METCO Directors' Association | 34th Annual Educators Conference
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34th Annual

Educators Conference

Brown and Black Children: Hidden in Plain Sight

Friday, December 7, 2018  |  Four Points Sheraton Norwood Hotel, Norwood, MA  |   7:30 AM – 3:30 PM 

Superintendent Strand $225  |  Educators/Support Services Strand $200; w/PDP’s $225 

Please direct all questions to the registrar, Margaret Credle-Thomas at (781) 316-3566 or

Registration Is Now Closed
Our Conference Has Reached Full Capacity

One of the many ways the METCO Directors’ Association strives to achieve its core objectives, is through our annual Educators Conference. The first MDA Conference was organized in 1984 in an effort to provide staff development and information for educators, and community members who worked with African-American children in suburban school settings. Now in its 34th year, the MDA continues its commitment to the cultural development, and academic achievement of children of color. We start each conference with the premise that all children can learn, must learn and will learn.  


Dr. Dena Simmons is a lifelong activist, educator, and student of life. As the Assistant Director of Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, she supports schools to use the power of emotions to create a more compassionate and just society. Prior to her work at the Yale Center, Dr. Simmons served as an educator, teacher educator, diversity facilitator, and curriculum developer. She has been a leading voice on teacher education, and has written and spoken across the country about social justice pedagogy, diversity, education reform, emotional intelligence, and bullying in K-12 school settings including the White House, the inaugural Obama Foundation Summit, and the United Nations.  Dr. Simmons has been profiled in Education Week, the Huffington Post, and  NPR, to name a few.   Dr. Simmons’ research interests include teacher preparedness to address bullying in the K-12 school setting, culturally responsive pedagogy, and social and emotional learning (SEL) interventions—all in an effort to ensure and foster justice and safe spaces for all. 

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Dena Simmons

Conference Workshops

Click on each workshop title for additional details  |  Upon completion of workshop evaluation, certificates of attendance will be accessible online

Superintendent Session ONLY

Embracing the power of narrative for equitable schools and classrooms

Dr. Dena Simmons

In this workshop, we will reflect on the danger of a single story and explore power and privilege in our lives, society, and at our schools. We will explore what gets in the way of social, emotional, and academic development and explore some opportunities to promote greater equity. Participants should come ready to bring their whole selves to a series of discussions and reflective and group activities in an effort to understand ourselves and others better and to create more welcoming and equitable communities and safe spaces for all.

This workshop is only open to Superintendents.

Workshop Selections

A. The Role of Stakeholders in Improving School Communities for Students of Color

Jon Sills, Caroline Higgins and Sean Bevan

This workshop explores the vital role of the stakeholder.  Stakeholders are those in leadership roles who willingly, genuinely understand and value their responsibility for the continuation and growth of METCO within their school district. Stakeholders are also those people in the greater community who may not work on a daily basis within a school building but who are strong advocates for educational equity, funding, programming and overall inclusion.  Attendees may also include educators from non-METCO districts that work with and or support children of color. This workshop will discuss what it means to be a stakeholder and the responsibility that it entails. It will also align with being an ally with the role of being a stakeholder. Attendees will leave with a clearly defined understanding of their responsibility and action steps on how to systematically improve the level of growth and development.


This workshop is suitable for Superintendents, Principals, Administrators, Counselors, Teachers.

B. Black Girl Blues Addressing Intra-Racial bullying

Carolyn Strong, MA.T., M.Ed.

Black Girl Blues takes a historical look at the malaise that surrounds black girls and seeks to unpack the disparity in suspension numbers and reports of relational aggression that we see across the country. In addition to looking backward, we examine real-world scenarios with regard to how to combat this issue and provide alternatives to suspension for issues of relational aggression. The goal of this workshop is to present restorative alternatives to discipline while exercising cultural competence. 

C. How can Restorative Practices Transform the Narrative for Black and Latino students

Stefani Harvey, M.Ed.

