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Growing Together

Growing Together

By Douglas County Schools
The Douglas County School District Growing Together Podcast, bringing our community together through meaningful conversation. Hosted by Erica Mason. In season two, Erica has important conversations with best selling authors in the world of education around distance learning and other issues you care about. Erica will also continue to have conversations with leaders, educators, specialists and community members about topics that matter to you. Join us to ensure DCSD is a thriving community, now and in the future.
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Growing Together: Conversation with Pam Allyn
Our guest this week is Pam Allyn.  Pam and Erica have a conversation about literacy and how to encourage a love of literacy with our students.  Pam is an author of 26 books for educators.  A few of her books include, “Every Child a Super Reader'',  & “Your Child’s Writing Life: How to Inspire Confidence, Creativity and Skill at Every Age”.   Pam is also the founder of LitWorld and Senior Vice President of Innovation at Schoolastic Education.  You can also watch a vidcast of this show here:  https://youtu.be/RwkbRpqxGF0 QUESTIONS: Q: You’ve done a lot of work incorporating social emotional learning into literacy.  Can you  tell us about that work and what led you to it? Q: How do we build an inclusive environment that feels safe and empowering to all of our students? Q: You mentioned student agency; how would you advise we build student agency? Q: How do we help parents and teachers instill a love of literacy with our students? Q: What is one piece of advice you would like to share with our Douglas County Community? Hosted by Erica Mason Director / Curriculum Instruction & Professional Growth Douglas County School District You can listen to this and future episodes by subscribing to Growing Together through your favorite podcast platform, such as Apple, Spotify and Google Podcasts.
15:31
June 11, 2021
10 Meaningful Minutes, Conversation with Finessa Ferrell
Laurie and Aaron invite Finessa Ferrell onto the show.   Finessa is a Social & Emotional Learning Specialist with the Colorado Education Initiative.    Finessa is also the keynote speaker at this year's DCSD Summer Summit; Building and Leaders on July 26th.   Finessa dives deep into (SEL) Social Emotional Learning and how it helps students, teachers and staff develop and build skills to help them thrive in their personal and professional life.  You can also watch a vidcast of this episode here:  https://youtu.be/ISs0VOUSswc Hosts: Lauren LaComb, Coordinator - Healthy Schools / Health, Wellness & Prevention Aaron Ragon, Lead Counselor / Personalized Learning Department Guest: Finessa Ferrell / Social & Emotional Learning Specialist with the Colorado Education Initiative Produced by The Curriculum Instruction & Professional Growth Department Douglas County School District You can listen to this and future episodes by subscribing to Growing Together through your favorite podcast platform such as Apple,  Spotify or Google Podcasts.
21:20
May 27, 2021
Conversation with Tina Boogren
Our guest this week is Tina Boogren.    Tina and Erica have an in-depth conversation about self care for students and educators.  Tina is the Author of "Becoming a Reflective Teacher.   Tina is also an instructional coach and a consultant with the Marzano Research Lab.  You can watch a vidcast of this episode here:  https://youtu.be/Eb2oY3f6hhg QUESTIONS: Q: What is the biggest need right now for educators? Q: Educators have been challenged to expand their capacity to meet the needs of hybrid learning.   How do we establish boundaries, to take better care of ourselves? Q: You talk about making healthy choices, how do we navigate this current landscape to make better choices. Q: How do our educators better manage their workload so that our students can be successful? Q: How do we also help our students with self care? Q: With vaccines rolling out, many restrictions are being lifted.    We talk about revitalizing and refreshing for next year even though we won’t be completely back to normal.   What do you think next year’s transition will look like? Q: What message would you like our students, our parents, our educators to walk away with today? Hosted by Erica Mason Director / Curriculum Instruction & Professional Growth Douglas County School District You can listen to this and future episodes by subscribing to Growing Together through your favorite podcast platform, such as Apple, Spotify and Google Podcasts.
