Leaders To Learn From Virtual Events

Education Week’s Leaders To Learn From virtual events take readers deeper into the expertise and experiences of some of the nation’s most innovative school district leaders. Our reporters and their guests cover a range of topics, including:

• Student voice
• Whole-child accountability
• Parent engagement
• Educational technology
• Social media and communications
• Fostering an environment for innovation, and more!

Below you can explore archived live chats and webinars, which are available at no cost.

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WEBINAR

Providing Meaningful Support for Principals

5-12-16-MeaningfulSupportForPrincipals-LTLF-560x360(withlogo)As an instructional leadership director in the Tulsa, Okla., school district, Julio César Contreras is redefining what it means to supervise principals. He eschews micromanaging school leaders and instead works alongside them to help them meet the goals of the district’s long-range plan and to improve teacher performance in their schools. He holds frequent meetings with principals to discuss and improve their work, visits classrooms constantly, and strategically uses data about classroom performance to help school leaders make decisions. In this webinar, Contreras, a 2016 Education Week Leaders To Learn From honoree, will detail the strategies he uses to partner with principals to help them grow professionally, as well as support their work to improve teaching and learning in their schools.

Guests
Julio César Contreras, instructional leadership director, Tulsa Public Schools, Okla.
Jody Parsons, principal, Hale Junior High School, Tulsa, Okla.

Moderator
Andrew Ujifusa, assistant editor, Education Week

View the on-demand webinar now.

Sponsored by Scholastic.

This webinar took place on May 12, 2016, at 2 p.m. ET.

WEBINAR

Maximizing Ed Tech’s Impact in School Districts

5-11-16-Maximizing-Ed-Tech-rural-schools_LTLF-560x360(withlogo)Technology is a crucial tool to create new opportunities and a wider perspective for students. Online courses bring teachers, subjects, and experts to students who wouldn’t otherwise have access to them. But funding those technologies, determining which digital tools work best for students and how to deploy blended and online courses can be challenging. Educators must be creative in their efforts to pay for and build reliable infrastructure, provide home Internet access for students, and implement ed-tech programs. In this webinar, Matt Akin, superintendent of the Piedmont City school district in Alabama, and a 2016 Education Week Leaders to Learn From honoree, shares the strategies he has used to digitize his school system.

Guests
Matt Akin, superintendent, Piedmont City School District, Piedmont, Ala.
Adam B. Clemons, principal, Piedmont High School, Ala.

Moderator
Michelle R. Davis, senior writer, Education Week Digital Directions

View the on-demand webinar.

Sponsored by Mastery Connect.

This webinar took place on May 11, 2016, at 2 p.m. ET.

CHAT

From Teacher Evaluation to Support: A District’s Journey

2-22-16-ltlfchat_560x360Lincoln County, Tenn., used its cut of federal Race to the Top cash to create a new type of staff-development position: a teacher-evaluation director. Renee Pryor, one of Education Week’s 2016 Leaders to Learn From, works with novice teachers and those who have been flagged for performance in the evaluation system to strengthen their practice. And she uses an array of tools—videos, collaborative conversations, and coaching—to make the process supportive rather than confrontational.

In this chat, Pryor and the district’s former superintendent talk about the development of this evaluative role and how teachers have responded to it.

Guests
Renee Pryor, teacher-evaluation director, Lincoln County, Tenn.
Wanda Shelton, consultant and former superintendent, Lincoln County, Tenn.

Moderator
Stephen Sawchuk, associate editor, Education Week

View this chat transcript.

This chat took place on February 22, 2016, at 3 p.m. ET.

WEBINAR

Joining Forces: Tapping Teacher Specialists to Serve All Students

1-28-16-Joining-Forces-560x360Adams 50’s Steve Sandoval—a 2016 Education Week Leader to Learn From—created an “interventionist framework” out of frustration that his district’s talented education specialists were isolated by separate certifications, regulations, and funding streams. The framework helps to “cross-pollinate” teachers of special education, English-language learners, and gifted students, to identify common strategies and target interventions for all students. The approach has helped dramatically raise student achievement in the district during a time of demographic change, and has helped make possible Adams 50’s switch from traditional grade levels to a competency-based-leveling system.

Guests
Steve Sandoval, executive director of special services, Adams County District 50, Westminster, Colo., and member of the Class of 2016 “Leaders To Learn From”
Chad Anderson, principal, Scott Carpenter Middle School, Adams County District 50
Sarah Gould, principal, Hodgkins Elementary School, Adams County District 50

Moderator
Sarah D. Sparks, assistant editor, Education Week

View the recording.

Underwriting for this webinar has been provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

This webinar took place on January 28, 2016, at 2 p.m. ET.

WEBINAR

Amplifying Student Voice

Schools around the country use students’ opinions to shape their policies and practices. Advocates say that student voice can be a powerful tool for school turnaround and that efforts to gather students’ insights send an important message to young people and encourage them to be more engaged in the classroom.

