Spring 2020 Member Meeting
Submission Deadline: March 27th, 2020

Leadership: Building and Sustaining Equitable and Inclusive Practices
Leaders at system, district, and school levels need to influence the culture and processes that support learning and working together in purposeful ways at every level of the organization if they are to produce greater learning in students. Creating a culture of growth is a start, but leaders need to intentionally orchestrate the work of teachers, leaders, and peers and keep it focused on collaboratively improving student learning. – “Coherence,” Michael Fullan

Urban Collaborative members comprise an impressive and powerful group of leaders and we have much to learn from each other. Effective leaders in this organization purposefully influence culture and processes with the aim of raising the standards and opportunities for all students. Strong leaders also understand that the practice of leadership is active and not solely about one person. Rather, leadership as a practice is owned by many, through all levels of a district. At this meeting we will share ideas in order to learn from each other and connect with colleagues with a variety of professional leadership experiences and who work in districts with a range of leadership strengths and needed growth. We encourage not only those leading special education services, but those who are accountable for the education of all students to attend the meeting, as equitable practices and inclusive educational environments benefit all.
We invite members to submit a proposal on the topic of leadership and how it relates to building equitable and inclusive practices. Our goal is to learn from one another’s successes, challenges, and engage in finding solutions. This call for proposals invites a variety of potential presenters (general and special education, district and school staff) to focus on leadership in all its forms. The questions below will help guide you in developing your presentation proposal. Use these to spark your thinking, but not to limit what you might want to present. Keep in mind how the information you present might help your colleagues strengthen their own leadership skills and their districts’ leadership practices, with a focus on promoting  equitable and inclusive practices. Consider developing proposals that align with tenets of universal design for learning in that, where appropriate, there are multiple points of access for participants to engage, for you to present your information, and for participants to express their own understanding. As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions or ideas. We are happy to help in any way we can.
Questions to help develop presentation topics:
  • Leadership Development – What skills and practices do new leaders need? How do you prepare for the work of leading equitable and inclusive practices? What is important to share with your colleagues? 
  • Systems Change – Has your districts utilized any systems change models to lead equitable and inclusive practices? How has your district created the vision and buy-in to move towards equitable and inclusive practices? What worked? What were the barriers? What can you share with Collaborative members to help move other districts more effectively?
  • Districtwide Collaboration – How has your district developed systems of collaborative practices across departments to lead the work of developing equitable and inclusive practices across disciplines (ex: general and special education), instructional areas (ex: academics, social emotional learning, and the arts), for all schools and for all students? 
  • Multi-tiered System of Supports – If your district has created or is in the process of creating a systemwide MTSS model, how did the process work? Was there a collaborative model? What did you do to create coordination and alignment? How did you move staff to a shared understanding and shared responsibilities? Did you provide professional learning to move this process? How was instruction (both academic and social emotional learning) decided and developed? Have there been any outcomes from the implementation of these processes, for example have inappropriate referrals or disproportionate representation of linguistically and culturally diverse student populations decreased? 
  • Family and Community Engagement - Has there been effective leadership that has strengthened the alignment between your district and community organizations? What benefits and outcomes are evident? What are the lessons for other Collaborative members?
We look forward to learning from district leaders, school leaders, special educators, and general educators. You are the ones changing the lives of students. Please remember Margaret Mead’s words, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Complete the following pages to submit your presentation proposal. The submission deadline is March 27, 2020.

If you have any questions, please contact the Urban Collaborative team at urbancollaborative@asu.edu or 480-727-4599.