New England Secondary School Consortium

2019 School Redesign in Action Conference

Pre-Conference Sessions

Community Engagement 101: Lift Every Voice

Great Schools Partnership, ME

What would it take for New England schools and communities to come together to imagine a new way of partnering? How can we develop coalitions that bridge the systematized, historical divides that keep us apart? How can education leaders meaningfully share power with students, families, and community members without turning over the checkbook and the keys? And what systems do we need to put in place to enable authentic, equity-centered engagement to persist beyond the tenure of a committed superintendent, a dynamic parent leader, or a grant? Participants will explore insights and promising practices for student, family, and community engagement that have emerged from the Great Schools Partnership’s experience in supporting nearly two dozen districts from across the region. This session will provide an on-ramp for educators seeking to disrupt business-as-usual with a facilitated discussion on the role of race and representation in school community engagement.

Session
Monday, March 25, 8:00–11:00 AM
Presenters

Christina Horner (senior associate), Kate Theriault (community engagement associate), + Glennys Sanchez (community engagement senior associate)

Exploring the Elements of Effective Instruction

Great Schools Partnership, ME

Engaged students are curious about and invested in their learning. Genuine engagement leads to deeper learning and improved outcomes. The Great Schools Partnership’s Elements of Effective Instruction framework outlines five intertwined elements of instructional practice that foster student engagement with the ultimate goal of improving student outcomes and achievement. In this session, participants will explore the Elements of Effective Instruction; examine research and resources that support each of the five elements; and apply their learning to problems of practice in their school, district or community.

Session
Monday, March 25, 8:00–11:00 AM
Presenters

Courtney Jacobs (senior associate) + Andi Summers (co-director of coaching)

LIS Members Only: What’s in it for the Students?

Great Schools Partnership, ME

Engaged students are curious about and invested in their learning. They make choices about what and how they learn and can explain the relevance and importance of their work. Genuine engagement leads to deeper learning and improved outcomes.

League of Innovative Schools members from Pittsfield Middle High School (NH), Westbrook High School (ME), Killingly Intermediate School (CT), and Nathan Hale-Ray High School (CT) will share examples and insights on how to promote and support student engagement. Participants will have the chance to reflect on these lessons and consider how to increase student engagement within their classrooms and across their schools.

We will strengthen relationships within our network that can contribute to making our schools places where every student feels valued and engaged, and we will all leave this session challenged and inspired to implement practices that support equitable outcomes for all students.

Session
Monday, March 25, 8:00–11:00 AM
Presenters

Reed Dyer (senior associate) + Aaron Townsend (senior associate)

Walking the Talk: The Whats, Whys, Hows, and Woes of the Proficiency-Based Learning Journey

Great Schools Partnership, ME

Proficiency-based teaching and learning systems are designed to help students take charge of their learning by asking these three questions: Where do I want to be? Where am I now? How can I close the gap? In this interactive workshop for those early in the journey of implementing proficiency-based learning, participants will hear about the fundamental components of an effective proficiency-based teaching and learning system and learn about an array of resources to support them along their journey.  Participants will also begin to develop a plan for possible next steps that will lead to the successful implementation of equitable, proficiency-based learning.

Session
Monday, March 25, 8:00–11:00 AM
Presenters

Mark Kostin (associate director) + Molly Myers (senior associate)

What Does it Look Like to be Proficient at Problem Solving? Teaching and Assessing the Transferable Skills

Great Schools Partnership, ME

Students and parents want schools to give young people chances to think creatively, communicate effectively, and solve real problems. Employers and colleges want high-school graduates who can organize their time, work on teams, and confront complex tasks without giving up. These skills can be taught. They can be assessed. And classrooms become more equitable, dynamic, and personal when these skills are at the heart of all teaching and learning. In this session, participants will explore resources that can be used to help schools build unified, competency-based systems for teaching transferable skills. We will also look at student work together in order to collaboratively determine what proficiency looks like in these essential skills.

Session
Monday, March 25, 8:00–11:00 AM
Presenters

Kate Gardoqui (senior associate) + Dan Liebert (senior associate)

Building a District-Wide Culture of Successful, Engaged Learners Through High-Impact Instructional Strategies

MSAD 6, ME

In an era of educational transformation that challenges school districts to meet the needs of a diverse range of learners, this session highlights the key factors in moving from defining rigorous standards and performance indicators to the implementation of high impact instructional strategies. MSAD 6 Assistant Superintendent, Mick Roy and District Assessment for Learning Coach, Kirsten Gould share their experience developing systems across five elementary schools, middle school and high school, with an enrollment of 3,800 students.

Participants will engage in meaningful dialogue about how a process of strategic planning, allocation of district resources, and guidelines for establishing a culture of growth can improve student motivation and achievement. Using video clips, strategic action plans, and other resources, attendees will experience the critical components of a proficiency-based, student-centered, empowering learning community.

Participants will:
—Explore the process of targeting instructional practices in a proficiency-based system;
—Explore how district resources can be used to implement, refine, and support professional growth across the district;
—Identify key factors in establishing a culture of growth for students and educators;
—Analyze a strategic action plan to determine how it is useful in monitoring progress toward accomplishing school goals.

Session
Monday, March 25, 8:00–11:00 AM
Presenters

Kirsten Gould (assessment for learning coach), Mick Roy (assistant superintendent)

Equity Design 101: Co-Creation for Equity in Education

Reflex Design Collective, CA

Reflex Design Collective uses a process called Equity Design, which helps organizations generate not only creative solutions to social challenges, but also much needed collaborative partnerships between influential stakeholders and marginalized populations. In other words, we help organizations design *with*, not for, their communities in empowering ways. 

Participants will learn the basic mindsets and skills of the equity design process through a hands-on workshop about a social challenge relevant to the education community. Participants will work collaboratively through a series of equity design exercises to explore the challenge while picking up skills and insights and having fun along the way. At the end of the training, participants will present low-fidelity prototypes of their design solutions. They will walk away with new mindsets and preliminary skills that can be deepened with further learning and practice.

Through this collaborative and hands-on workshop, participants will walk away with:
—Familiarity with the equity design process,
—Understanding of applications of equity design to the education world,
—Onboarding to design tools for future applications,
—Basic skills that can be honed further through training and practice,
—Improved team cohesion, new connections.

Session
Monday, March 25, 8:00–11:00 AM
Presenters

Julia Kong (managing partner), Julia Kramer (co-founder), Brooke Staton (co-founder + managing partner)

High School ReDesign for Student-Centered Learning: Bringing Students, Teachers, Principals, and District Leaders Together

The Highlander Institute, RI

High school redesign is neither a bottom-up nor a top-down process. Schools are communities, and the seeds of transformation require consensus and a working partnership across the stakeholder perspective, including students, teachers, and leaders. In this session participants will learn about the journey of seven high schools across the state of Rhode Island as they developed school redesign pilots using a cross-cutting design team approach. From suburban to urban, these schools empowered teachers and students to become agents of change by giving them decision making power to establish the learning environments and supportive technology that best fit their community needs.

In this interactive session, participants will have the opportunity to engage in the design thinking process, hone in on problems of practice at their own school, and walk away with successful strategies schools have used to bring Personalization and Student-Centered Learning to the forefront of teaching and learning.

