Build relationships and dig into issues related to your specific educational focus during Supper Clubs, to be held at local restaurants on the first night of the summit. Because there’s nothing more encouraging than finding colleagues who truly understand your day-to-day struggles and speak your language, join your affinity group for a meal and feel at home in conversation. As these are a valuable complement to the summit program, registration is required. Space is limited to ensure a focused learning and networking experience.

Evaluating Challenges and Opportunities in Opening a Charter School

This Supper Club will focus on what organizations should consider before opening their own charter schools. Discussion will be most relevant for leaders of organizations that are in the feasibility assessment and planning stages, but current operators of charter schools are welcome to attend and offer lessons learned on whether or not and how to start one.

Facilitators: Ron Manderschied, founder, Noble Network; and Tony Sutton, Principal, Rowe Elementary

Ron Manderschied
Noble Network

Northwestern Settlement

Ron Manderschied is the founder of the Noble Network of charter schools in Chicago. The Noble Network oversees middle and high school charters, which consistently top the list of highest performing open enrollment schools in Chicago. He is also the President and CEO of Northwestern Settlement, a settlement house that works to change lives through education, social services, and the arts.

Tony Sutton
Rowe Elementary School

Tony Sutton is principal of Northwestern Settlement’s college prep charter school Rowe Elementary. Rowe currently serves over 800 scholars in grades K-8. The school’s bold mission is to prepare all its graduates for college acceptance and success. Rowe Elementary is a Level 1+ school, the highest possible rating from Chicago Public Schools.

Making Connections in Head Start

Connect with peers in the network who run Head Start programs at the local level and discuss opportunities for further collaboration and shared learning.

Facilitator: Damon Carson, executive vice president general manager of education, instruction, and operations, Neighborhood House Association, and chair, National Head Start Association

Damon Carson
Executive Vice President General Manager of Education, Instruction, and Operations
Neighborhood House Association

National Head Start Association

Damon Carson’s leadership helped to secure $1 billion of federal funding for Neighborhood House Association’s Head Start program, helping to make early childhood education accessible to all of San Diego County residents.  

Achieving Impact through Alternative Schools  

Adult day schools and alternative schools are facing increasingly complex challenges as they work to help students enter the world prepared to thrive. Connect with peers in the network involved in these schools and discuss challenges and solutions around academic and workforce readiness goals that prepare children in special education settings to succeed. 

Facilitator:  Edward Placke, executive director, Green Chimneys 

Edward Placke
Executive Director
Green Chimneys

Edward Placke has over 36 years of experience in special education and vocational programming including serving as the superintendent of schools for a district of alternative junior and high schools. As superintendent, Placke assisted his district in achieving the highest graduation rate for an alternative school system, with over half of graduates attending college. Prior to this, he served as assistant commissioner of the New York State Education Department, Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities.  

Addressing Challenges in Data Sharing with K-12 Schools

While data can be the unifying force for organizations and schools looking to improve educational outcomes and address the social determinants of success, involvement and data sharing with the Department of Education and school districts can be fraught with roadblocks. This Supper Club will discuss solutions to relational and technological challenges in data sharing.

Facilitator: Forrest Moore, policy fellow, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago

Forrest Moore
Policy Fellow
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago

Forrest Moore provides strategic guidance in research methods and program evaluation across various youth-serving agencies. Specializing in the integration of data science, Moore leverages evidence-based practices to promote equitable outcomes for vulnerable youth and communities.