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Monday, October 16, 2023

Opening Plenary Keynote: 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM PT

Building Liberatory Assessment Systems: Performance Assessment as an Equity Strategy

Over the last three decades, standards-based reforms have attempted to close opportunity gaps – mostly tapping large scale assessment and accountability systems. But these assessment systems were not designed to provide real-time feedback to support teaching and learning at the classroom level. We also know that systemic racism is deeply ingrained in the history of assessment in our nation. But we can build and envision different ways of measuring learning, especially by centering students in these systems.

In this keynote, Alcine Mumby of Envision Learning Partners will discuss how performance assessment can be a key equity strategy – giving students the opportunity to declare what they know, how they’ve learned it, and how they plan on using that knowledge to change the world.

Alcine Mumby, Vice President of Program and the Director of ELP’s Deeper Learning Leadership Forum, Envision Learning Partners
Alcine Mumby is Envision Learning Partners‘ Vice President of Program and the Director of ELP’s Deeper Learning Leadership Forum. Alcine is a dedicated educator who has spent the last 25 years teaching and leading traditional and charter public K-12 schools all over the country. She currently supports and coaches district and school leaders to develop high-quality performance assessment systems that center student-led demonstrations of learning and metacognition. Prior to coaching, Alcine taught Humanities at one of the first small schools in the Bronx where project-based learning and portfolio defenses served as the foundation of instruction. Afterward, Alcine became a founding principal of Envision Academy in Oakland, an administrator in several small middle and high schools in Atlanta and DC, and a leadership coach in DC, Charlotte & Philadelphia. Alcine earned her BA in English Education from NYU and a Master’s in Curriculum Studies and Teacher Education from Stanford University. When she’s not listening to podcasts or catching a flight, Alcine enjoys working toward earning BAE (Best Auntie Ever) status with her adorable niece and five nephews.

Keynote Plenary Luncheon: 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM PT

Lifting up Student Voices for the Future of Learning 

Too often in education, we talk about students without actually hearing directly from them. Join us as we sit down with young people from across the nation who have experienced learner-centered environments first hand. What insights from their experiences might we take with us as we work together to build a more future-focused education system?

Facilitator: Virgel Hammonds, Chief Learning Officer, Knowledgeworks
Virgel partners with national policymakers and local learning communities throughout the country to redesign learning structures to become more learner-centered and based on proficiency, rather than seat time, and which promote both teacher and learner agency. He also works with KnowledgeWorks staff to build out competency education tools and services to help districts implement personalized learning.

Virgel previously served as the superintendent of RSU 2 School district in Maine. There, he collaborated with five communities to develop and implement a curriculum designed to ensure mastery of standards by all students. Before serving as superintendent, Virgel was a high school principal at Lindsay Unified School District in California. 100 percent of the district’s 4,100 K-12 students qualified for free and reduced lunch. There, Virgel helped implement a personalized learning model where “learners” didn’t earn letter grades, but rather are awarded mastery for subjects in which they’ve proven to be proficient. Currently, Virgel also serves on multiple boards and leadership councils: PBLWorks Board; Innovation Lab Network Leadership Advisory Council; Jobs for Maine Graduates Executive Board; Maine Academic Decathlon Executive Committee; CompetencyWorks Advisory Board; Mastery Transcript Consortium Advisory Council and International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) Board. He is also a Deeper Learning Equity Mentor. Virgel earned his bachelor’s from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and his Master’s of Education from Fresno Pacific University.

Abby Lyons, Grand Rapids Public Museum High School
Abby Lyons has traveled and vlogged all around the world and has the means to connect with their roots next summer in South Korea. Born in the colorful city of Busan and raised in the quiet neighborhoods of Grand Rapids, they so far have experienced a rollercoaster of life. Being adopted and raised in a dominantly white community, Abby now wishes to take every opportunity now to immerse themself in different cultures and values, hoping to cut ties with discrimination and bond with others. They also now take every opportunity to make up for lost time by embracing their culture. Growing up, going to a private catholic school, they now are thankful to be able to attend a more diverse school that likes to color outside the lines. They have been a part of multiple different associations, including Student Government and Korean Connections. Abby is also a self-proclaimed poet and musical artist. They hope to one day join the NHS, attend an international university, participate in an exchange program, and be invited to the Academy Awards or VidCon.

Andrea Guajardo, Phoenix STEM Military Academy 
My name is Andrea. I am a senior at Phoenix STEM Military Academy in Chicago, IL. I am a PSMA STEM ambassador. I took every engineering course my school offered as well as other STEM classes. I am in flag, softball, and JROTC staff. My goal is to pursue my passion for engineering.