Session
Monday, March 25, 8:00–11:00 AM
Presenters

Christina Corser (educational strategies specialist), Nicholas Vockerodt (program manager)

Students Learning to Ask Better Questions: An Easier Path to Inquiry in the Classroom

The Right Question Institute, MA

A good question can spark curiosity and fuel creativity, understanding, and innovation. In fact, the ability to ask one’s own questions may be the single most important thinking skill students can learn at any stage of their educational journey. Yet it is rarely deliberately taught to all students. How can we build the capacity for all students to take greater ownership and develop higher order thinking skills through question formulation? Learn the Question Formulation Technique (QFT), a simple, powerful strategy to teach students how to ask, refine, and use their own questions. On their own initiative, more than 350,000 educators in diverse pre-K through higher education settings worldwide are now using the QFT simply because it helps their students become more curious, fully engaged learners. Participants will actively experience the QFT, work with classroom examples, collaborate with experienced educators, and leave immediately able to use and share the Strategy.

Workshop participants actively experience and learn the Question Formulation Technique (QFT), a simple, step-by-step strategy to teach students to ask, improve, and strategize on how to use their own questions. Participants leave able to immediately apply the strategy with students and share it with colleagues.

Session
Monday, March 25, 8:00–11:00 AM
Presenters

Katy Connolly (education program associate, The Right Question Institute), Ellen Gammel (instructional technologist, Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School), Sarah Westbrook (director of professional learning, The Right Question Institute)

Plenary Sessions

Keynote Speaker: Jamila Lyiscott

Jamila Lyiscott

Jamila Lyiscott is a Harry Potter enthusiast, a community engaged scholar, a nationally renowned speaker and a spoken word artist. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Social Justice Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Senior Research Fellow of Teachers College, Columbia University’s Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME). Across these spaces, Jamila’s work focuses on racial justice, community engagement, and youth activism in education through the lens of what she has termed, “Vision-Driven Justice.” She has been invited to over 100 institutions throughout the nation where she works with youth, educators, and people across disciplines to inspire vision and action. Her forthcoming book, Confronting White Privilege Within and Beyond the Classroom, documents her powerful experiences, tools, and insights used to dismantle white privilege within predominantly white institutions throughout the nation. Jamila’s scholarship and activism work together to prepare educators to sustain diversity in the classroom, empower youth, and explore, assert, and defend the value of Black life. As a testament to her commitment to educational justice for students of color, Jamila is the founder and co-director of the Cyphers For Justice (CFJ) youth, research, and advocacy program, apprenticing NYC high school youth, incarcerated youth, and pre-service educators as critical social researchers through hip-hop, spoken word, and digital literacy. 

Jamila is most well known for being featured on Ted.com where her video, 3 Ways to Speak English, was viewed over 4 million times, and for her commissioned TED Talk, 2053 in response to the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States. She has also been featured in Spike Lee’s “2 Fists Up,” on NPR, Huffington Post, Lexus Verses and Flow, Upworthy, The Root, and many other media outlets nationally and internationally. Her poetry and scholarly work have been published in several peer-reviewed scholarly journals.

Session
Tuesday, March 26, 8:00 AM
Presenters

Jamila J. Lyiscott, Ph.D (Assistant Professor of Social Justice Education, College of Education, University of Massachusetts Amherst)

NESSC States

Connecticut Sessions

C’ing Student Success through Cognition, Communication, Collaboration, Coherence, and Curriculum

Bloomfield High School , CT

Bloomfield High School invites you to participate in an open and transparent dialogue about the benefits of structure and instructional practices. Topics include: building an effective and collegial professional learning community, ongoing job-embedded professional development, writing standards-based curricula, vertical and horizontal interdisciplinary data teams, ongoing formative and summative assessments, collaborative and calibrated scoring of student work, and providing specific and timely feedback aligned to standards-based analytical rubrics. When teachers reach a common understanding of what excellence looks like, a set of practices are put in place to achieve excellence at the highest level.

Participants will leave with the knowledge of how to build capacity in teachers to transform a school, utilize high effect sized instructional and assessment strategies to promote student achievement and narrow and/or close achievement gaps, and tailor data teams to serve as effective professional learning communities.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Dr. Beryl Irene Bailey (director of literacy), Ross Hanson (math coach, grades 7-12), Dan Moleti (principal), Jesse White (principal on assignment)

Leveraging High School PLCs and Organizational Structures to Support Mastery-Based Learning

Bolton High School, CT

The Bolton High School Academic Leadership Team has been working the past 5 years to redefine the Bolton High School graduate. This session will introduce attendees to our journey and focus on the organizational structures developed to support the process. Emphasis will be on how to effectively use leadership teams to guide institutional changes, along with how to leverage collaborative professional learning communities to build professional capacity and support teachers as they explore mastery-based learning and implement new graduation requirements and scoring criteria. We will share agendas and materials from our Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and will engage with attendees in small “mock PLCs” focused on transferable skills, personalized learning, and mastery-based approaches. While not the focus of our session, we will also have information available about how we are communicating our academic expectations, student progress, and institutional changes to students, parents, and the community.

Participants will leave the session with PLC activities and suggested agendas focused on mastery-based learning and aimed at improving teacher buy-in and efficacy. They will also leave with a better understanding of how to use school organizational structures to develop a portrait of the graduate and implement new graduation requirements.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Jennifer Carvalho (high school science academic leader),  Abbey Sacco (high school social studies academic leader)

Creating a More Equitable Learning Environment with Open Enrollment and Detracking Policies

Danbury Public Schools, CT

In order to ensure equitable learning environments, schools must implement strategies that help provide all students with access to courses that challenge and interest them. After instituting open enrollment practices at Danbury High School (DHS) for example, the percentage of students of color taking Advanced Placement courses increased from 30 to 51 percent from 2011 to 2018.

Meghan Martins, Associate Principal of Instruction for Secondary Schools in Danbury, Connecticut will discuss takeaways from this progress and facilitate an interactive dialogue about DHS’s transformation of its curriculum to focus on creating more equity and access to rigorous instruction for all students. The session will also include large group and small breakout discussions to determine the best ways to build on current open enrollment and detracking practices and/or develop new policies to provide students with greater choice in their education.

Participants will learn effective strategies for implementing and/or expanding policies around detracking and open enrollment to provide a more equitable learning environment for all students. Teachers and administrators will leave this session with the tools to drive this change within their own schools.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Meghan Martins (associate principal of instruction for Secondary Schools)

Designing Tasks For ALL: Opportunity, Choice, and Equity

Naugatuck Public Schools, CT

How do we design tasks and learning experiences so that every student, every day, in every classroom, is learning and growing? What structures and models will create opportunities for teachers and students to learn deeply? Using authentic student work and tasks, we will explore how instruction and student learning are directly impacted by the design of the learning. Designing for equity also requires us to consider how to become culturally responsive in order to guide all students to competency.

Participants will evaluate tasks and student work to consider the intentionality of task design, instructional planning, and assessment practices in creating high expectations and cultural relevance. We will work in teams and share our thinking as we explore, examine, analyze, and create effective learning opportunities for all.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Heather Burke (reading consultant), Beth Lancaster (high school science department head), Caroline Messenger (director of curriculum) 

Eliminating Structural Inequities through Systems Thinking

West Hartford Public Schools, CT

Appropriate for school leaders, administrators, and teachers, this session will lead participants through a series of exercises that allows them to identify problematic structures within their district, schools, or classrooms and design solutions that lead to lasting change. The emphasis on using data to drive decision-making has allowed leaders and teachers to identify problems that exist within our schools. This session is designed to introduce participants to a new way of thinking about those problems and find solutions in their schools using a systems thinking approach. Participants are asked to keep an open mind as they begin to see themselves as a part of the system in which inequities exist before applying a set of tools and developing the strategies that will allow them to put an end to these inequities.

