Breakout Sessions

Participants will have the opportunity to attend a variety of breakout sessions. Sessions will be held on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. Below are current session planned..

Bridging the Opportunity Gap: Innovative Career Pathways Partnerships to Guarantee Jobs for Students

Lenoir County Public Schools (LCPS) is leveling up and expanding work-based learning experiences for students to include paid youth apprenticeship positions during high school and guaranteed jobs after graduation. Come discover how LCPS is piloting cutting edge, first-of-its-kind internship, youth apprentice, and apprenticeship programs in partnership with Spirit Aerosystems, Crown Equipment Corporation, the NC Masonry Association, and Lenoir Community College.

Breakout Session 1

Building Stronger Family Support Structures at the High School Level: Engagement in a High-Needs School

Increasing family engagement at the high school level can be difficult. Learn how a Title I high school has structured its parent engagement programming to increase engagement and build community supports for students, which has resulted in an increase in student achievement proficiency and growth.

Breakout Session 2

BuyBoard 101: What Board Members Should Know

BuyBoard helps save time and money while purchasing the products school systems use every day. Through this online purchasing cooperative, school districts are able to streamline the purchasing process and make confident buying decisions. This session will cover the board’s role in the procurement process as well as key questions to ask. Presenters will expound on this cost-savings opportunity and your unique role as governance leaders.

Breakout Session 2, 3

Designing the Community Engagement Process: Hybrid Solutions for Feedback Methods and Presentation Strategies

Community input on school design is crucial for achieving a design that meets the needs of the community and responds to a community’s unique character. What happens when a pandemic derails plans for interacting with stakeholders? Over the past year, LS3P’s design teams have transformed the process for conducting community meetings. Presenters will explore a variety of tools used to engage the community on multiple levels and to optimize the quantity and quality of the community’s feedback.

Breakout Session 2

Dramatically Improving Student Achievement and Attendance Through the Innovative Implementation of Restorative Discipline Practices

Learn how Lenoir County Public Schools (LCPS) has been able to implement radical changes in mindset and actions regarding discipline over the last four years. Presenters will share how LCPS has dramatically reduced the out-of-school suspension rate and simultaneously posted significant increases in student achievement. Find out how a systemwide change in mindset has transformed the culture of the schools and increased opportunities for students.

Breakout Session 4

Flipping Parent Engagement — Community, School, Families: Taking Family Engagement Beyond the School Walls

The pandemic and the need for physical distancing has disrupted many of the traditional parent engagement strategies. Learn how two schools maintained connections with families and stakeholders and kept the focus on relationships despite these challenges. Presenters will discuss their approach to find meaningful ways to move learning forward using creativity, resilience, and resourcefulness.

Breakout Session 3

Getting Into Gear Through Communication, Marketing, and Community Partnerships

If your communication, marketing efforts, and community partnerships (CMCP) are just one small gear in a complex machine, you may be missing the mark. CMCP requires a lot of gears of varying sizes working together in a variety of machines to maximize the end result. As a school district, communication is the key element in telling the story. For board members, superintendents, and district leaders, it goes without saying — if you don’t tell your story, someone else will. That’s why marketing your district and developing community partnerships is crucial. Learn how to maximize both your efforts and your story through relationships with other nonprofits, local companies, and larger corporations. As people begin seeing the gears working together, they will soon realize the end result is far greater than anyone could have imagined.

Breakout Session 1

Implementing Instructional Rounds to Develop a Culture of Collaboration

Everyone has seen the medical shows where doctors and medical students make their hospital rounds to determine the best care for their patients. Wilson County Schools (WCS) principals and district leaders have been using instructional rounds in a similar way to discuss instructional practices, provide feedback, and nurture growth. Instructional rounds are different from evaluations and walkthroughs and require a different mindset and approach. They are a great way to build a culture of collaboration and communication, identify and share best practices, reinforce district expectations, and build trust. In this session, presenters will share what they have learned through the process as well as helpful resources used to introduce the concept to leaders.

Breakout Session 2

Learning by the SEA: Structuring a Summer Enrichment Academy to Address Equity, Innovation, and Growth for All

During the summer, students in Lenoir County Public Schools (LCPS) can engage in enrichment, STEM, language development, social-emotional learning, and literacy instruction. Instruction is designed to serve all students — from the highest achievers to the learners struggling the most — to improve student achievement, enrich learning, and nurture the whole child. This session will cover the comprehensive design LCPS uses to provide equitable opportunities for students. Learn how it also allows instructional leaders to grow and pilot new programs that they can take back to their own schools. 

