Literacy Leaders' Institute

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Bring your team!

About the Institute

Join us for this event as educational thought leaders address district-wide literacy improvement. Review essential strategies for high-quality literacy instruction and discuss the keys for planning, implementation, and sustainability.

This event promises to:

  • Explore the connection between district and school leadership with effective literacy instruction
  • Target areas for district- or school-wide improvement
  • Connect your leaders with top leaders in school districts across the U.S. and with our speakers/facilitators
  • Provide a comprehensive literacy framework to support teachers and students

Bring your team! Only district and school teams will be accepted to this event (minimum 3 people per team)

Earn CEU Credit!


"A reminder why we are here and how we can impact student motivation and learning." –Assistant Principal, Oklahoma

"The single most powerful institute or conference I've attended in my career." –Superintendent, Kentucky

"The time with my team was invaluable and gave us a renewed plan to approach literacy education at our school." –Director of Curriculum, California

Speakers & Sessions

Tiffany Anderson, a long time Kansas resident, has been a public school educator for 23 years and the majority of that time has been as a superintendent. She has improved achievement and closed achievement gaps for students in poverty in rural, urban and in suburban public school districts. After successfully serving as an assistant superintendent in the 23,000 student Rockwood School District in St. Louis County, Dr. Anderson began her role as the first female and first African American superintendent in Montgomery County Public Schools in Virginia, a district that served 23 schools in 4 different localities. During her tenure, multiple schools were recognized under the Virginia Governor's Competence to Excellence Award. Dr. Anderson became superintendent in Jennings School District in 2012. Under her tenure, Jennings became a national model of excellence in serving the whole child. On July 1, 2016 Dr. Anderson became the first African American female of Topeka Public Schools, in Topeka, Kansas where the landmark Brown vs. Board case ended legal segregation. Dr. Anderson's recent publications include her book, Transforming Schools for Excellence along with several articles on high performing school cultures published in local and national magazines and newspapers.

Tiffany Anderson

Steve Constantino For over 20 years, author, speaker and leader Dr. Steve Constantino has captivated thousands of teachers, administrators, school board members and business people from the United States and around the world. His keynote presentations and workshops have been featured in local, state, regional, national, and international conferences. His natural gifts as a motivating orator coupled with his knowledge and practical experience make him one of the most sought-after speakers in the fields of family engagement and school and district leadership.

Carmen Agra Deedy, is the author of eleven books for children, including The Library Dragon, The Cheshire Cheese Cat, Martina the Beautiful Cockroach, and 14 Cows for America, a New York Times best-seller. Her personal stories first appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered; funny, insightful, and frequently irreverent, Deedy’s narratives are culled from her childhood as a Cuban refugee in the all-but-sleepy Southern town of Decatur, Georgia. She is also host of the four-time Emmy-winning children’s program, Love That Book! An award-winning author and storyteller, Ms. Deedy is also an accomplished lecturer, having been a guest speaker for both the TED and TEDx Conferences, the Library of Congress, Columbia University, The National Book Festival, Kennedy Center, among other distinguished venues. In the fall of 2016, she opened the Art of the Book Lecture Series, for the Smithsonian Libraries, and was a keynote speaker at the Association of International Baccalaureate Schools of Costa Rica Conference. A new picture book, The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! (Scholastic Press) was released in January, in both English and bilingual versions. The Book of Unintended Consequences (Peachtree Publishers), a young adult novel, is scheduled for release in 2018.

Deb Delisle, is Executive Director and CEO of ASCD, an international non-profit organization with 120,000 members across 128 countries whose primary mission is to provide high quality products, services, and professional development to educators at all levels. During her 40+-year career in education, she has served in a variety of roles at the local, state, and national levels. She was nominated as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education by President Obama in January 2012, confirmed by the U.S. Senate in April 2012, and served in that position until 2015. She oversaw 84 programs and played a pivotal role in policy and management issues for PreK-grade 12.
Prior to her role at the U.S. Department of Education, Dr. Delisle was a senior fellow at the International Center for Leadership in Education. She also served as Ohio's 35th state superintendent of public instruction and was the Superintendent of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights (OH) City School District. Dr. Delisle has served on several education boards and has received numerous honors, including having a school named after her in honor of her lifetime of service to students and, in July 2014, she was identified by the National Journal as one of five women in America who influence and shape national education policy.

