LeChase Hall, Box 270425, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627 (585) 210-9754


All In: When Theory Meets Practice in School Reform
A Symposium

April 28, 2018, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
East High School
1801 East Main St.
Rochester, NY

The Center for Urban Education Success (CUES) at the University of Rochester presents a symposium highlighting the transformational work of educational reform at the UR-East EPO.

The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 8 a.m. and the program begins promptly at 9 a.m. Refreshments and a light lunch will be provided. For additional information or to request special accommodations or interpretation services, please contact Catherine Wilson at  or (585) 324-3651.

Registration is closed.

Session Descriptions

The program is organized around three 50-minute sessions and plenary addresses. East teachers, administrators, community partners, and staff will lead attendees through presentations that link educational theory to practice in the evolution of a school-based initiative. Sessions are designed to encourage dialogue among presenters and attendees. When you register, you’ll be asked to choose three sessions from the topics below:

  • Inquiry in the High School Math Classroom – This session explores  ways how to have students develop conceptual understanding through inquiry in Mathematics.   The group will engage in a learning experience that will demonstrate a typical lesson taught through inquiry. Presented by Enkela Paco and Brittany Patenaude, Upper School Math Teachers.
  • Curriculum and Instruction at East – The approach to curriculum and instruction and by extension professional learning at East, while founded on the original EPO plan, has been evolutionary and multi-faceted. Participants will learn about the overall approach, our current status, and the unique university and school partnership as it relates to curriculum and instruction. The session will have a minimum of technical language and be appropriate for a wide audience.
    Presented by Susan Meier, EdD, Chief Academic Officer
  • Creative Writing and Authentic Publication within the Freshman Workshop Model – Giving students space in the school day to express themselves creatively is an essential aspect of Nancie Atwell’s Workshop model. Ensuring students have a real platform to bring their work to a wider audience through publication furthers the joy of creative writing. This presentation will examine the ways in which East High School’s 9th grade Workshop students have been given authentic opportunities to publish and how it has impacted them as scholars. Included will be sample writings from scholars, excerpts from reflective essays, and insights from scholars in the process of writing and publication.
    Presented by Dan Hart, Literacy Teacher, 9th Grade Academy
  • Growing a Literacy Program to Meet the Needs of All Students – This session explores the structures, resources, and philosophies behind the multi-faceted literacy program at East. The group will learn how our school has implemented a tiered approach to both literacy intervention and enrichment in Grades 6-9 in order to bolster students’ literacy skills in preparation for success in high school and beyond.
    Presented by 
    Jennifer Rees, Vice Principal; Jessica Anderson, Literacy Coach; Alexa Tarantino, Literacy Teacher
  • Re-visioning Social Emotional Support: East’s Family Group Model – This session explores East’s Family Group Model.  Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the structure, implementation and maintenance of this hybrid model of Social Emotional Support. Facilitators will share how Family Group has become a part of East’s daily routine and how the mission of Family Group has nurtured positive relationships, developed healthy habits and empowered scholars to have a voice.
    Presented by Susan Gross, Upper School CTE and Family Group Teacher Leader; Carleen Pierce, Director of Finance, East EPO
  • Leaving Your Own Island: The Ins and Outs of Writing Common, Research-Based Original Curriculum – This session explores how a group of tenacious teachers spent the last three years writing UbD based curriculum aligned with the new for Global History 1 and 2 framework.  The teachers will recount the growing pains and joys of this experience, and share lessons learned on common planning and teaching to the new reading and writing standards while increasing student engagement.
    Presented by Gloribel Arvelo-Park, Upper School Social Studies Teacher Leader; Jessica Bates, Sara Gotham, Robert Snyder, Upper School Social Studies Teachers
  • East’s Support Model: A Foundation for Scholar Success – East has integrated an innovative support Model into our scholar’s schedules.  During designated support periods, scholars have access to content area and special education teachers that are able to provide differentiated scaffolds to assist scholars with accessing the general education curriculum. Scholars can utilize their Support period to receive additional instruction in areas they struggle with, assistance with homework and missing assignments, and test preparation. As we work towards providing more targeted and individualized instruction, we invite you to come learn with us and provide input on how to improve the current model to help move our scholars towards graduation.
    Presented by Amy Lewis, Special Education Teacher; Peg Vadala, Upper School Social Studies Teacher; Amanda Dunn, Support Room Manager & Special Education Teacher; Tina Bianchi, Support Room Manager and English Teacher; Nicole Bak, Support Room Manager & Special Education Teacher; William Cybulski, Support Room Manager & Special Education Teacher; Brittany Phillips, Support Room Manager and Special Education Teacher Leader
  • Inquiry in the 6-8 Math Classroom – This session allows for parents, community members, and educators to experience a typical lesson in the life of a 7th grade math student here at East.  Participants will experience a math lesson and evaluate their own thinking and the thinking of others in the process.  The lesson will model the push for critical thinking skills and deep understanding that our curriculum encourages.  Get ready to have some fun with math!
    Presented by Mackensie Adams & Michaela Marino, Lower School Math Teachers
