13th Annual Professional Development Summit

Morning Plenary

Addressing Education and Economic Empowerment for African Americans and Other Communities of Color

Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Marc Morial and Dr. Michael Drake will speak on the financial wealth gap and the resultant challenges to education and life in the African American and other communities of color.


Governor Gavin Newsom
Addressing The State of Education in California, (invited)

The Honorable Barbara Lee
U.S. Representative, CA-13th District

Marc Morial
President and CEO, National Urban League

Michael V. Drake, M.D.
President, University of California


In-Person Moderator

Dr. Ron Williams
Superintendent, Victor Valley Union High School District

Virtual Moderator

Dr. Gordon Amerson
Superintendent, Duarte Unified School District

Workshop Series III

Culture Eats Curriculum for Breakfast

As we transition to another “new normal” in hybrid learning environments, we must keep in mind this imperative truth: learning is a cultural experience before it is an academic one. In this professional learning session, we will have courageous conversations and discuss strategies about the essential aspects of providing a culturally responsive learning experience that will help students thrive and adapt to the new normal of schooling. We will move beyond theory and explore what it LOOKS like and SOUNDS like in practice, leaving you feeling confident and equipped to turn educational challenges into opportunities to reach students in new and impactful ways.


Lybroan James

Addressing Equity and Social Justice in Schools with Emotional Intelligence

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognize that emotional support for all, including those of us in a leadership role, is critical. This workshop introduces leaders to the concept of Emotional Intelligence. In this session leaders will be introduced to the four skills of emotional intelligence, their strategies, and will leave with an understanding of how to begin improving their own levels of Emotional Intelligence. Participants will be provided with links to all handouts and slides. Additionally, participants will be engaged through the use of Jamboard.


Dr. Juanita Kelley
Administrator, Lancaster School District

Charles Coleman
Principal, Lancaster School District

Leveraging a Content Partner to Adapt to Teachers’ and Students’ Needs

Los Banos Unified School District will share how they use Newsela to be responsive to the needs of both teachers and students. Attendees will learn about how Los Banos adapted to meet teachers’ resource needs during the COVID-19 pandemic closures, as well as how teachers select content to be responsive to students.


Nicole Offerdahl
Curricular Solutions Architect, Newsela

Dr. C. Sean Richey
Chief Academic Officer, Los Banos Unified School District

Dismantling White Supremacy in Educational Spaces: A leadership model for transformative change

This workshop will share how schools can integrate anti-racism and Social and Emotional Learning as a pathway to racial and gender equity. Using specific case examples, we will share information regarding: stakeholder engagement (including youth voice), strategic trainings and individual coaching strategies. We will also share tools to equip you in leading a process for staff to unpack their own bias and privilege in order to improve the racial climate in classrooms and around campus.


Stacey Ault
Assistant Professor; Founder/CEO, Sacramento State

Veena Nath
Instructional Coach, Stockton Unified

Leading for Equity from Central Office to the Classroom

From systems to justice work, learn how two districts leaned into equity and justice through the community. Attendees will hear lessons learned from the field, receive tools and resources that changed practices, and learn strategies for equitable outcomes. The provided resources will support you with launching equity audits, equity teams, and a framework with an implementation plan. Success stories will showcase the impact from the central office to the classroom.


Dr. Kimberlee Armstrong
Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, Tamalpais Union High School District

Creating & Adopting School Board Policies on Equity

The workshop provides tools to help create effective and equitable policies in a way that focuses districts and county offices efforts on improved student learning and achievement.


Barbara Dew
Board of Trustee, Victor Valley Union High School District

Kyla Sinegal
Board of Trustee, San Lorenzo Unified School District

Jorge Pacheco Jr.
President, California Latino School Boards Association; President, Oak Grove School Boards

Guadalupe Gonzales
Board of Trustee, San Diego County Office of Education

It’s More Than Just a Game – Preparing Student Athletes for the Next Level

Many of our students of color aspire to become intercollegiate and professional athletes. Come join an interactive conversation presented by experienced attorneys and a college counselor about what educators and student athletes should know about reaching the next level. This presentation will discuss realistic facts and figures about reaching the next level and offer guidance about the need to stay focused on education as well as athletics.