Many schools are using Restorative Practices to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline and its disproportionate disciplinary practices affecting Black and Latino students. Restorative Practices are used to confront maladaptive behavior by getting individuals to take accountability and show empathy for their actions and the impact on others. Restorative practices create environments and develop skills in listening to others; empowering young people to speak their truth and use their voice constructively; liberating them to express through various modes the impact of their social-emotional and academic states; increasing their knowledge on imagining an education for liberation where all participants in restorative circles are equal in their power and voice; maintaining a community of safety and support through circle to advocate for their own educational rights.

This workshop is suitable for Teachers, Administrators, Counselors/Social Workers, METCO Directors, Dean of Students or Other Student Support Staff.

D. A Comprehensive School Safety Assessment Approach: Increasing Students' Perception of School Safety

Dr. Nancy Rappaport, MD

This workshop presents an overview of a comprehensive school safety assessment approach for students whose behavior raises concern about their potential for targeted violence. This presentation will draw from Dr. Rappaport’s research and work as a child psychiatrist consulting to schools to present a model that can help prevent school tragedies while getting students and families the services they need, increase students’ perception of school safety, and potentially lead to a reduction of racial disparities in long-term suspension rates. Case vignettes highlight the comprehensive nature of the assessment and the kind of recommendations that enhance a student’s safety, connection, and well-being and engage families.

This workshop is suitable for Administrators, counselors, social workers, and teachers (K-12).

E. The Power of the Educator: How To Motivate, Educate, & Activate

Robert Jackson

Every Educator has the power to build up or tear down their students. This workshop by Robert Jackson will energize educators by reminding them of the importance of their jobs, including how to activate their power to educate, activate and motivate all students to be champions. Every student is one caring adult away from being a success story. Why can’t that adult be you? In order for this to happen, we must recharge our batteries, work on our own self development and find ways to educate all students, despite their backgrounds, ethnicity or mistakes they have made along the way. Educators will leave this session energized with strategies they can use right away.

This workshop is suitable for Educators at all levels and capacities.

F. Listening to Student Voices: Effectively Addressing Race and Identity in the Classroom

Julia Jeffries, Ph.D.

In this workshop, teachers will be given strategies to increase their ability to comfortably address issues of race and identity in the classroom. Participants will become familiar with language that is appropriate to use when discussing racial identity, and given the tools to model for their students of how to diffuse tense racial situations in the classroom.  Participants will also gain concrete practices that can help them affirm the identities of each of their students.

The workshop is suitable for teachers as well as administrators who are curious about the benefits of discussing these issues on the classroom level.

G. Hidden Blind Spots: Systematically Confronting the Inequities Faced by Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Populations

Alexandra Guilamo, M.Ed.

This interactive workshop is designed to give educational leaders the tools to systematically confront issues of access and equity faced by linguistically, and culturally diverse students. This will be done by exploring our own identities and attitudes about linguistically and culturally diverse populations; Constructing a model that defines the extent to which these blind spots (or perceptions) are created by experiences.

 This workshop is suitable for Instructional and curricular coaches, Counselors/Social Workers, Administrators, district Coordinators.

H. Building Authentic Relationships

Trelane Clark, M.A.T., C.AG.S

In this workshop you will learn how to develop authentic organic teacher student relationships, that translate into an emotional connection which can create a solid concrete investment in academic success and emotional security for students of color.  This workshop will provide strategies to help you build meaningful relationships with your students.  It will also help teachers understand and appreciate who children of color are and how they manage to code switch and navigate relatively well in these predominantly white affluent communities.

This workshop is suitable for Educators at all levels and capacities.

I. Wanted Educators of Color Dismantling the Systemic Issues that Impede effective Recruitment, Hiring, and Retention of Educators of Color

Marcia Kimm-Jackson

In this workshop, we will look at the process of dismantling the systematic polices and practices, that impede effective recruitment, hiring, and retention of educators of color. This will be done by exploring levers and internal DEI work.

This workshop is suitable for HR, School Administrators and Educators.

J. Educators of Color Informational Career Fair

School District Recruiters

Representatives from METCO districts will share information about their respective possible job openings, and accept resumes.  This is an opportunity to acquire information about various school districts that support the vision of the METCO program. Attendees are welcome to bring resumes.

Registration Is Now Closed
Our Conference Has Reached Full Capacity