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"SHESC Messenger": Start of September 2021


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SHESC Messenger

Start of September 2021

Smoky Hill Adventure Program

Featured PD: New CTE Professional Learning Networks

Storyteller Tim Lowry Visiting Area Schools in September

Book Study Opportunities

Volume Purchasing: Top 10 Suprising Products Available in Our Catalogs

Look at All Professional Development and the Newsletter Archive



Discover Adventures in Teamwork!

If you are looking for a fun, hands-on way to engage and build Social, Emotional, and Character Development skills, the Smoky Hill Adventure Program is a perfect opportunity!


The program helps individuals to practice and grow these skills through experiential learning. Experiential learning is a philosophy and methodology in which educators purposefully engage with learners in direct experience and focused reflection in order to increase knowledge, develop skills, and clarify values.


The program allows participants to be physically involved in a series of individual and group intellectual and physical challenges that support and enhance Social, Emotional, and Character Development skills as well as the Habits of the Mind. The challenges require a combination of teamwork skills, individual commitment, problem solving, goal setting, and emotional risk-taking. The program is designed around the Experiential Learning Cycle: Experience, Reflection, Generalization, and Application, as well as the following character traits: Responsibility, Respect, Trust and Commitment, Caring, and Encouragement.


Our program has a high-ropes and a low-ropes course located on the Fort Hays State University campus, as well as portable adventure equipment that can be brought to a location. The courses are available for 5th through 12th grade students, as well as staff members, sports teams, youth groups, community groups, and corporate groups. The portable equipment program can be designed for all age levels and groups. Both programs have accessible elements for individuals with disabilities.


For more information on the Smoky Hill Adventure Program contact Noalee McDonald-Augustine at nmcdonald@smokyhill.org.


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Featured Professional Development: Smoky Hill CTE Professional Learning Networks for 2021-2022

This fall brings new opportunities to learn from your peers! Learn more about three upcoming Professional Learning Networks below.

IPS: Building Your Plan for Success PLN (Virtual)

September 28 - February 17, 3:45 - 4:45 p.m.
Joni Clark-Leiker, instructor and Pam Kraus, facilitator


This professional development series will address the following Perkins V, IPS and KESA required components:

            • Career Exploration and Career Development Coursework, Activities, or Services

            • Career Information Regarding Employment Opportunities

            • Informing Special Populations About Courses

            • System of Career Guidance and Academic Counseling

            • Special Populations: Activities to Prepare for High Skill, High Wage or In-Demand Occupations

            • Special Populations: Non-Traditional

            • Special Populations: Equal Access

            • Special Populations: Discrimination

            • Work-Based Learning

            • Post-Secondary Credit

            • Certifications

            • CTE Professionals (Retention and Training)

            • System’s IPS process

            • Access and Equity

            • Civic Engagement

            • Career Development Guidance Curriculum

            • Financial Planning

            • Postsecondary Exploration

            • Individual Plan of Study

            • Community Engagement

            • Electronic Portfolios

            • Family Engagement

            • Programs of Study

            • Student-Led Conferences

            • Transition Meetings: IPS/IEP

            • Data Dashboard

IPS: Building Your Plan for Success series will begin in September 2021 and conclude in February 2022. This professional development series will consist of short informational sessions along with collaboration time with an IPS Framework Professional Learning Network. Each month IPS Success PLN teams will meet on average twice per month for one hour each. Each registered member will have access to resource materials supporting each of the identified areas listed above. Districts will find this series will be most effective if they enroll a team, ideally consisting of at least one administrator, one teacher, and one person involved in career advising.

Tentative dates (subject to change): September 28, October 7, October 26, November 4, November 11, December 9, January 6, January 20, February 3, and February 17.

College credit available.

CTE Data Dashboard and Program Improvement PLN

All Smoky Hill Perkins Consortium districts are eligible to register multiple participants at no charge
August 31 - May 3, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Joni Clark-Leiker, instructor


This professional development series will address and support the collection and documentation of district data and the data decision-making process. We will focus on the following data components related to CTE students, including those represented by special populations, as well as CTE programs, pathways, and courses.

            • Important Data Collection Dates and Reference Points

            • Perkins Federal Accountability

            • Fiscal Auditing and CTE

                        •September Count Day

                        •Building Principal Report

                        •CTE Minutes Report

            • Career Clusters and Pathways and Required Reports

                        •Student Follow-Up Reports

                        •Student Data Management Reports

            • KIDS and CTE Required Reports

                        •KCAN Reports

                                    •Dual Credit


                                    •Work-Based Learning

The six hour-long sessions will be aligned with important and approaching data collection targeted dates and will consist of short informational sessions, along with collaboration time. Registered participants will have access to resource materials supporting each of the identified areas listed above. District staff who work with - or have a need to know and understand - CTE data collection and the impact on district success measures will find the CTE Data Management series most beneficial.

