Navigating the Unknowns

This Spring, educators everywhere resiliently braved the jolt into remote learning amid the COVID crisis. With the LEAP Learning Series, we have intended to help them tackle the challenges of remote learning: maintaining routines, nurturing connections and community, and above all, continuing with rigorous and engaging learning.

With the return of school upon us, we’ve heard feedback about the headwinds educators face. How to manage through so much uncertainty? How to attend to students’ heightened social and emotional needs? How to understand learners’ academic starting points?


Starting Strong

Starting Strong, the latest installment of the LEAP Learning series, is designed to give educators strategies and tools to navigate the first 30 days of school, whether it be in-person or remote.

It’s two programs under one banner. Two separate, but complementary, week-long professional learning programs are designed to help educators, from the start, plan to:

  • Build strong relationships with their learners, by deeply understanding them, their strengths, as well as their social-emotional and academic needs.
  • Discover ways to establish, support and reinforce high expectations from the start, collaboratively with students, through an understanding of students’ mindsets about themselves and their ambitions for the school year.

Starting Strong: Relationships and Engagement
The outcome of this week-long program? Participants will develop an engagement plan to build authentic relationships with students and families, leading educators to create purposeful and relevant learning experiences designed for their school context.

Starting Strong: Student Agency
The outcome of this week-long program? Participants will develop a plan to foster learner mindsets and student agency for a culture of high expectations.

Each week will include live 90 minute webinars Monday through Thursday led by LEAP, as well as asynchronous work and assignments toward the development of the plans. Additionally each Friday, the LEAP team will lead working consultancy groups to hone and sharpen participants’ individual plans.

Each week-long program is available for $395 per educator, and volume discounts are provided for school teams. Email to learn more or register your school.


The Remote Learning in Action Program

While the Remote Learning Seminar Series is available free to any educator, Remote Learning in Action is a comprehensive professional learning program for educator teams. Translating the multifaceted, collaboration-driven professional learning opportunities that LEAP conducts in Chicago to the remote setting, the fee-based, structured program will take educators through a deep dive into powerful remote learning. It will help them explore strategies for reinforcing critical standards, minimizing instructional loss, enhancing student engagement and connection, supporting students’ social and emotional needs and providing, at large, continuous learning opportunities.

Educators will exit the program able to define and share best practices for a remote learning environment, and implement remote teaching practices that empower students as agents and advocates of their learning. It will also help educators begin to think about the transition back to school, and how new remote learning strategies can merge with their existing classroom strategies to create a more adaptable, personalized environment. Educators will explore in depth how they can:

  • Enhance remote learning and connection
  • Help students set goals to inform their personalized pathways
  • Provide feedback and formative assessment
  • Foster opportunities for students to authentically demonstrate learning

The LEAP Professional Learning team will lead live, interactive webinars that build on one another each week, in tandem with administrator support, self-directed learning tasks, breakout discussions and optional one-on-one coaching. Limited space is available. To learn more, reach out to


The Remote Learning Seminar Series

This spring, as schools were forced to navigate the uncharted waters of COVID-19, we hosted six live webinars addressing issues of importance to principals and schools amid their transition to remote learning. The sessions featured learning science experts and, most importantly, educators successfully handling the realities of given topics on the ground. These guest participants shared their perspectives, engaged in open dialogue with attendees after sessions and contributed tangible resources for teachers.

Nearly 1,500 educators joined the sessions in total. And they said that the sessions helped and inspired them to take on the challenges of remote learning, with more than 90 percent of participants reporting they found the content relevant and actionable. Find live recordings of the sessions, as well as the resources we’ve gathered to help, on our Remote Learning Resources page.

Spring 2020 Remote Learning Webinars

Connectivity Basics to Fuel the Continuity of Learning and Community

Speakers: Britton Picciolini Regional Manager, Google for Education,
Elisette Weiss District Partnerships and Privacy for ClassDojo,
Caitlin Warren Community and Content Marketing for ClassDojo

LEAP Facilitator: Chris Liang-Vergara

Relationships, Routines and Resilience:
Addressing the Impact of Trauma and Enabling Children’s Learning and Thriving, Both Today and After Re-Entry


Pamela Cantor, M.D. – Founder and Senior Science Advisor, Turnaround for Children

Stacy Stewart – Principal, Belmont-Cragin Elementary School

LEAP Facilitator: Jannette Moya – Personalized Learning Manager

How to Create a Quality Virtual Lesson Plan for Literacy


Amira Aljabar, MS.Ed – Customer Implementation Manager, Lexia Learning

Claire Kreller – 2nd Grade Teacher & K-2 Instructional Coach, CICS Irving Park

LEAP Facilitator: Jen Stack – Senior Manager, Professional Learning

How to Keep Making Moves with Math


Tim Hudson – Chief Learning Officer, DreamBox Learning

Mary Carey – Special Education Teacher, Schubert Elementary School

Wendy Liu – 3rd Grade Teacher, Haines Elementary School

LEAP Facilitator: Connie Scalzetti – Personalized Learning Coach

Parents as Partners: A Fresh Look at Parent Engagement


Megan Plante – Educator, ACERO Santiago Elementary School

Mimi Rodman – Executive Director, Stand for Children

Tommorrow Snyder – Regional Organizing Director, Stand for Children

Melissa Sweazy – Principal, ACERO Santiago Elementary School

LEAP Facilitator: Kristin Eng – Senior Manager of School Supports

It’s Year’s End. How Do You Know What Progress Your Students Have Made?


Ashley Jarrell – Teacher, Stagg School of Excellence

Miyoshi Knox – Principal, Stagg School of Excellence

Mark Kostin – Associate Director, Great Schools Partnership

Kathleen Speth – Principal, Disney II Magnet School

LaShawn Whitney – Associate Director, Induction, Academy for Urban School Leadership

LEAP Facilitator: John Boumgarden – Personalized Learning Coach