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Professional Development

Continuing Education

The UCDS Institute offers affordable and engaging professional development for teachers and school leaders throughout the school year. In partnership with the UCDS College for School Culture, we are opening select courses to local educators who would like to elevate their practice. Graduate credit is only available to enrolled Master’s candidates. Clock hours are available to enrollees for an additional fee. 

Registration is limited to a small number of participants who will join our Master’s degree candidates for these quarter-long courses. Registrants should expect to fully participate in all aspects of each course including attendance and assignments.

Winter Offerings • January - March

EDU 522 Cultural Competence

Tuesdays, Jan 4 – March 15
4:30-6:30pm
20 Clock Hours Available
Register for EDU 522 Cultural Competence

Diane Goodman (2011) defines cultural competence as “the ability to live and work effectively in culturally diverse environments and enact a commitment to social justice.” She further defines social justice which, “refers to creating a society (or community, organization, or campus) with an equitable distribution of resources and opportunities. In socially just environments, all people are safe (physically and psychologically), can meet their needs, and can fulfill their potential. Social justice thus entails equity (fairness) and a sense of real inclusion.”

We will use these definitions to explore why educators and educational leaders must understand how identity, power and privilege influence the communities they serve. Students will practice strategies to constantly deepen and build the range of awareness, knowledge, and skills they use to build communities of cultural competence. Primary objectives of this course are developing one’s self-awareness with regard to identity, understanding and valuing others, building one’s knowledge of societal inequities, strengthening one’s skills to interact effectively with diverse people in different contexts, and learning to foster equity and inclusion.

Instructors: Kawai Lai
Kawai Lai is a designer and facilitator partnering with K-12 leaders in planning for the future with an equity lens. She is a co-author of The New Team Habits © 2020, which provides practices for leaders to build better habits for team learning, meetings, and projects. She started VizLit to unleash the visual mind of every learner, formerly served as Vice President of Innovation at the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), and helped launch and grow Education Elements. Prior to her career in education, Kawai was at Deloitte Consulting. She has an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Southern Methodist University.

Aliya Virani
Aliya Virani has worked in independent schools for the last 21 years in various capacities, from teaching elementary grades to serving as Curriculum Director, Director of Inclusion and Community Building, and then Director of Admissions. She currently serves as the Lower School Director at Bush School. Aliya obtained her Masters Degree in Elementary Education from NYU and a Masters in private school leadership from Columbia University. Aliya’s love of learning and service led her to co-founded an international summer program called Global Encounters and is currently on the Annie Wright Board of Trustees. Aliya treasures any opportunity to learn from other educators and most importantly her students!

EDU 581 Individualizing Instruction

Thursdays, Jan 6 – March 17
6:30-8:30pm
20 Clock Hours Available
Register for EDU 581 Individualizing Instruction

This course will explore the groundwork necessary for individualization by reviewing a framework of elements that supports a successful learning experience. This framework includes acknowledging each individual student by developing a learning profile, considering environmental and cultural elements that influence the learning process, initiating a dynamic curriculum, and using assessments as guides to support the learning process. The class will engage in theoretical, philosophical, and empirical readings, observational reflections, and class participation in order to better understand how to develop strategies that will acknowledge the needs of the individual in classrooms with a diverse mix of cultures and abilities, assuring that all students learn.

Instructors:
Diane Chickadel
Diane Chickadel is an Instructional Faculty member, and she has been an enthusiastic teacher of learners from pre-K through the college level for over four decades. Diane’s interest lies in social and emotional health and its relationship to learning. Diane is a fiber artist and artists’ book maker. She was an Art Therapist at therapeutic boarding schools in England and Montana and at a children’s psychiatric center in Delaware. Diane joined the faculty of UCDS where she has been a classroom teacher, Division Head, and Resident Coordinator. 

Diane holds a Bachelor of Science from Neuman College in Behavioral Science and a minor in Art Education and Master of Education from City University.

Abby Sandberg
Abby Sandberg is an Instructional Faculty member and the Director of Learning Support at UCDS. In her 13 years at UCDS, she has worked with teachers at all grade levels to maximize the academic and social success of their students. During her tenure, she has also served as the Early Elementary Division Head for 7 years. In addition, she has spent several years designing the curriculum for the UCDS Experienced Teacher Cohort, an annual multi-day educator workshop. Before joining UCDS, Abby worked with a broad range of learners from preschoolers to university students.

Abby received a Ph.D. in School Psychology from Illinois State University and a B.S. in Psychology from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Spring Offerings • March - June

EDU 582 Semiotics of Schools

Tuesdays, March 29 – June 7
6:30-8:30pm
20 Clock Hours Available
Register for EDU 582 Semiotics of Schools

Students navigate multiple communication systems on a daily basis. As they move from one subject to another, they are taught to communicate using the symbolic language of that subject. As teachers, we should be aware of this circumstance and learn to identify different ways of communicating with our students.  While the symbolism of each subject is unique, several practices are consistent between these domains to help students understand and communicate clearly.  

This course provides several experiences for teachers to learn about and compare symbol systems from different aspects of school.  They will explore several discrete subject areas to identify what is the unique language of each domain as well as to identify the different ways teachers communicate expectations and assess student understanding.  They will also learn to create opportunities for students to express their understanding by mixing symbol systems in order to express their understanding.

