CDL Monday Memo — vol. I, no. 8 — August 27, 2012

1. Coach Training Seminar I — Friday, August 31st, 12:30pm – 3:30pm

The first regular coach training seminar of the 2012/13 (SY2013) season will be this Friday, August 31st, 12:30pm – 3:30pm, location TBA (Loyola Law School just told us that they won’t have any availability this Friday because of a law school event).

We will cover certain important program-administrative matters for the upcoming season, will have a strategy-sharing session among colleagues, and then divide into two groups (based on experience level) to introduce to and reinforce with coaches (a) methods of teaching the Debater Development Benchmarks, and (b) strategic features of the SY2013 Core Files.

This seminar will provide three hours of CPDUs and CDL professional development credit.

Please register by the end of the day Thursday, August 30th, by sending Les ( or the CDC ( an email.

2. Introduction to Debate Coaching Seminar — Tuesday, September 11th, 5:00pm – 7:30pm

We have a handful of new coaches to the Chicago Debate League, or relatively new coaches, who were not able to attend the 2012 Fundamentals of Debate Coaching course in July. For them, and for any coaches who did take the introductory course and would like a refresher, we are offering a compact Introduction to Debate Coaching seminar on Tuesday, September 11th, from 5:00pm – 7:30pm, at the Loyola Law School, 25 E. Pearson St.

New coaches are welcome and invited to attend the first coach training seminar this Friday, August 31st, as well, but it is in the seminar on September 11th that the very basic introduction to the CDL and to debate coaching will be provided.

Register, again, by email to Les or the CDC — no later than Friday, September 7th, please.

CPDUs and CDL PD credit provided.

Parking at lots near the Loyola Law School is $10, with validation from the lobby of the law school building (the Philip H. Corboy Center, 25 E. Pearson St.).

3. SY2013 CDL School-Site Funding Update

There are three categories of debate schools in the Chicago Debate League, as most of you know: district, charter, and guest. District schools are CPS schools funded and administered by School District 299 (CPS). Charter schools are CPS schools largely funded by CPS (usually with some funding raised from other donors as well) and administered by a charter school operator. And guest schools are either private schools in Chicago, or any schools (public or private) outside of Chicago that participate in the CDL.

This year (SY2013), charter and guest schools will participate on the same terms on which they have in the past. They will pay their own school-site costs (coach stipend, transportation, and materials), and they will pay the CDL a fee for coverage of tournament and administrative/training/support costs. This year that fee will be the same as in past years — $2,750 — though charter and guest schools will be invoiced by the CDC and CPS separately, 50/50. So charter and guest schools will receive two invoices this year, one for $1,375 from the CDC and one for $1,375 from CPS. The CDC is in the process of attempting to a renewal of its grant funding that will defray the same portion of this $2,750 as had been defrayed (i.e., covered) in SY2012.

For district schools this year, funding will be the same as it was last year except that schools will not receive $250 (or $500 for RCC schools) for debate materials. All schools will receive $500 for transportation from central office ($750 for RCC schools), and RCC schools will receive additional support for meals and registration fees (costs that they have to cover to participate at tournaments that non-RCC schools do not). We will have a full CDL Coach Stipend System overview out soon, but the long and the short of it is that the system will be essentially the same as last year, with each district school receiving a base coach stipend of $1,500 ($2,500 for RCC schools), then $750 per tournament at which the school attains the CDL Participation Standard (8 or more students participating per tournament, 4 or more for first-year schools).

4. SY2013 CDL Professional Development System

The SY2013 CDL Professional Development System is explained fully on the linked overview. For veteran coaches, it is essentially the same as in recent years, with the CDL setting as its guideline 20 hours of CDL PD for non-veteran coaches (coaches with fewer than 7 years of experience in the CDL). We will continue to offer professional development in seven venues — coach training courses (already taken place this summer), coach training seminars (e.g., this Friday’s), tournament meetings, group meetings, mentor coaching, CDC site visits, and on-line/webinar training. We plan to bolster considerably the on-line/webinar component of professional development this year. More on that soon to come.

5. SY2013 CDL External Coach Program

One of the many functions of the Chicago Debate Commission is to help engage members of the community with debate experience and expertise as “external coaches” — regular coaches for schools at which they do not teach. Often external coaches are CDL alumni, in college, working as an external coach as a part-time job. External coaches can work as volunteers, but most of them are paid, per the External Coach Job Description.

