Sherrelle Walker, chief education officer of Scientific Learning Corp. (NASDAQ:SCIL), will be a featured presenter at the New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA) spring conference. The conference, which will address school leadership, the latest educational developments and best practices, will be held May 23-24 at the Ocean Place Resort and Spa in Long Branch, N.J.
Walker’s presentation, titled “Accelerate Learning: An Introduction to Brain Fitness,” is part of the Women in Leadership Initiative presented by the NJASA Women’s Caucus, a state organization that supports, encourages and connects women leaders.
In her session, which will be held May 23 from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m., Walker will discuss the importance of brain fitness in education. She will demonstrate how schools can accelerate learning for all students by combining good teaching, good content, and exercises that stimulate the brain to build brain fitness and expand learning capacity. Using the latest neuroscience research, Walker will explore the topics of how the brain learns and gender differences in brain development. She will also discuss the impact of brain research on how teachers teach and how students learn, and describe how school leaders can improve instruction and student achievement by enhancing existing curriculum.
In Monmouth County, where NJASA is being held, school districts such as Manalapan-Englishtown Regional Schools are realizing positive results by helping students build brain fitness with the Fast ForWord® program. Developed by Scientific Learning, the Fast ForWord family of educational software accelerates learning by exercising the parts of the brain that contribute to learning — memory, attention, processing and sequencing. The pre-K-8 school district, which began using the Fast ForWord program in 2003, now implements the software in five schools.“When we first implemented the Fast ForWord program, we were looking for ways to improve students’ reading fluency, reading comprehension, and decoding,” said Georgianna Petillo, director of special education for Manalapan-Englishtown Regional Schools in Manalapan, N.J. “The fact that we have expanded Fast ForWord to all five schools that serve grades one through five, and continue to use the software after eight years, demonstrates the effectiveness of this program. It has improved students’ ability to read fluently and to comprehend what they’re reading. As a result, students’ confidence levels have increased. In addition, the number of students classified as eligible for special education services has declined significantly.”