Which officials is not specified in documentation provided to the R-8 Board of Education, but the cost of the junket is. Taxpayers are spending $4,400 just for the registration for the conference, which costs $550 per person.
That amount does not include the cost of lodging or other expenses, which will be presented to the board at a later date.
According to the website for the conference, which will be held at the Denver Marriott City Center, the keynote speaker, Jim Knight, will address "Better Conversations for Better Learning."
The way people communicate always enhances or inhibits the way everyone (adults and children) learns in schools. Administrators who communicate more effectively foster the development of positive, productive learning cultures. Coaches who communicate more effectively enable more powerful professional learning. Teachers who communicate more effectively learn more with their colleagues and foster more student learning in their classrooms. But what is a Better Conversation? In this presentation, Jim Knight will answer that question by describing the beliefs and habits that are essential for creating better conversations, outlined in his book, Better Conversations. Jim will talk about the experiences of over 150 people from around the world who learned these habits and beliefs by video recording their conversations (over 1,000, collectively) and reflecting on how they can communicate better. Jim will also explain how anyone can use video and reflective practices to learn and adopt the Better Conversations habits and beliefs—whether they work alone, with a partner, with a team, or with a whole school or district
Sessions are scheduled on "Building Learner Strategies," "Culturally Responsive Listening," "Having Hard Conversations," "Improving Classroom Discussion Through Thinking Prompts and Effective Questioning," "Transformational Listening in Coaching Conversations," "Characteristics of Effective Instructional Coaches," "Coaching Conversations that Cultivate Emotional Resilience," "The Perfect Assessment System," "Supporting Instructional Coaches," "Using Video in Coaching," and other topics.
The board documentation also shows a payment of $4,750 for registration for an ACSI Conference, though there is no mention of what ACSI or why it is necessary to spend that amount on yet another conference.
Meanwhile, district taxpayers are also spending more money on the consultant group that it sent packing just a few months ago.
The monthly bills show $7,775 to the Core Collaborative, which apparently has shown up in Joplin schools again, since the documentation indicates the money is broken down to $6,000 for on-site training and $1,775 for travel costs.
Other interesting items included in this month's bill:
-$123.50 to Downstream Casino Resort for the remaining balance of money owed for the annual Bright Futures Golf Tournament
-$86 to Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce for the "Board of Directors" regular lunch
-$11,187.50 for the final payment on the mall high school lease
-$1,180 to CJ Rentals for another Bright Futures "student need"
-$1,084 for the annual JAMF National User Conference in Minneapolis. The conference is put on by a software company and is designed for schools using One-to-One technology.
$448 for registration for the annual Bright Futures USA Conference