Goalbook Instructional Leadership Symposiums

January 22-24, 2018

  San Francisco Bay Area

July 23-24, 2018

  New York City


In the summer, the Goalbook User Symposium will convene school and district teams together in New York City to learn from each other’s work in supporting teachers to transform instruction. The Symposium will allow you to:

  • Hear from districts around the country on how they’ve tackled instructional challenges around rigor, engagement, standard-based instruction, and supporting ALL students

  • Present your district’s progress and achievements to educators and leaders, and to receive their ideas

  • Hear firsthand about our latest product updates and how NEW resources can support your educators

  • Work in-person with your Goalbook Success Manager on planning your district’s implementation and professional development

  • Learn how Goalbook’s Program Evaluation Framework helps you measure the impact of your instructional initiatives

  • Feel empowered to lead instructional change with a better understanding of how Goalbook can help them

More information on the User Symposium will be posted in spring 2018. Early registration will be opened to those who are on the priority registration list.


It’s estimated that 9 out of 10 startups fail in the first three years. Similarly, many instructional initiatives at school districts fail at accomplishing their goals. These failures in districts and schools often happen in the implementation stage.

In the business world, lean startup and design thinking principles have been developed over the years to achieve more consistent success. From the start of Goalbook, our team has been focused on learning how to apply startup and design principles to ensure successful implementations. Now, more than 500 district partners around the country partner with us so that we can collectively implement sustainable changes to instructional practice across each and every school in the district.


Improving instruction across the district is what can be referred to as a “wicked problem.” These are complex problems where the end goal is known (i.e. student outcomes), but it is immensely difficult to even frame and define the problem, and the solutions are even less known. Instructional challenges are exactly this. There are a multitude of factors that can impact teaching from one school to another. As district leaders are all too aware, professional development and implementation efforts often fall short of their goals.

We help you bring startup and design principles back to your district. These principles teach you how to define instructional problems more clearly through user interviews and user empathy. Of course, our users are teachers because they are the ones responsible for making instructional decisions in the classroom each day. Implementation is improved through rapid prototyping and the process of testing, iterating, and refining of a solution.

Hear what other district leaders have said about attending our Leadership Design Institutes:

“Your rock-star team put on the most informative and enjoyable conference I’ve ever attended. Goalbook is one incredible outfit! THANK YOU for an amazing experience. I look forward to returning to share the learnings.”

Carin Thomas, New York City DOE District 20, New York

“We left with strategies, skills, and resources that we can bring back and SHARE with teachers and admins. Also, testing our group’s product with actual teachers (and learning the design process) was amazing!”

Amy Holland, Selma Unified School District, California


Our Institutes allow district leaders to bring their own instructional challenge and to form a Design Team with a diverse group of leaders to work collaboratively on the problem.

Goalbook Pathways and Toolkit, including its instructional resources, professional development courses, and strategies, will be woven into each Design Team’s work over the two days. The third and optional day allows districts to have a personalized workshop with a Goalbook Success Team member to discuss and plan the district’s specific Goalbook implementation.

Throughout the Summit, you’ll get the chance to:

  • Collaborate with district leaders from across the country on developing impactful professional development activities
  • Produce and collect tangible resources to take back to your district to enhance your existing professional development content around providing access to all students
  • Interact with Goalbook’s team to learn about best practices from an academic perspective


This will not be your usual conference format consisting of speakers, panels, and breakouts. Goalbook’s Summits are modeled after the rigorous instruction we hope to see in classrooms. In particular, the 4Cs of 21st Century Skills – communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity – will be applied at an extended thinking level.

Each day will start with professional development topics, with participants working together on hands-on and engaging activities. The afternoon format is best described as an instructional hackathon. A “hackathon” is a term often used in the technology community to describe an event in which people meet to engage in collaborative problem solving. You’ll work together in diverse teams discussing, planning, and creating practical solutions to the shared challenges you face as instructional leaders.

An essential component is the value of feedback throughout the process. Instructional leaders give and receive feedback to each other’s teams, receive feedback from educators via user interviews, and also from Goalbook’s team of Design Facilitators.

The Institute culminates in a Showcase: each team presents and shares their work with everyone in an interactive format. Following the Institute, attendees will have access to all of the resources teams develop and present. Be prepared to be an active participant!

“Thank you for a very fulfilling two-day Institute. It is so evident how the Goalbook team cares about wanting our educational system to improve and positively impact student learning.”

