Written by Jason Roseberry
Five Star Technology Solutions

My September 11 story is one I have shared very few times over the past 20 years, but not one that I launch into lightly or casually. It is an incredibly important and personal story to me, so instead of taking the risk of recounting it incorrectly (or potentially offending the listener with my unique perspective) I generally attempt to avoid it altogether.

First off, it is important to me that you understand that I share this not for sensationalism, drama, attention, or any other personal reason. If it only mattered…

Last summer, school administrators and teachers prepared for a category 5 hurricane, named COVID-19, as it steadily approached their shores. Evacuating wasn’t an option. They had to hunker in place and reinforce, reinvent, and build/rebuild structures (hybrid learning, online learning, social-distant at-school learning) that could both protect and prepare their students. They worked relentlessly to bring a sense of normalcy to a situation that was anything but normal — fighting through the violent winds, pouring rain, and surging sea levels of concerned parents, confused students, and contradictory guidelines. …

A thank you message to educators

Was it a year or a lifetime ago? As schools shut down across the country in March 2020, educators did what they do best — worked late into the night and sent their students home with supplies to learn and a cheerful message: “See you in a few weeks!”

Spoiler alert. They would not see their students in a few weeks.

Brad Fischer
Senior Director of Data Analytics
Five Star Technology Solutions

Educators continue to do exceptional work during extraordinary times. As they begin to dream about life after a pandemic, they are acutely aware of the toll this last year has taken on them and their students. Whether students have been learning remotely in their busy homes or in outstretched classrooms with their expressions hidden behind masks, one thing is certain: learning has definitely been different. As a result, teachers and school leaders are understandably wrestling with the question: Which students have fallen behind in their learning?

Matt Miller
Professional Development Specialist with Five Star

Being a Professional Development Specialist and technology coach at Five Star often means being called into situations where you could be asked to provide solutions to anything and everything related to school technology. Then, there are other times when you are asked to provide expert guidance and support on a topic you are truly passionate about outside of the classroom.

Aside from being licensed teachers and Certified Google Trainers, each member of the Professional Development Team at Five Star has also nurtured various skills along the way. Mine happens to be graphic…

I find myself sitting at my desk way too often. So when a friend asked recently if anyone was interested in a combined team effort of walking more regularly, I thought group accountability might be exactly the motivation I needed. We quickly had thirty people committed to chipping away at our group goal.

Among this circle of friends, I am the one known to enjoy a good spreadsheet (guilty). So when they asked if I could track our mileage, I decided I could do a little better than a bunch of numbers in a grid. …

No matter the role you play for students, you’ve likely come to appreciate the fact that social and emotional skills permeate just about every facet of the school experience (and life!). Because of this realization, many educators have been highlighting Social-Emotional Learning’s cornerstones — self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, relationship skills, and social awareness — with students for years now. The curveball of remote learning has made SEL all the more important, but what we in education may be missing is not the what or how of social and emotional learning, but the who. Strong SEL for our students begins with…

I know what you’re thinking… “data analytics” and “life of the party” rarely are strung together in the same sentence. Although we all may recognize the value of data, most people don’t bubble with enthusiasm when the topic is raised in casual conversations. Aren’t convoluted concepts such as mean, percent gain/loss, and statistical variance only fodder for some math nerds sitting in a windowless room? When I tell others in social settings that I work in data analytics, I can almost see the expression in their face transform — their smile turning to a grimace. …

It’s likely that when you hear the word contagious, especially after coming off of the year we just had, your first thought isn’t school culture.

But for anyone who has been a part of an uplifting team, or conversely, a toxic one, you know that culture is truly contagious. And while culture can be influenced by any and every team member, there’s no doubt that educational leaders steer the boat.

As leaders, we contribute greatly to the tone. Our anxieties and attitudes are palpable. …

Five Star Technology Solutions

Specialization for K12 Schools in: Professional Development, Data Analytics, Managed Services, Cybersecurity, and more. Google for EDU Certified Partner.

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