Powerful Learners Conference Logo

Save the Date for PLC 2021: Saturday, February 6, 2021

On Saturday, February 1, 2020 nearly 100 educators joined us for the 2nd Annual Powerful Learners Conference focused on student agency, or non-cognitive skill development, including social emotional learning through an equity lens. Together, we learned to build capacity in our schools and community spaces for honoring the unique needs and gifts of our students, setting the stage for them to thrive and break cycles of structural inequity.

PLC 2020 is a collaborative effort of Gateway Impact along with Boys & Girls Clubs of San FranciscoPeninsula Bridgeand the Stanford Teacher Education Program. This wide range of expertise and perspectives allows us to provide sessions of value to anyone and everyone who supports K-12 students, whether you work in the classroom, in the non-profit sector, or are still in university studying to become a teacher.

Meet Our Keynote Speaker

Dr. Channa Cook-Harvey

We are excited to welcome author and educator Channa Cook-Harvey as our keynote speaker for the 2020 Powerful Learners Conference! Currently serving as Folsom Cordova Unified’s Director of Social Emotional Learning, Dr. Harvey is uniquely qualified to speak to the ways in which all educators can make young people feel safe, valued and ready to thrive.

Register Now

Event FAQs

Who should attend the Powerful Learners Conference?

Educators who are committed to meeting every student's social-emotional needs and who are committed to equity are the target audience for the Powerful Learners Conference.  The  conference is largely focused on serving students in 5th-12th grades, both in and out of the classroom.

We define educators broadly: teachers, paraprofessionals, resources aids, out-of-school-time youth developers, school and community-based organization leadership and administration, and case managers who work with students -- as well as undergrad and graduate students who will be entering the field.

All experience levels are welcome, but do come prepared to share your insights and participate in skilled and truly collaborative conversations throughout the conference. 

Register Now

What are the registration fees?

This year's registration fee of $50 covers the cost of conference meals and materials. 

Scholarships are available if you or your organization cannot cover this fee. Please contact Chanda Lockhart if the registration fee is a financial hardship; we ask that those seeking scholarships be prepared to speak to why attending the 2020 Powerful Learners Conference will make an impact on your practice, students and school/organization.

Register Now

What does the schedule include?

Click here for session details


9:00 AM - Breakfast and Registration

9:30 AM - Welcome 

9:40 AM - Keynote Speaker

10:00 AM - Opening Activity


10:45 AM - BREAKOUT I 

12:00 PM - Lunch




3:45 PM - Closing Remarks & Reflections

4:00 PM - Social Event; Location TBD

Who is speaking?

We are excited to welcome author and educator Channa Cook-Harvey as our keynote speaker for the 2020 Powerful Learners Conference. Currently serving as Folsom Cordova Unified School District's Director of Social Emotional Learning, Channa began her career in education as a high school English teacher and literacy coach in Los Angeles, and co-founded Sojourner Truth Academy in New Orleans. She completed extensive research in social emotional learning as a Senior Researcher for the Learning Policy Institute. Learn more about her current work here.

I'm interested in leading a session! What should a workshop proposal include?

Thank you for your interest! Review the strand descriptions below which provide the structure for our break-out sessions. We hope these strands help elicit strong proposals with a good mix of form and content that support attendees in deepening their practice, inspire their commitment to our shared work and spark thought-provoking conversations for all attendees.

Plan for a 75 minute interactive presentation that brings educators in the room together to collaborate. Session attendees will include educators from a variety of organizations/schools as well as experience levels.

All proposals must be submitted by January 10, 2020.

Apply to lead a workshop now

Are there opportunities to sponsor the conference?

Absolutely! Please reach out to Chanda Lockhart to learn more about how you can be a part of this important work.

What are the areas of focus for the Powerful Learners Conference?

The conference will focus on Developing Powerful Learners, Supporting Powerful Educators, Powerful Community Partnerships, and Fostering Powerful Practices.

Conference Strands

The 2020 Powerful Learners Conference is focused on Cultivating Social Emotional Capacity within our classrooms, schools, and after-school/summer programs. Conference workshops will be connected to the multi-tiered systems of support within a social-emotional learning framework (i..e CASEL). This year's conference strands are:

powerful learners

These sessions will focus on strategies and practices that guide our interactions with youth, as well as building environments and cultures where young people feel safe and empowered to take risks. If you work directly with students in your day-to-day role, these are can't-miss workshops.

Apply to lead a session
Supporting Powerful Educators

These sessions emphasize professional development, coaching and collaboration strategies that empower educators to create purposeful, warm, and effective learning communities. Workshops in this topic are ideal for teacher trainers/coaches, team supervisors and school/program leadership, as well as classroom educators who are considering career growth or leadership opportunities in the near future.

apply to lead a session
powerful partnerships

Workshops for all educators whose roles require them to liaise between their organization, families and the broader community, focusing on how we can leverage the strengths and resources of the Bay Area for the benefit of all students. Highly recommended for those from non-profits and school leaders interested in expanding community outreach at their campus.

Apply to Lead a session
Powerful Practices

Sessions designed for administrators and organization leaders who are ready to act as a force for change at their site, focused on developing a clear vision and plan for cultivating social emotional capacity organization-wide.

Apply to lead a session

For questions related to Gateway Impact, our conferences, or how to support this initiative, please contact Chanda Lockhart, Director of Development and Outreach at

Gateway Impact is an educator professional development platform to support the collaboration, growth, and retention of public school teachers. Gateway Impact represents Gateway Public Schools' commitment to initiating and maintaining a dialogue that enriches our public schools and supports educators.