NSBA 2024 Annual Conference | April 6-8 | New Orleans

Immerse yourself in the vibrant destination of New Orleans and elevate your leadership skills at the NSBA Annual Conference and Exposition. This national event brings together education leaders from across the country, offering a unique opportunity to learn about best governance practices, gain insights into child development, and explore cutting-edge programs and technology to enrich student learning. Join us in New Orleans for an empowering experience of national school board leadership learning and networking with like-minded professionals.

Keynote Speakers

Saturday, April 6 

Sunday, April 7 

Ruby Bridges  Dr. Timothy Shriver 
Ruby Bridges
Icon, Activist, Author, and Speaker
 
Dr. Timothy Shriver
Chairman of Special Olympics, Co-founder and CEO of UNITE,
Co-creator of The Dignity Index 

 

Signature Speaker

Saturday, April 6 

Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) Luncheon 
Dr. Eddie Connor 
Dr. Eddie Connor
Author, Speaker, and Professor 

Read Bios

Conference Registration

  • NSBA Annual Conference Pricing (In-Person Attendance)

    Registration  Registration Deadline  Participating
    NATCON & CUBE Districts in Member State Associations/State Association Delegates 
    Participating NATCON & CUBE Districts in Non-Member State Associations

    Non-Participating NATCON & CUBE Districts in
    Member State Associations 

    Non-Participating NATCON & CUBE Districts in Non-Member State Associations   Guest
    Advanced Early Bird December 8, 2023 $650 $725 $850 $925 $100
    Early Bird January 12, 2024 $750 $825 $950 $1,050 $100
    Standard April 4, 2024 $850 $925 $1,050 $1,250 $100
    Onsite  April 5 - 8, 2024 $1,400 $1,400  $1,400 $1,400 $100
  • One-Day Pricing (In-Person Attendance, Available Onsite Only)

    Participating NATCON & CUBE Districts in Member State Associations/State Association Delegates  Non-Member State Associations
    $400 $500
  • NSBA Online Pricing (Online Access)

    Participating NATCON & CUBE Districts in Member State Associations/State Association Delegates   Non-Member State Associations
    $450 $550
  • NSBA Online Add-On Pricing (Online Access)*

    Participating NATCON & CUBE Districts in Member State Associations/State Association Delegates  Non-Member State Association
    Complimentary $125

    *In-person conference attendees only.

Schedule-at-a-Glance

7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Registration 
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Experiential Learning Visits 
9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  Preconference Workshops 

7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Registration 
8:30 – 9:30 a.m.  Concurrent Sessions
10 - 11:30 a.m. (Doors open at 9:30 a.m.)  General Session Keynote
11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  Exhibit Hall
11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  Networking/NSBA Cares Community Service Project 
Noon – 1:30 p.m.   Council of Urban Boards of Education Luncheon (Ticketed Event)
1 – 3:30 p.m.  Solution Theaters (Exhibit Hall)
1 – 2 p.m.  Concurrent Sessions 
3 – 4 p.m.  Concurrent Sessions 
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.  Joint Council Reception 
7 – 10 p.m.  CUBE Urban Night Out (UNO) at Mardi Gras World (Ticketed Event)

7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Registration 
8:30 – 9:30 a.m.    Concurrent Sessions  
10 – 11:30 a.m. (Doors open at 9:30 a.m.) General Session Keynote
11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Exhibit Hall
11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Networking/NSBA Cares Community Service Project 
Noon – 1:30 p.m.  National Connection Joint Councils Luncheon (Ticketed Event)
1 – 3:30 p.m. Solutions Theaters (Exhibit Hall) 
1 – 2 p.m.  Concurrent Sessions 
3 – 4 p.m.  Concurrent Sessions 
4 – 4:30 p.m.  Drum Circle 

7:30 a.m. – Noon  Registration 
8:30 – 9:30 a.m. Concurrent Sessions 
10 – 11:30 a.m. (Doors open at 9:30 a.m.)  General Session Keynote

Preconference Workshops

All preconference workshops are ticketed events. They are open to all conference registrants, and tickets must be purchased in advance.

  • Full Day Workshop

    NSBA 2024 Rural Education Summit — 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    The 2024 Rural Education Summit is designed for rural school board members to come together, share experiences, and learn from experts in the field. It will delve into crucial topics that are pivotal for the success of rural school districts. From addressing teacher shortages to ensuring effective special education programs, safeguarding school environments, and bridging the digital divide through broadband internet access — featured sessions and discussions will provide you with actionable insights to address these challenges. Whether you serve our sprawling countryside or remote communities, this summit is designed to empower you with insights, strategies, and solutions that cater to the specific needs of rural education.

    Attendees will explore innovative solutions, exchange ideas, and forge a path forward to strengthen rural education and create better opportunities for students in every corner of our country. (Lunch Included)

    CUBE/NATCON: $300 | REGULAR: $355

    Unlocking the Power of School Board Influence in Special Education — 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    This session is designed for school board members wanting to enhance their impact and improve their district’s special education effectiveness. Participants will be provided with an overview of federal requirements, evidence-based practices, persistent challenges, and practical solutions to transform special education outcomes. Participants will explore strategies that have the potential to revolutionize district approaches to special education, turning obstacles into opportunities for growth and innovation.

    Through this session, participants will: 

    • Explore five keys of school board influence on special education practices using case study scenarios.
    • Apply collective efficacy principles to building professional capacity to reach and teach learners with and without disabilities.
    • Generate essential questions to ask district leaders about special education practices.  

    CUBE/NATCON: $290 | REGULAR: $345

  • Morning Workshops | 9 a.m. – Noon

    Sharing the Magic! Developing Your Communication Superpowers Through Storytelling!
    Storytelling is a powerful communication technique that connects people and builds bridges, relationships, and trust. It is also one of the most effective communication techniques that school board members employ to share their district's successes, culture, history, values, and the small miracles that happen everyday. Learn to tell your district's true, authentic stories in a compelling manner that reveals your district's values, priorities, and dreams. You will create your own inspiring story that can be shared immediately with your community, media, teachers, parents, and students.

    CUBE/NATCON: $200 | REGULAR: $225

    Becoming More Engaged & Inclusive: Strategies for Supporting Our LGBTQ+ Students
    Given the importance and impact that diversity and equity issues play in the lives of students, it is imperative that school boards are prepared to meet the needs of diverse learners, such as LGBTQ+ students. There are critical considerations for effectively supporting LGBTQ+ students that educators must be aware of. Participate in this pre-conference workshop that features a highly customizable and interactive diversity and equity training that helps educators and school board members develop the competency necessary to support LGBTQ+ students.

    CUBE/NATCON: $200 | REGULAR: $225

    Understanding the Key Work of School Boards
    In today’s high-stakes educational environment, the daily pressure on governance leaders is enormous. The more effective the board, the better a school district’s students perform. The Key Works of School Boards provides a framework that reflects “best governance practices” that are traceable to high-performing boards and high-performing school districts. This session provides an overview of a relevant and reliable governance guide with strategies and ideas that reflect board best practices. You’ll explore the five Key Work action areas.

    CUBE/NATCON: $200 | REGULAR: $225

  • Afternoon Workshops | 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

    Student Achievement Data Transparency (SADT): Disaggregate, Make Public, Collaborate, Monitor, Engage Parents, and Increase Student Growth
    The crisis reflected by African American and Latino American student achievement data should be alarming to all in K-12 education. National and local test scores for these students continue to trail other racial and ethnic groups. This trend must be addressed. School boards play a unique and critically important role in establishing the climate for the courageous conversations needed when analyzing, disaggregating, sharing, and monitoring student achievement data with transparency. Governance leaders must require regular student achievement data reviews as part of their established practices.
    CUBE/NATCON: $200 | REGULAR: $225

    Productive Leadership Beyond Polarizing Politics
    Public schools strive to serve each and every student, and many school board members aspire to serve their students, families, staff, taxpayers, and communities in a nonpartisan way. As our country and the education realm have become more polarized through culture wars and the politicization of education issues, school boards and superintendents are faced with the challenge of leading with a divided electorate. And who speaks for students when they can't vote? Join these experts in strategic advocacy and effective leadership for a thought-provoking and interactive session.
    CUBE/NATCON: $200 | REGULAR: $225

    School Board Meetings in Need of an Effectiveness Boost 
    School boards fulfill their function and responsibility for public education through meetings, where the board can conduct business and take action. Having effective board meetings reflects on the board's work and helps to enhance relationships with the superintendent and the public. Attendees will explore key elements of successful school board meetings from start to finish. Topics include planning an effective meeting, your role in meetings, sunshine laws, and parliamentary procedures. This session will help you to be part of school board meetings that promote transparency and efficiency.
    CUBE/NATCON: $200 | REGULAR: $225


Experiential Learning Visit

Experiential Learning Visits offer a rare opportunity to explore education in practice. All attendees will have the opportunity to visit both sites. Buses will load from the NOLA Convention Center starting at 8 a.m. One bus will go to each site in the morning and then to the other site in the afternoon. Lunches will be provided at the afternoon sites. As a note, both sites are part of NOLA Public Schools. All public schools in New Orleans are categorized as charter schools. Tickets must be purchased in advance. The cost to attend is $200.

