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September 28 - October 1, 2015
2015 Fall Leadership Institute
"The Next Generation of Innovation"

Monday, September 28

NHSA's Registration Desk will be open 8 am - 5 pm on Monday and Tuesday.

9:00 AM - 2:30 PM

DRS Symposium

Join NHSA and the Head Start community on September 28th for an investigation into what we've learned from three cycles of the Designation Renewal System, an exploration of what the measurement of quality in Head Start should actually entail, and an intense discussion of DRS reforms. With the findings of the DRS Evaluation coming out soon and the reauthorization of Head Start possibly coming in the next few years, this is a critical opportunity to come together as a community to strategize about how best to improve the Designation Renewal System - a system desperately needing reform.

The DRS Symposium, taking place on Monday, Sept. 28, must be added onto your regular FLI registration. Learn more.

3:00 - 4:00 PM

Opening Session

We’re excited to kick off the Institute with a Keynote from Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, a leading early language researcher at Temple University. Dr. Hirsh-Pasek will speak about how high quality language environments are a uniting theme in many pressing issues in the early learning field today. From the word gap to universal pre-k to school readiness, creating a language-rich environment is critical in achieving our broader policy goals. This session will delve into the six principles for language learning that lay the foundational for increasing quality in our Head Start classrooms.


Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Temple University, Professor/Stanley and Debra Lefkowitz Distinguished Faculty Fellow

4:00 - 5:30 PM

Trending Topics

Following the opening session, we’ll jump right into the latest and greatest intel from Washington - aka the trending topics! With a panel of experts from various fields, these quick-hit presentations will cover some of the topics that are most important here in a Washington as well as for us in the Head Start field. From mental health to the upcoming elections, these sessions will present short and to-the-point topics that will give you a taste of what’s on the mind of policy makers and thought leaders around the country.


  • Chuck Ingoglia, National Council on Behavioral Health, Senior Vice President
  • Emmalie Dropkin, National Head Start Association, Director of Policy, Data, and Research
  • Lee Foley, Capitol Hill Partners, Managing Partner
  • Gordon MacDougall, Beacon Consulting Group, President
  • Shannon Rudisill, Administration for Children and Families, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Development
  • Yasmina Vinci, National Head Start Association, Executive Director

Tuesday, September 29

NHSA's Registration Desk will be open 8 am - 5 pm on Monday and Tuesday.

8:30 - 11:30 AM

Dialogue with the Office of Head Start

With new leadership in the Office of Head Start (OHS) comes a new approach to interacting with the Head Start community. This session, led by OHS Director Dr. Blanca Enriquez, will focus on her vision for the future of Head Start and will explicitly solicit your input. Attendees should come ready to discuss the challenges they face in their jobs, how they would like to see the T&TA system changed to better support them as well as their perspective on other pressing issues in the Head Start world. Don’t miss this energizing and impactful session!


Dr. Blanca Enriquez, Office of Head Start, Director

11:45 AM - 12:30 PM

The View from OMB

Concluding the morning on Tuesday, attendees will be joined by senior leadership at the Office of Management and Budget to discuss the Administration’s plans for Head Start. This session will cover much ground including the end game for Fiscal Year 2016 funding, the process for the President’s next (and last) budget, and an update on the regulations that the Head Start community should be paying attention too.


Sharon Parrott, Office of Management and Budget, Assoc. Director for Education, Income Maintenance and Labor

12:30 - 2:00 PM


2:00 - 2:30 PM

Hot Topic: How Long Should Children Be in Head Start?

This session gives participants a chance to voice their opinion on the pressing issue of duration of services. This is a chance for NHSA to hear how you think this should be tackled and what are the biggest challenges facing the potential implementation of the Administration’s proposed rules. We will use this time to gather all feedback on how you would like Head Start’s duration of services to look in the future and use it to further our advocacy with the Administration.

2:30 - 3:45 PM

Head Start's Impact: Innovative Approaches

We all know and agree that Head Start is exceptionally effective in helping children and their families be successful, but in the era of evidence-based policy, what exactly does that mean and how can we show it? How can we shift our focus to the outcomes of Head Start children and families rather than compliance of rules and regulations? With attention increasingly being paid towards continuous quality improvement, we have invited panelists to talk about their perspectives on increasing the use of outcomes both in policy and in practice - and how Head Start can lead the way in determining how we will measure and choose outcomes.


