University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education

Centering Racial Equity in Continuous School Improvement

View all Penn GSE Virtual Institutes

Friday, May 14, 2021 - Sunday, May 16, 2021
The registration period has closed for this event.

Penn GSE Virtual Institutes bring Penn's faculty and resources to teachers, educators and leaders across the globe. In these innovative professional learning modules, participants engage in real-time, online group sessions as well as reflect and learn at their own pace in asynchronous sessions. Institutes typically span three consecutive half days, allowing participants to accelerate their learning while continuing to fulfill their professional obligations.


Participants who successfully complete this Virtual Institute will receive a Penn GSE Certificate of Participation.

About the Program

What does it mean to improve a school and who gets to define improvement? How can we cultivate an improvement methodology that centers racial equity at its core?

This Institute addresses these questions and delves into the importance of leading continuous school improvement with a commitment to racial equity.

Created for educational leaders of all levels and individuals entering the educational leadership sector, this Institute uses an integrated model, developed by Dr. Katie Pak and Penn GSE Doctoral Candidate, Sarah Gudenkauf, to explore school improvement, racial equity, and the importance of both when leading in an educational environment. Participants will leave this program with an increased capacity in understanding these complex topics and having had the opportunity to engage in group processing, inquiry, discourse, practice, and reflection.

What You'll Gain
  • Increase understanding of how to engage in the process of school improvement with an explicit commitment to racial equity
  • Develop a school improvement plan that incorporates Institute concepts and tools
  • Grow your professional network of educational leaders committed to racial equity
  • Skills, tolls, and resources to continue your reflection and growth process

Who Should Enroll

Individuals currently engaged in educational leadership or who plan on engaging in educational leadership in the near future. This program is appropriate for educational leaders of all level.

Key Topics
  • Continuous improvement
  • Root cause analysis
  • School improvement planning and progress monitoring
  • Racial equity
  • Racial literacy
  • Structural racism
  • Courageous conversations
  • Equity traps


Dr. Katie Pak

Dr. Katie Pak

School Improvement and Data Specialist

School District of Philadelphia

Sarah Gudenkauf

Educational Consultant

Doctoral Candidate, University of Pennsylvania



Registration Close Date: May 11th, 2021 at 12:00 PM EST


Penn GSE partners with schools, universities, and communities to expand educational access – especially for those underserved by society. Through rigorous research and innovative programs, we develop new knowledge, and transformational teachers and leaders in pursuit of educational opportunity. To that end, this program has a set of scholarships reserved for educators in the School District of Philadelphia.

To access our scholarship application, please click this link.

Individuals will be notified of their scholarship decision within 3 weeks of applying.


3 days


Friday from 2pm - 5pm ET
Saturday from 9am - 12pm ET
Sunday from 9am - 12pm ET
Asynchronous pre- and post-session work per day: 2-3 hours


Standard rate: $600
Early bird rate: $450*
Group rate: $450 per person**

*Early bird rate available until 05/01/2021
**Group rate available for 4+ from the same organization. Contact for more information.


Penn GSE Certificate of Participation



Contact Us

Please contact with any questions about this program.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

If you have to cancel your registration prior to the program's start date, you will receive a fee credit, valid for one year, for a future Penn GSE Virtual Institute. If Penn GSE must cancel your registration, we will refund your payment in full, or you may request a fee credit as above.