Social-Emotional Learning
May 8 @ 9:00 am – 3:15 pm

Leading and Learning Through SEL Implementation

In order for our students to achieve at their highest academic levels and be fully prepared for learning, living, and leading to their fullest potential, it is essential that they are placed at the center of education. Through the alignment of policy and practice, we can establish a Whole Child environment in which social emotional learning is fostered and developed.

In this full-day session, we’ll examine the five components of social emotional learning (SEL) and the academic benefits of a fully-aligned and integrated SEL culture. Participants will discuss and participate in activities that centers on critical considerations when embarking on SEL implementation.

Through experiential activities, attendees will explore four ways in which to integrate SEL into educational practices so that every classroom and building becomes a social, emotional, and academic learning community in which everyone feels included, valued, and accepted. Though deep dialogue after the activities, we will delve into the interpersonal aspects of SEL reflection.

Finally, participants will have an opportunity to begin conducting an SEL assessment to investigate areas of strength and opportunities for growth, resulting in a basis for a viable plan of action towards SEL implementation.

Join us for a day of deepening our commitment to student-centered educational practices, sharing high-quality resources, and assessing progress towards the goal of “Every Child, Every Day.”

Krista Leh, a 2012 ASCD Emerging Leader and founder/owner of Resonance Educational Consulting, began her career 20 years ago as a high school teacher, then as an instructional technology and curriculum coach. She co-developed a student leadership organization inspiring her to focus on social emotional learning. Since then, Krista has worked with educators in more than 25 states on SEL as well as diversity, equity, and access.

Krista holds a B.S. in education from The Pennsylvania State University and an M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from Kutztown University. In 2019, she will earn her Ed.D. in educational leadership from Lehigh University.

Registration Fee:  $195 for NHASCD Members; $245 for non-members

Register for this event

Collective Teacher Efficacy: Implications for School Leaders, Teachers & Instructional Coaches
Oct 9 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

What is it, specifically, that instructional leaders and teachers do to support and implement Collective Teacher Efficacy?  In this interactive and engaging session, participants will learn how teacher efficacy and clarity can make a significant difference to student learning.

Empirical studies have recognized teacher efficacy as a major predictor of teachers’ complete commitment to teaching – more powerful than self-concept, self-esteem, and perceived control.  Four seminal reviews of the impact of teacher efficacy by Ross (1998), Goddard et al. (2000), Labone (2004), and Hattie (2015) reveal consistent findings:  teachers who report a higher sense of efficacy, both individually and jobs, display greater effort and motivation, take on extra roles in their schools, and are more resilient across the span of their career.

According to Professor John Hattie (Visible Learning), Collective Teacher Efficacy ranks number one out of 200 influencers that impact student achievement and progress.  With an overall effect size of 1.39, simply stated, student achievement improves when teachers and leaders work together to make each other better!

This session includes design templates and other tools to acquire efficacy through disciplined collaboration and research-based instructional strategies.  Remember, Visible Learning is founded on evidence, not sacred cows.  Participants will examine effective instructional practices in order to determine the “collective impact” on student achievement and learning.

About Steve

Stephen Ventura is a Professional Development Associate for The Leadership and Learning Center. He is a highly motivational and knowledgeable speaker who approaches high stakes data collection and decision making armed with practical, research-based strategies.

He is a former elementary, middle, and high school teacher. His administrative experiences encompass those of assistant principal, principal, director, and superintendent.

In addition to his professional development work with teachers and administrators, Steve is also a frequent speaker at state and national conferences and has contributed to several books focused on teaching, learning, and leadership. Titles include Standards and Assessment: The Core of Quality Instruction (2011) and Activate: A Leader’s Guide to People, Practices, and Processes (2011).

Through his own reality-based experiences, Steve has inspired teachers and leaders across the nation to pursue higher levels of implementation with greater focus, rigor, and clarity. He has a strong moral aspect, intelligence, easy way with people, and saving a sense of humor that support him in his life and work.

Mr. Ventura resides in the small community of Templeton, Ca. He enjoys wakeboarding, racquetball, and reading.

Join Steve for an unforgettable session, and learn how to pursue higher levels of collective efficacy with greater focus, and clarity.

Check back for more information and registration access.

Hacking Assessment
Jan 14 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

“What’s my grade? What’s it worth? Is there extra credit? Is this for a mark?” It’s time to shift the conversation.

In this interactive workshop, learn the ways classroom teachers and administrators can adjust current practices to be a more inclusive, student-centered experience.  With reflection, self-assessment, and feedback, the conversation in the classroom can change to be one that is more than a grade on a piece of paper, but rather one that is about growth.

Shifting the Assessment Mindset

Participants will explore their beliefs and values around assessment. By reviewing current practices, participants will shift their practice to a more inclusive, student-centered experience. This part of the workshop will also address stakeholder buy-in and a basic understanding of formative assessment through project-based learning. This also includes other assessment peripheries like extra credit, late work, homework and other compliance measures that don’t aid in assessment for learning.

Rebrand Assignments as Learning Experiences

Rather than just make an assignment to have a grade to put in the grade book, each learning experience should provide multiple pathways to learning where student voice and choice are highlighted in the experience of learning. Participants will take assignments they currently use and rebrand them into deeper, more memorable learning experiences that will target very specific learning outcomes.

Teach Reflection!

