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Marshall Consortium Staff Meeting
Marshall Area Adult Learning Center
Saturday, March 27, 2004
Lyon County Government Center
607 West Main, Marshall, MN  56258

 

Present: Bonnie Ludeman, Jamie Verdeck, Adele Thomas, Cheryl McChesney, Sally Belgum-Blad, Charles Carrera, Joyce Jacobs, Adell Blad, Paula Gimmestad, Ted Stamp, Barb Glaeser, Paulette Hanson, Gail Perrizo, Sue Burnett, Stephanie Guza, Judy Hacker, Jeanne Kelsey, Karen Miller, Bonnie Nielsen, Sue Hollingsworth, Rita Fasching, Lois Schmidt, and Pat Thomas.

Guests:  Rebecca Weber, Admissions Counselor, MN West Community & Technical College; Anne Marie Leland, Policy/Accountability, Adult Basic Education

1.  Pat welcomed staff and introductions were made.

2.  MN West Community & Technical College Presentation

            Rebecca Weber – rweber@gf.mnwest.mnscu.edu

            Rebecca shared services that MN West Technical & Community Colleges can provide to our GED graduates.  When the student, or you as an instructor refer a student to her, she will personally assist with helping the student transition to higher education.  Information about MN West and how to contact Rebecca will be on the home page of our website, under the pictures.

3.  Training Sessions

a.  Computer Training – Charles Carrera – The staff reviewed the student website   (http://teacherweb.com/mn/marshall/alc/) and downloaded a few of the student lessons.  They were also very briefly introduced to how to manage and update the website. The bulk of the time was spent reviewing the Reading Recognition program.  The staff worked in pairs and they were able to read through several stories and access the teacher’s management utilities.  The staff submitted comments at the end of the session and they were for the most part very positive.  Most staff did recognize that there were some weaknesses in the software.  The comments will be used in our evaluation of the software to software developers, WFDI in Rochester.

b.      Reading Skills for Today’s Adults – Sally Belgum-Blad provided an overview of Reading Skills for Today's Adults and supplied information about how the project has evolved.  Fluency and comprehension research was presented, as well as research addressing the areas of project methods and materials.  She discussed and distributed project graphs (designed as a visual tool for students to track their progress) and a list of completed works (37 leveled reading selections).  She reviewed how students would utilize the program by "working through a story".  Feedback forms were distributed to staff as a means for Sally to gain comments and suggestions about each individual reading/story.  All the information presented is available on the website.  In addition to further story writing and program development, Sally will be providing guidance to Joyce Jacobs, new project storywriter.  Welcome, Joyce!

c.       ABE Accountability - Anne Marie Leland, Policy/Accountability staff out of the MN Adult Basic Education office, thanked the Marshall ABE staff for contributing to the mission of ABE. She also discussed the bigger picture of ABE in Minnesota, with over 80,000 enrollees and the benefit of our open entry/access system of delivery. The climate of accountability in Minnesota ABE was presented (see attachment).  Along with this topic, Anne explained the handouts, the state’s NRS Table 4, Marshall’s NRS Tables 4, 4b and 5, and graphs comparing Marshall ABE and State performance outcomes.

d.      EFF Discussion – The second phase of EFF discussions involved individuals working in their skills groups.  The groups were asked to answer a series of questions pertaining to EFF standards.  The groups were asked to be more specific in their use of these skills.  They were asked to list ways they currently use them in class and relate the specific components of the skill to an activity.

The EFF standards have been met with a lot of positive feedback from the staff.  The general consensus is that they are a good idea.  Most people feel these standards have practical application and offer an interesting perspective on teaching.  People feel this is something we are currently doing or will do in the future.  The big question is how do we assess them or determine mastery.  Such assessment tool should be workable for everyone.

The one overall critique is that staff felt large group discussion with more interaction with the skills would be beneficial.  One suggestion was to do this via role-playing.  Stay tuned.  And thanks for the positive reception. – Stephanie Guza

From Pat regarding EFF – I thank each of the ABE staff for their interest and openness to considering the EFF standards.  My vision for these standards within our program is:  That a method is determined to create a framework to intentionally teach these skills within each of our classes.  I see the possibility of using a format similar to the “content domain” addressing each of the four areas and skills within it.  However, since I am not a teacher, I know the answer to this challenge will only come from you – the staff.

4.  Updates/Wrap Up

a.       Referral form – Agency referring client gives to the ABE office/staff

b.      Assessment form – To be returned to the case manage/Barb within 2 weeks with a record of assessments and attendance

c.       Client Progress form – To be returned every month to the case manager or IMMEDIATELY IF THE CLIENT DOES NOT ATTEND CLASS

d.      Employability Skills Profile – To be completed and returned to the case manager following 12 hours or 3 sessions of instruction.  This should then be repeated every 3 months following the initial form completion.