The VSBA/VSA Annual Conference focuses this year on “How are the Students Doing?” The opening keynote session and following general session workshop, as well as breakout sessions and programming Friday provide different ways to approach this question. For those who believe students should be the focus of everything we do in school governance and administration, this conference will provide you with new ideas and tools to make that a reality in your school system. Friday, students will join us for a clear representation of what is most important to students and how they describe how they are doing. These interactions will provoke new ways to approach discussions and decisions at the board table. Come prepared to learn, listen, and contribute to shared improvement.
Kay Douglas, Esq., is known nationally as a board whisperer. This means she has an uncanny ability to see into challenges and address them with velvet gloves. Kay, a former local school board member for 16 years, brings a wealth of experience and tenacity, as someone who grew up on the West Side of Chicago and worked her way through college in New York. She moved to Texas to study Criminal Justice and wound up interviewing almost 200 inmates on Death Row in Texas as a law student. Somehow, Kay found herself working as a prosecuting attorney and later a trainer of other prosecutors across the country. Those intense experiences and more, molded Kay into a powerful voice for educational equity and improving experiences, opportunities, and outcomes for students.
The Listen Up Project is an ambitious original musical based on eight months of interviews, workshops, conversations and listening sessions with more than 800 teens across Vermont. From the vast and diverse stories gathered over this time, a script was written. Youth were engaged in the song-writing process and the musical was created. Statewide casting of the show occurred in May 2021. A four-week intensive rehearsal will take place in July at Lyndon Institute in Lyndonville, VT. In August, the show will tour across the state with nine live outdoor performances. In the fall of 2021 a streaming version of the show with a discussion guide will be available for all those who were unable to attend the live summer shows. The streaming film version of the musical will be available for schools, youth centers, educators, parents and teens.