A Seat at the Table With Education Week: The Equitable Classroom: How to Create Access for All Students

The Equitable Classroom: How to Create Access for All Students

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When the pandemic arrived this spring, it revealed in stark terms which students had opportunities to connect online with their teachers and which ones were handed packets. Host Peter DeWitt will be joined by education leaders Blanca Baltazar-Sabbah, Andrew Fletcher, Neil Gupta, and Jan Iwase to discuss how to create the equitable classroom. Participate in a lively, interactive discussion with educators who have been working hard—both before and during COVID-19—to provide equal access to all students.


Monday, July 27, 2020
2 to 3 p.m. ET

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Peter DeWitt
Author, Finding Common Ground Opinion Blogger

DeWitt was a K-5 teacher for 11 years and a principal for eight. He is an independent researcher who runs competency-based workshops nationally and internationally with a focus on school leadership, collaborative cultures, instructional leadership, and inclusive school climates. His work has been adopted at the state and university levels, and he works with school districts, school boards, regional networks, and ministries of education across North America, Australia, Scandinavia, and the United Kingdom. He is also Visible Learning Trainer who works with John Hattie.

In 2020, DeWitt created the Educational Leadership Collective—a team of women and men from the United States and Canada who focus on all aspects of school leadership, including instructional leadership, instructional coaching, equity, and marginalized populations, as well as how to build collective efficacy.

DeWitt is the author of seven books, including Instructional Leadership: Creating Practice Out of Theory (Corwin, 2020).

Guest Speakers

Blanca Baltazar-Sabbah
Associate Superintendent, Instructional Services, Salinas Union High School District in Salinas, Calif.

Baltazar-Sabbah has devoted her 24-year career as an educator to developing, implementing, and monitoring effective instructional programs for all students with a focus on English-language learners, migrant students and socio-economically disadvantaged youths. She is currently the Associate Superintendent, Instructional Services, for the Salinas Union High School District in Salinas, Calif.

Andrew Fletcher
Senior Executive Director, Early Literacy, Division of Early Childhood Education, New York City Department of Education, N.Y.

Fletcher has been a teacher, literacy coach, and educator for almost 20 years. His unique perspective on equity and access and his desire to ensure literacy for all stemmed from having been raised in two different foster homes. He is currently senior executive director of early literacy within the Division of Early Childhood Education at the New York City Department of Education.

Neil Gupta
Director of Secondary Education, Worthington school district, Columbus, Ohio

Gupta is the director of secondary education for the Worthington school district in Columbus, Ohio. His professional interests are in leadership, building culture, and coaching. Gupta serves as the vice president on the board of directors for ASCD and is the supervisor-at-large on the board of directors for the Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators.

Jan Iwase
Author, Leading with Aloha: From the Pineapple Fields to the Principal’s Office, retired educator, Hawaii

Iwase retired in 2018 after 45 years as an educator. In her 2019 book, Leading with Aloha: From the Pineapple Fields to the Principal’s Office, she reflects on her experiences growing up in a pineapple plantation village and the direct impact it had on how she led her military-impacted school with empathy and respect.


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