Nia Franklin
Associate, Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost, LLP

Diane Marshall-Freeman
Partner, Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost, LLP

Jeri Marshall
Counselor, Former Coach, Athletic; Academic Counselor, Counselor, American River College

Leadership Insights & Data Tracking: Eliminating Barriers to Attendance and Participation

The digital divide has disproportionately affected students of color and families from low-socioeconomic backgrounds. Join Moreno Valley Unified SD and School Innovations & Achievement (SI&A) in a discussion on the use of attendance data to address the impact of non-attendance/non-participation, as we move into the 2021/2022 school year. Hear from SI&A as they share their statewide analysis of chronic absence data, encompassing 33 districts and nearly 350,000 student across California. Learn how Moreno Valley USD uses real-time data to adapt their MTSS model of practice to take action to reconnect with disconnected students and get at the root of attendance problems to close equity gaps. Attendees will walk away with statewide data indicators for benchmarking and goal-setting in the absence of CA Dashboard updates, as well as strategies to address chronic absenteeism, participation rates and create a culture of student success.


Dr. Lynne Sheffield
Director of Students Services & Registration, Moreno Valley USD

Erica Peterson
National Education Manager, School Innovations & Achievement

Amanda Deniston
Coordinator of Child Welfare & Attendance, Moreno Valley USD

Re-Imagining Public Education System Through a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lens:

Stand alone staff trainings on social justice issues create conversation and give insight into oppression in education, but do little to make sustainable changes in the school system. Education has the responsibility to assess and re-examine its entire system of unintentional/intentional, and impactful systemic marginalization particularly of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community. This session will include a panel of administrators sharing their experiences of challenging their own systems through creating a new way of looking at their daily work with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.


Brian McDonald
Superintendent, Pasadena Unified School District

Florence Culpepper
Principal, Lincoln Middle School Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District

Steve Richardson
Principal, John Adams Middle School, Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District


Reena Doyle
Co-Founder, Tribesy Consulting

Gail Watts
Co-Founder, Tribesy Consulting

Using an Equity Lens to Diversify the Syllabi

This session explores an equity curriculum and instruction professional learning initiative that cultivates cultural and linguistic pluralism in instructional design and practice. Participants will learn how the design team leverages, social justice standards, equity-centered lesson design, equity literacy, and social media to build coherence and develop a shared understanding of culturally and linguistically responsive K-12 instruction.


Julie Goldman, Ed.D.
Director, Equity Curriculum and Instruction Equity Department, San Diego County Office of Education

Fabiola Bagula
Senior Director, Equity, San Diego County Office of Education

Dr. Steven A. Dorsey
Executive Leadership Coach, Equity, San Diego County Office Education

Valentin EscanuelaValentin Escanuela
Juvenile Court and Community Schools, San Diego County Office Education

Ethnic Studies: Principles and Instructional Practices

The Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum ( LESMC) Coalition will address how Ethnic Studies addresses racial equity, by introducing participants to the foundational principles of Ethnic Studies. The LESMC Coalition will focus Ethnic Studies content and pedagogy in four disciplines (Asian-American Pacific Islander, American Indian, Chicano/a/x, African-American Studies). LESMC Coalition members will present the framework for professional development, curriculum design, and sample lessons. Participants will discuss approaches for implementing Ethnic Studies in schools/ districts.


Tracie Noriega
Assistant Superintendent, San Lorenzo Unified School District Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Coalition

Theresa MontanoTheresa Montano
Professor, Chicano/a Studies, California State University Northridge

Tanya JacoTanya Jaco
6th Grade ELA/Social Studies Teacher

Ndindi Kitonga, PhD
Homeless Rights Advocate

Black Student Union Leadership Work in Fresno Unified School District

To support the Black students that have been effected by trauma, the FUSD BSU Leadership created an advisory group which allowed young leaders from each high school to mentor their peers in partnership with Superintendent, Dr. Bob Nelson. The work has empowered them by developing their leadership skills and creating a space for healing. The students have refined their communication and advocacy skills, which they share with their peers. Through a PSA project, the BSU leaders have also taught adults about Black History in our district, as well as promoted healing through their optimism and inspiration.


