CUBE Annual Conference

September 26-28, 2019 | Miami, Florida

Learn More About Our Keynote Speakers


Jacinto Ramos, Jr.

Morris smiles at camera

Dr. Monique Morris


Christian Moore

Cesar Cruz

Dr. Cesar Cruz


The Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) Annual Conference is designed to foster effective school district leadership through practical clinic sessions and peer-led district workshops. CUBE has convened school board members from across the nation for the past 51 years to network and share the continually evolving strategies they are using to address the unique educational challenges that exist in our nation's urban centers.

Join us in Miami, Florida from September 26-28, 2019 for our premier annual event, curated specifically to give you the tools and support you need to effect change as an empowered, impactful urban school board member.

Conference Registration Fees

CUBE/National Connection members, Association Staff $550 
Non-CUBE District Member $650
Full-Conference Guest (excluding site visit) $550 
Special Events Guest (Welcome Reception and Awards Gala ONLY)  $250 

Online registration is closed. Onsite registration will open September 25, 3– 6:00 p.m. at the InterContinental Miami. 


Schedule and Sessions

7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Registration
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Site Visit of Miami-Dade Schools
9:00 - 10:15 a.m.  Pre-Conference Clinic Sessions 1
10:30 - 11:45 a.m. Pre-Conference Clinic Sessions 2
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.

State of Urban Education Luncheon 

Jacinto Ramos, Jr., Chair, Council of Urban Boards of Education, Board President, Fort Worth Independent School District 

1:45 - 3:00 p.m.  Clinic Sessions 1 
3:00 - 3:15 p.m Coffee Break
3:15 - 4:30 p.m.  Clinic Sessions 2

Site Visit of Miami-Dade Schools

Tour Location Description
Tour 1   iPrep Academy  iPrep Academy is the very first magnet PreK-12 school in Miami-Dade County Public Schools and is a non-attendance boundary International Education and Global Focus Magnet School that incorporates innovative teaching strategies in a technology-rich environment. Students participate in the Executive Internship Program during their junior and senior years.
Tour 2 William Turner Technical Arts High School The high school is split into seven academies: architecture; medical; agriculture; information technology; business and finance; criminal justice; and entertainment technology. Students can also take college courses with the opportunity to graduate from high school with an associates degree.


Pre-Conference Clinic Sessions 1

 Session Title  Location  Description
Creating Trauma-Informed and Culturally Competent Schools  Chopin Ballroom  Nationally, more than one in four children in every classroom has been exposed to early childhood trauma. This number has been shown to be doubled for urban schools. Trauma-informed schools are culturally competent schools. This workshop will connect the trauma-informed movement to cultural competence. Participants will learn the 4 basic tenants of a trauma-informed school and leave with specific strategies for implementation in their schools and school districts. 
Superintendent Search: Best Practices for Getting it Right
Biscayne Ballroom Discover what it takes to conduct a high quality, fair and professional superintendent search process. The presentation, led by members of NSBA's National Affiliation of Superintendent Searchers, will cover do's and don'ts of conducting and planning a search, bias in employment, transition best practices and how to engage stakeholders without ceding the school board's decision-making authority. 
Community Engagement on Long-Term School Planning: A Case Study of Cleveland Metropolitan School District Sandringham/Windsor  CMSD embarked upon a long-term planning exercise to shape the district's school portfolio for years to come. A great deal of time and effort was spent internally on preparing the foundational set of data instrumental to such consequential decision-making, a deliberate and concerted effort was also placed on how best to engage key external stakeholders (e.g., families, partners, city council). CMSD will share our strategies, experiences, and lessons learned in engaging the community on a true two-way dialogue about the future of the district. 


Pre-Conference Clinic Sessions 2

Session Title  Location  Description
Walking the Talk: Addressing the Equity Value Gap  Chopin Ballroom We talk about the opportunity and access gaps impacting the achievement gap. What's missing is a discussion of the equity value gap - the gap between what we SAY is important to us, and what we actually DO. This fun and interactive session will help you gain an understanding of the Board's role in addressing the equity value gap and provide tools for taking action in your district.  
Understanding Data to Impact Student Outcomes & Developing District & Board Goals  Biscayne Ballroom  Through appropriate analysis of data and review of metrics, board members can increase their capacity to impact student outcomes and develop board and district goals. The attendees will be introduced or reintroduced to our state Academic Performance Report and how the data within this and other data tools can assist in developing and monitoring board, district and superintendent goals. 
Georgia's Equity Journey: "Lessons Learned"  Sandringham/Windsor  This session will highlight the significant work done by the Georgia School Boards Association over the past few years in the area of Equity. Topics in this presentation will include but not be limited to: norms for equity discussion; definition of equity; building conditions to create district readiness; resource equity; utilizing data; social-emotional issues; as well as challenges faced in moving districts forward related to these topics. Participants will hear how we assessed where we were; where we believe we are now; and most importantly, where we need to go in the future to give every student the support and the resources needed so they graduate prepared for success after high school. This presentation will be highly interactive with numerous opportunities for attendees to participate. The presenters will provide varied perspectives as it will include the Executive Director of the Association, two former school administrators and a school board member.


