A regional education conference designed especially for district and school leaders receiving School Improvement Grants (SIGs), as well as for state education agency staff, union representatives, and external providers supporting school turnaround efforts in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah.


For more information, please contact:

Kelly Gerstbacher


Leading Successful School Turnarounds: Learning from Research and Practice

September 30, 2010 - October 01, 2010

Hilton Los Angeles Airport Hotel
5711 West Century Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90045


We invite you to listen to audio presentations from event keynote speakers and the district superintendents' panel. You can play each audio presentation automatically by selecting from the list below or you can download a presentation by selecting the "Download" link.

Selected PowerPoint slides from session speakers are available at the bottom of this page.

Through keynote presentations, a district superintendents' panel, breakout sessions on key SIG topics, and state-specific meetings, conference attendees had opportunities to:

  • Develop deeper knowledge of evidence-based strategies for turning around low-performing schools.
  • Learn from national education leaders, researchers, and practitioners who have successfully implemented district and school turnarounds.
  • Share experiences with educators from the region who are also leading turnaround efforts.

Keynote speakers:

  • Bryan Hassel, Co-Director, Public Impact
  • Thelma Meléndez, Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education
  • Jonathan Schnur, CEO, New Leaders for New Schools
  • Kandace Jones, Special Assistant, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education

District superintendents' panel:

  • Charlotte Boyle, Creighton (AZ) School District
  • Marcus Johnson, Sanger (CA) Unified School District
  • Heath Morrison, Washoe County (NV) School District
  • Barry Newbold, Jordan (UT) School District
  • Wade McLean, former Superintendent, Whiteriver (AZ) School District (Moderator)

Day One breakout session topics:

  • The district's role in supporting school turnaround
  • Signaling the need for change and building buy-in for reforms
  • Creating a school climate that supports student learning and positive youth development
  • Designing and implementing comprehensive teacher evaluation and support systems

Day Two breakout session topics:

  • Using assessment data to improve instruction
  • Focusing on instruction
  • District practices to promote family engagement
  • Monitoring progress and making mid-course adjustments
  • Union-district collaboration to support school turnaround

For more information about the breakout sessions, including descriptions and lists of speakers, please open the attachment at the bottom of this page: Breakout Session Descriptions.


For a related discussion of research on school turnarounds please see a WestEd archived webinar from September 22 on schools that have achieved dramatic improvement:


For Windows:

For Mac:

How can we help you?

Do you want to know the latest research or where to turn for information? This free collaborative service from the 10 RELs provides references, referrals, and brief responses to education questions. To ask a question, visit the national portal and select REL West -- or directly.

Search By State