What Is Dr. R. Up To?



Inclusive Practices Academy Project: Dr. Rodriguez is part of an internationally recognized team in the field of inclusive practice to support a four year statewide inclusive practices academy project in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Topics of the academy include but are not limited to:  Universal Design for Learning, meeting the instructional needs of all students, culturally relevant pedagogy, and designing systems to implement long range plans to support inclusive practices (addressing relevant  factors such as PD,  staffing and scheduling).  Dr. Rodriguez serves as:

  • the project manager
  • leadership lead for the academy’s content development and design
  • a keynote speaker and team trainer
  • the coach trainer
  • a technical assistance provider to schools

Administrator Coaching: Dr. Rodriguez recently developed 12 online coaching modules that are being used by principals in the state of Florida.  These self-paced modules provide strategies and resources on a wide range of administrative duties. She is currently serving as a virtual leadership coach to a superintendent and a charter school executive director in Massachusetts. Dr. Rodriguez pulls from her own leadership experience and her doctoral work on administrator mentoring to structure targeted and personalized coaching sessions.

Curriculum Specialist~Contracted Services Provider: Dr. Rodriguez is working with a public school district in Massachusetts as a curriculum specialist supporting their integration of the updated MA Frameworks. In this capacity, she offers supports such as professional development on the new standards, observation protocols to see the standards in action, and a clearinghouse of relevant resources such as special education entry points into the standards. She facilitates meetings with teacher leaders and offers guidance and feedback on how to  update their curriculum maps, designs protocols to unpack and integrate the new standards, and designs communication materials related to the new frameworks to be widely distributed to staff.

Upcoming Speaking/Workshop Engagements 

  • 1/4 Workshop Facilitator: Park Street School“Universally Designed Leadership” Session 2
  • 1/30 Universally Designed Leadership Session 2 Dighton-Rehoboth High School
  • 2/13 Presenter: 20th National New Teacher Center Symposium “Universal Design for Learning” Burlingame, California via CREST Collaborative
  • 3/2: Universally Designed Leadership Session 3 Dighton-Rehoboth High School
  • 3/5: Presenter: Inclusive Practices Southeast District and School Assistance Center
  • 3/8 Workshop Facilitator Universally Designed Leadership Session 3 Park Street School
  • 3/9: Presenter: Introduction to Universal Design for Learning Northshore Education Consortium via CREST Collaborative
  • 3/14: Strategy Facilitation: Central-Berkshire Public Schools: Inclusive Practices Implementation Planning
  • 4/25: Presenter: Introduction to Universal Design for Learning FLLAC Collaborative via CREST Collaborative
  • 4/26-27 Presenter: Unlocking Equity and Access Through Evidence-Based Decision Making UDLIRN International Summit via CREST Collaborative

Recent Speaking/Workshop Engagements 

2017-2018 School Year

  • Workshop Facilitator: “Teacher Cadre 3~ Introduction to Universal Design for Learning” Central Berkshire Reg. School District
  • Strategy Facilitation:“District Planning for Elementary Enrollment” Session 7 Amherst Public Schools
  • Strategy Facilitation & Workshop Facilitator: “Universally Planning for the Future and UDLead Meeting Support” Ayer-Shirley Regional School District
  • Workshop Facilitator: Park Street School“Universally Designed Leadership” Session 1
  • Strategy Facilitation and Workshop Facilitation: UDL Implementation Planning and Universally Designed Leadership Central-Berkshire Public Schools
  • Co-Presenter:“SMART Goal Setting” MASC/MASS Joint Conference
  • Strategy Facilitation:“District Planning for Elementary Enrollment” Session 6 Amherst Public Schools
  • Presenter: Effective Research-Based Practices Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Federal Grants Conference
  • Workshop Facilitator: “Introduction to MA Educator Evaluation for New Administrators” Session 2 via CREST Collaborative
  • Workshop Facilitator: Educator Evaluation Training for Administrators Tantasqua/Union 61 Regional School District
  • Keynote Speaker: Dighton-Rehoboth “Starting the UDL Journey” and UDL Breakout (UDL 101)
  • Workshop Facilitator: Dighton-Rehoboth “Universally Designed Leadership” Session 1
  •  Strategy Facilitation: Amherst Public Schools “District Planning for Elementary Enrollment” Session 5
  • Workshop Facilitator: “Introduction to MA Educator Evaluation for New Administrators” Session 1 via CREST Collaborative
  • Strategy Facilitation: Amherst Public Schools “District Planning for Elementary Enrollment” Session 4
  • Administrative Retreat Facilitator: Ayer-Shirley Regional School District “Strategically Planning for UDL Implementation” Session 2
  • Keynote Speaker; CREST Collaborative “Starting the UDL Journey”
  • Keynote Speaker and Workshop Facilitator; Central Berkshire Regional School District “Starting the UDL Journey”
  • Administrative Retreat Facilitator: Central Berkshire Regional School District “Strategically Planning for UDL Implementation”
  • Strategy Facilitation: Amherst Public Schools “District Planning for Elementary Enrollment” Session 3
  • Workshop Facilitator: Universally Designed Leadership Methuen High School via CREST Collaborative
  • Administrative Retreat Facilitator: Ayer-Shirley Regional School District “Strategically Planning for UDL Implementation” Session 1
  • Speaker: 2017 UDL Symposium Closing the Achievement Gap through Universally Designed Leadership 
  • Co-Presenter: MASC Summer Conference Series “SMART Goal Setting”
  • Speaker: Building Learning Communities-BLC 17: Education Conference 2017
    “Universally Designed Professional Development” & “Universally Designed Leadership”
  • Presenter at M.A.S.S. Executive Institute 2017 “Universally Designed Leadership” 
  • Strategy Facilitation: Amherst Public Schools “District Planning for Elementary Enrollment: Unpacking Issues of Equity” Sessions 1 & 2
  • Presenter to All Faculty: Cambridge College “Universally Designing Our Practice as Professors”
  • Workshop Facilitator: Central Berkshire Reg. School District “Teacher Cadre 2~ Introduction to Universal Design for Learning”
  • Co-Presenter of a CAST Webinar: “Universally Designed Leadership: Leveraging UDL to Close Achievement Gaps”
  • Workshop Facilitator: Central Berkshire Reg. School District “Planning for UDL and Universally Designing Staff Meetings & PD”

