Friday Flash, September 18, 2020

NEWS FROM THE NATIONAL OFFICE

SkillsUSA CONNECT Has Arrived
SkillsUSA is excited to announce the launch of our new virtual community to further build our partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives. This amazing resource is offered free to all SkillsUSA advisors and students.
What’s available in CONNECT?
• Student and Teacher Discussion Forums.
• Teacher Professional Development Trainings.
• Advisor Resources.
• Chapter Officer Experiences.
• Program of Work Information.
• Electronic Framework Essential Element Assessment.
• Empowering Experiences.
• State and Chapter Groups.
• …and more being added all the time.
The Big Reveal email was sent directly to you on September 8 with instructions on how to create your complimentary account, but if you missed it, login at register.skillsusa.org and click the CONNECT logo for registration instructions.

Membership Incentive Time — Register by Nov. 15
Becoming a professional member of SkillsUSA is one of the best ways to demonstrate to students the opportunities that membership provides. Professional members receive online access to the following as a benefit of membership: Framework Integration Toolkit consisting of 45 separate resources, Program of Work Toolkit for in-person and virtual chapter activities, Championships Toolkit including 2021 SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards and local competition guides, Jump into STEM! Toolkit plus virtual lesson plans.
As a special membership incentive, those who register at least 15 student members plus one or more professionals by Nov. 15 will receive a complimentary copy of JumpStart 2.0, a collection of 33 mixers and icebreakers to engage SkillsUSA students in meetings, workshops and other activities.
JumpStart 2.0 will help you find immeasurable success in the rewarding and fulfilling venture of being a SkillsUSA advisor as you coach your students to excellence. We hope you enjoy making this resource a part of your classroom and chapter environment.
Visit register.skillsusa.org to register yourself and student members. If you or any chapter advisors need assistance with SkillsUSA membership or registration, our Customer Care Team is ready to answer questions about starting a new chapter, ways to engage chapter members or strategies to strengthen an existing chapter. Customer Care Team members  are on call 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday; and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday (Eastern time). To reach the team, call 844-875-4557 or email customercare@skillsusa.org. You can also chat online on the membership registration site.

NASSP Democracy Powered by You(th)
NASSP Student Leadership has launched a nationwide get-out-the-vote initiative initiative with DoSomething!   All schools — public, private, charter, etc. — are welcome to participate in Ready, Set, Vote, the largest online voter registration drive led by students. Completely free, the online voter registration tool allows students at any school to create personalized voter captain pages to help get their age-eligibile peers and community registered to vote this year.
Volunteer credit from NASSP and DoSomething, opportunities for scholarships, and even school competition awards (most number of registrations by state, most creative campaigns, etc.) are available as part of this initiative this fall.
Election Day is November 3. Visit this link to get info to share and learn more. 


Virtualize Classroom Computers to Perform High-end Graphics Work Remotely
As a part of their pandemic response initiatives, Epic Games, Inc. has offered an Epic Megagrant to Parsec Cloud, Inc. to allow them to make Parsec for Teams available to any educational institution and non-profit in the Unreal community at no charge for the 2020-21 school year.
Parsec for Teams is a low latency, high frame rate remote desktop solution that allows schools to virtualize their lab and classroom computers so students can do their high-end graphics work remotely. Taking advantage of the school’s hardware and software investment on campus, students with almost any computer, laptop or even a Chromebook/mouse can do class projects remotely. Teachers can also use it to access their more powerful Windows computers and licensed software remotely to do online demonstrations or lectures. Parsec for Teams can be an essential part of a remote teaching solution for Unreal Engine, Twinmotion, and other technical graphics and design software. If students and teachers have broadband that can stream movies in HD, they should be able to remotely run even the most demanding Windows graphics applications that they teach.
If your school needs better remote desktop software to teach game design/development, animation, modeling, film/vfx, simulation, TV/broadcast, AEC visualization, technical design, AR/VR/MR remotely, check out https://parsecgaming.com/teams/.


Empowering Experiences
SkillsUSA has worked this summer to develop innovative educational resources and new professional development materials that support teachers and students regardless of where learning takes place — in the classroom and lab, at home or a hybrid of the two. We realize that teachers are more successful and students are more engaged when they have rich content and meaningful experiences. We also know that students and teachers value consistency and need greater support than ever before.
 
As a SkillsUSA community, we are committed to helping students attain the highest level of academic achievement and personal transformation while developing their personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics from the SkillsUSA Framework.
 
SkillsUSA’s Empowering Experiences were created to help students find new ways to connect, engage, and stay motivated around SkillsUSA. Students have shared that through SkillsUSA membership, they are seeing community, growth and recognition. Each of these themes have been ingrained in the experiences that have been created. Through Empowering Experiences, students will be encouraged to engage in as many experiences as they would like to.
 
Here are just a few of the many experiences launching in the next few weeks, and all of the Empowering Student Experiences will be accessed through SkillsUSA CONNECT.

• SkillsUSA Spotlight Member of the Month.
A toolkit provided to chapters highlighting a local SkillsUSA leader. Additionally, there are opportunities for those local chapter members to be recognized at the national level.
Local chapter toolkit launched in SkillsUSA CONNECT.

• SkillsUSA Recruitment Week
The SkillsUSA Recruitment Week will be September 21-25. This week equips current members with the tools they need to successfully recruit potential new members. Throughout the week, members can interact with each other locally and nationally through events and challenges for an opportunity to be recognized for their recruitment efforts.
Recruitment Week information and resources luanch September 14.

• SkillsUSA Real Talk.
A video series focused on things a SkillsUSA member needs to know about what is happening that month. This will highlight national programs, experiences, and activities that chapter members can participate in.
Second episode launches October 1.

• Charge — Chapter Officer Video Series
A weekly chapter officer video series that focuses on developing chapter officers to build stronger chapters.
Second episode  launches October 2.


Empowering Advisor Experiences
This fall, SkillsUSA is excited to launch a wide variety of professional development opportunities for advisors. Whether you prefer instructor-led sessions or web-based instruction, SkillsUSA’s got you covered!  You can participate in sessions related to professional membership benefits, Framework integration, Program of Work, Chapter Excellence Program and educational resources. We want YOU to be successful!
Upcoming sessions include:
September 21st – Jumpstart 2.0
September 22nd  – Program of Work
September 23rd  – Framework Integration 101
September 23rd  - Business Partner Outreach Guide
September 24th  – Experiential Activities to Promote the SkillsUSA Framework

To view the full schedule of opportunities and register to attend, log into your SkillsUSA CONNECT account, choose Professional Development Opportunities from the Advisor Resources tab or click https://www.skillsusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/SkillsUSA-2020-Professional-Development-Opportunities.pdf.


myOptions Student e-Survey
myOptions is proud to be a long-standing education partner of SkillsUSA and is excited to continue to support students and educators by providing a career success planning program. This year, we realize our traditional SkillsUSA and myOptions planning survey is secondary to the critical issues facing teachers, students and families. To that end, we understand it may not be possible to distribute the student forms currently due to COVID-19 and remote learning. Please hold onto the student forms until students are able to return to class to participate and return the forms later this fall or after the first of the year.
We are also working on a student e-survey and should have that available later this fall. If you would like us to provide you that link for your students when the e-survey is ready, please send an email to educators@myoptions.org and include “requesting access to the SkillsUSA e-survey” in your message.
To learn more, visit us at myOptions.org.

© 2021 SkillsUSA New Jersey

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