23:03
May 18, 2021
10 Meaningful Minutes, How to Encourage your Children to Become Better Writers
Aaron and Laurie invite friend and colleague, Jennifer Gottschalk on the show to talk about how to encourage your children to become better writers.  Jennifer finds inspiration from some of her favorite authors that have written books on writing.   Authors mentioned on today's show include Gail Carson Levine, Victoria Hanley, Annabeth Bondor-Stone, Connor White, Rebecca Stern, Grant Faulkner, Donald Maass and Stephen King.  You can also watch a vidcast of this show here:  https://youtu.be/N29IKm9uS38 Hosts: Lauren LaComb, Coordinator - Healthy Schools / Health, Wellness & Prevention Aaron Ragon, Lead Counselor / Personalized Learning Department Guest: Jennifer Gottschalk, Published Author,  Team Lead / Personalized Learning, Gifted Education, DCSD Produced by The Curriculum Instruction & Professional Growth Department Douglas County School District You can listen to this and future episodes by subscribing to Growing Together through your favorite podcast platform such as Apple,  Spotify or Google Podcast
17:29
April 30, 2021
Conversation with Best Selling Author, Elena Aguilar
Our guest this week is Elena Aguilar.  Elena is the Best Selling Author of "Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators.     She's also the founder and President of Bright Morning Consulting.  You can also watch the vidcast of this show here: https://youtu.be/U0l_T2_kzds QUESTIONS:  00:15  Can you talk about the need to be resilient? 03:54  We now have a window into each other's lives in a way we didn’t before, which can  cause feelings of vulnerability.   What are your thoughts on navigating this new virtual landscape? 05:55  Can you talk about using curiosity as a way to build resilience? 08:00  What is your definition of resilience? 10:15  Can you talk about thriving and how we cultivate emotional resilience? 13:09  What is one piece of advice you can leave our teachers, students, parents and staff? Hosted by Erica Mason Director / Curriculum Instruction & Professional Growth Douglas County School District   You can listen to this and future episodes by subscribing to Growing Together through your favorite podcast platform, such as Apple, Spotify and Google Podcasts.
15:31
April 8, 2021
10 Meaningful Minutes, Changing ongoing habits for a less stressful life
Laurie and Aaron invite friend and colleague Jon Widmier to discuss the best way to change some of the bad habits we've picked up over the years.   You can also watch the vidcast of this show here:  https://youtu.be/mzJUo89lAw4 Hosts: Lauren LaComb, Coordinator - Healthy Schools / Health, Wellness & Prevention Aaron Ragon, Lead Counselor / Personalized Learning Department Guest: Jon Widmier, Coordinator / Social Emotional & Behavior Services, Littleton Public Schools.   Produced by The Curriculum Instruction & Professional Growth DepartmentDouglas County School District You can listen to this and future episodes by subscribing to Growing Together through your favorite podcast platform such as Apple,  Spotify or Google Podcasts.
10:04
March 26, 2021
Conversation with DCSD Middle School Students & their Parents
Director / Curriculum Instruction & Professional Growth Erica has an in-depth conversation with 3 Sierra Middle School students and their parents about how to be successful and positive and how to support each other during these difficult times.   You can also watch the vidcast of this episode here: https://youtu.be/3lvxPTn_Arw QUESTIONS: 00:16  What has been working well for you this year? 01:13  What has been challenging this year in regards to remote learning? 03:42  What does your at-home learning space look like and how have your parents supported you? 05:57  How do you continue to stay motivated with hybrid learning? 07:18  Is there anything that your teachers are doing to help your engagement with hybrid learning? 09:21  How have you maintained social engagement with your friends during these times? 10:17  What advice do you have for students and families that are not thriving and doing so well? 14:06  Talk to us about remote check in’s with your school counselors? Hosted by Erica Mason Director / Curriculum Instruction & Professional Growth Douglas County School District You can listen to this and future episodes by subscribing to Growing Together through your favorite podcast platform, such as Apple, Spotify and Google Podcasts.
16:27
March 5, 2021
10 Meaningful Minutes, Time Management
Laurie and Aaron invite friend and colleague Jon Widmier to discuss tips & tricks for time management during these stressful times.   Please watch the vidcast of this show here. https://youtu.be/qhNa47DoNdQ Hosts:  Lauren LaComb, Coordinator - Healthy Schools / Health, Wellness & Prevention  Aaron Ragon, Lead Counselor / Personalized Learning Department Guest: Jon Widmier, Coordinator / Social Emotional & Behavior Services, Littleton Public Schools.    Produced by The Curriculum Instruction & Professional Growth Department Douglas County School District You can listen to past & future episodes by subscribing to Growing Together through your favorite podcast platform, such as Apple, Spotify or Google Podcasts.
10:21
February 19, 2021
Conversation with DCSD High School Students
Erica has an in-depth conversation with 2 Chaparral high school students about how to be successful and positive and how to support each other during these difficult times.   Also adding insight to this conversation is CHS counselor Heather Hachenberger.  You can also watch the Vidcast of this show here: https://youtu.be/SccXP7IqlQQ QUESTIONS:  Q: How are you coping right now during this pandemic?  Q: What is the key to your success in adjusting to this new learning environment?  Q: Talk to us about your social interaction with friends and colleagues and how it’s going?  Q: How are you preparing for your future education; college and the next grade level? 1 Q: What advice do you have for setting up a successful learning environment?  Q: What have your teachers done to make remote or hybrid learning successful?   Q: What is the counseling dept doing to help support families?   Q: What advice do you have to help others find success in this environment?    Hosted by Erica Mason Director / Curriculum Instruction & Professional Growth Douglas County School District   You can listen past & future episodes by subscribing to Growing Together through your favorite podcast platform, such as Apple, Spotify and Google Podcasts.
