National Latino Children’s Summit schedule

October 21, 2016 – National Latino Children’s Summit

Latinos: Into the Future

Sheraton Downtown Hotel





7:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Sheraton – Lobby 2nd Floor Registration and
Continental Breakfast
Pick up materials and Twitter
8:15 a.m. to  8:20 a.m. Valley CDE Top of the Summit Introduction Olga Aros, Summit Chair
8:20 a.m. to  8:30 a.m. Valley CDE Summit Welcome Mayor Greg Stanton
8:30 a.m. to 8:45 Valley CDE Partner Address David Adame, President & CEO, Chicanos Por La Causa
8:45 a.m. to  9:25 a.m. Valley CDE President Opening Message Paul Luna, President & CEO
Helios Education Foundation
9:25 a.m. to 9:35 a.m. Sheraton Lobby Social Media Break  
9:35 a.m. to 11:25 a.m. Valley A Public Policy Track – ESSA Pearl Chang Esau, Expect More Arizona, Moderator
  Valley B Early Learning Track Rebecca Gau, Stand for Children, Moderator
  Laveen A K-12 Education Track Jaime Martinez, Smart Toro Consulting, Moderator
  Laveen B Post-Secondary Education Track LeeAnn Lindsey, Thriving Together, Moderator
Youth Summit Paradise Valley Youth Summit Advocacy Skills Training Alberto Olivas – Facilitator
ASU Center on Politics/Public Service
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Valley CDE “We the Children” Luncheon Jimena Gonzales
Noticiero Telemundo Arizona Anchor
 1:15 p.m. to  2:45 p.m. Valley A Public Policy Track – DACA/DAPA Dulce Matuz, Arizona Dream Act Coalition, Moderator
  Valley B Early Learning Track Terri Clark, Read On Arizona, Moderator
  Laveen A K-12 Education Track Daniela Robles, Balsc School District, Moderator
  Laveen B Post-Secondary Education Track Linda Jensen, Arizona College Access Network, Moderator
 2:45 p.m. to  3:10 p.m. Sheraton – Lobby Social Media Break  
3:15 p.m. to  4:30 p.m. Valley CDE Legislative Forum Alberto Olivas, Facilitator
4:30 p.m.  to 5:00 p.m. Valley CDE Patriotic – Closing Session Olga Aros, Summit Chair


Workshop Morning Sessions

Public Policy Track

Every Student Succeeds Act: Challenges and Opportunities for Latino Youth

According to the National Council of La Raza, one in four K–12 students in the United States is Latino and by 2023, that will increase to one in three. The academic success of Latino children and youth is crucial for the future of the country. There are systematic barriers that prevent Latino children from succeeding academically, especially English Language Learners and children from low income families. Intentional federal and state action is needed in order to successfully address these barriers.

Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states will have the freedom to develop their own goals for student proficiency, graduation rates and English proficiency. The goals have to be set for all students and for sub-groups such as low-income students, students from major racial/ethnic groups, students with disabilities and English Language Learners. In this session, we will explore how these new goals will affect Latino academic achievement and what are the challenges and opportunities we have to close the Latino achievement gap.

Moderator: Pearl Chang Esau, Executive Director, Expect More Arizona


  • Janice Palmer, Vice President and Director of Policy, Helios Education Foundation
  • Kate Wright, Deputy Associate Superintendent of the Office of English Language Acquisition Services and Migrant and Homeless Education, Arizona Department of Education
  • Maria Moser, Senior Director of Teaching and Learning, National Council of La Raza


Early Learning Track

Parent Engagement: The Successful Connection Between Parents and Education Institutions

The partnership between parents and educators is one of the most critical components for ensuring academic success. Parents express great need for more information about what their children are learning and how they can help at home. In addition, some schools and child care providers have parent engagement programs but barriers such as culture and language prevent them from successfully engaging Latino families. 