Clinic Sessions 1

Session Title  Location  Description 
Rapid Action Planning Session: Enhancing Science, Technology, Engineer and Mathematics Opportunities for Underrepresented Student Groups  Biscayne Ballroom  Leaders in education and science employ different approaches to engage underrepresented student groups in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Many leaders grapple with how to best meet the challenge and how to undergird research into their work in a holistic and practical way to meet the needs of diverse learners as well as inspire them. Often, leaders and educators are actively doing the work and little time is spent defining, examining and redesigning efforts to be more inclusive. This session will provide participants an opportunity to reflect on challenges in their workplace, their practices, goals, and outcomes related to making STEM accessible for all. Participants will work in small groups to define barriers in their system, assess their current research-based practices, and determine if they are meeting their intended goals. The session will include brainstorming what does STEM for all means, current trends and findings, assessment of current practices, futurecasting, and a reflection phase for leaders to identify strengths and areas of growth for their organization, program, or business. Strategies and plans discussed may provide a platform for leaders in science and education to strengthen their organization’s effort in engaging all, students, professionals, and educators, in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Each participant will be provided a matrix with salient factors that guide and build organizations outcomes in making STEM accessible for all.
My Brother's Keeper: Fraternity-Based Approach to Male Socialization  Chopin Ballroom This workshop demonstrates an interactive curriculum-based system that educators can utilize to help boys and young men of color understand themselves, keep them engaged in lifelong learning, and allow them to express their gifts and talents in a positive way. Through active engagement, we share lessons learned in implementing a fraternity-based approach to the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiative and break down the key components including: Establishing an MBK chapter, MBK protocol, standard operating procedures, and community building through MBK Radio/TV.
Economic Equity: Miami's Journey to Creating and Sustaining a Successful Diverse and Inclusive Business Program  Raphael/Michelangelo M-DCPS has built a successful Economic Diversity Program. Presenters will discuss the importance of focusing on creating an inclusive procurement environment and the organizational, cultural, structural, and programmatic changes required for transformative and sustainable change. Presenters will discuss the How, Why, and Who of creating and maintaining successful Minority/Women, Small/Micro and Veteran Business Enterprise Programs. This session is for those seeking to create an environment for equitable engagement with business entities.
From Systematic Disruption to Systematic Success  Brickell  Warrensville Heights City School District, once the lowest performing district in the state of Ohio, has reformed its organizational leadership, instructional practices, and made strategic decisions based on data leading them to earn a “B” overall for closing the achievement gaps for minority populations on their state report card. Learn how Warrensville was able to identify and combat systemic challenges that accelerated student achievement through equitable practices.


Clinic Sessions 2

Session Title Location Description
Partnering with Family and Community to Bring Arts-Rich Learning to All Students 
Access to art connects to essential qualities that society wants for children and requires from schools:  academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equal opportunity.  Experiences in the arts and STEAM are associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking and verbal skills.  Additionally, participation in STEAM improves motivation, concentration, confidence and teamwork.  Attend this session to learn how families and communities can be more knowledgeable on the power of STEAM and work together to support arts-rich learning opportunities for every student.
#BeyondBlackAndBrown: What Educational Equity Means When All Students Are “of Color”!   Chopin Ballroom Educational equity has long been a topic of advocacy for many school boards, nationwide. Purposefully, these discussions have been primarily focused on racial equity and closing generational achievement gaps between students of color and their peers. But what about those school districts in which nearly every child is black or brown? This session highlights the two-year long journey one county's Board of Education and its school system took to define and implement educational equity strategies when nearly every single student is "of color".
Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Policy & Protocol  
 Domestic minor sex trafficking is a billion-dollar enterprise and the fastest growing crime against children. Youth who are victims of DMST may not be easily identifiable and may not initially identify as a “victim”. This presentation will highlight the importance of Public-School district developing policies, Public Schools Administration developing protocol and teachers being educated about warning signs and risk factors so that they can identify and respond early.
Shared Responsibility and Accountability – Strengthening Well-Being Outcomes   Raphael/Michelangelo  South City, one of the poorest areas of Memphis, TN, surrounds a school that made national headlines for educational turnaround success, Booker T. Washington High School (BTW). As the students continue to strive for academic success, the neighborhood that surrounds them is stricken with poverty and violence. Shelby County Schools and the Women’s Foundation of Greater Memphis are creating prevention and intervention strategies that help students overcome obstacles impacting their ability to learn while helping the community overcome hardships.
Using your "Equity Policy" to increase instructional time for all           Biscayne Ballroom This presentation will allow the attendees the opportunity to hear from Board Members and a superintendent regarding the implementation of an "Equity Policy" to drive increased instructional time and a reduction of out of school suspensions. Additionally, the presentation will provide: - implementation artifacts - conciliation agreements - a guide for adopting and implementing an "Equity Policy" in your district.

