EL Education 2019 Pre-Conference Day
- City Atlanta, GA
K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
All Educators, Students, Instructional Coaches, School Leaders, District Leaders
Public, Network School Partners, Literacy Partners, Professional Services Partners
Our annual three-day National Conference offers participants a mix of interactive master classes, keynote presentations, and discussions focusing on a wide variety of topics to support and inspire educators. This year's conference will take place at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, October 17-19, 2019.
Join us for an optional Pre-Conference Day on October 16, 2019 to spend the day with other educators from across the country engaged in a school visit, slice, or best-practice workshop.
Registration opens August 12, 2019. Please check here for updates.
Best Practice Workshops
Ch-ch-ch-changes: Exploring Paradigm Shifts in Literacy Instruction
Great curriculum transforms student achievement and great professional development transforms teacher practice. For successful implementation of high-quality curricula, it is crucial that teachers and leaders are carefully guided in a deep dive into the design principles, intentions and decisions at the heart of the curriculum to be able to make well-informed decisions to implement with integrity. Join members of EL Education’s curriculum design and implementation teams to learn more about how EL Education marries great curricula and high-quality professional development to transform literacy classrooms.
Leading District-Wide Implementation of the EL Education Language Arts Curriculum
Is your district considering the EL Education Language Arts Curriculum in grades K-8, or are you newly implementing the curriculum in one or more grade bands? Change Management is a complex undertaking for both district and school-based leaders, and is essential when adopting and initially implementing the curriculum. Join EL’s directors and senior professional development specialists at this pre-conference day where we will focus on visions and partnerships that developed between district literacy partners and EL Education with a special emphasis on the process of curriculum adoption. Join us to hear leaders (from various large districts across the nation) share how they positioned an inclusive change process that helped lead to deeper impact.
Unleash the Potential of Shared Leadership Through Accountable Teams
Unleash the potential of shared leadership at your school by developing the capacity of teacher teams. Improving student learning isn’t a top-down endeavor. In order to accelerate improvement and help it gain traction schoolwide, teachers need to be empowered to lead collaborative work. To do this, leaders need to invest in specific leadership development and build the skills of people across roles. In this session, you’ll assess the work of a team you lead at your school. You’ll gain a vision of what is possible: accountable teams where members bring a laser-like focus to student learning and a willingness to hold each other accountable to shared commitments. Through reading case studies and sharing ideas with each other, you’ll learn about the skill sets and mindsets needed to help teams make progress towards being more accountable teams. This is a repeat session from 2018 National Conference and is open to educators across roles with particular relevance for members of schoolwide leadership teams.
Student Engaged Assessment as a System for Creating Equitable Learning Communities
Student engaged assessment is a series of practices that puts students in the driver’s seat to become leaders of their own learning. This pre-conference day will provide a taste of eight different student engaged assessment practices which can each have the power to increase student motivation and ownership of learning. Participants will consider how each of those practices alone or as part of an integrated system helps students take charge of their learning order to meet their academic goals and achieve at high levels. Time will be provided for action planning including how to use student engaged assessment to foster equity. This session is an introductory level offering and is suitable for all partner types.
Curriculum Implementation as the Gateway to EL’s Vision: The Scintilla Case Study
This pre-conference session will give participants a chance to engage with Scintilla Charter Academy staff members to gain insights into their goals, struggles, lessons learned, and the many successes of their curriculum implementation journey. Upon opening in 2015, Scintilla Charter Academy provided a choice for children in the City of Valdosta and Lowndes County, in southern Georgia. During the first year, Scintilla’s new leadership team researched successful educational models and embraced EL Education’s model of curriculum, instruction, and school culture infused with rigor and joy. Given that the school was rural and not in an EL “region,” Scintilla negotiated an agreement with EL Education to independently pilot EL Education’s gold-standard Language Arts curriculum for grades K-5 during its second year. After just one year of implementation, the school made such remarkable gains in reading proficiency the results were highlighted in an EL Education Case Study. Learn from school leaders and teachers the high leverage moves they made to build shared vision, ensure high quality instruction, and support teachers. In this session, participants will experience all components of the EL Education Language Arts curriculum (i.e. Modules, Skills Block, Labs, and ALL Block) through discussion combined with the sharing of photos, videos, and student work.
