Staples, Minn.,
21:27 PM

Area Students Reaping the Rewards of Educator Summer Trainings

Over 1,000 area educators and administrators took advantage of 19 trainings and professional development opportunities over the summer

STAPLES, Minn. (27 September 2017) -- Thousands of students throughout Region 5 (and beyond) are benefiting from the targeted educator trainings developed by National Joint Powers Alliance® (NJPA) Education Solutions team. Over 1,000 teachers, principals, superintendents, coaches, curriculum coordinators, paraprofessionals, and child care providers took advantage of 19 trainings and professional development opportunities over the summer.


NJPA Leader of Education Solutions Kassidy Rice says it was the organization's busiest summer yet with the most offerings and greatest number of attendees.

“A steady buzz of energy filled the building throughout most of July and all of August,” Rice said. “Our area educators were eager to learn, collaborate, and apply new strategies and practices on everything from data gathering and evaluation to approaches in instruction and new teaching techniques. The dedication to their students and schools is incredible.”

NJPA serves 59 schools across 22 school districts in Minnesota Region 5, which includes Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd, and Wadena counties. Nearly every district in the region had representation at at least one NJPA event. Central Minnesota educators from outside the region also attended.

By offering programs for multiple districts, NJPA is able to tap into national and international education experts for local training events that educators would typically have to drive or fly hundreds of miles to access.

“We were able to bring in some of the leading researchers and presenters in education, including Dr. Phil Warrick from Marzano Research and Jacki Brickman, an associate of Michael Grinder, who is an expert in nonverbal communication and leadership,” Rice said.

Courses for the summer of 2017 focused on nonverbal classroom management techniques, data management and interpretation, high reliability schools development, reading and math instruction/best practices, literacy measurement and intervention, and education leadership.

Long Prairie-Grey Eagle elementary teacher Carissa Bitz spent three days at NJPA this summer for the Data Retreat. She also attended the Data Retreat last summer, plus four other trainings.

“Being able to meet with my school's team to look at data for two summers now has helped increase our awareness of what's going on in our school and facilitated discussions on what changes need to be made,” Bitz said. “Looking at data to inform daily decisions has become a top priority for me.”

Bitz notes the importance of the proximity of top-notch continuing education opportunities.

“Being able to grow professionally without having to drive to the cities or pay excessive fees is a huge benefit,” she said. “I personally paid for all of my ENVoY (Educational Nonverbal Yardsticks) training because I knew it was valuable. NJPA made it more affordable for that professional development cost to come out of my pocket.”

NJPA Education Solutions also offers professional development, classroom coaching and demonstrations, educator networks, and more throughout the school year. Visit to learn more.

About NJPA

Sourcewell (formerly National Joint Powers Alliance) is a self-supporting government organization, partnering with education, government, and nonprofits to boost student and community success. Created in 1978 as one of Minnesota's nine service cooperatives, we offer training and shared services to our central-Minnesota members. Throughout North America, we offer a cooperative purchasing program with over 200 awarded vendors on contract. Sourcewell is driven by service and the ability to strategically reinvest in member communities.