Learning Forward Florida

2020 Winter Newsletter

Happy New Year and thank you for your membership in Learning Forward Florida. We are a proud affiliate of Learning Forward and offer cutting edge opportunities to professional learning leaders across the state.

The Learning Forward Annual Conference 2019: Gateway to Success: Our Learning. Their Future.

One of the premier benefits of membership in Learning Forward is the opportunity to participate in the annual conference each December. The experience always provides educators with outstanding content and valuable resources to aid their work in providing powerful learning experiences.

The 2019 Annual Conference was held in St. Louis, Missouri in December this past year. The conference theme, Gateway to Success: Our Learning,Their Future, reminded us of the journey we create every time we begin a learning process and how important our work is for students of all ages. The jam-packed conference program included multiple opportunities to engage with thought leaders, keynote speakers, concurrent session presenters and key senior staff and advisors from Learning Forward around salient and relevant issues that challenge our field. For a full description of the sessions, topics and key presenters, check out the conference recap on the Learning Forward website. We extend a special thank you to the wonderful folks of Missouri who welcomed more than 3,000 attendees with open arms. The “Show Me State” showed all those in attendance a GREAT time learning, laughing and leading at this premier experience.

A special element of this conference was the 50th birthday/anniversary celebration commemorating Learning Forward’s fifty years of work and leadership in professional learning. The event was planned in collaboration with Learning Forward, the St. Louis Host Committee, the Affiliate Leaders and the Learning Forward Foundation. The celebration was held as part of the Welcome Reception on Sunday, December 8th from 6 – 7:30 pm which included food, fun and photo opportunities for capturing memories and mayhem! The Learning Forward Foundation sold raffle tickets for a wide array of professional resources (many of which were autographed by the author) related to the key focus areas in the field of professional learning. Funds raised at the event will support the key strategic priorities of the Learning Forward Foundation. Additionally, Fred Brown, Deputy Director of Learning Forward, was seen sporting a LOVELY birthday party hat resulting in a plethora of photos with Fred (and his hat) and friends.

If you missed the opportunity to be part of the learning experience in December 2019, mark your calendars for December 5 – 9, 2020 and join us in Chicago to Innovate for Impact. For more information, or to submit a proposal to be a concurrent session present, check out the conference overview on the Learning Forward website.

2019 Learning Forward Florida Fall Conference

The first Learning Forward Florida Fall Conference was a huge success thanks to our Florida professional learning leaders, expert presenters and sponsors.

During a full day of learning on Monday, September 23, 2019, conference attendees engaged in Equity in Action: Cultivating Brave Spaces with our featured speaker, John Krownapple. Krownapple's message of honoring dignity in the educational environment was the foundation of the day's professional learning. The difference between integration, in which people are "in the community," and inclusion, in which people are "of the community" was emphasized. Inclusion in education was highlighted as the ultimate goal since people who are included have high access to the educational environment and experience unconditional belonging. Krownapple and Cobb (2019) developed the Dignity Framework for Educational Equity. The four standards for dignity are: (a) presume competence and positive intent; (b) build partnership and community; (c) repair harm and restore relationships; and (d) affirm differences and uniqueness. When the four standards are met then the dignity of each person is honored. Conversely, when dignity is violated, then people are marginalized, mistreated, otherized, and dismissed. Conference attendees reflected on personal and professional situations in which people's dignity was and was not honored.

Concurrent session presenters continued the learning on Day 2 by intertwining equity into their content. On Day 3, participants from Size-Alike Districts met to network with other district with similar numbers of students. The conference ended with an FDOE update with Richard Myrhe from Just Read, Florida! and Jenna Evans representing the Bureau of Educator Recruitment, Development and Retention.


Cobb, F. & Krownapple, J. (2019). Belonging through a culture of dignity: The keys to successful equity implementation. San Diego, CA: Mimi & Todd Press.

2019 Outstanding Professional Learning Practices Award

Our 2019 Outstanding Professional Learning Practices Award was earned by Susan Abbe
and the Professional Learning Department from Orange County Public Schools. This award was given in recognition of the work Mrs. Abbe led to develop and implement the District Professional Learning Community process.

Mrs. Abbe is the Executive Director for the Orange County Public Schools’ Professional Learning Department. She led a team to create a system of professional learning to impact teacher pedagogy, leadership capacity and, ultimately, student achievement. Through strategic cycles of professional learning, the District Professional Learning Community supported school teams to increase their focus and intensity on literacy across content areas, through a distributive leadership model that promoted collective efficacy. As a result, OCPS has seen growth in the use and proficiency with teacher and leadership practices, increased healthy and productive collegial relationships, and steady increases in student proficiency and learning gains.

Congratulations to Susan Abbe and the Orange County Professional Learning Team!

Apply Now for the 2020 Outstanding Professional Learning Practices Award

Please consider applying (or nominating someone) for the 2020 Outstanding Professional Learning Practices Award. Click here to apply. Applications will be due Monday, August 3, 2020, at 5pm. If you have questions, contact Awards Committee Chair Alyson Adams (adamsa@coe.ufl.edu) or your Regional Director.

Size Alike Districts

During the Learning Forward Florida Fall Conference, professional learning leaders from Size-Alike Districts met to network and share successes and challenges. Rolling out the new Professional Learning Standards and the PD Systems Review Protocol were hot topics! To see what districts are your size, view the map below.
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Mark Your Calendars!

Learning Forward Florida Spring e-Forum

Date: May 5, 2020

Time: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Location: Meeting Locations Across the State

Register at Learning Florida Florida.

Learning Forward Florida Fall Conference

Date: September 21-23, 2020

Time: TBD

Location: Tradewinds Island Resorts, St. Pete Beach, FL

Learning Forward Conference

Date: December 5-9, 2020

Time: TBD

Location: Chicago, IL

What We Are Reading

The Learning Forward Florida Board of Directors is engaging in professional learning around feedback. At the Fall Retreat, Shane Fairbairn (President) and Kati Dyer (President-Elect) led the board through the analysis of two case studies and a protocol to unpack qualities of feedback.

Get Involved!

Are you ready to join a dynamic team of professional learning leaders making an impact across the state of Florida? Do you know someone who is ready? We will be accepting nominations for the following positions on the LFFL Board of Directors:

Director, Region 1

Director, Region 5

Director at Large (3 positions)

Interested? Click here to submit a nomination.

About Us

Learning Forward Florida Mission

Learning Forward Florida builds capacity to establish, support, and sustain highly effective professional learning.

Learning Forward Florida Vision

Excellent teaching, learning, and leading every day.

Learning Forward Florida Beliefs

1. Effective and sustained professional learning is fundamental to student learning.

2. All educators have an obligation to improve their practice.

3. More students achieve when educators assume collective responsibility for student learning.

4. Successful leaders create and sustain a culture of learning.

5. Improving student learning and professional practice requires ongoing systemic and organizational change.

Learning Forward Florida is an affiliate of Learning Forward.