Thursday, Sept. 29 | 2:15 p.m.
Govern Like a Boss
Governing board members, assume your power and govern like a boss. Policies and practices start with you. Either you’re perpetuating systemic racism or you’re disrupting it to create a culture of inclusion. Effective governance starts and ends with you.
In this session, Channel will present her recently published case study that shares the journey to racial equity in education. Board members will gain greater confidence in their role and learn about different equity-based models, policy solutions, tactics, and strategies to advance racial equity districtwide.
Channel Powe, Education Consultant, Powe Power
Reimagining Schools and Supporting Students: Systemic. Policy. Increasing Love and Joy
During the workshop, participants will learn from the racial equity and racial healing work of the Ferguson-Florissant school district, a community central to our current racial healing movement. The Ferguson-Florissant school district is likely the first school district in the United States to create and apply anti-racist organizational standards. Facilitators will identify the pitfalls of unsuccessful equity work through a reflection on failed initiatives and status-quo thinking by engaging in root cause analyses based on anti-racist building blocks, change leadership framework, and systems change readiness framework. Participants will use actual case analyses centered on leader and student perspectives to reflect on, consider implications for, and propose successful components of racial equity, racial healing, and institutional change through a theory of action and a theory of change.
Dr. Joseph Davis, Superintendent, Ferguson-Florissant School District, MO
Tamoya Rose-Watson, Vice President, Anti-Racism Innovation, The Achievement Network
Community Schoolyards™ — For Health, Climate Resilience, Education, and Equity
America’s typical urban schoolyard is often a sea of asphalt. Lacking gardens, equipment, and outdoor classroom space, it fails to provide teachers with a place to engage students in hands-on lessons and rarely inspires active, creative play. Students in low-income, racially diverse neighborhoods suffer the worst inequities when it comes to the quality of their schoolyards — and have access to an average of 44 percent less public green space per person than predominantly white neighborhoods.
Diane Regas, CEO for the Trust for Public Land (TPL), will be joined by a principal or school board member to share what TPL terms the Community Schoolyards™ model. She can discuss a story that exemplifies the transformation of a schoolyard and community in an urban school district. For example, an elementary school in Philadelphia in which suspensions dropped from 30 a year to zero after the renovation of their schoolyard. Research also shows that greener schools have higher test scores, even after considering income.
Schoolyards not only provide valuable outdoor classroom space but also serve as integrative climate solutions. They can be designed to mitigate flooding and lower temperatures, both concerns with a changing climate.
Diane Regas, President and CEO, The Trust for Public Land
Best Practices for Literacy: Incorporating the Science of Reading in your District/Classroom
This interactive session will allow participants to learn what the Science of Reading is and is not, why the Science of Reading is important, and how to properly incorporate it into a school district and/or classroom.
David H. Murray, Board Member, District 1, Prince George's County Public Schools
Dr. Shavonna L. Holman, Associate Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Friday, Sept. 30 |11 a.m.
Strategically Using Data to Elevate District Leadership
Knowing how your students are doing and where they need to be to meet their goals can be a time-consuming task. This session will focus on how analytics serve as a means to tell the story of student performance, but also support leadership teams in driving purposeful decision-making at all levels of the organization.
Dr. Jorge Torres, Senior Director, College & Career Readiness, Compton Unified School District
Darin Brawley, Ed.D, Superintendent, Compton Unified School District
Micah Ali, Current Member and previous President, Compton Unified School District Board of Trustees
Environmental Equity — Creating Sustainable, Healthy Learning Environments in EJ Communities
Students in environmental justice (EJ) communities are exposed to disproportionate amounts of pollution, but they can be protected from environmental toxins in the school setting. Compton, Newark, and Camden public schools have worked with the Go Green Initiative to develop sustainability plans that include healthy learning environments for all students. By creating a District Green Team, these districts have institutionalized policies and programs meant to protect children’s health from environmental pollution and conserve natural resources children will need in the future. District Green Teams create the framework to help individual school sites identify opportunities to provide clean air, water, and food for students, so their cognitive abilities are not impaired at school. Additionally, the District Green Team provides support and resources to help school sites conserve water and energy and reduce waste — all of which leads to cost savings that can be applied to other general fund needs.
