13 Exciting Sessions
Countless Opportunities to Effect Change

The world has changed. With the advent of COVID-19, educators everywhere are working to embrace remote instruction, connect with their students, and find equitable, culturally responsive solutions. 

Join 15 of the education world’s top thought leaders and practitioners as they gather online for an informative, inspirational day of learning.


The Agenda



Session (Expand for Description)

8:30 – 9:00 AM ET

Dr. Debi Crimmins, SVP, Customer Advocacy

Kevin Baird, Chairman and Senior Faculty at the non-profit Center for College & Career Readiness, and CAO, Achieve3000

Conference hosts kickoff the day with a warm welcome and an overview of what to expect. 

9:15 – 10:15 AM ET

Dr. Gholdy Muhammad

Dr. Muhammad offers a unique, culturally and historically responsive approach to literacy instruction developed from a blend of multiple pedagogical approaches. This approach is essential for all students, especially youth of color, who traditionally have been marginalized in learning standards, policies, and school practices. Participants will learn how to be more culturally inclusive by incorporating Dr. Muhammad’s four-layered equity framework, Historically Responsive Literacy, into their instruction. Sample lesson plans will be included. 

Dr. Bill Daggett

How we organize and deliver instruction in PreK-12 education will change more in the next five years than it has in the last one hundred. Dr. Daggett will describe and showcase how new technologies, such as digital texts, automation, gaming, and augmented reality will dramatically impact the education ecosystem, from leaders to students. 

10:30 – 11:30 AM ET

Dr. Pedro Noguera

The persistence of the achievement gap has typically been attributed to a disparity of resources and access to high-quality learning opportunities, but what role does literacy instruction play? Dr. Noguera will explore how school and educators can empower students through literacy.

11:45 AM – 12:45 PM ET

Bernadette Lambert

Many educators understand the importance of effective feedback when working with students in person and teaching them how to write. However, when that feedback is missing from virtual learning, we run the risk of shifting the emphasis from process to product. Lambert will outline how to set and align teacher, student, and parental expectations for grade-level writing standards via well-written rubrics. 

John Gailer

Today’s students are increasingly impacted by trauma in a wide variety of contexts. Taking a systemic approach to support students’ trauma-related needs creates the conditions necessary for focused literacy initiatives to be successful and sustainable. This session will outline research-based and practitioner-proven strategies to build a trauma-skilled approach for supporting all students in building their literacy skills.

1:00 – 2:00 PM ET

Dr. Doug Fisher

Creating the will to read provides students with reasons to practice the skills they are taught and motivation to choose to read on their own.  But skill and will are not sufficient to radically change the literacy achievement of students. Reading should not be a passive, consumer experience but rather an active one. We want students to answer the question, “What does the text inspire me to do?”. In this session, we describe the three phases of skill, will, and thrill and provide participants with actionable ideas that they can use in their classrooms. 

2:15 – 3:00 PM ET

Kweku Mandela

Equity begins with the stories we tell, the confidence we build, the expectations we set for ourselves and our students. Equity includes the illustrations we draw, the characters we love, the news we watch. Storyteller Kweku Mandela responds to questions from kids and educators alike, as we explore the importance of authentic conversations and the power of story in creating confident, successful learners across all cultures and races.

Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson

While the art of education has always required teachers be able to adjust their plans frequently and without warning, the pandemic has brought an unsurpassed degree of uncertainty for many. Dr. Tomlinson will offer guidelines for supporting students and reducing teacher stress amidst ongoing transitions between home and school. 

3:15 – 4:00 PM ET

Dr. Jesus Jara
(Clark County School District)

Chancellor Richard Carranza

Dr. Donna Wright
(Wilson County Schools TN)

Hosted by Debi Crimmins, Achieve3000’s SVP of Customer Advocacy, this special leadership session will feature three of today’s top superintendents discussing the COVID-related topics that are on everyone’s mind, including: 
  • Equity in today’s learning environments 
  • Tools to help close the COVID learning gap 
  • PD to prepare educators for future success 
  • Responding to COVID-related social-emotional needs 
  • Empowering and supporting families and caregivers 

4:15 – 5:00 PM ET

Dwayne Reed

Mr. Reed, America’s favorite rapping teacher, will leave participants feeling refreshed and recommitted to the original reasons they became teachers. By emphasizing the importance of building relationships with scholars inside and outside of the classroom, educators can improve their instruction and revitalize their passion.  

Ray McNulty

Dr. Sue Szachowicz

Strong traditions and cultures that contribute to maintaining the status quo make for reliable, predictable institutions. Those traditions may not be open to risk-taking to adapt to the current needs of the today or tomorrow’s students. Shifting the culture to embrace literacy as a vertical to drive systemic improvements requires more than a new course or diploma requirement. This session will challenge your thinking about your school culture’s readiness to create a systemwide culture of literacy.

5:15 – 6:00 PM ET

Dr. Salome Thomas-El

Every child deserves someone to be crazy about them.” This is the mantra of Dr. Salome Thomas-EL, award-winning teacher and principal, and internationally recognized educator. Principal EL believes that resilient teachers and leaders take risks, make courageous decisions, and challenge the status quo. They are able to bounce back from adversity to become innovative and transformational to ensure all students are exposed to an engaging curriculum and effective teaching. Transformational educators also shift mindsets and inspire students to develop positive attitudes and relationships with others. In his thought-provoking presentation, Principal EL will share how we can develop positive school cultures post-pandemic, that foster the social and emotional development of all students, so teachers and leaders can focus on the protective processes that re-engage students and build powerful literacy skills, equity, and resilience.