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Wednesday, May 25th, 2016
10:45 AM - 11:45 AM: Breakout Session Group 1 (:60)
Session Title: National Best Practices for Special Education in Charter Schools
Session Track: College & Career Readiness
As public schools and Local Education Agencies (LEAs), NJ charter schools need to be effective in meeting the needs of students with disabilities. This session will focus on promising practices from across the country modeled by schools, networks and authorizers who are doing this work well. The presenters are national experts as well as NJ leaders and educators who are engaged in helping students with disabilities access and thrive in charter schools.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Paul O'Neill, Partner, Cohen, Schneider & O'Neill LLP
Co-Presenters:
Mr. Zachary Maher, Program Associate, Newark Charter School Fund
Room: Fairmount Park
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Integrating Coaching and Cohort Learning to Increase Leader Impact
Session Track: School Leadership
Leveraging Leaders and Schools That Can, with generous support from the Walton Family Foundation, partnered to offer the Leadership Impact Fellow Program (LIF) to NYC schools. The LIF program develops emerging leaders by integrating differentiated coaching with intensive cohort learning experiences. We'll share how we achieved positive outcomes, the lessons we learned and what we're doing next. Participants will contemplate and discuss how they can apply and adapt these practices to strengthen their own school communities.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Karen Drezner, Founder and CEO, Leveraging Leaders
Room: Traymore B/C
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: The School to Prison Pipeline
Session Track: Advocacy / Law / Policy
Children in economically depressed communities are often at the greatest risk of low achievement and are often stuck in under-funded and overcrowded schools. Too often, students are suspended, expelled or arrested. This response to bad behavior leads these children out of school and back to the environment that is often the origin of the problem. Join these social justice panelists in a conversation about how to cut off this pipeline.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Donna Siminski, Director of Policy & Advocacy, NJCSA
Co-Presenters:
Mr. Wallace Custis MHS, Program Director, Volunteers of America Delaware Valley Face Forward 2
Mr. LaVar Young, Newark City Director, Black Alliance for Educational Options
Dr. Lynette Tannis, Author, "Educating Incarcerated Youth"
Mr. Sean Lloyd, Assoc Dir, Service Learning, The Paul Freire Charter School
Room: Tivoli Garden
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Moving Up the Bloom's Taxonomy Ladder with Guided Reading
Session Track: Use of Data
This session will explore the benefits of using data to employ small-group reading instruction in every classroom. Discussion will include when it is necessary to conduct guided reading and when it is appropriate to let go and allow students to productively struggle. Discussions will address how moving up the Bloom's ladder will guarantee purposeful, rigorous instruction.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Christina Roman, ELA Program Director, iLearn Schools, Inc.
Room: Berkshire Garden
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Private Exchanges: Bringing Benefits Administration Into the Next Century
Session Track: Operations / Governance
Administration of an employee benefits plan has become more difficult for everyone involved. We will introduce participants to Private Exchanges. Enrollment, plan selection, financial advice and additional benefits all online. This is of considerable interest to millennial employees who prefer online and mobile tools. The administration team will enjoy fewer requests for benefit advice and automatically generated enrollment reports. No longer will there be a manual enrollment form. Educational tools will be available to all participants.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Brian Reilly, Senior Account Executive, Centric Benefits Consulting
Room: Central Park
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: The Cans & The Furious: The Hands-on Science Experiment that Allows Multi-grade Leveled Students to Learn Through Exploration and Discovery
Session Track: College & Career Readiness
Come, learn how to incorporate science exploration and discovery through multi-grade level interactions. We will teach you how easy it is to implement a hands-on science experiment between elementary and middle school students. Gear up for a 5-can race and step into the shoes of your students.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Patricia Fartura, Teacher, Maria L. Varisco Rogers Charter School
Co-Presenters:
Mrs. Jennifer Gentile, Teacher, Maria L. Varisco Rogers Charter School
Ms. Emily Manser, Teacher, Maria L. Varisco Rogers Charter School
Ms. Jessica Harkness, Teacher, Maria L. Varisco Rogers Charter School
Room: Marlborough B/C
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: The 12 Facility Planning Mistakes Every Charter School Makes (And How to Avoid Them)
Session Track: Operations / Governance
Undertaking a facility development, acquisition, or construction project for your permanent school home is a BIG deal. And most charter founders and boards do it only once (if at all). This session will show you the 12 most common -- and often devastating -- mistakes schools make in their planning. Participants will leave with the practical tools to avoid these mistakes.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Patrick Beausoleil, Vice President of Business Development, HighMark School Development
Room: Lincoln Park
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Labor Strategies for New Jersey Charter Schools
Session Track: Advocacy / Law / Policy
There is a growing trend of campaigns in New Jersey to organize charter school employees into teacher unions. This may be a particular threat to the mission of charter schools, which by law have heightened accountability and innovation requirements. This workshop will address proactive strategies to prevent union organizing, the laws related to organizing and collective bargaining, and, should a union form, labor relation strategies to preserve the mission-focus of the school and performance accountability.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Thomas Johnston Esq., Principal, Johnston Law Firm, LLC
Room: Monticello Park
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
10:45 AM - 12:45 PM: Breakout Session Group 2 (2:00)
Session Title: How to Use the Common Core Standards to Help Students Succeed
Session Track: College & Career Readiness
In this two-hour interactive session, we will analyze the trajectory of a key literacy standard and practice a highly effective technique for unpacking standards to strengthen lesson planning and instruction. This session will provide an array of tools that you can use right away to support students in reading, writing, speaking, and listening at every level.