In the 7,700-student Murray County, Ga., school district, Superintendent Vickie Reed has used student-perception surveys as a factor in teacher evaluations for more than a decade. Teachers take the same surveys, and the district’s schools work to narrow the gap between the views of employees and those of students.

Reed also solicits student input about everything from safety measures to cafeteria food. How can schools get started with student voice efforts? WestEd has created a toolkit demonstrating strategies for gathering and using input from students. Join us for this webinar on how to effectively amplify student voice.

Guests
BethAnn Berliner, senior researcher, WestEd
Vickie Reed, superintendent, Murray County Schools, Chatsworth, Ga., and a 2015 Education Week Leader To Learn From

Moderator
Evie Blad, staff writer, Education Week

View the recording.

Underwriting for this webinar has been provided by The Atlantic Philanthropies, NoVo Foundation, The Raikes Foundation, and The California Endowment.

This webinar took place on May 28, 2015, at 2 p.m. ET.

WEBINAR

Parents as Partners in Improving Student Achievement

Improving outcomes for students is a family affair for Patricia Spradley and Tracy Hill. Both educators see parents as critical partners in improving student achievement—and have actively sought to engage them in the curriculum and school community. For Hill, that means taking parents along on college visits, or offering tips about the latest instructional strategies over donuts. For Spradley, that means offering a smorgasbord of classes to parents and community members through the district’s parent academy. In Springfield public schools, moms and dads and grandmas and neighbors can learn how to help with homework or college applications, but they can also learn to knit or pursue their GED—anything that helps them serve as role models for lifelong learning. Join this webinar to learn what these two Leaders To Learn From are doing in their districts to get parents and communities engaged, and how they are sharing their expertise and best practices with their peers.

Guests
Tracy Hill, executive director, Office of Family and Communication Engagement, Cleveland Metropolitan school district, Ohio
Patricia A. Spradley, chief of parent and community engagement, Springfield public schools, Mass.

Moderator
Alyson Klein, assistant editor, Education Week

View the recording.

This webinar took place on Tuesday, April 28, 2015, at 3 p.m. ET.

WEBINAR

Ed-Tech Leadership Evolves in Houston

The superintendent and chief technology information officer for the 215,000-student Houston Independent School District. have established a working relationship that balances an aggressive vision for digital innovation with a realistic sense of what schools can do with the resources they have. That approach offers important lessons for school leaders who want to put ed-tech initiatives in place that will improve schools. Our guests will discuss how to work with district leaders and classroom educators on ed-tech initiatives, what it takes to balance innovation with technological realities, and how to evaluate the impact of ed-tech programs.

Guests
Terry B. Grier, superintendent, Houston Independent School District, Texas
Lenny J. Schad, chief technology information officer, Houston Independent School District, Texas

Moderator
Michelle R. Davis, senior writer, Education Week Digital Directions

View the recording.

This webinar took place on Tuesday, April 28, 2015, at 12 p.m. ET.

CHAT

Maximizing Innovation on Any Budget

Being an innovator means “thinking big” and inspiring everyone in your district to do the same—even when your budget is $4,500 per student. That’s what Linda Clark, who is superintendent of the West Ada, Idaho school district, does today. In fact, she’s been doing it for decades. Learn how her teachers acquire technology, and use it to engage students. And find out how Ms. Clark collaborates with other innovators in her role as leader of a district that is a founding member of The Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools. This national coalition of 52 district leaders is dedicated to improving outcomes for students and solving K-12 school challenges with learning technology and education research. Sara Schapiro, the league’s director, will explain how the most forward-thinking schools innovate.

Guests
Linda Clark, superintendent, West Ada school district, Idaho
Sara Schapiro, director, Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools

Moderator
Michele Molnar, staff writer, Education Week

View this chat transcript.

This chat took place on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015, at 2 p.m. ET.

WEBINAR

Designing a Whole-Child Accountability System

To be considered successful in Tacoma, Wash., schools must show they can deliver a lot more than good test scores. They should be able to involve many children in extracurricular activities, attract lots of adult volunteers, and reconnect with teenagers who have dropped out. They need to spark praise from parents and students for providing a safe and engaging place to study. They have to reach into their communities to make sure all eligible children take advantage of district preK and full-day kindergarten. They should be able to brag about how many students are taking college-level courses. They also have to show strong student performance, and growth, on state tests. Typically, districts judge their schools’ success by state test scores, attendance and graduation rates, reflecting their state’s chosen accountability metrics. But this district of 30,000 students has pioneered a local accountability system with a much broader conception of success. Join this webinar to discover how to design a whole-child accountability system for your district.

Guests
Josh Garcia, deputy superintendent, Tacoma public schools, Wash.
Jennifer Davis Poon, director, Innovation Lab Network, Council of Chief State School Officers

Moderator
Catherine Gewertz, associate editor, Education Week

View the recording.

