Leaders 2018 Live Event Agenda

April 11-12, 2018 | The Mayflower Hotel

1127 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

9:30 a.m.—11:30 a.m.

Registration and coffee meet-up

Hall of Leaders opens.
Optional: Gather with fellow attendees and mingle over coffee with the outstanding Leaders To Learn From selected by Education Week.

11:30 a.m.—1 p.m.

Kick-Off Lunch

Join fellow attendees in the grand ballroom for a luncheon. Network with other district leaders who share your interests and begin the discussion on the issues and challenges you face.

1 p.m.—2:20 p.m.

Leader recognition begins

Education Week President and CEO Michele J. Givens begins the day recognizing our first group of Leaders. In conversations with reporters who profiled them, they’ll share their stories from the stage.

2:20 p.m.—2:50 p.m.

Follow the Leaders

2nd Floor
Join the Leaders you’ve just heard from for a half-hour lightning round of questions, answers, and inquiry, when you’ll have the opportunity to engage directly with these exceptional district administrators.

3 p.m.—3:30 p.m.

Deep Dive Discussions

2nd Floor
Choose one of our featured hot topics and spend an hour diving more deeply into the subject area that interests—or perhaps challenges—you most in the work you do.

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)
Evie Blad, Staff Writer, Education Week

There’s a growing swirl of interest around social-emotional learning as promising research findings and new policies, like the Every Student Succeeds Act, motivate many schools to explore SEL. But there are many questions to be answered as the movement scales up. For starters: What exactly is SEL? Can it be measured? What are the essential elements of a good SEL strategy? And how can schools and states both prepare and help teachers create supportive communities for their students and embed these principles into their instruction? We’ll dive in and talk about what educators are seeing on the ground.

Supporting Principal Instructional Leadership
Julio César “JC” Contreras, Principal Supervisor/Head of Schools, KIPP San Antonio, Texas

Join Julio César Contreras, Leaders To Learn From 2016, to review key practices and moves that will enhance the support, growth, and alignment between a principal supervisor and principal, which will positively affect student achievement. In a conversation with Contreras, you will learn strategies about:
• How to structure your time and focus as a principal supervisor and coach
• Importance of coaching through observation and feedback
• Leading a district with a narrowed focus on student impact

Learn more about Contreras’ work

Personalized Learning
Benjamin Herold, Staff Writer, Education Week

Personalized learning has emerged as one of the hottest, most muddled, most controversial trends in education. How are district leaders trying to make school more personalized? How does that jibe with the messages coming from Betsy DeVos, Mark Zuckerberg, and a wide range of ed-tech companies and state policymakers? What challenges are schools facing as they actually begin implementing personalized-learning models? Together, we’ll cut through the hype and confusion to tackle these questions.

STEM Education
Stephen Sawchuk, Associate Editor, Education Week

STEM continues to be on policymakers’ lips even though the research is far from clear on how coursetaking in these fields leads to improved college and work success. How should schools best create STEM pathways for students?  Should Algebra 2 remain a graduation requirement or give way to statistics?  And as more states and districts adopt the Next Generation Science Standards as their blueprint, how are schools handling the challenge of finding matching curriculum and resources? Join this session for a lively look at the key trends in STEM.


3:30 p.m.—4 p.m.

Industry Perspective Sessions

2nd Floor
Stay right where you are, because in this half hour of your topical discussion, you’ll hear from industry leaders making a difference in:
•  Social-Emotional Learning – Content provided by Second Step, by Committee for Children

Joan Duffell, Executive Director, Committee for Children, creators of the Second Step Program
“Ignite an SEL Revolution in Your District”
Schools and communities around the world are discovering the benefits of social-emotional learning (SEL). It empowers educators; creates successful learners; and connects students, staff, and families with a common language. And yes, it boosts academics. Joan Duffell, executive director of Committee for Children, will showcase districts transformed by the Second Step SEL Program and share best practices for igniting an SEL revolution in your own school community.