21:29
February 12, 2021
Conversation with Dave Burgess, Best Selling Author of Teach Like a Pirate
Our guest this week is Dave Burgess.   Dave is the New York Times Best Selling Author of "Teach Like a Pirate".   Dave specializes in teaching hard-to-reach, hard-to-motivate students with techniques that incorporate showmanship and creativity.  You can watch the vidcast of this show, here:  https://youtu.be/UWHDb1kksRw QUESTIONS:  Q: How are you coping with the pandemic and everything that is going on right now in education? Q: You talk about helping teachers find their passion and empowering students.  How do we help our teachers find their passion? Q: There is a lot of pressure on teachers, parents and students right now.  How do we make a connection to social emotional learning and health and wellbeing during this time? Q: How do we make sure students are prepared for the next grade level while also keeping them engaged and passionate as well? Q: Tell us about what you’ve seen work as we dig into all of these new things with Ed Tech? Q: We’ve heard from our Teachers and Leaders that it’s challenging right now to have professional discourse and come together around learning and collaborating.  What advice do you have and what have you seen that is working? Q: What is one piece of advice you would like to share with our teachers? Hosted by Erica Mason Director / Curriculum Instruction & Professional Growth  Douglas County School District
20:12
February 5, 2021
10 Meaningful Minutes, Advocating for our Students
Laurie and Aaron invite friend and colleague Jon Widmier to discuss self advocating and how parents can help their children navigate these uncertain times.    You can also watch a vidcast of this show here:  https://youtu.be/6NW4dOhPl1w Hosts: Lauren LaComb, Coordinator - Healthy Schools / Health, Wellness & Prevention  Aaron Ragon, Lead Counselor / Personalized Learning Department Guest: Jon Widmier, Coordinator / Social Emotional & Behavior Services, Littleton Public Schools.    Produced by The Curriculum Instruction & Professional Growth Department  Douglas County School District
14:41
January 21, 2021
Conversation with Stephen Barkley
Our guest this week is Stephen Barkley.   Stephen is Executive Vice President of PLS 3rd Learning.  Stephen is a master teacher of teachers and internationally known to work with School districts to facilitate change.   You can watch the vidcast of this show, here: https://youtu.be/rvow8dLTRdk QUESTIONS: Q:  How do we best support teachers and each other during this pandemic? Q:  How can teachers help students be resilient? Q:  How do we encourage Reflection amongst our Teachers and Staff?Q:  How does a personalized approach to Learning take place in the virtual classroom? Q:  Teachers are trying a lot of different strategies to engage students, what advice do you have for engagement and student ownership of learning? Q:  What is the top piece of advice you would offer teachers (or leaders) this year? Hosted by Erica Mason Director / Curriculum Instruction & Professional Growth, Douglas County School District
18:21
January 8, 2021
10 Meaningful Minutes, Laughter is The Best Medicine
Laurie and Aaron talk about the scientific and therapeutic benefits of laughter.   Also, Aaron tells a really funny story that will most likely get him in hot water.   You can also watch the vidcast of this episode here:  https://youtu.be/N5Q8e30zMYQ Hosts: Lauren LaComb, Coordinator - Healthy Schools / Health, Wellness & Prevention Aaron Ragon, Lead Counselor / Personalized Learning Department Produced by The Curriculum Instruction & Professional Growth Department Douglas County School District
12:35
December 10, 2020
Conversation with John Spencer, Best Selling Author of Empower
Our guest this week is John Spencer.  John is the best selling author of Empower, Launch, Vintage Innovation, also John has just released and discusses his new book, Empowered at a Distance.   You can also watch the vidcast of this episode here;  https://youtu.be/AIrVRKWI-0Q QUESTIONS: Q:  Tell us about your new book, Empowered at a Distance? Q:  What Strategies do you have for Building Student Ownership and Agency? Q:  What advice do you have for Building Communities and Online Classrooms? Q:  What is one thing our teachers can do, to really engage students to impact their learning? Hosted by Erica Mason:  Director / Curriculum Instruction & Professional Growth Douglas County School District
10:28
December 4, 2020
10 Meaningful Minutes, Life Stories
During this stressful time of covid and politics, Laurie and Aaron keep it light and each tell one of their favorite life stories.   Hosts: Lauren LaComb, Coordinator - Healthy Schools / Health, Wellness & Prevention  Aaron Ragon, Lead Counselor / Personalized Learning Department   You can also watch the vidcast of this show here:    https://youtu.be/1E_ToPgyQHg Produced by The Curriculum Instruction & Professional Growth Department, The Douglas County School District
10:39
November 23, 2020
Conversation with Douglas Fisher, Best Selling Author of the Distance Learning Playbook.