7:30 - 9 a.m. Networking Breakfast
7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.  Registration 
9:00 - 10:15 a.m. 

Morning Plenary 

Speaker: Dr. Monique Morris

10:15 - 10:30 a.m.  Coffee Break
10:30 - 11:45 p.m.  Clinic Sessions 3 
12:00 - 1:30 p.m. 

Keynote Luncheon

Speaker: Christian Moor

1:45 - 3:00 p.m.  Clinic Sessions 4
3:00 - 3:15 p.m.  Coffee Break
3:15 - 4:30 p.m. 

District-Sized Workshop by Student Population

  CUBE Awards Networking Reception and Ceremony (Business Formal Attire) 
6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Awards Networking Reception 
7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Awards Ceremony


Clinic Sessions 3

 Session Title Location Description
One Goal + One Focus = Student Achievement Biscayne Ballroom  An exceptional education for all students has long been the focus of Garland ISD. Our top priority is to provide a rigorous, innovative educational experience that prepares all students for college and careers. The Garland ISD Board of Trustees and Superintendent have created specific objectives to establish and define district academic targets. These efforts have advanced the districts efforts to achieve equity for all students and the model has become a highly sought-after method to ensure data driven decision making.  
Welcoming Schools: A comprehensive, intersectional approach to creating an inclusive school climate Chopin Ballroom This workshop will provide an overview of the work that Welcoming Schools does with schools across the United States. Learn about the many professional development trainings, lesson plans, books and resources that our nationally acclaimed, research-based program has to offer. Additionally, you will have an interactive, first-hand experience with a few of the most popular activities in our training modules. 
Cultivating a Thriving, Urban, Diverse School District in a Rural State Escorial/Alhambra

This session will provide insight into how an urban school board and administration leads efforts innovating education in a rural state. It will discuss the challenges associated with being the largest school district in the state, serving nearly 53,000 students with 73% being students of color and over 119 different languages spoken. It will also share the successes through strategic programming and initiatives to build and encourage diversity, increase graduation rates and achievement all while removing the barriers which impact our students’ achievement and lives.

Educating the Whole Child: How Alhambra Changed Course to Better Serve our Changing Community
Sandringham/Windsor  In the course of just four years, the Alhambra Elementary School District in Phoenix, Arizona adapted a new mission: providing unique support and opportunities to the diverse families it serves. Through a Family Resource Center, a Refugee/Newcomer Campus, and an Alternative Learning Center; Alhambra truly "Educates the Whole Child" through a wraparound services model. This session will share skills and tips surrounding Alhambra's shift towards this model, and activities to show you the power your district has to affect positive community change.
Visual & Performing Arts Provide Equity and Access Through Mariachi Program Brickell Bakersfield City School District’s nationally recognized Visual and Performing Arts Program leverages funds to expand equity and access resulting in increased student attendance and higher student achievement. The District’s award-winning and innovative Mariachi Program will be featured as a culturally relevant music education model which is replicable. An annual Mariachi and Folklorico Festival has contributed to an all-time high participation rate in the arts education program. Community partnerships extend learning beyond the classroom. 
Improvement Science: A Network Approach to Improving Low Performing Schools  
 Boston Public Schools (BPS) reorganized to provide differentiated supports across its portfolio of traditional and autonomous schools to close opportunity and achievement gaps. The Network structure strategically leverages central office academic and operational liaison-experts to provide targeted supports, informed by improvement science, for low performing schools, and peer-led professional learning for affinity grouped schools that are relatively higher performing. Borrowing from the “levers of change” developed by the Darden/Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education (PLE), the network structure is a key strategy in Boston’s goal of eliminating opportunity and achievement gaps.  


