Gateway Impact's Inaugural Powerful Learners Mini-Conference

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The Impact Lab at Gateway High School

1430 Scott Street

San Francisco, California 94115

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REGISTRATION FOR GATEWAY IMPACT'S POWERFUL LEARNERS MINI-CONFERENCE HAS ENDED. At this time, our conference and workshops are at full capacity. If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please contact Chanda Guerin at


A morning for teachers, tutors and those serving youth to:

  • Learn concrete student agency tools and practices to help your students become powerful learners

  • Connect with educators from other schools and organizations and share best practices

  • Enjoy a morning of free professional development, camaraderie and food!

Jane Kim, formerly elected San Francisco Supervisor and Board of Education Member

In 2006, Jane Kim was the top vote-getter elected citywide to the SF Board of Education. Later, her colleagues would unanimously vote her to serve as the President of that body.

While on the school board, Jane worked to close the achievement and opportunity gap for students, and is a long-standing advocate for educators.

Jane Kim was elected in 2010 to represent District 6 on the Board of Supervisors. She spearheaded the initiative to make City College of San Francisco the first community college in the nation to offer free classes to all residents regardless of age, income or educational status.


9:00 AM: Registration

9:15 AM: Welcome and Keynote Speaker, Jane Kim

9:45 AM: Breakout Sessions 1 and 2

12:30 PM: Collaborative Lunch


Breakout sessions are on a first come first serve basis. Upon registration, you will be asked to pick your top three breakout session choices.

Setting the Stage for Student-Led Family Conferences
Looking to build student and family engagement in students’ learning? Gateway educators Therese Arsenault and Cassandra Dougherty will share ways to promote student reflection and family engagement through student-led family conferences. During this session, you will learn how to spark student agency in your students and establish the groundwork for implementing student-led conferences. Presenters: Therese Arsenault, 6th Grade Math/Science Teacher and Math/Science Instructional Leader, Gateway Middle School, and Cassandra Dougherty, Director of the Learning Center, Gateway Middle School

Getting Started with Student Agency: Building Your Personal Toolkits
From classroom practices to student meetings, Gateway educators Suzanne Herko and Melissa Higgins, will share strategies and tools for implementing student agency practices in your classrooms, programs and schools. Participants will create a strong foundation for their own toolkits, along with a plan to start putting their new resources to use and building agency with their students. Presenters: Suzanne Herko, 7th Grade Humanities/Learning Seminar Teacher and Advisor, Gateway Middle School, and Student Agency Coordinator, Gateway Public Schools, and Melissa Higgins, 8th Grade Learning Specialist, Gateway Middle School and National Board Certified Teacher

Student Agency and Social Emotional Learning: Using De-escalation Techniques to Support Student Development
Gateway’s mental health counselor, Saundré Allen will lead a conversation about how the body responds to triggers and strategies to help educators and students cope together. Using the de-escalation, metacognitive reflection and affective statements, participants will learn how to support students both socially and emotionally through student agency tools. Presenter: Saundré Allen, Director of Counseling Services, Gateway High School

Number Talks: Cultivating Student Voice in Math
Number Talks engage students in mathematical sense-making through grappling with multiple-solution math problems. During this session, we will break down the theory and research connecting number talks and student agency, including how and why number talks invite student voice, creativity, and flexibility in the math classroom. Together we’ll create number talks and solutions as it relates to your own work in the classroom or out-of-school programming. Presenter: Charlotte Sivanich, Algebra Teacher, Gateway High School

Student Choice and Voice in the Classroom: Inquiry Based Learning and Equitable Models
Educators from The New School of San Francisco share how they plan inquiry based learning for students while still ensuring coverage of all grade level standards. As public school educators, we have a responsibility to provide equitable access to high-quality learning models and share these strategies with each other to increase access everywhere. Participants will experience models of standards-based inquiry arcs and have the opportunity to begin planning their own. Participants will receive resources to take back to their teams to begin implementing this equity providing educational model. Presenters: Educators from the New School SF

Gateway Impact is an initiative of Gateway Public Schools dedicated to improving educational outcomes for all students through conversation, collaboration, and celebration. By creating forums to share ideas, best practices, and successes, we aim to leverage the collective wisdom and commitment of educators and help close the achievement gap.

All Gateway Impact resources are free, including our conferences. Thanks to incredible funders and allies, attending this conference is free of charge and meals are complimentary. Parking is available on site.


For more information about the conference and presenters, visit us at

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The Impact Lab at Gateway High School

1430 Scott Street

San Francisco, California 94115

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