  • Site #1: Dorothy Height Charter School

    The mission of Dorothy Height Charter School is to prepare all students for success in college and a life of opportunity and choice by developing their academic skills, lifelong passions, and personal character. The school culture is defined by the core values of perseverance, excellence, courage, and community. Height is committed to all scholars and meeting them where they are. The school focuses on providing all scholars with a rigorous academic education, a safe learning environment, and a positive student culture. Above all, the school believes that ALL scholars can achieve.

    At Height, students are provided with great experiences inside and outside the classroom. Height is one of the few schools in the city with its own Verizon Innovative Learning Lab. This resource allows us to prepare our scholars for the future job force by encouraging entrepreneurial mindsets, social innovation, and design thinking. Height also offers a robust enrichment program that includes art, PE, music, strings, choir, culinary arts, marching units, and so much more. In addition, after-school sports are offered for grades 5-8.
  • Site #2: Educators for Quality Alternatives (EQA) East

    The NET Charter High School: East
    Educators for Quality Alternatives (EQA) is a network of four schools with a charter from the New Orleans School Board. EQA is a nonprofit dedicated to supporting young people who have struggled in traditional education settings. EQA programs are built on the belief that alternative schools should not punish or "fix" young people; they should be vibrant, flexible, and restorative environments that support students in being their best selves. EQA's programs serve students ages 12–21 through a year-round curriculum. Its schools and programs are designed to meet students where they are, provide them with academic, career, and life training, and raise their own, their families, and society’s expectations of their abilities and their future prospects.

    The New Orleans East Opportunity Center (NOEOC) brings together one of EQA's high schools, its middle school, and a variety of wraparound services, including a daycare, food pantry, High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) program, after-school program, city-enrollment center, and library. NOEOC is a unique partnership between EQA and the Youth Empowerment Project aimed at bringing high-quality in and out-of-school programming and resources to youth and families of the New Orleans East neighborhoods.  

    EQA is also proud to be an affiliate of the Big Picture Learning network of schools, utilizing their strategies for outside-of-school learning (internships) and student-centered learning. For this visit, you will also learn about one of the Big Picture Living initiative’s wellness partners, SKY Schools, offering an experiential introduction to best practices in SEL and Wellness for both students and staff. In the session with SKY Schools, you will gain tools for yourself personally and professionally, as well as strategies you can bring back to your districts.  

    This introduction will familiarize NSBA participants with SKY Schools SEL + Breathwork curriculum and content. SKY facilitators will share insights into the neuroscience, causes, and impacts of stress. In addition, participants take away tools to manage their minds and emotions better, increase energy, and release anxiety and stress through research-backed breathing techniques. Our format will be to engage in thoughtful discussions, introduce various breath techniques to reduce stress, and end with a short, guided meditation to promote relaxation and wellness.  

    One key aspect of SKY programming is that it can help districts reduce overall health care costs. 

Concurrent Sessions

  • Advocacy

    Saturday, April 6 | 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

    Student Summits: The Key to Student-Centered Districts
    Discover how Oregon's Portland Public Schools (enrollment 44,771) furthered their commitment to being a student-centered district by implementing an annual district student summit. Student summits facilitate discussions about essential topics to empower students to share their voices and to ensure district decision makers understand the needs of their students. By the end of this session, participants will understand how to organize their own student summit.

    Presenter:
    Frankie Silverstein, Portland Public Schools

    Saturday, April 6 | 1 – 2 p.m.

    Legal and Practical Complexities in Addressing Racial Disparities in Student Discipline
    This session will explore the legal and practical issues that arise in a school districts efforts to address racial disparities in student discipline. Attorneys with over 40 years combined experience will discuss the difficulties of navigating internal and external constituencies and striking the right balance between efforts and procedural compliance and systematic change. Finally, the session will explore the role of the federal government in encouraging, but sometimes hindering, a school district's efforts, including discussion of the roles of the Office of Civil Rights, the Department of Justice, and federal courts.

    Presenters:
    Aleksandra Rushing, Husch Blackwell LLP
    John Borkowski, Husch Blackwell LLP
    Kendra Key, South Bend Community School Corporation

    Sunday, April 7 | 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

    Breaking Barriers and Building Bridges: Equipping School Board Members for Special Education Advocacy
    Led by a school board member, this panel discussion brings together a special education parent, advocate, teacher, diagnostician, and licensed specialists in school psychology. Gain insights on challenges, legal aspects, teaching methodologies, assessments, and psychological support in special education. Empower yourself to advocate effectively and create inclusive environments for scholars with special needs. Be part of the change, breaking barriers and building bridges for a brighter future.

    Presenter:
    Stephanie Rodriguez-Barnett, Manor ISD

  • Equity & Diversity

    Friday, April 5 | 9 a.m. – Noon

    Preconference Workshop: Becoming More Engaged & Inclusive: Strategies for Supporting Our LGBTQ+ Students
    Given the importance and impact that diversity and equity issues play in the lives of students, it is imperative that school boards are prepared to meet the needs of diverse learners, such as LGBTQ+ students. There are critical considerations for effectively supporting LGBTQ+ students that educators must be aware of. Participate in this preconference workshop that features a highly customizable and interactive diversity and equity training that helps educators and school board members develop the competency necessary to support LGBTQ+ students.

    Presenters:
    Michael Dodge, Massachusetts Association of School Committees
    Stefania Raschilla, West Springfield Public Schools

    Saturday, April 6 | 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

    A Systems Approach to Language and Culture Immersion in the Lower Kuskokwim School District
    Over the past 10 years, the Lower Kuskokwim School District (LKSD), under the guidance of the board of education, has developed and implemented a strategic thinking model aligned to the district mission and core values. The Strategic Thinking Model and Key Measures (three-year goals) have provided a systems-approach to language and culture immersion in LKSD, including the implementation of the district's Yugtun/Cugtun Dual Language Enrichment Model program in 19 of the district's 28 schools. It also has led to fully translated and localized indigenous language curriculum materials.

    Presenters:
    Kimberly Hankins, Lower Kuskokwim School District
    Clarence Daniel, Lower Kuskokwim School District
    Christina Powers-Robbins, Lower Kuskokwim School District

    Hadley Learns: Empowering Grassroots Community Learning to Shape District Strategies
    Explore the transformative journey of Hadley, Massachusetts, a small white farming town awakened to racial issues following George Floyd's murder. Discover how their grassroots movement influenced spending, hiring, professional development, and policy through a unique learning approach. Gain insights into Hadley Learns' strategies, fostering open dialogue, empathy, and diverse perspectives. Learn how to govern amid uncertainty by embracing a culture of collaborative learning. Leave inspired to empower your own districts with practical tools for lasting impact and positive change.

    Presenter:
    Humera Fasihuddin, Hadley Public Schools

    Saturday, April 6 | 1 – 2 p.m.

    Bridging the Workforce Gap: A Title I District's Opportunity to Turn Classwork into Real Work Opportunities
    EMPLOYEES WANTED: How are board members ensuring that their students are "workforce ready"? As a Title I school district, La Feria ISD has witnessed the workforce gap in the Rio Grande Valley and decided to create initiatives that address workforce readiness skills with all populations of students. We invite attendees to learn how La Feria ISD has partnered with community members and businesses to produce successful initiatives through career and technical education programs that can bridge the workforce gap in their prospective areas.

    Presenters:
    Cynthia Torres, La Feria ISD
    Jane Castillo, La Feria ISD
    Cassandra Zuvieta, La Feria ISD
    Umberto Flores, La Feria ISD

    Saturday, April 6 | 3 – 4 p.m.

    Learning and Culture: School and District Transformation
    To maximize student excellence and social justice, Ferguson-Florissant School District (FFSD) is on its journey to becoming an anti-racist organization that furthers educational equity for all students. FFSD Standards for educational in equity will further our progress in this journey, challenging us to understand and correct the inequities that may unintentionally exist within our district, to act in ways that promote excellence in academics, wellness and healing, people and culture, and community engagement.

    Presenters:
    Joseph Davis, Ferguson-Florissant School District
    Tamoya Rose-Watson, Ferguson-Florissant School District

    What Works in Building and Sustaining Equitable Learning Outcomes
    Engage with Utah's Park City School District board of education and other leaders as they share "what works" in creating and sustaining equitable outcomes for student learners. In 2017, the school board and community established a vision, mission, and strategic direction for its 5,000-student district. Since then, the purposeful and intentional board action, including adoption of an educational equity policy, publishing a data dashboard, eradicating student fees, and taking steady steps towards their North Star, has helped create conditions for staff and student success.