Participants will learn to use a systems-thinking approach to identify appropriate levers to reduce structural inequities and develop a plan of action to change or eliminate at least one structure in their district/building/department/classroom.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Jessica Blitzer (social studies department supervisor)

Maine Sessions

“Does this Assignment Count?” Focus on Formative Instruction and Assessment, A Critical Component in a Proficiency-Based System

Bonny Eagle High School, ME

Learn about Bonny Eagle High School’s transition to a proficiency-based system, which has been ongoing for the past five years. The work began with the identification of standards and development of summative assessments and is currently focused on formative instruction. Using a combination of Assessment For Learning (AFL) strategies, technology, and teacher ingenuity, we are improving instructional practices. As a result, student engagement is increasing and the number of students who need to remediate assessments is dropping.

Participants will see how we are getting a big impact with the use of a 1/2 time instructional coach and a handful of AFL teacher leaders to help change instruction building-wide. Learn how this work is not “one more thing” but can reduce teacher stress. At the same time, our students are beginning to take ownership of their learning.

Participants will leave with an understanding of how one high school is improving student learning by focusing on the identification of clear learning targets and helping students track their own progress as they prepare for summative assessments.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Kate Dumont (instructional coach), Erin Maguire (assistant principal), Lori Napolitano (principal)

A Critical Conversation about Racial Equity in Northern New England

MaineSpark, ME

How should states in northern New England approach issues of racial and ethnic equity in their education systems? What does it mean to achieve equity and close gaps in a largely homogenous region? This session will draw on Maine’s experience of developing a big-tent alliance of organizations in the education sector and beyond to address these crucial issues. We’ll share key lessons from the efforts of the New England Alliances for College and Career Readiness more broadly, then explore in depth the Maine alliance’s work to balance its focus on racial and economic equity. Session participants will learn about, analyze and discuss the work of MaineSpark’s Future Success track to empower racially diverse student populations to reach college and career readiness. Educate Maine will then lead participants in a critical conversation about approaching equity in their own classrooms, schools and districts.

Session participants will learn about approaches to discussing and working toward racial and ethnic equity in education systems, reflect on lessons learned from Maine in this area, and leverage their own expertise and experiences to generate new ideas for connecting with and engaging diverse communities in authentic ways.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Ed Cervone (executive director, Educate Maine), Kate Leveille (project manager, MaineSpark), Emily Weiss (principal, Education First Consulting)

HOW? Utilizing Habits of Work in a Proficiency-Based System

Nokomis Regional High / RSU 19, ME

For the past six years, RSU 19 has been working hard to redesign its curriculum and approach to teaching and learning by offering a proficiency-based education. But in a system which separates work habits from academic knowledge and skills, how do we hold our students accountable in a way that encourages growth? Won’t students simply do all of their work at the last minute or—worse—avoid practice entirely and take their chances on the summative assessment? Have no fear; the Habits of Work are your friend! We’ll explore several efficient ways of collecting evidence in order to fairly assess students’ Habits of Work in a way that encourages growth while also holding students accountable for their learning.

Participants will leave with tools, resources, and understanding for collecting evidence of and utilizing Habits of Work to encourage students’ learning and growth.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Cara Flannery (teacher,), Kasie Giallombardo (teaching coach)

A Three-Step Process for Successful Learning Using Self-Assessment, Peer-Assessment, and Reassessment Effectively

Poland Regional High School, ME

At Poland Regional High School, a flagship public high school for proficiency-based education in Maine, an emphasis on self- and peer-assessment and a school-wide process for reassessment has supported students towards successfully reaching their learning goals. Teachers have implemented classroom tasks specifically designed from the current leading guidelines for self- and peer-assessment in hopes of making each student’s learning process transparent. Furthermore, a school-wide process for reassessment has been adopted to ensure each student has the opportunity to demonstrate their best learning on summative assessments. In this session we will walk you through the process that our science, math, and humanities classes have developed for self- and peer-assessment as well as outline the process we took to develop our school-wide reassessment protocol.

Participants will leave this session with practical approaches to teaching self- and peer-assessment; an understanding of how reassessment opportunities can reinforce learning and how assessment strategies are managed in a proficiency based/ standards-based system.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Jessica Elias Castillo (science teacher), Patrick Martin (biology and anatomy/physiology teacher), Laurie Sevigny (social studies teacher)

It’s Time We Talked: PK–16 Approaches to Effective Teacher Preparation

University of Maine Presque Isle + Thomas College, ME

In this session, participants will learn how two higher ed institutions in Maine are aligning their teacher preparation program design to increasingly align with PK–12 beliefs and best practices of proficiency-based education. Preservice teachers from each institution will share perspectives on how they are preparing for both effective teaching and professional practice. Finally, to capitalize on the collective wisdom of current practitioners, participants will use a protocol to share critical knowledge, dispositions, and resources to assist both current educators and preservice teachers in designing proficiency based learning environments.

Participants will identify knowledge, dispositions, and skills critical to the training and early success of preservice educators in proficiency environments and engage in discourse of how to best recruit and prepare our next generation of educators.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Alana Margeson (assistant professor of education, University of Maine Presque Isle), Pamela Thompson (professor of education and chair of the School of Education, Thomas College)

Massachusetts Sessions

Student Ownership of their Education in ACE, a Competency-Based Program at Brookline High School

ACE (Alternative Choices in Education) Program at Brookline High School, MA

In this interactive workshop, participants will learn about key design elements of the highly personalized, competency-based ACE Program at Brookline High. ACE Student Leaders will lead the participants in a circle with rounds that invite them to share learning experiences in which they felt ownership and self-direction. Students and ACE staff members will share out key design elements of the program that allow students to have voice and choice in the program, including the role of student leaders, restorative justice, community building activities, Habits of Success, internships for academic credit, dual enrollment, home-grown online classes, and the competency-based design of the 6-week classes. This will be done in a station-rotation format where participants will spend five minutes learning about each design element. The last portion of the session will invite participants to pick a design element that resonated for them and work in small groups to consult with ACE presenters about how they might adapt it to their school.

By the end of the session, participants will take one of the design elements and outline how they might adapt it to their school or program.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Amy Bayer (program coordinator)

Innovating for Equity: Critical Conversations About a New School Redesign Framework

Center for Collaborative Education, MA

In this highly interactive session, participants will analyze and provide feedback on a new redesign cycle and framework, focused on infusing the school redesign process with an equity lens. Members of the District and School Design Team at CCE will share our Equitable Redesign Cycle and its accompanying framework, the basis of our Innovating for Equity toolkit currently in development. Providing examples from our experiences coaching schools and the school case studies that informed the creation of this framework, we will also share the proposed application for the framework, cycle and accompanying tools. Following a protocol, participants will ask probing questions and provide warm and critical feedback on the cycle and its potential application to school design and redesign—in New England and beyond.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Diana Lebeaux (director, District and School Design), Irene Logan (senior associate, District and School Design), Dawn Shearer-Coren (senior associate, District and School Design), Laura Tota (senior associate, District and School Design)

Embedding Social and Emotional Learning in Secondary Classrooms

Engaging Schools, MA

This session will help participants develop an answer to the question: How can we address Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) in middle and high schools in a way that is integrated, rather than an add-on, reaches all students, and feels authentic to staff and students? Participants will explore a framework that features a dynamic relationship among student mindsets, four broad skill sets, specific learning and life competencies, and desired target behaviors and understandings that can be modeled, taught, practiced, and assessed on a daily basis within any classroom.