Breakout Session 3

Left, Right, Respect:  Building & Sustaining Board Member Relations

The former Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools board chair and the current chair will discuss the challenges of building and sustaining good school board member relations. They will share their personal and honest journeys as school board members helping to combat the dysfunction their board has faced. They invite other board members across the state to share their stories too. Don’t forget the popcorn!

Breakout Session 1

Looking Back to Plan Forward: One-to-One Digital Learning Journey to Increase Equity and Access for All Students

Lenoir County Public Schools (LCPS) has transformed from low-performing status to one of the fastest improving districts for student achievement in the southeast region. An essential part of that success has been its intentional, strategic, and powerful digital learning initiative. Learn how LCPS has worked to level the playing field and increase the effectiveness of learning opportunities for all by providing a digital device to every teacher and student in a sustainable structure that directly supports curriculum and instruction. This session will discuss the structures, processes, and challenges of a successful one-to-one digital learning environment and how to grow and sustain initiatives to provide truly equitable access to excellence for all.

Breakout Session 2

NC GreenPower Solar+ Schools Program

Formed by the North Carolina Utilities Commission in 2003, NC GreenPower is a nonprofit whose mission is to expand public knowledge and acceptance of cleaner energy technologies to all North Carolinians through local, community-based initiatives. In 2015, the nonprofit launched the Solar+ Schools program that offers grants to install educational solar PV systems at K-12 schools. This session will provide you with information about NC GreenPower and how schools can participate in the Solar+ Schools program. In addition, participants will explore electric transportation/charging options with school buses, fleets, and more.

Breakout Session 1

North Carolina Education Lottery: The First 10 Years

The North Carolina Education Lottery began 15 years ago. Since that time, the lottery has generated over $8 billion for educational programs. During last year alone, $936 million was used to support education programs. Dr. Walter Hart, Dr. Jim Watson, and Dr. Carl Westine, UNC-Charlotte professors, conducted a study on the impact of the lottery during its first 10 years that was published in the “Journal of Education Finance.” During this session, Dr. Hart and Dr. Watson will provide an update on what has happened with lottery funding since their 2010 study. Join them as they try to answer the question, “With the North Carolina Education Lottery booming with revenue, why aren’t our K-12 schools flush with money?”

Breakout Session 4

North Carolina Smart Bus Safety Program Overview

The Smart School Bus Safety program was created last year as part of the coronavirus relief funding for the state. As part of the bill, Mount Airy City Schools (MACS) was given funding to pilot a three-year program where the district contracts with qualifying vendors to provide technology and services for its school buses. Presenters will share an overview of the system implemented at MACS and approved as a TIMS equivalent system by NCDPI. A current bill in the NC House (HB 256) would expand this program for 20-plus additional districts and provide funding for three years.

Breakout Session 1

Policy, Procedure, and the Law: Keeping your Student Athletes Safe

North Carolina has multiple laws and State Board of Education policies that affect athletics, particularly in the area of athlete health and safety. Yet, recent study shows that school districts across the state are not in compliance. Lack of compliance not only puts the LEAs at risk for litigation, but compromises the health and safety of student athletes.    During this session, presenters will cover NC laws, board of education policy, and best practices, as well as case law, and will highlight lifesaving events of student athletes in NC secondary schools that were a result of knowing and following policy. By the end of the session attendees will be able to identify and understand their organization’s major areas of vulnerability and take appropriate action to protect their students from harm and themselves and their school districts from potential litigation. Attendees will also have a better understanding of the role of the athletic trainer in regards to these policies and laws and the health care of student athletes, and how to work with athletic trainers and other stakeholders to improve the health and safety of their student athletes. 

Breakout Session 4

Public Schools are the Best Choice: Using Cutting Edge and Traditional Marketing to Build a Collective Community Opinion

With so many options available, public schools must market themselves as the best choice for education. Learn how Lenoir County Public Schools strategically and comprehensively markets its district as a school system of choice using a balanced combination of traditional marketing strategies and outside-the-box approaches to win the hearts and minds of stakeholders.

Breakout Session 1

Recoding Our Future:  Bringing Computer Science to Students in Rural Communities

As one of the first recipients of NCDPI’s Coding and Mobile App Development Grant, awarded in 2017 and again in 2019, Lenoir County Public Schools (LCPS) utilized funding to design coding and computer science experiences for all LCPS middle school students. They have also increased advanced computer science opportunities through the addition of Advanced Placement courses offered through the Career and Technical Education program, and coding opportunities are also available in elementary classrooms and as part of extracurricular activities. In addition, online coding courses based on Apple’s “Everyone Can Code” curriculum are now available to every LCPS student. In this session, presenters will share their challenges and successes and discuss how they are changing the future for their students.