    Presenters:
    Jill Gildea, Park City School District
    Wendy Crossland, Park City School District
    Carolyn Synan, Park City School District

    How Anti-Racist Is Your District?
    Learn about the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) Equity Review process, which assesses a school's systems and practices through the lens of racial, ethnic, and linguistic equity. By collecting and analyzing demographic data about the school community and data from surveys and focus groups, the CREC Equity Review positions leaders to identify and address key trends and findings within and across schools, and plan supports for students, staff, and families. This session welcomes beginner, intermediate, and advanced educators who are committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

    Presenters:
    Elsie Gonzalez, Capitol Region Education Council (CREC)
    Amy Karwan, Capitol Region Education Council (CREC)
    Dana Corriveau, CREC Resource Group
    Olivia Hussey, CREC Resource Group

    Sunday, April 7 | 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

    In Spite of the Noise: How Equity Is Fueling Success in Roanoke City Public Schools
    In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and a national spotlight on education and learning loss, Virginia's Roanoke City Public Schools (enrollment 14,000) accelerated innovative practices and saw strategic success as a result of a continued commitment to equity. In this session, you will discover how the district defines equity. You will learn more about the school board's equity policy, including how this policy provides a foundation for the division's new strategic plan, which has led to an increase in staff recruitment/retention, student achievement, and more.

    Presenters:
    Verletta White, Roanoke City Public Schools
    Eli Jamison, Roanoke City Public School Board
    Archie Freeman III, Roanoke City Public Schools

    Unveiling the Path to Equitable Education: Empowering K-12 Schools through Equity Audits
    Participants will dive into the crucial concept of equity audits in K-12 education. We will explore the purpose and significance of equity audits, understand the key components involved, and learn how to conduct and implement them effectively. By examining real-world case studies and engaging in hands-on activities, attendees will gain practical strategies and tools to promote equity, identify systemic barriers, and foster inclusive learning environments within their schools.

    Presenters:
    Michael Dodge, Massachusetts Association of School Committees
    Stefania Raschilla, West Springfield Public Schools

    Combating Hate and Racism - Creating an Anti-Hate and Anti-Racism Strategy
    The Toronto District School Board's anti-hate and anti-racism strategy is an overarching framework for systematically addressing discrimination in schools based on data from our Racism, Bias & Hate Portal. This data will be used to establish a comprehensive two-year strategy. Understanding the lived experiences of students and community is an important principle. We will engage communities, students, and staff in the creation of specific action plans to address the most prevalent forms of hate.

    Presenters:
    Shelley Laskin, Toronto District School Board
    Colleen Russell-Rawlins, Toronto District School Board
    Rachel Chernos Lin, Toronto District School Board

    Strategic Staffing: Approaching Decision-Making Through an Equity Lens
    Creating the culture and systems for equitable decision-making and action are imperative for students and staff members of a school community. This session will inform participants of the policies and practices instituted at Monroe County Community School Corporation (MCCSC) in Bloomington, Indiana, aimed at providing equitable educational environments for students through strategic staffing as aligned to a board-approved, multi-year strategic plan. (MCCSC is a metropolitan school district serving approximately 11,000 students in a PK-12 environment with a diverse student and staff population.)

    Presenters:
    Jeff Hauswald, Monroe County Community School Corporation
    Brandon Shurr, Monroe County Community School Corporation
    Erin Stalbaum, Monroe County Community School Corporation

    Sunday, April 7 | 1 – 2 p.m.

    Heritage: A System for Creating Equitable Outcomes for AA/Black Students
    The Victor Valley Union High School District presents an in-depth look at the Heritage program, offering actionable steps to kickstart these initiatives in your district. California colleges require incoming freshmen to take certain high school courses, called A-G requirements. Heritage aims to bridge the A-G completion gap by providing students and families with culturally relevant and individualized support to raise the percentage of African American/Black students meeting A-G requirements and boost acceptance rates to four-year colleges/universities. Join the conversation with Adelanto High School Principal Ebony Purcell and Aleka Jackson-Jarrell, Heritage site coordinator, as they share insights on how the pilot program's implementation resulted in a threefold increase in A-G attainment within a single year.

    Presenters:
    Ratmony Yee, Victor Valley Union High School District
    Ebony Purcell, Adelanto High School
    Dr. Aleka Jackson-Jarrell, Adelanto High School

    Leveraging School-Based Staff Leadership to Promote Equity
    All students deserve access to equitable educational experiences. We recognize the importance of equity team leaders as an accountability measure for boards, administrators, and teachers to fulfill their commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion. This session will explore how school boards and districts can leverage equity team leader roles to promote social/cultural identity development through experiential experiences and create curated spaces to focus on anti-bias and anti-racist practices across all areas of the district.

    Presenters:
    Elsie Gonzalez, Capitol Region Education Council (CREC)
    Elaina Brachman, Capitol Region Education Council (CREC)
    Lydia Tedone, Capitol Region Education Council (CREC)

    Sunday, April 7 | 3 – 4 p.m.

    "You Can't Open Tomorrow's Doors With Yesterday's Keys" K-12 Instruction Re-Imagined For Equity.
    Providing an adequate education to 21st century students to guarantee success after high school is paramount to a school district's mission.
    Presenters will share the remarkable progress of the Harper Woods School District as they cultivate an equitable and fully inclusive educational experience for more than 2,500 children of color. The Opportunity Bridge and Meta 24 Programs seek to help students attain entrepreneurial skills to excel in a globally competitive society. These transformative programs empower students.

    Presenters:
    Steven McGhee, School District of the City of Harper Woods
    Michael Carrauthers, Harper Woods School District

    Accommodating Students Identifying as Transgender
    This presentation will address legal issues related to students identifying as transgender that are most likely to arise in the K-12 public school setting. The session will begin with a discussion of the legal landscape, noting key Supreme Court precedents, regulatory and enforcement actions by the executive branch of the federal government, and various state laws. The discussion will include the practical application of these legal principles to issues in schools involving facilities, academic records, dress codes, discipline, student organizations, accommodations, and athletics.

    Presenters:
    Aleksandra Rushing, Husch Blackwell LLP
    John Borkowski, Husch Blackwell LLP

    Innovative Programming for Better Student Outcomes
    New Mexico's Santa Fe Public Schools (enrollment 11,054) is providing for better student outcomes through standards-based grading and learning, free summer programming to prevent summer regression and work-based learning that integrates classroom learning with real-world work experiences. Learn how Santa Fe transformed grading to communicate what students know and are able to do, changed college and career technical education to make education more engaging and relevant and is opening new avenues to learning during the summer, at no cost to students, through community partnerships.

    Presenters:
    Hilario Chavez, Santa Fe Public School District
    Vanessa Romero, Santa Fe Public School District - Santa Fe, NM

    Monday, April 8 | 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

    7 Steps to Creating Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Systems
    Washington's Bethel District (enrollment 20,000+) Equity Specialist Wilton Waverly and school board member Marcus Young discuss how to create equitable systems that align with your diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategic plan, while avoiding the common mistakes many districts make. You'll leave with a step-by-step playbook to take you from plan to process to educational equity. The specific steps in creating effective, equitable DEI systems can be utilized and replicated by school boards, district leadership, schools, and classrooms.

    Presenters:
    Wilton Waverly, Bethel School District 403
    Marcus Young, Bethel School District 403

    Connecting with Your Spanish-Speaking Families
    This session will help you better understand your Spanish-speaking population. You will learn tips and recommendations that will help your district connect with your Spanish-speaking parents. Also, see what Longview ISD has done to close a gap that existed for many years with its largest population.

    Presenters:
    Francisco Rojas, Longview ISD
    James Wilcox, Longview ISD
    Ted Beard, Longview ISD

  • Family Engagement

    Sunday, April 7 | 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

    Elevating Your Leadership Practices With the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships
    Research shows that family engagement matters. So, how can school board members and education leaders create an environment that sustains strong family-school partnerships? School board members and education leaders will learn about PTA's National Standards for Family-School Partnerships, exchange ideas, and gain tools to support family-school partnerships.

    Presenters:
    Helen Westmoreland, Director, Family Engagement, National PTA

    Navigating Challenges to Assessment, Achievement & Accountability
    Join our session to learn how Scituate Public Schools (MA) focuses on transparent communication strategies to ensure that public challenges regarding assessment, achievement, and accountability are addressed in a transparent and clear manner during public meetings. Learn about some key data points to ensure that parents, community members, and other stakeholders get their questions answered and know that they are heard when it comes to rankings, curriculum, and other hot topics for public debate regarding school and district accountability.

    Presenters:
    Heidi Driscoll, Assistant Superintendent, Scituate Public Schools (MA)
    Nicole Brandolini, School Committee Chairperson, Scituate Public Schools (MA)

    Effective and Efficient Board of Education Meetings and the Importance of Building Collaborative Partnerships Within the School Community
    Effective and efficient board of education meetings are of utmost importance as they provide a platform for informed decision-making, accountability, and transparent governance. These meetings enable board members to decide on critical matters such as policies, budgets, and strategic planning, ensuring thorough analysis and input from all stakeholders. Berkeley Township Schools is a pre-K-6 district in Ocean County, New Jersey. Learn how our Board of Education experienced growing pains and challenges but has learned to work collaboratively with all our stakeholders.

