Professional Learning

BOOK STUDY!! Better Conversations

Better Conversations Virtual Book Study

First Session with Dr. Jim Knight


Think about how many times you’ve walked away from school conversations, sensing they could be more productive, but at a loss for how to improve them. Better Conversations honors our capacity for improving our schools by improving our communication. Asserting that our schools are only as good as the conversations within them, Jim Knight shows us how to adopt the habits essential to transforming the quality of our dialogues.

What makes this virtual book study special?  Dr. Jim Knight will kick off the first session for us on April 2nd from 4:00-5:00pm CST.  We hope that you will join us for this three part virtual book study as we explore Better Conversations together. Register below and you will receive a copy of the book as well as directions for accessing the virtual sessions. One hour of college credit through Wichita State University will be available for purchase for those who are interested and participate in all three sessions.  

Cost:  $100 (includes a copy of the book)

Dates: three sessions online

Session #1:   April 2 from 4:00-5:00pm Book Study Kick Off with Dr. Jim Knight

Session #2:  April 16 from 4:00-5:00pm Facilitated book study conversation  

Session #3:  April 30 from 4:00-5:00pm Facilitated book study conversation

College Credit:  One hour of college credit through Wichita State University will be available for purchase for those who are interested and participate in all three sessions.

Location:  Online:  A link will be sent to participants prior to the sessions. 

Register Today!

You can register for the conference, book study or both!


*Note our Cancellation Policy: Cancellations must be received one week prior to an event to avoid being billed for the full registration amount.

About the Presenter:

Dr. Jim Knight

Jim Knight, Founder and Senior Partner of Instructional Coaching Group (ICG), is also a research associate at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning. He has spent more than two decades studying professional learning and instructional coaching. Jim earned his PhD in Education from the University of Kansas and has won several university teaching, innovation, and service awards. The pioneering work Jim and his colleagues have conducted has led to many innovations that are now central to professional development in schools. Jim wrote the first major article about instructional coaching for the Journal of Staff Development, and his book Instructional Coaching (2007) offered the first extended description
 of instructional coaching. Jim’s book Focus on Teaching (2014) was the first extended description of how video should be used for professional learning. Recently, writing with Ann Hoffman, Michelle Harris, and Sharon Thomas, Jim introduced the idea of instructional playbooks with their book on that topic. Jim has written several books in addition to those described above, including Unmistakable Impact (2011), High-Impact Instruction (2013), Better Conversations (2015), The Impact Cycle (2018), and The Definitive Guide to Instructional Coaching (2021). Knight has also authored articles on instructional coaching and professional learning in publications such as Educational Leadership, The Journal of Staff Development, Principal Leadership, The School Administrator, and Kappan. Jim is also a columnist for Educational Leadership.Through ICG, Knight conducts coaching workshops, hosts the Facebook Live series, “Coaching Conversations,” and provides consulting for coaching programs around the world.

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Empowering Shared Leadership – Joe Sanfelippo

Superintendent of the Fall Creek School District

2019 National Superintendent of the Year, Joe Sanfelippo

LFKS Leadership Conference Description:

School communities are full of people who have both the ability and desire to lead. Some lead without knowing it. Most lead without the recognition they deserve. Whether you lead in the classroom, department, building or district, chances are you know how challenging it can be to identify and develop other strong leaders, and to grow the leadership capacity of your organization as a whole. But ensuring that leaders around you know their worth, helping them cultivate connections and growing their confidence can help your whole team move forward together, helping the organization and the people within it to thrive. In the conference you will learn about leadership highs and lows, building a sense of intention and connection, useful methods, and the why, what and how it takes for move your organization towards collective efficacy.

Conference Details

  • Joe Sanfelippo, Superintendent, Fall Creek School District
  • Randy Watson
  • Great Kansas Educators

Date:  February 22, 2023
Conference Registration: $225


District, school and team/department leaders


  • Grow and utilize staff to maximum leadership capacity.
  • Acquire strategies to build teacher self-efficacy, and leading to collective efficacy.
  • Obtain tips and tools to cultivate community connections, build a sense of intention and lead with compassion and affirmation.
  • Develop a plan of practice that will shape their learning experience and help shape the learning experience of others.


Register Today!
*Note our Cancellation Policy: Cancellations must be received one week prior to an event to avoid being billed for the full registration amount.