Instructors:
Ben Chickadel
Ben Chickadel is an Instructional Faculty member in the UCDS College for School Culture and the Design and Technology Specialist for UCDS Schools. Ben regularly presents projects and ideas about the intersection between art and technology at the National Art Educators Association annual conference.

Ben earned his B.F.A. from the University of Washington and his M.F.A. at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

David Garrick
David Garrick has been an educator, administrator, and consultant at UCDS for over twenty years.  His teaching experience ranges from children as young as three to adult professionals with years of experience in the teaching field. He has consulted about mathematics curriculum design, school culture, and leadership with Seattle Public Schools, Philadelphia Public Schools, Independent Schools throughout the US and with Ascend International School in Mumbai, India. 

David holds a B.A. in History from the University of Washington and a M.A. in Fine Arts from the University of Montana. He earned his Washington State teaching credentials from Western Washington University.

EDU 564 Leading For Change

Thursdays, March 31 – June 9
4:00pm-6:00pm
20 Clock Hours Available
Register for EDU 564 Leading For Change

As institutions of learning, schools need to consistently evolve based on new knowledge and analysis of community needs. How will you analyze the effectiveness of your program to determine whether change is warranted? How will you empower your communities and classrooms to embrace change? In this course, students will examine the concept of change and strategies to manage it. Students will deepen their understanding of human behavior and tendencies as well as organizational structures to help them develop philosophies and design systems to inspire innovation, collaboration and growth.

Instructors:
Paula Smith
Paula Smith has served as the Head of School at UCDS for more than 25 years after first arriving as a lead teacher in 1987. She loves working side-by-side with such a creative and passionate group of educators as they re-imagine school design and provide a collaborative working model for the 21st century. A native of the Pacific Northwest, Paula received her Bachelor of Education degree from Western Washington University; a Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Washington; and a P-12 Principal Endorsement from the State of Washington. She enjoys the fact that two of her grandsons are now a part of the UCDS community and still considers the continuing evolution of the school to be the focal point of her career in education. 

Aliya Virani
Aliya Virani has worked in independent schools for the last 21 years in various capacities, from teaching elementary grades to serving as Curriculum Director, Director of Inclusion and Community Building, and then Director of Admissions. She currently serves as the Lower School Director at Bush School. Aliya obtained her Masters Degree in Elementary Education from NYU and a Masters in private school leadership from Columbia University. Aliya’s love of learning and service led her to co-founded an international summer program called Global Encounters and is currently on the Annie Wright Board of Trustees. Aliya treasures any opportunity to learn from other educators and most importantly her students!

EDU 563 Educational Ethics

Thursdays, March 31 – June 9
6:30-8:30pm
20 Clock Hours Available
Register for EDU 563 Educational Ethics

The decision to educate is ethical in nature: the older generation assumes responsibility for initiating the newer generation into valued cultural beliefs, practices and traditions. Educating raises deep questions about purpose, values and responsibilities. Educators are decision makers. They make decisions that are culturally competent, pedagogical, administrative, political, evaluative, and personal. Education is a practice that has the potential to enrich the lives of those who are involved; teachers, students, parents, and institutions.

In this course we read and examine the voices of powerful adherents for inclusive classroom and institutional democracy. These voices questioned and continue to question the traditional values of public and private education in a way that fosters deep reform, progressive thinking and a healthy skepticism when assessing and evaluating norms and standards of their eras. This course encourages students to be open, healthy skeptics of social norms and values but also good listeners to the many voices, majority and dissonant, as they explore institutional ethics.

Instructors:
Carmine Chickadel
Carmine “Chick” Chickadel is an Instructional Faculty member. He has been an educator for over four decades. He was an independent school administrator for The Bush School and The Evergreen School, both in Pacific Northwest. In addition, he has taught in numerous college and university graduate and undergraduate programs, most recently Seattle University and the University of Montana. His expertise is in educational cultures and philosophies, curriculum design, and teacher training and mentoring. Chick speaks and teaches frequently on the topic of qualitative evaluation and narrative assessments.

Chick was a co-founder in 2006 of Ravenna Solutions, designers of the innovative web-based platform ORCAS. ORCAS software is a sophisticated solution for student assessment, curriculum management, and data storage.

Chick holds a BA in English from the University of Delaware and MIS from the University of Montana School of Fine Arts in the arts and education.

Brenda Cram
Brenda Cram is an Instructional Faculty member and currently serving in the role of Associate Head of Giddens School. She has held Associate, Assistant, Division, and Department Head roles at The Evergreen School and Bertschi School prior to her work at Giddens. Brenda is a founding faculty member of the NWAIS Emerging Leaders Program and serves as the Head Coach of the program. She is a certified leadership coach through Elena Aguilar and Bright Morning Consulting and currently consults with a range of educational leaders in both independent and public schools. Holding a Master’s degree from Lesley University in Curriculum and Instruction, Brenda established a resident program at Giddens School with the goal of immersing aspiring educators in a program that centers social justice and equity into curriculum design and pedagogy. In her free time, she likes to run with friends and her dog, Harlan, eat any and all food that is shared with her and cross country ski or hike in the mountains. She loves a good joke and has an affinity for clever comics (Far Side and the New Yorker). Left alone for several hours, Brenda would listen to loud music, sing at the top of her lungs, make pizza, and sit down with friends to eat together and tell stories.

Thinking of pursuing your Master’s degree in the near future? Get a sneak peek into this innovative and inspiring graduate program. Find out more about the UCDS College for School Culture.