Susan Chinen, Campbell-Kapolei Area, Hawaii

“The most valuable part of the institute was constantly circling back to our guiding question, and addressing the barriers that exist for transforming schools to raise expectations and implement best practices for all students. I appreciated learning a new approach and perspective on how to facilitate change.”

Marie Montalbano, Portland Public Schools, Oregon


DAY 1: Monday 8:00am | Breakfast and check-in 8:30am | Welcome and kick-off 9:00am | Goalbook Professional Development around essential question 10:00am | Form collaborative Design Teams 12:00pm | Lunch 1:00pm | Work in Design Teams 5:30pm | Dinner DAY 2: Tuesday 8:00am | Breakfast 8:30am | Goalbook Professional Development around essential question 9:30am | Conduct User Interviews with Teams 12:00pm | Lunch 1:00pm | Continue working in Design Teams 3:30pm | Showcase 5:00pm | Optional informal light appetizers/drinks Post-dinner: Optional informal drinks


Please read this section carefully. We ask each partner to fulfill the following requirements for registration:

  • Each district must submit a registration request for a team of 2 to 4 attendees. At least one attendee must be a District Leader and Goalbook Sponsor who received the original invitation
  • The other attendees should be Goalbook Implementation Leads, such as Instructional Coaches, Program Coordinators, and Principals
  • Participants must be present for the two days and cannot leave prior to the afternoon Showcase on Tuesday, since that is when each group presents their work
  • Our professional development institutes are invitation-only events made available to our district partners. Invitations are not transferrable to other individuals. Space is limited and there will be a wait list after spots are filled


$575 / attendee rate

We have a hard cap on the # of attendees at each Institute, so register early for a spot.

Submit your registration request to Shara Watkins, sharaw@goalbookapp.com – include Name, Title, Email, and Phone for each registrant. We’ll then reach out to you to complete the payment. Registration may be denied if it does not meet the requirements listed above. The registration fee is 100% refundable up until 30 days prior. Within 30 days, a credit will be provided towards a future symposium.


Teach For America, 25 Broadway, New York, NY

Teach For America’s offices are located in downtown Manhattan, near Battery Park and Wall Street. These are recommended hotels within a short walk:

Fairfield Inn & Suites (preferred hotel with negotiated rate) Downtown Manhattan, World Trade Center Area 100 Greenwich Street New York, NY 10006 Book online at the group rate or call and ask for Goalbook’s group rate

The closest subway station to the Fairfield Inn is Rector Street. Bowling Green and Wall Street stations are also closeby and near the TFA office.


We hope you plan to spend the weekend! There is so much to see in the Big Apple.

Downtown Eats

Chelsea Market – Indoor marketplace that has boutique shops and restaurants. Delmonico’s – Famous steakhouse from the 1800s, where people such as Teddy Roosevelt, Charles Dickens and Nikola Tesla have dined. Eataly – A popular location for tourists to dine and shop for specialty Italian foods. Shake Shack – casual chain restaurant that serves Angus beef burgers and delicious shakes! Inatteso Cafe Casano – Casual Italian cafe serving sandwiches, pizzas and delicious desserts! Fraunces Tavern – a cozy pub that is known as the oldest building in New York City. It was originally George Washington’s headquarters where he worked on peace negotiations with the British. The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog – Trendy bar with craft cocktails and small bites, voted World’s Best Bar in 2016! Umami Burger – Gourmet burgers incorporating the fifth taste of “umami”. Sweet Green – Organic chain that specializes in salads and soups.

Downtown Sights

The High Line – Explore the elevated linear park that was originally a train track, with views of the city and river! Battery Park – Historic park with lovely views of Staten and Ellis Islands. The Sphere that was located between the original Twin Towers survived the tragedy and now lives in the park as a sign of hope 9/11 Memorial and Museum – Plaza with waterfall memorial and museum exhibits honoring the victims of the terrorist attacks. One World Observatory – Panoramic view of New York City, free admission Tuesdays after 5pm. Trinity Church – Historic landmark, where Alexander Hamilton is buried. Charging Bull – The famous statue on Wall Street. Museum of Jewish Heritage – exhibits and a living memorial from the Holocaust Brookfield Place – Luxurious shopping and dining selections Staten Island Ferry – Accommodations are located near by the pier for taking a ferry over to explore Staten Island Brooklyn Bridge – Take a nice walk across the Brooklyn Bridge for beautiful views of the city!