• UD Search

Delaware Academy for School Leadership

DASL Conferences

June 2016 Policy and Practice Institute

14th Annual Policy and Practice Institute: Delaware’s Conference on Public Education

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Presented by the Delaware Academy for School Leadership, the Delaware Association of School Administrators, and the Delaware State Education Association

Featuring keynote speaker, Todd Whitaker

toddwhitaker (1)

Registration Website: bit.ly/DE2016PPI

Session descriptions are listed below:

Breakout Strand 1

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Session A –  An LMS is NOT Just for Students

Presenter: Peter Leida, Director of Division  of Schools; and Tom Gavin, Supervisor of Instruction, Colonial School District

The Colonial School District adopted Schoology as their Learning Management System three years ago and has leveraged it in a number of ways well beyond the original intent of a student LMS.  Schoology has transformed how Colonial teaches, learns and leads, and is now used as a means to connect, collaborate and lead PD on a regular basis.  This session will provide an overview of how Schoology is being used and how those strategies can be implemented in other schools.

Session B – Connecting Your School and Classrooms with Social Media

Presenter: Doug Timm, Principal, Carrie Downie Elementary School

Taking your school from local to global is not as difficult as you might think. Participants in this session will see how one school principal has made this shift. Mr. Timm will share practical tips for utilizing YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Schoology and many other avenues to expand the reach of students and staff.

Session C – Science and Safety: What Educators Need to Know

Presenter: Edward McGrath, Science Coordinator, Red Clay Consolidated School District

Participants will reflect on current information about legal aspects of science classroom safety in the school or LEA and have an opportunity to analyze case studies about science-related hazards and problem solve issues that have arisen.

Session D – Professional Standards for Educational Leaders 2015: Introduction and Implications

Presenters: Beverly Hutton, Deputy Executive Director of Programs/Services at the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) (Co-Chair); and Dr. Jackie Wilson, Interim Director, PDCE/DASL, University of Delaware

The 2015 Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL), formerly known as ISLLC standards, aims to ensure district and school leaders are able to improve student achievement and meet new, higher expectations. They are intended to help challenge the profession, professional associations, policymakers, institutions of higher education, and other organizations that support educational leaders and their development to strive for a better future. This session will provide practical applications of the new standards and their implications on the profession of school leadership.

Session E – Are you a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Leader?

Presenter: Charlynne Hopkins, Director of Leadership Development, Indian River School District

This session highlights the strategies, components, collaboration, professional growth, and principal leadership required to be recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School.

Session F – Teacher and Leader Preparation

Presenter: Shannon Holston, Deputy Officer of School Leadership Strategy, Delaware Department of Education

Preparation programs play a key role in ensuring educators and leaders develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies necessary to teach our students and lead our schools.   Join us for this session as we dive in to the world of policy and practice in educator preparation.

This session includes a discussion of the changes in policy that will affect new teacher candidates seeking an initial license in Delaware, as well as how policy has increased the opportunities for school leader pipelines.  The department will also share how they are using data to determine program renewals through bi-annual program reports. Additionally, novice teachers and leaders from Delaware preparation programs will share how existing programs prepared them to meet the needs of students, districts, and the state.

Session G – The New PLC

Presenters: Kristin Gray, Math Specialist; Brandi Townsend, Teacher; and Jennifer Nauman, Principal, Richard Shields Elementary

In this session, the principal, math specialist, and reading specialist of Richard Shields Elementary School will explain how their school has revamped Professional Learning Communities in order to embed goals and professional learning and to ensure teacher work together for student success.


Breakout Strand 2

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Session H – Coaching for Success

Presenter: Peter Leida, Director of Division of Schools; and Jennifer Alexander, Principal, Pleasantville Elementary School, Colonial School District

Coaching is critical to the success of all great athletes, singers, musicians…how are teachers any different? They aren’t. All teachers need access to a ‘coach’ that will help bring their instruction to the next level. This session will provide participants with tips and techniques for coaching teachers to greatness.

Session I – What Great Teachers Do Differently

Presenter: Todd Whitaker

What are the specific qualities and practices of great teachers that elevate them above the rest? This session reveals what the most effective teachers do differently than their colleagues. Participants will focus on what the most successful educators do that others do not. Everyone will leave knowing what great educators do differently, why they make them more effective, and how to immediately implement each of these into your own classrooms and schools.

