Virtual Conference
June 17-18, 2021

The Inaugural Conference on Emerging Hispanic-Serving School Districts is an opportunity for educators, researchers, mental health and health care professionals, lawyers and other professionals to learn from students, teachers, parents and administrators. Participants will share their experiences and co-create plans for research that will support educators in teaching and empowering Hispanic/Latinx students.

This virtual conference flips the usual focus and agenda of a conference. Instead of the audience hearing from "experts" and being expected to implement what they say, the focus at this conference is on those closest to the issue - students, teachers, parents and administrators. Over half of the conference is dedicated to hearing from them as they discuss strengths and challenges they have identified in their respective Emerging Hispanic-Serving School Districts. In turn, other professionals (educational researchers, lawyers, physicians, mental health professionals, non-profit professionals) get to learn from and engage with representatives from eHSSDs to think critically and play a more meaningful role that is both culturally and linguistically supportive.

The goal is to co-create a research agenda (or several!) for supporting Emerging Hispanic-Serving School Districts. This means that students, teachers, parents, and administrators will play a key role. The agenda/plan will evolve based on what is shared and learned at the conference.

This conference is made possible by a grant from the Spencer Foundation. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Spencer Foundation.

Conference Speakers

Doing School in Emerging Hispanic-Serving School Districts: A Series of Stories
Moderator: Shenira Perez | Assistant Director of Academic Services, Florida International University

Mental Health: Meeting Students’ Needs through Trauma-Informed Care
Presenter: Akira Gutiérrez Renzuli | Doctoral Student, Florida International University

Latinx Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education: Construyendo caminos al andar
Presenter: Luis Javier Pentón Herrera | American College of Education and The George Washington University

More Information

What is an emerging Hispanic-serving school district?

The Hispanic Association for Colleges and Universities has designated school districts as Hispanic-serving once their Hispanic/Latinx student enrollment includes at least 25 percent of their total enrollment. Emerging Hispanic-serving school districts (eHSSDs) are those with an enrollment of 15-24.9 percent Hispanic/Latinx students. Many of these school districts are new to serving Hispanic/Latinx students. Explore Hispanic-Serving Institutions and Hispanic-Serving School Districts.

Why is this conference important?

Hispanic students make up nearly 23 percent of all students in the United States! In 2016, there were 17.9 million Hispanic students in schools, colleges and universities across the country - double the number in 1996. In the 2015-16 school year, there were 3,343 school districts with 25 percent or more Hispanic students. This conference will help develop research that will support teachers and administrators in serving these students.

Who is expected to attend?

We expect about 100 attendees this year, including students, teachers, parents, and administrators from Emerging Hispanic-Serving School Districts; researchers; physicians; mental health professionals; immigration and civil rights lawyers; trauma-informed care specialists; and non-profit professionals.

Will there be a way to stay in touch after the conference?

Absolutely! We will be inviting participants to join a Facebook group. We will also be asking participants for the best way(s) to keep connected, share information, and report our progress moving forward.

Webinars & Resources for COVID-19

We are compiling resources for supporting Hispanic/Latinx students who are English learners/emergent bilinguals during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. We are also hosting webinars with advice for anyone affected by remote teaching and learning with struggling English learners; recordings and related materials are available.

View Webinars & Resources 


For more information about this conference, please contact Dr. Ryan Pontier.