Breakout Session Topics

We are excited to share with you the following breakout sessions for the 2017 Teacher-Powered National Conference. This year we have five different strands of breakout sessions with some sessions being in more than one strand. You will be able to attend four sessions in total, one during each Breakout Group: A, B, C, D. Some sessions are offered twice, giving you and your team the opportunity to participate in sessions that overlap during the same breakout group time.

Read on, or jump directly to one of the strands using the links below.

  1. Distributing School Leadership
  2. Putting Students at the Center of Design and Management Decisions
  3. Pursuing New Opportunities As Teacher-Powered Community Schools
  4. Encouraging District and Charter Authorizer Support of Teacher-Powered Schools
  5. Partnering with Union Leadership

STRAND: Distributing School Leadership

A Year of Design and Exploration: Is Teacher-Powered Governance Right for Your Team?

Learn how the team at Reiche Community School worked through an intentional Year of Exploration to figure out if converting to teacher-powered governance was right for them and worked through the early decisions about how they would distribute leadership to get the best outcomes for their students.

Breakout Group A: Saturday, 2:30-3:30 pm—Legacy A Room

Presented by:

  • Selene Becker, Teacher and Building Leader Representative, Howard Reiche Community School, Portland, ME
  • Lorraine Bobinsky, Co-lead Teacher, Howard Reiche Community School, Portland, ME
  • Dave Briley, Teacher and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Howard Reiche Community School, Portland, ME

Broadening the Scope and Definition of “Accountability”

Learn how Academic Arts High School and team works with school districts and authorizers to define “accountability” as achieving their teams’ shared purpose (not just a particular mean proficiency score).

Breakout Group C: Sunday, 10:00-11:00am—Enlightenment Room

Presented by:

  • Josh MacLachlan, Teacher-Advisor, Academic Arts High School, St. Paul, MN
  • Krissy Wright, Director, Academic Arts High School, St. Paul, MN

Designing Peer Evaluation to Develop Teaching and Teams

Learn how the Mission Hill K-8 School team designed a peer evaluation process that encourages healthy, constructive dialogue and improves learning across the team.

Breakout Group C: Sunday, 10:00-11:00am—Illumination Room

Presented by:

  • Ayla Gavins, Principal, Mission Hill K-8 School, Boston, MA
  • Jenerra Williams, Teacher, Mission Hill K-8 School, Boston, MA

Diagnose, Interrupt and Innovate to Overcome Obstacles

Learn how the Social Justice Humanitas Academy team uses the Adaptive Leadership framework to purposefully evolve their practice and cultivate team members’ capacity to achieve their organizational aspirations.

Breakout Group B: Saturday, 4:00-5:00pm— Optimist B Room

Presented by:

  • Jeff Austin, Lead Teacher and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Social Justice Humanitas Academy, Los Angeles, CA
  • Paul Payne, Ed.D., Instructional Coach, Social Justice Humanitas Academy, Los Angeles, CA

Evolving Governance Processes as a Team

Learn how Minnesota New Country and Boston Teachers Unions School teams formalized their informal management processes to work together in healthy and productive ways that improve student learning.

Breakout Group B: Saturday, 4:00-5:00pm—Exploration Room

Presented by:

  • Betsy Drinan, Co-Lead Teacher, Boston Teachers Union School, Boston, MA
  • Aaron Grimm, Teacher-Advisor and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Minnesota New Country School, Henderson, MN
  • Taryn Snyder , Teacher and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Boston Teachers Union School , Boston, MA

Hiring for Collaborative Management

Learn how the Hughes STEM High School team identifies candidates that contribute well to their distributed leadership processes, and how they integrate newly hired personnel into their team’s existing culture while tapping into what new talent can add to the team.

Breakout Group C: Sunday, 10:00-11:00am—Legacy B Room

Presented by:

  • Kathy Wright, Principal, Hughes STEM High School, Cincinnati, OH
  • Melissa Sherman, M.Ed., Instructional Design & Technology District Career Tech Curriculum Council Chair, Technology Facilitator, Hughes STEM High School, Cincinnati, OH

Inspiring Teacher Growth: Leveraging the Power of Professional Collaboration

Learn how UCLA Community School created a culture of professional growth that prioritized collaboration, data analysis, and student achievement.

Breakout Group D: Sunday, 11:30-12:30pm—Optimist B Room

Presented by:

  • Rosa Jimenez, Social Studies Teacher, UCLA Community School, Los Angeles, CA
  • Rebekah Kang, Special Education Teacher and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, UCLA Community School, Los Angeles, CA

Renaissance TLC: Teacher-Leader-Cooperation

Learn how The Renaissance Charter School (Pk-12) implements and practices shared and servant leadership on a daily basis. Experience the school’s methodology, struggles, and triumphs from two perspectives, as a teacher leader and as a school building leader.