    Presenters:
    Jennifer Bacchione, Board of Education President, Berkeley Township Board of Education (NJ)
    David Ytreboe, Board of Education Member, Berkeley Township Board of Education (NJ)
    James Roselli, Superintendent of Schools, Berkeley Township Board of Education (NJ)
    Melissa Gallagher, Director of Curriculum, Berkeley Township Board of Education (NJ)

    Sunday, April 7 | 8:30 – 9:45 a.m.

    Ready Set Govern: Engaging With Your Families and Community Members
    Developing open partnerships with community members and families requires mutual trust and investment of time to build strong relationships. As all parties gain a better understanding of each other, the easier it is to work together and the more trust is gained. This session will address how to effectively build on these relationships and answer these tough questions: What is the proper way to get input from your community members? What is the best way to engage families in discussions that will ultimately affect their students?

    Presenters:
    Marissa Rathbone, WSSDA (WA School Directors' Assn)
    Mary Fertakis, Mary Fertakis Consulting

    Sunday, April 7 | 1 – 2 p.m.

    Reestablishing Trust With Your Community in the Midst of Controversy or Hardship: A Case Study in Action
    Local school districts have faced hardships and challenges that have not transpired in a lifetime or more. Over the past several years, the Huron Valley Schools (MI) took a somewhat unique approach designed to engage community stakeholders by remaining transparent, available, and communicative. We accomplished our goals by dispelling misinformation and building relationships in a time of uncertainty. This session is designed to provide board members with tools they might consider when navigating difficult community circumstances—including health emergencies such as a pandemic, school safety, and strategic planning.

    Presenters:
    Paul Salah, Superintendent, Huron Valley Schools (MI)
    Tom Wiseman, Board of Education President, Huron Valley Schools (MI)

    Monday, April 8 | 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

    Improving Governance Effectiveness Through Questioning
    Responding to shifting realities post-Covid, student population changes, increased mental health needs, and striving to meet state requirements add stressors to school districts and to school board meetings. This unsettled atmosphere is challenging and can become volatile for school board members and superintendents alike. How can board members maintain focus and decorum? This session invites board members and superintendents to learn about a research-based process that can result in improved governance through the use of better questioning strategies to get to the answers that they really need.

    Presenters:
    Delic Loyde, Hearne Education Foundation
    Adrain Johnson, Hearne ISD
    Jannifer Taylor, Hearne ISD Board of Trustees
    Kimberly Lewis, Hearne ISD

  • Governance & Executive Leadership

    Friday, April 5 | 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

    Preconference Workshop: School Board Meetings in Need of an Effectiveness Boost
    School boards fulfill their responsibility to their districts through meetings, where the board conducts business and take action. Having effective board meetings reflects the board's work and helps to enhance relationships with the superintendent and the public. Attendees will explore key elements of successful school board meetings from start to finish. Topics include planning an effective meeting, your role in meetings, sunshine laws, and parliamentary procedures. This session will help you to conduct and participate in school board meetings that promote transparency and efficiency.

    Presenters:
    Jenni Lefing, Association of Alaska School Boards
    Tiffany Jackson, Association of Alaska School Boards

    Saturday, April 6 | 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

    Now We're Cookin': High-Functioning Strategies to Navigate Sensitive Issues and Political Landmines — The Secret Sauce!
    Fasten your seatbelt for this high-energy session that will explore the complicated scenarios board and executive leadership teams are experiencing. Lee Pritzl, author of The School Board Playbook, will share real-time examples of how school boards are navigating through sensitive issues and how individual boards are examining their own behaviors to increase their functionality. The Oconto Unified School District leadership team will reveal how their board functionality allows them to create their own "secret sauce" and successfully navigate sensitive issues.

    Presenters:
    Lee Pritzl, Author
    Emily Miller, Oconto Unified School District
    Bobbi Christopherson, Oconto Unified School District
    Kris Alwin, Oconto Unified School District

    Navigating Divisions Amid Diversity: How Boards and Superintendents Can Chart a Unified, Innovative Path Through Polarizing Issues
    Many districts struggle to find a path through polarizing issues that will enable school systems to continue to innovate and ensure better outcomes for students. In this presentation, hear how the leadership of a large and diverse district has worked collaboratively through some complex, difficult, and divisive issues. This presentation will walk through several examples, including the transition to a new superintendent, changing school start times, implementing a comprehensive redistricting plan, and forging productive relationships with often adversarial advocacy groups.

    Presenters:
    Mark Bedell, Anne Arundel County Public Schools
    Joanna Tobin, Anne Arundel County Public Schools

    Saturday, April 6 | 1 – 2 p.m.

    Nothing About Them Without Them: Ensuring Authentic Student Voice
    If school is about and for the students, then they should be a part of the decision-making process - nothing about them without them! Come here about how California's Western Placer Unified School District (enrollment 7,800) created a district-wide Student Senate that provides regular opportunities for students to provide input, support decision-making, and take on leadership roles in partnership with the adults to improve their schools/district.

    Presenter:
    Kerry Callahan, Western Placer Unified School District

    Free Speech and the Board
    School board members deal with First Amendment issues in various ways. This presentation will discuss freedom of speech issues including, but not limited to, board member speech during and outside of board meetings and public comment during board meetings.

    Presenters:
    Spencer Lewis, Oregon School Boards Association
    Haley Percell, Oregon School Boards Association

    Saturday, April 6 | 3 – 4 p.m.

    Onboarding for School Board Success
    Developed by Rocky View School's Board of Trustees, this session will share how a thoughtful onboarding process helps ensure that elected trustees are knowledgeable about the role and expectations of trusteeship prior to being elected. The onboarding promotes a collegial and productive working environment. Rocky View School Division is in Alberta, Canada, and provides education to more than 28,000 K-12 students in rural and urban communities.

    Presenters:
    Melyssa Bowen, Rocky View Schools
    Shelley Kinley, Rockyview School Division
    Todd Brand, Rocky View Schools
    Greg Luterbach, Rocky View Schools

    Sunday, April 7 | 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

    Superintendent Selection: The Right Process and the Right Fit
    Selecting a new superintendent is the single most important decision the board will make. Recent studies show that district leadership makes a significant difference in student achievement. State school board associations are the first place boards can turn to for help when selecting a new superintendent. The National Affiliation of Superintendent Searchers (NASS) consists of state school board association staff that conducts superintendent searches. Jay Bennett, 2024 chair of NASS, will share tips and insights that boards should consider as they search for their next superintendent.

    Presenter:
    Jay Bennett, Michigan Association of School Boards

    Sunday, April 7 | 1 – 2 p.m.

    National School Law Update
    Join the NSBA legal team for the annual update on key cases and trends in federal law affecting schools. In this can't-miss session, you will learn how the Supreme Court is accepting and deciding cases in key areas like First Amendment and social media, employment claims, and IDEA, and what it means for your school districts.

    Presenters:
    Sonja Trainor, National School Boards Association (NSBA)
    Jordan Cooper, National School Boards Association (NSBA)
    Tammy Carter, National School Boards Association (NSBA)

    The 3Rs of Boardmanship
    Find out how board members of Texas' Lancaster ISD (enrollment 7,100) have used reading, relating, and being reflective to become better board members submitting the mission of the district. The 3Rs are to "Read" - become knowledgeable of the content presented to the board to consider; "Relate" - become aware and leverage relational capacity to foster a sense of camaraderie; and "Reflect" - become aware of the impact of all actions taken by analyzing data.

    Presenter:
    Ty G Jones, Lancaster ISD

    Navigating Political Storms
    Whitefish School Board faced politically charged protests, doxing, heckling, and a failed recall effort during the 2021-22 school year. Yet, Montana's Whitefish School District (enrollment 1,900) continued to thrive. Student outcomes rose across the district; activities and athletics participation rates continued to climb; student enrollment continued to grow; and all incumbents were reelected by large margins. In this session, we will share three strategies board members used to effectively navigate the chaos of culture wars and maintain the district's focus on supporting student growth.

    Presenters:
    Katie Clarke, Whitefish School District
    Dave Means, Whitefish School District

    Sunday, April 7 | 3 – 4 p.m.

    Harness The Power of a Citizens’ Long Range Planning Committee to Inform Board Decisions
    Is your district facing increasing student and staff mental health needs, declining enrollment, aging facilities, or declining student achievement? All of the above? Regardless of district size, identifying solutions to complex challenges requires all kinds of data collection, analysis, and community involvement. Learn how Colorado's Littleton Public Schools (enrollment 14,000) harnesses the power of a citizens' Long Range Planning Committee to gather and study data, solicit community feedback, and make recommendations to the school board. Districts of all sizes can and have replicated our plan successfully.

