Skip to main content
Winter Leadership Institute


Sunday, January 27

 Pre-Institute Sessions


9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.

Acelero Learning's Monitoring Innovations 2.0! (Day 1)
Members $275 / Non-Members $325



Supporting Teachers in Understanding the CLASS Dimensions as a Means to Establishing a Positive Classroom Environment 
Members $150 / Non-Members $175 

Monday, January 28


9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Acelero Learning's Monitoring Innovations 2.0! (Day 2) 
Members $275 / Non-Members $325



Interacting with the CLASS Tool: How to Help Teachers Understand and Engage in High Level Instructional Supports 
Members $150 / Non-Members $175 

Tuesday, January 29


9:00 a.m.-2:45 p.m.

NHSA Health Institute
$25 with full Winter Leadership Institute Registration
$125 without full Winter Leadership Institute Registration

Tuesday, January 29 


3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Winter Leadership Institute Opening Session: Forging the Right Start for Head Start

The number of children in poverty is nearing a level not seen since the Great Depression. At the same time, dollars for public programs have stagnated or been cut and public sentiment is focused elsewhere. This opening session will start a dialogue about getting off to the “right start” for Head Start in this new year, new Congress, and new Administration. Led by Ralph Smith from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, it will address where we can refocus our priorities, conversations, and work in order to make a real change for the children and families touched by poverty. 

Ralph Smith, Senior Vice President, Annie E. Casey Foundation


4:45 p.m.-6:00 p.m.

Office of Head Start Update - Five Year Grants 

The Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007 requires the Office of Head Start to convert all Head Start grants to five-year grants. Ross Weaver from the Office of Head Start will discuss and answer questions about the next steps in the process of converting all grants to five-year grants.

Ross Weaver, Director of the Quality Assurance Division, Office of Head Start 



 Opening Reception

Wednesday, January 30


8:30 a.m.-9:45a.m.

Perspectives from the Administration 
Since re-election, the Obama administration has clearly defined a handful of key priorities including deficit reduction, tax code reform, and immigration policy reform. However, it is unclear how those priorities will affect Head Start and early learning. In this session, senior White House and Administration for Children and Families officials will discuss the Obama Administration’s priorities for early learning and related programs. 

Linda Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary and Interdepartmental Liaison, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Roberto Rodriguez, Senior Education Advisor, Domestic Policy Council, White House (Invited) 



Perspectives from Capitol Hill 
The 113th Congress started work facing a long list of reauthorizations and budget challenges. Several bills up for reauthorization, including the Head Start Act, Child Care and Development Fund, and Elementary and Secondary Education Act, have implications for Head Start. Additionally, facing budget caps , funding for Head Start and other early learning programs will be stretched thin over the next two years. In this session, key Committee staff from both the House and Senate will discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the Head Start community and how we can forge the best path forward in a challenging Congressional environment. 

Cristin Datch, Majority Staff, Committee on Education and Workforce, US House of Representatives.
Alison Deters, Majority Staff, Committee on Appropriations, US House of Representatives. 
Mildred Otero, Majority Staff, Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions US Senate. (Invited)
Mike Gentile, Majority Staff, Committee on Appropriations, US Senate. 



0-8 Policy for the Future of School Readiness 
For 47 years, there has been tense discussion about Head Start’s purpose: academic preparation or social-emotional development? For many, the answer has been Head Start’s “whole child approach.” Today, in what could be a critical period in the history of pre-kindergarten education, the discussion has reemerged, and may become a battleground for the future of birth to eight policy. From this panel we will hear a range of perspectives about what we have learned from the past discussions and where the current one might lead us. 

Sara Mead, 
Associate Partner, Bellwether Education Partners 

W. Steven Barnett, 
Director, National Institute for Early Education Research, Rutgers University 
Tom Schultz, Project Director, Early Childhood Initiatives, Council of Chief State School Officers  
Sara Mead, Associate Partner, Bellweather Education Partners 



Lunch on Your Own



Head Start’s Lasting Impact - Research and Implications for Practice 
How do we know Head Start works? This session will explore research findings about the long-term effects of Head Start for individuals and for society. A former member will discuss the recommendations of DHHS’s Advisory Committee on Head Start Research and Evaluation and its broad interpretations of Head Start research and what they mean for practitioners and future research.

