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Sunday, June 4, 2023

Lake School District to host virtual ‘Equity Access & Leadership’ conference

In an ongoing effort to meet the needs of all Lake County students, Lake County Schools is hosting a virtual “Equity Access & Leadership Conference” next month highlighting cutting-edge and relevant research, tools and strategies from leading experts in the field. Educators from outside of Lake County also are invited to attend.

The conference supports the district’s equity commitment, which states, “Lake County Schools is committed to eliminating disparities represented by gender, race/ethnicity, language, disability or socioeconomic status, thereby ensuring that success in our district is no longer predictable by any of the above categories.”

The idea is to look at student performance data, identify areas where students need additional support, and then provide that support so that every student is able to think critically and engage deeply with rigorous content.

“We have already publicly committed to striving for a learning community that ensures that every student graduates with skills needed to succeed and every student will excel,” Emily Feltner, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, told the School Board in a Feb. 1 workshop on the district’s equity work, referencing the district’s vision and mission statements. “While the word ‘equity’ may mean different things to different people, in Lake County Schools, equity is a commitment to ensure that every student has access to grade-appropriate assignments, strong instruction, deep engagement and teachers with high expectations, every lesson, every day.”

District leaders aim to continue the work by further equipping leaders and teachers with strategies to meet the needs of all students, and through remediation and acceleration opportunities designed to improve the school experience for every child.

The conference is designed to support those efforts. Featured speakers include:

  • Dr. Yvette Jackson, an internationally recognized author and educator, will focus on research from her award-winning book, “A Pedagogy of Confidence,” which emphasizes eliciting high intellection performance from all students.
  • Joe Hettler and Katherine Miranda will highlight the findings from research in schools across the country in “The Opportunity Myth,” focusing on how to ensure access to key resources that accelerate student learning.
  • Dr. Amir Whitaker, an educator, author, civil rights lawyer and musician, will share his journey as a student expelled from school who ultimately went on to earn five college degrees thanks to the educators who never gave up on him and believed in his potential to achieve.
  • Maggie Gaines, an entrepreneur and owner of several business and nonprofits, will share her journey as an English Language Lerner student and how teachers and leaders inspired her to excellence.

The conference, scheduled for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 9,  is designed for educators, district and school-based staff, principals and assistant principals, district administrators, mental health specialists and district program specialists. Registration is free and voluntary for Lake County Schools employees and $50 for educators from other school districts. Registration continues through 4 p.m. Friday, May 26.

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