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NWAIS Conferences, Workshops and Events

Designing Classroom Experiences for Election Week

Date: Friday - September 25, 2020
Location: Virtual Workshop
Virtual Workshop for Teachers - 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm (Pacific)



Designing Classroom Experiences for Election Week

with Leadership+Design


Virtual Workshop

September 25, 2020 - 10:00-12:00pm & 1:00-3:00 (Pacific)

For Educators Who Work With Students in Grades 6-12



Educators are anxiously anticipating the fall election. The 2016 election was disruptive and rancorous in many schools, reflecting a deeply divided country. Fast forward to 2020, and we anticipate emotions running high. The outcome will likely test our school communities. What used to be an opportunity to learn about the democratic process and about important issues has become a polarizing experience, leaving many schools wondering how to approach the election. If we can get past the understandable anxiety, we have an opportunity to strengthen our communities through conversation and connection. 



In this virtual workshop, participants will have a chance to develop the skill of facilitating these conversations and especially those deeply uncomfortable moments that can become critical opportunities for learning. Over the course of the session we will:

  • Explore the specific statements, emotions,  thoughts and actions that might feel most uncomfortable and which you, as a teacher, dread most.

  • Design a plan that you will make WITH your students for when those moments happen.

  • Learn and practice how to slow down the conversations and check for intent and impact.

  • Learn and practice how to set the stage for repair between students when something that is insensitive, biased, racist or hurtful is shared in class.

  • Learn and practice how to follow up with a student after a classroom incident.

  • Explore pre-election season communication to parents and your administrative team to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

  • Develop the confidence that by leveraging our humanity in the midst of these uncomfortable moments, we will find the answers.


All participants will receive access to the seven weeks of material in the “Design for Election Week” curriculum and to the Slack educator community that allows educators from all over the country to share resources, challenges, and strategies (a $129.00 value).  All of these materials will be downloadable by September 1, 2020.  You will gain access upon registration for this workshop.


Design for Election Week Curriculum is for educators who want to have productive conversations about the election and foster skills for engaging in meaningful dialogue about political differences. It offers a full seven-week curriculum about the election. The curriculum is rich and varied and includes opportunities for students to learn about voting, the debates, media and media bias, the electoral college, and many of the issues that surround the presidential election. The materials include lesson plans, protocols, and training videos as well as a suggested set of community agreements that teachers can use to keep conversations from becoming contentious.


Sapna Iyer is a 12th grade humanities teacher at High Tech High in San Diego. She has been teaching social studies and English for over fifteen years, working in schools with diverse learning models, including project-based learning, blended/online learning, and traditional/direct instruction. Prior to teaching, she was a public interest lawyer with a focus in children’s rights. Sapna’s teaching practice is based in racial and social justice curriculum, with an emphasis on civic action. She is passionate about empowering youth to vote and to become active participants in our democracy.   




Carla Silver (@Carla_R_Silver) is the executive director and co-founder of Leadership + Design.  She is an experienced independent school educator, school administrator, and experience designer. She holds a B.A. in English from Emory University and a M.A. in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from The University of San Diego. Carla partners with schools on strategic design and enhancing the work of leadership teams and boards, and she designs experiential learning experiences for leaders in schools at all points in their careers.  She also leads workshops for faculty, administrative teams and boards on Design Thinking, Futurist Thinking, Collaboration and Group Life, and Leadership Development. She has presented regularly at the NAIS annual conference as well as other regional and local seminars, workshops and conferences. She currently serves on the boards of Breakthrough Silicon Valley and the Urban School of San Francisco.  She lives in Los Gatos, CA with her husband  three children, and two King Charles Cavaliers. As a lifelong learner, Carla has recently pursued her interests in design thinking, creativity, improvisation and education innovation.



NWAIS Attendees


Early Bird (By September 10, 2020): $115

Late (After September 10, 2020): $145


Non-NWAIS Attendees: $185 (anytime)

Updated Bill School Option: Easiest way to register! Member schools are encouraged to "bill your school". This will simplify your process and minimize transactions. Your registration date will now be calculated as the date you complete your online registration, rather than the date that payment is collected.


Register Here

Registration Deadlines

Your online registration must be complete by the appropriate deadline to be eligible for the early bird discount.

• For online registrations with payment by check, payment must be postmarked by deadline date.

• Online registrations paid by credit card must be completed by 11:59pm on the deadline date.



Cancellation Policy
Substitutions may be made any time prior to the conference. Written cancellations received by September 22, 2020 are eligible for a refund after a $25 cancellation fee. Cancellations received after September 22, 2020 are ineligible for any refund.



Attendees Will Be Eligible For 5 Clock Hours And / Or STARS Credits

New Process: Due to changes in state requirements, these credits can only be provided to those who register for them in advance of the event. Attendees cannot be sign up for them on-site or after the event.

Attendees from NWAIS member schools receive clock hours and STARS free of charge. For those not affiliated with a member school, there is a $10 processing fee for Clock Hours and for STARS Credits. The original clock hours form or your STARS certificate will be mailed back to you for your records. If you need to petition another agency for credits or you would like a certificate for your files, NWAIS is happy to provide one upon request at no charge.

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