Agenda & Speakers


8:00 AM – 9:00 AM – Check-in

9:00 AM – 10:15 AM – Welcome Session

10:30 AM – 11:45 AM – Session One

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM – Lunch

1:15 PM – 2:30 PM – Session Two

2:45 PM – 4:00 PM – Session Three

4:15 PM – 5:30 PM – Closing Reception

9:00 AM – 10:15 AM

Welcome Session

DenNis Walcott

(Chancellor, New York City Department of Education)

10:30 AM – 11:45 AM

Advocating for Your Professional Growth

Sara Bokhari

(Site Manager, TNTP NYC)

Is the professional development offered at your school not what you’re looking for? Is the feedback you’re getting from your principal or mentor not helpful? Or is your school’s teacher evaluation system in need of the teacher’s perspective? Join this session led by Sara Bokhari from TNTP to learn how to better exercise your voice for your own professional needs.

Blended Learning: Integrating Non-Cognitive Factors of College Readiness into Pedagogy and Curriculum

Michael Preston & Andrea Soonachan

(Director, Blended Learning Strategy, NYC Department of Education / Associate Director, College and Career Planning, NYC Department of Education)

This session will present the framework for college and career readiness developed by NYC DOE and explore a pilot program in blended learning as a potentially high impact platform for teaching and curriculum development that emphasizes the non-cognitive factors of college readiness.

Exploring the Potential of Social Media in the Classroom

Christopher Emdin

(Assistant Professor, Columbia University)

Educators are often wary about bringing social media into the classroom. Dr. Christopher Emdin explores the pitfalls and potential of social media. He discusses ways to bring the structures of social media into the technology deficient classroom and ignite student passion for technology and related disciplines.

Fostering Critical Thinking Skills

Sarah Tuttle

(Assistant Professor of Practice, Relay Graduate School of Education)

What does it mean to be a college-ready critical thinker? How do we teach our students how to think? This session will present a concrete framework for “teaching thinking” and preparing our students to navigate the increasingly rigorous tasks that they’ll face on the path towards college.

Language, Literacy and Linguistic Differences

Julie Washington

(Professor, Communication Disorders, Georgia State University)

Students who enter school using dialects or languages that differ from school language face special challenges in acquiring literacy. These students must master the language of the classroom in order to progress academically. This session will focus on the specific challenges faced by these students and discuss classroom-based strategies that help these students to make this important cultural-linguistic transition.

Response to Intervention: An Overview of Implementation in NYC Public Schools

Esther Klein Friedman

(Senior Director, Literacy and Academic Intervention, NYC Department of Education)

Beginning in the 2012-13 school year, the NYC DOE is implementing Response to Intervention (RtI) in elementary schools in the area of literacy. This presentation will provide a comprehensive introduction to RtI, including definition and purpose, Federal, State and City regulations and guidelines, systems and structures, assessments, instruction and intervention protocols, and implications for teacher practice.

Sealing the Deal: The Elements of an Effective Closing

Joe Negron

(Founding Principal, 6th Grade Math Teacher, KIPP Infinity Middle School)

In this session, we will examine the elements of perhaps the most overlooked yet crucial part of lesson planning – the closing. Participants will talk through the P.O.S.T. elements of an effective closing (prioritization, organization, summarizing/shares, and transition), and be given time to apply these ideas/elements to their own lessons.

The War on Youth

Marc Lamont Hill

(Associate Professor, Columbia University)

In the last 50 years, America’s youth have been increasingly marginalized in society. Hill says we’ve replaced a language of love, when talking about our youth, with one of blame. America has inflicted injunctions on gangs, legislation against baggy pants, and attacks on rap music, all leading to the propaganda that today’s youth are worse than young generations before them. Hill wants to combat the misconceptions plaguing today’s youth with an acknowledgement that, as integral to American society’s fabric, they are rich with resources rather than social burdens.

When Giants Unite: The 4Ws of Writing Meet Common Core

Ruth Culham

(Author “6+1 Traits Writing”)

Imagine if there was a simple, logical, and practical way to organize your writing instruction to include everything important about the 4 Ws (writing process, writing traits, writing modes, and writing workshop) while also meeting Common Core State Standards. Sound impossible? It’s not! Come to this session and find out how you can launch your own personal writing instruction revolution.

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM


1:15 PM – 2:30 PM

Shifts Required by the Common Core State Standards

Sandra Alberti

(Director of Partnership Initiatives and Professional Development, Student Achievement Partners)
Effective strategies to bring the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to your classroom first require a big picture understanding of what the CCSS actually require and why.  During this session we will discuss the shifts of the CCSS for both mathematics and ELA and make the case for why these standards offer tremendous opportunity for impacting student achievement.