Clinic Sessions 4

 Session Title  Location Description
Legislating for Immigrant Students & Families  Chopin Ballroom   The past three years have been filled with more outwardly racist, misogynist, and xenophobic statements and policies from elected leaders than ever before. Fighting back against the policies and rhetoric are school board members, who are advocating for immigrant communities and people of color in their legislative roles. In this session, hear from first- and second-generation immigrant elected school board officials on governing in the best interest of immigrant students and families in your district.  
Statewide Partnerships for Equity: A Lens on ESSA Title II           Biscayne Ballroom    The National Urban League's Equity and Excellence Project: ESSA Leadership Learning Community (ELLC) supports Urban League affiliate CEOs partnering with stakeholders to identify meaningful ways to use ESSA to build the capacity of education leaders to help schools improve -- with a focus on Equity. What can be achieved when state and local education leaders, civil rights & community and advocacy groups join together, navigate difficult conversations and develop effective strategies to help all children? A group of local partners will discuss.
From A-to-F to Growth to Equity: Work of the VSBA Task Force on Students & Schools in Challenging Environments


 VSBA Task Force on Students & Schools in Challenging Environments formed in 2013 to provide leadership, recommendations, policies, best practices, and partnership opportunities to advance student success in the midst of the A-to-F, school takeover movement across the country. The task force has successfully impacted state and local policy and initiatives to shift the conversation around the unique needs and strengths of students and school in challenging environments (e.g. - concentrated poverty, geography). We aim to sure our experiences.
A View from The Supreme Court Brickell  Join NSBA Chief Legal Officer Francisco Negron for an in-depth look at the High Court's latest decisions impacting public schools.  From recent decisions on the Census and religion, to upcoming cases on gender identity and sexual orientation discrimination and DACA, this session will provide insights on the latest in school law. 
How Do You Recruit and Retain More Male Educators of Color? You BOND!  Raphael/Michelangelo   The BOND (Building Our Network of Diversity) Project is an initiative in Montgomery County Public Schools (MD) that seeks to recruit, develop, and retain male educators of color. With male educators of color being less than 2% of the teaching force nationwide, it is important to highlight the work that has been integral in building teacher efficacy and increasing workforce diversity. This presentation is vital for school system leaders looking to learn how to recruit, retain, and support male educators of color in their school districts. 
From Punitive to Restorative Practices:  One District’s Journey to Reduce Exclusions from the Educational Environment Sandringham/Windsor Durham Public Schools has historically had approximately 8% of students receiving Out of School Suspensions. In the last two years, DPS has taken a new approach to discipline that is more restorative and less punitive. Stakeholders assisted in rewriting the Student Code of Conduct, the School Board revised local policies, and our Office of Equity Affairs led professional learning to support adapting mindsets regarding student misbehavior. Our investments in preventative measures have yielded drastic improvements in student outcomes.


District-Sized Workshop by Student Population

District Size Location
15,000 or less Escorial/Alhambra 
15,001 – 40,000  Sandringham/Windsor
40,0001 – 80,000 Biscayne Ballroom 
80,001 and above Chopin Ballroom

7:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.  Registration
7:30 - 9:00 a.m.  Networking Breakfast 
9:00 - 10:15 a.m.  Clinic Sessions 5 
10:30 - 10:45 a.m.  Coffee Break
10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.  Clinic Sessions 6
12:00 - 2 p.m.