    Presenters:
    Diane Leiker, Littleton Public Schools
    Jonathan Levesque, LIttleton Public Schools
    Angela Christensen, Littleton Public Schools
    Terry Davis, Littleton Public Schools

    Modeling Civility in Your School District
    This session will help school board members put into practice NSBA's Policy and Belief calling on public officials and levels of government to model civil discourse in their deliberations. The board room, the classroom, and social media provide opportunities for board members to demonstrate civility and serve as role models that can help communities build relationships and consensus.

    Presenters:
    Patrice McCarthy, Connecticut Association of Boards of Education
    Leonard Lockhart, Windsor Public Schools

    Monday, April 8 | 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

    Are Your Board Policies and Procedures Helping or Hurting Teacher Recruitment?
    The market for educator talent has shifted significantly due to decreasing enrollment in teacher education programs, COVID, and public sentiment towards public education. But have your board policies around human capital kept up with the changes? Spend an hour with a human capital researcher to learn how to audit your board policies and identify opportunities for strengthening employee recruitment and retention. All attendees will be provided with tools for conducting self-audits in their organizations.

    Presenter:
    Amy Holcombe, High Point University

    Ten Best Practices to Avoid Liability
    Board of education members are often faced with challenging issues that could lead to the board becoming part of a lawsuit. This session will explore the common legal pitfalls boards of education face, the best ways to deal with them when they occur, and, most importantly, the best ways to avoid them.

    Presenters:
    Patrice McCarthy, Connecticut Association of Boards of Education
    Conrad Vahlsing, Connecticut Association of Boards of Education

  • Innovation in District Management

    Saturday, April 6 | 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

    Strategic Action and Accountability for All
    Discover how the Ysleta ISD school board and superintendent created a strategic action plan utilizing a data-driven scorecard system to assess the superintendent and track the district's achievements over a span of five years. The Ysleta ISD is located in El Paso, Texas, serving 37,000 students.

    Presenters:
    Xavier De La Torre, Ysleta ISD
    Cruz Ochoa, Ysleta ISD

    Student Success? It's As Easy As TLC!
    This session features evidence-based strategies that will improve student behavior and educator morale. Find out how Oklahoma's Geary Public Schools (enrollment 300) transformed from a district that struggled with climate issues to one that was named an Innovative District by Houghton Mifflin Harcourts' International Center for Educational Leadership. Superintendent Sean Buchanan explores specific alternatives to common consequences and explains the role of internal motivation of adults in the education process. Finally, he explains how TLC is the glue that holds it all together.

    Presenter:
    Sean Buchanan, Geary Public Schools

    Saturday, April 6 | 1 – 2 p.m.

    Building a Dynamic Child Nutrition Program: How to Increase Quality, Participation, and Positive Student Interest
    Overcoming the negative stigma of school cafeteria food is an extraordinary challenge. Using various strategies and actions, Texas' Longview ISD is shedding the negative reputation of cafeteria food. Authentic "farm to table" fresh foods from the district garden, new environments including food trucks and outdoor serving areas, menu changes, education, and marketing have led to a massive increase in participation and satisfaction. Furthermore, mobile child nutrition service is increasing access and expanding the child nutrition footprint. See how Longview ISD is transforming the child nutrition program.

    Presenters:
    James Hockenberry, Longview ISD
    James Wilcox, Longview ISD
    Ted Beard, Longview ISD

    Bringing Your Values to Life in Your School District
    Many school districts have identified mission, vision, and values statements. How do you bring those values to life in your school district? Join the Pendergast Elementary School District, in Phoenix, Arizona, (enrollment 8,300) as we share our journey to implement our values throughout our district processes that engage stakeholders in meaningful ways. Come hear some commonsense strategies to include everyone from students and staff to families and businesses in the daily work to create innovative schools and empowered learners.

    Presenters:
    Jennifer Cruz, Pendergast Elementary School District
    Jete White, Pendergast Elementary School District
    Hilda Ortega Rosales, Pendergast Elementary School District
    Martín Quezada, Pendergast Elementary School District

    Saturday, April 6 | 3 – 4 p.m.

    Teacher Residency: Lighting the Way for New Teacher Preparation
    Socorro Independent School District is leading the pack and lighting a path for teacher preparation. Through a year-long paid teacher residency, aspiring educators get on-the-job experience as part of their teacher preparation to ensure they are ready on day one for the demands of being a teacher. By partnering with a local university, Socorro ISD is using underutilized district funds to support staffing shortages, creating a robust and nationally recognized pipeline for its schools. The result: well-prepared teachers and enthusiastic mentors who stay in the teaching profession.

    Presenters:
    Dr. Nate Carman, Socorro ISD
    Lucia Borrego, Chief Academic Officer, Board Trustee
    Cynthia Najera, Socorro ISD
    Jina Eksaengsri, Socorro ISD

    Sunday, April 7 | 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

    Investing in Staff Wellness
    Investing in the wellness of educational staff is crucial for better outcomes for students, teachers, and the education system. Learn how the New Mexico's Santa Fe Public Schools (enrollment 11,054) prioritizes teacher well-being to make the teaching profession more attractive to prospective educators and draw talented individuals to the field. Ultimately, this impacts teacher shortages and benefits students and the education system overall. Discussions will focus on innovative ways to prioritize teacher well-being to achieve enhanced teacher effectiveness and improved retention rates.

    Presenters:
    Hilario Chavez, Santa Fe Public School District
    Sarah Boses, Santa Fe Public School District

    Sunday, April 7 | 3 – 4 p.m.

    Building Facilities to Meet the Unique Needs of Our Communities
    How do you build and remodel facilities to meet the unique needs of your neighborhoods? The passage of Corvallis School District's $200M bond in 2018 provided the district an opportunity to not only transform their aging infrastructure, but to also develop more innovative and equitable environments for all. The district empowered Design Advisory Committees (DACs) and identified a core team to work closely with the design team, supporting the creation of inclusive and adaptable education spaces that reflects its diverse population.

    Presenters:
    Ryan Noss, Corvallis School District 509J
    Sami Al-Abdrabbuh, Corvallis School District 509J
    Kim Patten, Corvallis School District 509J
    Sarah Finger McDonald, Corvallis School District 509J

    The Magic of the Mentor Center: Supporting Success & Well-Being
    Amid the pandemic, North Dakota's Grand Forks Public Schools (enrollment 7,500) created a program to address longstanding engagement and outcome gaps. The Silver Magna Award-winning Mentor Center, open until 8 p.m., provides academic assistance, mental health support, and enrichment opportunities to any middle and high school student. From the enthusiastic welcome they receive when they walk in the door, students know this is a place they belong. That positivity draws students back to this space, helps them boost their GPA, and enhances their mental well-being.

    Presenters:
    Robin David, Grand Forks Public Schools
    Jamie Sebby, Grand Forks Public Schools
    Catherine Gillach, Grand Forks Public Schools
    Dave Berger, Grand Forks Public Schools

    Monday, April 8 | 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

    Addressing Teacher Retention with University Partnership
    Learn how Iowa's Des Moines Public Schools (30,000 students) and West Des Moines Community School District (9,000 students) address teacher retention by partnering with Drake University. Since 2012, the Building Leaders in Urban Education (BLUE) program has worked to (a) provide new teachers with support and strengthen their instructional practices, (b) equip teachers with culturally responsive instructional practices, and (c) develop teacher leaders. The program has had a positive impact on teacher development and retention, saving the district on the cost of teacher turnover.

    Presenters:
    Jill Johnson, West Des Moines Community Schools
    Christian White, Des Moines Public Schools

  • Safe & Supportive Schools

    Saturday, April 6 | 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

    Reducing Restraint, Eliminating Isolation: Spokane Public Schools' Commitment to Student Well-being, Safety, and Emotional Health
    Washington's Spokane Public Schools (enrollment 30,000) commitment to student well-being, along with their prioritization of student safety and emotional health, is showcased in this informative session. The presentation will highlight the successful efforts taken by the district to reduce the use of restraint and eliminate isolation. Through the implementation of systemic change, updating of policies and procedures, and fostering community advocacy and partnerships, Spokane Public Schools has witnessed a remarkable decline in the number of incidents, from 6,000 in 2017-18 to fewer than 226 in 2022-23.

    Presenters:
    Becky Ramsey, Spokane Public Schools
    Nikki Otero Lockwood, Spokane Public Schools
    Dr. Adam Swinyard, Spokane Public Schools

    Finding a New Normal: Using Trauma-Informed Care Practices to Support Diverse Student Populations in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic
    The COVID-19 pandemic had a profound impact on all aspects of life as we experienced a collective trauma. We continue to see the death toll far exceed 1.3 million people, tens of millions who experienced illness (and continue to experience long-haul COVID), and a deeply impacted economy and education system. We need to address the impact of this trauma (and others) on students. This session will explore the use of trauma-informed practices to provide tools for educators and leaders to support students as we move forward.

