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Past Event

Join WestEd at the 2021 National ESEA Virtual Conference

ESEA Conference WestEd Presentations

Join WestEd at the 2021 National ESEA Virtual Conference, to be held February 8 through 11. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this conference will be virtual. We look forward, however, to the same high-quality, positive, interactive, and diverse experience as we’ve had in past years. Sessions and exhibits will be available from the comfort of your own home.

In these unprecedented times, the need for technology, innovation, and creativity has never been greater. With the theme “Education for Tomorrow,” ESEA 2021 gathers education leaders to explore innovative ways to help prepare students for college and career.

Add WestEd’s sessions (see below) to your calendar and visit our virtual booth, #1017, to meet our staff and to learn about our resources, professional learning opportunities, and research.

Monday, February 8

Session: Getting to Agency: What We’re Learning About Learning
Presenters: Nancy Gerzon, Bryan Hemberg, and Barbara Jones
Time & Location: 11:15 a.m.–12:45 p.m. EST
Session Type: Workshop

When students learn to use evidence on a daily basis to assess the status of their learning, agency begins to drive learning forward. When students learn from one another as they construct knowledge and skills through discourse and peer feedback, this individual agency becomes the force of collective agency. Through formative assessment, students learn skills such as recognizing and using evidence to support their own learning and that of their peers, creating increased competence, capacity, and collaboration. Formative assessment is an engine for student agency.

This session will explore, through images, words, and student voices, what students do differently as they engage with formative assessment, and how they shift their learner identities and move toward autonomy and agency. The session will examine the teacher perspective, highlighting ways in which formative assessment is both challenging and rewarding for teachers as they re-envision how students learn.

Session: New Frontier: Why and Wins for an Intentional SEA Policy to LEA Practice Feedback Loop
Presenters: Jana Rosborough, Elena Lincoln, and Laura Jurgensen
Time & Location: 4:30–6:00 p.m. EST
Session Type: Workshop

Following building closure due to COVID-19, the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) Special Education and Title Services (SETS) team received a flood of questions from special education administrators about how to navigate this new frontier of supporting students with IEPs during continuous learning. Recognizing the need from the field for a space to learn from each other while staying grounded in the law and guidance, KSDE SETS asked two technical assistance providers to facilitate a virtual Community of Practice (CoP) for special education administrators for a span of 20 weeks.

This session will unpack the CoP from system perspectives and data, highlighting lessons learned, benefits realized, and opportunities to leverage an intentional creation of a supported (and consistent) policy-to-practice feedback loop. The session will include activities to showcase where quick wins can be made in strengthening relationships through levels of the system in a virtual environment.

Wednesday, February 10

Session: Collaborating to Improve Instruction for English Learners with Disabilities
Presenters: Cerelle Morrow and Silvia Deruvo
Time & Location: 1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m. EST
Session Type: Workshop

This workshop will engage participants in an approach aimed at collaboratively improving teaching and learning for English learners with disabilities (ELSWD). The presenters will utilize guiding questions to lead participants through an exciting journey of discovery, reflection, and application. Participants will have an opportunity to think critically about their own professional practice as it relates to working with ELSWDs and share their knowledge and experiences in providing and implementing instruction with other participants.

The interactive workshop includes varied modes of representation (PowerPoint, online tools, color-coded handouts), and engages participants in frequent paired collaboration and group work. As a culminating exercise, small groups will be guided through a lesson-tuning protocol where they will collaboratively make adaptations to a lesson and then reflect on how they might apply the protocol to their own contexts and educational environments.

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Event Type



February 8–11th, 2021


Virtual Conference


National Association of ESEA State Program Administrators


Administrators, Policymakers, Researchers, Teachers, Early Childhood Professionals, School and District Leaders, Teacher Educators