Christopher Vargas Ibarra, Bostonia Global High School 
Hello! I’m Christopher Vargas Ibarra, a freshman at Bostonia Global High School. I’m passionate about hands-on work, especially when it comes to cars and connecting with people. My interests and talents align with the R, I, and A themes, which are reflected in my love for Repairing mechanical components like engines (R), my Interactions with family and peers in helping with car repairs (I), and my Affinity for creative pursuits like drawing and system design (A). I’ve been honing my automotive skills through hands-on experience, helping my parents and uncle replace car parts. My dream is to work in the automotive industry, focusing on repairing mechanical components like engines in cars and airplanes. Additionally, I enjoy drawing and designing systems in my free time. My goal is to combine my technical skills and creativity to make a meaningful impact in the world of automobiles.

London Gray, Dunbar High School
London Gray is a 12th-grade student at Dunbar High School, and the self-proclaimed “student president of Dunbar Redesign.” She enjoys history and chemistry and likes to do everything and anything fun from photography to traveling to painting to basketball to hanging with her friends. She wanted to get involved with Redesign after learning about it from another student at Dunbar. She always wanted to share her voice and ideas in a positive way and with XQ redesign helped her develop new skills and interests. After high school, she would like to major in mass communications with broadcasting and minor in sports management.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Morning Plenary Keynote: 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM PT

Systems Change Success Stories: Lessons from Future-Focused Leaders 

We all know that systems change is hard work, and it doesn’t happen overnight. But truly implementing personalized, competency-based education to its fullest potential, means moving beyond incremental changes to radically changing the way an education system operates. In this keynote panel, hear from a wide range of leaders who have been there – learn how they got started, what mistakes they made, and how they plan to continue to build momentum to support education systems that are more personalized, equitable, and just for all learners. 

Laurie Gagnon, CompetencyWorks Director, Aurora Institute                                                                                                        Laurie Gagnon joined the Aurora Institute in 2022 as the organization’s CompetencyWorks Program Director. In this position, Laurie leads the CompetencyWorks initiative–sharing promising practices shaping the future of K-12 personalized, competency-based education; identifying trends; conducting and facilitating research that answers critical questions facing the field; and disseminating those findings widely.

Prior to joining Aurora, Laurie led education design and partnerships at reDesign, an education design lab focused on learner-centered design, change, leadership and adult development. Before reDesign, Laurie was the Director of the Quality Performance Assessment Program (QPA) at the Center for Collaborative Education in Boston, MA. She was a key designer of the QPA model and led the program’s expansion from a research and development pilot to a program that is now being used in schools and districts across the country to take educators through the process of creating valid and reliable performance assessments. Laurie began her professional life teaching English in Japan on the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme, and soon after returning to the U.S. she became a high school history teacher. Laurie earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology-anthropology at Middlebury College, her master’s degree in law and diplomacy from Tufts University, and holds a nonprofit management and leadership certificate from Boston University. She lives in Somerville, MA with her husband and young son.

Claudette Trujillo, Principal, Metropolitan Arts Academy, Westminster Public Schools, Westminster, CO
With a passion for equity and dedication to competency-based education, Claudette Trujillo has developed her career spanning 23 years in the field of education. Currently serving as the Principal of Metropolitan Arts Academy, a PK-8 Arts innovation school in Westminster Public Schools, Colorado, she brings a wealth of experience in competency-based systems, with 15 years dedicated to this innovative approach. 

Under Claudette’s leadership, the school became the second school in the nation to receive Level 5 High Reliability School Certification through Marzano Resources. This recognition highlights the school’s commitment to excellence and its unwavering dedication to student success in a competency-based system. Throughout her career, Claudette has served her community in various capacities, including administrator, middle school and alternative high school teacher, and instructional coach. As a competency-based parent and grandparent herself, she understands the importance of personalized learning and is deeply invested in creating an inclusive educational environment.  Claudette’s deep connection to her work is evident in the fact that her grandchildren attend Metropolitan Arts Academy. Having grown up in Westminster, she feels a strong sense of belonging and is grateful for the opportunity to give back to the community where she was once a student.

She has enjoyed collaborating with committees, advisory groups, and contributing to numerous publications through the Aurora Institute and Competency Works. Claudette has also presented at national conferences and was an invited participant at the 2017 National Summit on Competency-Based Education. She has also facilitated professional development sessions with the Re-Inventing Schools Coalition in Maine. Her insights and experience have also been shared through a recent interview with “Get Smart.”

