NCE Presentations on Equity

 NCE 18 sm



 Courageous Leadership for Districtwide Success 

If ever there were a time to understand and tap into the foundational power of courage, this testing, assessment and policy-driven period is it. Education leaders who succeed in serving the needs of all their students must find ways to pursue excellence and equity simultaneously and to create conditions in schools that address the academic and non-academic needs of children (i.e., health, nutrition, safety, etc.). For all of this to occur, leaders must have a clear sense of how to systematically build the capacity of their schools to meet the needs of the students they serve. This presentation describes how such strategies are being implemented successfully even in the most disadvantaged communities where the needs are great. It also provides concrete strategies for school leaders to develop effective partnerships with community organizations and parents that can help in furthering efforts to raise achievement and transform the culture and performance of schools.

  • Alan Blankstein, President, Hope Foundation, Bloomington, Ind.
  • Pedro Noguera, Professor, New York University, New York, N.Y.
Baltimore County Public Schools (BSPS) Students and Teachers Accessing Tomorrow (S.T.A.T.) Initiative: Preparing Globally Competitive Students

BCPS is the 25th largest school district in the United States with more than 110,000 students. In June 2013, the Board of Education adopted Blueprint 2.0, a five-year strategic plan. Part of the plan is the Theory of Action, based on equity and access for all students: To equip every student with the critical 21st-century skills needed to be globally competitive, BCPS must ensure that every school has an equitable, effective digital learning environment, and every student has equitable access to learning and developing proficiency in a second language.

Dance focuses on the S.T.A.T. Initiative by outlining how BCPS started with the development of digital curriculum before choosing a device. This has been critical in keeping the focus on instruction, professional development and the creation of collaborative and engaged learning environments for students and teachers.

  • Dallas Dance, Superintendent, Baltimore County Public Schools, Towson, Md.



In 2011, New Jersey's Freehold Regional High School District launched an ambitious strategic planning process with the goal of providing individualized and challenging opportunities for all students. The final product, called Compass, provided levers to bring issues of equity and access out into the open. The district has since made four appearances on the annual AP Honor Roll, has been recognized by the New Jersey School Boards Association with multiple Exemplary Program distinctions, and has presented at national conferences on curriculum mapping and data analysis strategies arising from its strategic plan. The superintendent has also been recognized for outstanding leadership by the College Board and named a #FutureReady leader by the White House. This session will share tools that have focused conversations on equity, reframed curriculum to support student access, and advanced unique metrics to measure opportunities for all students to realize their passions through the district's program. 

  •  Nicole Hazel, Chief Academic Officer, Freehold Regional High School District, Englishtown, NJ
  •  Jeff Moore, Director of Curriculum, Freehold Regional High School District, Englishtown, NJ
  • Charles Sampson, Superintendent of Schools, Freehold Regional High School District, Englishtown, NJ

Learn strategies for improving student achievement while addressing disproportionality, engaging district and school leadership teams in courageous conversations about race, and changing districtwide school culture through the use of positive behavior interventions and supports.

  • Joni Cesario, Director of Special Programs, Buckeye Elementary School District, Buckeye, AZ;
  • Kristi Sandvik, Superintendent, Buckeye Elementary School District, Buckeye, AZ

A new generation of aspiring administrators will Be Extraordinarily Effective Stewards as they graduate from the innovative program offered by the Pendergast (AZ) School District entitled the B.E.E.S. Institute. The "buzz" created is due to the uniqueness of this "grow your own" administrative program offered in its inaugural year through a partnership with the Pendergast Elementary School District and the Arizona Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (AZALAS). B.E.E.S. is a comprehensive institute for new and aspiring administrators designed to meet the challenges of the new millennium.

The focus of the institute is on developing and refining applied leadership and management skills required of principals at the elementary, middle grades and high school levels. This session will outline the B.E.E.S. model, which is easily replicated in other districts with the tools, resources and desire to improve educational attainment and enhanced knowledge.

  •  Dora Barrio, Chief Academic Officer, Pendergast Elementary School District, Phoenix, AZ
  •  Rod Henkel, Principal, Westwind Elementary School, Phoenix, AZ
  •  Lily Matos DeBlieux, Superintendent, Pendergast Elementary School District, Phoenix, AZ
  •  Matt Williams, Principal, Westwind Elementary School, Phoenix, AZ



How school district leaders select principals is a critical component of ensuring school and student success. This roundtable presents recent research on superintendents’ principal selection practices to open a dialogue on the use of objective selection methods to help improve student achievement.

  • Brandon Palmer, Director of Research, Principal Research Center, Inc., Tehachapi, CA


In this roundtable, participants engage in a "Leadership in Equity" simulation scenario that demonstrates an innovative technology driven approach that builds superintendents' leadership capacity and provides an engaging PD tool they can use with their teams. Experience is really the only way leaders can get better at making good decisions and good experience is often the result of making mistakes and having the wherewithal to learn from them. This session demonstrates how simulations provide leaders with the opportunity to fail forward and increase their leadership capacity while at the same time building collaboration among their teams.


Community partnerships strengthen a district's ability to accomplish its mission by providing additional support in workforce, materials and outreach and making programs stronger and more meaningful. Discover the true intention of partnerships and develop strategies to help move from "random acts of community involvement" to meaningful, ongoing community engagement. Come learn how to create dynamic new partnerships and revitalize existing ones in your district.

  • Jane Collins-Fondulis, Principal, Wareham Public Schools, Wareham, MA;
  • Maureen Manning, Director of Family & Community Engagement, Wareham Public Schools, Wareham, MA;
  • Kimberly Shaver-Hood, Superintendent, Wareham Public Schools, Wareham, MA

 Several years ago, the Freehold Regional High School District, NJ, developed a strategic plan that viewed mandates through a mission statement focused on equity of access to challenging opportunities. To implement this plan, the district has developed innovative data analysis strategies, overhauled curricula, realigned school improvement and professional development structures, and changed how teachers and administrators pursue goals — all within the context of new standards, new assessments and a new evaluation regime. During this roundtable, administrators from Freehold Regional discuss the role of systems thinking in protecting strategic priorities from comprehensive and expensive mandates and share strategies for getting schools organized, supporting principals in fostering ownership, marshaling human capital and managing message and politics.

  •  Nicole Hazel, Chief Academic Officer, Freehold Regional High School District, Englishtown, NJ;
  • Shanna Howell, Director of Guidance & Operations, Freehold Regional High School District, Englishtown, NJ;
  • Jeffrey Moore, Director of Curriculum & Instruction, Freehold Regional High School District, Englishtown, NJ;
  • Charles Sampson, Superintendent, Freehold Regional High School District, Englishtown, NJ


August 2017