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 25-29, 2016

Returning Participants: 2 Day Academy

July 28-29, 2016

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Institute and Academy Overview

This annual professional development opportunity supports state, regional, district leadership, building leadership, and grade level teacher teams to move from a deficit-based to proactive system based on Integrated Comprehensive Systems for Equity. Participants will affirm their commitment to eliminate inequities across rural, urban, and suburban districts. Teams will engage in a deep ICS Equity Audit analysis of their school, district, region, or state and complete an Equity Action Plan based on the ICS Four Cornerstones for integrated, high achieving schools.

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.

New for 2016!

  • Institute week, free access to implementation modules, or purchase a year access at Institute discount (contact
  • Option for ICS coaching following the Institute
  • Become an ICS certified site
  • Monthly ICS live webinars

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, general education, arts, physical education, 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, arts, physical education, ELL/bilingual teachers, interventionists, reading specialists, etc.)

Why Should You Attend?

Guided by the ICS Four Cornerstones, state, regional, district, building, and grade level teacher teams will develop/revise Equity Action Plans for systems change that:

  • Examine your own identity development and how that impacts leading for equity
  • Use equity audit data to drive equity change (lead beyond RtI)
  • Transform service delivery for all students (e.g., special education, ELL, Title I, gifted)
  • Create culturally/linguistically responsive universally designed instruction
  • Develop teacher and organizational capacity
  • Leverage policy, merge funding and reallocate resources​

Registration ​ 

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

UW-Madison Credit

Earn UW-Madison credits for your work throughout the National Leadership and Social Justice Institute and Academy.

NLSJ Institute (July 25-29): 3 credits    Cost: $597.97
NLSJ Academy (July 28-29): 1 credit     Cost: $193.20

See the following document for additional information: Institute/Academy Credit

Please contact Matthew Freid at (716) 553-2654 or with any registration questions.

New Participants: 5 Day

July 25 - July 29, 2016

Individual: $550

Groups of 8 or more: $525

Groups of 16 or more: $500

Returning Participants: 2 Day

July 28-29, 2016

Individual: $275

Groups of 8 or more: $260

Groups of 16 or more: $245

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 at for more information.

Institute and Academy Information


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


A detailed schedule for the can be accessed here: NLSJ Schedule

Visitor's Information

Lodging options (w/discounted rate) on campus:



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

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.



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.


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