•  Instructional Leadership – Content provided by Scholastic Education

Ron Mirr, Senior Vice President, Family and Community Engagement & Learning Supports, Scholastic Education
“Moving From Good to Great: Harnessing the Power of Families to Support Learning”
For schools and districts across the U.S., family engagement is rapidly shifting from a low-priority recommendation to an important part of education reform. As educational leaders consider how to build strong partnerships with families, they are not always sure of how best to focus their efforts. This session highlights what educational leaders can do to move along a more effective pathway to harnessing the power of families to support student success.


•  Personalized Learning – Content provided by Curriculum Associates

Elizabeth Bassford, Executive Director, Content & Implementation, Curriculum Associates
“The Road to Equity Is Paved With Data”
How do we shepherd emotional fortitude in the school setting for all students? James Comer reminds us, “There can be no significant learning without a significant relationship.”

Join us for an exploration of the social/emotional elements of a powerful, growth-centered school culture. Advance the conversation from what students can’t do—the albatross of traditional assessments and their role in bias—to what they can and will do when we personalize the experience for each and for all, using the full throttle of adaptive, blended learning.


•  The Science of Learning – Content provided by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Rose Else-Mitchell, Chief Learning Officer, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
“The Learning Journey: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Improving Outcomes”
The science of learning sits at the nexus of a number of disciplines – including cognitive science, research and efficacy, ethnography and data analytics – all of which are key to uncovering the most effective ways to improve student outcomes. In her Industry Perspectives session, Else-Mitchell will explore the importance of applying a holistic pedagogical approach (marrying evidence-based content and services, social emotional learning and thoughtful use of data) to deepen learning experiences for students and empower teachers to maximize their impact.


4:15 p.m.—5:15 p.m.

Closing Keynote: Engagement as a Lever for Equity and Achievement

In this keynote conversation, Leaders To Learn From honorees from the past 5 years of Education Week’s special report on excellence in district leadership will explore the evolving field of parent and family engagement. They will discuss key conditions and practices for creating a culture in which parents and educators work as partners to support student success and school improvement.

Our moderated panel will discuss conditions for engagement and share effective strategies by exploring:
• The shift from family engagement as a program to family engagement as a practice
• The intersections between instruction and engagement
• How engagement strategies linked to learning have a greater impact on student outcomes
• How to overcome barriers to effectively engage every family

Guests will include:
Michele Brooks, 2013 Leader To Learn From, and Principal, Transformative Solutions
Learn more about Brooks’ work.



Tracy Hill, 2014 Leader To Learn From, and Executive Director, Office of Family and Community Engagement, Cleveland Metropolitan School District
Learn more about Hill’s work.

Patricia Spradley, 2015 Leader To Learn From, and Chief of Parent and Community Engagement, Springfield Public Schools, Springfield, Mass.
Learn more about Spradley’s work.

D’Lisa Crain, 2016 Leader To Learn From, and Family-School Partnerships Administrator, Washoe County School District, Reno, Nev.
Learn more about Crain’s work.

Trise Moore, 2017 Leader To Learn From, and Director of Equity & Family Engagement, Federal Way Public Schools, Federal Way, Wash.
Learn more about Moore’s work.



5:15 p.m.—7 p.m.

All-Attendee Reception


Thursday, April 12, 2018

7 a.m.—8 a.m.

Networking Breakfast

Hall of Leaders

8 a.m.—9 a.m.

Opening Keynote: Visible Learning Mindframes: How Educators Think Matters

Grand Ballroom

John Hattie
Professor of Education and Director, Melbourne Education Research Institute,
University of Melbourne, Australia, and Author, Visible Learning

John Hattie’s landmark Visible Learning research concluded that one of the most important influences of student achievement is how teachers think about learning and their own role. These powerful mindframes, which should underpin every action in schools, are founded on the principle that teachers are evaluators, change agents, learning experts, and seekers of feedback who are constantly engaged with dialogue and challenge.

9 a.m.—10 a.m.

Leader recognition begins

Education Week President and CEO Michele J. Givens introduces our second group of Leaders for 2018. In conversations with reporters who profiled them, they’ll share their stories from the stage.

10:20 a.m.—10:50 a.m.