Tentative dates (subject to change): August 31, September 28, October 26, April 5, April 19, and May 3.

College credit available.

New CTE Teacher PLN

All Smoky Hill Perkins Consortium districts are eligible to register multiple participants at no charge
August 26, 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. (initial session; PLN runs August 2021 - April 2022)
Pam Kraus, facilitator

Send new CTE teachers' contact information to Pam Kraus (pkraus@smokyhill.org or 785-825-9185), and she will extend an invitation to join the PLN.

Join other teachers new to the CTE world to learn how to navigate through the maze of CTE acronyms, reports, and regulations. Learn from and share with teachers who are also experiencing CTE for the first time. Meet with guest speakers, including: experienced CTE teachers, KSDE CTE consultants, and more! This group will meet monthly via Zoom for an hour, August through April (time and date to be decided by the group).

College credit available.


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Storyteller Tim Lowry Arrives in September

From kissing frogs to literary classics to American history, Tim Lowry tells stories drawing inspiration from Mark Twain, Appalachian folk tales, circus performances and more. His fourth-grade teacher once wrote on his report card: “tends to excessive speech.” Today that has proven a profound understatement, as Lowry once calculated that he could talk continuously from his repertoire for more than a full day without repeating himself.

Lowry is coming to Kansas, offering assembly-style storytelling events every day September 13-16, geared to students in grades K-6.

Learn more about Lowry at www.storytellertimlowry.com. Lowry will also perform at the Kansas Storytelling Festival, September 17 and 18. Learn more at www.kansasstorytelling.com.

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Time for a Book Study!

SHESC has multiple opportunities coming up to curl up with a good read and work on your professional development. Choose from:

  • "Mathematical Mindset" by Jo Boaler (Zoom): three-part series, beginning September 14
  • "Improve Every Lesson Plan with SEL" by Jeffrey Benson (Zoom): three-part series, beginning November 4
  • "The Burnout Cure" by Chase Mielke (Zoom): three-part series, beginning November 16

Register today at go.smokyhill.org/book-study.

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Volume Purchasing: 10 Surprising Products Available in Our CatalogsNo photo description available.

The Volume Purchasing program through Smoky Hill Education Service Center can help you save money on everyday purchases, but the available product catalog is so deep, sometimes customers don’t realize everything available.

To help encourage exploring the catalogs and give a sense of everything that may be available to you through them, here is our “Top 10 Most Surprising Items Available in Volume Purchasing.”

#10: Blue Microphones Yeti USB mic: Using podcasts to engage students? Available via CDW-G, Yeti is the gold standard.

#9: Forks: Cafeteria workers, you know no matter how often you remind students (and even staff!) they sometimes throw away metal forks. F&A Foods sells a 36-count box for just $7.70 in the cafeteria catalog.

#8: Coffee: Our partner School Specialty has this essential at up to 33% off on popular brands including Starbucks, Cafe Bustelo, and Folgers, plus equipment and supplies.

#7: Aromatic cedar: While our lumber catalog – featuring supplier Liberty Hardwoods – has all manner of lumber and hardware available for shop class, this is by far the most fragrant option, perfect for the student wanting to make a keepsake chest or jewelry box.

#6: Pilot Varsity fountain pen: Sure, fountain pens are old-fashioned, but they’re hard to beat for a smooth flow of ink and a classic look for special uses such as certificates and thank-you notes. At just $2.27 per pen from School Specialty, the price of the Varsity can’t be beat!

#5: Flashforge Adventurer 3 3D printer: 3D printers are essential tools for fabrication and computer-assisted design courses. The “Adventurer 3” is a great “starter” printer, offering value for the price. The "Adventurer 3" is available from School Specialty.

#4: Billiard pool table: If you’re looking to create a student lounge area or recreation room – or just want to add a unique unit to your physical education program – a pool table from School Specialty might be the perfect fit!

#3: Jack Richeson Wooden Male Manikin, 12 inches: Real human models are hard to come by for art classes in secondary schools. Give art students the experience without the hassle with posable wooden “manikins” for art class, available from School Specialty.

#2: 22 caliber and 32 caliber blanks: No, they aren’t for film-class recreations of battle scenes (although… hm…), but when track and field season comes around, these are essential items for starter pistols from Sports Connection in our athletic catalog.

#1: Preserved cow heart with aorta, pack of 10: Admittedly, yes… Ew… But when it’s time to learn about the heart in anatomy and physiology, these are a critical science-class supply item for a hands-on – and unforgettable – learning experience from Frey Scientific.

Visit go.smokyhill.org/vp or contact Adam Pracht, Volume Purchasing Coordinator, at vp@smokyhill.org for more information.

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