Forging a Path Toward PreK-12 Students’ Thriving

Logo for the Forging a Path summit featuring concentric circles


March 12, 2021


2:30pm to 6:30pm




The ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic have created even more urgency to ensure that Texas’s education system enables every student to reach their potential. Although there are many sources of knowledge about what works to support the academic success and social-emotional health and wellbeing of students—including from researchers, program developers, and education professionals—implementing promising practices has never been more challenging. Likewise, the pandemic has also presented new challenges and questions about what new approaches must be developed to harness student and community strengths and to ensure equitable outcomes.

This summit is a unique opportunity to bring researchers, educational leaders and professionals, and policymakers together to create a statewide roadmap for success for Texas students. Participants will hear from state and local voices about:

  1. what we know works to support students in challenging times,
  2. what we need to do to scale up these strategies, and
  3. what we still need to know as we face the aftermath of COVID-19.



8:30 - 8:40 AM Welcome Dean Charles Martinez
Texas 2036 CEO Margaret Spellings
TEA Commissioner Mike Morath
8:40 - 8:50 AM The Power of Partnership Commissioner Morath will share the value of education researchers and practitioners coming together in this moment to focus on learning acceleration and the social and emotional well-being of students, teachers and school staff.
8:50 - 8:55 AM The Purpose of the Meeting Dean Martinez
8:55 - 9:45 AM Setting up the Landscape Researchers/practitioners will share big ideas.
  • What’s at Risk: Landscape of Effects of Disruption on Learning - Dr. Paul Von Hippel
  • Examples of Effective Interventions to Support Acceleration of Math and Reading Learning - Dr. Sharon Vaughn and Dr. Uri Triesman
  • Social and Emotional Health and Well-Being - Dr. Caroline Chase
  • Systems Working Together - Dr. Ruth Lopez Turley
9:45 - 10:30 AM Leveraging Progress We've Made Down the Path Summit members will join a breakout group to discuss leveraging what we know works and what we utilize in the key areas.
10:30 - 10:40 AM Integrating the Insights Summit members will join a breakout group to discuss the interventions that don’t yet exist and what skills our system needs that are not in place right now.
10:40 - 10:45 AM Break  
10:45 - 11:10 AM What Works and Inspires Sharing successful programs, what can be learned from them, and the inspiration that emerges
  • Del Valle ISD Director of Literacy Stephanie Carter-Dodson
  • United ISD Reading Interventionist Vanessa Cortez
11:10 - 11:25 AM The Impact of Assessment Breakout  Participants will join a breakout group to discuss how COVID and the integrated approach will impact assessments.
11:25 AM - 12:10 PM Defining Our North Star: Creating a Position Statement Participants will work to create a compelling position statement and key recommendations for this integrated work.
12:10 - 12:15 PM Mapping the Way Forward From the Summit to Students’ Thriving.
12:15 - 12:20 PM Guiding Lights Participants will share words of wisdom.
12:20 - 12:30 PM Closing Dean Martinez