The session will review evidence-based practices and strategies in six classroom domains for cultivating learning and life competencies. The approach also creates a more equitable, engaging, and culturally and developmentally responsive environment where meaningful learning and social experiences take place.

Participants will gain understanding of an approach, practices, and strategies for integrating academic, social, and emotional learning and development in middle and high school classrooms.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Larry Dieringer (executive director)

How Partnership Councils Can Support Shared Decision Making in Schools

Lawrence Public Schools, MA

Lawrence Public Schools will share their rationale and strategy for devising a districtwide Family Engagement Partnership Council, a learning and leading stakeholder group committed to expanding high quality engagement in our school district. The session will include how the Council is structured, the types of discussions and decisions that take place, and the anticipated outcomes of this shared decision making model. Participants will hear from district leadership as well as a school that is replicating the model. Addressed will be the benefits and challenges of this new structure, including lessons learned, and participants will experience a demonstration exercise around shared leadership.

Participants will gain an understanding of common challenges and the steps they can take to address these in their own rollout of a Partnership Council at their school(s).

Session
TBD
Presenters

Nelson Butten (director of community, student, family engagement), Denise Snyder (deputy assistant superintendent)

 

Increasing Engagement in Science and Mathematics Through Student Voice and Choice

Melrose Public Schools, MA

At the heart of personalized learning is an increase in student voice and choice in their own learning as they also strive towards proficiency as outlined in content area standards. What are the classroom instructional practices that support student choice and voice and thus also support student engagement?

In this session, science and math middle and high school teachers will share the strategies they are implementing that have supported increasing student engagement. Examples of instructional strategies shared will include digital portfolios, exhibitions, learning menus, project-based learning, performance tasks, retest and revision policies, and sharing clear expectations with students. Participants will explore resources, examples, and tools that support the instructional strategies while considering next steps for implementation in their own setting.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Laurie Greenwood (director of STEM), Robert Jackson (science teacher), Jared Sawyer (math teacher), Suzanne Troy (science teacher)

Reimagining Family Engagement as a Tool for Harnessing the Power of Community and Improving Outcomes for Students

New Bedford Public Schools, MA

In order to authentically engage in meaningful school and community change, it is essential to understand the historical and social context of a community to identify entry points. In this session, participants will learn about the journey of New Bedford Public Schools (NBPS), an urban school district in Massachusetts, as they worked to cultivate an approach to family engagement centered around developing authentic opportunities for building  relationships and opportunities for educators, families, and students. Participants will leave with an understanding of key strategies and practices used to engage, educate, and empower all stakeholders.

Participants, in this session, will explore NBPS family engagement framework and learn strategies that can enable families to become more engaged, educated, and empowered. Community resources and supports to engage, educate, and empower families, students, and community members will be identified as well as strategies that effectively engage families in improving school climate and student outcomes.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Erin Duarte (wraparound coordinator), Kim Soto Hurtado (wraparound coordinator), Julie Mador (district registrar), Maria Spears (family resource manger), Jariel Vergne (wraparound manager)

A Vision for Learning: Using Self-Reflection and Peer Review to Align Your School Improvement Efforts

New England Association of Schools and Colleges, MA

In this session participants will learn how to use research-based NEASC CPS Standards which define best practices as a tool for self-reflection and peer review. Through a process of self-reflection based on evidence and in collaboration with stakeholders, schools can develop a vision for learning with specific and measurable goals for success. Participants will use collaborative practices to explore the NEASC CPS Standards for Accreditation, focusing on student learning. We will do a crosswalk with the Global Best Practices to see how to align school improvement efforts. Participants will experience elements of the self-reflection process including the review of student work, classroom observations, document review, survey data, stakeholder interviews, and peer review. With the Standards in mind and the understanding of the essential components of self-reflection, participants will develop an outline for a process to improve learning, achievement, and well-being for students.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Alyson Geary (deputy director), Bill Wehrli (associate director)

Collaboration with Higher Education and Community-Based Organizations to Provide Educational, Cultural, and Mentoring Opportunities.

Pittsfield Public Schools, MA

Research shows that having diverse faculty can motivate students of color and more recent work shows how it benefits the whole school community.  Closing the diversity gap decreases the achievement gap, increases graduation rates and provides role models. Given the lack of diverse teachers in many educational systems community partnerships can offer alternatives.

This presentation explores strategies to address the alienation, academic and behavioral challenges that some low income and students of color experience; and successful collaborations with community organizations and higher education institutions.

Using the lens of Cultural Competency participants will gain knowledge on identifying the needs of underserved and often under-resourced students, learn strategies to engage and partner with low income and communities of color. As well as highlight promising approaches to create culturally responsive learning environments and increase diverse role models; and connect classrooms to communities.  

Session
TBD
Presenters

Shirley Edgerton (cultural proficiency coach), Marie Richardson (cultural proficiency educator)

Constructive Disruption Through a District Wide Equity Review Process

Salem Public Schools, MA

In Salem, Massachusetts, our community and school district are working together to ensure that every child in our city thrives. Under the umbrella of the community-wide movement “Our Salem, Our Kids” the school district has launched a districtwide equity review process. A grassroots effort to identify and disrupt systems that fail so many of our kids, our equity review process is homegrown, imperfect, and authentic. This session will explore why, what, and how we went about developing and rolling out our process. We will try out different tools and share our messy and meaningful work.

Participants will walk through our team’s process for uncovering patterns of inequity, try out tools that we have developed and used, and engage in thoughtful problem solving and develop paths for informed action in their own communities.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Beth Beaulieu (social studies coach), Sonia Lowe (ELA teacher), Emily Ullman (director of community engagement and partnerships), Luz Villarreal (ESL teacher)

Failing Forward Together: Lessons Learned in Transformation from Traditional to Learner-Centered Practices in a Large Open-Enrollment Public School

TechBoston Academy, MA

Across the country, new learner-centered schools are opening each year. Can a large, traditional, open-enrollment school ever provide the same personalized and high-agency experience for all students? In this session, you will hear the story of TechBoston Academy, a Boston Public School, who is trying to do just that.

Participants will examine the transformation of TechBoston Academy through the creation of their vision, school culture work, redesign of supports, time, and space as well as their commitment to data systems that support learner-centered practices and continual improvement. Participants will have an opportunity to engage in critical conversations around areas of interest.

Participants will practice identifying and assessing the eight components of organizational design listed in the Global Best Practices using the TechBoston Academy context. In small groups, participants will dive into one element to problem-solve and share best practices through critical conversations.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Jennifer Nicol (director of innovation), Nora Vernazza (headmaster)

New Hampshire Sessions

Transitioning to a More Student-Centered Mathematics Classroom

Exeter Regional Cooperative School District (SAU 16), NH

Although we have operated in a competency-based world for over a decade and there is strong evidence that student-centered instruction and competency-based education are mutually reinforcing, convincing teachers, administrators, parents, and students to move away from the instructional status quo can be difficult. Mathematics classrooms are notorious for being less student-centered than other subjects. For change to occur, we believe that not only teachers but also administrators and the educational community at large need to recognize what effective student-centered instruction looks like.

