2023 AFT-WV Summer School

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2023 AFT-WV Summer School Information 



June 26-30, 2023

AFT-WV is excited to announce our 26th annual weeklong educational summer program, scheduled for June 26-30, 2023 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 2023 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 2023. Credit will be gained through coursework completed during Summer School 2023. WVU has not announced the cost of this year's graduate credit; however, the previous cost was $220 for three hours.  Graduate credit cost is the responsibility of each participant. As soon as this year's cost is announced, we will update this page. WVU registration information will be sent to participants after they are confirmed for attendance. 


2023 Course Offerings

      1. Accessible Literacy Framework 2: Intermediate and Secondary Levels 

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. Part 2 of ALF focuses on the instruction of intermediate and secondary students.

     2. Advocacy Strategies
This course provides participants with a series of interrelated workto 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 education advocacy and promote meaningful change in education. The course will discuss the challenges in today's education environment; public attitude toward education issues;  community outreach and influence; affiliate compliance with mandates; and federal, state, and local laws and policies. The course will offer strategies to help educators navigate these challenges and empower themselves and their profession. 

     3. Creating a Supporting Learning Environment through Social-Emotional Learning 

Are you looking for ways to assist your students in managing their emotions, building positive relationships with others and making responsible decisions? In this course, participants will identify and share developmentally appropriate, research-based strategies that foster students’ social and emotional growth. In addition, the course will examine best practices for creating and cultivating a positive beginning of the school year.

     4. 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.)

5. Leadership Skills for the 21 Century

This course provides participants with a series of interrelated workshops aimed at enhancing leadership skills and equipping participants with advocacy strategies. This course will enable participants to analyze their personal leadership styles and learn to make necessary adjustments that will benefit them in the professional realm. Local activists will also learn new methods to incorporate technology into their leadership roles. It also focuses on developing and executing solution-driven programs at the local level that will strengthen local advocacy and promote meaningful change in education.


6. Strategies for Student Success 2

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 creating effective learning conditions in the classroom and adding effective tools, such as appropriate ways to 1) assess background knowledge, 2) develop student-friendly instructional plans, 3) examine units and lessons for specific learning opportunities, and 4) infuse rigor and relevance into an educator’s repertoire of instructional strategies

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. 

8. Universal Design for Learning: Everyone Learns Differently 

With the Universal Design for Learning Framework, participants will learn to set clear goals, anticipate barriers and design lessons tp reduce those barriers for all. This interactive course will lead attendees to use cognitive neuroscience foundation for designing instruction to best meet the needs of diverse learners. Participants will use leaner variability as a way to understand and address individual student needs, apply principles of Universal Design to reduce barriers for students in the school environment, assessments, methods and materials, and create student-centered lesson plans and learning experiences using the UDL guidelines. 

 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 26

11:30 am- 2 pm               Registration

1 pm                                Orientation

2- 4:30 pm                       Class time



Tuesday, June 27 - Thursday June 29

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

9:30 am- 4:30 pm         Class time



Friday, June 30

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

                                      Closing Ceremonies


Participant Registration Fees and Local Costs

Individuals must pay a $75 individual registration fee.  Participants who register before 11:59 PM on April 8th will receive an early bird discounted rate of $50. 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 dues-paying members in good standing only.


Room and board for the week is covered by your local union and AFT-WV. 


Please contact your local president to alert them to your interest in attending, as space is limited and local unions are responsible for a $160 registration fee per participant.  Locals must pay a $100 fee per commuter. The number of participants sent by a local is at 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 Jennifer Wood 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.


REGISTER: Sorry, registration is now closed. 


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