Northern California Educational Leadership Consortium

NorCal Educators' Digest

Join the NorCal ELC Network and we’ll send you an email when each newsletter is available. Our newsletter is an information source for project activities, events, resources, school success stories, and hot topics for schools in the Shasta Region of 21CSLA.

NorCal Educator's Digest

May 2023

School Success Stories in the Shasta Geo Region

Chrysalis Charter Transforms Reading Outcomes

With a school named Chrysalis Charter, should we be surprised to see Transformation? Through a local Problem of Practice focused on a disproportionate number of students identified for special education, Chrysalis Charter leveraged the NorCal ELC continuous improvement (CI) structure, leadership coaching and support to act.  NorCal ELC focuses on helping local school teams learn and implement evidence driven CI on equity-centered problems to improve student outcomes and develop leadership capacity. The Chrysalis team analyzed data and leaned into the Science of Reading, changed their schedule to allow for interventions, and began making data-based decisions. Subsequently, Chrysalis reduced the number of students with IEPs from 31 of 175 students to 19. Students receiving reading interventions dropped by nearly two-thirds over two years - indicating a robust MTSS Tier 1. Through NorCal ELC the team was able to share success with other rural school teams to facilitate everyone’s ability to “soar”.

Golden Hills: A Professional Learning Community Model School

Golden Hills Elementary School in Palermo, Butte County, is the first school in the Shasta Region to be awarded the Professional Learning Community (PLC)  Model School by Solution Tree.

In order to qualify as a Model PLC, a school must:

  • Demonstrate a commitment to PLC at Work®️ concepts
  • Implement those concepts for at least three years
  • Present clear evidence of improved student learning
  • Provide data on a yearly basis that shows they continue to meet the criteria of the PLC at Work process (* due to COVID, iReady data was utilized in lieu of state testing data)

Kristi Napoli, Principal of Golden Hills and now a Certified Solution Tree Consultant, shared that it took a committed focus to utilize PLCs with everything they do. At Golden Hills, they utilize PLCs not just for academics, but also for behavior and social and emotional learning. According to Napoli, this means having: 

  • Clear and high expectations
  • A culture of collaboration that emphasizes a collective effort between the entire staff for student success
  • A focus on results; using student results to provide reflective conversations with staff on teaching practices; as well as using that data for designing intervention and extension activities for students.

Napoli shared that a critical starting place is identifying essential standards . “We write the essential standards in “I can” statements and explain the process for the students so they have accountability and responsibility and are part of the process.This is what we focus our teaching and assessments on. We make sure the entire staff has the same vision of proficiency before we start teaching the concept. We write common formative assessments that all staff have discussed, developed or selected, and that are teacher driven. With this process, all students are ensured the same learning.”

 At Golden Hills, it’s not just the teachers that utilize the core PLC questions (DuFour, DuFour, Eaker, & Many, 2010):

  1. What is it we want our students to learn?
  2. How will we know if each student has learned it?
  3. How will we respond when some students do not learn it?
  4. How can we extend and enrich the learning for students who have demonstrated proficiency? 

The counselors and administrators utilize these questions for their work as well.  Napoli noted that you have to be creative with the schedule in order to build time into the day for assessments and blocks for intervention and extension. She said math is easier to start with as it is linear, while language arts can be more challenging given its breadth. “You have to just jump in and try. Don’t wait for it to be perfect.”  Napoli also encouraged the need to create a culture of trust in order to have folks be able to have safe data conversations which are then used to determine their intervention systems. 

If you would like to visit Golden Hills to learn more about their PLC process, reach out to Kristi Napoli.

Trinity County Professional Learning Educator and LEA Mini-Grants

Trinity County Office of Education kicks off the Trinity County Professional Learning Consortium (TCPLC) for the 23-24 school year with Educator and LEA Mini-Grants to encourage and support educator efficacy.

