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The Institute for Educational Leadership’s 2022 National Community Schools and Family Engagement Conference in L.A. to Bring Together over 3,000 Educators and Practitioners

CSxFE22 logo. Reflect. Transform. Soar. LA skyline. IEL logo.

The Institute for Educational Leadership’s 2022 National Community Schools and Family Engagement Conference in L.A. to Bring Together over 3,000 Educators and Practitioners

Press Release

May 18, 2022

 Practitioners from Across Education Ecosystem Coming Together to Advance Effective Strategies for Student Outcomes

(Los Angeles, June 1 – 3rd) – The 2022 National Community Schools and Family Engagement Conference is happening June 1st – 3rd at the Los Angeles Convention Center, hosted by the Institute for Educational Leadership, and supported by its Family and Community Engagement Network and Coalition for Community Schools – which is celebrating its 25th year. This high-quality professional development experience for learning and networking is designed to increase attendees’ knowledge of Community Schools and Family Engagement, sharpen their skill sets to lead collaboratively, and improve outcomes for children and families.

The conference will gather attendees from over 46 states and presenters from over 100 organizations representing parent and youth leaders; school and district leaders; community organizers and union activists; elected officials; Community School coordinators and initiative leaders; education, justice and health system professionals; early childhood educators; university partners; disability advocates; researchers; and more. With over 100 workshop options across eight different topic strands, the conference is a safe space for conversations around national issues such as increasing chronic absenteeism and declining enrollment rates, and their effects on school budgets, as well how polarizing takes on the teacher shortage, critical race theory, social-emotional learning, and equity have affected our educators and education as we know it.

The event’s location is directly tied to the unprecedented moment in which Community Schools are in. California recently invested a historic $3 billion in Community Schools, which follows National attention from the Biden administration’s recognition of CS as an evidence-based for improving student outcomes. These events support the Community School strategy as an effective approach to mitigate the academic and social impacts of emergencies that affect local communities, improve school responsiveness to student and family needs, and to organize school and community resources to address barriers to learning. Family, school, and community engagement is a core part of this work, and is a shared responsibility of families, schools and communities for student learning and achievement, and it is continuous from birth to young adulthood, occurring across multiple settings where children learn.

The conference will also feature an engaging line-up of keynote speakers including Dr. Debra Duardo, Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools; Dr. Pedro Noguera, Dean of the Rossier School of Education and Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Southern California, LaShawn Chatmon, Executive Director, National Equity Project; Dr. Cindy Marten, Deputy Secretary, US Dept. of Education; Tony Thurmond (invited), State Education Secretary; and Sophie Fanelli, President of the Stuart Foundation.

The Conference’s theme, “Reflect. Transform. Soar,”is both a reminder and a call to action arounduniting for every child’s opportunity. Together, Covid-19 and the racial reckoning created the most profound teachable moment in most of our lifetimes. In the face of adversity, there is no learning from mistakes or building on success without reflection. For many children, youth, and families, normal was insufficient. Now more than ever we need better collaboration, stronger partnerships that value youth, parent and community voice, leadership at every level, and a renewed commitment to co-creating a new normal that eliminates inequities of access and opportunity requires a major transformation of our practices, our partnerships, and our systems. To soar is to fly or rise high.

Conference presenters Learning Heroes will also release a preview of “Parents 2022” – their 6th annual national survey of parents and educators. Session attendees will receive a first look at the new findings to see what families and educators are saying about the current state of the home-school relationship, and get specific suggestions for designing family engagement strategies that drive equity.  

Members of the conference are also bringing together the Community Schools Forward Task Force to engage other attendees as they continue the important work of building, codifying, and expanding this evidence-based strategy for reimagining what schools can do, and fulfilling our duty to do right by our children and students. Led by the Center for Universal Education at Brookings, Communities in Schools, The Institute for Educational Leadership’s Coalition for Community Schools, and the Learning Policy institute, the task force is comprised of a diverse and innovative group of education practitioners and decision-makers with a vast wealth of collective experience and expertise.

In that same spirit of alignment, IEL will host state breakout sessions designed for every registered participant to be able to contribute to the advancement of Community Schools & Family Engagement regardless of their experience and knowledge. In these meetings, participants will network and record the planning of each state as they evolve a “State Coalition” that strengthens relationships and progresses a shared agenda. 

Other conference highlights will include Site Visits and pre-conference sessions, as well as CSxFE awards ceremony at our Block Party.

The Conference is being supported by Salesforce, Scholastic Education Solutions, National Education Association, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Heising-Simons Foundation, Stuart Foundation, the Ballmer Group, Flamboyan Foundation, American Federation of Teachers, and Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors.

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More: Since 1964, IEL has developed leaders who disrupt generational poverty and eliminate systemic racial, class, and disability barriers, in order to achieve greater equity for all. With expertise in national policy and a deep network of relationships at the community level, IEL works collaboratively to increase access to education and workforce opportunities, so all children and families can create the lives they want to live.