Lisa Nichols
Vice Principal on Special Assignment, Goal 2/Student Engagements,Fresno Unified School District

Patrick Riddlesprigger
Manager IIl, Goal 2/Student Engagements, Fresno Unified School District

Luncheon Plenary

Research Institute Panel Discussion: Achieving An Equity-Driven Education – Post COVID

CAAASA’s annual research institute panel led by Keynote speaker, Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond and Lead Organizer Dr. Travis Bristol on how to Achieve An Equity-Driven Education once the COVID pandemic ends.


Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond
President, CA State Board of Education; President, Learning Policy Institute

Dr. Travis Bristol
Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Education, Berkeley

Dr. Justin A. Coles
Assistant Professor, Fordham University

Dr. Maria E. Hyler
Director of the Learning Policy Institute’s, Washington, DC Office

Ms. Kimberly Young
Ethnic Studies Teacher, Culver City High School


In-Person Moderator

Dr. Daryl Camp
Superintendent, San Lorenzo Unified School District

Virtual Moderator

Garth Lewis
Superintendent, Yolo County Office of Education

Workshop Series IV

Black Leadership Alliance: Creating solutions that address a variety of concerns affecting education and the Black experience.

The Learn4Life network of non-profit public schools formed the Black Leadership Alliance (BLA) to take ownership of creating solutions that address a variety of concerns affecting education and the Black experience. Voicing challenges, identifying concerns, current events, and conceptualizing solutions, the BLA initiated four task forces: Black Student Mentorship, Black Student Alliance, Social Impact Webinars and a Virtual Summit Series. We will share how the BLA builds relationships and positions its resources to serve traditionally underrepresented students.


Nadar Ali II
External Affairs Administrator, Lifelong Learning Administration Corporation

Eunetra Rutledge
External Affairs Liasion, Learn4Life

Black Men for Educational Equity (BMEE): Early Learning Suspensions, Expulsions and Systemic Racism

During the height of the George Floyd protests, a group of African American men with professional experience in education, policy, research and social work were determined to address the school to prison pipeline by focusing on implicit bias in early education. Black Men for Educational Equity (BMEE) was formed during the summer of 2020. Since its inception, BMEE examined the disparities and inequalities that exist in the system for young Black children and have created a plan of action for addressing these systemic issues.


Khieem Jackson
Founder, BMEE

Dr. J. Luke Wood
Vice President of Student Affairs & Campus Diversity and Dean’s Distinguished Professor of Education, San Diego State University

Dr. Shadidi Sia-Maat
Education Programs Consultant, California Department of Education

Adonai Mack
Senior Director of Equity Services, Association for California School Administrators (ACSA)

Ayodeji TaylorAyodeji Taylor
Associate Director of Media Relations and Strategic Communications, California Primary Care Association (CPCA)

Khaim Morton

UNITY Professional Women’s Networking Organization: Ladies of Unity

Leading While Female: Lessons from the Field and Beyond

This town hall is hosted by the Unity Professional Women’s Networking Organization and sponsored by Curriculum Associates. Participants will engage in an interactive workshop with three outstanding women leaders: Dr. Judy White, Dr. Michelle Bowers, and Dr. Tanya Fisher. All three leaders will share their journey, provide key insights and tips for success, as well as provide motivation and encouragement for current and future leaders.


Dr. Michelle Bowers
Superintendent, Lancaster School District

Sonjhai LoweryMrs. Sonjhai Lowery
Superintendent, Old Adobe Union School District

Dr. Shawna Dinkins
Assistant Superintendent,Lynwood USD

Dr. Kimberly Hendricks-Brown
Administrator of Community & Family Services, Fresno USD

Creating an Online Safety Net in Your Digital Tools

Join us to learn more around supporting district partners through this complicated and challenging time. Student safety tools keep a close eye on how students are doing in this “new normal” of going to school from home, helping districts identify those who may be struggling with being isolated or the dramatic change in their daily routine. We will share best practices, 1-1 deployment usage during and after school hours, and how we align with SEL initiatives.


