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Fifth Annual Graduation Pathways Summit

Raise DC

Monday, October 29, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM (EDT)

Fifth Annual Graduation Pathways Summit

Ticket Information

Type End Quantity
Individual Registration Ended Free  

Event Details

You're invited to the fifth annual Graduation Pathways Summit, the yearly convening hosted by Raise DC's Graduation Pathways Project, which will be held Monday, Oct. 29, from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the National Press Club (a new location from Summits past).

Continuing to build on the belief that there is more than one path to graduation, the Summit will be an opportunity for schools, education leaders, and community partners from across the city to examine and strategize ways to ensure more DC youth start high school on the right foot, recover if they have fallen off track, and reconnect if they have dropped out.

We look forward to seeing you there!



The Graduation Pathways Summit will reconvene DC's education executives for a panel discussion on the state of graduation in the District, featuring:

  • Amanda Alexander, Interim Chancellor, DC Public Schools
  • David Grosso, Chairperson, Committee on Education of the Council of the District of Columbia
  • Hanseul Kang, Superintendent, Office of the State Superintendent of Education
  • Paul Kihn, Acting Deputy Mayor, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education
  • Scott Pearson, Executive Director, DC Public Charter School Board

The Summit will also include a keynote address by Broderick Johnson, board chairman of the My Brother's Keeper Alliance, an outgrowth of President Obama's task force that Johnson also chaired. 


  • 9:00 a.m. - Registration Opens (tea and coffee available)
  • 9:30 a.m. - Opening Plenary:
      • Welcome & Opening Remarks
      • Keynote
  • 10:15 a.m. - Break/Transition
  • 10:30 a.m. - Workshops: (See descriptions below)
      • Workshop A: Empowering Students in the High School Selection Process
      • Workshop B: Rethinking How Secondary Schools Engage Families
      • Workshop C: Disrupting Unjust Systems by Confronting Our Own Mental Models
  • 12:15 p.m. - Break/Transition
  • 12:30 p.m. - Lunch; Moderated Executive Panel
  • 1:30 p.m. - Looking Forward: Report-outs & Next Steps from Workshops
  • 1:45 p.m. - Closing & Feedback Forms

Note: Complimentary lunch is included, and options for those with dietary restrictions will be provided.



Workshop A: Empowering Students in the High School Selection Process
Per My School DC, roughly one-third of high school applicants select “I am the student” in response to the question “Who is completing this application?" Motivated by this data, a partnership with EdForward DC, Higher Achievement, and SchoolTalk seeks to better understand who these students are and determine the need for a specialized set of resources that can support middle school students who are independently applying to high schools. This working session will enable participants to: 1) Scope current efforts within schools, communities, and community-based organizations that help students navigate the high school selection process; 2) Explore the school choice process from students’ perspectives to better understand their needs and preferences; and 3) Inform the creation of student-centered resources and recommendations to increase the likelihood of them selecting a "best fit," and identify ways to integrate these resources into ongoing efforts within schools and nonprofits.


Workshop B: Rethinking How Secondary Schools Engage Families
Far too often, family-engagement approaches are reactions to negative outcomes – accumulated absences, failing grades, and behavioral challenges, among others. But more and more practitioners, school leaders, and policymakers are begging the question of how to flip that script, especially during the middle and high school years. During this workshop, participants will have an opportunity to work together to: 1) Reflect on conscious and subconscious assumptions that prevent us from building purposeful, authentic, and impactful relationships with families; 2) Analyze current effective and ineffective approaches to building stronger relationships with them; and 3) Define concrete ways to apply lessons learned to instigate positive change at the classroom, school, and citywide levels.


Workshop C: Disrupting Unjust Systems by Confronting our Own Mental Models
As professionals whose work directly impacts the lives of children and youth, what role can we play to intentionally disrupt inequities in ways that will contribute to the dismantling of existing systems and rebuilding of more equitable ones?

Workshop facilitators Seeding Disruption have this to say about the current state: "Our PK-12 educational organizations overwhelmingly reflect and reinforce the patterns of racial inequity upon which the broader systems of our country are built. From curriculum and instructional approach, to school culture and staffing, to school accountability and student assignment policy, our educational entities are at best blind to, and at worst actively advancing racial inequities. And while questions of equity extend well beyond race, race has played – and continues to play – an outsized role in almost every sphere of life for residents of the District of Columbia."

In this workshop, participants will engage in a set of structured reflections and discussions that aim to help them confront their biases, grapple with how these perspectives shape their actions, and define opportunities to apply insights to their daily efforts. 



Raise DC's Graduation Pathways Project is a multi-sector initiative that seeks to ensure that every DC student, no matter how far off track he or she may be, has a path to high school graduation. Guided by data and employing a blend of planning, practice, and policy, Raise DC convenes Graduation Pathways partners to focus their collective efforts on ensuring students successfully transition from 8th through 9th grade, as well as strengthening programs and resources to support DC youth who are off track or who have dropped out toward graduation.

For more information about the Graduation Pathways Project, visit Raise DC's website, or check out last year's Summit.

Have questions about Fifth Annual Graduation Pathways Summit? Contact Raise DC

When & Where

National Press Club
529 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20045

Monday, October 29, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM (EDT)

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