National Leadership for Social Justice Institute

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5th Annual National Leadership for Social Justice Institute and Academy:

Leading Proactive High Achieving Schools for All Students

New Participants: 

5 Day Institute

      July 25 - July 29, 2016

Madison, WI




Registration for the 2016 event will open in October.

This annual professional development opportunity supports state, regional, district leadership, building leadership, and grade level teacher teams to move from a deficit-based system to one that is based on proactive, Integrated, and Comprehensive Services (ICS)™. Participants will affirm their commitment to learning to lead for equity and social justice across rural, urban, and suburban districts. Teams will engage in a deep equity analysis of their school, district, region, or state and complete an action plan and next steps to increase achievement of all students regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, gender, ability, language, income, and their intersections.

Schools and districts who have completed the Institute in previous years and whom are deeply engaged in the work will help facilitate content and share their achievements and challenges. Participants will network and collaborate, and in so doing, develop an on-going community of support and accountability beyond the event.

Who Should Attend?

  • State Teams

  • Regional Teams

  • District Leadership Teams (directors of special education/curriculum instruction, superintendents, business manager/HR, and possible principals from Building Leadership Teams)

  • Building Leadership Teams (principal, assistant principal, representatives from Grade Level Teams including special education teachers, general education teachers, ELL/bilingual teachers, school psychologists, interventionists, reading specialists, etc.)

  • Grade Level Teacher Teams - as long as the Grade Level Teams are attending with the Building Leadership Teams. Grade level teams include special education, general education, ELL/bilingual teachers, interventionists, reading specialists, etc.)

Why Should You Attend?

State, regional, district, building, and grade level teacher teams will develop/revise improvement plans that:

  • Use data to raise student achievement and eliminate inequities (lead beyond RtI)

  • Transform service delivery for all students (e.g., special education, ELL, Title I, gifted)

  • Create universally designed instruction

  • Develop teacher and organizational capacity

  • Merge funding and reallocate resources


Registration cost includes all materials and refreshments throughout the week. 

Names of participants are not required to register a group. Secure your spots now and submit names of attendees later.

University credit for the 5 Day Institute (3 credits) is available to interested participants. Additional information will be sent out after registration is complete.

Online registration requires the use of a credit card for payment. Please contact Matthew Freid at (716) 553-2654 or with any registration questions.

New Participants: 5 Day

July 25 - July 29, 2016

Individual: $525

Groups of 8 or more: $495

Groups of 16 or more: $470



Returning Participants: 2 Day

Dates TBD


 Individual: $260

Groups of 8 or more: $250 

Groups of 16 or more: $220



Refund Policy

If you have registered and cancel 60 days or more before the event starts you will receive a full refund of the registration amount minus a $50 administrative fee.  If you cancel less than 60 days in advance of the event there will be no refund. Please contact Matthew Freid for more information.

Institute and Academy Information


The event will be held at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery building on campus located at 330 N. Orchard St., Madison, WI, 53715.

Visitor's Information

Lodging options (w/discounted rate) on campus:

  • Lodging at the Lowell Center and the Hampton Inn will be available for Institute attendees.




2015 Facilitators

Elise Frattura, Ph.D. is an associate professor and department chair at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Department of Exceptional Education and Educational Administration. Dr. Frattura has !ve years experience as a high school teacher and 13 years as a school district student services and special education administrator, during which time she functioned as an adjunct lecturer at UW-Madison, teaching courses related to diversity in elementary and secondary administration of services for all learners. Currently she is teaching courses in the area of district office administrative leadership for teaching and learning of all students, organizational leadership, and special education law.

Dr. Frattura researches and publishes in the area of nondiscrimination law, integrated comprehensive services for all learners, and the theoretical underpinnings of educational segregation. In addition, she works with school districts across the country to assist in the movement from programs to services through a participatory formative analysis approach that she has developed and written about. Recently she completed "Leading for Social Justice" and her 2nd edition of "Meeting the Needs of All Learners" published in December of 2008. 



Elise Frattura

       E. Frattura  

Department of Exceptional Education and
Educational Administration
Associate Professor,
School of Education 
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


Colleen A. Capper is a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy and teaching focus on systems change in schools and districts that advance the learning of all students. She has published extensively on leadership for social justice and equity, including three books: Leading for Social Justice: Transforming Schools for All Learners; Meeting the Needs of Students of All Abilities: Leading Beyond Inclusion (2nd edition) (both with Elise Frattura), and Educational Administration in a Pluralistic Society. She works with schools and districts across the country on redesigning service delivery for all students and raising achievement for typically marginalized students and advanced learners in integrated ways.

Capper is currently involved in three related lines of inquiry: 1) Schools that raise and sustain the academic achievement of students of color, low income students, students with disabilities, language diverse students, and advanced learners of all demographics in inclusive ways; 2) preparing and developing leaders to lead these schools; and 3) multiple epistemological perspectives of organizations and administration that can inform the development and practice of leading for social justice.



