Professional Learning Institute (PLI)

Begin your learning experience through a PLI at the CISC Leadership Symposium! Join us in the afternoon of Wednesday, February 22nd, 2023 for up to 11 different extended and deep-learning sessions. 

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World Class Educational Practices

Session Title: Fostering the Connected Leader to Unlock Systems at Scale


Facilitator(s): Janice Case, California State Director – National Center on Education and the Economy 

Session Description: Participants will learn about the top-performing systems, the key principles that underlie those relationships, the skills school leaders need to foster them, and how you can take immediate steps to develop and support leaders build education systems in which their students thrive.  

Universal Design for Learning

Session Title: UDL Beyond the Basics: A Certification and Implementation Tool for Educators 

Facilitator: Shamryn Cole, Director of California Coalition for Inclusive Literacy 

Session Description: The Universal Design for Learning (UDL) School Implementation and Certification Criteria (UDL-SICC) defines high-quality, schoolwide, UDL implementation. Like UDL, the criteria are data-driven, support continuous improvement, and provide multiple pathways for schools to progress through the stages of implementation. The UDL-SICC is a robust tool for guiding decisions and supporting ongoing schoolwide growth, whether your team is just getting started or has experienced many years of successful UDL implementation. In this universally designed session participants will have the opportunity to explore CAST’s UDL- School Implementation and Certification Criteria (UDL-SICC), to help move your UDL implementation beyond the basics and into long term systemic change that supports access, equity, and inclusion for all learners!

Community and Parent Engagement 

Session Title: The Community Engagement Initiative: Lessons Learned to Deepen Engagement 

Facilitator(s): Statewide System of Support Community Engagement Initiative (CEI)  

Session Description: The Community Engagement Initiative (CEI) is an integral part of California’s statewide System of Support, jointly led by the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE), San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools (SBCSS), the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE), and Families in Schools (FIS). Come learn about the transformational engagement practices of the participating districts in CEI’s Peer Leading and Learning Networks (PLLNs)! 

Collective Equity  

Session Title: Developing Collective Equity   

Facilitator(s): Sonja Hollins-Alexander, Senior Director of Professional Learning for Corwin Publishing 


Session Description: Participants will learn about the Collective Equity Framework that focuses on interrupting systemic inequities, through a lens of shared accountability that leverages building relational trust, cultural humility, and appreciation of diverse perspectives to transform learning environments that create equitable conditions to uplift all students and members of the community.  

Disciplinary Literacy 

Session Title: Evidence-based Instructional Practices That Foster Literacy and Content Knowledge in Grades 6-12


Facilitator(s): Nancy Frey, Ed.D., Professor of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University  
Toni Faddis, Ed.D., Corwin Author and Fulltime Professional Learning Consultant 


Session Description: What do systems leaders need to know about evidence-based instructional practices that foster literacy and content knowledge in grades 6-12?   


Join Nancy Frey and Toni Faddis for a hands-on, deep learning session that demonstrates how teachers can pique students' interest in future careers while simultaneously developing foundational knowledge and skills. Using mentor text, technology tools, and imagination, participants will be guided through a learning experience that fuels inner motivation and connection with others.  

Multilingual Pathways

Session Title: Designing Multilingual Pathways 

Facilitator:  Alma Castro, Ed.D., Director of the Multilingual California Project 

Session Description: The Multilingual California Project (MCAP) is made possible through the CA EWIG EL Roadmap Implementation Grant. MCAP supports the design of multilingual instructional programs state-wide and assists alignment and coherence efforts for the California English Learner Roadmap Policy (ELR). Participants will learn about best practices to recognize and cultivate biliteracy in the context of California’s developing language policies. The various pathways to biliteracy will be explored by examining existing programs and ideating on implementation, refinement and expanding of best practices. Examples of best practices will include successful implementation of the state seal of biliteracy, and well-articulated recognitions for student participation in biliteracy programs, home language development and biliteracy attainment. 

