AFT-WV Summer School Information and Registration

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It's time for the best week of the summer! Join us June 19-23, 2017!

AFT-West Virginia is conducting its 22nd annual weeklong educational summer program. 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 2017 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 2017. Credit will be gained through course work completed during Summer School 2017 and grades are issued at the end of the Summer term. The cost of graduate credit is $213 for three hours and is the responsibility of each participant. WVU Representatives will be onsite at Summer School to register those participants who desire graduate credit. Please bring your method of payment with you to Camp Dawson. Class grades will be available from WVU on July 19th. 

2017 Course Offerings

  • Leadership Skills for the 21st 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.  In this course, participants will focus on the different facets that help create and maintain a successful local.  Topics will include organizing, media relations, leadership skills and history and structure.  The objective of this course is to empower locals to better serve their members and institutions. 

  • Local Advocacy in Education

This course provides participants with methods to identify issues or specific needs within a district or school community and work collaboratively to develop solutions to address these challenges.  Participants will also develop a worksite team structure to more effectively involve coworkers in increasing community involvement and solving challenges in the education system.  This class would be beneficial for local activists or building representatives.

  • Politics and Education

This course explores the impact that politics has on education policy, and arms participants with strategies to educate policymakers and influence education decisions on both the state and local levels.  Discussion will include federal, state and local laws and policies.  Participants will also explore the different ways these regulations are passed.

  • 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.) 

  • Managing Anti-Social Behavior

This course will provide research and practical application on managing behaviorally-disruptive students in the classroom. Topics include classroom management, rules, room arrangement, cooperative learning, and behavior enhancement.

  • Beginning Reading Instruction

This course provides participants with a synthesis of what children should be able to do in the years from approximately the middle of kindergarten to the end of second grade.  The module should also be helpful to teachers who work with older children for whom decoding is inhibiting reading progress.  This course is dedicated to the development of improved primary grade reading instruction.  At its foundation is the research consensus about reading acquisition and the evidence on what are components of effective beginning reading instruction aligned to that research.  This 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.  

  • Integrating Technology into the Classroom

This course will provide coursework on methods to integrate modern technology tools and applications into the daily curriculum.  It is designed to create digital leaders and arm them with tools and ideas to take back to their schools and classrooms.  Participants will engage in activities and discussions about digital tools, communication in the digital age, and using technology to expand their personal learning network.  Learn how to bring your classroom into the 21st century. This course requires the participant to bring their own technology device (iPad, tablet, smartphone, laptop, etc.)

  • Thinking Math   

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. 

  • Thinking Math - Train the Trainer II  (Invitation Only)

Thinking Math, AFT’s research-based professional development series, provides many strategies for teachers of mathematics.  This course will prepare participants to become certified AFT Professional Development trainers in the Thinking Math strand.  Train the Trainer is a 2-part course offered over two summer school settings.  Train the Trainer II is available this year and is only being offered to participants who completed last summer’s course of Thinking Math – Train the Trainer. Particpants will begin this class earlier and will be contacted with further details.


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. Evening social activites will include trivia night, volleyball, paint & create, cornhole, a 5K walk/run, bible study, bingo, golf and karaoke.

The event begins as follows:

Monday, June 19

11:30 am- 2 pm               Registration

1 pm                                Orientation

2- 4:30 pm                       Class time

Evening Events / Social Time


Tuesday, June 20 - Thursday June 22

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

9:30 am- 4:30 pm         Class time

Evening Events/ Social Time


Friday, June 23

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

                                      Closing Ceremonies


Participant Registration Fees and Local Costs
Individuals must pay a $40 registration fee, which is payable online only. The registration fee is non-refundable. Members who are placed on the waitlist will not pay the registration fee until a vacancy occurs for Summer School. At that time, waitlisted individuals will receive an email that will notify them in the change of their status and provide instructions for them to confirm their attendance by paying the registration fee online. After the registration fee is paid, waitlisted individuals are automatically upgraded as confirmed participants for Summer School. 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. Most rooms are single rooms, but a limited number of suites or quads are available. These rooms have either 2 or 4 private bedrooms but a common kitchen/living area. If you desire a quad or suite, please list your roomate's name on the registration form. Due to the limited nature of the suites and quads, AFT-WV cannot guarantee participants will receive one if requested.

Please contact your local president to alert them to your interest in attending, as space is limited and local unions are responsible for a $140 registration fee per participant.  Locals must pay a $85 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 your staff representative at 1-800-222-9838 to discuss your attendance and obtain an approval code.

Registration is now closed. If you are a registered participant, please watch your email for updates. 


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.

Registration closed on May 16. 


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