Colleen Capper 

    Colleen Capper 

Department of Educational 
Leadership and Policy Analysis
 Professor, School of Education
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Decoteau J. Irby, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the department of Administrative Leadership at UWM. His research interests include the cultural politics of urban education; zero tolerance, school safety, and discipline policies; ideological dimensions of school reform movements; and schooling and labor experiences of Black males. He has presented research papers at numerous conferences including American Educational Research Association, American Association of Geographers, and Association of Black Sociologists and has published academic papers in Journal of Cases in Educational Administration, Preventing School Failure, Studies in Educational Evaluation, Urban Education, and Urban Review among others.  






Decoteau Irby


Department of
Administrative Leadership
Assistant Professor,
School of Education
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee



Gloria Ladson-Billings is the Kellner Family Professor of Urban Education in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research examines the pedagogical practices of teachers who are successful with African American students. Her work has won numerous scholarly awards, including the H.I. Romnes faculty fellowship, the Spencer Post-doctoral Fellowship, and the Palmer O. Johnson Outstanding research award. In 2002, Ladson-Billings was awarded an honorary doctorate from Umea University in Umea, Sweden and in 2003-2004 was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. She is also the 2004 recipient of the George and Louise Spindler Award for ongoing contributions in educational anthropology, given by the Council on Anthropology & Education of the American Anthropological Association.

Ladson-Billings also investigates Critical Race Theory applications to education. The author of the critically acclaimed books, The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children and Crossing Over to Canaan: The Journey of New Teachers in Diverse Classrooms, and has also written numerous journal articles and book chapters.

Gloria Ladson-Billings

       Gloria Ladson-Billings

Kellner Family Chair in
Urban Education
Curriculum & Instruction (CI)
Educational Policy Studies (EPS)
Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis (ELPA)
University of Wisconsin-Madison



Oconomowoc Area School District

The Oconomowoc Area School District has been working through the social justice framework since 2011 with the support of Dr. Elise Frattura.  A large focus group consisting of parents, staff and administration worked to develop  common mission, vision, beliefs and goals to begin this journey and set a comprehensive direction so that  all students achieve at  high levels with high expectations in the general education environment.  This prompted great systemic  and service delivery changes for the District.  For the past two years, OASD has begun looking at learner variability, physical environment and emotional engagement for student success and are using Universal Design for Learning  in  schools as part of the District continuous improvement work.  They are through the explore phase of this work and have moved into implementation with large scale professional development, curriculum change including de-tracking, district-level coaching for teachers and the development of highly trained pilot teams.


Lisa Dawes has been an Administrator for Student Services since 2001.  She is currently the Director in Oconomowoc since her move from Sun Prairie 4 years ago.  She was the Director in Sun Prairie for 10 years.  Prior to administration, Lisa was a program coordinator and teacher for students with Emotional Behavioral Disabilities with a specialization in working with students with autism.  Lisa Dawes has made her life's work social justice and equity for all students.  She has paved this path successfully in two school districts.



Mike O'Connor is beginning his tenure as principal of Whitefish Bay Middle School on Milwaukee’s North Shore.  Previously, he was the principal of Nature Hill Intermediate School in Oconomowoc, as well as Associate Principal at Oconomowoc High School.  Mike received his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics Education from Purdue University and his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  



Charles Olson has taught Biology at Oconomowoc High School for the last 7 years and was recently hired as one of the associate principals.  He is also a 2014 graduate of the Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis program at UW- Madison.  This past year he was part of the science department proposal to remove the tracked course options in the science curriculum.



John Flannery currently serves the Oconomowoc Area School District as Director of Curriculum and Instruction.  Prior to his role within the Teaching and Learning Department, John spent three years as principal of Greenland Elementary.  Before administrative work, John was a middle school English, Math and Social Studies Teacher.  As an advocate for all learners, John is passionate about integrating (both district and state) initiatives in order to continue growing effective practice throughout all classrooms.



Ohio Districts

Ohio districts use the Ohio Improvement Process as a framework for continuous improvement within a statewide system of support. District, building and teacher based teams intentionally align systems and structures which allows for the implementation of Integrated Comprehensive Systems providing the vehicle to drive improvement for ALL students. Sixteen regions across the state provide external support with professional development, coaching and technical assistance to identified partner districts. A strong focus of the work is to invert a school system's reactive model to a proactive model meeting the needs of all students.


Peg Deibel currently serves as Ohio Improvement Process Coordinator and OLI4 Principal Coach for State Support Team 9 in Ohio. Her prior positions as NE Ohio SPDG Lead, district curriculum and instruction supervisor, secondary building principal, high school ELA and reading teacher, and county educational service center consultant/coordinator of administrative professional development have provided her critical insights for her service as OIP external facilitator for more than a dozen Ohio school districts.



Candi Hazelwood currently works as a NW Ohio SPDG Lead and as a consultant for State Support Team Region 3. In these positions her role is to provide district level support along with state level planning, PD, and technical assistance for the implementation of the Ohio improvement Process. Her prior work included district school improvement, high school principal, vocational- special education coordinator and high school intervention specialist, which all helped inform the work being done now. 


Rebecca Rees is currently the Director of the State Support Team for region 6 in Ohio. Her role is to support SST Consultants with their delivery of professional development, technical assistance and coaching to schools located in seven counties. The scope of work is directed by the Ohio Department of Education and the needs of region 6. Her previous experience as a middle school language arts teacher, Title I teacher, Director of Federal Programs and curriculum and instruction leader provides background that supports regional school improvement work.


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