Key Components for Effective Literacy Interventions among English Language Learners

Elsa Cardenas-Hagan, Ed.D.

(President Valley Speech Language and Learning Center and Associate Research Professor University of Houston)

In this session, participants will learn the key components for effective literacy interventions among English language learners and discuss results of intervention studies. In addition, the process for identification and the necessary modifications for successful treatment will be included. Language and literacy activities will be modeled and practiced.

College and Career Readiness: Using PARCC Assessments in New York City

Jenny Hanson and Anthony Benners

(Program Manager, Office of Assessment Portfolio, and Senior Psychometrician, NYC Department of Education)

One of the primary goals of the PARCC assessment is to accurately determine whether students are on track for college and career readiness. This presentation will provide an opportunity to explore this goal by giving participants a chance to hear about the most current PARCC assessment updates. Further, through the review of sample PARCC items in relation to other New York state test items, the group will discuss the implications these new assessments will have for classroom instruction and student learning. Come explore the next generation of assessments and discuss with fellow educators the innovative methods being used to better prepare students for post-secondary success.

Student Learning Communities: A “Whole Child” and “Every Child” Approach to Literacy Instruction in the Inclusive Classroom

Stephanie Durham and Michelle Herbowy

(Director for Response to Intervention / Executive Director for Instruction, New York City Department of Education)

The learning of the 21st century dictates that we not only prepare students for their academic futures; it commands that we prepare students for a world in which they have the tools and the knowledge to make themselves, their communities and the world a better place. To that end, literacy instruction must be seen as purposeful, engaging, and provide opportunities for all students to connect it to themselves and the world. How do we create these learning environments? What does the literacy instruction look like for all students in an inclusive classroom? Participants will explore the research around best practices in literacy instruction and our charge for creating student learning communities that support all learners.

Even Us? An Introduction to Implicit Racial Bias

Dolly Chugh

(Assistant Professor, New York University)

Urban educators committed to the “civil rights movement of our generation” often hold strong egalitarian ideals. This session will focus on the latest science investigating unconsciously-held, or implicit, biases and how these biases might contradict our consciously held beliefs. We will look at how prevalent these implicit biases can be, even in educators, and the implications of these implicit biases for our work and for our kids.

Making Learning Magical for Students: Utilizing Free Google Tools for Teaching

Tia Lendo

(Google Educator)

Workshop presented by Google

Teachers around the world are using free internet resources to make learning magical and also to make their lives easier. In this session we will cover a range of practical Google tools educators can use to enhance teaching of subjects and competencies (e.g. research, collaboration). In the second part of the workshop, willing participants will share their favorite technology tools for school.

Preventing Rigor Mortis: Cultivating a Culture of Rigor

Brent Maddin

(Provost, Relay Graduate School of Education)

In this session we will focus on how to send messages to students about the importance of effort instead of innate intelligence, how to normalize error, and how to create scaffolded opportunities for early academic successes. You will walk out of this session with a set of concrete strategies that will help you cultivate a rigorous classroom culture.

Rethinking Participation and Engagement in STEM

Christopher Emdin

(Assistant Professor, Columbia University)

Dr. Emdin explores participation and engagement in education and how evidence of these terms has evolved over time. He uncovers reasons for youth disinterest in school and the STEM disciplines, and how we can look for new approaches to education that foster participation and engagement in STEM without sacrificing rigor and content knowledge.

Warm and Demanding: Teacher Tone and Responses That Facilitate Student Achievement

Dave Levin

(Co-Founder, KIPP)

Analyze the transformative impact that your tone of voice and the manner in which you respond can have in your classroom.

What a Coach Can Teach a Teacher

Jeff Duncan-Andrade

(Associate Professor, San Francisco State University)

There is very little research and writing done by urban educators to document effective practices in urban schools. However, Duncan-Andrade has taught and researched effective teaching practices in U.S. urban schools for over 20 years to provide educators and school leaders insights into effective program building and educational practices. Drawing from his on-going classroom experiences, this talk develops “The Top 10 Teacher Takeaways” put forth in Duncan-Andrade’s recent book, What a Coach Can Teach a Teacher. Rejecting the up-by-your-bootstraps theory of success for students, this discussion offers instead a set of concrete strategies to teachers and educational leaders who are committed to fundamentally rethinking the business-as-usual approach which continues to fail many of our young people. An optional follow-up discussion with Q&A will take place immediately after the presentation.