Author of Lead From Where You Are & Hacking Leadership

Be intentional
Open doors
Build people


About the Facilitator

Dr. Joe Sanfelippo is the Superintendent of the Fall Creek School District in Fall Creek, WI. The Fall Creek School District was named an Innovative District in 2016 and 2017 by the International Center for Leadership in Education. Joe holds a BA in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from St. Norbert College, a MS in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a MS in Educational Leadership, and a PhD in Leadership, Learning, and Service from Cardinal Stritch University.  Joe is also an adjunct professor in the Educational Leadership Department at Viterbo University. Joe has taught Kindergarten, 2nd Grade, and 5th Grade.  He was also a school counselor and high school coach prior to taking on an elementary principal position in 2005.  He has served as a principal in suburban and rural Wisconsin.

Joe started the #1minwalk2work Leadership Challenge, and co-authored The Power of Branding-Telling Your School’s Story, Principal Professional Development: Leading Learning in a Digital Age and Hacking Leadership: 10 Ways Great Leaders Inspire Learning That Teachers, Students and Parents Love.  He was selected as 1 of 117 Future Ready Superintendents in 2014 and 1 of 50 Superintendents as a Personalized Learning Leader in 2016 by the US Department of Education. He attended summits at the White House for both distinctions. Education Dive named Joe 1 of 5 K-12 administrators to watch in 2018 and their National Superintendent of the Year in 2019. He has been a featured speaker in multiple states in the areas of Advancing the Use of Social Media for School Leaders, Telling Your School Story, Creating a Culture of Yes, and Personalized Professional Growth for Staff.

Workshop Flyer:

Download Flyer (PDF 114 KB)


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Fall Institute: The Right Stuff for Change

LFKS Fall Institute

The Right Stuff for Change

Collaboration • LeadershipIdentity

A one-day workshop provided by Learning Forward Kansas and facilitated by Toni Prickett

Workshop Details

Friday, November 9, 2018

9:00 am – 3:30 pm (lunch provided)
Registration Deadline: November 5, 2018

Facilitator: Toni Prickett


$175.00 Conference Registration

Discounts Available: 
CURRENT LFKS Member -$25.00 Discount
TEAMS Attending From the Same District -$10.00 Discount

LFKS Board Members -$10 Discount

*Note our Cancellation Policy: Cancellations must be received one week prior to an event to avoid being billed for the full registration amount.

Includes lunch

Location: Wichita State University-Metroplex, Wichita
5015 E. 29th St. N., Room 132
Enter through doors B, C, D, N

Click here for a map of the Building (PDF 862 KB)

Workshop Description:

It’s an exciting time for education in Kansas as everyone experiences the KESA/redesign process and the changes that are occurring across our state. At the same time, change creates tensions that must be managed. How do we recover from the AYP Hangover and embrace KESA and redesign? The Right Stuff for moving Kansas forward includes collaborative teaming, new lenses for leadership, and a clear sense of identity.  Join us for an interactive day of learning that focuses on all 3 of these components. Engage with colleagues who will push your thinking about change and redesign in your district as well as tools you can use tomorrow to foster deeper conversations within your own system.

Participants will walk away with:

  • heightened consciousness regarding the what, why and how of collaboration;
  • awareness of “levels of learning;”
  • new lenses on how leaders can create and support change;
  • increased knowledge regarding two types of suspension required for conversation;
  • enhanced tools and strategies to support skillful collaboration.
  • expanded repertoire of practical facilitation tools

Leadership is not a role; it is how we function-our actions. Regardless of your title, you are a leader.  Teacher leaders are key to our success. Join together with other leaders as we learn and experience more tools to influence the thinking of teams/buildings/systems.

About the Facilitator

Toni Prickett is an international Training Associate for Thinking Collaborative, including Adaptive Schools and Cognitive Coaching. In this role, she has had the privilege of working with teachers, principals, central office administrators, district boards, state boards of education, private business, and industry. She is currently facilitating work in a variety of Kansas systems and working directly with KLN. Her primary focus is building capacity, collaboration and self-directedness in individuals and organizations.

Toni holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in mathematics education. Her background includes 20 years in public education in Kansas. She currently presents Cognitive Coaching, Adaptive Schools, Presentation Skills, and Harvesting Diversity to Create Resourceful Systems. Additionally, she is a trainer for Robert Kegan’s constructivist-development work around Immunities to Change.

