Delaware Academy for School Leadership

DASL’s Annual Policy & Practice Institute

The Delaware Academy for School Leadership hosts the Annual Policy & Practice Institute: Delaware’s Conference on Public Education each June in collaboration with the Delaware Association of School Administrators.

  •  Delaware Association of School Administrators
  •  Delaware State Education Association
  •  Delaware School Boards Association

Who attends?

  •  Educators
  •  School – district – charter leaders
  •  University faculty & students
  •  Education policy leaders


16th Annual Policy and Practice Institute: Delaware’s Conference on Public Education
Wednesday, June 20, 2018

8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Dover High School

Capital School District, Dover, Delaware


16th Annual Policy & Practice Institute Program

Click link above to download the event program, or click to expand the boxes below to view a list of breakout sessions on this web page.

Session Letter Presenter(s) Title Description
A Ashlee Upp

Teacher, Allen Frear Elementary School, Caesar Rodney School District

Mindful Schools: Practices for Healthy Brains & Bodies The connection between your mind, body, and breath is a powerful thing. In this session you will explore the concept of mindfulness, the need for mindfulness in our schools, and practical ways to use mindfulness with the students you serve.. Leave with a new mindset and resources for you to utilize in planning a mindfulness program that will help your students develop physically, emotionally, academically, and socially.


B Douglas Timm

Principal, Carrie Downie Elementary School, Colonial School District

Digital Leadership In this session, participants will gain ideas, learn tricks, and share experiences of being a digital leader. This will include ideas from social media, mindset, coaching, monitoring, and pushing the idea of effective instructional educational technology.


C Dr. James Comegys & Karen Ammann, Red Clay Consolidated School District  Ensuring technology is meeting student need As more and more technology finds its way into our schools, how can the we ensure that the technology is not the modern version of the “Crayola Curriculum” – keeping kids busy, but not learning?

During this session we will discuss how schools can use technology to differentiate, consider when to put technology away, address SAMR/DOK levels, consider the balance between digital and personal experiences, and examine screen time questions. Participants will collaborate around the practices and policies that classrooms, schools and districts should consider to ensure technology is used as an asset in a student learning, not as an entertainer.

D Dr. Sharon Brittingham & Dr. Michael Ryan, Delaware Academy for School Leadership Stepping Up to the Principalship Districts need high quality educators to assume leadership roles to address the needs of students and the teachers with whom they work. Participants will use an online survey identifying assistant principal needs and how to align their step up program to the survey and assistant principal needs. They will learn about resources, standards and tools to facilitate curriculum development for the program and how to maximize district resources to broaden the assistant principals’ skills and knowledge with little or no added expense. Finally, they will learn how to create their own programs at all levels of their organization from teacher to teacher leader, from AP to Principal and from Principal to Central Office in order to grow professionals across the educational system.


E Rhiannon O’Neal & Kelli Duncan, Content Specialists, Woodbridge School District How to make it work: an RTI process at the secondary level that works Presenters will share process and procedures, including data tables, questions, etc., that are used to make informed decisions on student placements as well as how materials are developed for RTI classes at the secondary level. Lessons learned will be shared.


F Erin Baugher, Partnership for Public Education/UD,


Michele Savage, Principal, and Casey Montigney, Teacher, Shue-Medill Middle School (Christina School District)

Equity-Oriented Professional Learning This year Shue-Medill Middle School chose to focus their professional learning on equity. In this session, the principal, teacher leader, and collaborative facilitator of the professional development program share their motivations, the successes and challenges, and posit ways in which collaboration can be utilized for program development and implementation. Through a series of interactive brainstorming activities, audience-participants are encouraged to reflect on their own equity oriented professional learning and possibilities for program development in their schools.


G Deborah Stevens, Delaware State Education Association Classroom Management Revisited: Creating a Trauma Responsive Culture Within Your Classroom This interactive session focuses on creating a safe and supportive learning environment, developing a positive relationship with your students, and establishing rules and routines that promote student learning and help your students succeed. Participants will learn strategies to build a sense of community within their classroom, engage and connect with students impacted by trauma and toxic stress, deal with student uncertainties, help students self-regulate, and strengthen relationships between students and the teacher.


