Admin Resources

Blue Apple Projects

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Resources to support K–12 school administrators as they lead in today’s challenging educational climate.

Admin Guides

What are the characteristics of a good leader? That’s a million-dollar question in our society today. When we think of influential leaders, we often picture the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, major figures in global politics, or those famous innovators who have left their mark on history. However, the truth is a great leader can take many different forms. A leader is more often a teacher, a coach, an administrator, or anyone else who makes a positive impact on the people they serve. Download guide.

Administrators are embracing the opportunity for an educational reset and reimagining what teaching and learning can look like in their schools and districts. VAI’s Admin Guide will show you how to make our schools function more as innovation zones that develop the next generation of problem solvers. There’s never been a better time to create classrooms that matter, to make project-based learning a reality. Download guide.

Having a good plan — particularly for something as important and complex as school improvement — is essential. VAI’s Roadmap to Successful School Improvement Planning 2022-2023 will help you put together a comprehensive school improvement plan that considers teacher morale and clearly defines success in the building(s) you support. Download guide.

Learning Loss, Instructional Loss, Unfinished Learning…whatever you call it, the 2020–21 school year has left its mark on the learning process. But rather than focus on the negative, this can be an opportunity for schools to reimagine their instructional practices. Beyond Learning Loss: Six Ways Schools Can Thrive in the Aftermath of the Pandemic will help you rethink, refocus, and reimagine teaching and learning this fall. Download guide.

It’s clear that having a good plan—particularly for something as important and complex as school improvement—is essential. Seven Tips for Successful School Improvement Planning…2021-Style will help you put together a comprehensive school improvement plan. Download guide.

We’re in the midst of a new school year, and we’re expected to lead as if this is a new normal—to pursue the typical expectations for educational outcomes, when times are all but normal. Seven Tips for Leading Through a Pandemic will help you support your teachers so they feel confident and prepared as they teach through a pandemic.

 Download guide.

You have finished a school year like no other. You have led your school and district through one of the most challenging times we have faced in education. And now you are preparing for a new school year under very different and uncertain conditions. Eight Tips for Supporting Teachers will help you support your teachers so they feel prepared, confident, even excited for authentic learning in a fully digital or blended environment. Download guide.

Administrator Summits

Watch the video for 5 Ways Schools Can Overcome Learning Loss to explore ideas, resources, and tools to successfully overcome the COVID learning loss in your school. We address such things as: 
  • How can I use ESSER funding? 
  • How can I incorporate SEL as integral, not additional? 
  • How can I prepare teachers to successfully close gaps in 2022?
Explore these questions and more in this informative and practical on-demand summit for school and district leaders. Access Video.

Education Spotlights

When students are truly engaged in inquiry, they can construct deep knowledge and understanding rather than just passively receiving the information. Learn about 5 free math resources that build inquiry and conceptual understanding with students. Download Spotlight

Over the past two years schools have seen a dramatic increase in the need for social emotional learning.  Learn 5 science lessons that incorporate the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) framework for SEL. Download Spotlight

All year, your school has been helping students learn and grow. But when it comes time for the big, high-stakes test, students seem to underperform.

That “Know-Show Gap” has real repercussions. It can prevent teachers and schools from being able to represent the good work they do to the public. Download this Education Spotlight for strategies designed to help minimize the Know-Show gap so students can prove what they really can do. Download Spotlight

Teaching our students to be critical thinkers is about the best thing we can offer them to send them off successfully into an unknown future to solve unforeseen problems with unknown technology in yet-to-be-created careers. Download this Education Spotlight to help your teachers infuse critical thinking into their students’ learning. Download Spotlight

It is rare for us to associate math and science with creativity. But, why not? Both math and science hold great potential for creative work, and there are simple, practical ways to make this happen in your classroom. Download this Education Spotlight for strategies, tips, and takeaways that you can give your teachers to help support their work in making this happen in their classrooms. Download Spotlight

We know assessments — both formative and summative — are critical components of teaching and learning, but so often they become straight-up burdens. In an attempt to mend our slightly bent-out-of-shape relationship with assessment, here are some tools, tips, and take-aways to help you and your students.. Download Spotlight

Schools are often lacking in instruction that is authentic and relevant to students’ lives. PBL really comes down to providing an authentic learning experience, something that students find purpose in, and are thus more motivated tolearn and perform well. Having a clear picture of what success looks like is critical to helping your teachers make PBL a reality in the classroom. Download Spotlight

The pandemic affected every student differently. Some thrived; many fell far behind. That makes differentiation an even more important topic in your school than ever before. How can we meet the needs of all students without overworking our teachers? Help your teachers thrive by sharing these simple, elegant solutions to level up the differentiation in your school! Download Spotlight

With pandemic protocols, political unrest, and increasing workloads and responsibilities ravishing the classroom, the heart of education can at times feel lost. It doesn’t have to be this way though. Here are 7 ways you can reclaim your love of education. Download Spotlight

Time. Educators never seem to have enough of it — and there’s no way to make more! But by taking a few practical steps to energize yourself and your staff, you can magically find the time to do everything you need, and more of what you want. Download Spotlight

Although there have been strides to reduce the STEM gender gap over the last 50 years, progress has been slow. Women constitute almost half of the entire workforce, but are drastically underrepresented in STEM fields, making up only 28% of the STEM population. Learn how educators can help alleviate this definite gender disparity and inspire our future female scientists, engineers, and mathematicians of all ages? Download Spotlight