In this hands-on session, activities designed to stimulate mathematical thinking, reasoning, and discourse will be shared. The instructional approaches support the 8 mathematical teaching practices and will be presented in the context of a mathematics classroom but are appropriate for all subjects. The strategies may also be effectively implemented regardless of where a district, school, or teacher is regarding implementation of competency-based education.

Participants will leave the session with a better understanding of what teachers do, what students do, and the characteristics of quality tasks in a student-centered math classroom. Techniques will be modeled that facilitate meaningful discourse and advance students’ ability to make sense of important mathematical ideas and relationships.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Elise Catalano (grade 6 math teacher), Cynthia Freyberger (curriculum administrator–retired), Rob Lukasiak (math coach), Patricia Wons (middle school principal)

This Is Us: Small Town, Big Outcomes

Hinsdale High School, NH

This session will share how one rural community in New Hampshire spread its wings to create a culture that supports and encourages student voice and choice for all students through Extended Learning Opportunities (ELOs). This presentation will demonstrate how an entire community came together to truly place the student at the center of their own learning experience. A series of vignettes will be used to illustrate the extended learning opportunity experience at Hinsdale School District. The vignettes will include stories from students, implementation challenges from our teachers, collaboration from our business partners, and the evolution of administration and school board support. We will share how our culture shifted from one of a traditional model to one of individualized learning.

Participants will leave with an understanding of the importance of engaging the entire community in the development and support of a student’s individualized learning experience.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Ann Freitag (principal), Jodie Holmquist (business teacher), Peter Hughes (math teacher), Sean Leary (HSD school board member), Karen Thompson (k-12 director of personalized learning), Mike Tollet (community/ business partner), Bonnie Trombly (FCS teacher), high school students TBD

Try Everything and Include Everyone: Community Meetings to Promote Student Voice and Engagement

Next Charter School, NH

Students at Next Charter School often openly admit that they like coming to school. We believe this is because of our intentional, enduring efforts to build community through practices like daily morning and closing meetings. This creates a feeling of safety and belonging for every student that results in improvements in overall engagement.

Focusing on engagement is important because we believe that learning is what happens when the learner makes meaning for him/herself. If this is true, we must acknowledge that learning is a truly personalized experience, one that requires active engagement on the part of the learner. So many traditional school practices inadvertently isolate students and diminish motivation, which lead to disengagement in school. We have identified practices aimed at strengthening student voice and engagement in school through whole school activities.

Participants will leave with strategies that we have been successfully using at Next Charter School to build student engagement. They will understand the purpose, steps to implement, and potential pitfalls of each of these strategies. Participants will develop a plan to adapt and implement at least one strategy.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Joe Crawford (director), Emily Whalen (teacher)

If You Build It; They Will Grow: Using Student & Faculty Voice to Implement an Innovative Master Schedule

Oyster River High School, NH

Is your school juggling multiple initiatives? Is your school trying to implement a successful social emotional learning-focused advisory program? Is your school struggling with how to offer relearning, reteaching, and reassessment during the school day? Is your school working to engage students in clubs, activities, and enrichments? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this is the session for you! Session attendees will interact with dynamic presenters from Oyster River High School who have created an innovative non-traditional schedule in a traditional setting, meeting student needs and encouraging development. Come hear stories of success, challenges, and growth. This session will provide a landscape for implementing a master schedule based on student choice, a social emotional learning-based advisory, and a FLEX period that provides relearning, reteaching, reassessment, clubs, activities, and enrichment and will also review the pre-planning which is needed to make the change at your school.

Attendees will be: 1) Informed of a process a high school followed to create a master schedule to meet multiple student center initiatives; 2) Knowledgeable of implementing an innovative non-traditional schedule in a traditional system; and 3) Equipped with resources and framework to foster positive change affecting the student/staff culture/climate in your building.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Suzanne Filippone (principal), Heather Machanoff (K-12 counseling director), Mark Milliken (dean of faculty)

Manchester Proud: The Power—and Reality—of Authentic Community Engagement in a District Strategic Plan

Reaching Higher NH, NH

The creation of district strategic plans typically involves a handful of people in an office who first decide the priorities for the next three to five years, and then communicate this information to the community at large. Manchester Proud, however, is in the middle of flipping this model; we’re engaging with the Manchester community—to many people, the only “city” in New Hampshire—to find out their perspectives and experiences first. Then, we will build a strategic plan based on this information. What are we doing to engage the community—and why? What are we learning along the way? How have we adapted our work? What comes next? This session will highlight the power—and reality—of collective impact, as well as lessons learned even as we are currently in the process.

Participants will learn about collective impact and community engagement in an urban school district as well as community engagement methods that can impact district-level change, such as listening sessions, community surveys, neighborhood conversations, and town hall meetings.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Evelyn Aissa (executive director, Reaching Higher NH), Barry Brensinger (coordinator, Manchester Proud), Liz Canada (director of community engagement)

Work It! Deeper Learning, Statewide Assessment, and Research-Based Guardrails in New Hampshire

Sanborn Regional High School, Jobs for the Future, New Hampshire Learning Initiative, NH

Research shows that to succeed in college, career, and civic life, students need more than academic knowledge. They need to possess skills and attitudes colleges and employers prize—communicating effectively and collaborating in diverse groups. While educators support students developing these skills, it can be difficult to assess them rigorously and responsively. What does it look like to communicate effectively? What evidence can we collect to support mastery? How can new assessments complement strategies educators already use in their classrooms?

Join a team of educators and researchers as they share their experiences integrating work-study practices (a.k.a. deeper learning competencies) into New Hampshire’s statewide performance assessment for competency-based education (PACE) system. Participants will learn how others working to assess these critical skills in their classrooms share strategies and systems that may be emerging in their schools, and engage with a research-driven framework for designing work-study practice assessments currently guiding New Hampshire educators.

Participants will leave with practical tips for applying deeper learning competencies in classroom instruction and assessment for learning, focusing on metacognition and self-regulation as well as strategies for designing, communicating, and integrating performance assessment rubrics for deeper learning.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Ashley Harbel, (English teacher, Sanborn Regional High School), Jules Ryan (English teacher, Sanborn Regional High School), Felicia Sullivan (associate research director), Jonathan Vander Els (director of innovative projects, New Hampshire Learning Initiative)

Doing More for More Kids: Shifting from Culture of Teaching to a Culture of Learning

White Mountains Regional High School, NH

At White Mountains Regional High School, we challenge students to own their learning. Students personalize their educational experiences through avenues including a STEAM program, CTE completer programs, ELOs, and seminar courses. Regardless of the pathway they choose, each student has the opportunity to engage in meaningful, inquiry-driven work, often based in real-world challenges.

These efforts have not been without challenges. Free blocks and flex periods give students autonomy in using their time and space, and some have struggled to embrace this agency. In response, we have built structures to support students and have implemented new ways to track and assess student learning, such as school-wide exhibitions. In these ways, we strive to ensure that all students thrive and learn in our unique environment, so we can do more for more kids.

In this session we will share how we support students in owning their learning and, in turn, promote the success of all students. We will discuss how our emphasis on teacher agency works in tandem with these efforts. Participants will learn how we hold students accountable for their learning and discuss strategies to implement in their classroom and/or school to help students own their learning.  