Student Agency and Voice

Session Title: Youth Equity Stewardship Creative Inter-generational Collaboration  

Facilitator(s): Benji Howard and Wade Antonio Colwell, Professional Learning for Corwin Publishing 

Session Description: The future of school excellence belongs to communities who make the shift from responding to students toward sharing power with them. And the future is now. Youth Equity Stewardship is an arts-based process that offers vision, ways of being and provides strategies for centering student voice and agency to advance educational equity. The work offers a model for stewardship as a way of coming together in educational space and as a mainframe for thinking about excellence. 

Social Emotional Learning

Session Title: Social-Emotional Learning as a Recipe and Not an Ingredient 

Facilitator(s): Clay Cook, Ph.D., Chief Development Officer at Character Strong 

Session Description: There has been an uptick in social, emotional, and behavioral needs among students since the pandemic. Educators are looking for solutions and have turned to social-emotional learning (SEL) as a potential one. However, SEL is often viewed narrowly from the lens of curriculum adoption and not from a more holistic view.  A more holistic view of SEL encompasses (a) supportive environments that are safe, predictable, inclusive, and proactive, (b) healthy relationships that cultivate belonging, (c) high quality teaching and learning of social and emotional competencies, and (d) student empowerment through voice, choice, and cultivating a sense of purpose. In this PLI workshop, attendees will learn about specific ingredients of an SEL recipe (environment, relationships, teaching & learning, and empowerment) as well as low-burden high impact practices associated with each ingredient.  

Inclusive Practices

Session Title: Culture as the Foundation of Inclusive Mindsets and Practices 

Facilitator: Dr. Kristin Brooks, Executive Director-Supporting Inclusive Practices 
•Bridgette Ealy, Program Support Specialist-Supporting Inclusive Practices 
•Kevin Schaefer, Director of Inclusive Practices -Supporting Inclusive Practices 

Session Description: 

Mindset can be the biggest barrier to inclusive and equitable systems, practices, and outcomes in our schools. This session will focus on how to create a positive culture of collective accountability by addressing the experiences, beliefs, and actions that inform our mindsets and ultimately our results.  
This PLI will be facilitated by leading experts in inclusion and equity from the Supporting Inclusive Practices team and include a panel discussion with members from the Rialto Unified School District experienced in building a culture, systems, and supports in the name of equity and inclusion: 
Together, they will lead participants through an exploration of their own mindsets, experiences and beliefs to help inform the necessary shifts in their local contexts. You will not want to miss this engaging start to the conference! 

Early Literacy

Session Title: Building Language Skills to Create a Positive Early Learning Environment 

Facilitator: Ernesto Rodriguez, Director of Early Childhood Scholastic Education Solutions 

Session Description: Join Ernesto Rodriguez, Scholastic’s Director of Early Childhood, for evidence-based practices that help accelerate young children’s language, literacy, and social emotional skill development. Participants will learn how to utilize purposeful serve-and-return conversation to help children acquire the social-emotional, oral language, and vocabulary skills they need to thrive in a positive classroom environment. 

Project-Based Learning

Session Title: 4 Questions Educators Should Be Asking 

Facilitator: Brad Severe, National Presenter speaking on Project-based Learning, Instructional Coaching, and Leadership 

Session Description: Grading practices, social and emotional learning, Dr. Hattie’s High Impact “Visible Learning” strategies, professional learning communities, multi-tiered systems of support, diversity equity and inclusion, literacy strategies, technology integration, the list of professional learning initiatives goes on and on. All of these initiatives are important for today’s schools, but how do leaders prioritize learning for students and prevent initiative fatigue for staff? 

International presenter and author Brad Sever will present a way to address this dilemma and show how to effectively integrate, connect, and sustain these important initiatives. Participants can expect an interactive workshop-style session and will be challenged with 4 key questions to take back to their schools to sustain authentic learning.