2:45 PM – 4:00 PM

Creating the Right Fit: Design Thinking in Education

Leah McConaughey

(Director of Instruction and Assessment, New York City Department of Education)

We’re all here to think about how to improve education in our classrooms. We can talk about what we want to change, but we also need a strategic process for how to change it. In this high-energy session participants will experience a dynamic series of activities that lead them through the design thinking process, which is a method you can use to transform any element of your classroom from curriculum to groupings to culture. Participants will walk away 1) understanding the difference between problem solving and design thinking and 2) equipped with an approach to leverage in their own classrooms.

How are the Instructional Shifts for Common Core Mathematics Grounded in Student Work?

Russell West, Patrice Holder, and Joyce Adgate

(Instructional Specialist, New Visions for Public Schools Math / Achievement Coaches, New York City Department of Education Math)

This workshop uses actual student work on rich mathematics performance tasks to explore the instructional shifts required to align curriculum with the New York State P-12 Common Core Learning Standards for Mathematics.

The Integrated Co-teaching Environment and Relationship

Dixon Deutsch and Dru Collins

(Executive Director / Program Manager, NYC Special Education Collaborative)

As the city actively builds more inclusive environments for students with disabilities, there isn’t always a common understanding of ICT. Through examining the setup of the classroom, examining teacher roles and zeroing in on relationships of the ICT pair, this session will leave attendees with a clear understanding on what ICT looks like and what the elements are of a successful co-teaching relationship.

Only Perfect Practice Makes Perfect: Concrete Strategies for Improving Student Practice

Brent Maddin

(Provost, Relay Graduate School of Education)

What makes for perfect student practice? In this session we will explore why student practice MUST look different for different types of objectives, we will learn about the four principles of effective student practice, and we will fill our toolboxes with concrete strategies for what we, as teachers, should be doing as we gradually release the responsibility for cognitive work during student practice.

Rigor and Engagement in the Elementary Classroom

Brandi Vardiman

(Dean of Teaching and Learning, KIPP Academy Elementary School)
Participants will somersault through time and space acquiring chants, cheers, songs and jeers, key strategies for questioning, and roadmaps that take students from discussion to discourse; creatively cultivating the learning portfolios of our youngest students. This hands-on session will ignite the wonder of all 5 senses. Group discussions will provide opportunities for participants to courageously plunge into the critical foundations of rigorous and engaging learning, that can be applied to their current systems of teaching, through video debriefs, lesson plan revision, and role plays centered on partner work.

The Classroom and the Cell: Conversations on Black Life in America

Marc Lamont Hill

(Associate Professor, Columbia University)

In this session we will review how educational policy, school curriculum and the broader social context create a dangerous school to prison pipeline for our nation’s most vulnerable youth.

What a Coach Can Teach a Teacher: Follow-up Discussion


(Associate Professor, San Francisco State University)

Following his 1:15 PM presentation, What a Coach Can Teach a Teacher, Jeff Duncan-Andrade will facilitate an open discussion and Q&A. This conversation will expand upon the concrete strategies for teachers and educational leaders committed to fundamentally rethinking the business-as-usual approach. Duncan-Andrade has taught and researched effective teaching practices in U.S. urban schools for over 20 years to provide educators and school leaders insights into effective program building and educational practices. Attendance to the 1:15 PM is encouraged, but not required.

Tips for Student Engagement and Relationship Building

Debon Lewis and Paul Byrne

(Principal / Dean of Students, KIPP AMP Middle School)

The engagement-based teaching approach provides foundational strategies for strengthening student relationships and the overall learning process. In order to fully maximize every instructional second, all students must be engaged from the moment they cross the threshold into our classrooms. You will walk away from this session with tips on how to make your classroom a place where kids won’t want to leave. This session is especially well-suited for middle school teachers.

Supporting Schools in Their Adoption of the CCLS and Instructional Shifts

William Gioia and Theresa Farinaccio

(Achievement Coaches, New York City Department of Education Literacy)

Learn how New Visions for Public Schools is supporting schools across the city as they adopt the Common Core Standards and Instructional Shifts. See the impact of New Visions’ effort as East Bronx Academy of the Future and The Young Women’s Leadership School in Manhattan demonstrate how they engage students in Socratic Seminars anchored by close reading of texts and text-dependent questions.

High Impact Reading Strategies to Address the Common Core

John Clemente and Jennifer Murtha

(Director of Educational Services, and Senior Consultant, Teaching Matters)

Each day teachers feel the urgency to meet the rigors required by the Common Core. Participants in this session will use a framework to transform Common Core Standards into specific learning targets and will leave the session with instructional reading strategies that can be implemented tomorrow. Session most relevant for teachers grades 3-8.

4:15 PM – 5:30 PM


Join us for a post-conference reception featuring remarks from Michael Lomax, President and CEO of the United Negro College Fund, and a performance by KIPP Academy’s String and Rhythm Orchestra!