Session
TBD
Presenters

Patricia Ainsworth (teacher leader), Michael Berry (principal), Molly Campbell (teacher), Melissa Jellison (STEAM teacher leader), Abby Roy (teacher)

Rhode Island Sessions

Student-Centered Ethnic Studies through School and Community Partnerships

Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education (ARISE), RI

The Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education (ARISE) was founded to mobilize policies, programs and partnerships to prepare, promote and empower Rhode Island’s Southeast Asian students for educational and career success. Participants will briefly learn about the need for an organization like ARISE (holistic support and development for Southeast Asian students). The session will debunk the model minority myth and establish the importance of ethnic studies as it relates to community investment, representation, and student academic achievement. Successes of the organization will be highlighted as it relates to the partnership and implementation of our ethnic studies course, which explores the impact of the Vietnam War in Southeast Asia and groups who are indigenous to Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos.

Participants will learn about resources diverse stakeholders can utilize to support the effort for ethnic studies and will examine a successful model for district- and community-based organization partnership.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Ngan Nguyen (program director), Chanda Womack (executive director), 1–2 Student Leaders

Implementing a Meaningful, Integrated Individual Learning Plan (ILP)

Rhode Island KIDS COUNT, RI

Rhode Island’s Secondary School Regulations have long supported student-centered learning. For example, for many years, regulations have required that school districts help students in grades 6–12 develop Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) that describe students’ academic, career, and social/personal goals and map out the path they will take to achieve their goals.

However, strong policies are not enough. In focus groups and surveys, many students reported that they did not have an ILP or that they did not see the value of their ILP because their schools were not using them as intended.The Rhode Island Department of Education is working to revitalize these plans to ensure that all students have plans that are meaningful. This session will focus on the tools and supports that have been created to support schools and districts in revitalizing these plans.

Participants will leave with concrete ideas about how to implement a meaningful Individual Learning Plan (ILP) that helps students translate their academic, career, and personal/social goals into a plan for how to achieve them.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Cali Cornell (educational specialist, Office of College and Career Readiness, Rhode Island Department of Education), Stephanie Geller (deputy director), Onna Holland (school counseling fellow, Rhode Island Department of Education and former Rhode Island School Counselor Association President), Nicole Smith (educational specialist, Office of College and Career Readiness, Rhode Island Department of Education)

Open Educational Resources (OER): For the Teachers By the Teachers

RI Office of Innovation, Highlander Institute, East Providence High School, and Blackstone Valley Prep, RI

Over the past 18 months, an educator design team in Rhode Island, partnering with the RI Office of Innovation, the Highlander Institute, and the RI Department of Education, created a home-grown online repository of deeper-learning, project-based, open lesson plans and units. Join us to explore the process that the OER (Open Educational Resources) Design Team engaged in to build the repository interface, secure excitement from the broader educator community, ensure quality of content, and balance deeper learning with curricular scope and sequence. We’ll also offer a demo of the repository and talk about ways participants can join in the effort to share and receive great locally created content.

Participants will leave with access to a bank of quality, locally created open resources, a deeper understanding of how to engage in an improvement process with a cohort of cross-district educators, and thought partnership on how to grow the use of quality OER in their classrooms.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Daniela Fairchild (director, RI Office of Innovation), Shawn Rubin (chief education officer, Highlander Institute), Heather Coughlin (math teacher, East Providence High School), Mia Palombo (social studies teacher, Blackstone Valley Prep)

Teaching in Two Worlds: Building and Maintaining a Standards-Based Curriculum in a Conventional Grading World

Smithfield High School, RI

Smithfield High School’s social studies department has redesigned what our 9–12 curriculum looks like and how it impacts students. For our students, we personalized the delivery of five foundation power standards which are transferable in nature. This has fostered conversations around everything we do. From professional growth to grading to formative and summative assessments to daily instruction, no stone has been left unturned. We have rebuilt our curriculum into a powerful program that has clear, definable, and measurable outcomes for graduating students who are prepared for their next challenges. This session will not only explore how SHS social studies built and refined this system, but how we live in both a proficiency-based and traditional grading world. We will explore how this not only impacted our practices but student learning, feedback, and supports with the hope of helping other academic teams and teachers meet these challenges within their own schools and districts.

Participants will leave with an understanding of the challenges and strategies when transitioning content areas’ traditional curricula into interactive curriculum guides that are standards-based and 21st century skills-focused which produce a graduate with specific and measurable knowledge and skills as well as a practical approach to balancing the reporting out of both standards-based and numerical achievement.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Steve Decurtis (teacher),  Tom Lynch (teacher), Derek Snow (teacher), Vin Zibelli (social studies chairperson)

Creating and Improving an Internship Program at Your School

The Met High School, RI

Participants will learn with a veteran principal and Met students about how to create and improve an internship program in your school or district. The session will focus on systems, structures, and strategies for finding, setting up, and managing internships. Participants will learn strategies for supporting mentors in developing, maximizing, documenting, and assessing high quality learning in internships. Student presenters will share their personal experiences and participants will leave with practical tools to bring back to their communities.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Arthur Baraf (principal), High School Students

Vermont Sessions

Designing Schedules that Help Mission Statements Come Alive

Champlain Valley Union High School, VT

“A school’s master schedule is a pedagogical choice based on its values.” ~ Chris Lehmann, co-author of Building School 2.0

Blocks, trimesters, flextime, callback, late-start, project weeks… almost all of our schools have different schedules, even if those differences are minor or fluid. In this session, participants will learn about Champlain Valley Union High School’s process to assess and alter our daily, weekly, and yearly schedules based on our mission and values in order to make room for interest-based learning intensives and create a better balance between conventional and flexible opportunities in our building. Participants will then use current research and tools such as asset inventories and root cause analyses to create a draft values assessment and schedule matrix to bring back to their schools for the next phase of the conversation.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Abbie Bowker (visual art teacher), Peter Langella (librarian)

Let Students Lead the Way to Transform Classroom Practice

Harwood Union High School, VT

How can students take a leadership role in transforming classroom practice from traditional teacher-directed instruction to classrooms where students actively drive their own learning? In this interactive workshop, students from Harwood Union High School will share how they are leading a school-wide initiative to create a new “Urgency for Learning” and institute student-driven dialogue called the Harkness Pedagogy throughout their school. Harwood students will provide models of student agency in transforming the classroom practice, and they will lead participants in a Harkness discussion to demonstrate how this pedagogy can also be used in the classroom and also to create school and community partnerships. Participants will receive materials for classroom dialogue and come away with an understanding as to how and why student agency is an essential component of school transformation efforts.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Mason Berry (student), Katherine Cadwell (history teacher/ Vermont Rowland Foundation Fellow), Winter Haberle (student), Eva Hynes (student), Kaia Levy (student), Lili Platt (student)

Next Steps: Constructing a Proficiency-Based Learning Transcript that Works

Harwood Union High School, VT

This workshop will focus on the critical cornerstone of a successful proficiency-based learning (PBL) system: the PBL transcript. The PBL transcript logistically represents the comprehensive system elements of assessment and graduation verification. PBL-specific transcripts are the first innovative change in secondary learning reporting in the last one hundred years, and therefore need to be well articulated and communicated in order to ensure success in delivering a whole student report of skill-based mastery within a new innovative model.