According to Tim Nordstrom, Assistant Superintendent of Trinity County, a limited number of Educator Mini-Grants of $3000 are being offered for applicants that  focus on student instruction (academic/behavioral). Educators may choose to pilot a program or strategy, purchase materials for implementation, hold an event or improve the classroom environment. Applicants can be Classified, Certificated or Administrators. An additional Mini-Grant is being offered to Administrators only, with the same focus, with funds that can be spent on a Mentor, Coach, Consultant, Specialist or for a program. $250,000 has been set aside to fulfill as many grants as possible. 

For more information about the grants, contact Tim Nordstrom.

Golden State Teacher Grant Program

The Golden State Teacher Grant Program (GSTG) is awarding up to $20,000 to students currently enrolled in professional preparation programs (Commission on Teacher Credentialing approved). Students must:

  • Be working towards earning their preliminary teaching or pupil personnel services credential.
  • Complete their program and obtain their credential within 3 years from the first distribution of funds
  • Commit to work at a priority school in California for 4 years within 8 years of completing the program.

Want to share this with others? View the flyer here.

Join the Leadership Institute for Small School Leaders

Cohort II of the Leadership Institute is kicking off in July, 2023 in San Diego. The Leadership Institute is a collaborative effort between the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE) and the Small School Districts Association (SSDA) and is designed “to create a safe space for new and aspiring small school district leaders to learn, grow, highlight areas of needed support, share successes, and build relationships with other small district leaders. The ultimate goal of the Leadership Institute is to empower educational leaders in an authentic environment of learning and grace to grow in service to their students, staff, and communities.”  This will be accomplished through monthly 90 minute virtual sessions, as well as two in person sessions throughout the year. Topics such as leadership, governance, human resources and community engagement will be covered.

This Institute has been designed for small district leaders by small district leaders and experts in the field! For more information email

Attention Middle School Teachers and Administrators - Sign Up for an Ethnic Studies Training

We are seeking Middle School teachers and Administrators interested in working on an Ethnic Studies curriculum for Asian American Studies, African American Studies, Native American Studies, Latino/Chicano Studies, and History

Email Kendra Tyler if you're interested. Flyer and registration information here.

NorCal ELC Local Team Recruitment Coming Soon!

Watch for information on joining NorCal ELC’s local team program. NorCal ELC learned that funding to support professional learning, guidance and coaching on local problems of practice will continue. Planning is underway to recruit teams of school and teacher leaders who want to work on equity-centered problems of practice and learn about continuous improvement processes while increasing local leadership capacity. Funding for 2023-2026 is through the California Department of Education 21st Century California School Leadership Academy Program.

Save the Date!

CA MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Support) Professional Learning Institute is in Anaheim, CA on July 18-20, 2023. 

More information on how to register here.

Forestry Institute for K-12 Teachers

Forestry Institute for Teachers (FIT) is a week-long residence workshop for California educators.  Join natural resource professionals and credentialed educators to explore forest ecosystems and the impact they have on our communities.

See more information here.

New from the Wallace Foundation

The Connected Arts Learning Framework: An Expanded View of the Purposes and Possibilities for Arts Learnings

What if Learning about and making art could help connect students to the world they live in? And how might that change the experiences of both students and communities?

This new report from a team led by arts learning expert Kylie Peppler at the University of California, Irvine, dives into these questions, offering a framework for Connected Arts Learning. Their work is based on theories of connected learning, which more broadly seeks to connect student learning to meaningful life experiences. This report focuses on art as the bridge, or connector.

“Every kid should have the opportunity to do something they are really interested in and get recognized for within a community of practice they feel a sense of belonging with,” Mizuko Ito, Director of the Connected Learning Lab at UC Irvine, says in the report.

Access the report here.

Save the Date!

NorCal ELC Summer Leadership Institute, June 12 & 13, via Zoom. Join us for all or part of our 3rd annual Summer Leadership Institute to hear from regional educators and find out how school and teacher leaders in the NorCal ELC network are making improvements that impact students.

Register today.