    Presenters:
    Michael Dodge, Massachusetts Association of School Committees
    Stefania Raschilla, West Springfield Public Schools

    Public Private Partnerships: Innovative Construction Models as Implemented by Prince Georges County Public Schools to Increase Equity in Schools
    Prince Georges County Public Schools (PGCPS) is the first school district in the country to utilize a public private partnership (P3) with an availability payment as a method for the design, financing, construction, and long-term maintenance of a bundle of schools. PGCPS also received funding from the state of Maryland to build a second bundle of schools using this methodology. A panel of district personnel and advisors will describe the conditions and decisions that led to using the P3 model to construct six new middle/K-8 school buildings. They will discuss the benefits and issues of using this financing method and the general outcome and status of the project.

    Presenters:
    Jason Washington, Prince George's County Public Schools
    Shawn Matlock, Prince George's County Public Schools
    Pamela Boozer-Strother, Prince George's County Public Schools
    Monica Goldson, Prince George's County Public Schools
    Millard House II, Prince Georges County Public Schools

    Saturday, April 6 | 1 – 2 p.m.

    Trauma-Informed Framework Featuring Animal-Assisted Interventions
    The Animal-Assisted Interventions (AAI) program was created in response to a growing need to support the increased demand for improving both student and staff mental health and well-being. Research on childhood trauma and brain development provided biological explanations for what practitioners have long been describing in psychological, emotional, and behavioral terms. AAI provides regulating techniques in a trauma-sensitive way to support a healing environment. Addressing the emotional debt from unresolved childhood traumas from faculty and staff is essential.

    Presenters:
    Derrick Coleman, River Rouge School District
    Shakesha Alexander, River Rouge School District

    Advancing a Culture of Gratitude: Strategies to Improve Engagement and Customer Service
    Creating a culture of gratitude must start at the top, but once initiated, it can grow at every level. Praise contributes to school and work engagement as well as overall feelings of psychological safety. Establishing mechanisms for praise to be encouraged and shared among colleagues and students is the first step in fostering a systemwide culture of gratitude. This presentation introduces powerful yet simple, low-cost strategies for modeling, growing, and sustaining a culture of gratitude among staff and students with a focus on fun and appreciation.

    Presenters:
    Sean Bulson, Harford County Public Schools
    Carol Mueller, Harford County Public Schools
    Eric Davis, Harford County Public Schools

    Social Media and Youth Mental Health — Campaign with Researchers and Advocacy Organizations for Students' Wellbeing
    Excessive social media use doubles mental health risks in teens. However, many teens express an inability to better manage their time online and limit excessive use. Additionally, social media use for certain purposes is helpful, contributes to mental health, and should not be outright banned. Join our session where three speakers address the critical impact of social media on teen mental health. A scholar in psychology and neuroscience will offer school leaders an actionable blueprint for launching mental health campaigns and embedding digital wellness into the curriculum. A seasoned adviser in federal policy and advocacy will share valuable resources and strategies for state and local education leaders and policymakers. The researcher of the Center for Public Education will share a data-driven report on this pressing issue.

    Presenters:
    Jinghong Cai, National School Boards Association
    Keegan Lee, 60 Days of Disconnect - A Personal Perspective of How Social Media Affects Mental
    Caren Howard, Mental Health America

    Preventing School Violence: Evidence-Based Federal Resources to Create Safer Learning Environments for the K-12 Community
    Join representatives from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security School Safety Task Force to explore the complex and evolving security risks affecting K-12 schools. The presenters will share research-informed strategies and recommendations that enhance safe and supportive learning environments by focusing on resources, guidance, and evidence-based practices available from the federal government. Participants will come away with an understanding of how schools are addressing risks and improving their safety.

    Presenters:
    Lindsay Burton, U.S. DHS, CISA, School Safety Task Force
    Andrew Dominic, U.S. DHS, CISA, School Safety Task Force

    Saturday, April 6 | 3 – 4 p.m.

    Then and Now: Designing of a Comprehensive Student Safety and Well-being Program
    Education leaders and school board members must understand the core issues of comprehensive school safety and how to grow and support best practice frameworks that establish both physical AND psychological safety in schools, with an intentional focus on prevention. North Carolina's Cabarrus County Schools (enrollment, 34,637) has created a state-recognized award-winning model that relies on collaboration across disciplines, departments, and funding sources. Learn what to consider when you are leading the development of a safety program and how to use what you already have in place as a starting point.

    Presenters:
    Amy Lowder, Cabarrus County Schools
    Sam Treadaway, Cabarrus County Schools

    Making Employee Wellness a Priority: How One School District Found "Hope after Heartbreak" Building a Life-Saving Employee Wellness Program
    What happens when a high school suicide cluster impacts hundreds of employees causing widespread despair, followed by the life altering impact of a nationwide pandemic? For one school district, it turned into an employee mental health crisis no one saw coming. In this session, you will learn how Jordan School District gave struggling employees, experiencing a pandemic of burnout, "Hope after Heartbreak" by building a one-of-a-kind employee wellness program. It is a brand-new approach to employee mental health and wellness, which is changing and saving lives.

    Presenters:
    Sandra Riesgraf, Jordan School District
    Anthony Godfrey, Jordan School District
    McKinley Withers, Jordan School District
    Douglas Flagler, Jordan School District

    Sunday, April 7 | 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

    Mental Health Needs, Challenges and Solutions from Urban, Rural, and Suburban Leaders
    Suicide rates in rural communities are 45% higher than in metro areas, and 65% of rural counties do not have practicing psychiatrists. Urban students experience increased stressors due to higher crime rates and reduced social support. Suburban students have higher rates of substance abuse, anxiety, and depression than urban students. A panel of three superintendents from rural, urban, and suburban districts will share tools that support student mental health in their communities. Attendees will be provided with no-cost, accessible solutions to this growing problem.

    Presenters:
    Anne Brown, The Cook Center for Human Connection
    Sandra Miller, Cassia County School District
    Brad Keating, Clark County School District
    Anntwanique Edwards, Alachua County Public Schools

    Sunday, April 7 | 1 – 2 p.m.

    From Awareness to Action: Concrete Steps to Create Effective Mental Health Initiatives in Schools
    According to the CDC, 1 in 5 students have contemplated suicide, and 1 in 10 have made the attempt. It's time for school districts to move beyond mere awareness campaigns and take concrete steps to support the well-being of their students. Learn how to take action to create effective mental health initiatives, including early intervention, destigmatization, and parent empowerment.

    By bridging the gap between awareness and action, attendees will be empowered to create supportive and inclusive educational environments that prioritize the mental well-being of all students.

    Presenters:
    Gillian Chapman, Teton County School District
    Anne Brown, The Cook Center for Human Connection

    Professional Boundaries: Keeping Our Students Safe
    Learn how the Lower Kuskokwim School District in Bethel, Alaska, implemented board policy on professional boundaries of staff with students, underwent a sexual abuse prevention best practices audit, and strengthened district policies and procedures in their effort to increase student safety and to ensure that all staff maintain the highest professional standards and appropriate professional boundaries when interacting with students.

    Presenters:
    Kimberly Hankins, Lower Kuskokwim School District
    Mike Husa, Lower Kuskokwim School District
    Edward Pekar, Lower Kuskokwim School District

    Sunday, April 7 | 3 – 4 p.m.

    Inclusive Approaches: Supporting Diverse Student Mental Health Needs in Your School District
    Join Anntwanique Edwards, the chief of equity, inclusion, and outreach for Florida's Alachua County Public Schools (enrollment 28,300) to learn how to support all students regardless of race, gender, religion, disability, ethnic background, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, English language proficiency, or other factors. Edwards will share strategies and tools available to create responsive schools and classrooms to improve student mental wellness.

    Presenters:
    Anntwanique Edwards, Alachua County Public Schools
    Michelle Bartsch, Cook Center for Human Connection

    Incorporating the Needs of Students (and staff) with Disabilities into Emergency Operation Plans
    The U.S. Department of Education's Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Center recently announced a focus on "Integrating K–12 Students with Disabilities into School Emergency Management Planning." Join this panel of experts, including Tom Wheeler, a former senior advisor/counsel to the Secretary of Education, Michele Gay, a Sandy Hook parent and president of Safe & Sound Schools, and Melissa Keyes, the executive director of the Indiana Protection & Advocacy Services, as they discuss what this mandate means and how to include the differently abled students into emergency operations planning.

    Presenters:
    Thomas Wheeler, Bose McKinney & Evans LLP
    Michele Gay, Safe & Sound Schools

    Utilizing Student Peer Court as an Effective Tier 3 Intervention
    Find out how Canyons School District (enrollment 34,000) in Salt Lake City, Utah, has implemented a very successful student peer court as a tier 3 intervention system. In Utah, like many states during and following the pandemic, there has been a steady rise in poor student attendance, behavior, and failing grades. In response, the board of education commissioned the creation of the Peer Court, which integrates a restorative student discipline system designed to support students that may have made poor choices resulting in serious and less serious offenses.