Participants will learn how to design a PBL transcript from their school’s established PBL system components, ensuring effective communication of student outcomes and expectations while understanding how new generation transcripts can communicate flexible pathways and alternative learning experiences.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Sam Krotinger (principal), Harwood Union Leadership Team members

How Putting Students at the Center Helped to Spark the Raising of a Black Lives Matter flag in Montpelier, Vermont

Montpelier High School, VT

In February of 2018, Montpelier High School became the first high school in the nation to raise a Black Lives Matter flag. The story became an international news story with millions of viewers and readers across a spectrum of media outlets. This session will feature the opportunity to hear the story first hand. A team from Montpelier High School, including students and administration, will share specific action steps taken by the school community to prepare, support, and continue the work in increasing empathy while reducing implicit bias, structural racism, and unchecked privilege in our learning community. The team will also facilitate discussion and reflection time for attendees to consider their own experiences and potential action steps for growth in their own learning communities.

In this session, participants will reflect on their own privilege, identify opportunities to use personalization and student voice to raise engagement levels, and understand the value in connecting personalization, student voice, and competency based learning for deeper and more authentic learning opportunities that reached beyond the classroom.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Mandinso AbuAziz (12th grade student), Mike McRaith (principal),  Juna Nagle (11th grade student), Hope Petraro (11th grade student), MaryAnn Songhurst (11th grade student)

Student Engagement: It’s Elemental

Otter Valley Union Middle and High School, VT

Otter Valley has been home of the Moosalamoo Center since 2005. Over the years, Moosalamoo has engaged, inspired, and informed students through its ecological course offerings with real-life applications and rewards. Moosalamoo interlocks the traditional curriculum with interpersonal skills, stewardship, self-direction, and personal investment to create a high school program where marginalized students truly connect and reconnect. Join the co-founding teacher of Moosalamoo and Otter Valley’s GSP Coach as they introduce you to Moosalamoo, the Elements of Effective Instruction (EEI) Beliefs and Practices, and the EEI self-assessment. Participants will use what they learn to devise a plan of action for examining an existing course or program to start—or further—the use of the Elements of Effective Instruction.

During this session participants will review the Elements of Effective Instruction (EEI) Beliefs and Practices and complete the EEI self-assessment, explore an existing school program noting the elements used to engage students, and devise a plan of action for examining an existing course or program to start or further the use of the Elements of Effective Instruction.

Session
TBD
Presenters

James Avery (principal, Otter Valley Union Middle and High School), Tony Lamair Burks II (GSP coach), Joshua Hardt (teacher and co-founder,The Moosalamoo Center at Otter Valley Union Middle and High School)

In the Classroom, Advisory, and Through Restorative Justice: Circle Process is an Essential Ingredient of the Trauma-Informed, Democratic School

Randolph Union High School, VT

In the summer of 2015, nearly half of the faculty at Randolph Union opted into a three-day circle training in preparation for a deeper school-wide commitment to Advisory. Since that time, training has been ongoing, circles are part of classroom culture, and teachers regularly take part in circles during faculty meeting time. All of this seemingly simple circle work strengthens community and connects to the traditional classroom as well as restorative justice interventions. It has led to better student outcomes, including increased attendance and graduation rates, as well as student engagement in classes. In this interactive workshop, participants will hear from faculty and students engaged in this school reform work.

Participants will leave this workshop with an understanding of how circle practice in advisory, restorative justice, and in classrooms is an important ingredient of a trauma-informed approach to school design, giving voice to community members that traditional school structures might silence.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Angela Bauer (Rowland Fellow, advisory & restorative justice coordinator), Lisa Floyd (director of project-based learning, Rowland Fellow, advisory coordinator)

Get Parents on Board with School Transformation Through Authentic Engagement

The Sharon Academy , VT

The Sharon Academy team will begin by describing a specific element of our shift to a proficiency-based paradigm: seeking out and responding to feedback from colleges and universities around a truly proficiency-based transcript. We will explain how we engaged with all constituencies—especially with parents—around the conclusions and decisions we came to as a result of that research. Participants will have a chance to talk to each other in small groups about what authentic community engagement looks like (or could look like) at their schools, and some strategies for effectively engaging a school community around a transformational change.

Participants will learn how one school sought information from colleges to get a clear sense of receptivity to proficiency-based transcripts and the value they found in gathering and honoring feedback on school transformation initiatives with parents and other constituencies to help the community get on board.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Ellen Bagnato (college and career guidance counselor), Michael Livingston (head of school), Mary Newman (Dean of Faculty), Brian Tonks (assistant head of school, academic dean)

P2BL: Initial Experience with Project and Proficiency-Based Learning in a Vermont Middle/High School

U-32 Middle + High School, VT

In this session, teachers from the U-32 school district in Montpelier, Vermont will share their experience with implementing the New Tech Teams approach to project-based learning (PBL). This approach is part of the New Tech Network’s multi-year initiative to infuse principles of proficiency into engaged, authentic, and meaningful projects for secondary school students.

The New Tech Teams approach brings together a grade-level team to collaborate on planning, implementing, and evaluating project-based learning. U-32 has several interdisciplinary teams that meet regularly to coordinate instruction. Teachers from these teams will share their successes, challenges, and future hopes for robust project-based learning at U-32, and participants will examine project entry documents, assessments, and other materials that address both transferable skills and content standards. Participants will leave with copies of project documents used in the 2018-19 school year.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Facilitator: Dan Liebert (senior associate, Great Schools Partnership)

Beyond NESSC

Equity by Design: Designing Ideal Schools

Creative Reaction Lab, MO

What is the role of equity, history, and power in community-centered school development? How might we design more equitable communities and systems through the lens of personal and organizational humility-building? In this interactive introductory workshop, participants will learn about award-winning Equity-Centered Community Design strategies to examine how their own identities shape design and decision-making, practice collaboratively co-designing more inclusive and equitable education communities, and begin to develop the foundation for becoming the equity leader of today and tomorrow. Also, participants will explore the reality that systems produce what they are designed to produce, and that we can and must redesign for equity.

Participants will leave with an understanding of the Equity-Centered Community Design process, the importance of language setting in designing a community-centered school, and techniques of understanding and acknowledging personal identities and power dynamics in a school environment.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Antionette Carroll (founder, president and CEO, Ted Gatlin, Jr., (program manager), Hilary Sedovic (learning & education manager)

Increasing Equity and Empowering Student Leadership through a Teacher Apprentice Program

Lindbolm Math + Science Academy, IL

The Lindblom Teacher Apprentice (LTA) Program was created to expose high school students to the craft of teaching and provide student leaders and role models in the classroom. The program pairs 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students with a practicing teacher so they can observe, support, and contribute to the classroom environment. Over the past seven years this program has grown from nine LTAs to over one hundred today. In the short term, this program has increased student voice in our curriculum and empowered students with essential communication and leadership skills. A long term goal is to encourage more students from diverse backgrounds to enter the teaching profession.

In addition to an overview of the program, this session will include examples of how LTAs have contributed to classrooms, evidence of the outcomes for both LTAs and mentors, and logistical information about how the program has been built and maintained over time.

Participants will learn about how a public high school in Chicago built a teacher apprentice program in order to empower student leaders and increase student voice in our classrooms.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Katie Hollerbach, social science teacher / LTAP coordinator), Molly Myers (LTAP founder)

Navigate the Future by Starting Now: Sustaining Innovation via Networks

New Tech Network, CA

School networks can help solve the most complex challenge we face today: closing the opportunity gap for all students. By providing design principles, learning models, tools, and professional learning, networks play a key role in scaling high-quality learning.

From informal collaborations to managed systems, networks support the transformation of a single school or an entire system. This session will offer practical and inspirational paths to scaled and sustainable innovation.

