During each of the six breakout sessions throughout the weekend, a large number of conversations will take place. This site will help you organize your plan for the weekend and provide the relevant information for each conversation. After signing in, search through the conversations below and mark the sessions you are interested in to populate your personal schedule on the right (or below if on your mobile phone).

A case for Empathetic Geography

Session 1
Steve Goldberg

Most young Americans can't find Ukraine or the Gaza Strip on a map. This is a problem. In order to empathize with other people, we need to *slow down* and learn where each of us come from and what matters to us. We need more empathetic geography.

Breaking the Burnout Cycle: Weaving Wellness and Building Bonds among School Staff

Session 1
Travis Delancey-Goodman, Jeannette Bautista, and John Clemente

Teacher mental health is a real thing! It’s no secret that youth mental health is in crisis. Teachers aren’t okay either. Educators experience substantially higher rates of depression than the overall population. Nearly 50 percent leave the classroom within five years. Teaching is considered as stressful as working as an emergency room doctor (Hechinger Report August 2023). Educators are invited to learn more about a unique program "Adult Rites of Passage", which mirrors the siblinghood groups offered to students at South Bronx Community Charter High School. The Adult ROP space provides two functions: one is to learn more about the types of activities that can be conducted in the student space by doing them in groups of adults. The second is to provide respite from busy weeks of lesson planning and give adults a space to unwind, be silly, reflect and connect.

Building Social Emotional Skills through Personalized Advising

Session 1
Natalie Ferrell, Cathleen Collazo, Angie Aponte, Sabrina Fernandez, Daniel Lipford

How can you use one-on-one advising to meet young people where they are, build strong relationships and fortify student's confidence, self-advocacy, reflectiveness and prioritization skills? At SBC, we meet with students bi-weekly and set personalized goals. Join us to jumpstart advising at your school/district or take your advising practice to the next level.

Developing a Sense of Place and Purpose: Using Urban Neighborhoods as Classrooms and Textbooks

Session 1
Alyssa Ripley, Taylor Lewis, Michael Friedman

The 11th grade STRIPES program at Belmont Charter High School in the Parkside section of Philadelphia highlights how an urban neighborhood can become a powerful extension of the classroom. This conversation will discuss ways that teachers can connect with their neighborhoods in the service of inquiry-driven learning and culturally responsive teaching.

Educators as Advocates and Policymakers

Session 1
Andrew Coy

Educators know the needs of students and schools better than anyone, but it can often feel like you’re on an island of your own in your classroom. With this in mind, let’s reflect on how we are already acting as advocates, dig into some deep questions, dream about what could be, see what ideas emerge, and walk through a number of policy tools, tips, and tricks!

What School Looks Like for Future-Ready Teens: Paradigm Shifts for Career + Life Success

Session 1
Jennifer L.M. Gunn, Bennett Smith

What needs to change in schools -- in your school -- for teens to be truly future-ready? What mindsets, what paradigms, what systems — big and small? We'll ask the big questions, dig in, and unpack the shifts needed at the district, school, and classroom levels. Then we'll shift into accelerator mode, sharing real ideas for catalytic teaching and learning that guide teens to be future-ready.

Why Would Students Come to Your School If They Didn't Have to?

Session 1
Pam Moran, Ira Socol

Participate with friends and colleagues in a deep discussion exploring this question. Let's crowd source responses and create a Medium post before we leave that represents our conversation. Consider street data you notice that says young people matter in schools. Share practices that bring young people to see school as a home of opportunity. What's the spirit that you would like to see inhabit your school and others?

Circle of Power & Respect: Changing Classroom Culture

Session 2
Jodi Bornstein, Jakya Barnhill, Arianna Barr, Justin Chinici, Alyssa Iovacchini, Karoline Lopez, Hardika Patel, Noel Reidy, Patrick Wagner

In our highly engaging and interactive session, we will model the ways we integrate Circle of Power and Respect (CPR) into our teacher education course. We will share lessons we are learning about what it takes to build an engaging and connective classroom. We’re excited for you to join us!

Let Them Play! - Games in the Classroom

Session 3
Steph Sessa, Victor Hernandez, BJ Enzweiler

When students engage with educational games they can learn through play. But, when students create games, they learn even more. At Science Leadership Academy there are many student projects that revolve around game creation. In this session we will discuss the different types of game projects that students can do, and hope that you can walk away from this session with a prototype of a game, or project, that you can take back to your class.

Rethinking Grading in the Math Classroom

This presentation/conversation centers on a public school teacher's transition from traditional grading to a system emphasizing student thinking, reflection, growth, and understanding. Influenced by restorative practices, it prioritizes ongoing assessment for both retention and improvement throughout the school year.

The Forgotten Conversation: Developing Literacy Skills in Older Students

Session 3
Felicia Rosen

Research shows that students who develop into strong readers live longer lives, are healthier overall, make significantly more money throughout their lifetime, and have more options for lifting themselves out of poverty. Yet, most high school students who attend comprehensive high schools in Philadelphia come into their secondary education reading at the 5th-8th grade level. The ability for students to access grade-level texts and teach themselves new skills through reading is crucial. So, how can neighborhood schools help students to become literacy leaders? While there has been a great deal of dedication to more efficacious literacy practices in the lower grades, that research has not translated to high school. Nationally, there is no model and very little data to address unfinished literacy skills in older students.