Engagement. As educational leaders, we can argue that it is an essential component to the learning process. But how do we get our students interested in content we have to teach, in ways that build their curiosity and excitement for what is to come? Download Spotlight

Identifying high-quality, credible information amidst inaccurate or misleading information is more difficult than ever. Download this Educational Spotlight for Administrators to help your teachers and schools equip students to evaluate informational sources. Download Spotlight

How can we reclaim the power of weirdness, help our students share their unique personalities, and allow diversity to flourish in our classrooms? Here are a few ideas! Download Spotlight

When teachers make content relevant to students’ lives, create experiences that are valuable and rich, and provide learning opportunities that have an impact, meaningful learning is bound to happen. Share these strategies with your teachers to encourage this type of powerful teaching and learning! Download Spotlight

Pandemic teaching has left more than an academic mark on education. Socially, students are having to relearn how to interact with one another in a school setting. Emotionally, students have experienced perpetual uncertainty at best, and sustained trauma and loss at worst. Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) has always been integral to well-rounded student success, but perhaps never more so than now. Download Spotlight

Summer school is a critical time many administrators have identified to accelerate student learning, closing both academic and social/emotional gaps caused by instructional time lost. Learn tips and tools to accelerate learning with your summer school program. Download Spotlight

We entered 2021-22 with a false sense of optimism, almost willing it to be a normal school year. It didn’t take long to realize it wasn’t. In fact, this year has quickly surpassed the stress of 2020-21 and has brought teachers and administrators both to the brink. Download this guide for practical tips to mitigate teacher and administrator burnout. Download Spotlight

Play is a superpower that produces chemical changes in the brain which improve memory and increase plasticity. Changes that make us smarter and more capable of learning. But in a system that too often pushes educators away from play, how can we build schools that infuse play into classrooms? Here are some practical, powerful ideas that you and your teachers can use right away! Download Spotlight

Equity is at the heart of education; great schools make sure every student has what they need to thrive. If you want your school to be a place where equity can thrive, you need to help your teachers and staff understand your students deeply: how they see themselves, how they see the world, and how the world sees them. Then, you’ll need to work together to structure your school so that every learner has the support they need to succeed. Download Spotlight

We know assessments—both formative and summative—are critical components of teaching and learning, but so often they become straight-up burdens. At best, they can be boring and uninformative. At worst, they can take on a life of their own, and overtake what we know is most important in the learning process. In an attempt to mend our slightly bent-out-of-shape relationship with assessment, here are some tools, tips, and take-aways that will help your teachers and your students. View Spotlight

Difficult conversations are a part of life. Unfortunately, they can pop up at any time and knock us (and our plans) off course. You may have a parent that does not share your same perspective about their child who is struggling with their behavior. Or a charged current event has shaken up your classrooms and you’re left wondering: What do I say? What do I do? Download this Admin Spotlight for tips, ideas, and resources to consider when confronted with tough conversations. Download Spotlight

On-Demand Webinars

You’re planning for a school year like no other. And it’s fraught with real concerns for the safety of your students and staff. But you also want teaching and learning to be a priority. So how can you help your teachers deliver their best instruction knowing that a fully remote or blended environment is highly likely? In this fast-paced webinar, we’ll give you tangible tips for providing teachers with practical support and understanding to meet the challenges of distance learning.  View Now

Leading educators out of pandemic teaching and into the new normal is not for the faint of heart. Addressing gaps in achievement, behavior, SEL, and more, all while protecting the mental health of staff and students, requires that K-12 administrators find their authentic leadership style and lean in. Join us for this practical and informative webinar to discover your personal leadership style and how to leverage that into success for yourself and your school!  View Now

Are you ready to reimagine teaching and learning in your schools? Discover how to support teachers in creating memorable, meaningful learning experiences that give an authentic context for learning. Give them tools to increase engagement and accelerate learning with cross-curricular instruction, purposeful collaboration, and real-world connections. Join us for this informative webinar to learn a practical and proven approach to helping teachers make PBL a reality across your school or district.  View Now

The pandemic-induced disruptions to learning in 2020-21 are undeniable, and the task of identifying unfinished learning, identifying resources to bridge the gap, and preparing teachers to meaningfully differentiate instruction is daunting. Join us for this on-demand webinar for K-12 administrators where we explore how to navigate these uncharted waters and successfully overcome the COVID learning loss in your school. We’ll address such things as:
  • How can I identify the learning loss and prioritize key areas of instruction?
  • How can I attend to the gaps in SEL caused by the pandemic?
  • How can I prepare teachers to successfully differentiate instruction?

 View Now

Staff shortages and attendance issues have created major obstacles to learning this year, so many administrators are looking to Summer School as an opportunity to refocus, target instructional gaps, and accelerate learning for our students. Let’s create Summer School programs that meet the academic rigor required while also emphasizing social and emotional well-being. Join us as we share some practical ideas for training teachers, para-professionals, support specialists, or even volunteers to deliver effective and impactful Summer School instruction.  View Now

Teachers are a school’s most precious resource, and they are not ok. Teacher burnout is at an all-time high while teacher applications are at an all-time low. The demands of teaching have soared to an untenable level, leaving schools struggling to attract and retain the best teachers. But there are things administrators can do to help them! Join us for this fast-paced, practical webinar with tips curated from around the country on how to improve teacher morale and mental health, while bringing teaching and learning back into focus.  View Now

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