Transforming schools is complicated and takes time, especially working within islands of innovation. Session participants will learn from successful networks that have transformed and sustained education.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Lydia Dobyns (president and CEO of New Tech Network), Lisa Samuel (manager, leadership team), Tom Vander Ark (CEO of Getting Smart)

Personalizing Professional Learning: Leveraging Action Research to Inform Implementation of Proficiency-Based Learning

P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School, FL

Teacher leaders and administrators at P.K. Yonge DRS have been personalizing professional learning through teacher action research as they work to redesign their secondary school to fulfill a vision of proficiency-based learning. The session will begin with an opportunity for participants to share their experience with action research. Based on relevant experience, we will create working groups that strengthen the conversation throughout the remainder of the session. Participants will be guided through the teacher action research process as they develop their own question of practice related to an aspect of proficiency-based learning.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn from P.K. Yonge’s implementation journey, specifically focusing on the important role action research has played in developing teacher practice and supporting school-wide change. Participants will leave the session with exemplars, knowledge of critical junctures in the research process, and protocols to facilitate a cycle of action research.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Christy Gabbard (director of program development), Dr. Lynda Hayes (director), Dr. Mickey MacDonald (associate professor, biology instructor) 

Restorative Justice: Policy, Practice, and Potential

Union Institute & University, OH

Over the past decade, there has been a rise in Restorative Justice throughout the nation’s criminal justice and education systems prompted by the stark race and gender disparities in suspension and exclusion rates. This interactive session will review current Restorative Justice research, then engage in activities that will inform the creation, adoption, and implementation of Restorative Justice in districts and/or schools. Panelists will share their experience creating, adopting, and implementing Restorative Justice within their schools and district. Participants will consider questions such as: How do you define Restorative Justice? What policy tools do you have to create, adopt, and implement in your district (or school)? What policy tools do you need?

Through participant polling, discussion, table discussions, and planning, participants will distinguish between Restorative Justice and Restorative Practices. In addition, tables will discuss potential leverage points to create, adopt, and implement Restorative Justice policies in their districts and/or schools.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Jennifer Kramer-Wine (doctoral candidate), TBD

NESSC

Aligning Best Practices from Special Education and General Education in Dynamic Unit Design

Great Schools Partnership, ME

Would you like to better meet the needs of special education students in the general education classroom?  How can you bring the expertise of the classroom teacher and the special education teacher together to develop unit plans that engage students?

In this session, participants will identify best practices in both special education and general education, and apply new ideas to practice, planning, and system design. This session is open to classroom teachers from all backgrounds, with the goal of supporting students on IEP’s and 504 plans within the general education classroom.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Nicole Bradeen (senior associate) + Ted Hall (senior associate)

District-Level Policy: How Authentic Engagement Can Drive Equitable Education

Great Schools Partnership, ME

Local policy impacts schools and communities in many ways. At its best, district-level policy can be a lever for positive change, equitable practices and outcomes, and a solid foundation in the face of sometimes constant administrative turnover. At its worst, it can be an out-of-date and rarely considered compliance framework or a barrier to best practices and authentic engagement. Far too often, practitioners and community members are left out of policy conversations and end up feeling as though policy changes are being imposed upon them. As a practitioner or community member, having an understanding of the policy landscape where you live and work can elevate your voice and help you drive powerful and proactive student-centered change. And as a policymaker, organizing ideas and empowering people—especially those who have been historically disenfranchised—is a critical element of ensuring cohesive, equitable policy impacts.

Participants will learn how policy can be a driver for dismantling and disrupting inequities at the district, building, and classroom levels, and how the policymaking process can help create and bring to life a shared community vision. Participants will leave with a framework for engaging with policy in their own district and strategies for creating and safeguarding  a shared vision for equitable education.

Session
TBD
Presenters

J. Duke Albanese (senior policy advisor) + Sarah Linet (policy specialist)

Hiding in Plain Sight: Using High School Programs of Study to Uncover Equity and Rigor Issues

Great Schools Partnership, ME

High School Programs of Study (Course Catalogs) should be examined analytically and read for meaning. These documents reveal more nuanced windows into schools’ educational practices and beliefs than their letterhead and mission statements can provide. Participants will review sample artifacts, practice multiple analytical approaches, and leave with the beginnings of action steps. We encourage you to bring several copies of your own Program of Studies. It’s not about making a prettier catalog; it’s about uncovering issues of equity, access, and uneven expectations.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Craig Kesselheim (senior associate)

Leading Change: Harnessing Key Principles and Practices of Community Engagement

Great Schools Partnership, ME

Core principles of community engagement such as relationship building and power sharing are essential tools for leading change in schools and districts.  In this interactive session, participants will explore how to utilize these principles to create policies and practices that increase access and opportunity for all stakeholders.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Moises Nuñez (senior associate) + Steve Sell (senior associate)

Not Just Another Meeting: Maximizing Professional Learning Groups to Impact Teacher Practice + Student Learning

Great Schools Partnership, ME

It’s often said that Professional Learning Groups (AKA Professional Learning Communities or Critical Friends Groups) are a vital component of school reform efforts, but what does it really take to implement and support Professional Learning Groups (PLGs) in a way that actually impacts teacher practice and student achievement? We will define the non-negotiables of effective PLGs, examine best practices for training and supporting facilitators, and consider what we must do to make PLGs something more than another meeting time. We will share resources, talk through scenarios, and provide a structure for both teachers and administrators to begin designing or improving PLGs at your school.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Reed Dyer (senior associate) + Carrie McWilliams (senior associate)

Owning the Room: Student Voice, Choice, and Ownership of their Learning

Great Schools Partnership, ME

We’ve all been there: We’ve planned the greatest lesson. We’ve created the perfect project. And we’ve stood before our students awaiting their excitement and engagement. And there’s nothing quite like the excruciating silence when our students don’t respond the way we’d planned. What’s missing? How do we build student voice, choice, and ownership? In this interactive session, participants will explore strategies for nurturing and sustaining equitable student voice, choice, and ownership in their learning environments. Using authentic tools, resources, and craft knowledge from teachers and teacher-leaders, participants will brainstorm ways to transform their classes and schools into spaces where students “own the room.”

Session
TBD
Presenters

Tony Lamair Burks II (senior associate) + Don Weafer (senior associate)

Using a Theory of Action to Make and Measure Change in Your School or District

Great Schools Partnership, ME

Participants will engage in dialogue about student data in order to identify an area of need and develop a theory of action. Together, we will make observations about a school-based case study using student data and determine what inputs, outputs, and short-term outcomes we would track to make and measure change. Participants will then apply this cycle of learning and improvement to their own data and context in order to reduce achievement gaps in their school community.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Katie Thompson (co-director of coaching) + Aaron Townsend (senior associate)

Using the Gradebook to Report What Students Learn, Not Earn

Great Schools Partnership, ME

How do I set up my gradebook? It’s the end of the quarter; what do I put on the report card? What about missing work? Retakes? Shifting to a proficiency-based system requires rethinking our methods of tracking students’ progress. In this session, participants will explore the purpose of grading, clarify distinctions between grading and reporting, and share practices that support proficiency-based learning. Participants will review best practices for reporting grades, explore topics of interest related to specific gradebook systems, and discuss challenging questions teachers face in the shift to reporting within a proficiency-based system.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Jean Haeger (senior associate) + Arielle Sprotzer (senior associate)

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