September 28 – 30, 2017
New Orleans, LA
Ritz Carlton

Thursday, Sep. 28
7 a.m. – 5 p.m.   Registration 
7 a.m. – 8 a.m. Continental Breakfast
8 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.  Overview of School Site Visit
8:30 a.m.  Buses Depart
8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

School Site Visit and Lunch Served by Students - St. Charles Parish Public Schools

St. Charles Parish Public Schools invites you to sample the ingredients of a Triple A school system focused on Academics, Athletics and the Arts. Superintendent Felecia Gomez-Walker will share how the district implements its commitment to “Learning for Life” across the curriculum from robotic competitions to the construction of a new performing arts center. Visit highlights include a tour of ten career pathways at the Satellite Center for juniors and seniors; a visit to R. K. Smith Middle School where CPR – Circle of Power and Respect –  is a part of Developmental Design, a social/emotional curriculum, that is offered in all district middle and elementary schools; and an opportunity to see how previous commercial space transformed into the Professional Learning Center with PD classrooms, a technology lab, storage and maintenance and a technology installation center. Along the way, visitors will enjoy small portions of south Louisiana cuisine and culture. 

2:30 – 3:00 p.m.

Welcome and Introductions

  • Micah Ali, CUBE Chair
  • Tom Gentzel, Executive Director and CEO of NSBA
  • Kevin Ciak, President of NSBA


3:00 – 5:30 p.m.

Leadership Training Workshop
Presenters: Graig Meyer & Jamie Almanzan, Equity Collaborative

5:30 – 7:00 p.m.  Networking Reception  
8:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. 

Chairman Ali’s Sponsored Soiree – Fulton Alley

  • Buses will depart for Fulton Alley beginning at 8:15 p.m.
Friday, Sep. 29
7 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Registration
7 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.  Breakfast Buffet 
8 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.   Welcome and Introductions
8:30 a.m. – 9:50 a.m. General Session – Clint Smith
9:50 a.m. – 10:35 a.m.  Book Distribution
10:45 a.m. - 12 p.m.  Clinic Sessions
  • Building Human Capacity for Blended Learning Transformation

One of the greatest challenges districts are facing in successfully transitioning to blended environments is how to effectively achieve buy-in from educators and help teachers build new instructional skills required for today’s classrooms. Traditional models of professional development are outdated. This session will explore key characteristics of effective professional development for 21C learning environments. In the presentation, the audience will experience an interactive presentation approach from a social entrepreneur and co-author of Blended Learning in Action.

  • Putting Your Money Where Your Children Are: Budgeting for Equity Superintendent Panel

School system budgets are all too often based on per pupil formulas.  X number of Teachers per X number of students.  In this session, hear from Superintendents from large urban districts discuss how they craft a school system budget based in equity for Board approval.  Discuss the challenges of student-centered budgets.  How might Boards communicate the importance of budgeting for equity in our diverse communities.

  • A Legal Review – Key Legal Experts from Across the Country

Boards of Education serve in a unique quasi-judicial role and are faced with several legal challenges for which they must be judge and jury.  Learn from legal experts in the field of education as they discuss the Board’s role in a variety of legal issues ranging from special education placements to personnel matters. 

  • Shared Governance - Strategies for Engaging the Community in Tough Board Decisions

From our turbulent political landscape, to rapidly changing demographics, to an unclear future for public school funding – there may not ever have been a more challenging time to serve on a school board.  Today school boards often face tough decisions that are certain to evoke strong reactions from the broader community.  If done poorly, these tough decisions can harm the community’s trust in the school board.  Taking the approach of “shared governance” can have the opposite effect, creating a culture of mutual respect and engendering trust.
Join us for an interactive discussion on “shared governance” as a panel of veteran school board leaders share:
-   How to actively involve the community in difficult decisions without it becoming a free-for-all”
-   What role technology plays in helping you create transparency for the board’s work 
-   How to avoid resistance from other board members and/or community members to the idea of community engagement in board decisions
-   Practical strategies for taking a more “shared governance” approach.

12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

CUBE Awards Luncheon

  • Benjamin Elijah Mays Lifetime Achievement Award
  • CUBE Annual Award for Urban School Board Excellence
1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. CUBE State of Urban Education Address  
Micah Ali, CUBE Chairman, Compton Unified School District
2:30 p.m.  - 3:45 p.m. Clinic Sessions
  • Addressing the Role of Public Charter Schools in Today’s Political Climate

Charter schools have been promoted by supporters and advocates as the “solution” to providing a quality education to all students. However, studies have shown that charters largely perform at the same level or worse than traditional public schools. How effective are charters in actually closing achievement gaps? Join us as we explore the real impact of charter school expansion on the equity movement.

  • District Operations in the Digital Age: Pitfalls, Solutions, and Best Practices

Learn how LA Unified has rebuilt public trust in its technology decisions through new processes after attracting national attention for its flawed implementation efforts.  Hear how the Fulton County Schools approach ed tech purchases based on research that identifies and evaluates if a product produces positive student outcomes and under what conditions.  This session will equip school board members with the new insights and the right questions to ask before approving education technology investments. 

