Center for School Improvement Leadership Institute

The AFT’s annual Center for School Improvement Leadership Institute, Supporting Literacy, Equity and Community, will be held virtually beginning Jan. 20, 2022. 

CSI 2022 will expand capacity to increase educational equity as we help students recover and advance learning and development post-pandemic, by creating a more tightly knit community to support our students. We know that literacy is fundamental to that learning. And we know that students thrive when they are taught the reading and writing skills they need, in a safe and welcoming environment that embraces and builds on their lived experiences. This institute will underscore the importance of teaching the science of reading in ways that will stick because they connect to who kids are and what they already know. With this approach, labor-management teams can build student achievement and racial justice at the same time.

Our North Star is educating students from ethnic, racial, and culturally diverse backgrounds equitably and powerfully. We must ensure that all students feel respected and valued by their educators and their peers. For all students to be successful, educators need to teach in ways that embrace students’ cultures and experiences while building their literacy and love of reading. Districts, families and community partnerships are critical to the success of these efforts.

 The 2022 institute will focus on:

  1. Reviewing the science of reading and helping teams identify what they need to do to enrich their literacy practices.
  2. Deepening participants’ knowledge around the connection between literacy and culturally responsive pedagogy.
  3. Strengthening labor-management-community teams’ capacity to lead and facilitate school transformation, resulting in improved connections between literacy and culturally responsive systems.

By focusing on the needs of culturally and academically diverse students, we learn how to use practices, strategies and resources that will benefit all students.

Who should attend?

CSI is for AFT local affiliates and their district and community partners. For this experience to truly take root in your efforts back home, it is crucial to have key stakeholders be a part of your team. Your team of three to eight people should include:

  • School-level union representatives (AFT members), parent leaders, principals, teachers, paraprofessionals, student leaders, members of school improvement teams, and staff responsible for day-to-day implementation of school-level redesign;
  • District personnel responsible for facilitating transformation in schools;
  • Union leadership or staff assigned to support redesign at the school and district levels;
  • Parent leaders or liaisons, school board members, elected officials, student leaders, and/or community leaders on district-level school improvement teams; and
  • community partner  whose efforts are connected to literacy and/or culturally responsive practices (e.g., public and private agencies, community-based organizations, local government, colleges/universities, after-school providers, cultural institutions, faith-based organizations, civic organizations, and others). Note: If an elected official is selected as part of your team, an additional community partner is still required.

CSI 2022 Partners


About the UFT Teacher Center

The UFT Teacher Center, for more than 38 years, has provided exemplary professional development programs that promote teacher excellence and student performance. The UFT Teacher Center operates throughout the five boroughs of New York City in more than 125 school-based sites and numerous outreach locations.

Toward its major goal—the increase of academic achievement for all students, including those in our lowest-performing schools—the UFT Teacher Center provides myriad professional learning opportunities to enable thousands of educators to address the diverse instructional needs of students.