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Dear State Leaders: Thoughts On The 2018 QRIS National Meeting

March 2, 2018

BUILD staff team member Jonathan Chapman reports on participant feedback from the 2018 QRIS National Meeting.

Dear State Leaders: Thoughts On The 2018 QRIS National Meeting


By Jonathan Scott Chapman, Learning Community Specialist

Dear State Leaders,

On behalf of the BUILD team, I must confess that we miss you! Sure, some of us see some of you at various in-person meetings throughout the year. But it’s only at one meeting—the QRIS National Meeting—where we all share proximity, where we all trade webinars and conference calls for plenaries and breakfast buffets. It’s these infrequent moments of closeness that make this meeting worth organizing and attending. And in less than five months, from July 16 to 18 in San Diego, California, our next opportunity to enrich our fellowship and improve our work will arrive.

As we prepare for this meeting, the BUILD team has been reviewing your feedback from last year’s conference. During this process, one survey question in particular caught my attention: “What was most useful about the meeting/what made the biggest impact?” I won’t summarize your thoughts for fear of losing their vigor. Rather, in your own words, here is a sample of your energizing responses:


  • Side conversations! The sessions are helpful because they spark and give room for these conversations!
  • Connecting with others from across the nation and hearing about their systems—their struggles, their successes—between sessions and in some sessions.
  • Meeting people; listening to participants’ experiences.
  • I really enjoyed hearing the results of other states’ validation studies and their plans for revision as our state will be coming up on this. Learning about EduSnap & Baby Snap was great. I loved learning about a different type of assessment tool and thinking about how we could use it in our state.
  • Loved, Loved, Loved the plenary from Pedro Noguera! His talk [was] so inspiring and necessary!
  • Hearing from diverse providers in the plenary got me reconnected with my roots in this work; the networking events and breakfast also provided a unique opportunity to connect more personally with colleagues; the infusion of equity into EVERY session was impressive and modeled what we should always be doing.
  • As a newcomer, the choices of the plenary speakers tell me a lot about the soul of BUILD. I also thought the app was brilliant for its ability to have the handouts and PPT readily accessible right away.
  • For me, the biggest impact was seeing firsthand how we are a part of a much bigger picture. Seeing people from almost every state implementing QRIS, and seeing the various stages of implementation (from just starting discussions to implementing for more than a decade), was very inspiring.
  • The biggest impact was seeing so many people come together to collectively think strategically to make changes to policy that will impact the lives of our children, families, and communities. There were many states doing such outstanding work and creating real solutions.
  • Networking with leaders in other states and understanding their challenges and successes and learning how to incorporate those experiences into our own. The biggest impact is the recognition of how far we have come and how far we have yet to go in all areas of our work.

We’re using your feedback to help us exceed last year’s success. At the San Diego meeting, we want to forge new relationships and fortify old ones. We want to strengthen our resolves and celebrate our victories. We want to educate and learn, enlighten and inspire. We want to spark solutions and share systems strategies. Naturally, after reading your comments, I wondered what you will say about this year’s meeting. What sessions, what speakers, what conversations will transform you? On behalf of the BUILD team, I look forward to facilitating your discoveries.

See you in San Diego.






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