2019 Core Connections Conference

All educators would agree that every student deserves an excellent education.  Providing a premier education requires rethinking instruction and adopting approaches that meet the needs of each student. This year’s Core Connections to Instruction and Technology Conference, held at Governor Mifflin High School on June 12 and 13, provided participants with innovative ideas to address the needs of a changing student population.  This no-cost event for educators was coordinated by the Berks County Intermediate Unit in collaboration with Governor Mifflin, Antietam, Boyertown Area, Muhlenberg, Reading, and Wilson school districts.

Dr. Tyrone Howard delivered a virtual keynote to kickoff the 2019 Core Connections Conference

The theme of this sixth annual Core Connections Conference was instruction for an equitable education. Equity is ensuring all students have what they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond. An equitable education empowers students. The conference opened with a virtual keynote provided by Dr. Tyrone C. Howard, “Why Equity?  Why Now?” Dr. Howard is a professor in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. He is also the inaugural director of the UCLA Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families. In 2016, Dr. Howard was listed by Education Week as one of the 50 most influential scholars in the nation informing educational policy, practice, and reform.  His keynote inspired the audience and caused participants to reflect on their personal beliefs and practices regarding equity. The BCIU is looking forward to the fall 2019 Leadership Series which will feature Dr. Howard.

Student contest winner Sindura Sridhar (right) and second-place Austin Oxenreider were invited to present their equity messages to an audience of 600 educators.

On the second day of the conference, time was provided for one of our most important stakeholder groups, our students, to share, “What Equity Means to Me.” Winners of a student competition were afforded the stage to share their thoughts about equity and their vision for an equitable future. The audience was moved by the powerful messages the students shared.

Over the course of two days, approximately 600 participants attended six breakout sessions chosen from a selection of approximately 120 workshop titles. These breakout sessions showcased the current best practices being implemented in Berks County schools. Also available were administrative and aspiring leader tracks. The workshops were varied: Improve and Innovate at the Same Time, Coding and Robotics, Customized Learning Models, Guided Math, Literature, and STEM to name a few. The Core Connections to Instruction and Technology Conference provided passionate presenters, shared innovative ideas, and received rave reviews.

For additional information, please contact Dan Richards, Director, or Dr. Christina Foehl, Assistant Director, of the Office of Professional Development and Curriculum.