About the Symposium
In this unique three-day virtual event, school and district leaders are invited to join Education Week to discuss the top issues and challenges confronting leaders today. We’ll tap into the deep reporting knowledge of Education Week’s editorial staff and research team; convene experts, practitioners, and researchers; and celebrate the 2022 Leaders To Learn From honorees.
Through a variety of session formats, guests, and topics, each day will offer attendees the opportunity to dive into the ever-changing landscape which school and district leaders are charged with navigating. Attendees will leave with actionable takeaways that can be adopted and adapted to schools and districts everywhere.
Gain insight from leaders, innovators, and influencers to:
- Rebound faster from the disruptions of the 2021-22 school year
- Learn proven tactics to help guide your strategy for the 2022-23 school year
- Discover the latest findings and best practices delivered to you by Education Week’s K-12 journalists, experts, and Research Center
- Find inspiration and community
Teaching & Learning
The 2021-22 school year wasn’t a smooth onramp to more-typical teaching and learning as we’d hoped or anticipated. But it did bring a clear and urgent picture of the state of student learning and the teaching profession. Just as multiple data sources show the large-scale need to make up for lost learning time and academic setbacks, the nation’s teacher corps is in a state of volatility that will make the imperative of catching students up especially challenging. During this day, we will tackle issues that can help school and district leaders brainstorm solutions and set priorities for the 2022-23 school year and beyond, including:
• Millions of students need ongoing academic supports to make up the ground they lost in the pandemic’s disruptions of learning. What are the best sources for understanding what the scale of student learning recovery is in our schools and districts?
• What are the best practices, supported by evidence, that leaders should prioritize and use to craft a broader strategy for learning recovery?
• What does accelerated learning really mean and how can systems and schools support teacher efforts to do it effectively? For districts already trying specific strategies, what are the challenges they are encountering?
• What strategies can school and district leaders use to improve teacher and staff morale and stave off the possibility of a talent drain at this critical time?
Welcome & Opening Remarks
Flash Briefing: How Teachers Spend Their Time
Leadership Interview: Out-of-the-Box Ideas for Supporting Literacy and STEM Learning
Panel Discussion: Acceleration and Other Best Practices for Learning Recovery
Leadership Interview: What ‘Equity’ Looks Like on the Ground
Equity has been a central focus of Torres-Rodriguez’s work in Hartford, where she’s spearheaded initiatives to redesign the school system into one that’s responsive to the needs of students, families, and the community. That effort has led to new magnet and neighborhood schools.
Dr. Torres-Rodriguez received the 2019 Connecticut Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (CALAS) Award for Educational Leadership. She also serves on the Hartford Promise board and co-chairs the Mayor’s Cabinet for Young Children.
She’s one of EdWeek’s 2022 Leaders To Learn From.
In that position, she oversees curriculum and instruction; college-and-career readiness; multi-lingual learner services and extended-learning programs.
Dr. Negrón started her education career as a math and science teacher. She’s worked as a magnet school principal, director of instruction and early education and as an adjunct professor focusing on school leadership.
She’s one of EdWeek’s 2022 Leaders To Learn From.
Industry Perspective: Assess Before You Address: Evaluating the Residual Effects of the Pandemic on Learning
Across the country, education experts are trying to grasp the impact of the pandemic on K-12 students. Recent studies tend to paint a bleak picture of the effect on the aggregate of students across the country. However, analyzing longitudinal data to compare expected students’ outcomes to how they did perform in 2021 is riddled with unexpected nuances.
Having an accurate assessment through empirical results recognizes that each child is unique and that the pandemic has affected different students in different ways. The data provides insights into the need to target to help students recover from lost instructional time.
As statewide studies are released, Former South Dakota, Secretary of Education, Melody Schopp, will share the research highlights. Having this information is one way to understand the pandemic’s educational impact that will help to guide recovery.
Leadership Interview: Transforming a District by Putting Students' Well-Being First
Industry Perspective: The Future Is Human: The Transformation From Human to Digital to Human + Digital Instruction
What happens when we extend the landscape of human connection in the classroom? The emergence of digital tools revolutionized education and allowed for greater personalization. Now, we can take that a step further and provide a human connection across all the learning modalities inside and outside of the classroom. Join the conversation about the future transformation of education that combines the greatest technology tools with the most imperative element, human connection.
Panel Discussion: A Profession in Crisis, Findings From a National Teacher Survey
Ideas Into Action: A Conversation With Kurt Russell, the 2022 National Teacher of the Year
Day One Closing Remarks
The Well-Being of Students and Staff
The physical, mental, and emotional health of students and staff has been profoundly affected by the pandemic, deep political divisions, and an unrelenting cycle of hardship and difficult news close to home and around the world. The data on child well-being is stark, and survey after survey of the K-12 workforce over the past two years show sobering levels of stress, burnout, depression, and serious consideration of leaving the profession. Stack that on top of the long, hard work required for learning recovery, and it feels like a daunting, if not downright impossible, responsibility for schools for next year and beyond. On this day, you will hear from experts and practitioners about ideas, strategies, and solutions they are trying to address without sacrificing the well-being and job satisfaction of the adults. We will tackle important questions including:
• With limited resources to address mental health challenges, what is realistic for most schools to do, and how can school and district leaders avoid alienating teachers and other key staff?
