WERA/OSPI 2023 Annual Conference

Pre-Conference Sessions

Downtown Tacoma Marriott Hotel

December 6, 2023

WERA is offering twelve pre-conference sessions across two time blocks.

Morning Sessions: 9:00-12:00

1. NEW District Assessment Coordinators: Equipped and Ready to Go!
Presenters: Shelby Johnson, Lucas Snider, Donna Holmquist, Jenna Keller, Susan Seegers, Christopher Hanczrik, Kara Todd, Leslie Huff, OSPI

This session will focus on equipping new and new-ish District Assessment Coordinators with the essential knowledge and skills needed to successfully manage state test administrations. The session will be interactive. Led by the OSPI's assessment team, Test Directors Network Planning team, and several experienced DACs, session attendees will learn to navigate key systems and access key resources needed to be confident and comfortable in leading their district's test administration.

2. Attracting, Supporting, and Sustaining School Leaders
Presenters: Scott Seaman and Kamrica Ary-Turner, AWSP

What are the consequences of constant leadership turnover? Besides financial costs, impacts on culture, systems, and learning for both students and adults can have lasting negative effects. If highly effective school leaders are the number one influence on student achievement, then supporting leadership should be top priority for every district.

Come engage with the leadership of the Association of Washington School Principals around strategies to attract highly effective school leaders, build strong systems to grow (and keep) your own leaders, provide research-based and relevant ongoing professional development and support, and most importantly, sustain your school leaders so they commit long-term to the students, staff, and school communities they serve. Participants will walk away with resources, tools, and tangible strategies to keep their best leaders.

3. Using purposeful assessment to empower the PLC process
Presenters: Topher Mauerhan and Jeremy O'Neil, Renaissance Learning

Establishing a comprehensive assessment framework can seem daunting. In this collaborative session, learn best practices on establishing common standard-aligned assessments, how to deliver the right assessment at the right time to inform instructional decisions, and how to use assessment data to empower conversations within PLCs so educators can see every student.

4. The Reality of Behavior and Mental Health Screening in Schools
Presenter: David Tudor, The Center for Educational Effectiveness

Discover the realities of implementing behavior and mental health screening in schools in this engaging presentation. Drawing on the Center for Educational Effectiveness' collaboration with Gwinnett County Public Schools, we'll explore the challenges, benefits, and considerations involved. Gain practical implementation strategies, from staff training to data management, and access valuable resources from successful work in Gwinnett County. Join us to prioritize student well-being and success.

5. Navigating the Future: Exploring the Pros and Cons of AI in K-12 Education
Presenter: Bre Urness-Straight, OSPI

Join us for a thought-provoking panel discussion that delves into the dynamic world of artificial intelligence (AI) and its impact on K-12 education. As AI technologies continue to advance, educators, and school district administrators are faced with exciting opportunities and potential challenges. In this interactive session, our panel of experts will engage in a comprehensive exploration of the pros and cons of integrating AI into the K-12 educational landscape.


6. Leveraging Collective Efficacy as the Fuel for Powerful Collaboration
Presenter: Stephanie Thomas, Spokane Public Schools

Robust collective efficacy is an essential characteristic for teams to access their full power when solving problems and overcoming challenges. During this session we will focus on 1) understanding the sources and the enabling conditions for collective efficacy by engaging with the research of Bandura, Donohoo, Hattie and others, 2) understanding the role of collective teacher efficacy in school success, 3) and learning strategies to embed opportunities to foster collective efficacy within existing meeting, collaboration, and professional learning time. Participants will leave with ready-to-use tools and resources. The session will be complemented by the afternoon design studio but has been developed to stand alone for participants who attend only the AM session.


Afternoon Sessions: 1:00-4:00

7. An Introduction to Data Literacy
Presenters: Erich Bolz and John Steach, The Center for Educational Effectiveness

How do you leverage each of the four data domains (Demographic, Perceptual, Contextual, and Academic) to identify, guide, and monitor continuous improvement work? Learn how to get the most out of the data already available and identify current gaps in your school progress monitoring. You will walk away with proven strategies to turn your data into action and improved student outcomes.

8. American Indian/Alaskan Native issues in Washington’s K-12 Education System
Presenters: Maxine Alex, Office of Native Education and Kenneth Olden, Wapato Public Schools

This session will cover how the sovereign status of American Indian/Alaskan Native peoples has had a wide range of impacts on their self-governance, rights, and access to quality education. Specifically, we will detail how legislative movements in Washington led to the development and adoption of the Since Time Immemorial curriculum and to the passage of SB5252 and HB1426 which led to the requirement of G2G tribal consultation training for district superintendents, school boards, and school administrators. Participants in this pre-conference session will learn about

  • Issues and implications of race/ethnicity identification policies that lead to massive under and mis-identification of Native students in Washington,
  • How practices of "maximum representation" may be used to correct this issue, and
  • How data-driven processes can help build successful collaborative relationships with tribes during the tribal consultation process.

Eligible participants attending this session will receive credit for three of the five required hours under SB5252 and HB1426.

9. Digging Deeper with WIDA: An Action Planning Event
Presenters: Heidi LaMare and Amy Colburn, Northwest Educational Service District 189

This session will allow participants to examine their WIDA data by school and/or district to find data trends in language acquisition that can and should be used in instructional and school improvement planning. Participants will work to analyze their own WIDA frequency reports and align them to the school improvement and professional development plans to maximize language growth for English learners. This interactive session encourages teams to attend together to engage in rich dialogue around language acquisition within content areas.

10. Reimagining Learning: How Data Show the Lived Experiences of Students and Families
Presenters: Cassie Martin and RJ Monton, OSPI

This session focuses on actionable practices and strategies to increase engagement and improve systems to prepare students for their post-secondary goals. Discussions will reframe existing myths about learning and highlight strategies for students to engage and meaningfully progress in required learning standards. Finally, the session will provide a deep dive into the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) Data Platform, including special education demographics compared with LRE; LRE for Black SWD; and LRE 3.

11. Reimagining Re-engagement Readiness for Sustained Student Success
Presenters: Michelle Smith, Pasco School District and Shannon Calderone, WSU

Unearthing the truth about student disengagement from learning & school is one of the most intractable problems of practice researchers and educators face. In the absence of adequate interventions, front-line teachers and administrators battle learner disengagement during any given school day. This workshop focuses on identifying diverse forms of student disengagement both within and outside the classroom. Participants will have an opportunity to assess disengagement patterns & trends in their school/district and learn about different tools and strategies designed to support re-engagement.


12. Leveraging Collective Efficacy as the Fuel for Powerful Collaboration: Design Studio
Presenter: Stephanie Thomas, Spokane Public Schools

Given the importance of collective efficacy to the success of our students, teachers, and schools, what actions can be woven into our systems to proactively grow collective efficacy? During this session we will focus on applying our understanding of the sources and the enabling conditions for collective efficacy to design opportunities to foster collective efficacy within existing meeting, collaboration, and professional learning time. Participants will leave with ready-to-use tools and resources, personalized tools created during the session, and access to a group of collaborators for later support. The design studio will be complemented by the morning session but has been developed to stand alone for participants who already have a background in collective efficacy research and attend only the PM session.