H Darren Guido, Caesar Rodney School District, and Dr. Marisa Hockman, Indian River School District Innovative Ways To Meet The Needs Of a District’s Growing EL Population Delaware’s oldest school district is developing innovative ways to meet the needs of their ELs. By engaging in a variety of activities, session participants will learn about the district’s programs developed, funding sources utilized and university partnerships created to increase our ELs’ academic achievement and English Language Proficiency by implementing a comprehensive English Learner Professional Learning Plan (ELPL) to utilize the WIDA Can Do Descriptors and to implement the WIDA ELD standards across all of our classrooms. Participants will also learn about the pioneering structures that Caesar Rodney High School has implemented to meet their ELs’ needs.


I Dr. Christopher Macaluso, Odelia Madmoni, and Karina Reggina, Yonkers Public Schools with Emily Poag & Dr. Dave Santore, Delaware Academy for School Leadership Instructional Rounds to Improve Teaching and Learning in Your District and School Learn how Yonkers Public School District uses Instructional Rounds, not only in individual schools, but for the entire district to help drive professional development for their principals and teachers. Finding patterns of teaching and learning practices in numerous schools across their system has allowed them to address the most pressing instructional needs for their district.


J Shannon Holston and Michael Saylor, Delaware Department of Education Supporting New School Leaders This session will share data related to the current administrator landscape in Delaware and the research on how best to support new school leaders. There will be group discussions and sharing on how districts currently support new school leaders and feedback gathered to inform the state new school leader mentoring and induction program to launch in 2018-2019.


K Dr. Dan Shelton, Dr. Sylvia Henderson and Dr. Andrew Hegdus, Capital School District Capital School District Strategic Planning Process and Implementation Progress Have you spent countless hours creating a strategic plan only to find it sitting in a nice binder on the shelf for 5 years? If you want an innovative, working strategic plan that will ensure stakeholder voice and continuous results, please attend the overview of Capital School District’s strategic planning process. The methodology we employed was never used with a Delaware school district before. We created a plan that moves us forward by focusing solely on the highest leverage work of the district, and adapting as we make progress. Even if you need a fresh idea to bring consensus for planning meetings or projects, the Demosophia process is the way to go. Both Capital School District and Demosophia will be presenting to ensure you hear from the experts about both the process and the results.


 Session L
(9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)

Delaware School Boards Association, John Marinucci


Special Education Due Process Training for School Board Members


Delaware Code requires special education due process training for all board members – both charter and traditional districts. This training is the responsibility of DOE but the DSBA assists with the scheduling and administration.

Session Letter Presenter(s) Title Description
M Kelly Peaks Horner,Founder & Thought Leader, ACOFEE & Kelly Peaks Horner Consulting Group, LLC
Authentic Leader or Hustler? Creating a strengths-based, thriving well-being district
School leaders will realize the data and importance of self efficacy through strengths understanding and wellbeing. They will learn how to intentionally lead through a strengths based lens and wellbeing to create greater performance, engagement, retention, and outcomes from staff and students.


N Dr. Amy Grundy & Dr. Harold Shaw, Red Clay Consolidated School District Principal As Leader This session is designed to share and unpack Five Key Practices supported by the Wallace Foundation that shape an effective principal and provide a framework for Learning Centered Leadership. Two principal supervisors will share how these practices have provided focus for growing and developing principals in their district. Participants will discuss the key practices and identify how this framework could strengthen their work as a leader.


O Pamela Nolte & Rachel Autman, ELA Instructional Coaches, Colonial School District Stop the Pop! In this session, participants will learn strategies that engage all readers in independent reading. Attendees will participate in unique instructional strategies that will allow students to do the work of the reading in order to maximize time on text. Resources and activities will be presented in Schoology.


