What Is Dr. R. Up To?


Upcoming Speaking/Workshop Engagements 

  • 8/21 Workshop Facilitator: Methuen High School “Universally Designed Leadership” via CREST Collaborative
  • 8/22 Strategy Facilitation: Amherst Public Schools “District Planning for Elementary Enrollment” Session 3
  • 8/23-8/24 Administrative Retreat Facilitator: Central Berkshire Regional School District “Strategically Planning for UDL Implementation”
  • 8/28 Keynote Speaker and Workshop Facilitator; Central Berkshire Regional School District “Starting the UDL Journey”
  • 8/31 Keynote Speaker; CREST Collaborative “Starting the UDL Journey”
  • 9/11 Administrative Retreat Facilitator: Ayer-Shirley Regional School District “Strategically Planning for UDL Implementation” Session 2
  • 9/14 Workshop Facilitator: Dighton-Rehoboth “Universally Designed Leadership”
  • 9/25 Workshop Facilitator: “Introduction to MA Educator Evaluation for New Administrators” Session 1 via CREST Collaborative
  • 11/6 Keynote Speaker: Dighton-Rehoboth “Starting the UDL Journey”
  • 10/20 Workshop Facilitator: “Introduction to MA Educator Evaluation for New Administrators” Session 2 via CREST Collaborative
  • 11/2 Co-Presenter: MASC/MASS Joint Conference “SMART Goal Setting”

Recent Speaking/Workshop Engagements 

  • 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”
  • 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
  • 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

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.”

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

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 

  • Gordon College: Adjunct Professor: Universally Designed Leadership (Fall 2017)
  • 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)
  • 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