BARR Spring Conference 2017 Highlights

Excellence Through Equity: The Power of BARR to Serve All Students

Today you are going to meet some amazing students! It is critical for us to be reminded of the tremendous strengths of our students and the bright future that can exist for ALL of them.
— Angela Jerabek, Executive Director BARR Center

St. Louis Park High School Students, Yusra Jara and Manegbe Eben, sang Rise Up, original song by Andra Day, accompanied on piano by Marco Giovanelli, to begin a day of powerful student performances. 


BARR Equity Journey: We heard from district school leaders from three of our BARR regions (Minnesota, Kentucky and California).  They shared their equity journeys with us, and how the power of leveraging positive intentional relationships and data has impacted their schools.

St. Louis Park School District, St. Louis Park, MN

Rob Metz, Superintendent of Schools

Freida Bailey, Principal on Special Assignment


Johnson County Schools, Johnson County, KY

Noel Crum, District Innovation Coordinator

Monica Daniel, Principal of College and Career, Johnson Central High School


Moreno Valley School District, Moreno Valley, CA

Dr. Martinrex Kedziora, Superintendent of Schools

Karen Johnson, Principal, Valley View High School

Jon Terry, Strategic Relationships Consultant, presented National Landscape: BARR in the ESSA Era. Read More


St. Louis Park High School World Drumming, Directed by Steve Schmitz


Abby Zier Alyesh, Vice President at the Billions Institute, engaged us in a framework for large-scale change in our schools. Billions provides training and support to people and networks seeking innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges.  


St. Anthony Village Chamber Choir, Directed by Michael Shafer

Many thanks to St. Anthony Village BARR Coordinator, Heather Bernt, Superintendent Bob Laney and Principal Wayne Terry for organizing and hosting the BARR Conference at their school. 


Thank you for joining us and mark your calendars for the next BARR Spring Conference - April 19-20, 2018 in Riverside, California!


The conference began with Angela Jerabek, Executive Director of BARR Center, sharing her personal message. "BARR is committed to creating equitable schools. We believe that every student should have access to a high quality education where adults know them, recognize their strengths, and help them succeed. Schools should be a place where all students, regardless of race, ethnicity, or economic status, thrive personally and academically".

Every school has an equity challenge – We are working in 70 schools across the country and every school has an opportunity gap. Our society is filled with racial, ethnic, social and economic injustices that hold people back. BARR’s fundamental belief is that every young person needs to be known by adults who understand their challenges and know and leverage their strengths.

Keynote Speaker, Dr. John B. King, Jr. the Secretary of Education under President Obama and Current President and CEO of The Education Trust gave an uplifting speech sharing his one core belief that has driven him throughout his career: Education is at the very heart of America's promise of opportunity. "What we can give students is the gift of schools who care about them and communicate that every day".

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Arika Mareck, Language Arts Teacher in Eastern Carver County Schools, MN, Equity Coach, and former BARR Teacher, saw an equity need in her class and developed strategies to address it. After seeing success, she scaled the strategies to her BARR team, then to the school, finally to the district. Arika led the group in activities that focused on Looking Inward to Increase Our Impact Outward.


Dr. Hans Bos, American Institutes for Research (AIR), presented the i3 Validation Study and BARR's statistically significant impact on students attitudes, attendance, behavior and academic performance. 


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For more conference photos, click here.