Lead Presenter: Dr. Sarah Tantillo, Consultant, Sarah Tantillo, Ed.D., LLC
Room: Longwood Garden
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Charting Your Future with Flair: Using Innovative Learning Processes for College and Beyond
Session Track: College & Career Readiness
Looking for career and college preparatory activities and materials personalized for your students? If so, this extended, two-hour, career-college prep workshop is for you! You will leave this interactive workshop with a Personal Learning Profile; a graphic organizer displaying your True North; and a personalized set of strategies that specifically guide you (as a unique learner) in completing college-level assignments using critical thinking, critical reading, and critical writing.
Lead Presenter: Dr. Christine Johnston, Founder and Lead Researcher, Let Me Learn
Room: Marlborough A
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Cultivating Confident, Caring Students through Creative Challenges
Session Track: College & Career Readiness
Educators will explore ways of making science meaningful through problem-based learning. We will address how to craft challenges that engage students in course content using case studies and the engineering design method, as well as how to navigate potential pitfalls of implementing such challenges. Educators will participate in a science-based design challenge -- be prepared to get your hands dirty! -- and then break out into content area groups to begin brainstorming their own challenges.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Jennifer Pfaff, Teacher of Environmental Science, STEMCivics Charter School of Trenton
Room: Traymore A
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM: Breakout Session Group 3 (:60)
Session Title: Advocacy: Building Strong Community Engagement
Session Track: Advocacy / Law / Policy
Grassroots advocacy and community engagement is an approach to shaping advocacy from the ground up, from the people directly impacted. As school leaders, teachers or trustees, you play a critical role in supporting these efforts and encouraging your school's families to become involved. Attendees will learn how to engage with local elected officials, conduct school tours, involve the parent community by attending lobby days and meeting with legislators, and engaging through social media.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Tim White, Vice President, River Crossing Strategy Group
Co-Presenters:
Mr. Nihat Guvercin, CEO, iLearn Schools, Inc.
Ms. Donna Siminski, Director of Policy & Advocacy, NJCSA
Mr. Muhammed Akil, Executive Director, Parent Coalition for Excellent Education (PC2E)
Room: Traymore A
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: A Very Private Struggle: What Happens for Teachers in Classrooms
Session Track: Operations / Governance
This workshop is for you if you find that after school you are drained and need to take a nap, or if you had a child in your class who left you exasperated and feeling like a failure. Through discussions, participants will explore the emotional dynamics of classroom life as they impact teachers and interfere with the teaching/learning process. The facilitators want to learn about your struggles and successes and share theirs with you. This class is limited to 12 participants.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Samantha Berman, Teacher/Manager, Soaring Heights Charter School
Co-Presenters:
Ms. Joanna D'Auria-Prokop, Teacher/Manager, Soaring Heights Charter School
Room: Monticello Park
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: 21st-Century Skills and Career Success
Session Track: College & Career Readiness
All learners need and deserve 21st-century learning opportunities to thrive as tomorrow's leaders, workers, and citizens. A profound gap exists between the knowledge and skills most students learn in school and the knowledge and skills they need for success in their communities and workplaces. This session will provide information about what career readiness looks like, and how to prepare your students for workplace success.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Christy Tighe, Education and Training Specialist, Junior Achievement of New Jersey
Room: Central Park
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Using Data to Drive Instruction
Session Track: Use of Data
Using student learning data efficiently with interim assessments and conducting follow-up data-analysis meetings with re-teaching classes can make the desired academic improvements in schools. This method not only helps day-to-day instructions in class, but also supports RTI services and necessary curriculum developments. This workshop offers showing a best practice of how data-driven instruction is implemented in a charter school recognized as "Reward School" by NJDOE.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Tarkan Topcuoglu, Chief Education Officer, Central Jersey College Prep Charter School
Co-Presenters:
Mrs. Dana Ahmuty, Curriculum Supervisor, Central Jersey College Prep Charter School
Room: Berkshire Garden
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Creative Facility Financing for Charter Schools
Session Track: Operations / Governance
Charter schools face a variety of facilities challenges at each stage of growth. Presenters will highlight how Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are well positioned to support school facility needs from start-up through expansion and maturity. Panelists will provide an overview of CDFI loan products, including long-term financing and New Markets Tax Credits.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Abigail Suarez, Business Development Officer, Capital Impact Partners
Co-Presenters:
Ms. Molly Melloh, Director, K-12 Education, The Reinvestment Fund
Mr. Sajan Philip, Deputy Director, Central Region and Washington DC, Low Income Investment Fund
Mr. Joseph Palazzolo, Lending Team Leader, Education & Early Care, NJ Community Capital