Our guest for our first show of the 2020/2021 school year is Douglas Fisher.  Douglas is a professor at San Diego State University and co-founder of Health Sciences High & Middle College, and the author of numerous books, including "The Distance Learning Playbook".    Our host, Erica Mason, has a heartfelt conversation with Douglas around the ideas and concepts of “The Distance Learning Playbook” and how it applies to our teachers during this pandemic. You can also watch this Vidcast on our DCSD youtube channel.   https://youtu.be/ynYeAdx80fc QUESTIONS: Q. How did you and your team come up with the idea for the “Distance Learning Playbook? Q: What did you see as you observed classroom teachers progress into distance learning Teachers? Q: What are some of the biggest challenges of Distance Learning, and what can our teachers learn from your research? Q: Please talk to us about Compassion Fatigue and Self Care taken from your research from “The Distance Learning Playbook”? Q: I have a philosophy that this is fundamentally changing education and we’re going to see more distance learning, regardless of the Pandemic.   As educators how do we successfully move into the next phase of Distance Learning? Q:  What is one thing you could tell our teachers that they need to do, to really engage students to impact their learning?
16:46
October 21, 2020
DCSD: Summer break
We hope you all have a wonderful summer break! If you have any ideas for our podcast or topics you would like us to talk about, please reach out to CIPG@dcsdk12.org
00:26
June 24, 2020
DCSD: Remote learning at Stone Mountain elementary
Erica Mason talks with Alison Smith, Hollie Borrego, Lori Sinclair, Cynthia Berndt and Lisa Knudtson about their transition to remote learning and what they are doing at Stone Mountain to offer support for their students. QUESTIONS: Tell me a little bit about each of you and what you like about teaching at Stone Mountain? How has your approach to teaching changed during remote learning? How are you finding ways to connect and engage with students when you are not physically with them? What are some of the highlights or surprises you have experienced during this time? What are some things you think will change when we transition back to the classroom? Any final thoughts?
40:25
June 11, 2020
Ten Meaningful Minutes: John Widmier on tips for Parents to help their kids through unknown times
Laurie Lacomb and Aaron Regan talk with John Widmier (the coordinator of social, emotional and behavior services for Littleton Public schools) about advice for parents to help their students get through unknown times. QUESTIONS: John, tell us about your background. What advice do you have for parents during this unprecedented time? Do you have any tips on how parents can build more positive relationships with our kids? Do you have any day to day steps that we can take to be there for our kids? Where should parents start? If our listeners could take one thing away from this conversation, what would that be?
20:54
June 4, 2020
DCSD: Remote learning Music
Erica Mason talks with Jeff Collins, a music teacher at Eagle Academy about how he has adapted to remote learning.  QUESTIONS: Tell us about yourself, Eagle Academy, and everything you are doing there. How has remote learning changed your approach to learning? What have been some of the biggest challenges for you and your students? Tell me about teaching music in a remote learning environment. Tell me about your students, how are you keeping connected with kids? Is there anything else you would like to share before we wrap up today?
15:05
June 1, 2020
Ten Meaningful Minutes: Mindfulness in times of uncertainty
Laurie LaComb and Aaron Regan talk about the importance of mindfulness during these times of uncertainty. QUESTIONS: In times like these, how can mindfulness help? Why face your fears with curiosity, and how does it help?
12:22
May 20, 2020
DCSD: Remote Library and teacher support
Erica Mason talks with Graig MacHendrie (Digital Library Specialist at Sagewood middle school) and Linda Conway (Director of Library Programming) about how they have transitioned to a remote library, how things have changed, and how they are supporting teachers with remote learning.  QUESTIONS: Tell us about your job and how your role has changed during remote learning?  What do you see are the biggest needs for teachers and students? What are the kinds of things you look at when looking at resources, to determine, what is valuable and will support good learning? What are some ideas and strategies that you're using to do remote work and supporting teachers?  What are you most excited about when implementing our strategic plan? What are some of the challenges you have faced? What is the most important lesson you have learned as an educator over the years?
