Bridging the Gap: Strategies to Engage Every Student

Bridging the Gap: Strategies to Engage Every Student


Series Description

The State Support Team 1 is pleased to sponsor Bridging the Gap: Strategies to Engage Every Student. National, regional, and local presenters will bring their expertise in a three-day series that is designed to address key themes identified in research to narrow achievement gaps among all students, including those with disabilities. Between the sessions, participants will receive bi-weekly contact with information to support implementation of the strategies obtained in the series. Team attendance is strongly recommended and should be composed of a principal and up to three teachers, including one who is a special educator.


Series Presentations

Day 1: Bridging the Attitude Gap: A Classroom Equity Framework | January 22, 2020

Baruti Kafele will address the learning environment, staff and student attitudes, relationships with and compassion for students, and relevance in instruction. Strategies to address attitude gaps among students and staff to create positive climates and cultures will be shared. The presenter will address ways through which participants can develop caring, meaningful relationships with students and demonstrate cultural responsiveness to all learners.


CANCELLED! Day 2: Bridging the Climate & Culture Gaps: Making Every School Day Count | March 19, 2020*

Participants will engage in a variety of interactive experiences to develop next-day strategies for increasing instructional time, creating a culture of high expectations, managing a classroom, linking school and home, engaging students, and meeting their social and emotional needs. Participants will also explore how to implement effective interventions. State Support Team 1 consultants will facilitate.


Day 3: Bridging the Rigor Gap: Maintaining A Culture of High Expectations | April 28, 2020

Participants will be challenged to ensure a culture of high expectations for all students with rigorous lessons across the curriculum. Teacher efficacy, evidence-based strategies in math and English language arts, and student engagement are the focus on the last session in this series. Dr. William Weber, Professor Emeritus at the University of Toledo, will be the morning presenter, focusing on mathematics. English Language Arts will be the focus on the second half of the session, facilitated by Ginna Fall, M.Ed., and Deborah Nagel, M.A.


Team Composition & Information

Team attendance is strongly recommended, but not required. Teams should be composed of a principal and up to three teachers, one of which should be a special education teacher. The series takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on January 22, March 19, and April 28, 2020. The series will be held in the Conference Room of the Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West in Toledo, Ohio. Lunch is not provided.


Available Credit Options

Participants may choose between 16.5 contact hours or two semester hours of graduate credit through Ashland University (pending). Information regarding graduate credit and fees will be made available during the first session in this three-day series.

*The March 19 session was cancelled.

Baruti Kafele


A highly-regarded urban public school educator in New Jersey for over 20 years, Principal Baruti Kafele distinguished himself in the classroom and as a school leader. As an elementary school teacher in East Orange, NJ, Principal Kafele was selected as the East Orange School District and Essex County Public Schools Teacher of the Year. As a middle and high school principal, he led the transformation of four different New Jersey urban schools, including “The Mighty” Newark Tech, which went from a low-performing school in need of improvement to national acclaim, which included U.S. News and World Report Magazine recognizing it three times as one of America’s best high schools.

One of the most sought-after education speakers in America, Principal Kafele has delivered more than 1000 conference keynotes and professional development workshops since leaving his principalship in 2011. An expert in the area of “attitude transformation,” Principal Kafele is the leading authority for providing effective classroom and school leadership strategies toward closing what he coined, the “attitude gap” – defined as, “the gap between those students who have the WILL to achieve excellence and those who do not.”

A prolific writer, Principal Kafele has written extensively on professional development strategies for creating a positive school climate and culture, transforming the attitudes of at-risk student populations, motivating Black males to excel in the classroom and school leadership practices for inspiring school-wide excellence. In addition to writing several professional articles on these topics for popular education journals, he is the author of eight books which include his national best-sellers, Closing the Attitude Gap, Motivating Black Males to Achieve in School and in Life and The Principal 50. His newest book, The Teacher 50 was recently released in September, 2016.

More information on Baruti Kafele is available online.


Photo of Baruti Kafele from this website.

Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West


The Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West is located at 2275 Collingwood Boulevard in Toledo, Ohio. A map with directions to this location is embedded below and available online.