    Presenter:
    Charisse Hilton, Canyons School District

     

  • School Board/Superintendent Relationships

    Saturday, April 6 | 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

    Special Education 101: Making Sense of the Alphabet Soup of Terms
    Special education directors joke about the alphabet soup of terms that administrators use to discuss student services. From IDEA to Section 504, school board members can be lost as settlement agreements and due process updates come up for vote at board meetings. It is more important than ever that the school board take an active role as they approve actions to fight or remedy parent complaints on behalf of their student with disabilities. Zee and Sharp will review of the two reigning federal laws that govern the student services world and pitfalls to avoid.

    Presenters:
    William Zee, Appel, Yost & Zee LLP
    Laura Sharp, Lincoln Intermediate Unit No. 12

    Saturday, April 6 | 1 – 2 p.m.

    The 3 Rs of Rural Education: Relationships, Recognition & Respect
    Rural education has unique intricacies for leaders at all levels. Serving as a school board member or superintendent in an area where you are involved with stakeholders in multiple roles can be challenging. However, the blessings of living and educating in a rural area are also exponential. Attendees will understand methods used to cultivate and promote relationships, recognition, and respect in two rural school districts. This session will provide tried-and-true methods that attendees can easily implement upon their return home to navigate serving in a rural area.

    Presenters:
    Abi Van Regenmorter, De Smet School District
    Louann Krogman, White River School District

    Saturday, April 6 | 3 – 4 p.m.

    A Tale of Two Leaders: The Art of Cultivating Trust and Productivity in Board-Superintendent Relations
    This session explores the journey of Michigan's West Bloomfield School District (enrollment 5,000) in building a successful partnership between the board and superintendent. Discover proven strategies and practical techniques to foster trust, enhance communication, and promote collaboration. Gain valuable insights and actionable steps that will empower attendees to strengthen their own board-superintendent relationships.

    Presenters:
    Dania Bazzi, West Bloomfield School District
    Stacy Brickman, West Bloomfield School District

    Sunday, April 7 | 1 – 2 p.m.

    Keys to Supporting First Year/First Term Superintendents for District Success
    With many superintendents serving between three to five years (one term) in a district, every school board director may be faced with supporting a new first-year/first term superintendent! This session will provide examples, advice, and ways to partner with the superintendent and truly work as a team to provide stability for the district and longevity for the superintendent.

    Presenters:
    Allyn Roche, Upper Perkiomen School District
    Joe Ciresi, PA House of Representative - Montgomery County

  • Student Achievement, Assessment, & Accountability

    Friday, April 5 | 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

    Preconference Workshop — Student Achievement Data Transparency (SADT): Disaggregate, Make Public, Collaborate, Monitor, Engage Parents, and Increase Student Growth
    The crisis reflected by African American and Latino American student achievement data should be alarming to all in K-12 education. National and local test scores for these students continue to trail other racial and ethnic groups. This trend must be addressed. School boards play a unique and critically important role in establishing the climate for the courageous conversations needed when analyzing, disaggregating, sharing, and monitoring student achievement data with transparency. Governance leaders must require regular student achievement data reviews as part of their established practices.

    Presenters:
    Jeffery Cohn, Brave Dialogue
    Janiece Jackson, Lindop School District 92

    Saturday, April 6 | 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

    Personalized Learning
    See how Lawton Public Schools uses a variety of learning modes and platforms to allow students to personalize their education. Learn what personalized learning looks like in a 14,000-student district and listen to district administrators as they discuss personalized learning implementation strategies in all levels of education. They will discuss why personalized learning is essential for today's students to achieve their post-secondary career goals.

    Presenters:
    Jason James, Lawton Public Schools
    Doug Brown, Lawton Public Schools

    Saturday, April 6 | 1 – 2 p.m.

    The Evolution of a Sustainable Change: Progress and Improvement Take Time and Patience
    In the Westmoreland CSD, our goal was to increase student achievement and improve culture. We recognized that intentional, incremental, flexible, and well-timed steps were necessary. Our board of education provided the time and support to build a program that can thrive even when key players leave the district and new administrators and teachers are hired. The process starts when the board, staff, and community offer input and ultimately buy into the strategic plan. The actions steps addressed instructional, cultural, and social-emotional needs.

    Presenters:
    Rocco Migliori, Westmoreland Central School
    Stephen Polera, Westmoreland CSD
    Trevor Haskell, Westmoreland CSD
    John Acee, Westmoreland CSD

    Pathway to Students Success: Innovative and Equity Centered Approach to Accountability
    Maryland's Montgomery County Public Schools (enrollment 162,000), set a PreK-12th grade Student Pathway to College, Career and Community Readiness. The pathway ensures all students from all backgrounds are ready to meet the challenges of post-secondary life. The pathway includes three key components with a priority on antiracism. They are academic milestones: a set of essential indicators along a student's journey; competencies: cognitive, social, emotional skills and dispositions that we want our students to develop; and experiences: students will participate in to acquire nine core competencies.

    Presenters:
    Monifa McKnight, Montgomery County Public Schools
    Stephanie Sheron, Montgomery County Public Schools

    Saturday, April 6 | 3 – 4 p.m.

    Coherence in Action: Unleashing the Power of the District Strategic Plan
    Your district has developed a strategic plan, now what? How do you ensure that your district's strategic plan is a living, breathing document? In this workshop, we will share how the Uniondale UFSD in Long Island, New York (enrollment 6,272), has used the district's strategic plan as a lever to drive system-wide improvement that impacts everything from the classroom to the boardroom. We will discuss how we work with teachers, parents, and students to foster accountability and serve as keepers of the flame. We will share monitoring tools and evidence of impact on student learning.

    Presenters:
    Monique Darrisaw-Akil, Uniondale UFSD
    Matthew Ritter, Uniondale UFSD
    Addie Blanco-Harvey, Uniondale UFSD

    Accelerating Struggling Readers While Strengthening the Teacher Pipeline
    Learn more about how the Reading School District, a large urban school district in Pennsylvania, accelerated literacy skills by targeting struggling readers in first grade while exposing more teens to the teaching field. The model from the Read Alliance program has allowed first graders, who are mostly English Learners, to have a 1:1 tutor to build literacy and language skills and make huge gains in reading data. The structured model also has developed workforce skills in teens, empowered them to become leaders, and provided paid internships for 11th and 12th graders.

    Presenters:
    Jennifer Murray, Reading School District
    Dr. Noahleen Betts, Reading School District
    Dr. Paige M. Brookins, Reading School District

    Sunday, April 7 | 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

    Preparing Students for Careers in STEM, Aviation, and Aerospace: The Sky is NOT the Limit
    The Steubenville City Schools PK-12 STEM and CTE programs offer a wide variety of college and career readiness options, including the Aerospace Engineering and Aviation Program. This session will explore the role of strategic planning and partnership development in the program's growth, including collaboration with aviation businesses and nonprofit organizations, collegiate articulation agreements, and a $12 million STEM building expansion. Learn best practices for starting and growing STEM programs that prepare students to fill an unprecedented aviation and aerospace workforce demand.

    Presenters:
    Shana D'Aurora-Wydra, Steubenville City Schools
    Natalie Campana, Steubenville City Schools

    Sunday, April 7 | 1 – 2 p.m.

    The Hidden Gem in School Achievement: Career and Technical Education
    Learn how Western Maricopa Education Center in Arizona is leveraging the power of career and technical education to enhance student learning experiences, improve academic outcomes, increase district and school achievement profiles, and prepare students for future success.

    Presenters:
    CJ Williams, West-MEC
    Scott Spurgeon, West-MEC
    Robert Garcia, West-MEC

    Superpowering Your ROI!
    Aligning vision, mission, purpose and goals will SuperPower Your ROI! Join this fun and engaging session that highlights how Park City Schools (UT, enr 5000) incorporates the vision of the graduate, dynamic digital learning environment, measuring progress against big goals with its strategic dashboard, and monitor student attainment and outcome to provide the community strong and consistent ROI. Add in personalized professional learning, a strong framework for stakeholder engagement, and planning for the future of education via redesign. Learn how to SuperPower YOUR Return on Investment today.

    Presenters:
    Jill Gildea, Park City School District
    Lyndsay Huntsman, PCSD
    Stacey Briggs, PCS

    Sunday, April 7 | 3 – 4 p.m.

    Bridging to the Future: A Framework for School Boards to Assess Postsecondary Preparation
    Planning for life after high school is more challenging than ever. And for years, many postsecondary access programs have missed the mark, especially in Alaska where students enroll and complete college at some of the lowest rates in the country. A group of Alaskan schools, Tribes, and community partners are working to change that. Learn about the Bridging to the Future Framework and how school boards can use this tool to evaluate strengths and opportunities and align resources so that students get the right support at the right time.

