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56th Washington Policy Seminar
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The 56th WPS Goes Virtual:

Monday, March 23 - Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Welcome to the virtual Washington Policy Seminar (WPS), your front-row seat to education policy inside the Beltway! WPS is the Education Policy Fellowship Program’s (EPFP) capstone event that brings together Fellows from across the country into a learning experience on critical issues shaping education policy. For the fi rst time in EPFP's history we are taking WPS virtual, and we hope that the content you hear will spark new ideas and actions you can realize together with your community. 

The 2019-20 cohort has 330 Fellows from across 17 sites. We welcome our newest site, Texas, and congratulate three sites on their EPFP anniversaries: Louisiana on its 5th, North Carolina on its 40th, and Michigan on its 45th!

This year’s theme, Promoting Civil Discourse in an Era of Political Polarization, was co-designed with the site coordinators to build capacity of Fellows to:

speak up and take action

provide an insider’s view of Washington

develop a toolbox of skills on how to navigate policy changes, political polarization, and understand political theater.

During WPS, you will have an opportunity to hear diverse perspectives from key decision-makers and advocates on the pressing federal and national education issues. 

At the conclusion of WPS, we encourage you to connect to the 56-year old EPFP network of nearly 10,000 alumni, to give back to your site, and to continue engaging with the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) as we Rise Up for Equity.  



Agenda-at-a-Glance for March 23-24, 2020

  *Please check your email for zoom links for each of the sessions, alongside the instructions on how to access zoom.




Monday, March 23, 2020

1:00 p.m.

1:15 p.m.


1:15 p.m.

2:45 p.m.


  • Federal Funding and Budget
  • The 2020 Census and Its Impact on Education Policy

2:45 p.m.

3:00 p.m.

Break (please fill out our survey)

3:00 p.m.

3:50 p.m.

Breakout Sessions:

  • Data and Education Policy
  • Education Law
  • Politics of State Education in the Age of ESSA
  • Teaching and Learning for Equity

4:00 p.m.

5:00 p.m.

Plenary: The Federal Role in Education

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

1:00 p.m.

2:00 a.m.

Plenary: Elections 2020 and Implications for Education

2:00 p.m.

2:45 p.m.

Plenary: Future of Education

3:00 p.m.

3:50 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

  • Community Colleges, Workforce Development, and Career Pathways
  • Rural Education, A National View
  • Technology and Education
  • The Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act

4:00 p.m.

4:30 p.m.

Closing Plenary: What Will You Say You Did?



Recording Disclaimer 

The Institute for Educational Leadership, Inc. (IEL) will be recording all of the Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP) Washington Policy Seminar (WPS) virtual sessions.  The recordings will be stored in the iCloud of the virtual convening platform and will be available, on a password protected basis, to EPFP Fellows, site coordinators, and other signed-up participants. Additionally, IEL plans to use the recordings and slides for (i) the recruitment of future EPFP cohorts, (ii) for posting  after June 2020 on IEL’s password-protected and public websites (e.g., alumni webinar page), (iii) for posting  on social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms; and (iv) such other uses that advance the purposes of IEL’s mission. IEL reserves the sole right to use any recordings, electronic images or publicity material received by or obtained by IEL in the course of the WPS event, including the recording, for whatever use deemed proper by IEL.


Zoom Participant Guide


Thursday, March 12, 2020


IEL Statement Regarding EPFP’s Washington Policy Seminar: WPS is Going Virtual (March 23-24, 2020)


Every year, the Washington Policy Seminar (WPS) – the capstone event of the Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP) – brings together Fellows from across the country in an immersive deep dive into the issues shaping education policy. 


Like others, we have been closely monitoring evolving Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) developments, including guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and other health authorities. 


The COVID-19 situation has rapidly evolved in the last few days. The WHO declared COVID-19, a pandemic, Washington, DC, issued both a state of emergency and a public health emergency – including recommendations to cancel or postpone non-essential mass gatherings – and many companies and EPFP states have also issued travel bans and warnings.


The health and wellbeing of IEL staff and WPS participants remain our top priority. Given ongoing concerns around the spread of COVID-19 – and events beyond our control – we have decided to move the in-person event in Washington, DC at the Washington Marriot Wardman Park hotel to a virtual event taking place on Monday and Tuesday, March 23-24, 2020


WPS will be an immersive two-day event that delivers inspiring content—keynotes, breakout sessions, access to education policy experts, and more. We are working through many of the details for the virtual event. We will share additional information, including an updated agenda, through email and on the EPFP website within the next week.


We appreciate your understanding during this unprecedented global situation. We are thankful for the solidarity, support, and collaboration with all our site coordinators. 


As a participant, the additional information below aims to answer common questions. 


We look forward to the virtual WPS and continued collaboration with you.  


For additional information about COVID-19, visit the CDC.



What will happen to my WPS registration?

·       You do not need to cancel your WPS registration. Your registration will be automatically moved toward a virtual convening, and you will continue to receive updates pertaining to the event. 

What happens if I never registered for WPS as I was unable to attend in person

·       The virtual convening will make it possible for the entire cohort to participate. We will send out information to all the participants pertaining to the upcoming virtual event.

What should I do about my transportation arrangements?

  • Attendees will need to contact the airline, train or other service provider they used to book their arrangements. Many airlines are changing their policies,and many are waiving cancellation or rescheduling fees. IELwill not reimburse any travel expenses. 

What will happen to my hotel reservation?

·       Attendees will need to call the Washington Marriott Wardman Park to cancel their hotel room at (202) 328-2000 immediately. You will not incur charges if you cancel within 72 hours prior to your reservation date. No show hotel charges will be incurred for those who cancel late or do not cancel.

·       If you booked a hotel outside of our hotel room block or at another property, please follow their cancellation policies. 

·       IELwill not reimburse any hotel cancellations and associated charges or fees. 

Who do I contact for more information?

Contact Us at 4301 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 100 | Washington, DC 20008 | 202-822-8405 |

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