Closing Keynote Luncheon

Speaker: Cesar Cruz

Clinic Sessions 5

Session Title  Location Description
Avoiding discriminatory practices towards English language  Chopin Ballroom English-language learners (“ELLs”) make up about 9% of all public schools in the U.S. ELLs consistently perform below native English speakers. ELLs are more likely to be held back a grade and less likely to be enrolled in Advanced Placement classes in high school. This course will help participants how to recognize discriminatory practices towards ELLs. In addition, participants will learn about federal laws which apply to the education of ELLs. Participants will learn policies in dealing with Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE"). 
Reinventing America’s Schools: Denver Public Schools and Innovation Zones Brickell School Boards around the country continue to struggle to serve students from disadvantaged backgrounds and ensure they can achieve at a high level. The “Reinventing America’s Schools: Denver Public Schools and Innovation Zones” workshop will engage in a conversation with a two current school board members, a former school board chair, and a school leader from Denver on how they boosted student achievement by creating Innovation Zones with greater accountability, autonomy, and choice in their system.
A Place to Call Home Raphael/Michelangelo Come learn about a New Teachers’ Network and Mentoring Program that is designed to recruit, train, and retain new teachers. This successful program has developed teachers into Master Teachers from the candidates we have hired. The goal is to ensure that these highly qualified teachers remain with the district.
Operationalizing the Dream: An Urban District’s Equity Journey from Vision to Practical Implementation  Biscayne Ballroom  What are the program components to bring your Equity dream into practice? How do you engage all stakeholders, including students? This session will highlight the role of the district leadership, the duties of the school-based Equity Teams; the Multi-year PD on cultural competence to all employees; and the application of the Principles of Culturally Responsive Teaching. This session will also present how the students’ equity component helps them along with adult advocates to create a more welcoming and inclusive school environment.
A Call to Order: Women Leading Boards  Escorial/Alhambra  If there is one area where women have held leadership roles in our society, it is as president or chair of local school boards. As is the case in most areas of professional life, women face unique challenges as they seek to advance a career or take on a leadership role in public education. This session offers the perspective of women board chairs and their experience with the gavel! Come participate in this interactive session and hear how these leading women handle the challenges that urban boards of education face.*

*NSBA’s commitment to equity and excellence extends to all aspects of public education. As we seek to be part of the solution of improving gender representation across leadership teams --- staff and governance --- is part of that commitment. Ensuring what women are represented in leadership roles demonstrates to students, parents, and communities, that everyone should be full participants in society. To demonstrate this commitment, NSBA will launched the Women’s Leadership Forum in 2018 – a national initiative to provide a networking structure and career / leadership development for women to expand both professionally and in governance of our public schools


Clinic Sessions 6

 Session Title  Location  Description
Leading for Equity A Practical Framework for Board Discussion and Action   Brickell  In this session, we will review ASBA's Leading for Equity Framework which provides boards with 5 specific ways they can begin to have equity conversations at their districts and ways to turn those conversation into action. This framework has been shared across Arizona and the nation as districts seek tangible ways to address equity in education. 
What Culturally Responsive School Board Members and School District Leaders Do To Improve the Academic and Social/Emotional Well-Being of Students from Diverse Cultural and Ethnic Backgrounds Biscayne Ballroom  This session is designed to address the types of culturally responsive board of education and leadership practices that are imperative for improving the academic achievement levels and social/emotional well-being of students from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The presenters will maintain a laser-like focus on addressing the types of culturally responsive strategies associated with the implementation of Restorative Justice practices. 
Increasing Minority Graduation Rates Raphael/Michelangelo Graduation rates continue to trend upward in Duval County. African-American, Hispanic, English Language Learners, and Students with Disabilities subgroups all increased 20+ percentage points from 2011-12 to 2017-18. This student success reflects commitment and collaboration among the Board, school and district leadership, and community stakeholders. Participants will learn how stakeholder relationships and innovative tools and initiatives are used to drill down to individual student metrics, ensuring intentional and focused support. 
 Engaging Male Students and Ensuring Academic Success through Community Engagement
The Male Leadership Academy is a mentoring program created to aid in the nurturing and development of male students in grades 4 thru 8. The students participate in workshops, community events, trips and activities geared towards leadership development and good citizenship. The young men are from schools in urban areas and chosen by school administrators to participate in the program. The leadership academy has yielded positive results, producing reductions in suspensions, higher test scores and increased parent participation. 
Advancing Districtwide Racial Equity Transformation in Fort Worth ISD     Chopin Ballroom Fort Worth ISD is a large urban district comprised largely (85%) of children of color. One of the most compelling concerns of district leadership is that children of color have not been successful, and have been disproportionately disciplined. With the support of the Board, the district has been engaged in systemic racial equity transformation for the past three years. Significant advancements have been made, and many challenges encountered. Participants will learn about how they may launch or support racial equity work in their districts.
Collaborating on Inclusive Innovation  Sandringham/Windsor Despite billions invested in innovative teaching practices and learning tools each year, little-to-no benefit accrues to improve the outcomes for marginalized students. Beneath the surface lies the crux of the issue - inequity is a product of design. Without prioritizing the needs, ideas and contributions of the most marginalized, inequity is inevitable. This hands-on workshop invites participants to examine their district's work from the lens of inclusive innovation and collaborate with other participants to achieve equity in their schools.