In this session, you will hear from three CUBE member districts from both the West and East Coast and learn the similar steps they have taken to bring environmental equity to every child in every school!
Jill Buck, M.S., Ed., Founder & CEO, Go Green Initiative
Micah Ali, President, Compton Unified School District, CA
Roger Leon, Superintendent, Newark Board of Education, NJ
Arlethia Brown, Food Services Director, Camden City School District, NJ
A Transition Plan for Excellence — New Superintendent
Have you wondered how you incorporate a new member (superintendent) into your team? A new superintendent and new members on the board? How can it work? Lancaster ISD’s Team of Eight is developing a model which positions the superintendent and board to meet the educational needs of the learning community through reviewing district goals, engaging key stakeholders, and establishing essential metrics for success.
Ty G Jones, Board Trustee, Lancaster ISD, TX
Dr. A. Katrise Perera, Superintendent of Schools, Lancaster ISD, TX
Walk it Like You Talk it: Creating Authentic Spaces for Student Voice
The Uniondale School District is committed to equity and ensuring that all voices are heard, and that includes student voices. School should be the place where students, especially students of color, exercise their power and feel seen and valued. In this session, we will share how our district leaders and our school board challenge ourselves to include student voices in our work, particularly regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion. A team of Board members, district administrators, teachers, and students will discuss our embedded practices that center student voices. We will also share examples of our practice and student-led efforts to improve our district’s tone and culture. We use data collected from student surveys to illustrate how student feedback has influenced what happens in the classroom and beyond. We will also share video from student talking circles and allow participants to provide feedback. Our student presenters will discuss how their participation in decision-making has impacted their development. Finally, we will share our framework for integrating student voice, and we will engage participants in a reflective discussion of their own practice.
Dr. Monique Darrisaw-Akil, Superintendent of Schools, Uniondale School District, NY
Adelina Blanco-Harvey, Board of Education President, Uniondale School District, NY
Stacie Reid, Director of Guidance, Uniondale School District, NY
Celeste Cruz, Director, District Equity Committee, Uniondale School District, NY
Friday, Sept. 30 | 1:45 p.m.
Culturally Responsive Teaching: The CRT That Matters in Our Schools
Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT) requires that teachers take into account the cultural background and strengths of their students. Using CRT to connect with students has been shown to improve academic outcomes. With the nation’s public school population becoming increasingly diverse, CRT is becoming more necessary.
Cecilia Robinson-Woods, Superintendent, Millwood Public Schools, OK
Student Reengagement in a Post Virtual World
This will be a highly interactive session focused on sharing the lessons learned by the National League of Cities (NLC) and partners about targeting the most effective strategies for cities and community leaders to reestablish strong connections to education and workforce development pathways for youth and young adults. NCL’s partners in this work include Attendance Works, the Institute for Educational Leadership, and the Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium. The workshop will expand on the stories and strategies that were shared through NLC’s multi-year student reengagement initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation — Rebuild: Reengaging Middle and High School Students. Participants will share their successful strategies for student engagement and explore topics, including the roles of reengagement centers, full-service community schools, and community learning hubs.
Antonia Rangel-Caril, Sr. Program Specialist, National League of Cities
Paul Smith, Principal and Owner, Education Reform Advocates, LLC
Schools Can't Do it Alone: Leveraging Resources to Support Student Social and Emotional Well-Being
Evidence2Success, an initiative of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, provides a framework and tools for engaging schools, communities, and other public systems in aligning resources to improve student well-being. Evidence2Success sites bring together leaders from schools, public agencies, and the community to collect and review data on the social and emotional health of students and agree on priority outcomes, programs, and services. Once these priorities are identified, schools and partners work together to align resources to support those programs and services.