Room: Longwood Garden
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Nuts and Bolts of Section 504 and Student Discipline
Session Track: Advocacy / Law / Policy
Led by two school law attorneys, this session will provide school leaders and instructional staff with a fundamental understanding and analysis of a charter school's legal obligations under Section 504 regarding eligibility for and development of a Section 504 plan. This session will also address rules and regulations pertaining to student discipline with a focus on disciplining students with disabilities.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Sanu Dev Esq., Attorney, Capehart Scatchard
Co-Presenters:
Mr. Joseph Betley Esq., Attorney, Capehart Scatchard
Room: Lincoln Park
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Building Blocks for a Successful School
Session Track: School Leadership
The session will focus on the strategies that led to one charter school going from three consecutive years of not meeting AYP to three consecutive years of meeting it. These same strategies formed the foundation of a new charter school now completing its second year.
Lead Presenter: Dr. Leigh Byron, Founder and Head of School, STEMCivics
Room: Tivoli Garden
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
2:30 PM - 4:30 PM: Breakout Session Group 4 (2:00)
Session Title: Next Generation Science Standards in a K-8 Classroom
Session Track: College & Career Readiness
Next Generation Science Standards is now a reality in New Jersey. This two-hour workshop will focus on these standards in light of K-8 Inquiry and Engineering Design. Specific attention will be paid to the 5E's model: Engage, Explain, Explore, Extend, and Evaluate. Participants will engage in hands-on demonstrations, group work, and making and using video to enhance science.
Lead Presenter: Dr. Joseph Conway, Chief School Administrator, Camden's Charter School Network
Room: Marlborough A
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Doing More for Students by Doing Less for Students
Session Track: College & Career Readiness
Why are many urban youth unsuccessful in college and the workplace? Because traditional K-12 instructional practices set them up for failure. Too much emphasis on content, too little emphasis on character. Too much spoon-feeding. Too much hand-holding. This interactive two-hour session features teaching practices that cultivate self-reliance, persistence, and other keys to post-secondary success. You'll leave empowered to help students unlearn learned helplessness, take ownership of their learning, and learn independently and collaboratively.
Lead Presenter: Mr. David Ginsburg, Instructional Coach and Consultant, Ginsburg Educational Consulting & Coaching, LLC
Co-Presenters:
Ms. Erin Rooney, Instructional Coach and Consultant, Ginsburg Educational Consulting & Coaching, LLC
Ms. Alison Stumacher, Instructional Coach and Consultant, Ginsburg Educational Consulting & Coaching, LLC
Room: Marlborough B/C
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
3:15 PM - 4:15 PM: Breakout Session Group 5 (:60)
Session Title: Advanced Issues in Complying with the HIB Laws: How to Protect Your School from Legal Challenges Brought by Students, Staff & School Volunteers
Session Track: Advocacy / Law / Policy
This session will examine the New Jersey's Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act. The legal challenges brought against schools by families, school employees and school volunteers continue to grow. This interactive presentation will address the hot issues surrounding Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying ("HIB"), discuss the errors that schools are making, and give advice on how to avoid them.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Susan Hodges Esq, Partner, Schwartz Simon Edelstein & Celso LLC
Co-Presenters:
Mr. Richard Wilson, Founder/ Lead Administrator CEO, Benjamin Banneker Preparatory Charter School
Mr. John Geppert Jr, Esq., Partner, Schwartz Simon Edelsetin & Celso LLC
Room: Tivoli Garden
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: 'Gettin' Messi': Turning Wrong Answers Into Brilliant Mistakes
Session Track: College & Career Readiness
Imagine the stress and anxiety you'd feel if every wrong answer is seen as a judgement of your ability. What if, instead, every wrong answer is seen as an opportunity to grow and develop? In this session, Keith Robinson, winner of TNTP's Fishman Prize for Superlative Classroom Practice, will describe how to forge a classroom culture that values hard work over natural ability and celebrates the brilliant mistakes that are the hallmark of true learning.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Keith Robinson, Assistant School Leader in Residence, People's Prep Charter School
Co-Presenters:
Mr. Alex Wheelock, 11th Grade Team Leader, People's Prep Charter School
Room: Berkshire Garden
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Equity in Admissions
Session Track: Operations / Governance
As public schools, charters have the privilege and the challenge of serving a broad range of students. This session will focus on policy considerations and practical techniques for educating students with disabilities, English Language Learners and other special populations. We will focus on fostering positive outcomes and equity.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Paul O'Neill, Partner, Cohen, Schneider & O'Neill LLP
Co-Presenters:
Ms. Renita Thukral, Partner, Civil Rights Solutions
Mr. Harry Lee, Director, NJDOE Office of Charter Schools
Room: Fairmount Park
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Facility Financing, Leasing and Ownership: The Next Step
Session Track: Operations / Governance