  • The Second-Level Digital Divide: How Districts Can Close the Gap

How can you make sure technology and innovation have benefits for all students? Hear lessons from other districts, get perspectives from Google, and share ideas with each other.

  • Connection and Communication: Tools and Strategies for Deepening Engagement

The world is moving at a fast pace.  Thanks to technology, the boardroom, workplace, communities and families are feeling the demands to move fast as well. Meanwhile, our ability to connect and engage deeply around the things that matter to us most suffers. Despite our numerous technological devices our communication, connection and engagement suffers as well. Nevertheless, shifting paradigms in education call all of us to higher responsibility and accountability, as we endeavor to ensure that our children receive the best education possible. That means, we must heal the gaps that hinder our communication and connections. In addition, we are challenged as Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X-ers and Millennials to work together in new ways.  We must make the most of opportunities and unify to overcome challenges.  As leaders and decision-makers, in order to cultivate more meaningful engagement with our boards and communities, it is imperative that we embrace a higher level of self-awareness as well as personal and professional development.  

3:45 – 4:15 p.m.  Pre-Gala Refreshments
6 p.m.  Buses Depart for Mercedes-Benz Superdome
6:30 – 7:30 p.m.  Pre-Dinner Networking Reception – Mercedes-Benz Superdome
7:30 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. CUBE 50th Anniversary Gala and Dinner – Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Saturday, Sept. 30
7 a.m. – Noon Registration 
7 a.m.– 9 a.m.  Breakfast Buffet
9:00 – 10:15 a.m.

Clinic Sessions (4)

  • Make It Official: How to Write an Equity Policy for Your District

Districts across the country are recognizing the need for an equity policy to ensure that all students are receiving the resources they need to achieve at their highest potential. This session will dig beyond the need to have an equity policy and address practical strategies that can be used to create a policy that addresses district needs. Attendees will be given specific action items to take back to their districts for immediate implementation.

  • Everyone Can Code

Coding is essential to help students thrive in a future driven by technology and supporting your students to learn how to code can have an immediate impact on their future. Learning to code unlocks creativity, develops problem-solving skills, and opens career paths. So Apple created the free, comprehensive Everyone Can Code curriculum to make it easy to teach coding to students from kindergarten to college. Whether your students are first-time coders or aspiring app developers, teachers will have all the tools they need to teach coding in their classroom. The more our students know and understand the language of code that makes the world work, the more they’re empowered to make it better.

  • Making Equity a Movement Not a Moment

As more districts and school board members recognize the need for equitable resource allocation to close achievement gaps and ensure a quality education for all students, we are now challenged to implement equity as a systemic change, as opposed to a surface level initiative. Join us to learn how to incorporate an equity mindset throughout your district to ensure your efforts are entrenched and sustainable.

  • Driving Equity - Cultivating a Culture of Inclusion

In order to move the needle forward on the journey towards equity, urban school districts need a strong foundation, and a key component of that foundation is their ability to drive an inclusive culture. School board members play a key role in addressing the culture change needed to reach that destination.   For years, corporations have struggled with similar challenges, recognizing that optimizing diversity and inclusion fuels competitive advantage, heightens engagement, productivity & positive business outcomes.  In this session, an organization that has successfully navigated significant culture change through its strategic diversity & inclusion efforts, will share its journey, highlighting the key actions that were taken to drive their cultural transformation. You will have an opportunity to explore these actions and share your own innovative practices with fellow board members, and identify how you see aspects of (this organization's) transformative journey informing specific steps you can take to drive equity within your districts. 

10:15 – 10:30 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.    General Session – Dr. John King, Ed Trust
  Panel Discussion - How CUBE Can Successfully Advocate for Urban Districts

John B. King, Jr., President and CEO, The Education Trust
Thomas J. Gentzel, Executive Director and CEO, National School Boards Association
Micah Ali, CUBE Chairman, Compton Unified School District

12:30 p.m.     Closing Remarks/Adjournment    

CUBE 50th Annual Conference Handouts

  • School Site Visit: St. Charles Parish Public Schools – Presentation
  • Leadership Training Workshop – Equity Collaborative – Agenda
  • Putting Your Money Where Your Children Are: Budgeting for Equity - Presentation 1 & Presentation 2
  • A Legal Review – Key Legal Experts from Across the Country – Diane Marshall-Freeman & Adrian Thompson – Presentation & Handout
  • Adressing the Role of Public Charter Schools in Today’s Political Climate – Marnell Cooper, Esq. & Andre Perry – Handout & Link 1 & Link 2 & Link 3
  • Connection and Communication: Tools and Strategies for Deepening Engagement – Carmen C. Marshall - Presentation
  • Make it Official: How to Write an Equity Policy for Your District – Mary Fertakis – Presentation & Handout 1 & Handout 2 & Handout 3
  • Making Equity a Movement, Not a Moment – Channel Powe – Presentation
  • Driving Equity – Cultivating a Culture of Inclusion – Sodexo – Handout
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