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Auburndale Central Elementary School

Gay H. Martin, Principal
Debby Ragland, Asst. Principal
320 Lemon Street
Auburndale, Florida 33823
Phone (941) 965-5450
Fax (941) 967-6897


January 25, 2000


To Whom It May Concern:

My staff has been trained in Kagan Cooperative Learning Strategies this year and it has made a difference in our school. The summer of 1999 six of my staff and myself attended a week of training with Laurie and were mesmerized by her. She worked with a class of 250 teachers and administrators for the week and each one of us felt like we had her personal attention. She was very effective with a large group. She motivated us by using Kagan CL Structures to teach us Kagan CL Structures.

There was excitement all week long by teachers from elementary, middle and secondary schools. As she worked with us she brought in brain research at the appropriate time to emphasize certain points. The fact that the structures are so well researched and proven is the reason I dedicated my staff development budget to Kagan CL training. Throughout the year we were trained by two trainers other than Laurie and found each one very effective.

In our state the Department of Education grades schools with letter grades. My school received an F. We were given this school year to turn the school around. As a result, I had to use high yield --research based strategies that would bring about the level of achievement I needed in 7 months. I knew that Kagan CL Structures used daily would help me accomplish this goal. Nancy Murray and others in the main office helped me come up with a staff development program that we felt would be best for my school.

We take the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test in February so I don't have the test scores yet. However, we have just finished a round of practice tests in reading, writing, and math and the results are very encouraging. I feel the implementation of the Kagan CL Strategies across the curriculum has been a major factor. A bonus is that the students enjoy learning a great deal more now that they can work with others in a real learning community. Time on task has also greatly increased.

I open every staff meeting and training with a CL strategy as a model for my staff I also use it at PTA meetings, SAC meetings and even at a Chamber of Commerce meeting once. This coming summer I am sending my entire staff to Kagan CL. We look forward to much success in the coming years with the support and training provided by the Kagans and their excellent staff

Sincerely,

Gay H. Martin


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