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Leading for Equity: From Research to Practice – Accelerating Outcomes for Scholars of Color, Part I
Thursday, September 10, 2020 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EDT
Presented by Dr. Avis Williams, Superintendent, Selma City Public Schools, Selma City, Alabama; Dr. Bren Elliott, Chief School Improvement and Supports Officer, District of Columbia Public Schools, Washington, DC; Ms. Dyphelia Thrash, Principal, The Clark Academy for Social Justice; and Ms. Cicely Curtis, Principal, R.B. Hudson STEAM Academy
Hosted by Dr. Valerie Truesdale, Assistant Executive Director, AASA, The School Superintendents Association
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Located in the Blackbelt of Alabama, Selma is one of the poorest communities in the region. Despite the history of civil rights and peaceful demonstrations, Selma was also listed as one of the most violent cities in the south. Although many challenges exist, tremendous work is underway to disrupt systemic barriers that negatively impact educational outcomes. Watch Drs. Bren Elliott, educational equity leader and researcher and Avis Williams, superintendent of Selma City Schools as they share researched strategies that improve learning outcomes for historically underserved scholars. This two-part series shares six most impactful practices equity-focused districts employ while exploring the specific work being done.
Essential Questions for discussion include:
- How do school districts communicate a vision for equity?
- What strategies can school districts implement to establish a culture of high expectation leading to more equitable outcomes?
- How can school districts ensure the raising of expectations and meeting the needs of all students?
- How can district leaders build teachers and leaders’ skills, knowledge and capacity to lean into equity work?
- How can relationships with key stakeholders, such as students, parents, the community and elected officials be leveraged in order to support equity work?
Viewers will learn about strategies to address systemic disparities and inequities in order to benefit all students.
About the Presenters
Dr. Avis Williams is Superintendent of Selma City Schools where there are stated goals for Equity and Joy in preparing the Whole Child. Dr. Williams served in leadership positions in the U.S. Army, as an entrepreneur and school administrator. As Executive Director of Instruction in North Carolina, she led instruction for over 60 schools. Before moving to Selma, she served as the assistant superintendent for curriculum in Tuscaloosa City Schools. Dr. Williams was awarded the Marbury Technology Innovation Award by the Alabama State Department of Education in 2011 as a principal and in 2019 as the superintendent. A finalist for Alabama State Superintendent of the Year in 2019, Dr. Avis Williams is humbled and honored to be a part of the Historic Selma community and to serve as Superintendent of Selma City Schools.
Dr. Bren Elliott has a 25-year proven track record of significantly impacting academic achievement and stakeholder engagement in public education. She has worked as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, and now as Chief Improvement and Supports Officer for District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) in Washington, DC. Dr. Elliott is a reflective practitioner who previously served as Chief Equity Officer for DCPS, overseeing leader professional development, student support systems, and the staff evaluation system. Dr. Elliott is a passionate scholar and practitioner regarding school culture, social-emotional learning, and equity initiatives.
Ms. Cicely Curtis is Principal of R.B. Hudson STEAM Academy. Ms. Curtis leads her students and staff to develop scholars’ critical thinking skills through rigorous and relevant content in order to maximize their potential in a global society.
Ms. Dyphelia Thrash is Principal of The Clark Academy for Social Justice. Ms. Thrash leads her school community to make every effort to foster academic excellence through intellectual, creative, and differential instructional methods.
About the Host
Dr. Valerie Truesdale joined AASA early in 2019 as Assistant Executive Director. She is responsible for guiding leadership development services and programs. With years of experience as an educational leader in roles of superintendent, chief transformation and technology officer, principal and teacher, she knows that AASA’s Leadership Network can be a substantial resource for school leaders trying to keep pace with the rapidly changing delivery of K-12 education.
Join the Leading for Equity community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.
The AASA Leadership Network drives superintendent success, innovation and growth, shaping the future of public education while preparing students for what’s next. We are the largest, most diverse network of superintendents in America. Passionate and committed, we connect educational leaders to the professional learning, leadership development, relationships and partnerships they need to ensure a long career of impact.