  • University-School Partnerships: Research and Engaging in Best Practices in Attendance – This session highlights the relationship between the University of Rochester’s Center for Urban Education Success (CUES) and East, as it related to East’s priority to improve attendance. We will share our process of reviewing academic literature about attendance, researching New York State schools that have exemplar attendance, visiting these schools and meeting their practitioners and students, and collaboratively writing our reflections to inform practice at East.
    Presented by Valerie Marsh, Assistant Director, Center for Urban Education Success & Lia Festenstein, Director of Special Programs at East EPO
  • UbD for the Performing Ensemble: Creating Quick and Easy Assessment to Make the Learning Visible – For many music teachers, structuring our curriculum to meet the demands of a specific design template might seem like a daunting task, especially when it comes to our performing ensembles.  We know that there is a lot of learning taking place during our rehearsals, but how do we design and visualize that learning for those outside our department who may not have a clear understanding of the many curricular elements we address each day?  Further, how do we assess that learning in quick and easy ways that don’t infringe on our precious rehearsal time?  These are some of the questions the music department here at East has been working on over the past three years.  This session will be a hands on opportunity to experience some of the solutions and strategies that have been designed for the choral ensemble, but they can all be used in any type of ensemble including band, jazz band, or orchestra.
    Presented by Jodi Zajkowski, Music Teacher
  • Distributive Leadership: Sharing the Stage and the Work – This session, which is intended for school leaders, will focus on leadership practices through a lens of distributive leadership and shared accountability.  We will discuss how fostering meaningful and powerful relations can lead to systemic change and improvement.
    Presented by Alecia Zipp-McLaughlin, 9th Grade Academy Director;  Jennifer Rees, Assistant Principal of Data; Marlene Blocker, Principal of the Upper School; Tanya Wilson, Principal of the Lower School; Shaun Nelms, Superintendent
  • Family & Community Partnerships that Build Academic Achievement – This collaborative session, which is intended for parents and guardians, will focus on the current climate in which we are raising our children.  Three different mini-sessions will be provided to equip families with knowledge and tools needed to navigate some community challenges that our scholars face and will offer tools to support them in academic achievement.
    Presented by Various Community Agencies
  •  From Principles to Practice: Curriculum Embedded Performance Tasks – What are the most memorable moments in your high school experience? Was it that fifty point multiple choice final? Perhaps it was the five page paper on Ancient River Civilizations, or maybe it was the time you had to perform what you learned in front of an audience? In this session we will peel back the layers of several successful Curriculum Embedded Performance Tasks from the current school year. The format of the session will be a brief presentation followed by an open forum discussion.
    Presented by Jeff Christiano, Culinary Arts Teacher; Jodi Cook, Biomedical and Laboratory Sciences Teacher; Debbie Gerritz, Business Teacher
  • Sociocultural Learning Theory in a Writer’s Workshop Model – This session operationalizes the Sociocultural Theory of learning by showcasing students’ literacy development in a Reader’s Writer’s Workshop model at East High School to create a highly engaging and collaborative space with equal roles between students and the teacher. Educators will gain deeper knowledge of the strategies used for scaffolding authentic reading and writing opportunities for all students. This session will showcase a Poetry CEPT (Curriculum Embedded Task) which guided students strategically through modeled collaboration, peer review, multiple opportunities for practice and eventually complete student autonomy in preparation for the performance at Boulder Coffee Company.
    Presented by Alexa Basile, Literacy Teacher, Lower School
  • Historical Thinking Matters – This interactive session places participants in the seat of the learner.  Experience how the Lower School Social Studies team has created original curricula that embeds the historical thinking skills of corroboration, point of view, and contextualization to prepare scholars for the rigors of Upper School classroom instruction and the demands of the new US History Regents exam.  Participants will see samples of student work and teacher targeted interventions designed to assist scholar acquisition of these skills.
    Presented by Khieta Davis, Social Studies Instructional Coach; Jeff Halsdorfer, Lower School Vice Principal;  Quinton Mitchell, Grant Atkins, Kim Merritt, Tracy Simmons, Lower School Social Studies Teachers; Kevin Meuwissen, University of Rochester, Warner School, Associate Professor, Teaching & Curriculum
  •  Building Opportunities to Engage and Connect Families and the Community – Participants will gain knowledge about the family and community engagement strategies that are being implemented at East. They will also learn about the benefits of building partnership opportunities with community resources. Attendees will develop an understanding of how increasing trust, improving communication, and connecting resources can successfully impact parent and community engagement within schools.
    Presented by Lorna Washington, Special Assistant to the Superintendent East EPO; Jason Taylor, Community Project Coordinator
  •  Restorative Practices: Revitalizing Climate & Culture in an Urban School  – The purpose of this session is to share the restorative practice framework and how it has been specifically applied within the East community. We will focus on the elements that the Restorative Practices committee has driven to build a safe and supportive environment through relationships. Join us in experiencing participatory learning and the power of a circle where all voices are heard.
    Presented by Linda Beaty-Gladney, LMSW, Social Worker, Certified Partners in Restorative Initiatives (PIRI) Facilitator; Stephanie Bliss, MS Ed. CAS & Rebecca Laske, MS Ed. CAS, East School Counselors; Michelle Garcia, LCSW, Certified PIRI Trainer, Johanna Gefell-Wofford, LMSW, and Andrew Goodman, LMSW, East Social Workers 


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