Your school has transitioned beyond the start-up phase and is now a smooth operating entity. The financing market, today, is more advantageous to charter schools. What happened? Listen to an insider panel of experts with long-standing experience in the New Jersey charter school market discuss financing options and how equity issues can weigh in on decision making. Formation of "Friends of" organizations vs legal issues that affect charters and not BOE's. What have some schools done in the past and what is now available? Learn the history of charter school facility financing in New Jersey from the people who created the market.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Morton Marks, BA/Technology Director, Hoboken Charter School
Co-Presenters:
Mr. Joseph Palazzolo, Lending Team Leader, Education & Early Care, NJ Community Capital
Mr. Paul Clancy, Director, Municipal Finance Dept., RBC Capital Markets
Mr. Brian Keenan, President, Build with Purpose
Room: Longwood Garden
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: How to Use Technology to Succeed on PARCC Exams
Session Track: College & Career Readiness
In this session, you will learn how to incorporate a Learning Management System (LMS), digital curriculum, Chromebooks, one-to-one iPads, and Kindles to help prepare students for the PARCC.

This session will also include guidance that schools can follow, including helpful tips regarding infrastructure, high-speed connectivity, and NJTRAx digital compliance.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Nihat Guvercin, CEO, iLearn Schools, Inc.
Co-Presenters:
Mr. Yasin Demir, Chief Innovation Officer, iLearn Schools, Inc.
Room: Lincoln Park
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Avoiding Crisis through Policy and Procedures
Session Track: Advocacy / Law / Policy
It is important to have clear and easy-to-interpret policies/procedures that will keep your school current with law, provide guidance to the administration, and limit schools' civil liability. Attendees will be shown how to develop & review the life cycle of policies/procedures, and the importance of an annual review. Attendees will also be given samples and shown ways to keep current with law.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Lou Schimenti, Product and Services Specialist, New Jersey School Boards Association
Room: Central Park
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM: Breakout Session Group 6 (:60)
Session Title: Utilizing Data for Both Teacher & Student Development & Accountability: Spark the Matchbook Data Ecosystem
Session Track: Use of Data
This session will focus on the collection and utilization of data. The data collected and presented through the Matchbook Learning platform will demonstrate first how to personalize and maximize instruction for students, then how to utilize data to support, develop, and guide school personnel including teachers and school leaders.
Lead Presenter: Dr. Amy Swann, Chief Learning Officer, Matchbook Learning
Co-Presenters:
Ms. Tiffany McAfee, Director of Personalized Instruction, Merit Prep - Matchbook Learning School
Mr. Laurance Specht, Director of Personalized Instruction, Merit Prep - Matchbook Learning School
Room: Longwood Garden
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: R.E.I.D. to Learn: Research. Examine. Investigate. Design.
Session Track: College & Career Readiness
What exactly are the skills that prepare students to be college- and career-ready in all subject areas? Learn how to develop active and authentic student-centered learning experiences that engage students to R.E.I.D. to Learn: read and research to build background knowledge; examine, experiment with and explain concepts and content; investigate and inquire to extend learning; and, design to develop and demonstrate talent and thinking.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Erik Francis M.Ed., M.S., ASCD Author / Professional Education Specialist, Maverik Education LLC
Room: Central Park
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: How Charters Can Benefit from the Larger Choice Movement
Session Track: Operations / Governance
The New Jersey education establishment is clearly committed to fighting educational choices that they don't control, and they make that clear every year with millions of dollars of campaign contributions and advertising. Meanwhile, the school choice movement in New Jersey has been fighting with a fractured army. The NJSchoolChoice.com initiative seeks to re-frame the debate around parental rights to a quality education generally, as a strategy to win more support and foster more great schools.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Bob Bowdon, Executive Director, Choice Media
Room: Tivoli Garden
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Engineer Your World: Integrating Engineering Design, Computational Thinking, and 21st-Century Skills
Session Track: College & Career Readiness
Discover Engineer Your World, a project-based engineering course that enables high school students to earn university credit from a national top-10 college of engineering. Engineer Your World aligns with the NGSS for engineering, fosters computational thinking and 21st-century skills, and builds engineering career awareness. Learn about the curriculum and teacher support, engage in discussion with an experienced Engineer Your World teacher, and explore funding opportunities to offset start-up costs.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Cheryl Farmer, Program Director, Engineer Your World, The University of Texas at Austin
Co-Presenters:
Mr. Colin Shallcross, Science Teacher, METS Charter School
Room: Lincoln Park
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Developing and Maintaining a Charter School Policy and Regulation Manual
Session Track: Operations / Governance
This session will discuss how a charter school can develop a policy and regulation manual and how to keep it up-to-date. The presentation will discuss the components of an effective and organized manual; the legal authority for designing school policies and regulations; and the difference between mandated, recommended, and suggested policies.