Workshop Flyer:

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Tips, Tools, Protocols

Facilitation Guides


Kansas educators are in the middle of implementing many new initiatives. It is more important than ever for there to be a sense of collective commitment as everyone works to achieve student success through the goals set forth by KSDE, local districts and schools. Regardless of what is included in a school’s continuous improvement plan, the key to success is implementation, as educators, and ultimately students, move from knowing to doing.

Engaging educators in meaningful conversations around these complex changes and other
important teaching and learning issues is a challenge for all educational leaders. We want teachers
to lead engaging classrooms for students. Therefore, we must model that engagement with faculty
by designing professional learning that is both meaningful and engaging to increase the chances of successful implementation.

Learning Forward Kansas has developed a document to support you and your staff as you have better conversations around any issue/topic/complex change.  Our intent is for this document to be a quick go-to resource that assembles a variety of tools/strategies in one location for educational leaders to use. It is for all educators who are sharing/leading a group.



View and download this FREE resource today! If you have questions or require assistance in implementing the strategies (protocols) found in this document, please contact Learning Forward Kansas.

As you view the document below, try these navigation tips:

  • Because of the variety of computers, tablets, and smartphones that are used, we have provided three different viewers for this document. If the first viewer doesn’t work well, try the others.
  • If any pages load incorrectly, refresh the screen in your browser OR use the zoom controls on the PDF viewer toolbar.
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  • Use the page up and down arrows to move through the pages on this screen –OR–
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Download PDF (35 MB)

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Fall Institute: The Feedback Process-It’s About Growth, Learning, Change-Learning Focused Feedback

LFKS Fall Institute

The Feedback Process-It’s About Growth, Learning, Change-Learning Focused Feedback

A one-day workshop provided by Learning Forward Kansas and facilitated by Joellen Killion


Workshop DetailsRegister-Button-300x105

Friday, November 17, 2017

9:00 am – 3:30 pm (lunch provided)
Registration Deadline: November 15, 2017

Facilitator: Joellen Killion

$150.00 Registration for LFKS Member
$175.00 Registration for Non LFKS Member

Includes book, lunch

Location: Wichita State University-Metroplex, Wichita

About the Facilitator

Jim Knight says…Joellen Killion’s book, The Feedback Process, is a must read. It provides a framework for educators as we focus on learning-focused feedback. What matters is growth, learning, and change. Is feedback about compliance or learning? We want feedback to be part of the learning partnership that helps learners create new and better understandings of how we do what we do. Joellen provides us with clear definitions, guidelines, reflection tools, and strategies to help all of us get better at the feedback process to enrich our own learning as we redesign our schools for student success.

In November, the LFKS Fall Institute welcomes my friend, Joellen Killion to Kansas. Joellen will engage educators as she focuses on learning-focused feedback. It will be a powerful day of learning together. Mark Your Calendars Now! —Jim 


Workshop Description:

As Kansas begins KESA (our new accreditation process), KansansCAN, our MOON SHOT, and redesigning our schools for the success of EACH student, different assumptions, attitudes, skills, and actions are wanted by all Kansas educators. Kansas Leaders are hungry for new skills, strategies, andprotocols as we begin this journey together.   

Join us November 17th in Wichita for a day of learning together. Learn how to create a culture in which educators routinely engage in the feedback process to promote their effectiveness and growth. Gain a deeper understanding of the types of the feedback and how to implement it to promote increased educator effectiveness and student success. 

Participants will:
*Develop an understanding of the purpose and definition of learning-focused feedback that makes it a learning experience;
*Identify components of an effective, learning-focused feedback process and conditions that support deep learning and change;
*Understand the connections between learning-focused feedback and KESA, KansansCAN, our MOON SHOT, and student success; and
*Create a plan to implement the attributes of effective learning-focused feedback based on your role (administrator, OVT chair, coach, mentor, teacher leader).


Workshop Flyer:

Download Flyer (PDF 10.9 MB)

[pdf-embedder url=”••The-Feedback-Process-Joellen-Killion-Final-5.pdf”]

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Yes, We Can!! Tips, Tools, & Protocols to Engage Your Team/Staff in Meaningful Learning

Yes We Can!!!

