Byte-Sized Bits
August 2019

Meet Dr. Debbie Alexander
Our new Executive Director

A New School Year…Oh the Possibilities

As I write this I can only imagine the exciting new possibilities for 2020. This school year offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a difference for students and staff in our sphere of influence. This year will never be exactly like any before, or the years after, so I challenge you to go beyond the ordinary and reach for the extraordinary.
Extraordinary is ensuring students reach the highest standards for learning and giving students a voice, while building a sense of community and belonging, in an environment lead by competent, caring adults. This is essential for higher achievement and greater accomplishment.  In a world of uncertainty, it is also the best prevention for school violence, suicide, and bullying, and will support your priority to keep schools safe and create a positive school climate.

At CSRA RESA we want to help you make 2020 a year you will be proud of for your students, schools, and for yourselves. As the new Executive Director of CSRA RESA, it is my desire to ensure that our services support teachers and leaders to better meet the academic, social, emotional, and physical needs of students. In doing so, we partner with our member districts to help you reach your student achievement and school improvement goals as well as the social-emotional and wraparound service needs of your students.

We hope that you will take advantage of the many professional learning workshops and courses offered here. Through this newsletter, as well as our website and social media, we hope to inform you of the services we offer that can help strengthen your skills as a teacher and leader to improve student outcomes throughout the twelve districts served by CSRA RESA.

Debbie Alexander
Executive Director, CSRA RESA

Welcome the Newest Members of our Team!

Paul Bloodworth, CSRA RESA School Climate Specialist
I am so excited to join the RESA family as a School Climate Specialist for the 2019-2020 school year. I look forward to partnering with schools and districts across our region to help build positive and engaging classrooms and communities of learning. In addition to my work with PBIS, I will also be assisting the Professional Learning Department of CSRA RESA with Language Arts PLCs.

Before coming to RESA, I taught middle school English and was a middle school assistant principal for four years. I treasure the relationships which I made in the classroom and at the school level, but I am excited to be able to build new relationships with educators across the CSRA.

I am married to Catherine Bloodworth, and we have three children, Palmer, Sara Jane, and Molly who attend North Columbia Elementary School and Harlem Middle School.

I look forward to an exciting year of new experiences assisting teachers and administrators throughout the CSRA!
Dr. Rose Carraway, CSRA RESA School Climate Specialist

It is my pleasure to join the CSRA RESA team as the School Climate Specialist (PBIS consultant) for the 2019-2020 school year.

My goal is to partner with educators to promote positive school cultures, encouraging classrooms, and productive professional learning communities that create extraordinary learning environments for all students. 

My previous experiences include eight years teaching high school Spanish, 11 years serving as a high school administrator, 13 years serving as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for high schools, and 11 years as an adjunct professor at Augusta University in the Department of Teaching and Leading.

With regard to my personal philosophy of teaching and classroom management, I believe that we can only teach students when we reach students. Classroom management is an essential element for fostering a successful learning environment for all students. In order to establish a culture of learning, teachers must institute classroom procedures and convey expectations that promote instruction while also building positive relationships with students. Teachers who demonstrate authentic care and kindness toward their students, while modeling expected behaviors, create and maintain positive and productive classroom environments. 

I am blessed to have the opportunity to work with and support leaders and teachers in the CSRA. I look forward to the school year with enthusiasm, gratefully awaiting to be a part of the positive experiences ahead!

Margo Huskey, CSRA RESA Growing Readers Certification Specialist
I am excited to join the CSRA RESA team as a Growing Readers Certification Specialist for the 2019-2020 school year! My mission will be to partner with K-3 educators to increase reading proficiency for all students.

Before coming to RESA, I spent 16 years teaching students, in grades K-5, in the Richmond County School System. I have also served as a curriculum writer, instructional coach, and mentor teacher.

I am eager to begin this new journey in assisting teachers and school leaders of the CSRA improve reading instruction. The goal of Growing Readers is to ensure all students are reading on grade level by 3rd grade; I believe in order to meet this goal students must be given opportunities to practice personalized reading strategies daily.

I look forward with great anticipation and excitement to the school year ahead!
Dr. Marcia Lim-Tom, CSRA RESA Growing Readers Certification Specialist

I am extremely excited to be joining the CSRA RESA team as a Growing Readers Certification Specialist. This opportunity truly aligns with my career goal to support schools and districts in their efforts to improve literacy and increase student achievement. The need to develop readers who are proficient by 3rd grade is of utmost importance and is at the heart of the Growing Readers initiative. This allows me to be a part of this important process.

My educational career has spanned over two states and 21 years. I began as an elementary classroom teacher in Virginia and have held several other positions throughout the years, including Literacy Coach, School Testing Coordinator, and Instructional Coach, which was the position I held prior to joining RESA. 
I have also assumed other duties such as serving as Grade Level Chair, POI Chair, Teacher Leader, member of the School Improvement Team, member of GAPPS/SACS Review Team, and recently served as a member of the AdvancED Team for district accreditation. 

I am the mother of two wonderful daughters, Quintana and Tatiana, and I am married to an amazing husband, Curtis. Quintana graduated from Georgia State University with a B.S. in Social Work and Tatiana is beginning her senior year at the University of Georgia majoring in Biology as a pre-med student. 

