Fall 2020 – Planning a Successful Restart

Fall 2020—Planning a Successful Restart

Content provided by NWEA


This spring we’ve seen educators adapt and evolve under stressful circumstances. While research from NWEA shows school closures could have far-reaching negative consequences, we believe educators have the ability to overcome these hurdles to ensure all students learn, grow and achieve.

This summit is designed to look at critical challenges and discuss potential actions, in the long- and short-term. Engaging virtual sessions will provide insights, relevant data, and opportunities to engage with experts and educators from around the nation. Participants will also receive research and resources designed to help kickstart fall 2020.

Thank you to those who joined us for this event, which took place on June 25, 2020.


Thursday, June 25, 2020
1 to 3 p.m. ET

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Education Week cannot provide professional development credit for attending this summit.


1 to 3 p.m. ET | Discussion Rooms Open

Discussion 1

Kick Start for Fall: 4 Principles for Instructional Leaders
The impact sudden school closures will have on academic growth remains to be seen. Some kids may see a boost from personalized, high-quality learning experiences at home, while students who did not have consistent support or instruction may slide. This session will provide high-level principles for how school and district instructional leaders can close gaps from the previous school year while teaching grade-level standards in a way that best meets students where they are. Additionally, moderators will discuss promising practices from schools, districts, and charter management organizations from across the country on preparing for back-to-school.
Moderator: Lauren Wells, Professional Learning, NWEA

  • Kesson Anderson, Managing Director, ANet
  • Carrie Heath Phillips, Senior Director, School Improvement Services, NWEA

Discussion 2

Impact of Trauma and Stress: How to Support Your Students and Staff
Students and educators alike have experienced trauma in the wake of this crisis. For kids to learn, their social and emotional needs must be addressed alongside their academic needs. Integrating social-emotional learning (SEL) with academic learning and funds of knowledge serves the needs of the whole child. This session will focus on the impact of trauma and stress on students and how to act on that information to build a districtwide and schoolwide plan to support students’ social and emotional learning (SEL) with an integrated approach.
Moderator: Erin Beard, Content Designer, NWEA

  • Karen VanAusdal, Senior Director of Practice, CASEL
  • Nick Yoder, Director of Policy and Practice, CASEL

Discussion 3

Equity and Access for Students With Disabilities
Many students with disabilities may not have had access to the accommodations, instruction and services provided in their Individual Education Plans (IEPs) during school closures, and may face a steeper road to progress. This session will address how school and district leaders can create structures that provide equitable access and promote strong growth for students with disabilities.
Moderator: Ella Rigoulot, Professional Learning, NWEA

  • Elizabeth Barker, Accessibility Research Scientist, NWEA
  • Meghan Whittaker, Director of Policy and Advocacy, National Center for Learning Disabilities

Discussion 4

Articulating a Plan for Addressing Interrupted Learning: Prioritizing Standards and Curriculum
What content would students have been exposed to if schools had not closed? How will important content from prior grades be integrated into the scope and sequence for the coming year? Dialing the time machine back to March 2020 and restarting instruction from there is not the answer. Instructional leaders should consider reviewing each grade level’s scope and sequence from the time frame of school closure to prioritize key standards, concepts, and skills to formatively assess and plan for in the coming year. This session will provide leaders with ideas to support developing plans to address unfinished student learning.

  • Ted Coe, Director, Content Advocacy and Design, NWEA
  • John Cronin, Senior Research Fellow, NWEA
  • Brooke Mabry, Strategic Content Design Coordinator, Professional Learning Design, NWEA

Discussion 5

Teaching and Learning Partnerships: Powerful Levers for Cultivating Student Agency
Students will likely have widely variable learning needs in the coming school year. More than ever, educators will need clarity in their instruction, and students will need agency in their learning. Engaging in classroom formative practice will help educators and students to partner in teaching and learning. This session will support leaders shaping their back-to-school expectations, conversations, and support for building stronger teacher-student partnerships in the classroom.
Moderator: Cara Holt, Professional Learning, NWEA

  • Patricia Reeder, Content Designer, Professional Learning, NWEA
  • Robin Whitacre, Manager, Professional Learning Design, NWEA

Discussion 6

Continuity Strategies: How to Embrace Distance Learning in the “New Normal”
Educators will face unprecedented challenges as they work to address student learning loss and social-emotional needs. The uncertainty of what “school” might look like this fall will add additional complexity to these challenges.
With all that remains unknown, students and families will continue to rely on the relationships they build with teachers and the greater school community. This discussion will encourage educators to share effective distance learning strategies that keep relationships at the center in an effort to ensure distance learning meets the needs of all students.
Moderator: Robyn Sturgeon, Professional Learning, NWEA

  • Cara Lougheed, English Language Arts and History Teacher, Stoney Creek High School
  • Gretchen Osodipe, Managing Director of Service Innovation, ANet

Guests, Speakers, and Moderators

Kesson Anderson
Managing Director, ANet

Anderson serves as a managing director at ANet, a nonprofit that partners with schools to boost student learning with great teaching. She comes to ANet after earning her MBA from Yale and working at the Gates Foundation, DC Public Education Fund, Heads Up DC, and as a teacher in Atlanta.