Lead Presenter: Dr. Philip Nicastro Esq., Vice-President, Strauss Esmay Associates, LLP
Room: Marlborough A
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Thursday, May 26th, 2016
9:00 AM - 3:30 PM: Charter Board Institute
Session Title: Charter Board Institute
Session Track: Operations / Governance
NJCSA's Second Annual Charter Board Institute is designed to place both prospective and sitting trustees on the path towards excellence in charter school governance. Our experienced presenters and partners bring a wealth of expertise in public education, school development and operations, education law and policy, and organizational sustainability. The Institute will be a valuable first step towards mastering the complexities of charter school governance and understanding the social context in which we operate. The Institute was developed in collaboration with the National Charter Schools Institute, a well-established organization that supports charter school boards around the country. NOTE: This session runs from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm, with a break for lunch in the exhibit hall & the plenary session.
Lead Presenter: Dr. James Goenner, President & CEO, National Charter Schools Institute
Co-Presenters:
Mr. Rick Pressler, Director of School Services, NJCSA
Dr. Darlene Chambers, Sr VP, Programs & Services, National Charter Schools Institute
Mr. Don Cooper, VP, Policy & Communications, National Charter Schools Institute
Mr. Riley Justis, VP, Performance & Technology, National Charter Schools Institute
Room: Traymore A
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM: Breakout Session Group 7 (:60)
Session Title: The 3 Ways of Accessing a Charter School Facility & the 8 Ways of Financing It
Session Track: School Leadership
During this interactive session, charter school stakeholders will work in teams to develop an understanding of critical issues, timelines, and available resources to navigate the complex process of finding, leasing, buying and/or building a charter school facility.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Tiny McLaughlin, SVP, Charter School Facilities Finance, Ziegler Investment Banking
Co-Presenters:
Mr. Achikam Yogev, Senior VP, Colliers International
Room: Longwood Garden
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Charter School Labor and Employee Relations
Session Track: Operations / Governance
Over the past few years there has been a concerted effort to unionize charter schools in New Jersey. This session will cover various legal and employee relations, implications of potential unionization, and unionization itself. Come, learn how the unionization process works in New Jersey, how the school can react to a unionization drive, and the what must happen in the event that the charter school is unionized.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Patrick Duncan Esq., Manager, Labor Relations, New Jersey School Boards Association
Room: Tivoli Garden
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Career and Technical Education Information Session
Session Track: College & Career Readiness
Many NJ charter high schools focus on career and technical areas, but may not be aware of relevant Career and Technical Education (CTE) information, including the resources available through the NJ DOE's Office of Career Readiness. This session aims to familiarize secondary charter schools with the Federal Carl D. Perkins Act, as well as the available opportunities for engaging a diverse population of students and developing quality programs for students to earn college credit.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Maria Casale, Planning Associate 3, NJDOE Office of Career Readiness
Co-Presenters:
Ms. Sharon Fleming, Education Planning Development Specialist, NJDOE Office of Career Readiness
Room: Monticello Park
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Using Data to Engage Students & Families
Session Track: Use of Data
Sending home frequent updates on grades, homework, behavior, and attendance is a powerful way to engage our students and their families. However, developing operational systems to do this is tough. In this panel, administrators and data managers from innovative charter networks share the lessons they've learned and the best practices they use to keep parents and students up-to-speed and engaged. We'll also discuss the pros and cons of modern mediums like e-mail and text messages.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Matthew Robins, Founder, DeansList
Co-Presenters:
Ms. Jill Kahane, Data Analyst, UP Education Network
Ms. Amanda Belden, Dean of Students, Great Oaks Charter School
Room: Berkshire Garden
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: The Turnaround Process: Shifting School Climate and Culture to One of High Academic Expectations
Session Track: College & Career Readiness
With a directive to improve student achievement among an academically diverse population, Sussex County Charter School for Technology is redesigning classrooms to promote academic rigor, engagement, and student responsibility for learning. This requires teachers to think differently about the "how" of teaching that can be achieved by using problem-based learning and knowing the importance of executive function, the power of technology infusion to empower learners, and the role of the teacher. Supporting teachers as they shift their mindsets is critical to this transformation.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Deirdre Mastandrea, Principal, Sussex County Charter School for Technology
Co-Presenters:
Mr. Dan Gross, Director of Client Relations, IDE Corp.