Stephanie Harvey, has spent more than 40 years teaching and learning about reading and writing. An elementary and special education teacher for 15 years, she now works as a staff developer, educational consultant, and author. Harvey works around the world with educators, schools, and districts to implement progressive literacy practices. Her work focuses on comprehension instruction, informational text literacy, and inquiry-based learning. Her books and resources include Strategies That Work, Comprehension and Collaboration, Nonfiction Matters, The Comprehension Toolkit, and the National Geographic Ladders series. Insatiably curious about student thinking, Harvey is a teacher first and foremost and continues to work in schools on a regular basis, savoring any time spent with kids. Her latest book with Annie Ward, From Striving to Thriving, uses detailed formative assessments to craft targeted, personalized instruction that encourages striving students to engage in voluminous reading.

Christopher Lehman, is the Founding Director of The Educator Collaborative. He is an international speaker, consultant, and New York Times best-selling author. He holds degrees from UW-Madison, NYU and Teachers College, Columbia University. Chris has been a middle-school teacher, a high-school teacher, a literacy coach, and a Senior Staff Developer with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University. In addition to consulting and writing, he serves as Special Advisor to the National Center for Families Learning; an elected member of the NCTE Middle Level Section Steering Committee (2014-2018); and a Booksource Advocate for classroom libraries. Now with The Educator Collaborative, he is working to innovate the ways educators learn in-person and online, providing opportunities for teachers, coaches, and administrators to share their expertise so students can hold their brightest futures.

Dr. Susan Szachowicz, former principal of Brockton High School in Brockton Massachusetts, now a Senior Fellow with the International Center for Leadership in Education, is dedicated to ensuring all students achieve college and career readiness and firmly believes the ideology: “High expectations, high standards—no excuses.” She served students at Brockton High School, a large (4,300 student) comprehensive urban high school for her entire career and describes herself as Brockton High’s greatest cheerleader. Dr. Szachowicz continues to be committed to improving educational opportunities for all students and works with schools and districts across the country. Dr. Szachowicz is a lifelong resident of Brockton and herself graduated from Brockton High School. She then received both her Bachelor’s in History and Sociology and Master’s in History from Bridgewater State College and earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dr. Szachowicz is the author of Transforming Brockton High School: High Standards, High Expectations, No Excuses, published in 2013 by ICLE.

Rick Wormeli One of the first Nationally Board Certified teachers in America, Rick brings innovation, energy, validity and high standards to both his presentations and his instructional practice, which includes 36 years teaching math, science, English, physical education, health, history, and coaching teachers and principals. Rick’s work has been reported in numerous media, including ABC’s Good Morning America, Hardball with Chris Matthews, National Geographic and Good Housekeeping magazines, What Matters Most: Teaching for the 21st Century, and The Washington Post. He is a columnist for AMLE Magazine, and a frequent contributor to ASCD’s Education Leadership magazine. He is the author of the award-winning book, Meet Me in the Middle as well as Summarization in any Subject (ASCD). His classroom practice is a showcase for ASCD’s bestselling series, At Work in the Differentiated Classroom. With his substantive presentations, sense of humor, and unconventional approaches, he’s been asked to present to teachers and administrators in all 50 states, internationally, and at the White House.




12:00 – 2:00 pm
2:00 – 2:15 pm
Welcome and Overview of the Day from Ernie Fleishman, Senior Advisor, Scholastic Education
2:15 – 2:45 pm
Opening Remarks from Greg Worrell, President, Scholastic Education and Deb Delisle, Executive Director & CEO, ASCD
2:45 – 3:30 pm
Tiffany Anderson
Using Literacy to Transform Schools for Excellence
Dr. Anderson will offer a comprehensive, continuous improvement planning system that allows educators to target improving literacy instruction and student outcomes in the areas of fluency, comprehension and phonemic awareness. Dr. Anderson's experience serving in high poverty environments has led her to address literacy deficits with children who often enter school with a great skills gap. She will share research on how toxic stress impacts the brain in the areas of thoughtful planning, memory, organization and other higher order thinking skills and she will offer strategies to overcome these barriers to learning. Participants will leave her session energized and informed with new strategies that can be immediately implemented to improve student literacy outcomes.
3:30 – 3:45 pm
3:45 – 4:45 pm
Breakout Sessions (these sessions repeat on Day 2)
I. Comprehensive Literacy Classroom Walkthrough
Join Scholastic and ASCD in the K-5 Comprehensive Literacy Classroom. This interactive session offers solutions to increase student motivation and achievement. Participants will rotate through a comprehensive curriculum that integrates both reading and writing. They will explore authentic and engaging texts all while discovering best practices in every component of a comprehensive literacy classroom: whole group instruction, small group instruction, independent reading, digital solutions and magazines, ASCD's myTeachSource online PD system, and a professional bookshelf.

