THE LEARNING FORWARD VIRGINIA VISION STATEMENT: EQUITY AND EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING AND LEARNING.
Learning Forward Virginia is committed to supporting Virginia’s education leaders and educators as they work to address the issue of expanding equitable learning opportunities for each and every student. While districts and schools may have an array of tools to address their equity challenges, we believe that effective professional learning plays a critical role in sustaining any equity progress achieved. These two days of powerful learning have been designed to engage participants in “The What” of equity practices that have the greatest impact on systematic change and “The How” of professional learning practices that will engage systems in the creation of cycles of continuous improvement. Together, district and school leaders will have a complete toolbox to create thriving cultures of equity and excellence all across our great commonwealth.
DAY 1 – MARCH 6th- THE WHAT
DR. LUVELLE BROWN, A STRATEGIC APPROACH TO CULTIVATING EQUITY & EXCELLENCE
This day’s learning will focus on inspiring and enhancing the capacity of district and school leaders to foster school environments and promote cultural responsiveness to meet the needs of all learners. The fundamental tenet of public education is being challenged by the simple, yet profound question: Are we doing all we can to meet the needs of every learner? The answer lies in our individual and collective abilities to self-reflect, engage in productive conflict, and change policies. What is the culture of our schools? Are we perpetuating systemic oppressions? What are the implicit biases that sustain ongoing negative outcomes for certain populations of students? How culturally responsive is our pedagogy and leadership? Come prepared to reflect and engage in these questions as a community of education leaders with a singular focus on cultivating equity and excellence for all students.
Dr. Luvelle Brown has served as Superintendent of the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) in Ithaca, New York since January 2011. Prior to arriving in Ithaca, he has served as a school CIO, Executive Director of the Division of School Improvement, teacher, assistant principal, and principal. Dr. Brown has done much to build a collaborative culture focused on using student work to make real-time instructional shifts. During his tenure at ICSD, the district’s graduation rate has skyrocketed to more than 90% (up from 78%), while students are achieving significantly above state and national average on various standardized tests. Dr. Brown has driven several district-wide initiatives based on systems thinking including integrating thinking skills into every classroom, shifting the organizational design towards a systemic approach, and redesigning of learning spaces. He has led numerous technology initiatives such as systems-based visual mapping, game-based learning, innovative uses of social media, and 1:1 mobile device implementation. Dr. Brown is the renowned author of Culture of Love: Cultivating a Positive and Transformational Organizational Culture. He has received national and state recognition including the 2014 eSchool News Tech-Savvy Superintendent Award and the 2017 TrustED New York State Superintendent of the Year. Among his many distinctions, he was also a featured speaker at President Barack Obama’s 1st National Superintendent Summit at the White House.
DAY 2 – MARCH 7th- THE HOW
DR. FREDERICK BROWN, BECOMING A LEARNING SYSTEM
This day’s learning will focus on how successful districts make the journey to become— from district leadership to school-based leadership teams—model systems of learning. For all students to attend great schools, we need school districts that are authentic learning systems. In learning systems, educators at all levels have the mindset for and share responsibility for student and adult learning in a culture that fosters learning for all. Come prepared to learn the essential attributes of a learning system; roles and responsibilities of key stakeholder groups within a system; strategies for building district- and school-based learning agendas for learning teams; and how systems thrive in a cycle of continuous improvement.
Dr. Frederick Brown is Learning Forward’s deputy executive director. Prior to joining Learning Forward, he served as a senior program officer for the New York City based Wallace Foundation where he guided the work of several major grantees. Brown’s expertise is grounded in real-world experience. He has been an elementary school teacher and principal as well as a middle school assistant principal. He also served as a founding member of the Mathematics and Equity Teams for Ohio’s Project Discovery, a statewide initiative to improve mathematics and science instruction. Over the past 15 years, Dr. Brown has been a leader in designing and facilitating cutting-edge learning experiences for school and district administrators on topics such as cultural competence, leadership, and professional learning communities. He has led Learning Forward’s multi-year engagement with Fort Wayne Community Schools, and is a co-author of Becoming a Learning System, which is based on that work. Dr. Brown designed and facilitates Learning Forward’s Learning Leaders for Learning Schools program.