32:13
May 14, 2020
Ten Meaningful Minutes: Helping students with Anxiety during COVID-19 with Dr. Cypers
Laurie LaComb and Aaron Ragon talk with Dr. Scott Cypers, Director of Stress and Anxiety programs at the Helen and Arthur E Johnson Depression Center, about how to help students with anxiety.  QUESTIONS: What advice do you have for families that are trying to balance school, work, and staying safe? Do you have any tips or tricks for parents in helping center kids at home? If you have parents take away one thing from this podcast, what would that be?
16:19
May 7, 2020
DCSD: Global awareness and social entrepreneurship at Mesa Middle school
Erica Mason talks with Tony Jackowski and Mary Murphy about their program at Mesa middle school regarding Global awareness and social entrepreneurship.  QUESTIONS: Tell us about your program at Mesa Middle school regarding global awareness and social entrepreneurship. What does it look like for incoming students? Do you have students that have leadership opportunities to mentor new/ incoming students? What other ways can the community support the program? How has remote learning affected your program? Is there anything else you would like to share with our listeners?
28:48
April 29, 2020
Ten Meaningful Minutes: Trade school options
Laurie LaComb and Aaron Ragon talk with Patrick Alley, the training coordinator at DJEATC about their trade school program. QUESTIONS: What does your program do for students? What does it look like to join your program? How long does it take to work through the training? What's the earning potential for someone who becomes an electrician? Are the benefits good? How long have you been in this field? Do you personally work with recent graduates in this program? What traits do you see in successful students? What is the success rate of your program? If you could give one message, what would it be? RESOURCES: 303-295-1903 – office DJEATC68.com
19:36
April 22, 2020
DCSD: CTE/Engineering Potential and how students are helping fight COVID-19
Erica Mason talks with Kent Allison, Technology & Engineering Teacher, Department Chair and Technology Student Association Advisor at Mountain Vista High School and Debbie Tawzer, Digital Design/Engineering Teacher and TSA Advisor at Legend High School about their program and how students are helping 3D print supplies for local medical facilities.  QUESTIONS: Q. What are you experiencing as a teacher during this national pandemic? What are you hearing from students? How do you continue to connect with your students? Q.  What do you wish every student, parent or family knew about CTE, your program? Q.  What advice or strategies do you have for students and parents as they navigate this new environment? Q.  What are the benefits to students, families that participate in CTE?  What challenges do they face and what advice do you have for overcoming these challenges? Q. What is the most rewarding experience and/or what brings you the most joy in your work with the students in your programs? Q.  What is the most important lesson that you learned either as a teacher in all your years in education? RESOURCES: For more information please reach out to Kent and Debbie: Kent.Allison@dcsdk12.org debbie.tawzer@dcsdk12.org
13:30
April 15, 2020
Ten Meaningful Minutes: MS Counseling
Laurie LaComb and Aaron Regan talk with Tiffany Anderson, the Counselor for Prevention at Sierra middle school about the programs and events they offer for students and parents. QUESTIONS: What does C4P mean? Is there anything that stands out that you are proud of? As a counselor, if you could have all parents internalize one message, what would that be?  What message would you give to kids? Are there any events coming up, or books we should read? RESOURCES:  Tip Sheet: Talking to Teens ADVICE FOR PARENTS, TEACHERS, COACHES AND MORE Sometimes it may feel like youth aren’t listening to what you say but research shows adults can have a big influence on their behavior. What you think matters to the young people in your life. As an adult they trust, you can impact their choices. What you say, and the example you set, make a difference. The following tips can help you get talking. LISTEN Make them feel heard. Consider their opinions and keep the conversation going. Even if you’ve talked about this topic before, their issues and opinions change all the time. Plus, as youth get older, they can feel more pressure from friends and classmates. SET CLEAR RULES Make family, school and sports team rules clear and stick to them. Let them know what will happen if they don’t follow them. FOCUS ON POSITIVE MESSAGES Encourage them to make choices that help them achieve their goals. LEARN HOW TEENS ARE VAPING Because of the wide array of discreet vape devices, it is easier than ever to hide them and vape at school or during school activities. Get a sense of what vaping devices look like. REMIND THEM WHAT CAN HAPPEN FOR BREAKING THE RULES Teens that break school or school activity rules can be suspended or kicked off a team. continued... SOURCE: CDPHE “Good to Know Tips” ** This content piece is based on the Good to Know campaign “Tips for Talking to Students & Athletes” document. LET THEM KNOW: THEY COULD LOSE CONTROL Most vapes contain nicotine, even many that say “nicotine free” on the label. Most teens start out thinking they can stop whenever they want and won’t ever become addicted. And lots more start smoking cigarettes, a product that kills half its users. In fact, a teen who vapes is four times more likely to start smoking. REMIND THEM THEY’RE ROLE MODELS TO OTHER YOUTH Let them know that younger students and siblings look up to them as examples. How would they feel if a younger sibling got addicted to vaping? NOT EVERYONE IS DOING IT It is easier for youth to say “no” to peer pressure if they know not everyone is doing it. Let them know that more than half of high school and middle school students have never vaped, so they’re in good company. SHARE THE SCIENCE Despite what teens may hear, vaping is not just “harmless water vapor.” Most vapes contain nicotine, artificial flavoring and other chemicals. Stress the fact that teens who JUUL or vape nicotine or THC may have trouble learning and memory issues, as both nicotine and THC have negative effects on adolescent brain development. BOOK: "13 things mentally strong parents don't do" by Amy Morin 
