Summer Summit 2020 Archive

The 6th Annual Summer Summit 2020 was held virtually due to the COVID pandemic. All the materials, and video recordings of the sessions can be found for free here. It was an inspiring day full of many lessons and laughs, hope you find some of both below.

#VotePublic Welcome from Charlie Berens of the Manitowoc Minute

Special Message from Senator Tammy Baldwin

Morning Welcome from State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor

Morning Meeting feat. Welcome from Gov. Tony Evers, Sun Prairie Superintendent Brad Saron, and Sun Prairie School Board President Steve Schroeder

Featured Panels:

Morning Break-Outs:

  • Public Education, Privatization, and Democracy
    • Video presentation coming soon
    • Julie Mead
    • Dr. Mead’s presentation will focus on the role of public education in the U.S. as the cornerstone of democracy, and the ways that private school vouchers pose a growing threat to this institution. The session will address questions such as: What are the values and principles that make public schools so essential to a strong democracy? How do external threats to public education impact those principles? How do we describe and defend those values when supporting our local schools? Dr. Mead will also discuss differences in legal protections in public schools and private school voucher programs, explaining how privatization opens the door to discrimination.
  • Unifying a School Community through LOVE
    • Panel- Natalie Draves, Mizzier Campbell, Kayla Patrick, Lexi Vanden Heuvel
    • Schools serve their community through loving relationships with families to ensure high levels of learning for all students. Learn how one Title I elementary school is transforming their culture by digging into equity and demonstrating unconditional love to unify a school community. Some practices and events that will be shared include The Nurtured Heart Approach, Read Your Heart Out, creating a Professional Learning Community, and establishing community partnerships.
  • Teaching During Turbulent Times: Three Teaching Truths
    • Chris Gleason
    • Global competence is the set of dispositions, knowledge, and skills needed to live and work in a global society. These competencies include attitudes that embrace an openness, respect, and appreciation for diversity, valuing of multiple perspectives, empathy, and social responsibility; knowledge of global issues and current events, global interdependence, world history, culture, and geography; and the ability to communicate across cultural and linguistic boundaries, collaborate with people from diverse backgrounds, think critically and analytically, problem-solve, and take action on issues of global importance. This session makes the case for globally competent teaching asking teachers to embrace a global mindset and global knowledge and to translate their personal global competence into professional classroom practice. A globally competent educator develops global competence and instills it in their students through a set of dispositions, knowledge, and skills unique to teaching.
  • Engaging in Social/Racial Justice Campaigns to Restore our Democracy
    • Panel- Kevin Colburn with John Havlicek
    • We will bring examples of how we engage in SJRJ work inside and outside our classrooms, and hopefully inspire others to do the same. We will work with attendees to build their own campaigns in whatever venues they can access. Our examples will include: curriculum work in World Language, Social Studies, and English; our #WhoKnew poster campaign in our district and community; and extra-curricular activities such as Interact clubs and how community members can hook into current organizations or build their own.
  • Vote Public: From Referenda to School Board to Fair Maps to President…All Politics is Local!
    • Panel- Carlene Bechen, Donna Pahuski, Tara LeRoy (2020 Changemaker!)
    • Over the course of the past year, the Palmyra-Eagle school district has seen a failed referendum, survived a proposed dissolution, hired a new superintendent and business manager and elected an almost entirely new board — all with the power of grassroots local action. Meanwhile, at the state and national levels, the Census and a big election year mean redistricting is more important than ever to ensuring that every vote counts. This session looks at the Palmyra-Eagle case study and larger issues in Jefferson County and across the state to dig deep into how “all politics is local” – and connect the dots to explore how all of these issues impact local students and their public schools.
  • Back to School With a Backpack full of Questions: What’s Next for Wisconsin Kids in 2021?
    • Panel- Rick Erickson, Amy Miller, Barb Van Doorn, Christopher Thiel, Joanna Rizzotto, Heather DuBois Bourenane
    • On the one hand: the fiscal and educational uncertainties related to reopening after spring/summer COVID-19 closures are cause for deep concern and require collective advocacy. On the other: this time to pause and reflect on our practices has also opened the possibilities to open our doors differrently. What could that look like, and what do we need to do to make sure our schools have the resources they need to thrive?
  • School Funding 101
    • Panel- Dee Pettack and Bob Soldner
  • From Worst to First: How Family Advocacy Groups and School Districts Can Put Priority Needs First
    • Panel- Martha Siravo with Beth Ivankovic
    • Wisconsin has been called “worst in the nation” for how it funds special education and English language learners, and for its gaps between black and white students. Meanwhile, children from economically disadvantaged families often lack the resources needed to thrive. How can family advocacy groups and school districts put the priority needs first for students with disabilities, English language learners, and students in poverty? How can parents and communities advocate together for the resources all students need to thrive? This panel tackles the hard questions and provides clear and proven advocacy tips.
  • Local-level Action, Statewide Impact: How School Board Advocacy Can Change Futures
    • Panel- Tricia Zunker, Savion Castro, Laurie Cooper Stoll, Vanessa Moran, Steve Schroeder
    • Presenters will provide steps for school districts to operationalize the use of resolutions with local and statewide legislators. Often districts write a resolution and send it out without longterm organizational vision and legislator accountability for action. Start using your resolutions for advocacy and organizing tools. If you don’t have advocacy followup built into your resolution process, why write them?