Breakout Group A: Saturday, 2:30-3:30pm—Optimist B Room

Presented by:

  • Dan Fanelli, Middle School Administrator, STEM PK-12, The Renaissance Charter School, New York, NY
  • Ramil Buenaventura, PLC Coaches Coach, Teaching & Learning Co-Coordinator for Middle School, Math Teacher, The Renaissance Charter School, New York, NY

Strategies for Team Efficiency

Learn how Avalon School and Woods Learning Center teams have created and implemented efficient strategies for governing schools as a team, including meeting management and working with school leaders.

Breakout Group B: Saturday, 4:00-5:00pm—Legacy B Room
Breakout Group C: Sunday, 11:30-12:30pm—Exploration Room

Presented by:

  • Deyonne Jackson, Teacher and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Woods Learning Center, Casper, WY
  • Gretchen Sage-Martinson, Teacher-Advisor, Avalon School, St. Paul, MN
  • Nora Whalen, Teacher-Advisor, Avalon School, St. Paul, MN

Surviving Spills and Relishing Thrills in a Teacher-Powered School

Learn how Chrysalis teachers smacked into major hurdles to teacher-powered, and not only survived but thrived. Today they have a stable community of teachers, students, parents, and the county school board. Hear how they navigated through challenges, found solutions, and learned lessons along the way.

Breakout Group D: Saturday, 11:30-12:30pm—Enlightenment Room

Presented by:

  • Alysia Krafel, Co-founder, Teacher and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Chrysalis Charter School, Palo Cedro, CA
  • Paul Krafel, Co-founder, Teacher and Administrator, Chrysalis Charter School, Palo Cedro, CA

STRAND: Putting Students at the Center of Design and Management Decisions

Achieving Equity and Diversity through Student-Powered Structures

Learn how the Urban Assembly School for Green Careers places student data at the center of the school’s decision-making process, which resulted in: developing teacher-powered leadership structures, tailoring professional development around work done in the classroom, working with students to implement behavioral and academic interventions, implementing specific literacy interventions across content areas, detracking classrooms by age and ability grouping, and more.

Breakout Group B: Saturday, 4:00-5:00pm—Legacy A Room

Presented by:

  • Brent Chamberlain, Teacher, Urban Assembly School for Green Careers, New York, NY
  • Kevin Murnane, Mental Health Counselor, Urban Assembly School for Green Careers, New York, NY

Creating and Advocating for New and Different Assessment Tools for Measuring Student Progress

Learn how NYC’s International Community High School (ICHS) and Minnesota New Country School (MNCS) use assessment autonomy at their teacher-powered schools. The ICHS team uses the Portfolio Based Assessment Task (PBAT) as an alternative to standardized tests for measuring student progress. MNCS uses the Hope Survey as well as project based learning to assess students in multiple alternative ways. The presentation will include how the teams mentor students, measure progress, and advocate for district and authorizer recognition of the assessment tool.

Breakout Group A: Saturday, 2:30-3:30pm—Legacy B Room

Presented by:

  • Josef Donnelly, Teacher, Building Leader Representative, and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, International Community High School, New York, NY
  • Aaron Grimm, Teacher-Advisor and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Minnesota New Country School, Henderson, MN

Designing and Advocating for Personalized Learning Strategies

Learn from the Alliance for Excellent Education about how teacher-powered teams can collaboratively design and implement personalized learning for traditionally underserved student populations and advocate for district leaders to adapt to these approaches.

Breakout Group C: Sunday, 10:00-11:00pm—Illumination Room

Presented by:

  • Joshua Cable, Director, Cougar New Tech Entrepreneurial Academy, Walterboro, SC
  • Dr. Melissa Crosby, Principal, Cougar New Tech Entrepreneurial Academy, Walterboro, SC
  • Elizabeth Schneider, Chief of Staff and Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, Alliance for Excellent Education, Washington DC

Pushing the Limits of Zero Tolerance

Learn how the Social Justice Humanitas Academy team realizes the promise of restorative justice practices to cultivate a positive school culture where conflict (be it student:student; teacher:student or teacher:teacher) is resolved in healthy ways.

Breakout Group D: Sunday, 11:30-12:30pm—Legacy A Room

Presented by:

  • Jeff Austin, Lead Teacher and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Social Justice Humanitas Academy, Los Angeles, CA

Teacher-Powered Processes that Encourage Student and Teacher Accountability for Personalized Student Learning

Learn the strategies that the Avalon School team uses for developing students’ sense of accountability when learning is personalized, including student direction of independent projects, parent conferences, and learning goals. Also, learn ways to encourage teachers’ individual and team ownership of student outcomes in this environment.