Room: Central Park
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Self Promotion: The Need for Telling Your School's Unique Story
Session Track: Advocacy / Law / Policy
School leaders and staff are often asked, "What makes your school unique?" The ability to consistently answer this question quickly and succinctly is imperative to any promotions or identity development for the school. The key to an effective communications strategy is simple: be clear, be concise, and be consistent. The small-group workshop setting of this session is dedicated to guiding attendees through the identity and message development process. This session is limited to 15 participants.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Christine Schneider, Partner, Education Cities
Co-Presenters:
Ms. Amanda Vega, Director of Communications & Marketing, NJCSA
Room: Fairmount Park
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Charter School Funding & the Budget Process: Part I
Session Track: Advocacy / Law / Policy
Part I of a two-part session. Panelists will discuss how budget language over the past seven years has had an impact on charter aid; how the budget process works once initial funding levels are set; and what could happen going forward. If you find it difficult to figure out why funding fluctuates year after year, join this session.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Brian Diamante, Director of Data Systems and Senior State Budget Analyst, NJCSA
Co-Presenters:
Mr. Chris Emigholz, Associate Executive Director/Budget Director, NJ Senate Republican Office
Mr. Paul Josephson, Partner, Duane Morris LLP
Room: Marlborough B/C
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Preparing for Charter Renewal: A Case Study Discussion
Session Track: School Leadership
Preparing for charter renewal should start from Day 1 of the charter lifecycle, but that rarely happens. What do you do when you find yourself ramping up to the renewal process? How should you present your school's best case for renewal? Using a case study approach, this session will provide practical suggestions on how to tackle the challenges faced by schools as they prepare for renewal, as well as how to support stakeholders.
Lead Presenter: Mrs. Kim Wechtenhiser, President, SchoolWorks LLC
Co-Presenters:
Mr. David Hartman, Senior Project Manager, SchoolWorks LLC
Room: Lincoln Park
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
9:15 AM - 11:15 AM: Breakout Session Group 8 (2:00)
Session Title: Developing Critical Thought through Socratic Seminars
Session Track: College & Career Readiness
What's one skill that every college professor wishes her students had more of? The answer is critical, analytical thought. In this session, you'll learn how educators at People's Preparatory Charter School, a college prep charter school in Newark, use student-led Socratic seminars to engage students in rigorous discussions that develop skills necessary for success in college: the ability to think critically and to share that thinking clearly and persuasively.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Nathan Patton, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, People's Prep Charter School
Co-Presenters:
Ms. Franny Lopez, Spanish Teacher, People's Prep Charter School
Room: Marlborough A
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
10:15 AM - 11:15 AM: Breakout Session Group 9 (:60)
Session Title: Using Informational Text to Enhance Literacy in Social Studies, Science, and the Arts
Session Track: College & Career Readiness
How can teachers in social studies, science, and the arts work to meet the literacy needs of students? This session will show you. Using hands-on activities and models, we stress the literacy needs and challenges in each content area and the possibilities for collaboration across the disciplines. We demonstrate how to find and use informational texts to deepen content area knowledge, enhance literacy skills, and build student motivation.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Susan Chenelle, Lead English Teacher, University Academy Charter High School
Co-Presenters:
Dr. Audrey Fisch, Professor, New Jersey City University
Room: Longwood Garden
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: 21st-Century Themes and Skills: An Autopsy
Session Track: College & Career Readiness
A framework for 21st-Century Themes and Skills was introduced and overshadowed in 2002, the same year that NCLB went into effect. Participants will find out what went wrong (the autopsy) and they will be introduced to 11 ways that we can resuscitate this much-needed initiative.
