Workshops occur on Wednesday morning from 8:15 - 9:45. Please indicate your first and second workshop choices on the Individual Registration Form.
Wednesday Morning Workshops
Workshop A - Educator Resilience: The Heart of Positive School Climate
Presenter: Rebecca Lallier
Educator resilience and school climate are dynamic and co-influential; improving one improves the other. When educator resilience suffers, school climate worsens. When school climate is positive, conditions for resilience are created. In this unprecedented time of individual and collective adversity, it is more essential than ever to bolster school climate and support the educators who face their own challenges and stresses while simultaneously supporting and teaching students who are themselves suffering. This workshop will focus on: how to create intentional systems that prioritize and cultivate staff resilience and improve school climate; practices of support that can be easily implemented; and ways to determine and address ongoing adult SEL and school climate needs. Examples of educator resilience efforts in Vermont schools will be shared.
- experience ways that resilience-building can be integrated into staff and team meetings
- explore aspects of resilience
- gather research data to use when advocating for educator resilience-building
- identify systems, data, and practices that support resilience and positive school climate
- gather resources for cultivating educator resilience and improving school climate
All are welcome to attend this session.
Rebecca Lallier, M.Ed. is a TA, Implementation Coach, and Trainer for Vermont PBIS. She spent 11 years as PBIS coordinator at the Dothan Brook School, a nine-year exemplar school, navigating all aspects of PBIS from initial implementation through revitalization, full implementation at all three tiers, and continuous improvement. Rebecca has 23 years of experience as a school counselor and was the 2016 Vermont School Counselor of the Year and a 2017 National ASCA School Counselor of the Year finalist. She is passionate about the importance of building trust and relationships while helping schools and teams center equity for all students, build on strengths, and solve problems to increase fidelity of PBIS implementation. Rebecca is especially interested in how PBIS, SEL, adult resilience, and positive school climate support and strengthen one another.
Workshop B - Mindfulness: An Essential Practice for Equity Work
Presenter: Annie O'Shaughnessy
While mindfulness has become popular in the United States for its impact on stress and learning, one of its transformative powers is its impact on equity work in general and implicit bias specifically. In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to shed light on their racial identity journey and how it impacts their efforts to be anti-racist.
In this workshop, participants will:
• Develop a brave space through mutually agreed upon ethos and centering practice
• Reflect on their racial identity journey and how it impacts their current efforts to be an anti-racist educator.
• Share what they are comfortable sharing regarding this journey and what they are willing to commit to in order to increase their awareness.
All are welcome
Annie O'Shaughnessy - One of the greatest strengths of her seminars, identified by participants, is the broad collection of stories she brings from the front line as an educator, circle keeper, and now as a consultant who has been in over 40 schools statewide, interacting and hearing from over 2,000 educators. She also brings the stories from the class journals of over 100 educators who have taken her 3-credit course where they have shared their stories about RA.
Annie's dedication to Restorative Practices began with her experiences with circle work more than 20 years ago. Having participated in and led circles personally and professionally since the 90s around the country and in the classroom, she has witnessed the tremendous impact of these experiences on her own and other’s lives, and the essential role mindfulness plays in successful restorative work. Currently, she teaches English half-time at the Center for Technology, Essex; teaches Mindfulness and Restorative Practices courses for educators through CVEDC; and trains educators in schools throughout the state. Annie is passionately committed to supporting teachers and schools in creating more mindful and restorative learning communities. The 180+ hours of clinical training she has received as a teacher at the Centerpoint School, alongside 80 hours of training in RJ and an M.Ed in Mindfulness for Educators has prepared her well to be of benefit to students, teachers, and schools as they work to meet the challenges facing them.
Workshop C - Connecting Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors to Better Understand and Support Students with Complex Needs
Presenter: Lauralee Keach
Behind every behavior is a thought and a feeling. When we conduct a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA), we focus on the function of the behavior, but how do we consider the feelings behind the behavior? This session will provide strategies for how to uncover the emotional issues behind problem behaviors and will explore interventions for providing both emotional and behavioral supports. Participants will begin to understand the connection between emotions and behavior and how to use the FBA and Behavior Support Planning (BSP) process to provide emotional support.
