2021 AFT-WV Summer School

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*Summer School 2021 has been cancelled* 


2021 AFT-WV Summer School Information and Pre-Registration



June 21-25, 2020

After having to cancel due to COVID-19 last year, we are excited to announce our 25th annual weeklong educational summer program will proceed for 2021 and is scheduled for June 21-25, 2021 at Camp Dawson in Kingwood, WV.  

This program is offered through the joint efforts of AFT-West Virginia, the Union Leadership Institute of the American Federation of  Teachers, and the Institute for Labor Studies and Research of West Virginia University. The program is offered in the belief that training for union activists is essential to the development of a strong, pro-active union, and that active union members complement both pre-K-12 and higher education. Summer School 2021 will be held at Camp Dawson, located about 35 minutes from Morgantown, WV. Space is limited and the event fills up quickly, so register ASAP!


Graduate Credit
Three hours of graduate credit from West Virginia University will be available to program participants who attend the full week of Summer School 2021. Credit will be gained through course work completed during Summer School 2021. WVU has not announced the cost of this year's graduate credit; however the previous cost was $219 for three hours.  Graduate credit cost is the responsibility of each participant. As soon as the updated cost is announced, we will update this page. WVU registration information will be sent to particpants after they are confirmed for attendance. 


2021 Course Offerings

  1. Accessible Literacy Framework    

How does one provide reading instruction to students with developmental or intellectual disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy or Down syndrome? ALF is grounded in the premise that reading is at the center of most activities—in and out of school. The essential components of reading instruction—phonological awareness, sound blending, initial phoneme segmentation, letter-sound correspondence, decoding and shared reading—are covered in this course and framed to address emerging literacy needs of students with complex communication needs.

  1. Advocacy Strategies   

This course provides participants with a series of interrelated workshops to develop the skills and knowledge to support successful programs.  It focuses on developing and executing solution-driven programs at the local level that will strengthen local advocacy and promote meaningful change in education.   This course will discuss the challenges in today’s economic and political environment; policymakers’ attitude toward education issues; community outreach and influence; affiliate compliance with mandates; and federal, state and local laws and policies. 

  1. Foundations of Effective Teaching     

This research-based program consists of modules on effective teaching and learning strategies in the classroom.  Topics include making the physical space of the classroom conducive to learning, the inclusion of technology, effective and innovative lesson plans and classroom management.  Participants will collaborate daily with different veteran educators to learn time-tested best practices. This course requires the participant to bring their own technology device (iPad, tablet, smartphone, laptop, etc.)

  1. Leadership Skills for the 21 Century     

This course is designed for local activists who wish to gain a deeper knowledge of their local organization and the skills to build a strong, proactive local.  It provides a series of interrelated workshops aimed at enhancing leadership skills and providing participants with practical materials and information related to local governance, local finances, and communications. 

  1. Reading Comprehension    

This course provides participants with a synthesis of reading comprehension research and provides activities based on this research. The course will assist teachers in understanding how students learn to read, why some students have difficulty learning to read, and how to assist students to overcome their difficulties throughout all grade levels. Participants will work through the strategies recommended for their students in order to better understand the exercises and incorporate them into the regular classroom.  

6. Strategies for Student Success     

Recognizing the importance of utilizing research-based, proven practices in schools and classrooms, this course contains modules to assist with scaffolding student learning to improve the quality of instruction and raise achievement levels of all students.  Participants will focus on activating learning for all disciplines by setting measurable objectives, crafting high-quality objectives, creating objective-aligned assessments, examining the role of activities in the learning process, and determining student mastery levels. 

7. Thinking Mathematics     

Thinking Math is a standards-based, research-based approach to the teaching of mathematics. Teachers who participate in a Thinking Math course will be exposed to a variety of teaching techniques and math strategies that will help students understand math concepts and will find correlation with the math curriculum adopted in their county/district. This course includes strategies for bridging gaps in student achievement, research on the understanding of numbers across grade levels, mental math skills, multiplicative arrays, and the distributive property. 



    Tentative Agenda

    Summer School begins on Monday with a general session followed by classes. We will start the day with an All-Institute session each morning and classes will be held until 4:30 pm. 

    The event begins as follows:

    Monday, June 21

    11:30 am- 2 pm               Registration

    1 pm                                Orientation

    2- 4:30 pm                       Class time



    Tuesday, June 22 - Thursday June 24

    8:30- 9:30 am                All-Institute Session

    9:30 am- 4:30 pm         Class time



    Friday, June 25

    8:30-11:30  am              All-Institute Program

                                          Closing Ceremonies


    COVID-19 Restrictions and Protocols

    Due to COVID-19 protocols at Camp Dawson, please be aware that Summer School will be a little different from previous years. Capacity limits will be in effect, meal times will be staggered and social distancing and masks are mandatory. Part of the protocols include a health screening (including inquiries into recent travel, any COVID symptoms or recent exposure) and temperature check upon entry to Camp Dawson in addition to twice daily temperature checks and health assessment. These are mandatory for all participants. It is also important to note that COVID-19 restrictions will prevent us from conducting many of our usual evening recreational activities including Theme Night at the Cottage, karaoke, etc.


    Participant Registration Fees and Local Costs

    Individuals must pay a $50 individual registration fee. There will be no refunds for cancellations and no-show. 

    If Summer School reaches capacity and registration is closed, there will be a waitlist option in case of cancellations. 

    AFT-WV Summer School participation is limited to members only.


    Room and board for the week is covered by your local union and AFT-WV. Due to COVID-19, all participants will be in single room lodging, unless they live in the same household.

    Please contact your local president to alert them to your interest in attending, as space is limited and local unions are responsible for a $150 registration fee per participant.  Locals must pay a $95 fee per commuter. The number of participants sent by a local is the discretion of the local president. After obtaining approval from your local president, you will be provided a code to enter into the online registration form to indicate your local has approved your attendance. Call AFT-WV at 1-800-222-9838 if you do not know who your local president is or need their contact information. 

    If you work in a county or at an institution that does not have a chartered local, contact Chris Barr at 1-800-222-9838.



    Camp Dawson

    240 Army Road

    Kingwood, WV 26537

    Click here for a map and directions to Camp Dawson.

    Due to the security regulations at Camp Dawson, you must provide your driver's license and vehicle plate information in the registration form. Camp Dawson security will ask to see your photo identification upon entry to the base.


    To pre- register for 2021 Summer School, click here. 


    If you have questions about Summer School, contact your staff representative or call 1-800-222-9838.