Gretchen ThompsonGretchen Thompson
Regional Vice President, Sales, Gaggle

Erase the Opportunity Gap with Dr. Judy D. White

After 42 years of finding ways to reach every child with a career spanning from teacher to County Superintendent, Dr. Judy White has the real life experiences of knowing which steps are necessary to erase the opportunity gap and raise each and every student’s achievement. Join Dr. White and the BARR Center Team to learn about actual results for a school district and a county and the impact of joining a network to access these evidence-based practices for your school. The proven research-based strategies and protocols build relationships and systems that transcend time and pandemics.


Judy WhiteDr. Judy White

Tom Pellegrino
Manager of National Recruitment, BARR

Creating Sustainable Supports and Accelerated Learning Plans for Student Success across all Communities

This year, school leaders have been challenged and are working tirelessly to help all students overcome disrupted learning. The path to student achievement is clear, but not simple. It entails providing individualized support at scale to students in all communities. We invite all district, school site and community members to learn how Fresno Unified and Tutor.com have partnered to overcome these challenges and more. With a 20-year track record, Tutor.com has supported students in every community, by providing 24/7, on-demand live tutoring and support in English and Spanish in over 150 K12 Subjects.


Ed Ceja
Trainer, Coach, Advocate

Jeremy WardJeremy Ward
Executive Officer College & Career Readiness, Fresno Unified School District

Carlos CastilloCarlos Castillo
Instructional Superintendent Curriculum & Instruction, Fresno Unified School District

How to Leverage Local Resources and Ensure Equitable Student Outcomes

Monitoring data in the new LCAP format requires a new approach. Join us for a collaborative session on making the most of local community resources and student data to ensure equitable student outcomes. You will hear how other districts in California are tracking their own progress toward strategic goals to help underserved populations and address equity, as well as how an exemplar collective impact approach can help address equitable access in communities.


Catherine N. Close, PhD
Director of Psychometrics, Renaissance

Tools and Strategies to Review and Address Racial Equity

The State Performance Plan Technical Assistance Project (SPP-TAP), funded by the California Department of Education, supports local educational agencies (LEAs) in addressing disproportionality in all forms – identification, placement, and discipline. SPP-TAP and its expert consultants, will share new tools to assist the review of systemic issues that create racial inequities in your schools. Strategies to address racial inequities will focus on policies, practices and procedures and student file reviews that capture disparate student journeys.


Connie Silva
Director, State Performance Technical Assistance Project, Napa County Office of Education

Dr. Mildred Browne

Dr. Mary Bacon
Facilitator, SPP-TAP TA

“Return of the Act”… The Brown Act

This session will help participants learn what a meeting under the Brown Act is, how the public must be informed of closed sessions, how the public may participate in open sessions and how the use of social media may involve the Brown Act. Attendees will get a concise overview of California’s open meeting law requirements.


Jabari Willis
Partner, AALRR

Hearts YOUnited: Engaging the Community in Building Positive School Climate and Culture

Hearts YOUnited is a Community Coalition established to promote empathy. The Coalition embraces kindness to support students by engaging with agencies to fulfill student needs. The Coalition has adjusted its service model as we continue to face new challenges during these unprecedented times. Participants will hear how a district collaborated with the community to build a kindness program rooted in empathy. Audience will receive strategies to promote a positive climate and bullying prevention program.


Lynne Sheffield
Director of Student Services, Moreno Valley Unified School District

Vikki ChavezVikki Chavez
Coordinator of Climate and Culture, Moreno Valley Unified School District

Dr. Martinrex Kedziora
Superintendent, Moreno Valley
Unified School District

Retaining Male Teachers of Color Through Teacher and Administrator Partnerships

Over the past three years, educators in Compton USD have been working with university partners and researchers to create a network designed to retain male teachers and administrators of color. This is a space for them to learn from and mentor each other, increase collaboration through building trust and share challenges through the Issaquah Protocol, which models the developmentally appropriate order for questioning in coaching/consulting situations. Learn how to build on this model to affirm the humanity of educators of color and their impact on students and school climate.


Travis Bristol
Assistant Professor, University of California, Berkeley

Abby Ridley-Kerr
Research and Data Analyst, The Education Trust – West

Blain Watson
Principal, Green Dot Public Schools

Brandon Contreras
Math Chair, Compton Unified School District