Tips, Tools, & Protocols to Engage Your Team/Staff in Meaningful Learning

A one-day workshop provided by Learning Forward Kansas and Smoky Hill Education Service Center


Workshop DetailsRegister-Button-300x105

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

8:30 am – 3:30 pm

Facilitators: Vicki Bechard & Dayna Richardson

$125.00 Registration for 1 LFKS Member
$100.00 Registration for Teams of 2 or more LFKS Members
$150.00 Registration for 1 Non LFKS Member
$125.00 Registration for Teams of 2 or More Non LFKS Member

Includes light breakfast, lunch, light snack

Location: 605 E. Crawford, Salina

About the Facilitators

Vicki Bechard
Phone: 913-796-6241

Dayna Richardson
Phone: 620-921-5775

Vicki Bechard is the secretary for Learning Forward Kansas (LFKS) and owner/lead consultant of Teaching and Learning Consulting Network, LLC.  In addition, she is an adjunct instructor for the graduate program at Baker University.

Dayna Richardson is the Executive Director of Learning Forward Kansas (LFKS) and President of Kansas Learning First Alliance (KLFA).   She is actively involved in education and promoting professional learning, serving on Learning Forward’s State Affiliate Committee at the national level and on the Kansas Education Commissioner’s Professional Learning Task Force for KSDE.  In addition, she is an Educational Coach and Consultant.

Workshop Description:

JOIN US as we learn together! This session targets any educator who leads professional learning with their team, building or district. During this interactive session, participants will experience protocols (strategies) that lead to greater engagement and deeper conversations while doing relevant work and creating teams/schools where ALL learners flourish. These protocols will focus on specific tools that can be used with any topic/content being presented as we “walk our talk” by increasing the kind and quality of professional conversations around new learning, data analysis, studying student work or learning new content/strategies.

During the transition from a “checklist” accreditation to a continuous school improvement accreditation model with true collective responsibility, many leaders are hungry for tools/strategies/protocols that will allow all educators to EXPERIENCE LEARNING. No longer will individual teaching excellence be sufficient to produce critical gains for ALL learners. Teachers working in isolation lack the collective resources for spreading good ideas and refining patterns of practice within their buildings and across their districts. We learn in a community of practice.

This session will demonstrate protocols (walking our talk) that all leaders can use. We will make connections to the Standards for Professional Learning, especially Learning Designs. Each participant will leave with resources to use with a team, building or district. Again, JOIN US as we learn together!


Workshop Flyer:


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Twitter Chats

twitter2Learning Forward Kansas (LFKS) is excited to have you join us for great conversations and collaboration as we embark on the exciting journey of Twitter Chats!  

Our monthly Twitter Chats will be led by experts from the field focusing on a different topic that supports “Excellent Teaching and Learning Every Day.” We hope you will join us each month for some great conversation through Twitter.  

Chats begin at 8:30 p.m.             twitter-symbol

LFKS colored bar

Twitter Chat Dates:
September 25-Making Magic in our Classrooms 

October 23-Facilitated by Toni Prickett
November 27-Facilitated by Robin Fogarty
January 22-Facilitated by Jo McFadden
February 26-Facilitated by Jerri Kemble and Phil Hintz
April 23-Facilitated by Jill Lachenmayr


April Twitter Chat Focus-Poolside Professional Development

Have an idea for a future Twitter Chat? Click here to share your ideas.


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Inspired to Learn Video Series: Kansas Stories



The Learning Forward Kansas video series, Inspired to Learn:  Kansas Stories, is designed to be a set of tools that support schools on their professional learning journey to excellent teaching and learning every day.  Each video targets a specific topic around effective professional learning and includes Kansas educators sharing their expertise. Each video is accompanied by a Facilitation Guide to provide educators, leaders, teams, and schools with strategies and protocols that will allow them to explore the topic more extensively and make connections to their local journey.

The first two videos provide the foundation for effective professional learning, beginning with WHY professional learning is the key to improvement in instruction and student success. Once the purpose has been established, the second video focuses on WHAT effective professional learning looks like.  The last three videos focus on HOW we transform educator practices and systems that lead to student success. Individually these videos focus on the work of learning communities, the importance of learning designs (better together), and the role of learning leaders as they create a culture of learning that builds collective efficacy on this journey of continuous improvement.  More specific descriptions can be found below for each video.

Within each video Kansas educators have shared their beliefs, expertise, experiences, examples, and strategies.  They are united in their purpose and believe effective professional learning supports their work to achieve local goals, but because of their diversity of size, location, and roles, they provide a varied look at how this can be accomplished.  Each video provides ideas to use locally, including a variety of protocols and resources that can be adapted to your needs and situation. We know that one size doesn’t fit all and you will see this belief reflected in every video as you move from knowing to doing.