10:33
April 8, 2020
DCSD: Remote Learning
Erica Mason talks with Joy Griffin, our CPE and CE Coordinator at DCSD about remote learning and student support.  QUESTIONS: 1) As we rollout and implement our Strategic Plan, what are you most excited about? How does this support the work that you are doing? 2) Can you tell our listeners about what CTE and CE is?  Why is it important for our Douglas County School District’s students? What opportunities are available to students across the district? 3) What do you wish every student, parent or family knew about CTE/CE? 4) What are the benefits to students, families that participate in CTE/CE courses? What challenges do they face and what advice do you have for overcoming these challenges? 5) How does remote learning impact students that are in CE courses? 6) What advice or strategies do you have for students and parents as they navigate this new environment? 7) How are you continuing to grow and develop the programs?  What new developments might people see in the upcoming years? 8) What is the biggest challenge that educators today face? And how do we (leaders, community, etc.) support them? How do you think that the development and implementation of our strategic plan helps move our district forward related to CTE/CE? 9) What is the most rewarding experience and/or what brings you the most joy in your work with CTE/CE in Douglas County? 10) What is the most important lesson that you learned either as a teacher or leader in all your years in education? RESOURCES: March 27, 2019 Press Release Paula Hans, Public Information Officer 303-387-0031 | pmhans@dcsdk12.org DCSD Uses 3D Printing to Supply Protective Face Shields to Healthcare Providers Douglas County School District is stepping in to help remedy a shortage of protective face shields used by healthcare providers treating those with COVID-19. Career and Technical Education (CTE) engineering teachers at Castle View, Legend, Mountain Vista, and Rock Canyon high schools have joined forces to supply face shields to healthcare providers at Sky Ridge Medical Center. By using 3D printers, these CTE teachers are able to print face shields that provide facial protection for healthcare workers. “I think in these uncertain times, we need to join together to do as much as we are capable of for the betterment and sustainability of our communities and world,” said Mountain Vista High School Engineering Teacher Kent Allison. “If that means I check on shut-in neighbors to see if they need help, or 3D print face shields for doctors on the front lines, we all can find that thing to do to help out. I am honored to help in any way I can and will continue to do so until we get through this.” DCSD CTE teachers are collaborating with local healthcare partners to engage students in authentic learning while the District has transitioned to remote learning following the governor’s executive order suspending in-person learning in public and private schools across the state. “We are deeply humbled by the outpouring of love and support from our community,” said Sky Ridge Medical Center’s Linda Watson, Vice President of Marketing. “Thank you to the Douglas County School District for their creative engineering of these face shields. We are so proud to partner with you and grateful for this gift.” ### About DCSD Douglas County School District is Colorado’s third largest school district and serves 68,000 students. Learn more at www.dcsdk12.org.
17:14
April 3, 2020
Ten Meaningful Minutes: Youth Services in Douglas County
Laurie LaComb and Aaron Ragon talk with Marsha Alston, the Youth Services Program Manager at Douglas County Youth Initiative, about the different programs and services that are within Douglas County aimed to help and support our students.  QUESTIONS: Tell us about the Douglas County Youth Initiative. What are other programs you offer to Douglas County? If there was one thing you wish all parents could take away from our conversation, what would it be? RESOURCES: https://www.search-institute.org/our-research/development-assets/developmental-assets-framework/ https://www.douglas.co.us/community/partners-and-providers/youth-initiative/ https://www.douglas.co.us/community/partners-and-providers/youth-initiative/wraparound-referral-form/
14:17
March 4, 2020
DCSD: A day in the classroom with Emma Watson, Science Teacher
Erica Mason talks with Emma Watson, a Science Teacher at Cimarron middle school about science day, standards, how kids are engaging in the classroom.  Questions: What are you most excited about being a science teacher and working with students in your classroom? What brought you to become a middle school science teacher? What does a student experience in your classroom? Any examples? What is different about the next generation science standards? You talked about proposing a phenomenon to your students, what are some benefits and/or challenges you have faced? What do you hope to hear from your future students when they look back on their middle school science days?