Session J – Legislative Update

Presenters: Kevin Carson, Executive Director, DASA; and Jeff Taschner, Executive Director, DSEA

The executive directors of the Delaware Association of School Administrators and Delaware State Education Association will share Delaware legislative updates.

Session K – Growth Mindset for Staff and Students within a PBS Framework

Presenters: Jennifer Nauman, Principal; Heidi Quillen, Social Worker; and Kim Corbidge, ELA/SS Teacher, Richard Shields Elementary School

Richard Shields Elementary School introduced the philosophy of Growth Mindset to staff and systematically integrated Growth Mindset research into the school-wide PBS framework to support student academic and behavioral goals. School staff will share the development and implementation of Growth Mindset principles in the school setting as well as the tools that have helped shift school-wide thinking, support behavior, and revitalize school culture.

Session L – Care for Students: The Role of School Leaders

Presenter: Dr. Joseph Murphy, Professor of Education; Endowed Mayborn Chair, Dept. of Leadership, Policy & Organizations; Associate Dean, Special Projects, Office of the Dean; Vanderbilt University

In this session, we will examine the place of student care in the school improvement narrative.  We will feature “relationships” between students and teachers.  We will describe the four essential norms of pastoral care for students: care, support, safety, and membership.  We will also show the blueprints that allow these four powerful norms to come to life in schools.  We close with a discussion of care with a panel of students.

Session M – Technology Use in the Classroom

Presenters: Tara Saladyga, Timothy Brewer, Monica Cohen, and William Culver, Teachers, New Castle County Technical School District

Delaware teachers will share innovative practices for engaging students in learning opportunities using 21st Century tools. Bring your device to try out new online tools and apps that are helping Delaware students engage in and lead their own learning!

Session N – Starting an Immersion Program

Presenters: Ned Gladfelter, Principal, Claymont Elementary School; Charlynne Hopkins, Director of Leadership Development, Indian River School District; Ariadna Castaneda, Principal, Lewis Dual Language Elementary School; Julie Lavender, Principal, Allen Frear Elementary School; and Kelly Dorman, Principal, East Millsboro Elementary School

Delaware school leaders who have successfully implemented immersion programs in their schools will reflect on the nuts and bolts of the process and lessons they learned. Participants will gain insight into all considerations that should be taken upon embarking on the implementation of an immersion program.


Breakout Strand 3

9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Session O – Standards-based IEPs and Delaware’s Shift to a Stronger IEP

Presenter: Steve Smith, Instructional Coach, Center for Disability Studies, University of Delaware

The WRITES (Writing Rigorous IEPs to Teach Educational Standards) Initiative has been provided to Delaware schools and districts as part of a State Personnel Development Grant. This presentation will outline the key changes in the IEP process, discuss the initiative’s progress, and answer questions that practitioners may have about policy and practice related to IEP development.

Session P – “I’ve Got My SBAC Scores, Now What?”

Presenters: Judi Spencer, Jennifer Ross, and Jeannette Wilt, DSEA CCLEAR Cadre

This session focuses on reading to understand the student score report and using available resources (Digital Library, Be a Learning Hero, etc.) to build lessons focused on identified student needs.  Educators will:

  • Learn about the DSARA system and how to find student results;
  • Review samples of the parent reports;
  • Explore the resources on the Smarter Balanced website; and
  • Review a variety of electronic resources that will help both educators and parents when working with students on essential skills.
Session Q – Finance Training for School Board Members

Presenters: Gerard Gallagher, Chief Financial Officer, Smyrna School District; and John Hale, Chief Financial Officer, New Castle County Vocational Technical School District

Mandatory finance training for Delaware school board members will be delivered in this session.

Session R – Teacher Leadership for Student Learning

Presenters: Deborah Stevens, Director of Instructional Advocacy, DSEA, Dana Deisel-Wallace, President and CEO of Schools That Lead; and Michelle Nash

In this session participants will learn about the partnership between the Delaware State Education Association and Schools That Lead, a non-profit organization committed to advancing powerful student learning in schools. This interactive session focuses on Delaware’s implementation of the Schools That Lead Teacher Leadership Initiative. This project is currently engaging teacher leaders in ongoing programming using a coherent framework and related tools to advance powerful student learning and support school cultures focused on reflection and agency.