At the heart of learning is reflection, the metacognitive process that allows us to dig deeper into the understanding of what we know and can do and what we continue to need practice with. Teaching students to be reflective in their practice will go a long way to helping classroom teachers be more effective in their instructional practices. In this portion, participants will learn what excellent standards-based reflection looks like and how to help students enrich their meta-cognitive practices. Educators will learn to scaffold the process and learn to embed reflection for better student learning and teacher feedback.

Teach Students to Self-Assess

Grading is the most laborious part of being an educator and too often we get it wrong. If we can engage students in a meaningful way in the process, think about how much more useful our communication of learning can be. In this portion of the day, participants will learn how to bring students into the assessment process. We will talk about co-creation of rubrics and success criteria and how to get students to look more objectively at their own learning on a mastery scale.

Defending learning with Student-led Portfolio Conferences

Report cards are but a snapshot and by the time parents see them, they are usually obsolete. Portfolios is a far more productive and meaningful way for students to express their growth as learners and for schools to communicate progress. In this workshop, we will discuss the steps to building successful portfolios: collection, selection, reflection, and connection. First participants will learn to teach students what to collect and why, how to select their examples of learning, how to write reflectively about growth and then connect the learning across contents.

About the Presenter

Starr Sackstein started her teaching career at Far Rockaway High School in the early 2000s, eager to make a difference. Quickly learning to connect with students, she was able to recognize the most important part of teaching: building relationships. Fostering relationships with students and peers to encourage community growth and a deeper understanding of personal contribution through reflection, she has continued to elevate her students by putting them at the center of the learning.

Sackstein worked as the Director of Humanities (Business, English, Library, Reading, Social Studies and World Languages) in West Hempstead, New York. While in her first year of leadership, she completed her advanced leadership certification at SUNY New Paltz. Taking what she learned in classes and applying her classroom leadership to a team of teachers, Sackstein was able to start growing as a new school leader, building relationships and demonstrating the kind of leadership she would have liked from her own past administrators. It was from this experience that she wrote From Teacher to Leader: Finding Your Way as a First-Time Leader Without Losing Your Mind.

Prior to her leadership role, Sackstein was a Teacher Center teacher and ELA teacher at Long Island City High School in New York. She also spent nine years at World Journalism Preparatory School in Flushing, New York, as a high school English and journalism teacher where her students ran the multimedia news outlet In 2011, the Dow Jones News Fund honored Starr as a Special Recognition Adviser, and in 2012, Education Update recognized her as an outstanding educator. In her current position, Sackstein has thrown out grades, teaching students learning isn’t about numbers, but about the development of skills and the ability to articulate growth.

In 2012, Sackstein tackled National Board Certification in an effort to reflect on her practice and grow as an educational English facilitator. After a year of close examination of her work with students, she achieved the honor. She is also a certified Master Journalism Educator through the Journalism Education Association (JEA). Sackstein also served as the New York State Director to JEA from 2010-2016, helping advisers in New York enhance journalism programs.

She is the author of Teaching Mythology Exposed: Helping Teachers Create Visionary Classroom Perspective, Blogging for Educators, Teaching Students to Self-Assess: How Do I Help Students Grow as Learners?, The Power of Questioning: Opening Up the World of Student Inquiry, Hacking Assessment: 10 Ways to Go Gradeless in a Traditional Grades School and Hacking Homework: 10 Strategies That Inspire Learning Outside of the Classroom co-written with Connie Hamilton. Starr has published Peer Feedback in the Classroom: Empower Students to be the Experts with the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). Sackstein has published From Teacher to Leader: Finding Your Way as a First-Time Leader without Losing Your Mind in 2019 (DBC). In 2020, Sackstein co-authored Hacking Learning Centers in Grades 6-12: Teaching Choice and Providing Small Group Learning Opportunities in Content Rich Classes with Karen Terwilliger. Sackstein has also contributed to compilation works in 2017 and 2018: Education Write Now edited by Jeff Zoul and Joe Mazza and “What Educators Do Differently” with Routledge. Her most recent contribution is in Ungrading: Foundations, Models, Practices, Reflections which is currently in press for release with the West Virginia University Press in 2020.

She blogged on Education Week Teacher at “Work in Progress” where she discussed all aspects of being a teacher and education reform for five years ending in 2019. She has made the Bammy Awards finals for Secondary High School Educator in 2014 and for blogging in 2015. At speaking engagements around the world, Starr speaks about blogging, journalism education, bring your own device, and throwing out grades, which was also highlighted in a recent TedxTalk entitled “A Recovering Perfectionist’s Journey to Give up Grades.” In 2016, she was named one of ASCD’s Emerging Leaders.

In recent years, Sackstein has spoken internationally in Canada, Dubai and South Korea on a variety of topics from assessment reform to technology-enhanced language instruction.

Most recently, Sackstein began consulting full time with the Core Collaborative, working with teams on assessment reform and bringing student voice to the front of all classroom learning. It is through her affiliation with the Core Collaborative that Sackstein became the publisher with Mimi and Todd Press, helping other authors share their voices around making an impact for students. The first publication she worked on was Belonging Through a Culture of Dignity: The Keys to Successful Equity Implementation by Dr. Floyd Cobb and John J. Krownapple.

Balancing a busy career of writing and educating with being Mom to high schooler Logan is a challenging adventure. Seeing the world through his eyes reminds her why education needs to change for every child.

Rounding out her family is her husband Charlie who is a mindfulness and meditation coach, as well as a personal trainer which comes in handy for being conscious of self-care. Together they travel the world bringing harmony to each other’s lives.

Starr can be reached at or via Twitter at @MsSackstein. She can also be found at