Forum – Early Learning Network
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Early Learning Network Forum

Early Learning Network Forum

Equitable and Effective Early Learning Opportunities: Research, Practice and Policy Considerations

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Virtual

Please do not share this website as it is intended only for invited participants.

You’re Invited

We invite you to join the Early Learning Network Forum, “Equitable and Effective Early Learning Opportunities: Research, Practice and Policy Considerations,” hosted in partnership with the Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences — the nation’s leading source for rigorous, independent education research, evaluation and statistics.

 

Formed in 2016 with funding from IES, the Early Learning Network is a national interdisciplinary early childhood research network focused on improving children’s academic success, especially those from historically marginalized groups, by identifying policies and practices that narrow opportunity gaps and ensure early learning success is maintained from prekindergarten to third grade.

 

On Tuesday, December 13, you’ll discover what network members from universities and organizations across the U.S. have learned from diverse research studies conducted with schools in Boston, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Southern California, and the four impact areas that have emerged from this collaborative work as having potential to close opportunity gaps and ensure equitable and effective learning opportunities from pre-K to the early elementary grades and beyond.

 

A new classroom assessment tool developed by the ELN assessment team at the University of California, Irvine, will also be demonstrated and discussed.

 

This daylong virtual event will couple a traditional webinar format (brief research presentations followed by panel discussions) with opportunities for you to interact with forum participants in small breakout rooms and engage in meaningful dialogue around what the network’s findings mean for your work. Together, we will create next steps to help move the field forward.

Forum Details

Goals

  • Engage in dialogue with early childhood researchers, practitioners and policymakers on findings from network teams regarding methods of narrowing opportunity gaps and ensuring early learning success of children, especially those from historically marginalized groups.
  • Co-create potential next steps for practitioners and policymakers associated with key findings from the network, along with new directions in early childhood research.

What to expect

The Early Learning Network Forum is a working meeting.

Participants can expect:

  • Brief research presentations summarizing collective findings from the network’s diverse studies conducted with schools in Boston, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia, and their implications for children’s learning and development. Facilitated panel discussions will follow.
  • Interactive breakout discussions to determine how the network’s contributions to the early childhood knowledge base can be translated and applied to your work.
  • A demonstration and discussion focused on OLOS (Optimizing Learning Opportunities for Students) — a new classroom assessment tool developed by the ELN assessment team and field tested by network members.

Who’s involved?

Presenters

Presenters include representatives from the Early Learning Network’s five research teams and assessment team:

 

Facilitators

Early childhood experts will facilitate panel discussions on the research, offer their reflections and provide space for dialogue.

 

Participants

A select group of early childhood professionals from across the U.S. have been invited to participate, including:

  • Practitioners
  • Policymakers
  • Researchers
  • Federal/state partners

Agenda & Zoom Links

Tuesday, December 13th

9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. CST
10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. EST
8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. MST
7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. PST

 

All sessions are displayed in Central Standard Time (CST).

9:30 – 10:00 a.m.  | Welcome & Opening Remarks (Webinar)

Welcome and introductions, followed by video presentation

 

Susan M. Sheridan, Principal Investigator, Early Learning Network Lead, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Elizabeth Albro, Commissioner of Education Research, National Center for Education Research, Institute of Education Sciences
Caroline Ebanks, Team Lead for Early Childhood Research, National Center for Education Research, Institute of Education Sciences

10:00 – 11:05 a.m.  | Morning Presentations & Panel (Webinar)

15-min. presentation per impact area, 30-min. facilitated discussion

 

Impact Area: Pre-K Participation

Presenter: Mary Bratsch-Hines, Senior Manager for Research and Evaluation at the University of Florida Lastinger Center for Learning

 

Impact Area: Classroom Experiences and Learning Opportunities

Presenter: Virginia Vitiello, Associate Research Professor, Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning, University of Virginia

 

Panel 1

Moderator: Nicole Patton-Terry, Olive & Manuel Bordas Professor of Education in the School of Teacher Education, Director of the Florida Center for Reading Research and Director of the Regional Education Lab—Southeast, Florida State University

 

Panelists:

  • Tonia Durden, Clinical Professor and Birth through Five Program Coordinator, Georgia State University
  • Lauren Jenks-Jones, Executive Director of Early Childhood Education, Oklahoma State Department of Education
  • Shantel Meek, Founding Director and Professor of Practice, Children’s Equity Project, Arizona State University
  • Jennie Patterson, National Programs Manager, National Black Child Development Institute

11:05 – 11:15 a.m.  | Break

Following the break, we will move to the Zoom meeting room format. Please use the link provided.

11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  | Morning Breakout Session

Goal: Determine next steps for research, practice and policy.

 

Breakout room discussions:

  • Impact Area: Pre-K Participation
  • Impact Area: Classroom Experiences and Learning Opportunities

12:00 – 12:15 p.m.  | Reconvene

Participants will automatically return to the main room.

12:15 – 1:00 p.m.  | Lunch Break

Following the break, we will return to the Zoom webinar format. Please use the link provided.

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.  | Afternoon Presentations & Panel (Webinar)

15-min. presentation per impact area, 30-min. facilitated discussion

 

Impact Area: Relationships

Presenter: Lisa Knoche, Research Associate Professor, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

 

Impact Area: Sustained High-Quality Experiences

Presenter: Meghan McCormick, Senior Research Associate, Family Well-Being and Children’s Development, MDRC

 

Panel 2

Moderator: Erika Gaylor, Principal Senior Researcher and Early Childhood Program Leader, SRI International

 

Panelists:

  • Gracie Branch, Associate Executive Director for Professional Learning, National Association of Elementary School Principals
  • Gloria Corral, President and Chief Executive Officer, Parent Institute for Quality Education
  • Daniel Nowak, Second Grade Teacher, Omaha Public Schools
  • Pamela Truelove-Walker, Senior Director, Early Learning and Early Education, Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education

2:00 – 2:45 p.m.  | Afternoon Breakout Session

Goal: Determine next steps for research, practice and policy.