Afternoon Break-Outs:

  • Organizing 101
    • Panel- Sandy Whisler, Mary Young, Katie Schierl
    • Public schools are the heart of our communities, and groups all over the state are working in support of them! Learn helpful tips about how you can organize and sustain a local advocacy group at this seminar.
  • Organizing 102
    • Panel- Jim Bowman, Marcia Engen, Patti Clark-Stojke
    • James Bowman, Marcia Engen, & Patti Clark-Stojke, Fox Cities Advocates for Public Education, share their successes and challenges as FCA4PE has emerged from a focused group of energized grassroots community members who determined on the very first meeting on July 14, 2013 that our mission was to be a non-partisan, issue oriented advocacy group that focuses on finding common ground regarding growth and improvement of public education. That mission continues to be exactly our mission today as we are beginning our eighth year of being an active public school advocacy group committed to making a difference in the Fox Cities. Learn how public outreach, advocacy and a focus on elections contribute to FCA4PE’s commitment to quality public education in six school districts; Appleton, Menasha, Neenah, Kaukauna, Kimberly and Little Chute. The presentation will showcase a variety of actions and projects implemented to grow and expand support for public education.
  • We Have Heart: Every Student, Every Day. How to Build a Positive School Culture.
    • Panel- Jocelyn Buxton, Katie Jeseritz, Michelle Powell
    • At Spence Elementary, 100% of surveyed staff feel that their school reflects a true sense of community. When staff are collectively committed to the best interest of every child, every day, students and adults learn and grow, socially, emotionally, and academically. Spence staff has infused social emotional learning strategies into the very fabric of their school culture. At Spence we have found that it’s not about our separate initiatives, but how we have woven them together that has created the heart of our school. Participants will walk away with multiple tips and strategies for building their school culture, with a focus on building relationships, social and emotional learning, and empowering staff.
  • Advancing Nutrition Equity through Youth Organizing
    • Panel- Natalie Czarkowski with Leen Bnyat
    • Student, parent, and teacher voices are critical in creating change to nutrition programs within schools. Although youth voices are needed to inform policies that determine issues of access to/and quality of school meals, they are often left out of the conversation. Through youth-led advocacy campaigns focusing on programs such as the School Breakfast Program, National School Lunch Program, and the CACFP At-Risk Afterschool Meal Program, schools have experienced wide-reaching change in their meal programs that impact the overall health and academic success of their student population while advancing nutrition equity practices. Through an overview of past successful advocacy strategies that include school board resolutions, anti-hunger video campaigns, and more, participants will hear about anti-hunger organizing, gain an understanding of the school meals landscape in Wisconsin, and identify advocacy tools to reduce child hunger in their community.
  • Using Lesson Design to Scale UDL Across Grade Levels
    • Panel- Mary Loeffler, Kari Reneau, Amy Wiley, Andrea Harings, James Ackley
    • A team of educators from Royal Oaks Elementary School will share their journey and experiences using universally designed learning components to help plan innovative, relevant and engaging lessons for their students. This team will share a lesson design template that guides educators in creating success criteria for units of study along with brainstorming possible barriers for students. Variability in the areas of engagement, representation and action/expression is also part of the lesson design template that will be shared. Several from this team have attended the CAST Summer Symposium in Boston and will share their learning.
  • You Don’t Need a Charter for That
    • Panel- Joel Block, Kevin Hall, Renea Boguszewski, Natalie Fowler, Kelly Murphy
    • The National Alliance for Public Charter schools defines their schools as providing high-quality instruction from teachers with the autonomy to design a classroom that fits their students’ needs, led by dynamic principals with the flexibility to create a school culture that fosters student performance. This is an apt description of the model established at Cardinal Heights with “E-House.” We function as an integral part of the larger school community and collaborate with all teachers in our building, concurrently maintaining our autonomy in co-designing learning experiences & environments that are student-centered, project-based, and proficiency-oriented. We’ll outline how E-House operates and provide ideas for incorporating smaller components to accommodate for a variety of scenarios & levels of support.
  • Teaching for Social Justice
    • Tasha O’Malley
    • This session will be centered on how teachers, students, and the community can work together to have students tackle social justice issues in and out of the classroom.
  • Black Lives Matter at School: How Can Our Institutions Be Part of the Movement to End Racism?
    • Panel- Ryeshia Farmer, Angelina Cruz, Laurie Cooper Stoll, Heather DuBois Bourenane, Nick Schwei
    • This session connects the dots between policy and practice in our public schools. Inequitable funding and racially-drawn district boundaries, “shortage” of educators of color, and practices that criminalize black and brown students are among the reasons Wisconsin has earned the label “worst place to raise a black child” in America. Policing students is one example of this institutional racism. Acknowledging these issues is not enough; we need to take collective action to ensure all students are respected and valued in our schools. The panel engages in existing conversations about “defunding the police” and the school-to-prison pipeline, in addition to other concerns.