Lead Presenter: Dr. Jay Dugan Sr., Director of Professional Curriculum Development, Educational Information and Resource Center (EIRC)
Room: Central Park
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Best Practices of Board and Management During a Turnaround
Session Track: Operations / Governance
The political and operational pressure of transforming an under-performing school in our State's current climate is immense. It is essential for board and management to work collaboratively in this time-sensitive work. Of course, this is easier said than done. Learn best practices about collaboration from a board trustee and a member of the management team.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Robert Giordano, SVP Development, Renaissance School Services
Co-Presenters:
Mr. Raj Menon, Former Board Chair, Central Jersey Arts Charter School
Room: Berkshire Garden
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Hot Topics in Legal Issues and Regulations
Session Track: Advocacy / Law / Policy
New Jersey's leading charter school lawyers will recap and bring you current information on the hottest New Jersey school legal topics: Insurance trends, denial of coverage and discriminatory practices against charters; resident school district challenges to funding its students out of district; the charter school closure bond; single-purpose charter schools; and, certification requirements.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Paul Josephson, Partner, Duane Morris LLP
Co-Presenters:
Mr. Thomas Johnston Esq., Principal, Johnston Law Firm, LLC
Mr. Shawn Berger, Account Executive, Austin & Co., Inc.
Room: Marlborough B/C
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: College Coaching Program
Session Track: College & Career Readiness
CCP is a mentorship program designed to create a challenging, cooperative and collaborative environment for high-achieving students. While excelling academics, it also helps students to reach their social potential with such extracurricular activities as boot camps and field trips. The goal of the program is to identify, motivate, educate, and mentor the students in order to have as many students as possible apply to and attend top-ranking four-year colleges.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Emre Gemici, Teacher, Paterson Charter School For Science & Technology
Co-Presenters:
Dr. Joseph Miceli, Director of Instruction, Paterson Charter School For Science & Technology
Room: Tivoli Garden
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Tracking Student Fitness Progress: Use Data-driven Results to Improve Health
Session Track: Use of Data
According to a 2015 Centers for Disease Control investigation, 26.5 percent of American scholastic students are overweight or obese. One CDC recommendation to combat this health crisis is to train school employees on ways to identify students possessing an unhealthy weight, and ways to track their health progress. This session will explain the components of health-related fitness, creating a School Health Advisory Council, and software that helps generate longitudinal health reports for students and parents.
Lead Presenter: Dr. John Taylor Ed.D, Health & Physical Education Teacher, Beloved Community Charter School
Co-Presenters:
Mrs. Rebekah Barboza B.A., Kindergarten Teacher/Dance Coordinator, Beloved Community Charter School
Mrs. Kelly Convery M.Ed, Principal, Beloved Community Charter School
Room: Traymore B/C
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Building Better HR Practices to Attract and Retain the Best Teachers
Session Track: School Leadership
Building and keeping the right team is essential to the continued success of your charter school. This collaborative lecture will focus on creating a school environment that is laser-focused on a culture of excellence. Utilizing these charter-specific HR strategies, administrators will learn tactics for attracting excellent personnel, keeping turnover to a minimum, and fostering high morale among employees.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Rena Youngblood, Director of Charter Services, Association of American Educators
Room: Fairmount Park
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Dating Data to Improve Student Achievement
Session Track: Use of Data
Couples that date spend time getting to know one another in an attempt to determine whether or not they are compatible for companionship and maybe even marriage. Similar to human relationships, student data should also be closely analyzed to determine if identified school practices are leading teams to the goal of increased student achievement. Participants will understand that a successful courtship with data requires a deeper dive, not a cursory look.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Yolanda Greene, Vice Principal, Burch Charter School of Excellence
Room: Lincoln Park
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
2:15 PM - 3:15 PM: Breakout Session Group 10 (:60)
Session Title: Working Together for Quality Facilities
Session Track: Operations / Governance
Hear from a project manager, architect and attorney on what makes a successful charter school facility project. Co-moderated by experienced charter school lenders, this session will explore the lessons learned and best practices of this wide range of experts that come together to support charter schools and their facility needs.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Molly Melloh, Director, K-12 Education, The Reinvestment Fund
Co-Presenters:
Ms. Leah Sandbank, Attorney, McManimon, Scotland & Baumann, LLC
Mr. Matthew Bartner, Senior Associate, Kitchen & Associates
Ms. Rosella Harvey, Principal, NorthStar Owners Representation
Mr. Joseph Palazzolo, Lending Team Leader, Education & Early Care, NJ Community Capital
Room: Berkshire Garden
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Data-driven Instruction: Use of Technology to Enhance Learning
Session Track: Use of Data
This session will inform attendees on the importance of using data to drive instruction. Teachers will get useful information on how to use various technology-based programs like Star Reader and Front Row Math to collect data and to help them understand their students' ability levels.