P Jacqueline Wager and Jennifer Bishop, Delaware English Language Learners Teachers and Advocates Understanding and Supporting Delaware’s English Learners During this interactive presentation, participants will examine data to understand who Delaware’s English Learners are, discover the varied backgrounds they come from, and clarify the academic support that they need. Participants will also build empathy as they complete a second language reading and writing task. Then, they will learn about DELLTA and the goals that our organization has, supporting ELs in Delaware.


Q Deborah Stevens and Marsha Evans, Delaware State Education Association Self-Care: Bringing Balance to Your Life and the Classroom This interactive workshop will help educators understand the professional and personal toll working with challenging and complex students can have on educators. Participants will learn strategies to practice self-care so that they can maintain professional excellence and better connect with their students.


R Dr. Amy Pleet-Odle, Inclusion Focused Coaching Problem Parents: Our Untapped Asset This interactive session will stimulate participants to consider the parents typically considered “problems” (demanding, unreasonable or uninvolved). The presenter will share her research for her upcoming book and her new Family Partnership Matrix, based on the US Dept of Education’s Dual Capacity Building Framework. After hearing about national initiatives that increase partnerships with families, participants will propose creative approaches to expand their own family engagement practices.


S Dr. Shawn Larrimore, Ashley Q. Giska and Dr. Rick Evans, Laurel School District From Weak to PEAK: A Common-Sense System for Rapid School Turnaround Struggling schools have at least one thing in common: they lack the sound systems necessary for success. Devoid of sensible practices that streamline academic focus and foster a culture of educational problem solvers, underperforming schools only get worse. PEAK Performance is a continuous improvement system that connects robust data with district-wide stakeholders to make powerful change happen swiftly. The Plan, Execute, Analyze and Keep what works philosophy (PEAK) is a hallmark of Laurel School District’s rapid turnaround, culminating in Laurel Middle School being widely recognized as Delaware’s lone successful Priority School. In this session, participants will work collaboratively using the Weak to PEAK Performance model to analyze achievement data of struggling schools. Through joint analysis of the data and guided discussions on establishing Data Teams, PEAK Plans, and Performance Monitoring, session attendees will leave understanding the powerful impact PEAK Performance can have on school turnaround and how to apply it.


T Dr. Michael Ryan, Delaware Academy for School Leadership Disrupting Professional Development Structures: creating opportunity for authentic professional inquiry While much has been written, and suggested about the changes that should take place in schools, the professional culture of schools has remained static. Join us as we engage in a dialogue about ways we made changes that engaged teachers in authentic professional inquiry experiences and disrupted typical professional development structures in our settings. These initiatives helped teachers enhance their understanding of students, learning and, teaching practices.


Session Letter Presenter(s) Title Description
U Jeff Zoul The Principled Principal In this session, participants will interact with keynote speaker Jeff Zoul. He will share findings and advice from his 2018 publication, The Principled Principal.


V Dr. Mary Schorse & Anne Dinert Promoting Geographic Literacy Geographic literacy is much more than an ability to recall states and capitals. Being geographically literate means having an understanding of the interactions and interconnections of earth systems and the implications of those connections for human society. While geographic literacy across the state (and the country) is at record lows, resources are available to help students develop their knowledge of the world around them and to understand their roles as planetary citizens. This workshop examines some of those resources and how they fit into K-12 classrooms. Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop to the session for hands-on practice with GIS activities for the classroom.
W Dr. Sharon Brittingham & Emily Poag, University of Delaware Ready or Not: Here they Come: Millennial Teachers As members of the Baby Boomer generation begin to retire, the next largest generation group to emerge in the workforce will be the Millennial generation. If organizations are to be successful in managing the transition between the two groups, a clearer understanding of who they are and what their preferences are is needed. Research finds that Millennial beginning teachers have strong beliefs and opinions when it comes to teaching and leadership. During this interactive session find out what motivates them, how to encourage them, and how to address their professional development needs. Gain a deeper understanding of Millennials and how to leverage this understanding to recruit, hire, train and retain teachers from this generation.