Breakout Group B: Saturday, 4:00-5:00pm—Illumination Room

Presented by:

  • Carrie Bakken, Coordinator and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Avalon School, St. Paul, MN
  • Tim Quealy, Teacher-Advisor, Avalon School, St. Paul, MN

Using Data to Put Students at the Center of Design and Management Decisions

Learn how the Social Justice Humanitas Academy team uses data to put students at the center of of their design and management decisions, which motivates them push the limits of their autonomy arrangement, continuously improve their collaborative management practices, and resist the pressure to return to conventional practices.

Breakout Group C: Sunday, 10:00-11:00pm—Legacy A Room

Presented by:

  • Jose Navarro, Principal and Teacher, Social Justice Humanitas Academy , Los Angeles, CA

What Students Learn from Teacher- Powered Governance: UCLA Students Reflect on Their High School Experience

Learn students’ perspectives on how watching adults work in the teacher-powered Social Justice Humanitas Academy prepared them for success at UCLA.

Breakout Group A: Saturday, 2:30-3:30pm—Optimist A Room

Presented by:

  • Student Alumni at UCLA, Social Justice Humanitas Academy, Los Angeles, CA

STRAND: Pursuing New Opportunities As Teacher-Powered Community Schools

Aligning Wraparound Services With Shared Purpose for Student Success

Learn how the Reiche Community School team works to achieve their shared purpose by managing wraparound services through their distributed leadership strategy, and how the Los Angeles Education Partnership site coordinators work with teacher-powered teams to ensure students get supports they need for success.

Breakout Group C: Sunday, 10:00-11:00pm—Artistry Room

Presented by:

  • Dave Briley , Teacher and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Howard Reiche Community School, Portland, ME
  • Jennie Carey Rosenbaum, Director of Development and Evaluation, Los Angeles Education Partnership, Los Angeles, CA

Becoming a Teacher-Powered Community School

Learn from the Los Angeles Education Partnership and the Teacher-Powered Schools Initiative about how Teacher-Powered Schools—that are also Community Schools—have found numerous benefits for students and the teacher team, including improved access to the community’s strong network of resources, relationships, and opportunities.

Breakout Group D: Sunday, 11:30-12:30pm—Legacy B Room

Presented by:

  • Amy Junge, Teacher-Powered Schools Initiative, Education Evolving, St. Paul, MN
  • Lara Kain, Senior Director, Transform Schools, Los Angeles Education Partnership, Los Angeles, CA

Building Strategic Alliances to Transform Public Schools

Learn how UCLA Community School and the Belmont Zone of Choice leveraged community organizing strategies to transform public schools in Los Angeles Unified School District. This will include an exploration of the crucial role of strategic alliances between community-based organizations and school district officials in bringing about greater equity and improved student outcomes.

Breakout Group C: Sunday, 10:00-11:00am—Optimist A Room

Presented by:

  • Karen Hunter Quartz, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, UCLA Community School, Los Angeles, CA
  • Queena Kim, Assistant Principal and Founding Lead Teacher, UCLA Community School, Los Angeles, CA

Deepening Learning through Community Schools and Teacher-Powered Schools

Learn from nonprofit partners, national education leaders, and funders about the strategies that teacher-powered schools and community schools are bringing to the forefront of dialogues about improving K-12, including more and better learning time, health and social services, a broadened perspective about rigor, and community engagement. This session will include a discussion about realizing the potential of ESSA through teacher-powered community schools.

Breakout Group B: Sunday, 4:00-5:00pm—Optimist A Room

Presented by Los Angeles Education Partnership Panel, featuring:

  • Barnett Berry, President and CEO, Center for Teaching Quality, Carrboro, NC
  • Gustavo Morales, Director of Community Schools, Los Angeles Education Partnership, Los Angeles, CA
  • Ellen Pais, President and CEO, Los Angeles Education Partnership, Los Angeles, CA
  • John Shindler, Professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, California State University, Los Angeles, CA

Leveraging the Potential of Teacher-Powered Governance to Maximize Student Democracy and Family and Community Involvement

Learn how the Woods Learning Center team has created strategies for carrying out teacher-powered governance in a way that enhances student democracy and gets the most out of all that family and community involvement has to offer (while setting appropriate limits).

Breakout Group A: Saturday, 2:30-3:30pm—Artistry Room

Presented by:

  • Deyonne Jackson, Teacher and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Woods Learning Center, Casper, WY
  • Denise Snider, Teacher, Woods Learning Center, Casper, WY

STRAND: Encouraging District and Charter Authorizer Support of Teacher-Powered Schools

Building Strategic Alliances to Transform Public Schools

Learn how UCLA Community School and the Los Angeles Pilot Schools leveraged community organizing strategies to support teacher autonomy in the Los Angeles Unified School District. This will include an exploration of the crucial role of strategic alliances between community-based organizations, universities, teachers' unions, and school district officials in bringing about greater equity and improved student outcomes.

Breakout Group C: Sunday, 10:00-11:00am—Optimist A Room

Presented by:

  • Karen Hunter Quartz, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, UCLA Community School, Los Angeles, CA
  • Queena Kim, Assistant Principal and Founding Lead Teacher, UCLA Community School, Los Angeles, CA

Create Public Awareness and Support for Teacher-Powered Schools

Learn how teacher-powered teams have found ways to actively and efficiently spread the opportunity to be teacher-powered, and build critical mass, by sharing their stories, offering tours and coaching, acting as teacher-powered ambassadors or serving on boards of organizations that impact education, testifying at the legislature, and building legislative coalitions that galvanize state and local level dialogue.

Breakout Group D: Sunday, 11:30-12:30pm—Exploration Room

Presented by:

  • Carrie Bakken, Coordinator and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Avalon School, St. Paul, MN
  • Julene Oxton, Coordinator, Co-Founder of Impact Academy, Lakeville Area Public Schools, Lakeville, MN
  • Liz Seubert , Co-lead Teacher and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Wildlands School, Fall Creek, WI
  • Alex Vitrella, Teacher-Powered Schools Initiative, Education Evolving, St. Paul, MN

Districts Can Support Teacher-Powered Governance Across Diverse School Models

Learn how the Washtenaw Educational Options Consortium, a multi-district effort that is home to three schools with different degrees of teacher-powered governance, supports teams in implementing their varying ideas about how to structure time and space for teacher-powered at both school and district levels (including hybrid leadership schedules and shared time). This includes a teacher-powered human resources committee that works across three schools for budgeting, teacher evaluations, legislator engagement, and more.

Breakout Group B: Saturday, 4:00-5:00pm—Enlightenment Room

Presented by:

  • Daniel Giddings, IB Coordinator & Lead Teacher, Washtenaw International High School (WIHI), Ypsilanti MI
  • Sarah Giddings, Teacher-Advisor, Washtenaw Alliance for Virtual Education (WAVE), Ypsilanti MI

How Teacher-Powered is Inspiring a Cultural Shift Through a District

Learn how Wildlands School has inspired a cultural shift in an entire district. Explore the "how, what, and why" of a collaborative partnership between district leadership and teachers at Augusta Area School District.

Breakout Group A: Saturday, 2:30-3:30pm—Exploration Room

Presented by:

  • Ryan Nelson, Superintendent, Augusta Area School District, Augusta, WI
  • Liz Seubert, Co-lead Teacher and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Wildlands School, Fall Creek, WI

What Happens When Instructional Leaders Encourage Teacher-Powered Governance Structures?

Learn how instructional leaders, working with teachers and schools across the Lakeville School District, created a teacher-powered school and district culture that builds leadership capacity in teachers and helps students take charge of their learning.

Breakout Group C: Sunday, 10:00-11:00pm—Optimist B Room

Presented by:

  • Michelle Johnson, Teacher, Impact Academy, Lakeville, MN
  • Julene Oxton, Coordinator, Co-Founder, Impact Academy, Lakeville Area Public Schools, Lakeville, MN
  • Lisa Snyder, Ed.D., Superintendent, Lakeville Area Public Schools, Lakeville, MN
  • Allison Thoen, Teacher, Impact Academy, Lakeville, MN

STRAND: Partnering with Union Leadership

How Union Leaders Create Space for Teacher-Powered Schools

Learn from union leaders about how they are creating opportunities for teachers, and supporting them to secure autonomy and develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions they need to design and implement successful schools.

Breakout Group A: Saturday, 2:30-3:30pm—Enlightenment Room

Presented by:

  • Kathleen Casasa, Northeast Regional Coordinator, Teacher Union Reform Network (TURN); Past President Portland Education Association, 22 Years; Portland, ME
  • Mary Sjoberg, Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, Bancroft Elementary, Minneapolis, MN
  • Louise Sundin, Chair of the Board, Minnesota Guild; Former 22-year President, Minneapolis Federation of Teachers; Former 25-year Vice President, American Federation of Teachers; St. Paul, MN

Renaissance Unionism

Learn how the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) is showing how unions can lead the way in innovation through its work with the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators (CSA, the administrators’ union) to create a formal arrangement for existing schools to move towards a more teacher-powered model. The PROSE (Progressive Redesign Opportunity Schools for Excellence) program was negotiated into the 2014 teachers’ contract by the UFT and the DOE as a way for schools that had a history of collaborative management to have more freedom to achieve their goals.

Breakout Group B: Saturday, 4:00-5:00pm—Artistry Room

Presented by:

  • Christina Collins, Ph.D, Lead Researcher and Policy Analyst, United Federation of Teachers, New York, NY
  • Josef Donnelly, Teacher, Building Leader Representative, and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, International Community High School, New York, NY