Amidst the unpredictability of 2020, our Network of innovative schools has remained committed to our focus on deeper learning outcomes for all students – no matter whether school is distanced, in person, or somewhere in between. Leading that charge through these complexities are the principals, directors, and other school leaders who serve their unique communities, and are united together by shared beliefs and values grounded in deeper learning. More than 200 NTN school leaders gathered virtually during our Fall Virtual Leadership Summit where they connected, reflected, and sought renewal together. We intentionally designed this Summit with our present moment in mind, and invited leaders to build confidence in what they believe matters most in their work, and learn ways to put that at the core of how they lead others. Here is a snapshot of the inspiration and insight that took place across each day as we gathered together across our digital spaces.
Lifting up the voices of NTN school leaders was the most impactful way we could kick off this Summit- so that’s what we did. We began with the premiere of Voices of Leaders, a video collection of Network school leaders reflecting on this moment, their leadership, and what brings them hope as they lead their communities forward. Jude Garnier and Jim May moderated a conversation with three NTN school leaders who reflected on what they heard from their network colleagues and how they were shepherding their learning communities through complexity, while focusing on tangible outcomes for students.
Here is some insight from our attendees on Day 1 as we gathered together on Slack:
On Day 2, Network leaders fostered community, shared identity, and traded resources with Network colleagues who serve schools in similar learning environments(distanced, hybrid, in-person). Educator, designer, and abolitionist Dr. Kaleb Rashad inspired us all with his keynote address, as he traced the historical roots of inequity and racial injustice within schools and society while empowering NTN leaders with tools and mental models to transform our school system. Two hours of the Summit were dedicated to Reflect and Renew, where attendees were encouraged to disconnect from their computer to spend time reflecting in whatever form worked best for them while exploring inspiring resources. Later in the day, leaders chose from a range of learning opportunities that included Instructional Leadership of Virtual and Blended Learning Environments and Using Echo for Deeper Professional Learning.
Day 2 attendees shared their insights on Slack:
On the final day, Network leaders began by unpacking their equity stances. A collaborative experience that endeavored personal introspection, the exercise was also designed to afford attendees the opportunity to hear how their Network colleagues approach the work of fostering equity depending on the community that they serve. Later in the day, leaders chose from a range of learning opportunities that included Building Antiracist Schools and Living Community Agreements to Build Culture. Our Summit concluded with 200+ leaders collectively reflecting in real time via Slack, sharing how Fall Virtual Leadership Summit has shaped their thinking, cultivated community, and reaffirmed a deeper sense of purpose towards how they lead others.
On Day 3, here’s what attendees shared on Slack:
The challenges facing our society are numerous. So too exists, a sundry of solutions to those challenges – solutions that live within the hearts and minds of our Network’s students. Powerful teaching that fosters transferable skills and habits of mind that matter will unlock the thinking we so desperately need. Purposeful leadership, grounded in conviction, community, and service is what will afford that type of teaching and learning to flourish. Our Network is ready to answer this moment. Join us.