Letter from the president

Dear Fellow Oklahoma Educators,

Welcome to school year 2019 – 2020! It’s a time of year full of excitement, athletic events, fall festivals, and cooler weather. Learning Forward Oklahoma is anticipating a productive, fun year as we continue our mission “to build the capacity of Oklahoma educators to establish and sustain highly effective professional learning so that every student achieves.”

Learning Forward Oklahoma Events: Last May, Learning Forward Oklahoma hosted its first Networking and Recognition event for professional learning providers.  With a focus on Learning Forward’s professional learning standards and advocacy, 22 leaders representing 13 organizations assembled and shared their knowledge and expertise.  It was a fun, productive, insightful day facilitated by board member Dr. Judi Barber.  As one participant said, the “activity that took us through the standards provided a clear understanding of Learning Forward’s continuum of providing intentional supports for educators.”

Learning Forward Oklahoma is looking forward to bringing everyone together again!  Are you interested?  Watch for information on our events page, and send us an email!

During the 2019 – 2020 school year, we are planning our first convening of districts interested in learning more about Learning Forward’s professional learning standards and how they impact and guide district professional learning. You’ll want to keep an eye on our events page for this as well.

Finally, I’m excited to announce Learning Forward Oklahoma’s launch of BASE Camp. BASE Camp (Building and Supporting Educators) has been created to support districts as they onboard teachers seeking certification through non-traditional pathways and is aligned to the soon-to-be-implemented PPAT teacher certification exam. We’re excited to be partnering with Norman Public Schools to kick-off this initiative. If you’re interested in learning more, email us!

Advocacy: Recently, board member Beth Albert and I had a conversation with Learning Forward International as they prepare for a Capitol Hill briefing in October. Seeking information on the use of Title II funds and their impact on professional learning and student achievement, Beth, the Executive Director of Professional Development and Student Achievement for Norman Public Schools, was able to provide excellent information and data, and she was asked to participate in a briefing on Capitol Hill in October. I’m looking forward to hearing the information presented and gathered during this meeting, and we will be sure and share it with you, too!

Annual Conference:  December 7 – 11 is Learning Forward’s annual conference in St. Louis bringing education leaders and policy makers together to share professional learning expertise. This is an excellent opportunity to make connections and discover tools and strategies helping you understand and implement effective professional learning in classrooms, schools, and districts. Click here to learn more and find registration information.

Membership:  There are so many fun, exciting, and important things taking place for Learning Forward Oklahoma, and we would love for you to be a part of our team. If you or your organization is interested in being a part of Learning Forward Oklahoma, please reach out. Membership information can be found on our web page.

Thank for all you do with our students! As events solidify, we will keep you posted! We look forward to serving you! Have a great 2019 – 2020 school year!


Suzie Smith, President Learning Forward Oklahoma

“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.” President Franklin D. Roosevelt

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