X Debby Boyer & Delaware PBS Project, and Megan Pell, Center for Disability Studies Coordinated Effective Multi-Tiered Systems of Support for Behavior: : Strategies and Experiences from Schools, Districts and the Research Through facilitated discussion and a multimedia presentation, attendees will learn about recommended best practices for district-level coordination of Multi-tiered Systems of Support for behavior. Methods for helping districts and schools to integrate existing and new interventions and initiatives around behavior and positive school climate will be shared as well as examples of integration and coordination efforts found in Delaware districts and schools will be shared.


Y Dr. Laura Leach, Kelley Thompson, Shafta Collazo, and Dane Sears, Assistant Principals, and Dr. Donna Hall, Director of Instruction,

Woodbridge School District

Design Thinking, Distributed Leadership, and Professional Development WSD Assistant Principals completed a year-long effort to provide a district-wide professional development event that brought together teacher leaders in K-12 instructional teams on various topics of educational best practices. The strategies of Design Thinking and Distributed Leadership were utilized to produce this event. Assistant Principals will share their story from beginning to end and how these strategies helped to build capacity and cultural mindsets that “Everyone Leads”.


AA Horatio Blackman, Ph.D. and Sara Grajeda, Ph.D., Center for Research in Education and Social Policy Show me the evidence! How structures, processes, and incentives influence research use in schools Our center is currently investigating potential gaps between research and practice, one of those being around structures, process, and incentives in schools. We have conducted two pilot studies and will present data from our work. The purpose of our session is to engage practitioners in a conversation around research use and practices in their schools that serve as barriers to or facilitate research use.


BB Dr. Clifton Hayes & school leadership team, Delcastle Technical High School, New Castle County Vo-Tech Peer-led PD: Tapping into Faculty Talent and Technical Expertise This session will examine how to leverage the knowledge and skills of a school’s staff to promote professional learning within the building. Building a professional development team comprised of diverse staff creates more authentic professional learning that best supports student-focused initiatives.


CC Renee Parsley, Secondary Math Specialist, and Annette Roskam and Tiffany Oman, Capital School District Using Smarter Interim Assessments for Mathematics This session will highlight the benefits of using the Math Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments to support both teacher and student growth. Use of these assessments through a systems approach can help teachers develop deeper understanding of the math standards, better skills at analyzing student data and improved approaches to supporting student learning. Participants will experience portions of the assessments, data platforms and learn from our first hand experiences in using the assessments across grades 5-8 for the past three years.


DD Emily Edmonds-Eveland, Director of Instruction, and Kristina Giordano (Elementary Reading Specialist), Teresa Rush (Middle School Reading Specialist), Catherine Rodriguez (Spanish Immersion Coach),

Las Americas ASPIRA Academy

Linguistic Supports & ELL Access to Complex Texts The Instructional Team will lead an overview of the design and implementation of an ELL program funded by the 2017-2018 DDOE Opportunity Grant. They will review samples of professional development created in partnership with University of Delaware’s literacy department. In addition, they will provide Schoology access to 300 lessons with embedded language and literacy acquisition scaffolds to accompany authentic texts in English and Spanish. They will also share how these lessons and scaffolds can be integrated into any balanced literacy approach so that every student, English Learners included, can improve their literacy achievement and ultimately close the reading achievement gap.
EE Dr. Pete Leida and Nneka Jones, Colonial School District, with Dr. Dave Santore, Delaware Academy for School Leadership Dance Steps: Shifting Roles Between Supervisor and Evaluator The role of the principal supervisor is complex. The individuals serving in this role must be able to provide support and encouragement in the role of mentor while also providing formative and summative feedback for professional growth. This requires a highly skilled individual who is able to balance the role of colleague and professional advocate and supervisor and evaluator. In this session, participants will learn how the Delaware Academy for School leadership prepares principal supervisors for this “dance.” Participants will engage in several activities that provide them strategies and tools for planning formative and summative meetings with principals. Participants will also observe and analyze a role play that demonstrates the supportive mentoring and coaching of a principal by the principal supervisor based on the formative and summative feedback provided during the performance evaluation of the principal.



Click the PDF icon to the right to view the program from the 15th Annual Policy and Practice Institute, held on June 21, 2017!


Thank you to 2018 Event Sponsors: