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Math Automaticity and the Path to Algebra Readiness

  • Presenter: Linda A. Hardman
  • Length: 19 minutes
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Research has shown that algebra readiness and higher-level math requires automaticity of basic math facts. Math automaticity is the ability to recall basic math facts with both accuracy and speed so that the highest rate of fluency is subconscious and immediate.

This webinar discusses:

  • How math automaticity frees up students’ minds for higher-order mathematical concepts
  • Why math fluency is so important to later mathematical success
  • What programs like Big Brainz do for students and teachers

Linda Hardman is a former math and technology teacher, curriculum director, writer, editor, and publisher of mathematics and technology content for K–12 schools. She has developed many award-winning math products such as HELP Math, Harcourt’s Summer Studio Math, Prentice-Hall’s Secondary Mathlab Toolkit, and Scholastic’s MATH 180.

As a curriculum director for Tomball ISD (Houston, TX), Linda designed and implemented nationally recognized innovative technology solutions that dramatically increased student test scores. Linda is a proven leader in content development strategies and implementations that lead to effective learning environments while engaging and inspiring students.

Rich, engaging conversations are critical for effective early childhood education programs. The growing body of research on learning in two languages is clear: responsive interactions support academic vocabulary, social development and oral language. 

The more teachers and parents know about authentic conversations, the stronger their children’s language will grow. This webinar focuses on new findings, new issues, and new trends for early childhood education of children from diverse language backgrounds.

Karen is an author, consultant, and advocate who focuses on improving early education for young children with diverse language backgrounds. She has published many books and articles on this topic, including Young Dual Language Learners: A Guide for PreK-3 Leaders. She holds leadership positions at NAEYC, NABE and TESOL and hosts a resource website at

Content literacy skills are essential for school and career success. Students have always needed to read content-rich text with understanding, but the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and other rigorous state standards have made the teaching of informational content literacy strategies essential. Mandated increases in reading of complex, informational text have thrust new demands on readers, and they have also consequently made the teaching of academic and domain-specific vocabulary a necessity. But content literacy is not just ‘words.’ It also encompasses the identification of text structures, development of concepts and background knowledge, and learning how to read and construct the visuals that work synergistically with content-rich text. In this one-hour webinar, Dr. Knoell shares insights for helping students develop content literacy skills, and she also shares motivational aspects of teaching with informational, content-rich text. Participants will learn specific text structures that are used in informational text, key content literacy strategies and skills, the importance of content vocabulary, and the importance and identification of visual literacy skills to reach culturally and linguistically diverse students.

Dr. Donna L. Knoell is an educational consultant, author, and instructional specialist. She is a former classroom teacher and has also taught at the university level. Dr. Knoell has a proven record of working with schools throughout the United States to help improve student academic achievement. She is a recognized expert in content literacy, vocabulary development, reading comprehension, and visual literacy. She is also recognized for her expertise in K–8 mathematics, science, and social studies. She has spoken internationally and at numerous national, regional, and state professional conferences. Donna is extremely knowledgeable about educational resources that enhance instruction and the development and use of effective questioning strategies to increase student engagement and deepen understanding. Dr. Knoell’s passion is for helping students achieve success in all aspects of their academic programs while realizing the joys of learning; this passion guides all her work and defines her as an engaging speaker and professional.

This webinar examines different ways elementary, middle, and high schools can accelerate student learning through time, space, grouping, and resources.

  • Time: Rethinking ways to use scheduling to personalize learning and promote student self-direction/ownership
  • Space: Creative ways of using space, furniture, and location to promote student learning
  • Student Grouping: Different approaches to grouping students and providing individual work time to ensure growth
  • Resources: Maximizing supports from teachers, technology, and peers to promote deeper understanding

We discuss how to create an environment where students can participate in a blended instructional program in which they access information from the teacher, technology, their peers, and their own inquiry. We will also examine how digital content can be provided in a variety of ways to complement hands-on projects: independent virtual courses, hybrid courses, and individual searchable libraries of content aligned to standards. During this webinar, we look at three case studies and explore program planning, funding, final scheduling, space and instructional design, and assessment outcomes.

As a 25-year veteran of urban education, Mary Esselman has a wealth of experience that comes from innovating in schools. She was responsible for spearheading the implementation of a variety of innovative, student-centered systems where she and her team worked to disrupt traditional public schooling in order to provide a prototype for personalized, blended, 21st century teaching and learning. Mary was also instrumental in obtaining three Next Generation Learning Challenge grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She has worked with a wide range of students—pre-K up to age 20—and has worked with educational organizations in Washington DC, Chicago, Kansas City, and Detroit. Mary currently serves as the CEO and president of Operation Breakthrough, an organization dedicated to providing early learning and school-age programs and wraparound services for over 400 children and their families living in poverty.

Kinder to College is an award-winning program created by Dr. Vargas and implemented in each district he served as superintendent. This program allows kindergarten students and their parents to visit a local college or university so they can plant the seeds of college in their future and increase expectations and rigor to achieve that goal. In partnership with local colleges and universities, kindergarten students are bused to a college campus with their teachers where they are greeted by college student mentors, faculty, and college presidents. The participants attend fun exploratory activity-based workshops, eat lunch, and tour the campus. Dr. Vargas invites the students to take a personal pledge to do well in school and go on to college. 

Parents also have the option of attending orientation classes on how they can support their child’s college aspirations or attend college themselves. For many parents, this is the first time they have ever set foot on a college campus, and their child will be a first-generation college student. As part of the program, each child takes a photograph on the college campus and keeps it as a reminder of their commitment to attending college. In this webinar, you will learn about the program, its success, and how to start a Kinder to College program in your school or district.  


Dr. Edward Lee Vargas has served as superintendent in large urban school districts in California, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington, where he received numerous awards for outstanding leadership from the school districts, including State Superintendent of the Year for the state of California (2006) and the state of Washington (2014). After being named Superintendent of the Year in California, he was recruited to the Stupski Foundation as a Superintendent in Residence, where he coached other system leaders around the country. Most recently, Dr. Vargas served as superintendent of the Kent School District, the fourth largest district in the state of Washington and one of the most diverse districts in the nation, with more than 138 languages spoken by students and families. In Kent, Dr. Vargas was widely regarded as a critical part of the district’s success in significantly improving test scores, closing the achievement gap, increasing college readiness (graduation rates improved from 69% in 2009 to over 90% in 2014), advancing technological integration system-wide, and increasing diverse parent and community engagement. 

Dr. Vargas received his master’s degree from the University of New Mexico in educational diagnosis and a doctorate from the University of Washington in leadership and policy. He is currently serving as President of the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS).

Early Literacy: More Than Pre-K - Exploring the World of Early Care and Education

  • Presenter: Billie Lynn Warford, MS
  • Length: 52 minutes
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School success begins at birth, yet programs that support children on their path to school success from birth to third grade are often disconnected. For the very young child, literacy is much more than the ABCs and a much bigger effort than a Pre-K program can provide alone. For young children, care and education are inseparably linked. Schools are stepping forward to address this issue, but a lack of coordination between early care and education programs from birth to age five and the K–12 education system presents missed opportunities. Participants explore the foundations of early literacy, gain an understanding of  the world of community-based  early care and education programs, examine challenges schools face in providing pre-K programs, and imagine opportunities for school-success beginning at birth. We explore ways schools can partner with community programs to provide the comprehensive supports necessary to ensure we are laying the foundations for school success—and success in life.

Billie Warford taught at Montana State University for more than thirty-five years where she was responsible for teaching early care and education courses, directing a statewide early childhood professional development system, and administering a variety of early childhood partnership programs, including a collaborative Head Start program with local public schools. Billie was most recently a Senior Training and Technical Assistance Specialist with the National Center for Child Care Professional Development and Workforce Initiatives at Zero to Three, providing training and technical assistance at local, state, regional, and national levels.

Rules of Engagement: The Potential Impact of Video Games in Education

  • Presenter: Carter Durham
  • Length: 45 minutes
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No one denies that video games are engaging. Whether on computers, consoles, or mobile devices, more people than ever are spending huge amounts of time (and money!) playing digital games. Yet schools are struggling to engage students with content delivered the same way it has been for a century. This session will look at the growing mounds of research showing that game-based learning can and should be a tool that schools employ to engage students and teach them the skills they will need to be successful. So many of the things that video games get right—intrinsic motivation, situated cognition, cascading information, visual indicators of progress—can benefit students in a school setting.

Carter Durham graduated with a degree in media arts from Brigham Young University, where he produced the award-winning short film, The Wrong Brother. He spent several years in Los Angeles running a successful video production company and then came to Imagine Learning where he has contributed for the past eight years. Carter initially worked in the video department, then in marketing, and is now a product manager—leading a team that works to implement successful video game conventions into Imagine Learning’s language and literacy software program. 

Multiple Pathways to Biliteracy in Grades Pre-K through 12: A Local, State, and National Vision

  • Presenter: Laurie Olsen, Ph.D, Shelly Spiegel-Coleman, Kelly King, Ed.D, Christina Mei-Yue Wong
  • Length: 58 minutes
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The 21st century skill of proficiency in English and one or more other languages is a goal the nation should adopt for all students. During this presentation, Dr. Laurie Olsen and Shelly Spiegel-Coleman from Californians Together present California's Campaign for Biliteracy as an example of what other states and local districts can do to value and implement multiple pathways to biliteracy. The session describes why there is a need for the campaign, how it works, and how it builds upon the development of State Seals of Biliteracy. Representatives from two districts—San Francisco and Glendale Unified School Districts—present their district-wide implementation of multiple pathways to biliteracy incorporating many diverse languages. Lastly, we look to the future and how to encourage others to begin the journey of developing initial pathways as a step to building strong, articulated, equitably accessible preschool through high school programs and learning opportunities that will prepare students with high level proficiency in two or more languages.

This webinar is a collaborative effort between four presenters. Laurie Olsen, Ph.D., Shelly Spiegel-Coleman, Kelly King, Ed.D., and Christina Mei-Yue Wong offer extensive experience working with English Learners in California schools. Dr. Olsen’s career spans four decades as a researcher, writer, and provider of leadership development on educational equity with a focus on English Learners. She is currently the Director of the Sobrato Early Academic Language initiative in Redwood City and San Jose school districts. Shelly Spiegel-Coleman is the Executive Director of Californians Together, a coalition of 27 statewide professional, parent, and civil rights organizations focused on improving schooling for English learners. She recently served on Superintendent Tom Torlakson’s Transition Team and was the Senior Project Director for the Multilingual Academic Support unit for the Los Angeles County Office of Education. Dr. King has served for 23 years in the Glendale Unified School District as a teacher, teacher specialist, assistant principal, principal, and director. She currently serves as an Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services where she directs all English Learner programs and the district’s seven dual immersion programs. Christina Mei-Yue is a Special Assistant to Superintendent Richard Carranza in the San Francisco Unified School District where she facilitates the implementation of the district’s Master Plan for English Learners, providing a powerful vision to effectively serve English Learners in SFUSD. Previously, Christina was the Director of Community Initiative at Chinese Affirmative Action, a civil rights organization based in San Francisco, where she worked on K–12 policy issues such as language access, multilingual programs, school integration, violence prevention, and parental engagement.

Engage, Educate, Empower: Think about IT

  • Presenter: Dr. Luvelle Brown
  • Length: 23 minutes
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During this presentation, Dr. Brown explores how a clear vision and mission drive impactful change in a school district and how technology tools enhance student and staff experience. Significant cultural, quantitative, and qualitative shifts have occurred in the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) over the past four years. After establishing a clear vision and mission for the organization, the ICSD educators and community have embarked on a journey that involves shifts in the district’s approach to teaching and learning. Central to the changes taking place in classrooms is the understanding and approach of utilizing technology tools to enhance the learning experience.

Dr. Luvelle Brown, has been serving as Superintendent of the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) in Ithaca, New York since January 2011. Prior to arriving in Ithaca, Dr. Brown served as a school CIO, Executive Director of the Division of School Improvement, teacher, assistant principal, and principal. Dr. Brown received the 2014 eSchool News Tech-Savvy Superintendent Award, and was recognized by the National School Boards Association as a “20-to-Watch” in 2014. Dr. Brown is the co-author of ThinkTweets: 100 Transformative Tweets for Educators. In his district, Dr. Brown has done much to build a collaborative culture focused on using student work to make real-time instructional shifts. During his tenure at ICSD, the district’s graduation rate has skyrocketed to above 90% (up from 78%), while students are achieving significantly above state and national average on various standardized tests. Specific instructional initiatives include the redesign of learning spaces, game-based learning, and 1:1 mobile device implementations.

Journey Toward Improvement

  • Presenter: Matt Navo
  • Length: 43 minutes
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This presentation explains the journey toward improvement in Sanger Unified, specifically highlighting the instructional and cultural changes that took place in the district over a 10 year period. Matt highlights the factors that led to improved student achievement for all students including special education students and sub-groups. Sanger's foundations are built around three priorities for instructional improvement: Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI), Professional Learning Communities (PLC), and Response to Intervention (RTI), with the foundation being that of a collaborative culture. These foundational practices have allowed both general and special education teachers to meet the needs of all learners, built collective coherence within the district, and led to greater improvement of Sanger district overall. Matt highlights how Sanger is adapting these core foundations for the CCSS, while maintaining a student-centered focus to ensure that all students learn.

Matt Navo has served as the Superintendent of the Sanger Unified School District for the past 14 years. Matt has been involved in public education in the Central Valley for over 18 years. His experience includes working as a special education teacher, counselor, resource teacher, and junior high learning director. Then, he arrived in Sanger Unified School District in 1999 where he worked as a high school assistant principal, elementary principal, alternative education principal, Director of Special Education, and the Area Administrator before assuming the role of Superintendent. Matt received a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in special education from California State University at Fresno. He has an array of credentials which include a Professional Administrative Credential, Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, a Professional Specialists Credential in Special Education, and a Supplemental Credential with an Autism emphasis.

Taking Technology Integration to the Next Level

  • Presenter: Faith Rogow, Ph.D.
  • Length: 46 minutes
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This session explains how to skillfully integrate technology in grades pre-K through 3 by using inquiry-based media literacy education methods and illustrates why it’s important to do so. Like pencils, digital technologies are tools. And like pencils, knowing how to use digital devices is part of being literate, but it isn’t enough. In the digital world where technology provides easy access to nearly unlimited information and resources, we need to expand the traditional “three Rs” to include reasoning and reflection. And we need to do so in ways that address the demands of the Common Core while also fostering curiosity, creativity, and collaboration. Join us to find out how.

Faith Rogow, Ph.D., is the co-author of The Teacher's Guide to Media Literacy: Critical Thinking in a Multimedia World (Corwin 2012). Dr. Rogow is one of the nation’s leading media literacy education strategists and innovators. She was the founding president of the National Association for Media Literacy Education, a founding editorial board member of the organization’s peer-reviewed journal, and co-author of NAMLE's Core Principles for Media Literacy Education. Dr. Rogow is a popular speaker, award-winning instructional designer, and curriculum developer. She is known for her creative yet practical approach to teaching with educational media and for her groundbreaking work in designing media literacy education that is developmentally appropriate for early childhood. As a professional development specialist (, she has taught thousands of teachers, students, parents, child care professionals, and administrators to understand and harness the power of media technologies.

As educators grapple with trying to improve the academic performance of African American males, Dr. Willis proposes that we should just listen to what they have to say, relative to their academic needs. Then, we will be able to impact that growth. This presentation outlines the dynamics and nuances that often contribute to the low performance of many of our African American males. Some of these social-emotional tenets are not addressed in our daily curriculum. In this one-hour webinar, Dr. Willis shares the results of a four-year study of a group of African American males that were identified as being at-risk of dropping out when they entered high school. The success factors that mitigated their dropping out is explored in depth, as well as those factors that propelled them to pursue post-secondary education.

Renee Willis has served in urban public K–12 education for over 22 years. Her experience includes serving as a classroom teacher, a building assistant principal and principal, and in central office senior level administration in a large urban school district. She currently serves as a professor in the College of Education at Cleveland State University and manages her own educational consulting company. As a practitioner turned scholar and researcher, Dr. Willis is dedicated to bridging the gaps that exist between theory and practice. She has presented her research—which centers on African American males and closing achievement gaps—at local and national conferences. Dr. Willis is currently writing a textbook chapter and a practitioner’s guide for impacting African American males’ academic achievement.

This presentation will offer practical tools educators can use to address the emphasis on literacy skills embedded in the new Common Core State Standards. Mr. Rohac will teach reading strategies and vocabulary-building activities in core subjects like science, mathematics, and language arts. These strategies will prepare English learners to meet the CCSS and other college and career readiness standards and rigorous academic work. They are based on techniques the presenter has developed and tested with considerable success. In fact, the approach—based on sheltered instruction/SDAIE/SIOP methodology—has been proven to enhance ELL student ability and raise assessment scores. Mr. Rohac will demonstrate sequencing lesson plans to maximize comprehension and encouraging active participation for all proficiency levels.

Mr. Rohac has been a secondary science educator for 23 years. He has years of experience working with ELLs in the San Bernardino USD. He has degrees in education, science, and administration to go along with his extensive background and training in curriculum development, assessment, teacher training, staff development programs, and district compliance issues. Mr. Rohac has taught at the university level, written numerous articles and several books on teaching ELLs, and is the creator and co-founder of the website “Teaching English Learners.” He has spoken at school districts throughout the United States and Canada and at many conferences, including NABE, CABE, and NSTA.

Beating the Odds: Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships

  • Presenter: Kenneth Brown
  • Length: 37 minutes
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A student can become "at risk" at any time. In this high energy presentation, award-winning author and international business and life coach Kenneth Brown addresses the challenges facing at-risk students. He shares his personal story of how he beat the odds and rose above seemingly insurmountable circumstances to achieve success in the classroom and beyond. Ken’s mission is to help light the fire of students’ dreams and to help educators fuel and feed those dreams.   


Session highlights:

  • Discuss ways to engage and involve students in the educational process 
  • Demonstrate how to invest students in classroom materials 
  • Discover ways to help eliminate boundaries between in-school and out-of-school life 
  • Discover how to make learning relevant to students

Raised in less than ideal circumstances, Kenneth Brown had every excuse to choose a life of failure. By the ages of 17 and 18, Ken’s parents were mother and father to five children, yet in spite of poverty and evictions, they still emphasized the importance of education and hard work. Using the strong work ethic his parents taught him, Ken worked his way through Southern Illinois University as a restaurant busser and continued his focus on excellence after graduation. As one of the youngest African-American owner/operators of a McDonald's franchise, Ken is an example of entrepreneurial accomplishment. He has authored two books, A Leap of Faith and L.I.F.E. - Living in Freedom Everyday, and inspired many through media appearances, seminars, workshops, and business conferences.

A Systematic Approach to Leveling the Playing Field for ELLs in 2013

  • Presenter: Kathleen Leos, with Mia Allen as moderator
  • Length: 59 minutes
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It may not be surprising that ELLs are the fastest-growing student demographic in the country—but did you know that they’re struggling more than any other student subgroup right now? In this webinar, Kathleen Leos, a former senior policy advisor to the US Secretary of Education outlines a systematic approach to level the playing field for ELLs. She also provides an understanding of new evidence-based research that can help all student subgroups—particularly ELLs—find academic success.

Session highlights:

  • The importance of highly qualified teachers
  • Why simultaneous content and language development matters
  • Setting universal high expectations, and how to keep them
  • Establishing a cohesive service model
  • When to provide community involvement

Kathleen Leos’ energetic approach to her work comes from the belief that every student who crosses the threshold of America’s schools deserves the best education this country has to offer. To this end, Ms. Leos co-founded The Global Institute for Language and Literacy Development LLC (GILD) to provide highly specialized professional consultant services to education stakeholders. As CEO, she ensures these services focus on how to fundamentally transform education systems to meet the academic achievement goals of students identified as dual language learners and ELLs in early childhood, K–12, and postsecondary education, as well as in the workforce. Formerly (2002–2008), Ms. Leos was the senior policy advisor to the US Secretary of Education on all matters related to limited English proficiency students in the United States, Puerto Rico, and other outlying areas. Ms. Leos is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, including the 2005 Mexican American Legal Defense Educational Fund Excellence in Government Service Award and the 2003 LULAC President’s Award for Excellence in Education for Hispanic Students.

Enrique's Journey: Traumas Immigrant Children Bring to the Classroom

  • Presenter: Sonia Nazario, MA, University of California, Berkeley; Honorary Doctorate, Mount St. Mary’s College
  • Length: 60 minutes
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Nearly all immigrant children have been separated from a parent in the process of coming to the U.S. The conditions that pushed them out of their home countries, and the modern-day odyssey many of these children go on to reach the United States, are just a few of the difficulties they encounter once they settle into the United States. Many of these students also face enormous conflicts with parents who have become strangers to them.

In this webinar, Nazario will show how critical it is to understand and address these traumas if immigrant children are to learn. She’ll also share the story of one boy, Enrique, whose mother leaves him in Honduras when he is just 5 years old to go work in the U.S. After not seeing his mother for 11 years, Enrique braves unimaginable hardship and sets off on his own to find her. Enrique's Journey is a timeless story of families torn apart and yearning to be together again, of determination, and of what so many students have gone through.

Session highlights:
  • What traumas immigrant children bring to the classroom
  • How to address and understand these traumas
  • Enrique’s incredible story
  • Nazario’s personal experience in Latin America
  • What can be done to help immigrant children learn

Sonia Nazario is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Enrique's Journey, a national bestseller about immigrants that is among the most widely adopted books for common and freshman reads at colleges and high schools across the United States. The book, about a Honduran boy's struggle to find his mother in the U.S., won three book awards and more than a dozen journalism awards, among them the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing and the Grand Prize of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism award. Nazario has spent more than 20 years writing about social issues, most recently as a projects reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Nazario grew up in Kansas and in Argentina and has written extensively from Latin America and about Latinos in the U.S. She has been named among the most influential Latinos by Hispanic Business Magazine. In 2012 Columbia Journalism Review named Nazario among "40 women who changed the media business in the past 40 years." She is now at work on her second book.

Where's the Money? Find More Funding for Programs and Projects

  • Presenter: Dr. Marc Liebman, Chief Academic Officer at Imagine Learning, and Dave Markov, Grants and Funding Specialist at Imagine Learning
  • Length: 60 minutes
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In the light of shrinking resources, how can educators find the additional dollars they need to best serve their learners? These are questions every school district needs to ask.

In this encore funding webinar, former superintendent Dr. Marc Liebman and grants and funding specialist Dave Markov examine many different sources of funding, and identify avenues to locate them. They cover everything from websites that give away free computers to how one district funded their technology plan with car sales.

Session objectives:
  • The interest-free federal bonds few districts know about
  • Where to find free training for grant writing
  • The crucial question to ask foundations before completing an application
  • How to find which foundations have funded neighboring districts
  • The hidden goldmine in your independent studies department
  • And many more real-world ideas

Dr. Marc Liebman, Chief Academic Officer, is a former superintendent, IBM education consultant, and deputy superintendent over curriculum and instruction. As an administrator in numerous California schools and districts, Dr. Liebman successfully implemented technology-based programs that increased student learning and minimized drop-out rates. As superintendent of Berryessa Union School District, Dr. Liebman restructured the district’s English language learner programs to improve student achievement, and in 2010, students in his district were recognized among the highest achieving English language learners in California. Dr. Liebman holds an MEd from Pacific Oaks College and a PhD in educational administration from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Dave Markov, Grants and Funding Specialist, has a wide-ranging career in education. A graduate of Concordia Teachers College, he got his start in education teaching middle school life science in Des Plaines, Illinois. He soon began writing video curriculum that both entertained and educated middle school students for Concordia Publishing House. Dave then settled into educational technology, working as both a software trainer and a product specialist. He now serves as the grants and funding specialist for Imagine Learning.

A Holistic Approach to Serving Your Newcomer and Refugee Students

  • Presenter: Mia A. Allen, MS, the University of Northern Colorado, University of Colorado - BUENO CENTER & Jason Barbosa, MA, Chapman University
  • Length: 61 minutes
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English is a second language to about 30 million people in the United States, and over 11 million are children ages 5 to 17. According to 2011 Statistic Abstract (U.S. Census Bureau), there are 10.9 million children in the U.S. who speak a language other than English at home. Taking into account the estimated growth in the school-age population, it's projected that the number of school-age children of immigrants will increase from 12.3 million in 2005 to 17.9 million in 2020-and a significant portion of these children will likely require ELL services. As we help to create a stage where students can consider their futures, we must thoughtfully acknowledge how future possibilities may be informed by the past.

In this webinar, presenters Mia Allen, Curriculum Specialist at Imagine Learning, and Jason Barbosa, Assistant Principal at Place Bridge Academy, will describe the concrete ways in which administrators, educators, and community-based organizations are addressing the unique social-emotional and academic needs of the refugee students and their families.

Session objectives:
  • Characteristics of the SIFE student
  • Factors that impact academic success
  • Successful programming
  • Language skills required to traverse academic, social, and cultural environment
  • Research-based instructional strategies
  • Place Bridge Academy: a case study

Mia A. Allen is a former dual language elementary school teacher, earned her master's degrees in elementary education with an emphasis in second language acquisition from the University of Northern Colorado, and Bilingual Special Education from the University of Colorado-BUENO CENTER. Mrs. Allen is an Ed.D. candidate in Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment. Prior to working with Imagine Learning as a Curriculum Specialist, Mrs. Allen taught Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students in the Denver Public Schools for 13 years. She has also worked as a district English language development curriculum facilitator and an evaluator of multicultural special education programs. She currently serves on the board of the Colorado Association of Bilingual Educators.

