Date: October 5, 2021
Time: 10-11:15 am Pacific Time / 1-2:15 pm Eastern Time
Safe and supportive learning environments are critical for achieving equitable outcomes, particularly for underserved students.
Join us for the first session in our Leading Voices Online Conversation Series, which spotlights scholarly and practitioner perspectives on pressing education issues. This session is designed to support your efforts to create the conditions necessary for equitable teaching and learning.
Building on research and experience in the field, Dr. Christina Pate, Director of Safe and Supportive Learning Environments (SSLE) services at WestEd, and Jenny Betz, Senior Program Associate at WestEd, will lead a conversation with Regina Timms, Program Manager for Safe and Supportive Learning Environments at the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED), and Dr. Rose Prejean-Harris, Director of Social and Emotional Learning in Atlanta Public Schools (APS).
Drawing from WestEd’s recent work with NMPED and APS, our panelists will review current research, discuss the essentials of SSLE, and describe how they implement, scale, and sustain this work.
Discussion topics for this conversation include:
- Centering equity and cultural responsiveness in SSLE work
- Collaboration and co-creation
- Effective systems and structures
- Challenges in creating safe and supportive learning environments
- Opportunities that SSLE work can offer
Who Should Attend?
- State education leaders and staff
- Regional/county education leaders and staff
- School district education leaders and staff
- Other education leaders and decision-makers
This session will be recorded and available to all registrants a week after the event. Please contact Danny Torres at dtorres@WestEd.org if you would like more information about the series and registration.
Future dates will be announced soon.
Dr. Rose Prejean-Harris is Director of Social Emotional Learning at Atlanta Public Schools. A Louisiana native, she began her teaching career as a middle and high school science teacher in New Orleans, Dallas, and Atlanta before transitioning to a high school counselor and then assistant principal in DeKalb County Schools. She later became the principal of Gainesville Middle School in Gainesville, Georgia. Dr. Prejean-Harris believes that in order for students to gain access to a challenging curriculum, their social and emotional needs must also be addressed by caring adults who are also self-aware and skilled in meeting the needs of all children. She received her B.S. in Science Education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, an M.Ed. in School Counseling from the University of West Georgia, and her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Mercer University.
Regina (Gina) Garcia Timms serves as a School Improvement Specialist and Program Co-Manager for Safe and Supportive Learning Environments at the New Mexico Public Education Department, Priority Schools Bureau. A native to New Mexico, she spent 12 years as a Developmental Specialist and Family Service Coordinator providing educational and therapeutic services to children with special needs from birth to age three. She then spent eight years as a developmental preschool special education teacher in the public-school sector and at the New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Timms became a training and development consultant at the University of New Mexico Center for Development and Disability. She provided training and technical support to early intervention providers across the state. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communicative Disorders from the University of New Mexico and her Master of Arts in Special Education with an emphasis on Visual Impairments and Blindness from New Mexico State University.
Dr. Christina Pate (she/her) serves as the Deputy Director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Center to Improve Social & Emotional Learning and School Safety. She is also Director of the Equity Accelerator, funded by the Bechtel Family Foundation, and Director of WestEd’s Safe and Supportive Learning Environments body of work. Pate has extensive experience in education, public health, wellness services, and service systems and brings a range of expertise in strategic planning, systems thinking, social-emotional development and mental health, leadership and collaboration, and organizational climate and culture. Pate has supported clients in expanding their leadership and collaboration capacity to shift mindsets, facilitate personal and systemic transformation, and build infrastructure and coordinate systems across sectors. She has also coached clients in implementation and sustainability efforts across state and local child-serving systems to promote healthy development and connect individuals with services and supports. Pate supports the agency in developing equity-centered work that fosters adult well-being, cultivates the voice, agency, and co-design of stakeholders, promotes healthy development and resilience, and improves cross-sector collaboration to improve outcomes for individuals and systems.
Jenny Betz (she/they) is a Senior Program Associate with WestEd’s Resilient and Healthy Schools and Communities (RHSC), providing coaching, training, and technical assistance to support client efforts to assess and improve school climate and wellness, with an emphasis on equity, trauma-informed practices, SEL, stakeholder engagement, youth leadership, bias-based bullying, LGBTQ students, data-use, and sustainability. With more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, Betz has worked with hundreds of SEAs, LEAs, government agencies, professional associations, community organizations, and corporations, focusing on creating and sustaining safe, inclusive, and equitable learning environments for all students. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Betz earned a BA in English at St. Mary’s College and an MA in gender/cultural studies at Simmons College.
Join Our Twitter Chat
WestEd will host an engaging and informative Twitter Chat to answer follow-up questions and share lessons learned from our discussion. Join us on Wednesday, October 6, at 11 am Pacific Time / 2 pm Eastern Time to continue the conversation. @WestEd