    Presenter:
    Katie Oliver, Association of Alaska School Boards

    Monday, April 8 | 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

    Trending Up: How A School District Moved from Level 1 to Level 5 During A Pandemic
    School districts across the nation are striving to overcome the devastating academic declines resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Unprecedented times forced our district to develop innovative strategies to close the digital divide and give our students the best learning experience possible. Despite all odds, we took swift action to overcome learning loss, making our return to in-person learning stronger than ever before. Memphis-Shelby County Schools bridged the digital divide, reduced the adult-to-student ratio, and focused on reading readiness through its Literacy Commitment.

    Presenters:
    Althea Greene, Shelby County Board of Education
    Toni Williams, Memphis-Shelby County Schools
    Michelle R. McKissack, Memphis-Shelby County Schools

    Empowering Excellence and Success through Student Leadership
    The Pendergast 8th Grade Superintendent's Student Council fosters student leadership and engagement within the school district and community. The program focuses on leadership, presentation, and teamwork skills while working collaboratively with the governing board and superintendent. Members can be elected to serve as a student board member. This session on building leadership capacity is an opportunity for others to learn and replicate the strategies within their respective educational settings.

    Presenters:
    Kerry Pohlmeyer, Pendergast Elementary School District 92
    Jennifer Cruz, Pendergast Elementary School District
    Susan Serin, Pendergast Elementary School District 92
    Raymond Pohlmeyer, Pendergast Elementary School District
    Jose Arenas, Pendergast Elementary School District 92

  • Technology & Digital Learning Solutions

    Saturday, April 6 | 3 – 4 p.m.

    Click Here: Using Online Tools to Elevate Teaching
    The Oklahoma Library of Digital Resources is brought to you by the Oklahoma State School Boards Association in collaboration with Apple and Oklahoma teachers. It can help transform the classroom and engage students with free, high-quality digital resources. The library includes more than 5,000 resources curated by Oklahoma teachers that supports academic standards. Participants will be engaged with new technology and will learn a process to duplicate this resource in their state organization when they return home.

    Presenter:
    Anne Beck, Oklahoma State School Board Association

    Sunday, April 7 | 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

    Understanding the Way AI and Technology Are Changing Everything
    Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the world at a pace never seen before, and it's only a toddler. What will this new wave of innovation mean to students, staff, and administrators? What will the job market look like for our students and what can we do to prepare them? We will unpack the wide-ranging changes coming and discuss the pros and cons in this upbeat conversation.

    Presenter:
    Jason Price, Western Placer Unified School District

    Sunday, April 7 | 1 – 2 p.m.

    METRICS: Maximizing Engagement Through Regular Immersion in Computer Science
    This session takes an immersive look at how Virginia's Winchester Public Schools used their five-year Department of Education Education Innovation and Research (EIR) grant to develop processes for teacher integration of computer science through professional development, coaching, STEMersions, microcredentials, and the delivery of project-based units. This session will immerse participants in supporting students through STE(A)M, Makerspace and PEDLE Labs. They will learn how to connect students to STEM fields such as computer science through experiential learning trips and guest speakers, after-school clubs, family engagement, competitions, and summer computer science and STEM academies.

    Presenters:
    Jennifer LaBombard-Daniels, Winchester Public Schools
    Amy Thomas, John Kerr Elementary School

    The Times They are a Changin': One District's Journey with AI
    Hear a school board member, director of technology and classroom teacher describe the steps their district has taken to manage the immense sea-change that was unleashed upon the world when OpenAI released ChatGPT to the masses last year. Come prepared to add to the discussion by sharing your district's experience navigating these turbulent, yet exciting times.

    Presenters:
    Justin Talmadge, Snoqualmie Valley School District
    Ram Dutt, Snoqualmie Valley School District
    Constance Logan, Snoqualmie Valley School District

    Monday, April 8 | 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.

    Is Your District Future-Ready? How Your District Can Close the Homework Gap, Support Student Achievement, and Enhance the Bottom Line
    Learn how Kansas' Lawrence Public Schools (enrollment 9,956) has taken action to address some of the most pressing issues facing schools today -- the "homework gap" and school district general fund spending -- all while enhancing equitable access to learning for students across the district. Through careful planning and coordination with local government and funding sources, Lawrence Public Schools has installed a private fiber network ring to connect all of its school buildings, saving substantial dollars in general fund spending on internet services while building digital equity across the district.

    Presenters:
    Shannon Kimball, USD 497 Lawrence Public Schools
    G.R. Gordon-Ross, USD 497 Lawrence Public Schools
    David Vignery, USD 497 Lawrence Public Schools

Networking Luncheons

We've made enhancements to elevate conference luncheon experiences. The Council of Urban Boards of Education Luncheon remains on Saturday, April 6. On Sunday, April 7, a new luncheon event is being introduced to celebrate our National Connection members and council groups AIAN, NBC, and NHC. The National Connection Joint Council Luncheon aims to provide a unique and memorable experience while recognizing these vital groups. All luncheons are ticketed events. They are open to all conference registrants, and tickets must be purchased in advance.

  • Council of Urban Boards of Education Luncheon

    Teaching That Transforms: How to Cultivate a Classroom of Learners Who Believe, Read, and Achieve
    Today's classrooms encompass a myriad of changes that often present challenges for students and teachers. Dr. Connor will share strategies, solutions, and systems to promote a social-emotional learning environment and the enrichment of one's multiple intelligences. Attendees will discover how incorporating culturally relevant literature in a diverse classroom setting provides transformative experiences and cultivates students' minds.

    Speaker:
    Dr. Eddie Connor
    Author, Speaker, and Professor

    Read Bio

  • National Connection Joint Council Luncheon

    We are excited to announce the new National Connection Joint Councils Luncheon. On Sunday, April 7, dine in with your colleagues and NSBA council boards while hearing from distinguished speakers.

    Be #PRESENTE — Being an Advocate for Equity and Catalyst for Change
    Maria Andrade, a proactive advocate for change in her hometown of Newark, New Jersey, and beyond, is driven by an unwavering commitment to social equality and its profound implications. With a decade-long career in diverse urban classroom settings, Maria has been at the forefront of impactful projects across the state.

    Through her inspiring journey, Maria emphasizes the transformative power of education in overcoming environmental challenges, fostering personal development, and driving societal progress. Maria exemplifies her philosophy through the mantra, "BE #Presente," making a positive impact in every community she engages with.

    Join Maria as she shares her story and empowers attendees to actively promote educational equity in their communities, engaging in a crucial conversation on the pivotal role of Latinx youth in driving equitable integration within public schools. She will explore how, through involvement in community and political/grassroots activism, you can contribute to transformative change, charting a course toward a more equitable future for all with a focus on enhancing policy and amplifying access for students.

    Speaker:
    Maria J. Andrade
    Board of Trustees, President Emeritus 
    Roseville Community Charter School

    Read Bio

    Stayed tuned for more council speaker announcements.

Conference Information

  • NSBA 2023 Recap

    Day One Highlights

    Day Two Highlights

    Day Three Highlights

  • Cancellations & Refunds

    Cancellations & Refunds for Registration will be accepted through Thursday, February 22, 2024 with a full refund less a $150 processing fee.

    Registration Cancellations received on or after Friday, February 23, 2024 will not be refunded.

    All cancellation requests must be submitted in writing via the NSBA Registration & Hotel Support Center or via Fax: (415) 216-2535. Refunds will be processed within one week of the request. NSBA is not responsible for airfare, hotel, or other costs incurred by participants in the event of program or registration cancellation.
  • Hotels & Rates

    You must be registered for the conference before you can reserve housing. All reservations should be made prior to March 22, 2024. Room availability and conference rates cannot be guaranteed after this date.

    View the New Orleans hotel map and rates.

  • Travel & Getting Around

    CheapAirportParking

    Free Travel Benefit for the NSBA 2024 Conference Attendees
    Book your airport parking with CheapAirportParking and enter discount code NSBA24 to receive a $10 discount on your airport parking. CheapAirportParking has over 190 parking locations at 34 airports across the US: Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Connecticut, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, JFK, LaGuardia, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Newark, Oakland, Oregon, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Richmond, Salt Lake, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Ana, Seattle, Tampa, Washington, D.C., and White Plains.

    Click here for information on taxicabs, ride sharing, and other transportation.

  • Convention Center Parking

    Conveniently located near the Crescent City Connection, the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center provides safe and convenient parking for guests for a daily fee. Parking Lot F, Zone #33458 provides the closest access to the event.

    Please visit Getting Here - MCCNO for additional information regarding parking rates and driving directions.

    The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention provides ADA parking. Please email parking@mccno.com if you have specific needs.
  • Destination New Orleans

    Looking to relax and have some fun after a long day of learning? Continue the fun while in New Orleans by visiting some of the local tourist attractions. Click here for more information.

  • Safety Protocols & Requirements

    Proof of vaccination status or a negative test result is not required to attend NSBA events. Attendees who are not vaccinated are asked to take an at-home COVID-19 rapid antigen test before traveling to the event and should not attend if they test positive or have COVID-19 symptoms. NSBA does not require proof of these measures but encourages attendees to act responsibly and with consideration for the health and safety of others. Mask wearing is not required.

Exhibitors & Sponsors