The Virtual Charter Schools Conference (NCSCvirtual) entered day two of the event on Thursday, July 23. The conference schedule was filled with engaging sessions packed with content. The content focused on three main areas: remote learning, reopening schools, and reimagining education.
The day began with homerooms, which focused on career tracks this week. The homeroom theme allowed participants to connect with other attendees serving in similar capacities.
In keeping with our commitment to elevating black voices and addressing race and equity issues, DeRay Mckesson, civil rights activist and co-founder of Campaign Zero, and Tre Johnson from Catalyst: Ed opened with a powerful keynote address focused on understanding the Black Lives Matter movement. The session focused on the role of charter schools in advancing educational equity and engaging in meaningful conversations that bring about change and understanding. Artemisio Romero y Carver, a student activist and rising senior at New Mexico School of Arts, also spoke during the opening keynote on his activism in the community and encouraged us to stand with students.
After a brief break, breakout sessions began with a featured session on equity in education, moderated by Afrika Owes from the Center for Constitutional Rights and a KIPP STAR NYC alumna. This session featured a rockstar group of panelists: Margaret Fortune (president & CEO, Fortune Schools), Shaver Jefferies (president, Democrats for Educator Reform), and Layla Avila (CEO, Education Leaders of Color) came together to discuss the inequity within education that has plagued the American school system for years. Each panelist offered strategies that charter school organizations can implement to take steps toward eradicating inequality within education.
On day two of NCSCvirtual, registrants had the opportunity to participate in over ten engaging sessions related to reopening schools, remote learning, and reimagining schools. These sessions ranged from topics like social-emotional learning, navigating teaching during remote learning, and charter school finance. Participants walked away with newfound knowledge and insight.
Day three is sure to provide even more opportunities for our participants. We are excited to hear from our keynote speakers who are sure to ‘bring us home’ on the final day of NCSCVirtual. We cannot wait to see you there!
Zoie Jones is a 2020 Walton-UNCF K-12 Education Fellow serving with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. She is a rising senior at Spelman College, a historically black college and university in Atlanta, majoring in Elementary Education. After graduation, Zoie aspires to become a teacher focusing her efforts on educating and inspiring children from low-income communities.