Coalition of Essential Schools names National Director, re-establishes home in Providence, RI, and names Eagle Rock to convene Affiliate Centers

The Coalition of Essential Schools welcomes new National Director Elizabeth Jardine, moves its offices to South Providence and gears up for its annual Fall Forum November 10-12 in Providence. Founded 25 years ago by renowned educator Theodore R. Sizer, the CES national network of schools and educators embraces the CES Common Principles as a guiding philosophy for excellence in education.

Ms. Jardine, previously with MPR Associates and the Rhode Island Department of Education, will manage the network and oversee communications among CES schools, affiliates and the greater community. “It is a sign of the health of CES that we are able to attract a candidate of Elizabeth’s stature to our position. She brings a great deal of experience to us in coordinating large programs with state and federal governments as well as a real passion for the work of CES,” says George Wood, Chair of the CES Executive Board.

The new CES offices, at 325 Public Street in Providence, RI, will be co-located with Big Picture Learning at the Met School’s Public Street campus in the South Providence neighborhood.

CES will celebrate its new leadership and location at “A Conversation Among Friends,” the annual CES Fall Forum, which will convene at the Met School, 325 Public Street, Providence, RI, on November 10-12, 2011. Dynamic educators from across the nation will recharge with new ideas and inspirations at Fall Forum. Dennis Littky, founder and co-director of Big Picture Learning and the Met Center, will give the keynote presentation. In addition to a day of visits to local Essential schools including Boston Arts Academy and the Learning Community in Central Falls, Fall Forum’s featured events include a conversation between Alfie Kohn and Deborah Meier. High School for Recording Arts students will bring their Mobile Studio and help workshop participants write and record their own songs. The Gamm Theatre’s Tony Estrella will lead an interactive workshop on an actor’s approach to playing Hamlet. Screenings of “Parent Power,” “American Teacher” and “August to June: Bringing Life to School” round out the activities. Full Forum program and schedule information, including listings of more than 100 professional development workshops, can be found here:

In related news, the Executive Board Coalition of Essential Schools has named theProfessional Development Center at Eagle Rock as a resource to serve as conveners of the Coalition of Essential Schools’ Affiliate Centers. Eagle Rock will convene the a meeting of the CES Affiliate Centers on November 10 in Providence in conjunction with Fall Forum 2011.

CES affiliate centers provide technical assistance to schools that have embraced the Common Principles. Each CES center is an independent organization with the autonomy to create services appropriate for the schools it serves. Directors and staff from CES centers meet regularly to exchange ideas and share resources. CES centers intentionally describe themselves as affiliate centers rather than regional centers, reflecting the capacities that they have not only to focus within a region but also to provide technical support to schools and school systems elsewhere.

As a philanthropic initiative of the American Honda Education Corp., Eagle Rock is providing this service at no cost to CES.

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