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Sandra Herbst.jpg

Educating for humanity requires tenacity, compassion, humility, and courage. Sandra has learned about these attributes and so much more in her work in communities across Canada and around the globe. She has been privileged to serve as coach, mentor, teacher, facilitator, keynote speaker, and collaborator for Ministries of Education, school boards, universities, educational organizations, and school systems that are engaging in reflecting on their current practices, dreaming about their long–term aspirations, and planning to disrupt what exists to achieve life-worthy learning.


Whether sitting on the floor with a four-year old thinking aloud together or sharing a meal of fresh caribou in an Elder’s home, being embedded with learners of all ages truly finds one in the heart of any community. It is this belief that calls Sandra to be in classrooms, schools, and systems where educators, leaders, and partners are committed to the work required to allow the primary relationship in any educational organization – the one between student and teacher – to flourish.


Sandra has co-authored many books, articles, and academic research in peer-reviewed journals that focus on leadership, systems thinking, and assessment. However, they have all been informed by her work in classrooms, alongside students who push her practice by providing feedback, co-designing instructional sequences, and communicating the best ways for them to learn and to show proof of that learning.


Sandra recognizes and honours those colleagues who have challenged and encouraged her as teacher, school and system leader, superintendent, President of Manitoba ASCD, and President of the Manitoba Association of School Superintendents. She is a highly sought–after charismatic, humorous, and energetic speaker and leader, who expresses her compassion through a deep commitment to equity in education and to advancing the democracy of our communities.


Sandra calls Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada home. It is the place and the people there that ground her and remind her that every person deserves to be wrapped in care, dignity, and love.

Keynote Session

Even in These Times!

Over the past twelve months, educators across the globe have had to, very quickly, shift their instructional, assessment and leadership practices to adapt to emerging learning environments and platforms. And yet, student engagement and achievement have continued to flourish; leaders have found practical and possible ways to support vibrant learning communities amidst the complexity of today’s schools and the broader societal context. Both practice and research have shown that, when assessment is used in the service of learning, the ideas that underpin quality standards for leadership become more possible.


However, leaders can be challenged to go beyond past practices. Whether you have questions about ways to support adults or lead schools or systems to deeper levels of implementation, current work in the area of assessment for learning can help you make the difference you seek.


During this keynote, Sandra Herbst will explore how you can amplify your instructional leadership by:

  • Supporting educators to put quality assessment strategies into practice

  • Considering indicators of assessment in the service of student, adult, school, and system learning.

  • Intentionally modeling assessment action within your own leadership practice


Just as quality assessment practices create student success, they can also energize us; in the end, hope and optimism will continue to fuel leaders’ work.

Spotlight Session

Increasing Student Engagement through Assessment

  • What high-yield assessment strategies might engage my students in authentic and dignified ways?

  • How can my students become assessment–capable and –confident learners?

These questions are ones that teachers and leaders ask themselves; both research and practice clearly illuminate that, when students are involved in quality classroom assessment practices, they learn and achieve more.

In this session, you will discover powerful, practical, and classroom-tested ideas that engage students through:

  • Using samples and models to understand quality and proficiency

  • Co-constructing and using criteria

  • Being partners in feedback loops that move learning forward

  • Collecting and presenting evidence of their learning


Accounts from teachers and students, along with work samples from across subject areas and grade levels, will help you to both recognize and support these key practices that have a significant impact on student learning.

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