This FREE event is open to all SUFS school leaders and educators. Click here to register!
  • Step Up for Students has a blog called reimaginED that examines and reports on how expanded education choice options are transforming K-12 education in Florida and the nation. The most recent article explores the law that was just passed expanding the scholarship program to law enforcement officers. Read the story here and be sure to subscribe! 

To view more Educational Resources click here.

Finding and Retaining High-Quality Teachers

Step Up For Students School Leadership Resources

This month’s post is dedicated to finding and retaining quality teachers. Below are a few resources on effective recruitment strategies that must be paired with a thoughtful approach to retain and reduce the teacher turnover that plagues schools and districts and undermines student success.


Teachers are critical to students building the knowledge and skills they need for their future. Without well-prepared teachers working in every classroom, it is difficult for schools to sustain the transformational and supportive learning environments students need and deserve. Amid declining teacher preparation enrollment, rising preparation costs, inadequate professional development opportunities, and dormant compensation, schools and districts face a broad range of challenges that undermine their ability to recruit and retain a stable, effective, and diverse teacher workforce.

Have you heard about reimaginED?

Are you already a reader of the Step Up For Students Education Roundup but would like to expand your knowledge of education choice issues in Florida and beyond? Did you know that reimaginED, the policy and public affairs communications platform for Step Up, which houses the education roundup, is so much more than the roundup?

Launched a decade ago, reimaginED examines and reports on how expanded education choice options are transforming K-12 education in Florida and the nation. The reimaginED team tracks education choice legislation across the country, while contributors rely on their experience to write about the explosion of education options – traditional district schools, charter schools, private and parochial schools, homeschooling, learning pods and more – and the various means available for tapping into these options.

If you are an educator with the need for a well-rounded picture of what’s happening in Florida and other states, bookmark reimaginED and visit frequently – content is updated every morning at 6 a.m. and at various times throughout the day.

Here is an example of a story on reimaginED that you won’t want to miss!

To view more Educational Resources click here.

Celebrate Black History Month with Reflection

Step Up For Students School Leadership Resources

As you celebrate Black History Month at your school, we hope you’ll also take a moment to reflect on your school environment. This month’s resources will help you examine current practices and think differently about discipline and mindfulness.

2022 Black History Month Educator Award Contest

  • Governor Ron DeSantis’ and First Lady Casey DeSantis’ Black History Month Excellence in Education Award Contest is open to any full-time educator who works in an elementary, middle, or high school in Florida (including public, charter, private, home or virtual). Deadline to apply is Friday, 2/18, so nominate that exemplary educator today! Click here to nominate!

Take a Closer Look at Discipline Patterns

  • Celebrate Black History Month by taking a close look at your discipline patterns. Have you examined your discipline referrals by race lately? Research by Skiba et al (2011) indicates that students from African American families are 2.19 (elementary) to 3.78 (middle) times as likely to be referred to the office for problem behavior as their White peers. In addition, the results indicate that students from African American and Latino families are more likely than their White peers to receive expulsion or out of school suspension as consequences for the same or similar problem behavior. Click here to learn more about the research.
  • Check out the End Zero Tolerance Toolkit for resources on building a supportive school discipline system that does not rely on classroom removals, suspensions or expulsions.

The Mindful Reflection Protocol

  • Zaretta Hammond, author of Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain, recommends a technique called the Mindful Reflection Protocol for teachers to reflect on their reactions to student misbehavior. “The Mindful Reflection Protocol is process that can help a teacher see their implicit bias in action. This protocol was developed teacher educators, Barbara J. Dray and Debora Basler Wisneski. The protocol is simple. It asks teachers to look at an incident through three lenses: description, interpretation, and evaluation. Teachers are asked to just describe what is going on literally with no judgment. Then, they are asked to focus on interpreting the action. What does it mean to you when the child does that? Still with no judgment. Once you’ve interpreted, then try to reflect on how you judge the action or behavior – what value to you give to your interpretation. I’d also ask teachers to notice how they interpret the same behavior from two students from different racial backgrounds. This process allows teachers to create some distance from thinking and actions that are sometimes on autopilot because things are happening so fast in the classroom.” Click Here to Learn More About Mindful Reflection.

Examine Your Classrooms

  • Are you unconsciously contributing to the achievement gap through your class assignments? According to The Education Trust’s December 2021 report, “Black and Latino students are not assigned to experienced and qualified teachers due to decisions school leaders make about which courses students have access to and which teachers teach those courses. In other words, even in schools that look like they have a relatively experienced and qualified workforce, Black and Latino students may still be disproportionately assigned to courses taught by novice educators.” Take a look at your class assignments: are your non-white students more likely to be in classes taught by a first or second-year teacher? Click here to learn more.

Resource Corner:

  • Looking for high quality learning resources? We know that high quality learning resources are always on your mind. We have listed several opportunities below that may benefit your school. Click here for more information and a list of upcoming webinars!
  • Podcast alert! Listen to Ronda Dry talking to two school leaders about their switch to content-rich curriculum and the impact it has made on their student achievement.

To view more Educational Resources click here.