Video ONE

The first video, Why Professional Learning Matters: At Our School It’s Everyone’s Job to Learn, lays the groundwork for the purpose or “why” behind the importance of effective professional learning to implement initiatives and changes that transform educator practices AND leads to student success.  Kansas educators share their experiences that support the research that Professional Learning Matters.

Video 1 Resource Guide (PDF)

Continuous Improvement Cycle Resource (PDF)

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Video TWO

The second video, What Is Professional Learning?, expands our understanding of effective professional learning by focusing on defining effective professional learning and examining what goes into the planning and delivery of professional learning within a school improvement framework such as KESA/Redesign.
  Educators share their ideas and what has worked for them in their schools that viewers can apply to their own work.

Video 2 Resource Guide (PDF)

Continuous Improvement Cycle Resource (PDF)

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Video THREE - HOW Video 1

The third video (and HOW video 1), Learning and Leading Together, examines why learning communities are important, what it takes and what it looks like to create a culture of success for all through collaboration.  Educators share their experiences on what learning communities look like and act like in their buildings, emphasizing the importance of collaboration on their journey to success.  

Video 3 Resource Guide (PDF)

Continuous Improvement Cycle Resource (PDF)

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Video FOUR - HOW Video 2

The fourth video (and HOW video 2), Better Together, highlights a variety of learning designs and how, in a collaborative culture, learning designs facilitate collaboration, change practice, and transform systems to achieve success for all. Educators model a variety of protocols as they provide insight on their use and impact.

Video 4 Resource Guide (PDF)

Continuous Improvement Cycle Resource (PDF)

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Video FIVE - HOW Video 3

The fifth and final video (and HOW video 3), Learning Leaders: On the Road to Collective Efficacy and Student Success, concludes the series by pulling everything together, stressing the importance of ALL leaders in creating cultures of learning. Educators discuss how they plan, deliver and support effective professional learning within a continuous improvement cycle to develop collective efficacy that changes practice and leads to student success.

Video 5 Resource Guide (PDF)

Continuous Improvement Cycle Resource (PDF)

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If you have questions, please contact Learning Forward Kansas (LFKS) for support.

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Kansans Can: Making It Happen! LFKS Annual Leadership Conference

Kansans Can! Making It Happen! 
Developing Leaders, Inspiring Educators, and Transforming Schools through Better Conversations
LFKS Annual Leadership Conference
February 1-2, 2017
Wichita, Kansas


Join Learning Forward Kansas (LFKS) as we learn practical ideas for implementing KESA (Kansas Education Systems Accreditation), and other initiatives, by creating sustainable change for system success. We can help you plan for the implementation of KESA through the Kansans Can: Making It Happen Conference and The Roadmap to Understanding KESA Facilitation Guide.

LKFS is thrilled to have Kansan and internationally known author Jim Knight on Wednesday, February 1st. Dr. Knight will focus home-buy-bookon effective communication. All educators make an impact by communicating their message clearly, building connections with others, and creating a culture of success. Participants will learn powerful communication habits and practice each strategy during experiential learning activities. Dr. Knight’s book, Reflection Guide to Better Conversations, is included free with registration for Day 1.  Participants also have the option to buy Better Conversations at a discounted rate of $25. Better Conversations are the KEY to Student Success!

Commissioner Randy Watson, KTOY Justin Coffey, and Kansas colleagues will continue the learning on February 2nd. Commissioner Watson and KTOY Justin Coffey will both inspire and challenge us. Kansans Can! During the breakout sessions, Kansas colleagues will share their journey to Student Success, through these topics:

  • Kindergarten Readiness
  • Individual Plans of Study
  • Social, Emotional Character Development (SECD)
  • Walkthroughs
  • Civic Engagement
  • Effective Instruction and Technology Integration
  • Professional Learning that Changes Practice

As a bonus, Kansas authors, Marceta Reilly and Kelly Gillespie, will be conducting breakout sessions around their recent books, which will support the implementation of KESA.

This conference has value for all educators: classroom teachers, teacher leaders, coaches, building and district leaders…All Leaders. Participants will experience collaborative learning that leads to greater engagement and deeper conversations, creating a culture where all learners flourish. 

1 hour graduate credit available through Baker University for fully attending both days of the conference. $65/credit hour


Mark your calendars for Feb. 1-2, 2017.  

Additional information may be found here.
Download Flyer (PDF 287 KB)

Schedule At a Glance

Conference Brochure and Breakout Sessions

Download PDF (862 KB)

Breakout Sessions

Please select the sessions you plan to attend

Select Sessions in Colors

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