Underwriting for this webinar has been provided by The Atlantic Philanthropies, NoVo Foundation, The Raikes Foundation, and The California Endowment.

This webinar took place on Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, at 2 p.m. ET.

CHAT

Solving School Problems Using Crowdsourcing and Hackathons

NASA, Netflix, and the New York City school district tackle thorny problems with a philosophy of “user-centered design,” and a toolbox of strategies that includes crowdsourcing and hackathons. Starting with the stakeholders creating an open–minded definition of a problem—like how to solve the wide gap in achievement in a math class—a “provocation” is issued, instead of a “specification.” Software developers and other problem–solvers respond with a broad range of solutions. Then, schools and other stakeholders test the most promising ones for themselves. Using this model, New York has:

• Helped middle school math teachers
• Assisted families making choices about high schools
• Given music teachers a way to annotate any song and add quizzes

Learn more about this innovative, cost-effective, and transformative approach to:

• Address entrenched obstacles
• Reap surprising organizational benefits
• Jumpstart your own hackathon or crowdsourced solution

Guest
Steven Hodas, executive director, Innovate NYC Schools, New York City Department of Education, and 2014 Leader To Learn From, Education Week

Moderator
Michele Molnar, staff writer, Education Week

View this chat transcript.

This chat took place on Friday, June 13, 2014, at 2 p.m. ET.

WEBINAR

Tapping Teachers to Play a Lead Role in Shaping Common-Core Implementation

As districts across the country grapple with implementing the Common Core State Standards, learn about the strategies employed by Nevada’s second largest school system, where educator Aaron Grossman was tapped for a special assignment to help his district take on the new standards. The initiative has put teachers at the center of efforts to develop resources and professional development to support implementation. Grossman is joined by former educator David Liben of Student Achievement Partners, who has worked with states and school districts on the common core and will share additional strategies.

Guests
Rachael Etienne, literacy and professional development specialist, Student Achievement Partners
Aaron Grossman, core task project leader, Washoe County Public Schools, Nev., and 2014 Leader To Learn From

Moderator
Alyssa Morones, contributing writer, Education Week

View the recording.

This webinar took place on Wednesday, May 14, 2014, at 2 p.m. ET.

CHAT

How District Leaders Tap Tech to Solve Pressing Problems

Leaders from very different types of school districts—urban, suburban, and rural—are figuring out how to use technology to personalize learning, provide equity in education, and to help students develop the technology skills they will need to succeed in college and the workplace. Gail Pletnick, the superintendent of the 24,000-student Dysart Unified School District in Arizona and Dan Walker, an assistant superintendent for the 4,000-student Lower Kuskokwim School District in Alaska, will discuss how they’re using technology tools and approaches such as video conferencing, 1-to-1, Bring Your Own Device computing programs, and blended learning to improve student learning. They’ll explain how to make these initiatives work on tight budgets.

Guests
Gail Pletnick, superintendent, Dysart Unified school district, Ariz.
Daniel Walker, assistant superintendent, Lower Kuskokwim school district, Alaska

Moderator
Michelle R. Davis, senior writer, Education Week Digital Directions

View this chat transcript.

This chat took place on Thursday, April 24, 2014, at 4 p.m. ET.

WEBINAR

Ed-Tech Leadership for Better Schools

From developing 1-to-1 computing programs to ensuring students have access to high-speed Internet connections to do their schoolwork during and beyond school hours, district leaders are increasing the reach and use of technology in education. Our guests will highlight best practices for incorporating digital resources into the curriculum, for using data to personalize learning, and for integrating high-tech strategies to raise student achievement.

Guests
Dennis Stockdale, superintendent, Garrett-Keyser-Butler Community School District, Garrett, Ind.
Sarah Trimble-Oliver, director of information technology, Cincinnati Public Schools, Ohio

Moderator
Michelle R. Davis, senior writer, Education Week Digital Directions 

View the recording.

Underwriting for this webinar has been provided by The Wallace Foundation.

This webinar took place on Friday, April 5, 2013, at 1 p.m. ET.

CHAT

Tapping the Power of Social Networking for Education

Social networking is providing teachers with valuable professional development and resources they never had access to before. Instructional technology specialist Kyle Pace helps train teachers to use the power of social networking to build their own professional learning networks, to help avoid pitfalls that other teachers have already experienced, and to get new ideas and remain energized about their educational practice. Educators who were once limited to swapping ideas with colleagues in their building can now connect with experienced educators around the world, ask questions, and model programs that work. Though some educators are reluctant to venture into this world, Mr. Pace helps walk new educators through the process and helps more experienced users of social networking find new resources.

Guest
Kyle Pace, instructional technology specialist, Lee’s Summit school district, Mo.

Moderator
Michelle R. Davis, senior writer, Education Week Digital Directions

View this chat transcript.

This chat took place on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, at 1 p.m. ET.

 

 

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

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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.

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