12:29
February 26, 2020
Ten Meaningful Minutes: Support for At Risk Youth
Laurie LaComb and Aaron Ragon talk with Amy Topelson about mental health, suicide prevention and how to help at risk students. QUESTIONS: What are signs or indications that a child may need help? If you see signs that your student is struggling, what should parents do? What should a parent do if your child tells you they are struggling with suicidal thoughts? What is the Second Wind Fund? How can parents receive support from the Second Wind Fund? RESOURCES: https://www.thesecondwindfund.org/ https://www.thesecondwindfund.org/resource-links Referral Line for Second Wind Fund (303)988-2645
12:39
February 19, 2020
DCSD: Global issues, student stress, and how to teach difficult topics.
Erica Mason talks with Laurie LaComb, Aaron Ragon and Heather Berry about teaching difficult issues like climate change to students.  QUESTIONS: How do we talk about and teach difficult topics? What is a good explanation we can use to explain climate change to students? What are positive steps we can take to help our students take control and deal with anxiety caused by climate change? What advice do you have for teachers, when it comes to teaching difficult topics and dealing with student anxiety? What are some resources families and teachers can use when dealing with hard topics? RESOURCES: http://www.douglasccd.com/ https://www.facebook.com/DouglasCountyEarthDayEnergyFair/ Tips for talking about climate change: Make a sustainability plan for your household so everyone feels like they are working towards positive change. Note that climate change is a cyclical occurrence on Earth. Encourage positive ways to create change. Be in the present moment,  be where your feet are both mentally and physically. Listen, listen, listen. Connect with nature. NPR- How to Talk to Kids About Climate Change https://www.npr.org/2019/10/22/772266241/how-to-talk-to-your-kids-about-climate-change
14:07
February 12, 2020
Ten Meaningful Minutes: Addiction and phones
Laurie LaComb and Aaron Ragon discuss technology use among students.  QUESTIONS: Why should we be talking about technology use? From a wellness point of view, what are your thoughts and tips for technology use? RECOURSES: https://www.screenagersmovie.com/ https://www.raisingdigitalnatives.com/screenwise/ For Teens: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-social-media-workbook-for-teens-goali-saedi-bocci-phd/1129213552
12:08
January 29, 2020
DCSD: Dyslexia with Dr. Regan
Erica Mason talks with Dr. Tiffany Regan about dyslexia and the work Douglas County schools are doing to support students and teachers. Questions: Why should we be talking about dyslexia? What does it mean when people have characteristics of dyslexia? Tell us about your experience supporting students with dyslexia and teachers who are dealing with dyslexia in their classrooms. RESOURCES: https://sites.google.com/dcsdk12.org/dyslexia/home
12:05
January 16, 2020
Ten Meaningful Minutes: What is Mindfulness
Aaron Ragon talks with Laurie LaComb about mindfulness, what it is and how it is being used in Douglas County schools.  QUESTIONS: Can you tell me what mindfulness is? Why have we been introducing this to schools? Any antidote to share? What would like our listeners to take away from this?--
12:19
January 9, 2020
DCSD: Co-Teaching and ELD Support at Castle Rock Middle School
In this episode, you'll hear from two collaborating teachers on how the support English Language Learners through a co-teaching model. Additionally, Dir. of ELD, Remy Rummel shares her philosophy of co-teaching for DCSD students. QUESTIONS: What is your vision of ELD programming at CRMS? Talk about the ELD programming in DCSD as it relates to co-teaching. What does it look like in your setting? How did you get started with collaboration and co-teaching? How has your journey evolved? What lessons have you learned while implementing co-teaching? What advice would you give educators who are in the early stages of collaboration and co-teaching? As we rollout and implement our Strategic Plan, what are you most excited about? What is the biggest challenge that educators today face? And how do we (leaders, community, etc.) support them? How do you think that the development and implementation of our strategic plan, along with collaborative practices, will help? What is most rewarding experience you’ve had in working with students in this school or as part of the co-teaching experience? What is the most important lesson that your learned either as a teacher or leader in all your years in education?