Dylan Shelofsky, Educator, Metropolitan Arts Academy, Westminster Public Schools, Westminster, CO
Dylan Shelofsky is a passionate educator with teaching and learning ingrained in her DNA. Coming from a lineage of educators, she always knew she would become a teacher. Currently, at Metropolitan Arts Academy in Westminster Public Schools, Colorado, Dylan teaches levels 5 and 6, advanced theater, and directs the musical, having previously taught both primary and intermediate levels. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in musical theater from Stephens College and a Master’s in Elementary Arts Integrated Inclusive Education from Columbia University in NYC. Before joining The Met, she taught elementary school musical theater at the Pineda Conservatory of the Performing Arts in New York City.

Dylan’s commitment to education goes beyond her classroom. She has presented at conferences like the WPS Competency-Based Education Summit, CCIRA, Assessment for Learning Conference, and Aurora Symposium 2022. She actively contributes to her district by helping revise and write proficiency scales and serving on committees for data and assessment, as well as gifted and talented programs and the Superintendent’s Teacher-Leadership Cabinet. A staunch advocate for student voice and leadership, Dylan champions competency-based learning and believes in empowering her students. With her world-changing students, she fosters new learning experiences that transcend traditional boundaries. In Dylan’s classroom, artistic expression and pedagogical expertise intertwine, creating an environment where students thrive. Her ultimate goal is to instill the power of knowledge and equip her students with the tools to make a positive impact on the world.

Robert Hurtado, Lindsay Unified School District President, Lindsay, CA 
Robert Hurtado is the current President of the Lindsay Unified School District and has served 11 years as a School Board Trustee. Dedicated to providing opportunities to Lindsay Learners is his driving motivation for continuing to support personalized learning in Lindsay. Robert retired after 33 years of employment as an analyst for the County of Tulare.  Robert is currently an official for the High School Football and Softball, as well as a former Head Football Coach for Lindsay High School. Robert is a Lindsay High School Alumni and has 3 adult sons who are also Lindsay High Alumni.  Robert regularly advocates on behalf of school districts in California and throughout the nation by attending legislative action events at the State Capital and in Washington D.C.

Cinnamon Scheufele, Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Lindsay Unified School District, Lindsay, CA Cinnamon Scheufele is the Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Lindsay Unified School District. Mrs. Scheufele previously served as the Principal of one of two Dual Immersion Washington Learning Community in Lindsay, California for twelve years. She has served the community of Lindsay for twenty-nine years through the transition to system-wide transformation to build a learner-centered, Performance Based System. Mrs. Scheufele has served in the capacity of learning facilitator, reading specialist, Director of Preschools, site Principal of learners in a K-8 setting, and Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction… Cinnamon has an MA in Education and a BA in Liberal Studies from California State University, Fresno. She also holds a Reading Specialist Certificate, has been certified in Reading Recovery, Descubriendo La Lectura, and is BCLAD certified in the language of Spanish.

Keynote Plenary Luncheon: 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM PT

Re-Building the Black Teacher Pipeline: Attracting, Retaining, and Sustaining a More Inclusive Teacher Workforce for Today and Tomorrow

A teacher corps that reflects its students helps close achievement and opportunity gaps – yet systemic barriers persist that keep teachers of color out of the classroom. Launched in 2019, the Center for Black Educator Development is revolutionizing education by dramatically increasing the number of Black educators in our schools. In this keynote address, CBED’s CEO and Founder Sharif El Mekki will outline what it will take to put Black educators in every school throughout the country, what teaching practices can unleash the power of diverse cultural insights, and what policies can liberate us from constraints, real and imagined, so that we might move forward in creating a more equitable and just education system for all of our learners, especially our Black students and other students of color.

Sharif El-Mekki, CEO & Founder, Center for Black Educator Development 
Prior to founding the Center, El-Mekki served as a nationally recognized principal and U.S. Department of Education Principal Ambassador Fellow. His School, Mastery Charter Shoemaker, was recognized by President Obama and Oprah Winfrey and was awarded the prestigious EPIC award for three consecutive years as being the top three schools in the country for accelerating students’ achievement levels. The Shoemaker Campus was also recognized as one of the top ten middle school and top ten high schools in the state of Pennsylvania for accelerating the achievement levels of African-American students. In 2014, El-Mekki founded The Fellowship – Black Male Educators for Social Justice, an organization dedicated to recruiting, retaining, and developing Black male teachers. El-Mekki blogs on Phillys7thWard, is a member of the 8 Black Hands podcast, and serves on several boards and committees focused on educational and racial justice.