Tammy Mann, President and CEO, The Campagna Center, Alexandria VA; former member, Advisory Committee on Head Start Research and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 
Jennifer Brooks, Senior Social Science Research Analyst, Division of Child and Family Development, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluations, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, (Invited)


3:15p.m.-4:30 p.m.

The Future of Outcomes: Measuring What Matters 
Understanding Head Start’s Impact requires knowing what to measure and how to measure it. If both cognitive and social-emotional development matter, how will we measure both? If we expect to measure progress after nine months and after twenty years, how can we connect the two? This panel will address which factors are most important to measure from children’s early development through workforce outcomes and identify issues that arise as research measures and tracks those factors.

Dominico “Mimmo” Parisi, Director, The National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center, Mississippi State University  
Gayle Kelly, Executive Director, Minnesota Head Start Association  
Rebecca Berlin, Director of Client Services, Teachstone
Elizabeth Groginsky, Executive Director, Early Childhood Data Collaborative  


4:45p.m.-5:45 p.m.

Policy Agenda Conversation/Advocacy Training

Attendees may choose from two options for the day’s last session. 

The first option, for NHSA Members , is an opportunity to provide input on NHSA’s 2013 Policy Agenda. The Policy Agenda is a roadmap for educating policy makers, guiding NHSA’s strategic decision-making, and advocating for changes in current law, regulation, and practice. 

The second option, open to all, is an advocacy training to prepare attendees for visits to Capitol Hill the following day. 

Policy Agenda Conversation - for NHSA Members Only 
Tommy Sheridan, Senior Manager, Government Affairs, NHSA 

Advocacy Training - Open to all attendees 
Lisa Stewart, NHSA Consultant and Executive Vice President, Beacon Consulting Group 
Therese Magnuson, NHSA Consultant and Vice President, Beacon Consulting Group

Thursday, January 31



Breakfast on Capitol Hill (Senate Dirksen G-50)

One of the highlights of the Annual Winter Leadership Institute is Breakfast on Capitol Hill. This event kicks off the Day on the Hill and is a wonderful opportunity to meet with Members of Congress and their staff in an informal setting. This year, Breakfast on Capitol Hill will be on the Senate side, making it easy for Senators to drop in throughout the event. Breakfast will also feature John Avlon, a CNN Contributor, Political Columnist, and Co-founder of the No Labels organization to discuss the difficulty and importance of problem solving.

John Avlon, Co-Founder, No Labels (Confirmed) 
Bruce Strothers, Coca-Cola (Invited) 
Liany Arroyo, National Council of La Raza (Invited)

Honorary Co-hosts
U.S. Senator Patty Murray 
U.S. Senator Thad Cochran 
U.S. Senator Robert Casey, Jr. 
U.S. Senator Al Franken 
U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski 
U.S. Senator Tom Harkin 
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski 
U.S. Senator Richard Burr 


10:30a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Visits with Members of Congress 


Lunch on Your Own



4:00p.m.-5:30 p.m.

These are OUR Children: Head Start and Immigration Policy Reform

Following the election of 2012, the Obama Administration and almost everyone in Congress agreed that something needs to happen in our nation’s federal immigration policy. This session will outline some of the possibilities for reform as well as start a conversation about how we can ensure children are not harmed in the immigration process. As immigration policy is something that impacts ALL Head Start programs in a variety of ways, this session will provide an opportunity for discussion about what local programs are doing and how the Head Start community can work together nationally.

Marshall Filtz, Director of Immigration Policy, Center for American Progress

Friday, February 1



Office of Head Start Update

Yvette Sanchez Fuentes, Director, Office of Head Start
Ann Linehan, Deputy Director, Office of Head Start,  
Colleen Rathgeb, Division Director, Office of Head Start, 
Amanda Bryans, Division Director, Office of Head Start, 
Sharon Yandian, Division Director, Office of Head Start, 
Damon Manning, Special Assistant, Office of Head Start, 



Building Effective Leadership - Fresh ideas from Research and Practice
A Head Start program is only as strong as its leadership. This session will look at some fresh ideas for building and growing strong leaders in our community. It will focus on the work of two pioneers in this area: Stacie Goffin, has undertaken a substantial amount of research in leadership that informs early learning leaders; A Head Start director has implemented several innovative and successful leadership development techniques in her own program.

Stacie Goffin, Ed.D., President, Goffin Strategy Group, Inc. (Confirmed)