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Community Connections Strand [clear filter]
Friday, December 2


The Meaning of Democratic Education

Join CES founder Deborah Meier and CES board member Linda Nathan--both founders of several Essential schools in Boston and New York--to discuss the different meanings that democracy, as it applies to schools, might take. Deborah and Linda invite conversation about the different forms of democratic approaches to education that enable "we the people" to make decisions about our schools, thinking through the roles of federal, state, and local policymakers. Among other questions, they will consider the ways that the consistently perpetuated adversarial relationship between charter schools and traditional schools in ways that too often have blurred potential common aspirations and have often prevented powerful partnerships. Is there another way to think about this and other dilemmas so that we can ensure that the schools our children need and deserve serve democracy well.


Deborah Meier

Longtime CES Member, Coalition of Essential Schools

Linda Nathan

Executive Director, Center for Artistry and Scholarship Education

Friday December 2, 2016 8:45am - 10:15am
Blackstone Room


What Does the Community Have to Say About Transforming Public Schools?
Learn about the future of education through the eyes of the community. We are excited to report that the CES Common Principles are alive and well in the recommendations for education transformation in New Mexico. Nearly 200 employers, activists, students, and elected officials and others with the most at stake in public education have participated in our Positive Youth Development Tours, visiting local schools to learn about innovative instruction and assessment and positive youth development. Their findings are a stark contrast to standardized testing that dominates the current accountability framework in New Mexico. Resulting recommendations from community leaders represent a ground-up movement to influence policy based on best education practices. In addition to sharing our community approach, this workshop will focus on ways to cultivate community voice to influence local education policy, and the state’s response to the reauthorization of ESSA.  


Suzanne Johnson

Director, School Learning and Research, New Mexico Center for School Leadership

Tony Monfiletto

Executive Director, New Mexico Center for School Leadership

Friday December 2, 2016 8:45am - 10:15am
Waterplace III


A 'Real-World' Blend: How to Leverage Emerging Education Technologies to Enable Student-Interest-Driven Internships at Scale
Research points to the invaluable nature of connections that students make with mentors when focused on an area of shared interest. Drawing on Big Picture Learning practices, we will delineate the process of developing a vibrant, student-centered internship program, including solutions to challenges such as compliance and management of complexity. Participants will leave with basic design concepts, practical tools, and clear next steps to implement an approach where students engage in interest-driven internship learning experiences.


Christian Hopkins

Alumnus, The Met School

Friday December 2, 2016 8:45am - 11:30am
South County


Closing the Opportunity Gap for Black and Latino Males: Tools and Resources for Anti-Racist, Culturally Sustaining Practices
This interactive workshop builds on a research-practice partnership among a community-based organization, a field-based center at an institute of higher education, and an urban school district. Session attendees - from students to family members to educators to advocates - will discover, adapt, and use role-specific tools and resources that promote culturally sustaining, anti-racist practices and that value the strengths and assets that Black and Latino male students bring to their education. In addition to learning about the systemic nature of the opportunity gap in Boston Public schools and practices in individual schools, participants will leave with tools and commitments to make their own settings ones in which Black and Latino males and others oppressed by historic, systemic inequality will thrive.

avatar for Rosann Tung

Rosann Tung

Director of Research and Policy, Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University


Colin Rose

Student, Boston Public Schools

Melissa Colon

Graduate Student, PhD Program, Tufts University

Vivian Dalila Carlo

Associate Professor, Lesley University

Friday December 2, 2016 8:45am - 11:30am
Providence Ballroom III


Asking Questions: The Most Important Skill for Learning and Partnering
All students can learn to ask their own questions; all families can ask questions to partner more effectively. This session will introduce the Question Formulation Technique (QFT), a step-by-step process for producing, improving and strategizing on how to use questions. Educators can integrate the QFT into their practice to promote and sustain deeper learning, nurture curiosity, and develop critical thinking skills. The QFT can also be used to engage families in problem solving and to partner more effectively in their children’s education. The session will provide experience with the strategies described in The Right Question Institute's publications Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions and Partnering With Parents To Ask the Right Questions.   

avatar for Luz Santana

Luz Santana

Co-Director, Right Question Institute
Luz Santana, Co-Director of the Right Question Institute (RQI), an organization that advances a strategy for teaching all people, no matter their level of education or income, how to ask better questions and participate more effectively in decisions. In her capacity as Co-Director... Read More →

Friday December 2, 2016 10:30am - 12:00pm
Kent Room
Saturday, December 3


Making a Positive Future for Assessment
With the rise of the testing resistance and reform movement and passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act, the opportunity exists to thoroughly overhaul assessment to become mostly beneficial to students and educators. FairTest has offered its own set of proposals (see www.fairtest.org), which are consistent with  CES's principle of "demonstration of mastery." This workshop will examine the current reform movement; discuss ESSA limits and possibilities; share what people are doing in their own schools and how that can inform future possibilities; share what people want to do; and propose the future of assessment. We welcome educators, parents, students and others to join us in a discussion-centered workshop. Participants will gain deeper knowledge of the assessment reform landscape and ideas for action in and beyond their schools.

avatar for Monty Neill

Monty Neill

Executive Director, FairTest
See FairTest report I have authored: "Assessment Matters: Constructing Model State Systems to Replace Testing Overkill" at http://fairtest.org/assessment-matters-constructing-model-state-system (and short fact sheet on that page). It will be part of my presentation at the Fall Forum... Read More →

Saturday December 3, 2016 1:45pm - 3:15pm
South County


The Ripple Effect: Making Positive Waves in Your Community
At Federal Hocking Secondary School, one of our ongoing goals is to make a greater positive impact on the community. Our recent work includes reaching out to area partners including Ohio University, local service organizations, government offices, and businesses to develop opportunities for our students to interact positively with the community, including a whole-school day of service, our internship program, participation in local arts organizations, and a newly developed community health clinic housed in our building. In this workshop intended for like-minded educators and students, we will share our experience, ask participants to share their successes in similar areas, and lead others through a brainstorming session to develop one specific idea for their own school's community involvement.


Ann Cell

Teacher, Federal Hocking School District


Amy Buchman

Counselor, Federal Hocking School District

Cliff Bonner

Principal, Federal Hocking High School

Ellen Hadley

Teacher, Federal Hocking High School
I am the secondary art teacher for Federal Hocking Local Schools, grades 7-12.

Renee Ripple

Teacher, Federal Hocking High School

Zach Ballew

Teacher, Federal Hocking High School

Saturday December 3, 2016 1:45pm - 3:15pm
Providence Ballroom I