Follow the Leaders

2nd Floor
Join the Leaders you’ve just heard from for a half-hour lightning round of questions, answers, and inquiry, when you’ll have the opportunity to engage directly with these exceptional district administrators.

10:50 a.m.—11:20 a.m.

Networking Reception Break

2nd Floor atrium
Take a break with your new colleagues and fellow participants to enjoy refreshments, network, and discuss what you’ve learned.

11:20 a.m.—11:50 a.m.

Deep Dive Discussions

Hold onto your seats and dive even deeper into the subject area that interests—or perhaps challenges—you most in the work you do:

Teacher Professional Development: What schools are doing to make it more meaningful and relevant
Liana Loewus, Assistant Managing Editor, Education Week Teacher

Teacher professional development: Ideally, it’s an opportunity for growth, skill-building, and rejuvenation. Yet far too often it’s seen as an exercise in futility. The emphasis on fulfilling PD requirements, which are generally measured in “seat time,” can lead to teachers taking courses that have little to do with what they want or need to improve their craft. But some schools and districts are looking to change that dynamic. They’re entrusting teachers to create their own PD plans, encouraging collaboration with colleagues in place of one-off seminars, and measuring in personal growth rather than hours.

Catherine Gewertz, Senior Contributing Writer, Education Week

The last five years have seen a whirlwind of debate and activity on testing. States rushing to embrace tests designed for the common core, and then abandoning those tests. An assessment backlash that put districts under pressure to cut back local tests. More states using college-entrance exams to measure high school learning. A big push to measure learning by demonstrating competency, through projects and portfolios. The testing landscape can be confusing and multilayered, but we’ll make sense of it together in this fun, free-ranging conversation.

English-Language Learners
Corey Mitchell, Staff Writer, Education Week

Meeting the needs of English-language learners has emerged as one of the biggest challenges in education today. Many district leaders are grappling with how their schools can effectively educate this special population and the numbers bear out their concerns: despite recent gains, English-learner graduation rates in most states lag well behind the national average. We’ll explore who these students are and what they need from schools—inside and outside of the classroom—to succeed on the path to learning English and earning a high school diploma.

Early Learning
Christina Samuels, Associate Editor, Education Week

Scores of researchers agree: high-quality early-childhood programs have a positive impact on the academic trajectory of young children. But what counts as “high quality?” And how do education leaders ensure that the children who need such programs have access to them? These questions raise thorny issues around funding, teacher workforce development, and curriculum, among others. Join us for a discussion that explores how some communities have invested in early education, and the challenges that remain.

11:50 a.m.—12:20 p.m.

Industry Perspectives

2nd Floor
For the first half of these topical discussions, hear from industry leaders making a difference in:
•  Teacher Professional Development – Content provided by Corwin

Karen Flories, Professional Learning Consultant, Corwin
“Impacting Teacher Practice and Student Outcomes With Effective Professional Development”
This session will strengthen leaders’ understanding of key areas of professional development that need to be a focus for evidence collection. In addition, leaders will explore seven key themes that are linked to effective professional development that not only shift professional practice, but also positively impact the growth and achievement of students. Leaders will leave with an ability to evaluate their current professional development structure while identifying potential action steps moving forward.


•  Teacher Coaching – Content provided by New Teacher Center

Lynn Kepp, Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, New Teacher Center
“Beyond Coaching: Evidence-Based Teacher Induction That Drives Student Success”
Additional Presenters:
Deonne Medley, Director, Office of Teacher Support and Development, Baltimore City Public Schools
Shana Warburton, Mentor Program Lead, Baltimore City Public Schools
Ensuring that teachers are ready to provide students with an equitable high-quality education requires more than a buddy system or mentor program. Through New Teacher Center’s independent i3 research and over 20 years of expertise, they’ll share what they’ve learned about what moves the needle for student outcomes. Hear directly from district leaders who will share how the NTC induction program has positively impacted their district, accelerated educator effectiveness, and improved student success.


