Reopening Schools in a Time of Uncertainty: Insights for School Leaders

Session Type: Breakout, Featured session

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As school administrators plan and strategize on bringing students and staff back to schools safely, one thing is clear, the return to the status quo is not an option. The COVID-19 pandemic, and ensuing racial protests, have laid bare many underlying issues that have persisted in education for many years. And as leaders wrestle with when and how to reopen, they also need to consider how to educate students better and how to provide a high-quality education for all students. Going forward, ensuring educational equity, and taking steps to facilitate better responses to future crises and stops in in-person learning will be critical for school leadership teams. Join us for a discussion with four charter school leaders, of varying perspectives, to explore strategies for creating your responsive reopening plans.

Presented by


Shawn Hardnett, Statesmen College Preparatory Academy for Boys PCS

Shawn Hardnett serves as CEO and Founder of Statesmen College Preparatory Academy for Boys PCS in in our nation’s capital as Statesmen does the work of redefining how black and brown boys are taught across the nation.


Bill Kurtz, DSST Public Schools

Bill Kurtz is the Founding CEO of DSST Public Schools. DSST Public Schools currently serves 5,800 students in fourteen middle and high schools in Denver, Colorado. DSST has consistently operated the highest performing middle and high schools since its inception in 2004.


Emilio Pack, STEM Prep Scools

Dr. Emilio Pack is the chief executive officer of STEM Prep Schools. In this role, Emilio is reversing the under-representation of minorities in STEM-related fields. In 2019, Emilio was recognized by Education Week as a “Leaders to Learn From” for his leadership in access and opportunity for students of color. He was also awarded the prestigious Hart Vision Award as the California Charter School Leader of the Year in 2017. Emilio is the proud son of a single mother who came to the United States from Cuba to seek better opportunities for her son.


Diane Tavenner, Summit Public Schools

Diane Tavenner is the co-founder and CEO of Summit Public Schools, a nationally-recognized nonprofit that operates 15 public middle and high schools in California and Washington. She designed a school model that prepares all students to succeed in college and life.