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Your vision is to change the world—one child at a time. It's our vision, too. That's why ASCD empowers you to help your students develop essential skills that extend beyond memorizing geographical locations and calculating square roots. While these skills are important, we believe that supporting the whole child requires engaging students to prepare them for navigating their careers, contributing to their communities, and identifying their interests.
Our primary focus is on transformational leadership, global engagement, poverty and equity, redefining student success, and teaching and learning—the components you need to help advance student achievement and support them holistically.
In the coming weeks we'll add a sampling of actual ASCD Empower17 sessions to each area of focus.
All educators want to improve the work they do for students, their families, and the community. Whether it's instruction, school climate, leadership, family engagement, or any of the other issues schools face on a daily basis, all educators need tools to help them improve their actions and methods. A whole child approach sets the standard for comprehensive, sustainable school improvement and provides for long-term student success. See related topics.
Whole Child for the Whole World: The Next 10 Years
Saturday, March 25, from 8:00–9:00 a.m.
2017 marks the 10-year anniversary of ASCD’s Whole Child approach, a driving force in promoting well-rounded, holistic education. This year, we are launching Whole Child for the Whole World, a global movement to reaffirm a focus on children’s needs and to help develop generations of young people who see themselves as stewards and citizens of the world in which we live. Come to this session to learn how to support the whole child and how to strengthen this vision and movement.
Building Bridges Across the Autism Spectrum
Sunday, March 26, from 3:00–4:00 p.m.
Successful inclusive programming for students on the autism spectrum depends on collaborative partnership and continuity between parents and educators, yet the two often find themselves at odds. This session explores both perspectives candidly and offers strategies for fostering a cohesive, collaborative, inclusive environment and optimizing outcomes across the educational community.
Educating Each Child: Designing for Integrated, Individualized Learning Opportunities
Monday, March 27, from 1:00–2:00 p.m.
School design influences student behavior, development, and academic performance. This session will give a dynamic overview of three key tenets of school design that can support the development of the whole child and provide examples of how these tenets have been implemented successfully to help students reach their full potential.
See more sessions
Whether you're currently in a leadership role or aspire to be in one, you're ready to take on new challenges. From creating a positive school culture, to effectively using data, to leading professional learning, you see things as they could be, not as they are. Discover support for the many facets of your role—visionary, engager, learner, collaborator, and instructional leader. See related topics.
Leading with Focus and "Simplexity" in Your School
Saturday, March 25, from 1:00–2:30 p.m.
Doing one or two important things well is better than doing many things poorly. Yet many school leaders create hyper-complex plans that accomplish very little. In this session, you’ll learn to find "elegant simplicity" within the complexity of school improvement research. Participants will clarify their work through key leverage points and take away practical next steps to help do the right things right.
Professional Learning and Partnerships: Developing and Nurturing Skillful School Leaders
Sunday, March 26, from 8:00–9:30 a.m.
William Kennedy and Pam Robbins
The greatest difficulty facing many school districts is the need for a new generation of highly qualified principals, capable of enhancing each school’s capacity to meet diverse student needs. Attend this session to learn about a successful leadership academy, designed to prepare and provide ongoing support to a district's new principals.
Transformational Schools Need Transformational Leaders
Monday, March 27, from 8:00–9:00 a.m.
The expectations for an education leader in schools today are greater than ever. Through his experiences in district leadership as well as coaching other education leaders, the presenter will share seven key findings in practices to challenge others in transforming their leadership practices to maximize learning for all students. He will share research-based practices to show where strategies failed and how to learn from them.
Today's students require the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to participate as citizens in a global society. In addition to being actively engaged in learning, students need to understand their connection to their communities and the world at large. Develop the intercultural competence to expand your curriculum beyond a textbook and learn about promising practices and topics of concern to educators worldwide. See related topics.
Global Fluency: A New Approach to Leveraging the Global Diversity of Your School Community
Patrick Terrien and Brad Gosche
Are your classroom and school becoming increasingly globally diverse? How are families from varied cultural backgrounds engaged to participate best in their students’ education and be fully active in the school community? Through hands-on, practical experiences; simulations; and a theoretical framework for culture, the presenters will cultivate a skills tool kit and demonstrate how to leverage the global nature of our communities to enrich and engage the experiences of teachers, students, and families alike.
Global Impact: Empowering Students Through Service Learning
Engaging students as innovative solution seekers has tremendous influence on both academic and social learning. Through service learning, students commit to a shared purpose that connects meaningful experiences with curricular content. Explore how educators can link student-led community outreach to relevant, engaging learning experiences that foster collaboration and creative problem-solving while building a culture of empowered voices that can change the world.
Developing Global Leadership in Education
Education in many parts of the world is restricted and isolated. Engagement of educators globally to propose better educational practices is needed. Leadership roles in classrooms and in schools are well defined, but there should be global engagement of leaders. Considering education as a global asset can bring educators closer and will help them understand the problems and their solutions.