Jason Barbosa began his career in San Diego where he taught social studies, health sciences, special education, and English language learners. Mr. Barbosa received his BA from San Diego State University, his MA from Chapman University, and his Administrative Training at The University of Denver. He has been a building leader for five years, with experience in ECE-12. His passion in education includes working with lower socioeconomic families, students with special needs, English language learners, and teachers. Mr. Barbosa has developed RTI models that are used in K-12 schools with target reading and writing strategies. His interests are in K-8 schools, middle schools, and high schools with a focus on Title I Education.

A Better Foundation to Build On: Imagine Learning Español

  • Presenter: Rossana Camacho, Instructional Designer, Imagine Learning
  • Length: 47 minutes
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Many Spanish-language software products are literal translations of the original English versions. Imagine Learning Español was developed specifically for young children learning to read Spanish. A balanced approach to literacy in Spanish is applied with correct modeling and sufficient practice. Letters and sounds are taught strategically. Vowels are taught first, followed by consonants, according to frequency. Syllabication is contextualized through authentic reading experiences, giving students a full picture of what reading is all about.

While standard Spanish is used for instruction and modeling, multiple accents are strategically used to expose students to the nuanced differences of the Spanish-speaking world. Highlighting the cultural and linguistic richness of Spanish-speaking countries provides students with a more meaningful educational experience. This webinar gives a preview of this new and innovative software program which will be released to schools in January.

The modern history of educational accountability

  • Presenter: Maria Reyes, Ph.D., the University of Texas at Austin
  • Length: 38 minutes
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Many researchers believe that Texas’ enviable educational accountability system served as the model for the landmark No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation that was passed by the U.S. Congress in 2001, which impacts millions of K-12 children in the U.S. However, the history of Texas’ educational accountability movement is not widely known, and Dr. Maria Reyes revisits the modern history of educational accountability and its impact on K-12 students with a focus on the Latino (primarily Mexican origin) student population.

In this presentation, Maria explains her assessment of academic gains for minority populations, as indicated by NAEP scores, and discusses why NCLB appears to be unpopular legislation among many educators in Texas. In addition, Maria spells out possible reasons why some middle-class parents criticize this legislation that diverts resources and attention away from their children, and why some school administrators, fearing loss of their jobs, put undue pressure on teachers and students to improve students’ test performance.

Academic success for English learners

  • Presenter: Lise Ragan, CEO, Course Crafters, Inc.
  • Length: 52 minutes
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This practical webinar provides background and information on English learners, the fastest-growing student population in K-12. Today, seventy-five percent of all teachers have at least one English learner in their classroom; by 2025, at the current growth rate, one in four students nationwide will be an English learner. These students are all required to demonstrate grade-level achievement in academic subjects, in English. However, academic achievement data suggests that they lag far behind their peers in reading, math, and science. Hispanic students, who comprise nearly 80% of all English learners, trail their white peers by an average of more than 20 test-score points on the NAEP math and reading assessments at 4th and 8th grades. This gap has not narrowed for 20 years.

To help school districts close the achievement gap, webinar viewers will learn about the unique challenges of English learners in reading, math, science, and social studies, and the critical importance of effective professional development and family engagement programs directed at these students.

Academic language and conceptual knowledge: The building blocks of academic success

  • Presenter: Sylvia Linan-Thompson, Ph.D., Associate Professor, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Length: 60 minutes
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Academic language is essential for academic success, yet many English learners are not exposed to this level of language. This presentation focuses on the use of academic discussions based on rich text to support English learners in developing academic language and conceptual knowledge. The research base for practices is provided as well as language and literacy practices that can be implemented across content areas.

Where’s the Money? Finding More Funding for Programs and Projects

  • Presenter: Dr. Marc Liebman, Chief Academic Officer at Imagine Learning & Dave Markov, Grants and Funding Specialist at Imagine Learning
  • Length: 47 minutes
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In this webinar, former superintendent Dr. Marc Liebman and grants and funding specialist Dave Markov look at strategies for locating needed dollars to fund educational priorities and technology. Using a practical and educated approach, districts can learn how to rise above their funding crunch and find out where the money is. Strategies include: how to establish the funding-finding mindset; how to use free and low-cost Internet resources to aid your search; and how to write grant applications that motivate the funder.

Along with these strategies, you’ll also learn tips to maximize existing resources, how to increase donations from the private sector, and discover why “you can always find money for your highest priorities.”