Breakout Session 4

Road to Recovery the Fifth Time Around: How Floyd, Irene, and Matthew Influenced Florence, Dorian, and COVID Response

Lessons Lenoir County Public Schools (LCPS) learned from prior hurricane events informed the planning and preparation for Hurricanes Florence and Dorian as well as the response to COVID. The school system’s primary focus was meeting student, staff, and family needs. In this session, presenters will share strategies for proactive planning with emergency management, media, health and human services, and relief agencies.

Breakout Session 2

Stealing Marketing Ideas FromtThe Private Sector

Apptegy knows that leading a school district is like running a business, but school leaders tell them they don’t have the resources to dedicate to marketing like the private sector does. This session will take a deep dive into private sector marketing strategies that school districts may be missing. What is marketing? What is a brand? How do you empower each of your schools to stand out? Find out as presenters discuss best practices from Apptegy’s SchoolCEO magazine.

Breakout Session 1

Strategic Planning: Data, Decisions, and the Process

Educators know that the effective use of data can measure student progress, evaluate program and instructional effectiveness, guide curriculum development and resource allocation, promote accountability, and, most importantly, ensure that every child learns. This workshop will explore the importance of data decisions and the continuous improvement process as a catalyst for effective governance team strategic planning.

Breakout Session 2

Students Helping Students Succeed:  An Innovative Peer Tutoring Program Partnership Between LCPS, ECU, and AmeriCorps

Lenoir County Public Schools (LCPS), in partnership with AmeriCorps and East Carolina University, have placed high school peer tutors with master teachers in freshman math and science classes. Not only do LCPS students serve as tutors, they also earn scholarship dollars for college. LCPS NC Math 1 scores have increased due to the personalized learning and peer connections that this type of innovative tutoring program provides. This session will discuss the partnership and its impressive results. 

Breakout Session 1

The Road to Recovery: Comprehensive Planning, Strategic Investments, and Charting a Path Forward

The NC Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) has a focus on learning recovery and helping every student succeed. Dr. Michael Maher, executive director of learning recovery, and staff from NCDPI will discuss how the department is responding to the challenges of COVID, including learning loss, while solving for the educational challenges that have plagued our country for decades. During the session, hear the comprehensive planning and strategic investments that North Carolina is taking to move our students forward.

Breakout Session 4

The School Cybersecurity Threat — Managing Your Risk

In our current climate, cyberthreats and ransomware attacks against school districts continue to escalate. During this session, presenters will discuss the risks and attacks cybercriminals are using to deceive district employees and share how school districts can put controls in place to better manage those risks.

Breakout Session 2, 4

The Value of Employee Communication: How Your District Can Retain Top Talent

Workplace communications is a critical piece to keep your employees informed and engaged. Increased demands on HR and technology capabilities make it difficult to communicate with employees, especially in today’s workplace environment. Join this session to learn how your district can directly connect and engage by sharing all the values your district brings to your employees.

Breakout Session 1

To Play or Not to Play:  Entering the Gaming and Esports Universe for K-12  

Electronic sports (esports) is a $1 billion industry that currently reaches almost 500 million people worldwide. Asia and North America represent the major esports markets in terms of revenue, with China accounting for one-fifth of the market. Several colleges and universities now offer esports certifications as part of their curriculum. K-12 schools must prepare to enter that space by ensuring students can navigate and excel using skills previously thought of as simply play or entertainment. This session is intended to give attendees an overview of the business of esports gaming, how to position themselves as a global leader organization in the industry, how to create, develop, and launch esports with credentialing in various business areas, and multi-million dollar revenue potential.

Breakout Session 1

Transforming School Board Meetings Through Engagement: From Information Sharing, Discussion, and Voting to Leading and Learning 

Learn how Lenoir County Public Schools (LCPS) has transformed its school board meetings from focusing solely on information and action items to strategic engagement sessions. Meetings now provide board members and other stakeholders with opportunities to not only hear what is happening, but to also engage in and experience the systemwide changes. Presenters will discuss how board members engage directly with staff members, students, and parents regarding every aspect of the school system, including digital learning, curriculum and instruction, and many student support initiatives.

Breakout Session 4

Ramona PowersBreakouts