It is very important to understand that an external coach is hired, managed, and paid by the school — ultimately by the school’s principal — not by the CDC. The CDC’s role is to connect the two parties, and to provide support to help ensure that the relationship is as successful as possible. External coaches hired by district schools generally have to become “miscellaneous employees” of CPS, by going through CPS’s Human Resources Department procedures.

Currently, for SY2013, we have the following external coaches listed on our rosters:

Mikie Acevedo, Kelvyn Park
Vince Bauer, U. of C. Woodlawn
Elyse Conklin, Whitney Young
Avery Dale, Payton
Sydney Doe, Evanston
Andrew Glennon, Hope
Adam Goodman, Jones
Justin Henderson, Perspectives Joslin
Aundrea Holland, Urban Prep West
Emma LaBounty, King
Nick Locke, Alcott
Jonathan Schwartz, Whitney Young
India Smith, Harlan
Max Smith, Kenwood
Monish Thawani, Lincoln Park
Sarah Ungureit, Hyde Park
Charles Williams, Rowe-Clark

If you are on this list but should not be, please let us know. If you know of a prospective external coach, or you have hired an external coach not on this list, please let us know. If you would like to hire an external coach, and would like to be connected with one of our prospects, please let us know.

Contact David about matters related to the CDL External Coach Program —

6. SY2013 CDL Mentor Coach Program

Another one of the many functions of the CDC is to administer the Mentor Coach Program. In this program the CDC connects the most experienced and proficient CDL coaches with new and less experienced CDL and Chicago Middle School Debate League coaches so that the former can share their expertise with the latter. CDL mentor coaches are paid by the CDC $35/hour for site visits that they do, and report on to us, for their highly valuable work as mentor coaches in the CDL and CMSDL.

The following is the list of SY2013 mentor coaches:

Robb Berry, Northside
Bill Colson, Morgan Park
Avery Dale, Payton
Scott Dodsworth, Thomas Kelly
Bob Edwards, Phoenix
Andrew Glennon, Hope
David Hayes, King
Lamont Holifield, CICS Ellison
Melina Luna, Alcott
Cathy Yackee, Brooks

If you are on this list, but should/can not be this year, please let us know. If you would like to be on this list, but are not, please let us know. If you would like a mentor coach connection, so that you can derive the benefits of a mentor coach (at no cost to your school), please let us know.

We don’t of course always wait for requests for a mentor coach; where we think that a mentor coach can add value, we will do outreach to the new or less experienced coach and make that suggestion.

Contact Les with all matters pertaining to the CDL Mentor Coach Program.

7. SY2013 CDL Core Files Update

Unfortunately, these are not ready and have been behind schedule, but we hope to have them posted, along with the full slate of supplemental materials and print ordering information, by Labor Day.

8. 20 Steps to Preparing for Tournament One

The fact that this item is coming in as the 8th item on a list of 10 goes to show that these Monday Memos will be full of valuable information top to bottom.

Tournament One is a little more than 5 weeks away for about 50 CDL schools, and a little more than 4 weeks away for the Regional Circuit Conference schools. How are you going to get from where your squad is now — wherever that may be — to T1? We have the answer for you in our Twenty Steps to Prep in Four Weeks. It has direct, specific suggestions and an over-arching plan, including Week One’s activities:

  • Publicize the Debate Program
  • Recruit Debaters
  • Hold an Opening Meeting
  • Set Rules and Objectives

There are details provided under each of these, of course. And for your squad’s rules and objectives, we recommend reviewing and adapting the CDL Squad Guidelines template. In line with the “best practice” that each squad establish its season guidelines and objectives, David and I will be working with schools to help you set your season objectives, which we’ll be collecting as part of our program building work with schools.

9. CDC Site Visits

If you are interested in a site visit from a CDC staff person, call or email me or David (we’ve roughly divided the schools again this year). We’re eager to get back out into schools, working with you and your students. These visits fulfill PD hour requirements, when they have an established agenda that we’ll be covering over a set duration (which is the way we like to conduct the visits generally).

10. August 2012 DuSable Public Debate on Restorative Justice Went Really Well!

The CDL public debate held last Thursday at the DuSable Cultural Center went very well. Williams senior Mercedes Hall and King junior Adam Glover debated about whether CPS should make a priority commitment to restorative justice for students in replacement of “zero tolerance” policies. More than 125 Chicago residents turned out to watch the debate, which was followed up by a lively Q. and A. session. As King coach David Hayes said afterwards, “It was restorative to my passion as an educator to see what our debaters do, and what they are capable of. This was the perfect way for me to transition back into a new school year.”

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