When parents play a positive role in their child’s education, students do better in school. In this session, we will explore the potential barriers that exist to engaging Latino parents and families and the successful strategies implemented by specific schools, districts and early learning institutions to overcome these obstacles. We will also learn how the increase in parent engagement has had a direct impact on the academic performance of Latino children.

Moderator: Rebecca Gau, Executive Director, Stand for Children


  • Jonathon Gonzales, State Director, Arizona Head Start Association
  • Dr. Claudio Coria, Leadership Coach, Phoenix Union High School District
  • Sandra Gutierrez, National Director, Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors


K-12 Education Track

The Latino Community as an asset: Embracing identity within highly performing public schools

There have been laws enacted that prohibit the teaching of classes designed for students of a particular ethnic group and advocating ethnic solidarity; Students’ first language is sometimes viewed as a hindrance instead of an asset and the singularities of communities are not being taken advantage of in teaching.

Nationally, Arizona is in the top-tier of states closing the achievement gap. Across the state, pockets of ‘A’-rated public schools have developed in predominant Latino communities where students are acquiring an excellent education. In this session, we will explore ways highly performing schools embrace students’ identities and cultures as an asset and what steps can be taken to expand excellence for more Latino youth throughout the state.

Moderator: Jaime Martinez, CEO and Senior Consultant, Smart Toro Consulting


  • Arlahee Ruiz, School Leader, NFL YET College Prep Academy
  • Dr. Chad Gestson, Superintendent, Phoenix Union High School District


Post-secondary Education Track

Communication: The Key to Ensuring Youth Achieve a College Education

Latino students lag behind their peers in college readiness. A 2014 report showed that 83 percent of Latino students reported planning to enroll in college but almost half of them did not meet the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks. Strategies must be in place to increase communication across the education continuum to ensure Latino students have the opportunity to achieve a college education.

Studies show that early learning opportunities and kindergarten readiness directly impact third grade reading proficiency. We know that third grade reading along with eighth grade math predict high school graduation rates. And high school graduates are exponentially more likely to go to college. In this session, we will explore what early childhood settings, K-12 schools and colleges and universities can do to work together to increase college attainment among Latino youth.

Moderator: Dr. LeeAnn Lindsey, Managing Director, Thriving Together


  • RoseMary Rosas, Principal of the Freshmen Academy, Desert View High School
  • Mandy Heil, Admissions, Recruitment and Outreach Coordinator, Arizona Western College
  • Sylvia Symonds, Assistant Vice President for Educational Outreach and Student Services, Arizona State University


Youth Advocacy Skill Training Session

Facilitator:  Alberto Molina, Director, ASU Ed Pastor Center on Politics and Public Service

Young Latinos are often encouraged to get involved in Hispanic or Latino community leadership roles, or in campaigns to promote change or fight injustice. However, many times, students are not given the necessary preparation to engage effectively in these efforts. This can lead to failure and leave students feeling frustrated, angry, and incapable of being effective leaders. This early “burn out” of young leaders can unfortunately cause many to conclude that they are not suited to advocacy and leadership roles and discourage them from getting involved in the future.

In this session, participants will hear about several timely issues affecting the Latino community and choose an issue to work on in small groups as they explore different categories and skills of advocacy. Students will be guided through developing ideas for strategies and actions that they can use to have an impact on Latino issues at levels ranging from individual outreach to state and national policy change. The students will conclude by developing statements and questions to present to candidates for state and national elections during the Legislative Forum event.


“We the Children” Luncheon

Emcee TBA

Summit Scholarship Awards

“We the Children” Advocacy Award Recipient

Senator Martin Quezada

Special Summit Recognition

Dr. Maria Teresa Velez

Keynote Speaker – James A. Ferg-Cadima

Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy

U.S. Department of Education

Office for Civil Rights




Public Policy Track

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA): What is Next and How Schools Can Make an Impact on Their Students and Families

Being undocumented poses barriers to economic opportunities, higher education, health insurance benefits and more active participation in local communities for fear of deportation. Through Executive Order, President Obama expanded benefits to undocumented children and parents of children born in the U.S. However, due to political battles and the inability of the Supreme Court to reach a majority decision on the constitutionality of the programs, there is misinformation and uncertainty surrounding the security of Latino families impacted.