II. High Standards, High Expectations, No Excuses! with Sue Szachowicz
Brockton High School has transformed itself from a culture of high failure rates and low expectations to a school defying the demographics to become recognized for academic excellence and where it is cool to be smart. This session will describe the school-wide literacy initiative that increased the level of academic achievement for ALL students, particularly ELL students, and students with disabilities; the design and use of a professional development model that requires all teachers to be teachers of reading, writing, speaking, and reasoning; the analysis of data to target areas of skill development; and strategies for personalizing this large urban high school. These initiatives have resulted in impressive student results on state and national assessments and brought this urban high school with challenging demographics and limited financial resources numerous state and national awards.

III. Building Future-Literate Learners: The Critical Reading, Writing, and Media Skills Needed to Develop Tomorrow's Adults with Christopher Lehman
Best-selling author, Christopher Lehman, will lead this jam-packed session on the critical skills and instruction all leaders must look for today to develop the learners and leaders of tomorrow. A deep love of reading and strength in writing are key, but in this rapidly growing, media-rich world, so are habits of critical evaluation, thoughtful digital citizenship, and globally-minded communication. This inspirational session will leave you with key considerations for your literacy plans and practical look-fors to bring back to your school site.
4:45 – 5:00 pm
5:00 – 6:00 pm
General Session: Setting the Stage for a Comprehensive Literacy Plan with Lisa Thomas Vice President of Training and Development, Scholastic Education and Emily Davis, Director of Educator Engagement, ASCD
6:00 – 7:00 pm

8:00 – 8:15 am
Introduction of the Day from Ronn Nozoe, Associate Executive Director, ASCD
8:15 – 9:00 am
Stephanie Harvey
From Striving to Thriving: Trust, Teach, Transform into a Balanced Literacy Approach
We have plentiful research on how to grow successful readers. Yet we simply don’t follow it. This session will describe how to grow all readers in a balanced literacy context – through building robust classroom libraries, promoting independent reading, delivering small group instruction, and supporting academic conversation. Mike Schmoker says, “It’s not that we don’t know what to do. It’s that we don’t do what we know.” Time to erase the knowing-doing gap. We need to: table the labels, believe in our kids, provide access to rich engaging text, bookmatch relentlessly, build in plenty of time to read and teach strategies to make meaning. Trust the research. Trust the kids. Trust the books! Harvey will guide attendees on how to align best practices in teaching with leadership goals and vision.
9:00 – 9:45 am
Steve Constantino
Every Family Engaged, Every Student Learns!
Families are the first and most influential teachers of their children. Schools that harness the power of families see impressive gains in learning. Dr. Constantino, one of the nation's leading practitioners in family engagement, will share the Five Simple Principles process that builds the capacity of any school to engage every family. With his infectious humor and tell-it-like-it-is style, Dr. Constantino will captivate, motivate and inspire you to engage every family today!
9:45 – 10:15 am
General Session: Deepening an Understanding of the Planner with Lisa Thomas, Vice President of Training and Development, Scholastic Education and Emily Davis, Director of Educator Engagement, ASCD
10:15 – 10:30 am
10:30 – 11:30 am
Team Planning Session A: Identifying Problems of Practice
11:30 – 11:45 am
11:45 – 12:45 pm
12:45 – 1:45 pm
Team Planning Session B: Identify CORE Area for Your Team
2:00 – 2:45 am
Rick Wormeli
What We Can Do When We Are Brave Together:
From his humorous opening to a crowd-pleasing grand finale “mockumentary” video, Rick Wormeli invites you to take a candid look at contemporary practices in education literacy and equity. When we are brave, we find the freedom, language, and spirit to confront complacency and ineffective practices and do something about them. If we’re not careful, however, we become trapped in an echo chamber of our own creation, thinking this is all there is and blind to the new democratization of knowledge. As students navigate a large and complex world, they need teachers who transcend linear and conventional thinking. This liberating and affirming session will push all of us to be the kind of teacher we have always wanted to be. We'll examine the principles that cultivate pedagogical courage best and develop specific action steps. Leave timidity at the door and join us for an extraordinary presentation.
2:45 – 3:00 pm
3:00 – 4:00 pm
Breakout Sessions (repeated from Day 1)
I. Comprehensive Literacy Classroom Walkthrough with ASCD & Scholastic Staff
II. High Standards, High Expectations, No Excuses! with Sue Szachowicz
III. Building Future-Literate Learners with Christopher Lehman
4:00 – 4:15 pm
4:15 – 6:00pm
Team Planning Session C: Action Planning I