•  Early Learning – Content provided by Waterford Institute

Benjamin Heuston, President & CEO of Waterford Institute
“It Takes a Village: Partnering With Parents and Communities for School Readiness Success”
In early education, the youngest years are the most important. Although schools are typically at the tail-end of efforts made by parents and community organizers in preparing children to enter kindergarten, districts can reach out to and engage with parents and community partners to assist with kindergarten readiness before students begin school. Utilizing 21st century solutions that start in the home and bridge into early elementary contributes to each child’s success.


•  Assessment – Content provided by Renaissance Learning

Gene Kerns, chief academic officer, Renaissance
“Unlocking Student Talent”
Educators help students build expertise. Despite their critical role in the overall process, many teachers are unaware of the research on how expertise is truly developed. Guided by the inaccurate folklore around talent we unconsciously limit the aspirations of our students and ourselves and fail to align our schools and classrooms for optimal growth. You can promote expertise systematically and consistently, and research documents this. Kerns’ session will focus on:
⁃ Essential research covering the 100-year span of the study of expert performance.
⁃ The actual role that genes and innate talent play in our overall success.
⁃ The qualities of “deliberate practice,” heralded as “the most powerful approach to learning that has yet been discovered.”
⁃ Practical ideas on implementing the “science of expertise” in our schools and classroom.

12:30 p.m.—1 p.m.

Sneak Peek: 2019 Keynote Presentation and Workshop

Collaborative Leadership
In Conversation With Peter DeWitt

Join Peter DeWitt (author of Collaborative Leadership: 6 Influences That Matter Most and Education Week opinion blogger) and Commentary Editor Elizabeth Rich, as they give you a sneak peek at his 2019 Leaders To Learn From keynote presentation on elevating your impact as a leader by building collective efficacy among staff.

1 p.m.—2 p.m.

Networking Lunch

Agenda subject to change. Check back regularly for updates.

Leader Sponsor:Waterford Institute
Diamond Sponsors:Renaissance Learning    Scholastic      Scholastic
Gold Sponsors:Committee for Children Corwin        Curriculum AssociatesNew Teacher Center
Event Sponsor:NYC Leadership Academy


Produced with support from The Wallace Foundation, at www.wallacefoundation.org

2015 Agenda

7:15 a.m.–8:00 a.m.
Networking Breakfast
Join for breakfast with leaders who work in the fields of most interest to you. There’ll be tables for parent engagement, school climate, ed tech, and more!

8:00 a.m.–8:25 a.m.
Welcome, Introductions, and Recognition Presentation
Recognition of the work of 8 of the 15—2015 Leaders To Learn From selected by Education Week.

8:25 a.m.–8:40 a.m.
Breakouts—Meet the Leaders
First 8 Leaders will go to their subject matter tables located throughout the room to discuss with attendees their “Focus of Strength” and to answer any questions attendees have. (Attendees will be encouraged to find their table of interest based on the map of the room provided in the program).

8:40 a.m.–9:10 a.m.
Recognition Presentation Concludes
Recognition of the work of our final 7 Leaders To Learn From.

9:10 a.m.–9:35 a.m
Breakouts—Meet the Leaders
Second group of Leaders will go to their subject matter tables located throughout the room to discuss with attendees their “Focus of Strength” and to answer any questions attendees have.

9:35 a.m.–10:05 a.m.
District Leader Snapshots
(A selection of 2015 Leaders will come to the stage with their reporters and discuss their “Focus of Strength.”)

10:05 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Midmorning Networking Break

10:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
“Three Keys for Maximizing Leadership Impact”
Michael Fullan, education leadership author and expert, and former minister of education, Canada (2003–2013).

11:30 a.m.–12:00 a.m.
District Leader Snapshots
(A selection of 2015 Leaders will come to the stage with their reporters and discuss their “Focus of Strength”).

12:00 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
“Ask the ED”
Join in a Department of Education Lightning Round featuring Assistant U.S. Secretary of Education Deborah S. Delisle other Department of Education leadership who will take your questions.

12:30 p.m.–1:30 p.m.
Networking Luncheon
Uninterrupted time to mingle with those you’ve met at your tables and at the various tables set up throughout the room during our break-outs.