Removing Barriers to Learning for Long-Term English Learners

  • Presenter: Lily Wong Fillmore, Jerome A. Hutto Professor of Education Emerita at University of California, Berkeley
  • Length: 63 minutes
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Long-term English learners often struggle to reach proficiency in literacy and writing. So what can you do to help this growing student population jump-start the developmental process and acquire the literacy skills necessary for academic success? Join renowned educator and author Lily Wong Fillmore as she addresses key questions related to long-term English learners, a growing group of students who rarely receive the support they need to attain true proficiency and succeed in secondary grades.

In this presentation, you’ll learn why so many English learners appear to stall in their efforts to learn English as a second language. You’ll also learn how academic English instruction, combined with the right kind of instructional support, can help long-term English learners overcome obstacles to reaching proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking.

Turning the Tide: Strategies for Closing the English Learner Achievement Gap

  • Presenter: Marc Liebman, Chief Academic Officer at Imagine Learning & Mia A. Allen, Curriculum Specialist at Imagine Learning
  • Length: 56 minutes
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Recent findings from the National Center for Education Statistics show that despite numerous policies and programs designed to help English learners catch up with their native-speaking peers, the English learner achievement gap has continued to grow over the last ten years.

In this webinar, former superintendent Marc Liebman and dual language educator Mia Allen share essential strategies for keeping English learners motivated in the classroom, as well as valuable insights into the issues and roadblocks that can prevent this growing student population from finding success. You’ll learn how to implement technology-based approaches that are proven to help English learners overcome obstacles and succeed in school. You’ll also leave with strategies you can implement right away to start narrowing the achievement gap for your English learners.

Dual Language Education: Designing and Implementing Effective Programs

  • Presenter: David Rogers, Executive Director for Dual Language Education of New Mexico
  • Length: 55 minutes
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What’s the secret to implementing an effective dual language education program?

In this webinar, Executive Director for Dual Language Education of New Mexico David Rogers answers your most pressing questions concerning successful dual language education programs. You’ll learn essential strategies for creating and implementing a dual language education program, like identifying key criteria and objectives, applying proven best practices in both 50/50 and 90/10 programs, and ensuring success for students, educators, and parents.

A Quality Education for All: Your Guide to Achieving Educational Equity

  • Presenter: Charlene Lui, Director of Educational Equity for Granite School District
  • Length: 56 minutes
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In this webinar, you’ll become an educational equity guru with help from Charlene Lui, director of educational equity for Utah’s most diverse school district. You’ll learn equity audit strategies that can help teachers and administrators provide equal educational opportunities and create a climate that fosters high academic achievement for all students. You’ll also learn about eliminating educational barriers based on gender, race, national origin, color, disability, age, or other protected group status. And you’ll leave with ideas for implementing proven strategies for ensuring that underrepresented populations meet the same rigorous standards for academic performance expected of all students.

Six Strategies to Help You Find More Funding

  • Presenter: Dave Markov, Grants and Funding Specialist at Imagine Learning
  • Length: 55 minutes
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The “funding cliff” is approaching, and stimulus funds are disappearing. You need to find more funds now.

In this webinar, grants and funding specialist Dave Markov shares six strategies to help you secure additional funding dollars for your school or district:

  • Gearing up for your funding hunt
  • Writing successful grant applications
  • Accessing free and low-cost resources to boost grants and donations
  • Increasing community donations
  • Maximizing existing district resources
  • Optimizing a neglected district resource to bring in extra dollars

You’ll leave this practical presentation with actionable ideas you can implement right away. Don’t miss your chance to find funds before they’re gone.

Diversity or Disability? Finding the Right Intervention for Your English Learners

  • Presenter: Mia A. Allen, Curriculum Specialist at Imagine Learning
  • Length: 55 minutes
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In this webinar, experienced dual-language educator Mia Allen shares strategies for addressing language diversity and learning disability issues. You’ll learn about the challenges of correctly identifying learning disabilities in English learners, as well as literacy-based RTI strategies you can implement with your students to better meet their needs.

The Art of RTI: Discover How Principals Make It Work

  • Presenter: Clydie Wakefield, Executive Director of Curriculum Development at Imagine Learning
  • Length: 40 minutes
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In this webinar, presenter Clydie Wakefield shares insights from principals who are using RTI to accelerate student progress and close the achievement gap. You’ll learn how to identify resources, develop tools, and overcome obstacles as you implement an RTI program that will work for your students, teachers, and administrators.