Balancing Tradition and Technology: The Dilemma of Knowledge Constitution in AI-Assisted Writing

Session 4
Nick Potkalitsky

In this conversation, we will discuss the process of knowledge constitution in tradition and AI-driven writing practices. Drawing on Writing to Learn research, I will explore how human beings develop new knowledge and insight through first and second learning processes in the writing process. First, writers learn through memory work and data retrieval. Second, writers learn through sentence and paragraph creation. Thus, if our students turn over increasing amounts of sentence and paragraph generation to AI, they run the risk of missing out on key opportunities to learn. And yet, we cannot hide from AI. Know this fact, we can begin to develop a more "conscious" method of use.

Capturing Intergenerational Oral Histories: Connecting with Elders to Preserve Stories and Build Community

Session 4
Alyssa Ripley, Taylor Lewis, Michael Friedman

The 12th grade STRIPES program at Belmont Charter High School in the Parkside section of Philadelphia explores themes of protest and change in the surrounding neighborhood through lenses such as storytelling. Collecting and sharing the stories of community elders is one powerful way students gain perspective and connection.

Do collaborations really work? Exploring lessons learned from a successful seven-school community of practice in Philly implementing student-centered initiatives.

Session 4
Crystal Cubbage, Jennifer Brevoort, Robbie Marsden and two additional CoP members (To be confirmed)

Cross-school collaboration can be a powerful way to expand teacher, administrator, and school capacity. In this conversation, teachers from seven Philadelphia schools - public and charter - share what it took for their Community of Practice (CoP) to introduce a new SEL advisory curriculum in their school communities.

Finding Joy in Centering Inclusion

Session 4
Katie Culver, Dylan Van Duyne

Where do we find joy in our schools, classrooms and communities? How can we center joy, and with that, also elevate inclusivity? In this session, we will explore how to more purposefully cultivate joy and center students’ identities, experiences and perspectives. A collaborative and hopefully joyful conversation uplifting some practices from Gholdy Muhammad’s Unearthing Joy.

Meaningful Making With Middle Schoolers (Year 2)

Session 4
Meredith Martin, Michael Franklin

In Year 2 of our hands-on program to engage and educate middle school makers: What best practices in STEM, STEAM, Makerspaces, Engineering, and more can be used to create an engaging and educational experience? What outcomes do we value when creating these programs? What did we learn from year one?

Social Emotional Learning and Brave Spaces in a STEM Classroom

Session 4
Andrea Poulsen, Stefanie Bingham

Discover how SEL activities can enliven curriculum and deepen student connections. The FirstHand team shares tools from the evidence-based CASEL framework, and how these practices have impacted the outcomes of our informal STEM program. Attendees will participate in a fishbowl discussion called Brave Spaces prompted by a student-created question.

AI & Chat GPT for Your Classroom and Hustle

Session 5
Samuel A. Reed III

Come join this interactive conversation and discover the potential and pitfalls of AI and Chat GPT in education and entrepreneurship. Through a combination of student presentations( case studies), demonstrations, and interactive activities, participants will gain insights, tips, and actionable ideas for enhancing their classroom practices and side hustles while promoting social good.

Queering the Classroom - Co-Designing to Create Brave, Inclusive Classrooms

Session 5
Andre Zarate, Lauren Overton

Through the Equity X Design Framework, we are going to take a critical look at the idea of belonging that builds a brave space for all children, but centering Queer Youth. We will discuss what it means to design at the margins, what a transformative classroom looks like, what transformative environments look like, and how to co-create & co-design with youth through a design sprint.

Using "portraiture" to inform education design and disruption

Session 5
Grace Greenwald

Workshop U is a new vision for college built on many of the same ideas that power the Workshop School. As educators, how do we measure what matters and use it to inform our design and iteration? 'Portraiture' is a unique form of qualitative research that has potential to reimagine how we measure impact, collect impact data, and use data for design work in school settings.

Creating Interdisciplinary Projects through Signature Projects

Session 6
Shannon Schmidt, Lindsay Kelland, Emma Parsons

Teachers are always looking for ways to have students make meaningful interdisciplinary connections. After years of trying various methods, we have found a sustainable way to incorporate Signature Projects into our curriculum multiple times a year for each grade. Project Innovate, Architecture Expo, Shakespeare Study, Globalization of Chocolate, and Teen Activism are just a few of the project titles bringing in pieces from every subject area throughout the year. Teachers do not have to reinvent the wheel each year! Even when most of these projects are ungraded, we have found that students engage, enjoy and learn from these collaborative, in-depth projects each year!

Debugging Creativity and Imagination: The Fusion of AI and creative writing

Session 6
Marina Lombardo

This conversation will navigate the crossroads of generative artificial intelligence and ELA. Using prompt engineering, students can convert their written thoughts into astonishing AI-generated images and allow educators to view writing through the lens of computational thinking, providing a unique approach to the creative writing process. This conversation will dive into an innovative and enriching exploration into the fusion of creativity, analytical thinking, and collaborative learning.

The Ethical Frontier: An Innovator's Quest for Balanced Learning!

Session 6
Quishaun Murden

Participate in a quest bridging the digital and physical worlds, integrating humanistic ethics with cutting-edge tech and tokenization! Navigate immersive, gamified stations to learn how to earn and stake digital tokens, fueling transformative discussions. Supercharge student engagement and co-create a compassionate, tokenized, future-ready learning environment. Be the change in education!

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