Let us begin this by saying that in this uncertain time, we have never been more appreciative or more proud to live in a place where kindness, selflessness and concern of our schools, communities and neighbors are demonstrated daily by folk pulling together to help in a time of need.
The consideration and respect that has been demonstrated by so many people as we all work to navigate the very serious coronavirus issues underscores for us the compassion and closeness of our east Kentucky region as we push toward a way forward.
After much consultation among our staff and with our key stakeholders, we have concluded that the best way to protect our community and to continue our work to provide support and resources is to focus on delivering those resources, to the greatest degree possible, in a virtual environment and through the use of distance technology.
School Districts in our region have been working for the past several years to build out an effective digital environment for teaching, learning and leading. All schools have access to a robust and reliable technology system through KETS. This collective experience and capacity places us at a level of preparedness to deal with this current challenge.
At KVEC, we have supported the move toward a 1:1 learning environment, developed the www.theholler.org into a multi-component place-based social learning platform, invested in digital badging, micro-credentials, on-line learning, and digital connectivity. We have a diverse, experienced and highly skilled staff capable of adapting quickly and innovating by necessity.
We are initiating the following actions:
- Converting the FIRE (Forging Innovation in Rural Education) Summit to a Virtual FIRE Summit that will enable more than 230 regional educators and teams to demonstrate their innovative solutions to a broad audience, grant funders, and partners to maintain more than five years of work toward a national model for place-based excellence.
All grant recipients in the following categories will be able to present:
Learning Innovation – 110 participants
Transition Innovation – 30 participants
Building It Forward (Tiny House Project) – 6 Teams
Activating Catalytic Transformation – 17 Teams
Special Education Innovation – 12 participants
Student Senate and Community Challenge – 25 teams
Micro-Credential Development – 12 participants
Professional Action Network – 17 participants
- Converting the National Micro-Credential Summit to a Virtual Summit that will enable presenters and participants an opportunity to learn from and with the most informed national thought leaders and practitioners on the subject of Micro-credentials and competency-based professional learning.
- Postponing the regional “Drone Rodeo” event for student STEM teams originally scheduled for March 17th.
- Converting the Special Education Spring Conference originally scheduled for March 17th to an on-line framework available to all participants anytime and anywhere.
- Converting the Narrative 4 Launch originally scheduled for March 26th to a blended learning event.
- Postponing the Transition Fair originally scheduled for March 27th to a later date.
- Postponing the Low Incidence Conference scheduled for April 3rd to a later date.
- Converting all other upcoming trainings, meetings, cadres, cohorts and working sessions to blended models that incorporate the option of face-to-face or virtual participation and designed to best achieve professional learning outcomes.
Additional information specific to each KVEC sponsored activity will be sent to targeted participants as planning becomes more specific. We will work to keep you up to date and would appreciate any suggestions or advice you can provide.
Thank you all for your patience in this trying time.
We continue to pray for wisdom as we work to fulfill our mission and are confident that by pulling together we will come through this challenge strengthened and more resolved than ever to serve the needs of our learners, our neighbors and our communities.