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NewSchools Summit 


For the first time, NewSchools is accepting proposals for 15 engaging, dynamic, and innovative breakout sessions to be presented at Summit 2020 on Thursday, May 7th in Oakland, California. We believe that featuring sessions designed and presented by education leaders for education leaders will elevate the field's most important issues, ideas, and questions. If you are interested in designing and leading a breakout session, please complete this form.

Proposals are due December 15, 2019

Final decisions will be made by January 31, 2020. 


Summit 2020 Audience & Goals

NewSchools Summit brings together more than 1,200 education innovators and leaders to exchange ideas about how to reimagine education. Most of our attendees lead school districts, networks of charter schools or education nonprofits. We also draw funders, policy-makers and ed tech entrepreneurs.

At Summit, we strive to feature speakers whose unique perspectives and calls to action will shape how these leaders think and ultimately, what they do, after leaving the gathering. Specifically, we want our nation’s biggest thinkers to share their perspectives on how the most important issues facing PreK-12 education and our country should inform our approach to educating the next generation of leaders.


Guidelines for Submission

  • Five breakout sessions will run concurrently during three time slots.
  • Breakout sessions will be 75-minutes long and regularly draw 75-150 attendees. 
  • We can accommodate most reasonable A/V and room setup requests.
  • Organizations may submit up to three breakout session proposals.
  • Each proposal must have a session leader who is the main organizer and point of contact for the NewSchools team.
  • Breakout sessions must have clear participant learning objectives.
  • Breakout sessions must be original. Sessions presented at other conferences or events will not be considered.
  • We expect that around 20 finalists will be advanced for further vetting and, of those, about fifteen final breakout sessions will be selected for Summit.
  • If selected, up to five main presenters per breakout session will receive travel, accommodations, and Summit registration at no cost.


Tips for Writing a Successful Proposal

Choose a compelling topic. Breakout sessions should cultivate timely, relevant, engaging, and civil conversations that push the entire PreK-12 education field forward. Topics might look at old assumptions or challenges in new ways, explore ideas from other sectors that could benefit education, or examine new or innovative concepts. Simply sharing organizational successes or research findings will not create an engaging experience for attendees. Consider topics that focus on:

  • Provocative questions being debated across the sector;
  • New innovations or ways of thinking about PreK-12 education;
  • Innovations from other sectors that might have an application in education;
  • Inspiring speakers that might lead us to think about work and leadership differently; or
  • Student, parent, or community leadership stories that show how change should happen in education.

Recruit a diverse set of dynamic presenters. Breakout session presenters should be experts in their areas, experienced speakers, and deft facilitators of large groups. Presenters should represent the diverse perspectives inherent in controversial topics and have a track record of engaging in a fact-based, collegial, and productive manner. NewSchools deeply values diversity and inclusion and the composition of speakers should leverage the strength of varied races and ethnicities, genders, and ideological perspectives.

Deliver in a unique format. Breakout session attendees are typically leading thinkers, practitioners, entrepreneurs, funders, and researchers in the education sector. Sessions designed to harness the experience and thinking in the room through interactive and engaging formats will be given preference in the selection process. Panel discussions will be considered when submitted with a convincing rationale explaining why this format is best for the topic and objectives. There are many alternative formats to consider.


Contact Jason Weeby at jweeby@newschools.org if you have any questions.