Pre-Recorded Sessions:

  • Social Justice Unionism: Labor Can Make Change!
    • Panel- Peggy Wirtz-Olsen, Jennifer Voigt, Nick Schwei, Abie Vang, Brenda Morris
    • As a labor union, WEAC has prioritized Social and Racial Justice as a top priority for the organization. We believe our communities are stronger when we are all stronger. During our time together you will get to hear about the projects Wisconsin’s largest labor union is working on and how community members can engage and participate.
  • Community Schools: A Framework to Promote Equity and Community Engagement
    • Panel- Jamie Racine with Gavin Luter
    • The Community Schools model is rooted in best practices of what works for students, but what exactly comprises a “Community School” is not always clear. Recently the Learning Policy Institute identified Community Schools as “an evidence-based strategy for equitable school improvement” because of its connection to family and community engagement, additional supports for struggling learners, and emphasis on high-quality curriculum linked to real-world problem-solving. Hear from members of the Wisconsin State Coalition for Community Schools about the overall Community Schools strategy, how this work is growing in Wisconsin, examples of schools using the model, and opportunities to advocate for public Community Schools.
  • Self-Care for Activists
    • Panel- Kalise Horst with Pam Klein
    • You cannot continue to fight and advocate for others if you keep depleting your reserves without caring for yourself. This session is ideal for after lunch to get people engaged and energized again for the afternoon. We focus on why self-care is so important and what little things you can do in your regular day to take care of yourself and refill your cup so you can better help others. The session is highly interactive with participants practicing breathing, stretching, mindfulness, and more.
  • Debunking Baseless Education Research
    • Panel- Ronald “Duff” Martin with Gretchen Dziadosz
    • The Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice has been promoting high quality education research for twenty years. The reports of many so-called think tanks are thinly disguised advocacy attempts to promote certain policy and political agendas. Using high academic standards we debunk poor quality research and advocacy which is not based on facts. Learn what we do and how we can be useful to you.
  • Service-Learning & Civic Engagement in Schools: How to Do It Right
    • Gavin Luter
    • Many schools, districts, and individual teachers have become more interested in how to apply classroom learning to community-based challenges. Service-learning is a vehicle for doing just that. But what does it take to make a strong service-learning experience? There are a lot of misunderstandings about how to do service-learning, and we will clear those up in this session. At this session, we will discuss how to design meaningful service-learning experiences, offer strategies for how to extract and assess student learning from these experiences, and consider how to incorporate equity and diversity into service-learning experiences.
  • Growing a Global Education
    • Panel- Angie Jimenez with Becki Balus
    • Analyze the current trends in the Dane County area for World Language and global education topics, learn more about the impact of increased World Language/Global Education programs, and brainstorming ways that we can change our current trend to further encourage language learning within our current systems.
  • In Their Own Words: Early Career Educators
    • Panel- Peggy Wirtz-Olsen, Jesse Martinez, Elizabeth O’Leary, Molly Walsh Anderson, Katelyn Klieve
    • This panel comprised of early career educators will share, in their own words, experiences in the classroom today. Topics of discussion will include student needs, equity and inclusion, and the education profession in 2020. Panel discussion will conclude with potential collaboration efforts between Early Career Educators and Local Network Action teams.

Bonus Content:

About the author: Wisconsin Public Education Network

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