February 2022 Board Retreat Sessions: Key Takeaways and Recordings

The Belk Foundation held its annual Board of Directors Retreat on February 23 and 24, 2022, with content sessions open virtually to invited partners and stakeholders. There was great learning that produced continued evidence on the work to be done around our mission, and two focus areas: excellent teachers and leaders and K-3 literacy. The two-day retreat brought expert discussion and a look at the current landscape, as well as motivation and collaboration around moving forward in the work. Read some of our key takeaways, as well as full videos of each webinar.

FEB 23 | Trends in the Teacher Workforce: Headwinds and Opportunities to Ensure Equitable Access to Effective Teachers

While there is a lot of concern about teacher shortages, it’s incumbent on policymakers and district leaders to look carefully at their actual data. Solutions to any shortages should be responsive to critical need areas and consider longer term ramifications to the teacher workforce. See the recent summary of the State of the Teaching Profession here and detailed report here.

There are compelling reasons to improve student teaching placements – both the school sites and clinical educator / mentor selection – which could lead to better hiring and increased effectiveness. Wise school and district leaders seek out partnerships with preparation programs.

North Carolina’s Advanced Teaching Roles models are a valuable approach to embedded beginning teacher support, coaching, and retention. Hearing from the exceptional Multi-Classroom Leader Meghan Harris on our panel made clear: effective educators should be identified for expanded impact (and compensated) for the important ways they support students and coach their colleagues.

A full recording of this webinar may be viewed here.

FEB 24 | The Science & Art of Reading Improvement

Sound change management is essential to realizing the impacts from the investment our state is making in teacher training, curriculum adoption, and all the other components of the Excellent Public Schools Act. Keynote Speaker Kareem Weaver shared a clear framework for all necessary components to any major change effort.

Great change management involves leaders sharing clearly the vision and benefits of the change to help overcome inertia or resistance. We saw this exemplified by Dr. Sharon Contreras, who has led important work in Guilford County to align early literacy instruction with the research and implement in a culturally-responsive manner.

Parents want authentic, trusting partnerships with their students’ teachers. No one speaks to what this looks like – and why this matters for reading development – more compellingly than our panelist and grantee partner, Dr. Devonya Govan-Hunt with the Black Child Development Institute-Charlotte.

A full recording of this webinar may be viewed here.