The Supreme Court could not arrive at a majority decision in the DAPA and expanded DACA case, therefore, the initiatives continue to be blocked. In this session we will discuss what this means for undocumented youth and families and what role schools and school districts can play in ensuring families have access to documentation necessary to apply for the original DACA.

Moderator: Dulce Matuz, Board Member, Arizona Dream Act Coalition


  • Daniel Rodriguez, Attorney, Díaz, Rodriguez and Associates
  • Stephanie Parra, Founding Board Member, Arizona Latino School Board Association
  • James Garcia, Director of Communications, Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce


Early Learning Track

Move On When Reading Law and Role of Early Literacy in Ensuring Kids Read Proficiently by Third Grade

Under the Move On When Reading Law, students may not be promoted from third grade to fourth grade if they read at a much lower level than is expected of a third grader. A high percentage of Latino children are not reading proficiently and are in danger of being held back. The issue becomes greater when children who are not reading at grade level do not receive the additional support and intervention they need.

In this session, we will discuss the impact that the law can have on the Latino student population, especially English Language Learners, what some schools are doing to implement dual language programs and the role of early learning and language development in ensuring that kids are reading proficiently by the third grade.

Moderator: Terri Clark, Arizona Literacy Director, Read On Arizona


  • Dr. Karen Ortiz, Vice President of Early Grade Success Initiatives, Helios Education Foundation
  • Dr. Michael F. Kelley, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education, Arizona State University
  • Jenny Volpe, Executive Director, Make Way for Books


K-12 Education Track

The Importance of Teacher Equity in Schools Serving Low-income Students of Color

Arizona had more than 1,000 teacher vacancies for the 2015-2016 school year, and many of those are in schools that serve a high percentage of low-income, Latino children. Furthermore, many of these schools receive desegregation funding, for which access to excellent teachers is a key element, and that funding is in danger of going away without a proper transition plan for replacing funds.

One of the most important factors in student success is having access to a high quality teacher, especially in schools serving low-income children. In this session, we will talk about the importance of teacher equity, what teacher programs exist that are addressing the specific needs of communities serving Latino children and what we can do to ensure that all children are taught by high quality teachers, regardless of their background and zip code.

Moderator: Daniela Robles, Teacher Leader, Balsz School District


  • Angelina Canto, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Nogales Unified School District
  • Dr. Claire E. Schonaerts, Associate Clinical Professor, Northern Arizona University
  • Dr. H. T. Sanchez, Superintendent, Tucson Unified School District


Post-secondary Education Track

I Made it to College. Now What?

The inability to pay for college is not the only obstacle for Latinos to achieve a higher education. First generation college going Latinos face additional barriers such as cultural disconnect, the need to contribute financially to their family and lack of legal status once they graduate from high school and move on to college.

In this session, we will discuss the impact of the lower college graduation rates among Latino students, especially related to employment and what some organizations and higher education institutions are doing to address the non-financial obstacles that keep them from attaining a college degree, finding employment and paying for their student debt.

Moderator: Linda Jensen, Director, Arizona College Access Network


  • Matt Matera, Co-founder, Immigrant Student Resource Center at the University of Arizona
  • Dr. Steven R. Gonzales, President, Gateway Community College
  • Ulysses Campos, Assistant Director of First-Gen Initiatives, Northern Arizona University


Legislative Forum

The third Legislative Forum brings legislators and young Latino leaders together to engage in a discussion on the most prevalent public policy issues and concerns of young students, share information, understand problems, build relationships and identify mutual concerns that transcend politics and party affiliations.

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