• Are we putting the chief enterprise of teaching and learning at risk by asking principals, teachers, and other staff to focus so much on student mental health and well-being?
• What types of support do teachers most want from their leaders? How can you avoid the perils of superficial self-care initiatives?
• Who else can help? And what would that look like?
• There’s lots of joy and resilience in our schools. We’ll share some of those moments.
Flash Briefing: District Demands for SEL, What They Want From Organizations in the Market
Leadership Interview: Language Access, A Key to Strengthening the School-Family Bond
Panel Discussion: Beyond Superficial Self-Care, What Support for Teacher and Staff Well-Being Should Look Like
Industry Perspective: Leadership Lessons: Strengthening Social-Emotional Learning Practices for Students and Staff
Join author Dr. Christopher Soto of Everyday Self-Care for Educators: Tools and Strategies for Well-being, for a conversation on how practical strategies for creating socially-emotionally strong students and teachers benefits everyone. We’ll be discussing and celebrating examples of resilience, plus you'll leave with simple practices to effectively advocate for a focus on well-being in your educational spaces.
Leadership Interview: Improving Student Well-Being Through Telehealth
Panel Discussion: A Mental Health Imperative: Strategies Schools Can Use To Support Students
Industry Perspective: Centering Kids in the Educational Experience
Content provided by Open Up Resources
Are you offering a “kid-centered” educational experience to your students? In this session, Dr. Childs explores why it is important to center kids in the educational experience, who is being served by the educational system, how high-quality instructional materials play a role, and what is next for kids in education.
Leadership Interview: Engaging Parents and Families With Authenticity
School and district leaders have been whipsawed by an unpredictable pandemic; fiery debates over health and safety precautions, as well as what’s being taught in classrooms; and an acute staffing crisis, just to name a few. Along with those external pressures, leaders may be carrying a heavy internal weight—borne out of second-guessing high-stakes decisions they’ve had to continually make. How will these experiences change our K-12 leaders at the school and district level? What lessons have we learned? You will hear and learn from your peers who will talk about big lessons they are drawing from the last two years and how it’s shaping their priorities for their school communities longer-term, and get answers to questions about the new and future challenges for leaders and to the overall field of K-12 leadership, including:
• How have the hardships of the last two years made you a better leader and a better decisionmaker? And how can you build a more bottom-up decision-making culture that draws on the experience and knowledge of district administrators, principals, and teachers?
• What are the skills and tools current and future leaders need to move forward, emerging from the crisis of COVID to tackle the big challenges for public education that the pandemic exacerbated?
• What will it take to bring more women into higher levels of leadership in our school systems?
• How do we reset from the pandemic and ensure our students and other stakeholders are able to do the same?
Leadership Interview: Leadership Ideas into Action, Strategic Thinking, Planning, and Execution
Panel Discussion: Why Aren't More Women Running Our School Districts?
Leadership Interview: Financial Planning That Prioritizes Student Achievement
Industry Perspective: From the Classroom to the Corner Office
Ashley Andersen Zantop began her career as an elementary school teacher and collegiate coach, which ignited her passion for social impact. She has devoted her career to closing the opportunity gap and creating great outcomes in education through the power of social enterprise and innovation. In 2020, she joined Cambium as COO, helping to lead Cambium through the most challenging time the education industry has ever seen. Recently named CEO, Ashley will speak to the lessons she has learned throughout her career, including what it was like leading new teams through a pandemic; how her experiences will impact her leadership style as CEO; and the importance of asset-based leadership in dynamic conditions.
Leadership Interview: The Pivotal Role of the School Librarian
Industry Perspective: Equity: How to Facilitate Systemic Change
The onslaught of a global pandemic has unveiled a hidden truth educators in schools across the nation must embrace, inequities in our educational system continue to exist. This unfortunate reality will require schools and districts to embrace the necessary work to redesign an educational system never designed to be equitable. Hence, adult educators will have to embrace systemic change dictated by a collective growth mindset. How will leaders in schools facilitate these necessary changes? Join Luis F. Cruz, Ph.D as he shares insight that will be beneficial to all school leaders seeking necessary systemic changes in schools.
Panel Discussion: Finding a Balance, How to Create a Healthy, Supportive School Community
Q&A With Roberto J. Rodríguez, Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education
Most recently, Rodríguez served as president and CEO of Teach Plus where he built an equity-driven teacher leadership movement that engaged thousands of teachers to shape public policy and instructional practice to deliver greater opportunity for students.
A Michigan native, Rodríguez holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor and a Master of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Attendee Fees & Pricing
This event is made free for district and school leaders in part from support from our Sponsors.
School & District Leaders
Certification for participation is available upon request.