StoryCorps: Learn How to Bring Oral History Into the Classroom
In this pre-conference day, join staff from StoryCorps, the national oral history and media nonprofit heard on NPR, to learn how to bring their model and tools into your middle or high school classroom. We will explore lesson plans designed to help students discover the power of their own voice, and gain empathy and understanding of those who are different from them. StoryCorps staff will share their best practices for eliciting great stories, recording, and archiving recordings. Discover free resources you can use in order to design authentic final products. Learn how to use free technology to record and archive conversations with StoryCorps and the Library of Congress. Leave this day with tools to challenge, engage, and empower your students in both the classroom and the community through conversation.
School Site Visits
City Schools of Decatur - Decatur, GA
Westchester, Clairemont, and Oakhurst Elementary Schools
City Schools of Decatur (CSD) is a high performing school system with 5 lower elementary schools (K-2), 2 upper elementary schools (3-5), one middle school and one high school. The district uses the International Baccalaureate framework in grades 3-12, while all 5 lower elementary schools implement the EL Education Network School model. This site visit will focus on how the district has leveraged the EL Education Dimensions Platform and related tools to improve progress monitor across all lower elementary schools. Participants will have the opportunity to visit three schools and hear how district level leaders have collaborated with EL partners and school leaders to meet each school where it is and narrow their focus for growth based on the data collected in the Dimensions platform.
Brighten Academy - Douglasville, GA
Brighten Academy is a K-8 public charter school located west of Atlanta serving students in Douglas County, Georgia. We believe in educating the whole child through project based learning and growing our students’ character with our 7Cs. Brighten began partnering with EL Education in 2014 as a Network School and began implementing the K-8 ELA literacy curriculum (first edition) in 2017. This site visit is designed to showcase how our school has begun to make the move from implementing the ELA modules to interdisciplinary learning expeditions this past year. Come and see our students in action, from research and design to implementation of expeditions that are making an impact in our community. Teacher and student focus groups will share their experiences of getting smart to do good. Participants will leave with ideas and resources for connecting the ELA modules to their own community.
Michael R. Hollis Innovation Academy - Atlanta, GA
Michael R. Hollis Innovation Academy is an EL Education Network School within Atlanta Public School District providing quality urban education to students in grades PK-8. This visit is designed to showcase how building an environment for learning through shared leadership can transform a turnaround school environment to improve student outcomes across all dimensions. Participants will observe classroom instruction to see first hand how students are supported to think critically with compelling, real-world content aligned to standards with the EL Education Language Arts curriculum. Participants will participate in PLCs designed to build teacher capacity to use data to drive instruction and will engage with the Hollis leadership team to understand how Hollis uses accountable shared leadership within EL’s network school model to create a rich learning environment. Come witness a school that empowers students to dream bigger and equips them to lead choice-filled lives as they become self-confident, poised global citizens changing the world.
Amana Academy - Alpharetta, GA
Amana Academy is both an EL Education Credentialed Network School and a Certified STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) public charter school providing a robust Expeditionary STEM education to students in grades K-8 in Fulton County, Georgia. Amana serves one of the most diverse student populations in the county, if not the state, with students claiming over 40 countries of heritage, more than 26 different languages spoken in their homes, and no majority race or ethnicity represented. This diversity is a direct contributor to student success, as global awareness builds empathy and provides context for the historical and contemporary issues that students are exploring in their learning. Amana Academy implements the EL Education Language Arts curriculum in grades K-8. Participants will observe how students are challenged to think critically and apply the standards they learn in the classroom to solve problems and make contributions to their local and global communities. Witness how STEM is integrated across all subjects and woven throughout Learning Expeditions to empower students to develop authentic solutions and create high-quality products that matter. Come see the next generation of scientists, engineers, technologists and thought leaders who are getting smart to do good.
Learning Expedition Slice
A Day in the Life of a Humanities-Based Learning Expedition
Take part in a humanities focused “slice” of a learning expedition that includes a compelling topic, fieldwork, and experts. Modeling curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices for grades 3–12, slices allow participants to experience first-hand how it feels to “live the learning” by studying a local topic.