Each and every student needs and deserves a safe, challenging, and supportive learning environment—especially students who have special needs, cultural or language differences, or live in poverty. Understanding the full impact of inequities is the first step to creating healthy environments, supportive schools, and targeted instruction that helps all of your students engage in meaningful opportunities to expand their learning and heighten their achievement. See related topics.
Leading an Inclusive School: Access & Success for All
Saturday, March 25, from 1:00–2:00 p.m.
Richard Villa and Jacqueline Thousand
In this session, the presenters will introduce the "Schoolhouse Model" to illustrate how differentiated instruction and creative problem solving, co-teaching, a multitiered system of academic and behavioral supports, and administrative leadership interface to foster positive, inclusive classrooms and schools in which all students access and experience success in the general education curriculum. Participants will explore rationales for, characteristics of, and organizational and instructional strategies supportive of inclusive schooling.
Innovative Ways to Involve and Empower Spanish-Speaking Parents
Sunday, March 26, from 8:00–9:03 a.m.
In this session, learn how educators in the presenter’s award-winning school engage parents who speak limited or no English in a variety of workshops, focus walks, conferences, and more. These activities have shown benefits, including an increase in student achievement. Take away templates and samples to increase engagement in your own school or district.
It Worked! Innovations That Helped Turn Around Our Urban High School
Monday, March 27, from 1:00–2:30 p.m.
Susan Kessler, April Snodgrass, and Bradley Meyers
In this session led by an ASCD 2011 OYEA Honoree and turnaround principal, participants will learn how an urban school with 86 percent of students who are economically disadvantaged uses a variety of innovative techniques to engage students, improve equity, and ultimately advance student achievement, resulting in stunning improvement gains.
You want to help your students succeed in school and in life. By expanding the notion of student success, and moving it beyond a metric governed by test scores, authentic assessment puts the emphasis on student understanding. By providing school cultures that emphasize life skills and attending to their social-emotional development, you can support students as they learn to take appropriate ownership of their learning. See related topics.
Urban Cowboys: True Grit
Alecia Bell, Kasana Reeves, Hermethia Haynes, Virginia Stevens, Adria Jones
How could the lowest-performing neighborhood school in the Houston ISD move from Improvement Required (IR) to receiving magnet status in one year? Engage with the leadership team of the Hartsfield Elementary/Animal and Environmental Sciences Magnet as we share our story. Walk away with tools for empowering stakeholders through campuswide systems, restorative practices, and the growth mindset.
Planning Team-Based Intervention and Measuring Progress for Students Who Need Support
Sunday, March 26, from 8:00–9:00 a.m.
Lee Ann Jung
One of the greatest challenges teachers face is differentiation and support of students who are behind grade level. In this session, participants will learn about a practical intervention planning and measurement process that teams of educators can use with any student who is behind grade level. Participants will learn about Student Growth Works, an online platform designed to support this process.
Assessment for Learning: Putting Students at the Center
In this interactive session, district and school leaders will demonstrate how to put students at the center of assessment practices that support the four Cs (critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity). They will also share lessons learned from two EdLeader21 initiatives—a 40-district performance assessment collaborative and the student-led assessment NIC (Networked Improvement Community) involving 10 districts across Virginia.
You understand the impact of effective teaching. Consistently, the most important school-based factors affecting academic success are the classroom teacher and the school principal. Enhance your skills through differentiated instruction, the FIT Teaching® approach, the Understanding by Design® framework, and more. See related topics.
Teaching Students to Drive Their Brains: Metacognitive Strategies and Lesson Ideas
Discover how the Wilson and Conyers "drive your brain" framework for teaching with and for metacognition can be applied to help students reach higher academic levels and develop a growth mindset. Participants will apply practical strategies for guiding students of all ages to wield powerful cognitive tools such as practical optimism, selective attention, working memory, self-monitoring, and finishing power across a variety of settings.
Beyond Batman: Using Nonfiction Graphic Novels as Serious Texts
Over the past decade, there’s been an explosion of both literary and nonfiction texts in graphic novel form. Many teachers see students reading graphic novels, but aren’t sure how to approach these books to engage students across the literacy spectrum. Learn how to select texts and avoid pitfalls, and gain hands-on strategies to ease graphic novels into your classroom.
Knock, Knock: Exploring Laughter to Empower Leadership and Learning
Eric Bernstein and Fred Ende
Studies have shown that humor can be effective in building a positive climate and culture. However, the wrong types of humor can have the opposite effect. The presenters will model the use of laughter for leadership and learning while engaging participants in a dialogue about effective styles of humor and issues of power, privilege, and positionality.
On-site registrations and one-day registrations are available!
Attendees must be 18 years of age or older to attend ASCD Empower17 and the Pre-Conference Institutes.
Special Announcement: ASCD's 2017 General Membership Election closes April 30.
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Sponsorship opportunities are available.
February 10, 2017
Last day for
Early-Bird Hotel Discounts
March 13, 2017
Last day for
Making Hotel Reservations