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

1. Coach Training Seminar I — Thursday, August 30th, 12:30pm – 3:30pm

This is a reminder that the first regular coach training seminar of the 2012/13 (SY2013) season will be this Thursday, August 30th, 12:30pm – 3:30pm, at the CDC offices, 332 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 500 (note the location — this session will be at the CDC offices).

We will cover certain important program-administrative matters for the upcoming season, will have a strategy-sharing session among colleagues, and then 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 CMSDL professional development credit.

Please register by the end of the day Wednesday, August 29th, 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 Middle School 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 CMSDL 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 CMSDL Professional Development System

The SY2013 CMSDL Professional Development System is explained fully on the linked overview. For veteran coaches, it is essentially the same as in recent years, with the CMSDL setting as its guideline 20 hours of CMSDL PD for all regular coaches. 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.

4. 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.

5. SY2013 CMSDL 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.

6. 20 Steps to Preparing for Tournament One

Tournament One is a little more than 6 weeks away. 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 Preparing for T1. 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 CMSDL 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.

7. 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).

8. 2012 DuSable CDL 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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