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Planning and Leadership

 Transforming the Role of the Principal through School Administration Managers

With increased accountability for student achievement, it is critical that principals be effective instructional leaders; however, data show that nearly 75 percent of a building administrator’s time is spent on management tasks. In this session, participants will learn how to use a school administration manager (SAM) to redefine the role of the principal as an instructional leader. Presenters will discuss how SAMs were incorporated in their schools, share their transformational journey, and describe their results.

How Labor-Management is Key to Bringing about School Reform

Chicago is bringing about school reform by working with both labor and management. Learn how the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Public Schools, in response to a challenge from Arne Duncan, are changing school cultures, engaging educational professionals, improving learning, and intensifying leadership. Discover how you can do the same.

Responding Effectively in Turbulent Times: Critical Issues for New Principals

Rapid change, decreased resources, technology advancements, and the need to prepare students for an unforeseen future are workplace realities for today’s education leaders. These challenges require diverse communities to unite around student learning. To thrive in this environment, new principals must live with the paradox of planning methodically in a rapid, responsive, relevant way. This interactive session will address such critical leadership issues as identifying core values, succeeding with limited resources, enhancing teaching and learning, promoting professional development, building community, and championing social justice.

Silence is NOT Golden: Leading the Way to Greater Student Engagement

Imagine walking through your school building and suddenly realizing that all that quiet you hear is actually detrimental to student achievement. Find out how one principal overcame her belief that quiet classrooms were good and shifted the focus to greater student engagement through cooperative grouping and talking about learning. Learn how she was able to convince her staff that silence was not golden when it came to student participation and active engagement in the learning process. Get a feel for how one school went from silent (and, perhaps, deadly!) to having an appropriate "buzz" in classrooms.

Creating High Expectations for Everyone that Enters your Building

Everyone—student, teacher, parent, or volunteer—should be held to the same set of high expectations upon entering a school. Through interaction and multimedia formats, this session’s presenter will demonstrate how to create an environment with high expectations for everyone. Participants will leave with more than 20 creative ways of expecting and demanding high standards from all.

Building District Capacity for High School Transformation

How can district policies for curriculum, decision making, and resource allocation foster schools’ transformation into equitable and high-achieving learning communities? How do you build a broad and deep leadership team that shares an understanding about best practices and tough decisions ahead? Participants in this session will learn about one district’s efforts, explore systemic ways to strengthen effective teaching and learning, examine a process for self-assessing district practices, and leave with an action plan for supporting schools.

Critical Issues in Instructional Supervision

This session, presented by members of the Council of Professors of Instructional Supervision (COPIS), will address hot topics and issues related to instructional supervision, including best practice, conversations with teachers about instruction, using the clinical supervision model to enhance teaching and learning, peer observation for teacher growth, and developing teacher leaders. The session will use inventories and interactive dialogue to involve participants in discussion of each topic.

Attorney Avoidance: Protection and Prevention

In this session, an educator and an attorney will team up to present top-10 lists of what to do and not do to stay out of legal trouble in your school district. Topics will include Section 504 plans, special education, retaliation claims by parents and teachers, harassment, dispute resolution, due process, discrimination, English language learner services, and filing complaints. Resources will be provided.

Transforming Education through Critical Conversations

As a leader, you have defining moments in your life and career that make all the difference. Many of those moments come from conversations you have with important people in emotionally charged situations when a crucial decision needs to be made. During this session, learn strategies and techniques that can help you in these difficult times and transform your life both personally and professionally. The ASCD Women’s Leadership Issues Network, sponsor of the session, will share resources to assist educational leaders in handling this task.

Poverty and Underachievement: How Schools/Districts Lead Students to Success

Participants will examine recent research on high-performing, high-poverty schools and explore how courageous leadership builds capacity to achieve and sustain unprecedented improvement in student and professional learning. This interactive, multimedia session will explore how schools create safe, supportive, and healthy learning environments built on caring relationships, high expectations, and a commitment to action. Cases from urban, suburban, and rural schools will highlight specific approaches used to improve instruction and eliminate educational practices that manufacture low achievement.

50 Tips and Tricks for New and Aspiring Administrators

In this session, the presenter will share 50 practical tips for being a successful school administrator. Participants will be exposed to literature on leadership and conduct a self-evaluation of their leadership skills. They will learn strategies to improve building management, creating more time to lead; analyze leadership strengths and weaknesses; and learn about great leadership articles and books to help build leadership capacity.


   School Restructuring and Reform

 Creating Successful High School transitions: Making the First Year Count

The presenter, coauthor of the curriculum High School 101 and a top innovator in middle to high school transition, has put together best practices that are both realistic and successful. High schools that change their 9th grades can drastically change their entire schools. This session will help any school wanting to redefine its strategies for making students successful.

Demographics, Research and Ethics of Differentiated Instruction

As the student population becomes more academically diverse, many educators look to differentiated instruction as a framework for teaching effectively. It is important for teachers and administrators to understand and be comfortable with an educational approach and its genesis and rationale. This session will explore three areas of support for differentiation—the demographic realities that invite attention to differentiation, the theory and research that inform differentiation, and the ethics that suggest differentiation may be a moral as well as an educational decision.

Motion Leadership

This session will focus on leadership practices that result in deep and large-scale improvement in schools, districts, and whole systems (provinces and states). The presenter will identify and illustrate effective practices through examples of successful cases, including video vignettes that show the practices in action. The examples will provide implications for how leaders can improve their skills and competencies to become more effective in fostering positive movement that improves results.

Summer Learning - Thinking Out of the Box

Research has demonstrated that the differences in achievement between poor and middle-class children are rooted in the inequities experienced outside of the classroom. Exploring effective research-based summer learning strategies is one way to address the academic, social, and health needs of students. This session will present specific out-of-the box strategies for organizing a summer program based on the needs and resources of the school community. The presenters will describe the processes they used to devise a summer learning program, together with some strategies (e.g., varied field experiences, Socratic reading seminars, and elective art offerings). The presenters will also assist participants with devising plans of their own.

Blue Ribbon School Creates Dramatic Improvements in Achievement and Equity

Learn how an elementary school in urban Norfolk, Virginia, went from being classified as "needs improvement" to a becoming a fully accredited National Blue Ribbon School after reorganizing under a data-driven decision-making model. View and receive firsthand examples of common frequent assessments, skill-focused intervention and accountability plans, and power strategies that make up the recipe for high student performance and elimination of achievement gaps.

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