Six communities—Miami, Memphis, Providence, Salt Lake County, Mobile, and Selma—are implementing the Evidence2Success framework. Across these six communities, parents and leaders from schools, mental health and substance abuse agencies, public health, juvenile justice and child welfare, city and county government, and private philanthropy have come together to fund school-based programs that improve student mental health and prevent and address substance abuse.
This session will share tools from Evidence2Success in using school district resources to leverage and coordinate other public and private resources to improve student well-being and success.
Mildred Johnson, Senior Associate, Anne E. Casey Foundation
Rebecca Boxx, Executive Director, Children and Youth Cabinet of Rhode Island
Margaret Flynn-Khan, Founding Partner, Mainspring Consulting
Understanding the Impact of Implicit Bias on Leadership
Implicit bias refers to attitudes, beliefs, or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. These biases often manifest themselves in the forms of microaggressions and stereotypes. Everyone has implicit bias, but few are aware of it and how it impacts our daily experiences or how we interact as leaders. Using a racial equity lens, this session will examine the role of implicit bias in leadership and its consequences on our schools and other institutions.
Aaron Dorsey, Senior Policy Analyst, National Education Association
Makeda Harris, Senior Policy Analyst, National Education Association
Saturday, Oct. 1 | 10:30 a.m.
Creating a Culture of Belonging as a Foundational Element of DEIB Initiatives
A lot of time and effort is spent on D (Diversity) and E (Equity), but not the I (Inclusion) or B (Belonging) portions of this work. Starting with Inclusion and Belonging provides the foundation for, and creates the conditions for, organizational culture shift. This session will cover the powerful impact of Belonging when it is embedded in school and district culture and educational equity implementation efforts. Material is based on the principles contained in the book Belonging Through a Culture of Dignity: The Keys to Successful Equity Implementation (Cobb & Krownapple)
Mary Fertakis, CEO, M. Fertakis Consulting, LLC
Early College for High School Students
The Cambridge Massachusetts Public School District, in collaboration with Lesley University, started an Early College program providing Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS) students the opportunity to fulfill high school graduation requirements while also earning college credits. CRLS is the only public high school in a city to have an Early College program to address the gaps in higher education attainment and completion from CRLS alumni. Early College is a proven high leverage strategy for getting historically underserved populations to experience college courses while in high school that will lead to successful college entrance and completion. The session will share key levers for implementing an Early College pilot and the expansion to a full program through a state designation.
Sumbul Siddiqui, Mayor of Cambridge, MA
Alfred Fantini, School Committee Member, Cambridge Public School District, MA
Ayesha Wilson, School Committee Member, Cambridge Public School District, MA
Bridging the Gap: A Lens Approach to Zip Code Barriers of Digital Equity
The Homework Gap has been well-defined for over a decade and gained heightened attention during the COVID-19 pandemic. With a direct correlation to digital equity, we are now urged to reimagine the landscape and redefine the role of what is equitable for all students. As schools seek sustainable solutions to ensure all students have the technology and connectivity to enable success, they’re left asking: What’s next? We will discuss how to remove Zip Code barriers to ensure each student can reach their maximum potential?
In this session, we’ll discuss:
• What are Zip Code barriers?
• Solution-based strategies to enhance the educational environment for digital learners.
• Innovative use cases for connectivity that follows the student.
• How do we shift the conversation from home connectivity to student connectivity?
Michael Flood, SVP & GM, Public Sector, Kajeet, Inc.
Why Legacy Instructional Systems Dampen Life Chances for Black and Brown Students
Too often, students of color and those from low socioeconomic backgrounds move through schools built on legacy instructional systems that deny them academic rigor and student agency. In this session, Michael D. Toth — multi-award-winning education author and Instructional Empowerment Applied Research Center leader — will reveal the invisible and inequitable instructional systems that pervade every district. Participants will learn to identify low-agency vs. high-agency learning environments and understand the key systems to transform legacy instruction and prepare ALL students to thrive beyond school.
Michael Toth, Education Author and Founder of Instructional Empowerment (IE)
Sessions times are subject to change. Stay tuned for more breakout session announcements.