Elizabeth Barker
Accessibility Research Scientist, NWEA

Barker began her career in education as a middle school and elementary special education teacher, specifically of students with mild-to-moderate disabilities in Michigan and Colorado. She received her doctoral degree with an emphasis on growth trajectories for students with learning disabilities in mathematics and reading comprehension from the University of Oregon. Her current research focuses on how growth trajectories vary among students with visual impairments, deafness and hearing loss, and other disabilities.

Erin Beard
Content Designer, NWEA

Beard has more than 17 years of practice as a secondary teacher-leader in southern Oregon where she lives with her partner, three children, and four cats. She is a content designer for NWEA currently involved in assessment literacy and formative assessment design projects. Beard received a D.Ed. in Educational Methods, Policy, and Leadership from the University of Oregon in 2020. Her dissertation explored the intersection of student-involved assessment for learning, equity, and trauma-informed practices.

Ted Coe
Director, Content Advocacy and Design, NWEA

Coe has been a high school mathematics teacher, a community college professor, mathematics chair, and assistant dean. More recently, he was director of mathematics at Achieve. In 2020 he joined NWEA as director, content advocacy and design. He earned his Ph.D. from Arizona State University.

John Cronin
Senior Research Fellow, NWEA

Cronin is an expert on issues related to testing, accountability, data presentation, and teacher evaluation practices. As a consultant, engaged with organizations that include the U.S. Department of Education, the Texas Association of School Administrators, the New York State Council of School Superintendents, and the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

Cara Lougheed
English Language Arts and History Teacher, Stoney Creek High School

Lougheed is a 22-year English language arts and history teacher at Stoney Creek High School in Rochester, Michigan. She was named the 2019-20 Michigan Teacher of the Year and has since partnered with the Michigan Department of Education on a number of initiatives, including co-authoring “Learning at a Distance Guidance” with the Michigan Teacher Leadership Advisory Council.

Brooke Mabry
Strategic Content Design Coordinator, Professional Learning Design, NWEA

Mabry has over 17 years of experience in education and formerly served as a classroom teacher, instructional coach, and director of curriculum and instruction. She currently serves as the strategic content design coordinator on the Professional Learning team at NWEA.

Gretchen Osodipe
Managing Director of Service Innovation, ANet

Osodipe is managing director of service innovation at ANet, a nonprofit that partners with schools to boost student learning with great teaching. Prior to ANet, she served as a director of school support at ANet and a teacher, instructional designer, and adjunct faculty.

Carrie Heath Phillips
Senior Director, School Improvement Services, NWEA

Heath Phillips is senior director of School Improvement Services at NWEA, where she leads NWEA’s work on continuous improvement for schools and districts. She had a long tenure at the Council of Chief State School Officers, focusing on the instructional core of curriculum, instruction, and assessment. She began her career in education as a fourth and fifth grade classroom teacher in Chicago.

Patricia Reeder
Content Designer, Professional Learning, NWEA

Reeder is an educator with 35 years of experience as a special education teacher, school psychologist, elementary principal, and director of curriculum and assessment in urban and suburban settings. She has an extensive background in curriculum and instruction, pedagogy, administrative coaching, data-based decision-making, and school improvement planning. She currently works in professional learning design for NWEA.

Karen VanAusdal
Senior Director of Practice, CASEL

VanAusdal joined CASEL in 2016 as the senior director of practice, supporting districts across the country to integrate social and emotional learning into their systemic practices. Prior to that role, she served as the founding executive director for the Office of Social and Emotional Learning for Chicago Public Schools. She started her career as an elementary school teacher in the Washington, D.C., area.

Robin Whitacre
Manager, Professional Learning Design, NWEA

A 31-year veteran educator, Whitacre worked for 14 years as an elementary school teacher and principal. In addition, she has over 15 years of experience providing leadership coaching and professional development to educators across the U.S. and internationally. Her work has focused on the topic of effective data use to make instructional decisions, formative classroom practice and using data for strategic planning and program evaluation. She is currently a manager for the Professional Learning Team at NWEA.

Meghan Whittaker
Director of Policy and Advocacy, National Center for Learning Disabilities

Whittaker is the director of policy and advocacy at the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD). She leads the development of NCLD’s policy agenda on issues critical to the success of students with learning and attention issues and their families. She works closely with the public policy and advocacy team to generate, develop, and implement federal policy initiatives that protect the rights of and advance opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

Nick Yoder
Director of Policy and Practice, CASEL

Yoder is the director of policy and practice at CASEL. He leads a community of practice of 35 states as they plan and implement policies and practices that support high-quality SEL implementation in districts and schools. Prior to CASEL, he was a teacher, instructional coach and pre-service instructor.

Education Week is serving only as the host for this presentation. The content was created by the sponsor. The opinions expressed in this summit are those of the sponsor and do not reflect the opinion of or constitute an endorsement by Editorial Projects in Education or any of its publications.

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