I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve in this capacity with a RESA team that shares the same mission and vision as mine. I am committed to doing whatever it takes to support schools and districts in their efforts to meet their educational needs.
Kizzi Rice, Deaf Education Specialist

Hi! My name is Kizzi Rice.

I’ve worked in Deaf Education for 10 years, as a paraprofessional and as an interpreter. This Spring I graduated with a BS in Special Education and obtained my Deaf Education certification.

I have experience with ABA and plan on going back to get my Masters in Behavior Modification next year.
I have a brilliant, quirky, beautiful 13-year-old daughter who is my greatest joy. I love to read during school breaks and cook dinner almost every night of the week! I believe in the idea of presuming competence and love my students like they are my own. I’m so excited to join the team at CSRA RESA!
Sandy Woods, ELA Consultant

I am excited to join the wonderful folks at CSRA RESA as a part-time ELA Consultant for the 2019-2020 school year! I have served as an educator in the CSRA for the past 31 years. While I’ve been fortunate to have played many roles, such as Media Specialist, Department Chair, and Instructional Technology Specialist, my favorite role has always been that of a classroom teacher. I never tired of helping students achieve, learn, and grow. Seeing the sparkle in students’ eyes and the smiles on their faces when they grasp new concepts still motivates me now, just as much as it did in 1988, to be the best educator I can be.
If I seem familiar to some of you, it is because I was blessed to be on the CSRA RESA staff during the 2014-2015 school year. Now that I have retired from the classroom, I look forward to supporting old friends and new with ELA initiatives to help our students achieve great results in the CSRA! Please let me know how I can support you this year!

Professional Learning Courses
  • August 22 - Tribunal Training Course
  • August 28 - The Georgia Numeracy Project
  • September 10 - Content Conversation: Let's Do the Math, Grades K-2
  • September 11 - Classroom Management 101 for New Teachers Grades 6-12
  • September 17 - GMAS Writing: More Than Just a Story

For the full calendar and to register for courses, please  click here.

ELA and The Writing Center 
Greetings ELA Educators!

Welcome back to what will be an exciting and profitable school year! Here at CSRA RESA, we are excited to share our upcoming ELA Professional Learning Sessions for this year. We look forward to sharing new and innovative reading and writing strategies that promote and engage student learning in your classroom.

Don’t forget all of our original resources are shared with participants, so you will not leave empty-handed. Additionally, please do not forget to visit the CSRA RESA Writing Center where you will find newly created writing lessons for all grade levels. Our focus presently is on middle school grades 6th – 8th; however, we will have new lessons for elementary grades posting on a regular basis.

New power lessons, writing lessons, a reading and writing verticle talk, reflection charts for grades six, seven, and eight, and more have been added to the writing center in the last two weeks. We are writing furiously to get these power and writing lessons posted and available to you. Remember, our original lessons are free and built with you and your students in mind. We welcome your feedback as you use the resources from the writing center. 

To find the CSRA RESA ELA Professional Learning calendar, visit csraresa.net and click on the Professional Learning Calendar. And while you are on the Home page, click the tab that links to the Writing Center. You’ll be happy that you did!!

Happy teaching! 

Math Updates
We are very excited to announce that Pam Harris will be at CSRA RESA Wednesday, October 23, 2019, to present Building Powerful Numeracy. Registration is now open! 
Too many students struggle with basic numeracy! Based on Pam’s Building Powerful Numeracy and Lessons & Activities for Building Powerful Numeracy, this workshop engages teachers in an overview of powerful ways to help students develop efficient and sophisticated numeracy strategies. Participants will experience problem strings and will receive handouts to help students construct powerful numerical relationships and connections that lead to success in higher math.

Pamela Weber Harris is the author of several books, including Building Powerful Numeracy, Discovering Advanced Algebra, and a book for professional development leaders. A former secondary mathematics teacher, Pam currently teaches at Texas State University, is a K-12 mathematics education consultant, a T³ (Teachers Teaching with Technology) Instructor, and an author and coauthor of several professional development workshops.

Pam presents frequently at regional and national conferences. Her particular interests include teaching real math, building powerful numeracy, sequencing rich tasks to construct mathematics, using technology appropriately, smart assessment, and vertical connectivity in curricula in schools PK-12.

Media Specialist Collaborative
Registration is open! Be READy to submit your proposal to present...details coming soon!
Social Studies Leaders PLC
We had great success with our Social Studies Leaders PLC last year! This year, we are continuing our PLCs with an instructional technology focus. For more information on all of the sessions click on this link:  Technology Toolbox PLC’s for Social Studies and Science.

Visit the  CSRA RESA Writing Center for GSE-aligned resources, lesson plans, and examples of writing in K-12 social studies.

All new social studies resources from the GA DOE are now uploaded to the TRL Link on the SLDS - NOT on the Georgia Standards website.

Check out the Social Studies links below to connect with us:

  • To receive daily updates, resources, and news important to K-12 Social Studies in our area, please follow me on: 
    • Facebook: csrasocialstudies
    • Twitter:  @teachSScsra
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