Session S – Introduction to Leading for Equity

Presenters: Heather Yuhaniak, Staff Development Teacher, Gaithersburg Middle School Co-Coordinator, Equity and Excellence in Education Program; and Michelle Sobers, Former School Administrator, Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, MD

The cultural gap between students and their teachers can be a factor in students’ academic performance and contribute to achievement gaps among different student groups. In this two-hour session, participants will engage in developing shared vocabulary, agreements, and an understanding of what working for equity and cultural competence looks like. A successful example that made an impact in Montgomery County, Maryland will be explored.


Breakout Strand 4

2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Session T – Beyond Walkthroughs: Using Structured Teacher-to-Teacher Reflection Cycles to Advance Powerful Student Learning

Presenters: Deborah Stevens, Director of Instructional Advocacy, DSEA;  Jesse Parsley, Math Teacher, Milford Central Academy and other teachers in the program

This session focuses on how educators can grow as instructional leaders using a process of classroom observation and reflection on student learning.  Participants will learn: 1) How to use a student learning rubric and related student learning questions to collect evidence of student learning instead of teacher action, 2) How to provide focus upon a specific Student Learning Question selected by the teacher instead of a checklist of numerous “look-fors,” and 3) How to use reflection protocol to promote a collaborative learning culture, develop shared expectations for student learning, and work together to improve their practice.

Session U – What Great Principals Do Differently

Presenter: Todd Whitaker

What are the specific qualities and practices of great principals that elevate them above the rest? This session reveals what the most effective principals do differently than their colleagues. Blending school centered studies and experience working with hundreds of administrators, this workshop will focus on the things that the most successful principals do that other principals do not. Participants will leave knowing what great principals do differently, why these things make them more effective, and how to immediately implement each of these practices into your school.

Session V – The Every Student Succeeds Act, Research Evidence, and You

Presenters: Elizabeth Farley-Ripple, Associate Director, School of Education and Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership, University of Delaware; Henry May, Director of the Center for Research in Education & Social Policy and Professor of Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics, University of Delaware; Allison Karpyn, Associate Director, Center for Research in Education and social Policy and Associate Professor of Behavioral Health and Nutrition, University of Delaware; Layne Humphrey, Senior Researcher; Kati Tilley, Research Assistant; and Kalyn McDonough, Project Coordinator, Center for Research Use in Education

The purpose of this one hour workshop is to help you as educators and leaders to understand the role of research evidence in the reauthorization of ESEA, entitled the Every Student Succeeds Act and how you can support evidence-based practice in your schools and districts. Staff from the Center for Research Use in Education, housed at the University of Delaware, will explain its goals, approaches and resources and how they connect to the daily needs of school and district leaders. We will briefly share details of the ESSA and its implications for practice before moving into three breakout groups related to:

  • Using the What Works Clearinghouse to identify effective interventions to meet stuent needs in your school
  • Strategies for building research partnerships that actually benefit your school or district
  • Building capacity for critically consuming research: what you need to know and think about when considering research evidence
Session W – Partnering to Prepare Future Teachers

Presenters: Linda Zankowsky, Associate Director, Office of Clinical Studies, University of Delaware and district partners

Preparing the next generation of teachers while positively impacting the experience of P-12 children in programs and schools is a shared responsibility between Institutions of Higher Education and the education community.  This session will investigate the skill sets that district and school leaders are looking for in teacher candidates and how the University of Delaware Early Childhood and Elementary Education field experiences impact the development of these skills through co-teaching and the new capstone evaluation.  Participants will discuss and explore the characteristics of clinical educators and the role of a school community and principal as a field placement site.

