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Name: Mary Jane Tappen, K-12 Deputy Chancellor for Student Achievement
Phone: (850) 245-0509
SunCom: 205-0509
K-12: 2005-133

October 26, 2005


TO: District School Superintendents

FROM: Cheri Pierson Yecke, Ph.D.

SUBJECT: First Annual K-12 Continuous Improvement Conference

The first annual K-12 Continuous Improvement Conference is fast approaching, and it promises a week filled with strategies for increasing student achievement, one of the Department of Educationís most important goals. As the newly appointed K-12 Chancellor, I am excited about the professional development opportunities that this conference will offer and urge you to support this event by attending and sending your district administrators and school principals, too.

The conference will include outstanding general and concurrent sessions revolving around the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle of the Continuous Improvement Model. We are pleased to feature Commissioner John Winn and other nationally recognized leaders in education reform including Dr. Gerald Anderson, Dr. Willard Daggett (International Center for Leadership in Education), and Dr. Gene Bottoms (Southern Regional Education Board). High school reform will be one theme we plan to emphasize throughout the week. In addition, we will feature Dr. Robert B Ingram, Miami-Dade County School Board, and Sylvia Johnson, Principal of West Jacksonville Elementary School, as luncheon speakers.

Concurrent sessions will feature teachers, district personnel, consultants, vendors, and Department of Education staff. Session topics include data-driven decision making, using the Continuous Improvement Model in different classroom settings, strategies for students with disabilities and English language learners, parent involvement and faith- and community-based mentoring, professional development, model schools from large and small districts, and many other subjects you will not want to miss.

Pre-conference activities will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2005. The full conference will kickoff at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 13, 2005. To register for the conference, please visit Please note that the deadline for registration has been extended through November 30, 2005. The registration fee will continue to be $175 through this date. Late and on-site registration fees will be $225.

Hotel reservations should be made directly with the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel by calling 800-227-1500. The group name is Florida Department of Education, K-12 Continuous Improvement Conference. The room rate for the conference, including the preceding and following weekends, is $125 per night. The cut-off date for the room block is December 2, 2005. The Friday sessions should conclude by noon on December 16, 2005.

The Department is pleased to host the first annual K-12 Continuous Improvement Conference and we look forward to seeing you there. We encourage the participation of district superintendents and administrators, all principals, federal program coordinators and directors, curriculum directors, directors of instruction, school improvement coordinators, school board members, staff development directors, and charter and non-public school administrators.

More information, including a draft agenda, can be found at If you have any questions or wish additional information, please contact Stephen L. Wolfe, Conference Chairman, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, (305) 995-2855 or e-mail