2016-2017 School Year

  • Workshop Facilitator: Central Berkshire Reg. School District “Teacher Cadre Introduction to Universal Design for Learning”
  • Co-Presenter of New England ISTE Webinar: “What is UDL Anyway and How Is it Different from Differentiated Instruction (DI)?”
  • Workshop Co-Facilitator: Marshfield Public Schools “Planning for Success” Plan refinement, vision development focus
  • Workshop Facilitator: Introduction to Universal Design for Learning” via CREST Collaborative
  • Workshop Co-Facilitator: Pilgrim Area Collaborative “Planning for Success”: Plan refinement, family and community engagement focus
  • Co-Presenter: Association of Educational Service Agencies (AESA) Conference “Universally Designed Leadership”
  • Co-Facilitation of Marshfield Public Schools Planning Team Planning for Success (Data focus)
  • Workshop Facilitator: Ayer-Shirley Reg. School District “Universally Designed Leadership” Session 3
  • Presenter: MESPA Spring Conference “Universally Designed Leadership”
  • Presenter: UDL-IRN 2017 Summit in Orlando, FL “Universally Designed Leadership”
  • Co-Facilitation at Pilgrim Area Collaborative Leadership Team Retreat: Planning for Success (SWOT focus)
  • Full Day Workshop Facilitator: CASE, EDCO, & LABBB Collaboratives “Universally Designed Leadership” 
  • Full Day Workshop Facilitator: Central Berkshire Reg. School District “Universally Designed Leadership”
  • Guest Appearance on The Dr. Will Show with host Will Deyamport
  • Keynote: Dedham Public Schools “Leadership and Discovering UDL”
  • Workshop Facilitator: Ayer-Shirley Regional School District “Universally Designed Leadership” Session 2
  • Guest Appearance on Master Leadership with host Lily Sanabria
  • Guest Appearance on District Leader with host Luis Valentino
  • Full Day Workshop Facilitator: Ayer-Shirley Regional School District Universally Designed Leadership” Session 1 of 6
  • Presenter: MASC/MASS Joint Conference Universal Design for Learning: An Introduction for School Committee Members and District Leaders
  • Presenter: MASC/MASS Joint Conference “Planning for Continuous Improvement”
  • Guest Speaker: Ethics and Equity (Boston College) “Applying UDL to Systems and Schools”
  • Full Day Workshop Facilitator: CAPS Collaborative “Universal Design 101 for Teachers”
  • Panelist/Subject Area Expert: Represented K-12 educators at the The Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) to discuss the implementation and supports needed for the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) with Ruth Ryder (the Acting Director) and Sue Swenson (the Acting Assistant Secretary) from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) at the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Presenter: CAST Symposium (Harvard University): “It Takes a Village: Building Engagement with all Stakeholders”
  • Radio Appearance: Trending Now with Josh Arnold  on the topic of leadership and learning

Spring of 2016

  • Panelist: MEP (Mass Education Partnership) Conference  A Look Under the Hood: Innovative Strategies for Creating District Determined Measures”
  • Panelist: Merrimack College Symposium  “I Wish I Had Known That: Tips and Strategies From Your Interview to the First Day of Class”

Additional Consulting Support Areas

Facilitating a Comprehensive District/School Needs Assessment

Out of the Office of District Reviews and Monitoring (ODRM) of the Massachusetts Department of Education, Dr. Rodriguez has experience as a team that provide reviews that assess district systems, enabling district leaders to reflect on progress and strengthen performance. Dr. Rodriguez’s experience revolves around being a key content reviewer for the areas of Curriculum and Instruction, Student Support, and Human Resources/Professional Development. Dr. Rodriguez was also selected and trained as part of the first cohort of ESE trainers in the Planning for Success framework.  In addition, Kristan participated in the New Superintendents Induction Program (a coordinated program of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, Massachusetts Association of School Committees, and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) where her work on designing a comprehensive needs assessment was highlighted.