  • Kathy Stack, Arnold Foundation, Vice President of Evidence-Based Innovation
  • Sara Mead, Bellwether Education Partners, Principal
  • Gayle Kelly, Minnesota Head Start Association, Executive Director
  • Rosa Maria Castaneda, Annie E Casey Foundation, Managing Director

4:00 - 5:00 PM

Hot Topic: The Future of Parents in Head Start

Head Start parents have been integral to the success of Head Start since the creation of the program in 1965. Looking to the future, how do we ensure that Head Start parents remain involved and engaged in all elements of the program - especially in light of the latest NPRM? This session will feature two leading program directors and a current Head Start parent speaking about how they engage parents in their programs and what they see the future holds for Head Start parents.


  • Ron Herndon, Albina Head Start, Director
  • Luz Flores, AVANCE - Houston, Deputy Director
  • Donald Bovinett, Ohio Head Start Association, Parent Representative

5:00 - 5:30 PM

Brushes with Greatness

Join us for an exciting session with Lucinda Robb, President Lyndon B. Johnson’s granddaughter. This session will celebrate Head Start’s 50 years of history, reflect on Head Start’s impact and the legacy of the Johnson family, and feature Head Start alumni stories of how Head Start started them on a path to success.


Lucinda Robb, The Teaching Company, Vice President of Special Projects

Wednesday, September 30

9:30 - 10:30 AM

Head Start Spirit Rally

To kickoff our 2015 Hill Day - and Head Start Awareness Month - we invite all Institute attendees to take a short walk from the hotel and join us for an exciting Head Start Spirit Rally on the Capitol Lawn at 9:00 a.m. The rally will be an opportunity to celebrate Head Start’s impact over the past 50 years and get energized for Head Start Awareness Month. You won’t want to miss inspiring talks by Members of Congress, prominent Head Start alumni, and more!

11:00 - 3:00 PM

Hill Visits

After an electrifying start to the day, attendees are free to spend the rest of Hill Day meeting with Members of Congress at their nearby offices. In addition to many sessions that offer the chance to hear the thinking behind policies right from federal staff at OHS and other agencies, the opportunity to meet with Members of Congress is one of the most impactful ways you can spend your time at the Fall Leadership Institute. In fact, this is the reason we host Institutes in Washington, D.C!

5:00 - 6:00 PM

Early Head Start Expansion and Child Care Partnership Meetup

Thursday, October 1

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Office of Head Start Updates: Your Questions Answered

Starting with opening remarks from Deputy Assistant Secretary Linda Smith, the final morning of the Institute will be dedicated to the latest information straight from the leadership at the Office of Head Start. The OHS team will join us Thursday morning for a number of critical sessions explaining current strategic priorities, highlighting changes, and setting a course for the future of Head Start. This important information will deepen your Head Start knowledge and prepare you to be messengers and leaders back home. Don’t miss this valuable opportunity for the Head Start field to partner with the Office of Head Start to ensure that all vulnerable children and families have what they need to succeed.


Linda Smith, Administration for Children and Families, Deputy Assistant Secretary and Inter-Departmental Liaison for Early Childhood Development

Early Learning Outcomes Framework

This time will be spent learning how to use the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework to help ensure you are operating a highly performing organization that meets its school readiness goals.


Amanda Bryans, Office of Head Start, Director, Division of Comprehensive Services

Aligned Monitoring System

Participants will get an overview of the latest Aligned Monitoring System additions to include new tools for Comprehensive Services, School Readiness, and Leadership, Governance, and Management Systems. Time will be provided for questions from the audience.


Adia Brown, Office of Head Start, Monitoring Lead, Division of Quality & Assurance

Managing Fiscal Resources

Program goals and objectives cannot be accomplished without effective fiscal planning and oversight. New fiscal regulations emphasize performance as a basis for financial accountability. Consider whether your organization is intentionally and efficiently managing fiscal resources to support program goals and objectives.


Belinda Rinker, JD, Office of Head Start, Director, Division of Administration

Grant Application and Amendments

Grant applications and amendments are at the heart of negotiations and interactions with your Regional Offices. Gain knowledge and insight into the five year application expectations and the types of amendments that occur as part of your annual grant award.


Francis Majestic, Office of Head Start, Director, Division of Program Operations

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