Lead Presenter: Mrs. Rajasri Govindaraju MS, Supervisor of Curriculum, Instruction & Special Services, Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School
Co-Presenters:
Mrs. Jackie Andreychak M.Ed, Dept Chair, Language Arts, Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School
Mrs. Shrijaya Bhattad M.Ed, Dept Chair, Math, Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School
Room: Monticello Park
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Charter School Purchasing; What You Should Know
Session Track: Operations / Governance
Attendees will be introduced to state law, state code and standard operating procedures as they pertain to charter school purchasing in New Jersey. The presentation is designed to assist Charter School Business Administrators to be compliant with all purchasing law and code. A working purchasing manual will be provided and reviewed in the session. The presenter has 25 years of experience with Public School Purchasing in the State of New Jersey.
Lead Presenter: Mr. James Shoop, Managing Member, SHOOP SBA, LLC
Room: Longwood Garden
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Transgender Students and Staff: Legal and Policy Issues
Session Track: School Leadership
A discussion of the legal and policy issues facing charter schools related to gender identity and expression, including transgender students and staff.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Cherie Adams Esq., Partner, Adams Gutierrez & Lattiboudere LLC
Room: Lincoln Park
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Charter School Funding & the Budget Process: Part II
Session Track: Advocacy / Law / Policy
Part II of a two-part session. This session will explain how the budget language and process impacts charter school funding. Panelists will discuss how budget language over the past seven years has had an impact on charter aid; how the budget process works once initial funding levels are set; and what could happen going forward. If you find it difficult to figure out why funding fluctuates year after year, join this session. You are welcome to attend if you missed Part I.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Brian Diamante, Director of Data Systems and Senior State Budget Analyst, NJCSA
Co-Presenters:
Mr. Chris Emigholz, Associate Executive Director/Budget Director, NJ Senate Republican Office
Mr. Paul Josephson, Partner, Duane Morris LLP
Mr. Steve Small, Chief Financial Officer, KIPP New Jersey
Room: Marlborough A
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
2:15 PM - 4:15 PM: Breakout Session Group 11 (2:00)
Session Title: Listen, Amplify, Collaborate! Achieve Empowerment and Receive It, Too!
Session Track: School Leadership
Has anyone asked you lately what is the single most important factor that contributes to the success of your school community? It is one of those BIG questions that can prompt small answers that can create huge ripples of transformative actions. Attend this workshop and share in a journey of partnership and advocacy that can be replicated in your school and lead to heightened levels of success and agency for your students, staff and families.
Lead Presenter: Mrs. Fiona Thomas, Principal, Pride Academy Charter School
Co-Presenters:
Ms. Rose Mary Dumenigo, Vice Principal, Pride Academy Charter School
Room: Marlborough B/C
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Keeping Children Safe, One School at a Time
Session Track: School Leadership
Keeping our students safe has become the most important work of our time. The NJDOE's Office of School Preparedness and Emergency Planning has visited over 450 schools throughout New Jersey to observe unannounced school drills in accordance with NJ School Drill Law Statute 18A:41-1. During this session, presenters will share overarching findings from the visits and elements that should be addressed in all schools to promote a safe school environment.
Lead Presenter: Dr. Thomas Gambino, Education Program Specialist, NJDOE Office of School Preparedness and Emergency Planning
Co-Presenters:
Mr. Jeff Gale, Education Specialist, NJDOE Office of School Preparedness and Emergency Planning
Mr. Ben Castillo, Director, NJDOE Office of School Preparedness and Emergency Planning
Room: Central Park
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: Close Reading: Preparing Students to Read in College
Session Track: College & Career Readiness
Teachers understand that college-bound students must have the skills, confidence, and perseverance to read challenging texts. Whether it be from textbooks or the canon, "reading to learn" will be at the forefront of students' experiences in higher education, but we often begin preparing them too late. Join us to learn close reading strategies that help students in any grade get college-ready by boosting their success with unfamiliar and complex texts from any content area.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Alison Laycock Ruiz, Dean of Student Interventions, People's Prep Charter School
Co-Presenters:
Ms. Christal Delgado, Spanish Dept Chair, People's Prep Charter School
Room: Tivoli Garden
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 
Session Title: College Going Culture: It's A Verb!
Session Track: College & Career Readiness
How do you get scholars to value education & a college degree? Not just by branding classes with names of universities. Instead, imbed college-going skill sets in all aspects of the school environment. We will discuss transformational learning & its impact with our scholars. Learn strategies that move beyond simple aesthetics (i.e., career day) and instead increase confidence, improve conduct, and instill expectation & belief within each student that they will survive, thrive and graduate from college.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Rachelle Nelson, Principal, College Achieve Central Charter School
Co-Presenters:
Ms. Joyce James, Math Department Lead, College Achieve Central Charter School
Ms. Natasha Allicock, Elementary Lead Teacher, College Achieve Central Charter School
Mr. Gemar Mills, Director & Evaulator of Teacher Effectiveness, The Future Project
Room: Fairmount Park
This time slot is tentative and subject to change.
 



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