Digital Learning Annual Conference

February 24, 2020
Austin, TX
Booth Number

We look forward to seeing you at DLAC and invite you to come by and visit us at booth #414. We will be sharing insights on how our partner school districts are increasing on-time graduation rates and creating opportunities for student success in school and beyond.


You can also find us cheering on educators from our partner districts, who will be presenting at the following sessions:



The Online Credit Recovery Conundrum

Monday, February 24, from 3-3:43 p.m.

Location: Texas Ballroom 2&3

Description: Credit recovery has experienced a surge in growth due in large part to the availability of vendor-created self-paced online courses and the pressure LEAs feel to improve graduation rates which started under NCLB and continue with ESSA. The conundrum of credit recovery examines how we might make flexible, high quality credit recovery options available for more students while ensuring that this alternative pathway adequately prepares them for careers and post-secondary education.


  • Jeff Plaman, Minnesota Department of Education
  • Anthony Shealy, Bluesky Online Charter School
  • David VanDenBoom, Northern Star Online
  • Laura Welciek, Bluesky Online Charter School
  • Melissa Gould, Minnesota Connections Academy
  • Jean Sharp, Apex Learning



All Means ALL – Engaged Students Achieve More in Dorchester School District Two

Tuesday, February 25, from 8:459:28 a.m.

Location: Hill Country A/B

Description: Our personalized learning programs result in increased student learning outcomes. Engage in a discussion of best practices and leave with a framework identifying goals, instructional models, curriculum, staffing, scheduling and evaluation metrics. Participants will collaborate with educational leaders who have successfully leveraged personalization in grades 6-12 and in adult education to shape the design of their program and meet the unique needs of each learner.


  • Joseph Pye, Dorchester School District Two
  • Julie Kornahrens, Dorchester School District Two
  • Kelly Purvis, Dorchester School District Two
  • Camilla Pinckney, Dorchester School District Two
  • Mona Caudle, Dorchester School District Two
  • Michelle Rutherford, Apex Learning



    Prevent Failure: Effectively Using Digital Learning to Prepare Middle School Students for Success in High School

    Tuesday, February 25, from 11:00–11:43 a.m.

    Location: Texas Ballroom 2

    Description: College and career readiness begins in middle school. Student performance in 9th grade is a strong indicator of whether or not students will graduate. The good news is that many districts are helping students successfully navigate this critical transition. Join three district leaders for a candid discussion about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to strategies for supporting struggling middle school students to get them back on track and prepared for the transition to high school.


    • Laurie Barron, Superintendent, Evergreen School District, MT
    • Kimberly McClain, EdD, Blended Learning Coordinator, Cincinnati Public Schools, OH
    • Beth Pace, Coordinator of Secondary and Middle School Curriculum, Spartanburg County School District One, SC


    Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic: Is Technology the Fourth R?

    Tuesday, February 25, from 11:46 a.m.–12:29 p.m.

    Location: Texas Ballroom 7

    Description: Fewer than half of the nation’s K-12 public school districts offer technology courses, yet technology has become ubiquitous in the lives of today’s students. It is as essential as reading, writing, and arithmetic to prepare students for the future. Technology proficiency builds programming, coding, critical thinking, creativity and problem-solving skills, but finding relevant curriculum and educators with the right skillsets can be a major challenge. Three ed tech experts weigh in on the topic.


    • Dr. Kecia Ray, Professor, Johns Hopkins University
    • Dr. Carol Fletcher, Director of EPIC (Expanding Pathways in Computing), The University of Texas at Austin
    • Michael Connet, Associate Deputy Executive Director, Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE)
    • Jean Sharp, Chief Academic Officer, Apex Learning



    CTE: Expanding Digital Options and Creating Pathways for Success to Support All Students

    Tuesday, February 25, from 3:09–4:00 p.m.

    Location: Texas Ballroom 2

    Description: While CTE has existed for more than 100 years, new thoughts about the role are spurring innovation in states and districts across the country, redefining what school can and should look like. Research finds that students who concentrate in CTE are more likely to go to college than students who do not, and a quality CTE program can reduce the dropout rate by 6 percent. Join three district leaders for a discussion on the benefits of a rigorous CTE program to maximize academic outcomes.


    • Michael Connet, Associate Deputy Executive Director, Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE)
    • David Bird, Principal, Elkhart Community Schools, IN
    • Kim Loomis, Education Consultant, i3DigitalPD



    Not all Digital Curriculum Programs are Created Equal

    Tuesday, February 25, from 4:306 p.m.

    Location: Zilker Exhibit Hall

    Description: Learn how you can create more opportunity for more secondary students, especially students who haven’t been successful in traditional programs. Discover digital curriculum implementation models that are intentionally built with those students in mind so they can earn credits, improve test scores, and fill their learning gaps. We will explore a variety of implementation models that provide more learning opportunities through test readiness, intervention, remediation, or summer school programs. With personalized options, all students have the potential to thrive.

    Presenter:  Jason Mitchell, Strategic Initiatives, Apex Learning



      A Matrix for Digital Learning: Navigating Content, Design, & Staff Needs to Maximize District Priorities and Student Success

      Wednesday, February 26, from 8:4510:15 a.m.

      Location: Foot Hills II

      Description: The use of online curriculum is often lumped into a single category of ‘digital learning,’ however, not all programs are created equal, especially in the eyes of NCAA. When launching a new digital learning program, it is key to align your true priorities with the most appropriate digital learning program. This workshop walks educators through evaluating your priorities, looking at a variety of deployment options, and aligning the right content and meeting staff needs to target student success.


      • Kim Loomis, Education Consultant, i3DigitalPD
      • Jean Sharp, Chief Academic Officer, Apex Learning