16:04
January 3, 2020
Ten Meaningful Minutes: Part Two of Tips, tricks, and trap doors. Helping your student through the college process
In this episode, Laurie LaComb and Aaron Ragon continue their discussion about preparing your students for college. QUESTIONS: Can you describe the application process? Are there essays college's dont want to read? What is the process for students to get letters of recommendation? As parents, is there anything we should avoid?
15:05
December 18, 2019
DCSD: MTSS in action in Douglas County
This podcast will provide some insight from current leaders and implementing educators in DCSD related to MTSS. QUSTIONS: What does MTSS look like in your building? What are the next steps for you this coming year? When we talk about MTSS in you building, how do you know the systems you have put in place are working? What sort of tools, management or monitoring systems are you using to measure success, or to find where you should make adjustments? What are some challenges you've faced through implementing MTSS so others can learn from your mistakes or the lessons you've learned? How do RTI and MTSS work together? We have many schools implementing MTSS for the first time, what advice can you give to put them on a path to success?
12:19
December 11, 2019
Ten Meaningful Minutes: Part One of Tips, tricks, and trap doors. Helping your students through the college process
In this episode, Laurie LaComb talks with Aaron Ragon about preparing your students for college.  Tips for how to apply, the importance of visiting schools, and how to make wise financial decisions when choosing a school.  QUESTIONS: How do you start the search for the right college? Why is it important to visit colleges? How to know if the school is a good fit for your student? How to help your student make wise financial decisions when choosing a school? When do they introduce Naviance to students?
11:40
December 4, 2019
DCSD: It's okay not to be okay.
In this episode we visit with two students (Jay Chohan and Zoey Zizzo) from Rock Canyon High School to hear about their Douglas County School District learning experience. QUESTIONS: What is your hope for the future of students in Douglas County School District? What is the hardest part about being a student in 2019, or more importantly what is the hardest part about being a young adult in 2019? What advice would you give our teachers in leaders in supporting your learning and growth? In what ways do you feel prepared to graduate and continue on to additional schooling, service or entering the workforce? This is your chance to talk to teachers, parents and other students.  What do each of us need to do to hear from you as representatives of DCSD I always ask guests what they think is the biggest challenge that teachers today face? What do you think it is and how do we overcome that challenge? As a student in 2019, what do you and the wider student body most want teachers to consider as they plan for their daily interactions with students and instruction? What is the most important lesson that you’ve learned as a student in DCSD? We know that the social emotional and mental health pressures that students today face are large and prevalent in our community.  What is the best way to help each other?
13:24
November 22, 2019
Ten Meaningful Minutes: If student struggles arise, what are the best steps to take to solve them
Laurie LaComb and Aaron Ragon define anxiety, identifying signs of anxiety, and providing a few strategies. QUESTIONS: If student struggles arise, what are the best steps to take to solve them? What steps can parents take to help find solutions within the school setting? Resources: DCSD website- Healthy Schools & Mental Health https://www.dcsdk12.org/about/our_district/departments/health_wellness_and_prevention/healthy_schools___wellness_resources
15:44
November 13, 2019
DCSD: Educator Effectiveness with Guest Dr. Kirby
This week we visit with Deane Kirby to hear a little bit about her vision around instructional leadership and alignment to the strategic plan. QUESTIONS: What is your philosophy of instructional leadership? How does your work connect with our strategic plan? How did you develop your leadership identity over the years, and how do you communicate your values to the people you work with? What do you think is the biggest challenge for educators? What is the best leadership advice you have received?
15:56
November 6, 2019
Ten Meaningful Minutes: Anxiety
Laurie LaComb talks with Aaron Ragon (DCSD Counselor Leader), about what anxiety is followed by strategies and tips to help students and others deal with it. QUESTIONS: What is anxiety? What are signs of anxiety that parents need to look out for?  What are some ideas of how to handle anxiety? Resources: https://www.dcsdk12.org/about/our_district/departments/health_wellness_and_prevention/healthy_schools___wellness_resources
10:46
September 30, 2019
DCSD "The Vision"
Host: Erica Mason Guest(s): Dr. Thomas Tucker Erica Mason and Dr. Thomas Tucker discuss the instructional leadership, the vision and the strategic plan for DCSD QUESTIONS:  What is your vision of Instructional Leadership? In our district, our strategic plan is all about growing together ( our students, leaders, teachers, etc.)  What does this mean to you and how do you see us working through this? As we rollout and implement our Strategic Plan, what do you anticipate will make it impactful? What is the best leadership advice that you’ve ever received? As superintendent, what is it that you most want teachers to know about you, Dr. Thomas S. Tucker? Length: 13:41
13:43
September 20, 2019