Every district in the Commonwealth is expected to participate in strategic planning that aligns with annual district improvement plans.  Most district engage in this process every 3-5 years.  To support this work, ESE developed the Planning for Success Model where districts engage in strategy design.  A core component of this process depends upon understanding the district’s needs, participating in root cause analysis, and articulating objectives and initiatives to address areas of challenge.  While there are expectations for this needs assessment, there is no template yet developed for this process. It is really up to the superintendent (and their team) to design this needs assessment and no overarching set of standards to consider or address in the process itself.

Dr. Rodriguez’s original needs assessment framework utilizes her background in needs assessment design as a practitioner (superintendent),  applies the state team review process and fits it into the comprehensive planning for success model.  If you want help facilitating your district’s needs assessment process, please contact Dr. Rodriguez!

Planning for Success Facilitator

Dr. Rodriguez was selected as a Massachusetts Planning for Success cadre member.  As such, she was trained in the use of the MA DESE Planning for Success (PfS) model for creating multi-year district plans! Dr. Rodriguez is currently listed on the M.A.S.S. endorsed list of PfS facilitators.

Dr. Rodriguez has used this planning model to help district’s develop overall strategy. She has also adapted the model to support the development and implementation of specific  district initiatives. Feel free to contact her if you want support in planning your district strategy or to develop planning around a specific initiative!

Additional Work Dr. Rodriguez Has Participated in Recently

Student Teaching Partnerships: Developing Teacher Pipelines

Dr. Rodriguez was the technical assistance partner selected to lead the yearlong Student Teaching Partnership Consortium out of the Center for Instructional Support of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (and funded by an EPIC grant). As a result of this partnership, she authored the a FREE Partnership Toolkit. The Toolkit articulates an evidence-based model for partnership initiation, implementation, and continuous improvement utilized by a recent group of Massachusetts Consortium members, and includes supportive tools and resources developed through their work. The purpose of this Toolkit is to help other district and educator preparation partnerships develop systems for placing and supporting student teachers with the goal of improving student outcomes and building a pipeline from student teaching to employment.

Want to learn more?  Click HERE for the Full Toolkit. It includes FREE tools and resources.  It’s all in one clean package and all you need to successfully build your pipeline!

Want to hire Dr. Rodriguez to provide facilitation support for your partnership? Contact her directly!

Recent participant feedback from her partnership facilitation work:

Based on all evaluations received, the average rating was 4 (the highest rating on a scale of 1-4).

  • “I can’t believe how much we have accomplished today. Kristan is amazing at keeping us on track, focusing on the big ideas when we lose focus & makes this work feel attainable. So productive.”
  • “Excellent facilitation. Kept us on track, focused, and purposeful!”
  • “Kristan Rodriguez was organized, worked well with group, and an exceptional facilitator.”
  • “One of the better meetings I’ve attended.  I can’t believe we got so much done.”
  • “The facilitator helped maintain focus and ensure we completed our action plan within the day’s agenda!”
  • “The level of productivity today was oustanding…Thank you-super helpful.”
  • This meeting accomplished a tremendous deal.  It allowed me to see the big picture and…identify how I fit into to this work.”

MOEC/DESE TVI (Teachers of the Visually Impaired) Educator Licensure Stakeholder Group Member

We examined the competencies for MA Teachers of the Visually Impaired.  The group:

  • made recommendations on how to revise the MA Competency Review Guidelines for TVIs for teachers seeking preliminary license or add an additional license.
  • drafted rubrics for the subject matter knowledge (SMK) content not currently addressed in the MTELS and recommend minimal levels of competencies required for new teachers needed for day one teachers.
  • drafted text for the Potential Sources of Evidence Section.

University Coursework 

Quote from recent course participant, “I have been in education for 8 years and also taught 1 and a half years of college, but this class was the most effective class I have ever taken and been able to implement into my day to day life. While I know the focus was district-wide and macro leadership, the ability to scale it to my programs has really changed the way we do business.”

  • Gordon College: Adjunct Professor: Universally Designed Leadership (Fall 2017) via CREST Collaborative
  • Cambridge College: Senior Instructor: Instructional Leadership: Supervision and Administration of Educational Personnel (Spring 2017)
  • Merrimack College: Course Developer  Universally Designed Leadership (Fall 2016) 
  • Fitchburg State College: Adjunct Professor:  Universally Designed Leadership  (Fall 2016) via GDRSD
  • Worcester State: Adjunct Professor: Universally Designed Leadership (Summer 2016)


  • Universally designed leadership: Applying UDL to systems and schools (Novak & Rodriguez, 2016). Wakefield, MA: CAST Professional Publishing