 

Breakout room discussions:

  • Impact Area: Relationships
  • Impact Area: Sustained High-Quality Experiences

2:45 – 2:50 p.m.  | Reconvene

Participants will automatically return to the main room.

2:50 – 3:00 p.m.  | Break

Following the break, we will return to the Zoom webinar format. Please use the link provided.

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.  | OLOS Presentation & Panel (Webinar)

30-min. presentation, 30-min. facilitated discussion

 

Presenter: Ashley Adams Sanabria, Assistant Professor of Speech Language and Director of the Language Impairment, Bilingual Reading and Observational Research Lab, San Diego State University

 

Panel 3

Moderator: Deborah Lowe Vandell, Chancellor’s Professor of Education Emerita, School of Education, University of California, Irvine

 

Panelists:

  • Ross Harold, Chief of Staff, Nursing Unit, Office of School Health, New York City Department of Education
  • Sara Mickelson, Director of Early Childhood Initiatives, Harris County Office of County Administration, Texas
  • Alissa Mwenelupembe, Senior Director, Early Learning Program Accreditation, National Association for the Education of Young Children
  • Jason Sachs, Executive Director for Early Childhood, Boston Public Schools

4:00 – 4:30 p.m.  | Reflection and Integration (Webinar)

30 min. for reflection, integration of shared findings and closing remarks

 

Laura Justice, Distinguished Professor of Educational Psychology and Executive Director of the Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy, Ohio State University

Resources

Meeting Materials

Prior to the forum, please review the following materials carefully to ensure a positive and seamless experience.

Need help?

Please direct questions related to forum registration, meeting materials, accessibility needs or other accommodations to earlylearningnetwork@unl.edu.

Zoom tips and accessibility

Prior to the forum, please remember to:

  • Check that your Zoom software is updated to the latest version.
  • Use headphones during sessions for the best audio quality.
  • Mute your microphone when not speaking to keep background noise to a minimum.
  • Select “show captions” using the CC (closed captioning) option in your meeting controls if you would like to use Zoom’s live transcription service.
    • The provided subtitles can be clicked and dragged to move their position in the meeting window.
    • English is the default language, but other languages can be selected.

 

Zoom backgrounds

If you are an Early Learning Network researcher, forum presenter/panelist, or supporting the forum in a staff capacity (i.e., communications, facilitator, room host, notetaker, etc.), please download the Zoom background that corresponds to your role and set it as your virtual background during the forum:

Funding

The Early Learning Network is supported by a grant from the Institute of Education Sciences.

 

Steering Committee

Special thanks to our steering committee members for sharing their time, energy and expertise to help develop the Early Learning Network Forum.

Practitioner Representatives

Gracie Branch

Associate Executive Director for Professional Learning
National Association of Elementary Principals, Washington, DC

 

Maura Burke

Director of Early Childhood Curriculum and Grant Management
Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia

 

Chelsea Feusner

Associate Professor of Educational Administration Kearney University of Nebraska at Kearney

 

Steven Hicks

Assistant State Superintendent for the Division of Early Childhood Development
Maryland State Department of Education, Maryland

 

Robyn Lightcap

Executive Director, Preschool Promise Team
Preschool Promise, Ohio

 

Vanessa Shrontz

Master Teacher
Schoenbaum Family Center, Ohio

 

Pamela Truelove-Walker

Senior Director of Early Learning and Early Education
Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education, Alabama

 

Policy Representatives

Richard Gonzales

Director of Interagency and Special Initiatives, Department of Health & Human Services
Administration for Children and Families, Washington DC

 

Parent/Family Representatives

Dawn Ellis

Family Liaison, Office of Communication and Outreach
Department of Education, Washington DC

 

Funder Representatives

Sara Vecchiotti

Vice President
Foundation for Child Development, New York

 

Lorena Aceves

Research Scientist II
Child Trends, Washington, DC

Institute of Education Sciences Representatives

Caroline Ebanks

Lead for Early Childhood Research, Program Officer for the Early Learning Programs and Policies portfolio and the Early Learning Network
IES, Washington DC

 

Regional Educational Laboratory Representatives

Erika Gaylor

Director of REL Appalachia and Principal Senior Researcher and Early Childhood Program Leader
SRI International

 

Nicole Patton-Terry

Director of REL Southeast; Olive & Manuel Bordas Professor of Education in the School of Teacher Education; Director, Florida Center for Reading Research and Director, Regional Education Lab-Southeast
Florida State University

 

Early Learning Network Representatives

Ashley Adams

Assistant Professor of Speech Language and Director of the Language Impairment, Bilingual Reading and Observational Research (LIBRO) Laboratory
San Diego State University

 

Mary Bratsch-Hines

Senior Manager for Research and Evaluation, Lastinger Center for Learning
University of Florida

 

Lisa Knoche

Research Associate Professor in the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools and the Project Director of the Getting Ready Project
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

 

Meghan McCormick

Senior Associate for Family Well-Being and Children’s Development
MDRC

 

Susan Sheridan

Associate Dean for Research and Creative Activity in the College of Education and Human Sciences; Director of the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools and George Holmes University Professor of School Psychology
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

 

Virginia Vitiello

Research Assistant Professor, Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL),
University of Virginia