Session X – Alternative Educator Evaluation Systems in Delaware – Panel Discussion

Presenters: Laura Schneider, Special Assistant, Educator Effectiveness, Delaware Department of Education; Eric Niebrzydowski, Deputy Officer, Special Projects, Delaware Department of Education; and Peter Leida, Director of Division  of Schools, Colonial School District

One of the newest developments in the area of educator evaluation in Delaware is the opportunity for LEAs to propose an alternative educator evaluation system. While DPAS-II has been collaboratively developed over the past decade, it is not the only way that educator evaluation can be effectively implemented. The Department recognizes that each LEA and school site brings its own unique strengths to the development of an educator evaluation process. Therefore, DDOE has developed a process by which Delaware LEAs can create their own educator evaluation systems and processes in the spirit of increasing educator support, accountability, and student achievement.

Participants in this session will have the opportunity to hear from district and charter schools that are currently implementing approved alternative evaluation systems as they provide overviews of their evaluation systems and share their personal successes and implementation challenges.  A question and answer session will follow the presentations on the various alternative evaluation systems.

Session Y – Growth Mindset at the Secondary Level

Presenter: Holly Grieshop Sage, Principal; Michelle Jones, Assistant Principal; William Johnston, Student Advisor; and Marc Emerick; Assistant Principal: George Read Middle School, Colonial School District

What leads to dynamic change at secondary schools? Building positive relationships with students, families, and staff through a growth mindset. At George Read Middle School this way of thinking has led to a decrease in discipline and an increase in attendance. Additionally, by raising the rigor and relevance in our classrooms, our school has demonstrated improved academic success.  Participants will be challenged to look at multiple situations through a lens of a growth mindset, which will then be applied to their own setting.

Session Z – Meet the Redesigned SAT

Presenter(s): Dianna Frank, Director of K12 Services, The College Board

This session will focus on the differences between the new and old SAT, how schools can prepare their students for the SAT, and how to practically use the SAT data for student achievement. This presentation will include a look at how schools can use Khan Academy; how to use the data, including PSAT data; and which data are reported, such as cross test scores.

Session AA – Dual Enrollment – How schools are getting it done with students’ packed schedules

Presenter: Jason Peel, Former Principal, Polytech High School; and John Buckley, Dean of Instruction, Delaware Technical Community College, Terry Campus

Student participation in Dual Enrollment Courses at Polytech High School increased from 130 in the 2014-15 school year to 260 in 2015-16. Nine of the school’s 21 Career and Technical Education Areas offer dual enrollment courses aligned to the specific career program.

This session will be presented by Polytech principal, CTE Dual Enrollment adjunct professors (current Polytech teachers), and students in the program. Topics will include how the high school teacher and college professor collaborate to meet student needs; requirements of the high school adjunct; generating student interest and working within packed student schedules; results of dual enrollment efforts; and teacher and student perspectives on the dual enrollment experience.

Session AB – Due Process Training for School Board Members**

Presenter: John Marinucci, Executive Director, Delaware State Boards Association (DSBA); Maria Locuniak, Education Associate, Dispute Resolution; and Mary Ann Mieczkowski, Director, Exceptional Children Resources

Mandatory due process training for Delaware school board members will be delivered in this session.

**Please note: This session will take place from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Session AC – Gifted and Talented Programs

Presenters: Debora Hansen, Education Associate, Visual and Performing Arts, Charter Curriculum Review, Delaware Department of Education; and Melissa Tuttle, Cape Accelerated Program, Richard Shields Elementary School

State of Delaware revised regulations regarding Gifted and Talented programming will be discussed in this session, and district staff responsible for implementing programming will share how they have adapted their services to meet the needs of all students.

Session AD – Using a Partnership Model for School Improvement

Presenters: Tammy Croce, PDCE/DASL; Ashley Giska, Assistant Superintendent, Laurel School District; and Julie Giangiulio, Principal, East Dover Elementary School

Participants will learn how Delaware school districts are supporting their schools in the creation of school success or turnaround plans that can impact student achievement. Each district presenting has supported schools through implementation and monitoring of their plans and will share reflections on the impact these efforts had on students.

If you have any questions regarding the conference or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Alison Dubinski at 302-500-7033 or ald@udel.edu.


Thank you to our sponsors:

PDCE DASL screenshot



VALIC logo


Edmentum Logo


200 Academy Street • University of Delaware • Newark, DE 19716 • USA

Phone: 302-831-8642 • Fax: 302-831-3471 • E-mail: ud-dasl@udel.edu • © 2012