Jun 10, 2021 · 3 min read

Join CZI at ISTELive 21

Education Leaders Discuss the Importance of a Trauma-informed Approach to the Upcoming School Year

Dr. Priscilla Chan
June 2021 | Dr. Priscilla Chan | Photograph by CZI

Join the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) at ISTELive 21 on June 26-30, to participate in discussions on how educators are fostering strong, supportive relationships for students in the face of unprecedented stress, as a core lever to support academic achievement and student wellbeing. While there learn about Along, a free, digital reflection tool that makes it easier for educators to help each student feel seen and understood.

The full program list includes:

Keynote | Supporting Teachers: The Path to Stronger Connections | June 27 8:30 am  PT 

Students and teachers have displayed remarkable courage in the face of overlapping traumas this past year. Building on that resilience and the new and innovative ways students and teachers stayed connected throughout the pandemic will be key as students return to school this fall. The keynote speech will focus on  the importance of a trauma-informed approach to the upcoming school year, as well as new technologies to accelerate students’ learning by fostering the strong, supportive relationships they need to thrive. 

  • Speaker:  Dr. Priscilla Chan, co-founder and co-CEO, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

I See You: Putting Teacher-Student Relationships First | June 28 11:30am PT

Join us to hear firsthand student accounts of their experiences the past year, and hear directly from educators and researchers who are discovering new ways to help students feel seen, heard, and connected to school. As schools begin preparing for a return to learning, we know from research that strong relationships will be critical to tackling unfinished learning, and helping each student thrive in and out of school.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Gradient Learning, in partnership with educators and researchers, developed Along, a digital reflection tool that makes it easier for teachers and students to have quick, one-on-one check-ins. Learn from teachers how they are using Along to create a safe space to get to know students so that they feel seen, understood, and motivated to participate in class.

  • Moderator: Samia Zaidi, Director of Educator Success, Gradient Learning
  • Panelists:
    • Kent Pekel, President & CEO, Search Institute
    • Dr. Stacey Perez, School Principal, Classical Academy
    • Kenna Chase, Student, Classical Academy

Seen and Understood: Giving Students Space to be Themselves | June 29 11am-11:30am PT

Students crave one-on-one time with their teachers. Every teacher and every student should have the opportunity to build strong relationships and trust as the foundation for learning. Join us for a discussion about how tools can make it easy for both students and teachers to have these check-ins regularly.  

  • Moderator: Samia Zaidi, Director of Educator Success, Gradient Learning
  • Panelists:
    • Laura Tollis, teacher, Saline Middle School, Michigan
    • Daniel Motta, teacher, LEAD Innovation Studio, Kansas City, Missouri



The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was founded in 2015 to help solve some of society’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease and improving education, to addressing the needs of our local communities. Our mission is to build a more inclusive, just, and healthy future for everyone. For more information, please visit chanzuckerberg.com.

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