8:00 – 8:30 am
Deb Delisle
The Value of Leading in Literacy
Highly effective teachers plus visionary leaders who collaborate to develop meaningful literacy plans are essential to student success. In this presentation, Deb will highlight the importance of leading with courage at all levels of a school to benefit students. Through stories about students, Deb will weave a challenge to each one of us to dream big and act boldly on behalf of every student in our care.
8:30 – 10:00 am
Team Planning Session D: Action Planning II
10:00 – 10:15 am
10:15 – 11:45 am
General Session: Pulling it All Together and Next Steps with Lori Brown, Director of Learning Solutions & Services, ASCD
11:45 – 12:00 pm
12:00 – 12:15 pm
Q&A with Ernie Fleishman
12:15 – 1:00 pm
LUNCH & Carmen Agra Deedy
Words Hard Won
Seldom is there one limiting element or one path to achieving literacy. Join award-winning children’s author Carmen Agra Deedy as she carries attendees on the precipitous path of a young child struggling to acquire language, an elementary student’s life changing encounter with a literary masterpiece, the rendezvous that would dispel a phobia of words, and the literacy leaders encountered along the way, who facilitated and motivated her toward an acquired love of words.
1:00 – 1:15 pm
Wrap up with Ernie Fleishman


Sold Out!

5-person team: $3,250 early bird price

Regular price after early bird: $3,495

4-person team: $2,600 early bird price

Regular price after early bird: $2,796

3-person team: $1,950 early bird price

Regular price after early bird: $2,097

If you are a...

  • State-Level Administrator
  • Chief Academic Officer
  • Superintendent
  • Assistant Superintendent
  • Curriculum Director
  • Staff Developer
  • Title I Director
  • ELA Supervisor
  • Literacy Coach
  • Principal
  • Teacher Leader

this event is for you!

Included in the Registration Fee:

  • On-Site Literacy Leadership Facilitator assigned to each team
  • Built-in Team Planning Sessions (up to 5 and a half hours) to collaborate with teams across the nation
  • Literacy Leadership Planner (digital and print) – organized around four key areas of curriculum, pedagogy, data and goal-setting, and professional learning culture
  • Two complimentary professional books provided by Scholastic and ASCD (total value: $75)
  • Free webinar access to Building a Schoolwide Independent Reading Culture, developed by ASCD and Scholastic (total value $129)
  • Earn 2 credits* from Saint Mary's College (CA) upon successful completion of Institute
    *Before purchasing, please check with your district on what types of credit are accepted. Kalmanovitz School of Education at Saint Mary's College (CA) will provide CEU credits.
  • Networking meals included (not hotel and airfare).


Hotel & Travel

Hotel Accommodations

Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel
1 West Upper Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601
Reservations: 312-372-7200

Discounted Literacy Leaders' Institute Room Rate: $199
Deadline to make/modify/cancel a hotel reservation: 7/17/2017


Please note these important dates/times as you reserve your hotel room and make your travel reservations. To participate fully, please make your plans based on the following details:

  • The Institute registration desk will be open beginning at noon on Sunday, August 6th
  • The Institute's kick-off general session will be at 2:00pm on Sunday, August 6th
  • The Institute will come to a close on Tuesday August 8th at 2:00pm

Travel Information

Chicago Midway Airport: MDW (Hotel: 12.1 miles NE)

  • Go Airport Express (advanced booking required) fee: $23 (one way)
  • Bus service fee: $5 (one way)
  • Subway service fee: $2.25 (one way)
  • Estimated taxi fare: $30 (one way)

Chicago O'Hare Airport: ORD (Hotel: 18 miles SE)

  • Go Airport Express (advanced booking required) fee: $28 (one way)
  • Bus service fee: $3 (one way)
  • Subway service fee: $5 (one way)
  • Estimated taxi fare: $50 (one way)

Please note: Participants are responsible for their own airline/travel reservations and ground transportation.