Individuals, all grades, all roles
Lauralee has been working with children with a range of needs, including developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorder, for the past 20 years. She received her initial training in behavior analysis in Maine, where she was a member of a team who established a center-based program for students with developmental disabilities and emotional and behavior disorders. Since returning to Vermont in 2003, Lauralee has worked as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst consulting to regional school districts, and currently is a member of the South Burlington School District’s Interdisciplinary Team, which provides behavior, psychological and communication consultation services to students and school teams. Lauralee’s education includes a BA in Psychology and a M.Ed in Applied Behavior Analysis.
Workshop D - Exploring an Effective PBIS Leadership Team Process for Examining Equity Data
Presenters: Amanda Babcock and Sara Raabe
The JFK Elementary Leadership team has developed a format for their Leadership meetings based on the TIPS protocol (Team-Initiated Problem Solving). Within these meetings, they look at specific structures of their system and the related data. During the 2020-21 school year, an important piece of their School-Wide Information System (SWIS) data they have begun to review is their Equity data. In this workshop, the JFK Leadership Team will share their meeting format and model a meeting looking at their equity data.
School PBIS coordinators, School leadership team members, any grade level
Amanda Babcock has been the Behavior Coach, PBIS School Coordinator at the JFK Elementary school in Winooski, Vt. for the past 5 years. Prior to that she was the Behavior Specialist, PBIS School Coordinator at Swanton Elementary school for about 18 years. This is Amanda’s 2nd year as a PBIS State Coach and Trainer working with schools implementing/maintaining/assessing PBIS in schools. When not working, Amanda enjoys spending time with her family and grandchildren.
Sara Raabe has been in education for over 20 years as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal. She has been the principal at JFK elementary in Winooski for 6 years. Sara worked with her Leadership Team to implement PBIS at JFK, and they just completed their 5th year of implementation. As a school during the 2020-21 school year, she has been focusing staff time on equity. This year the entire staff read and participated in professional learning around Teaching For Black Lives in addition to reviewing their SWIS equity data. When not working, Sara can be found with her husband, daughter, and large extended family as well as the world’s most perfect dog, George.
Workshop E - Elevating Family Voices: Utilizing Focus Groups to Hear Family’s Perspectives on Social/Emotional/Behavioral Efforts at School
Presenters: Amy Wheeler-Sutton and Kayla Loving
This workshop will provide an opportunity for participants to learn from family members about how schools are meeting their social/emotional/behavioral needs and contributing (or not) to their resilience. During pre-recorded focus group sessions lead by a facilitator, family members will give feedback on what works and doesn't work and what their experiences have been. The workshop session will include viewing the focus group, having a discussion with the leader of the focus group, and how to set up focus groups back at their schools. Participants will: listen to the experiences of families in Vermont schools, as they relate to social/emotional/behavioral efforts in schools; reflect on what they heard and how it may connect with their own schools/districts; gain an understanding of how to set up focus groups in their schools; create one action step to bring with them back to their team time related to this topic
Individuals, introductory, any grade level
Amy Wheeler-Sutton is the Training and Development Coordinator for the Vermont BEST/PBIS State Team. Before joining the State Team, she was a school counselor at The Conservatory Lab Charter School in Boston, MA. Prior to that, she was school counselor for three years at the Dothan Brook School in White River Junction, a PBIS Exemplar School. As Training and Development Coordinator at Vermont PBIS, Amy is responsible for designing and delivering a variety of PBIS trainings. She also plays a lead role in the annual evaluation of VTPBIS.
Kayla Loving started in July 2020 as the Restorative Justice Coordinator in conjunction with the Multicultural Youth Program. She collaborates with community organizations to increase the use of restorative justice practices among youth with a focus on the Winooski School District.
Prior to Spectrum, she worked at COTS Family Shelter and volunteered with the Restorative Justice Panel in Winooski. She spent time researching alternative dispute resolution in Cambodia with the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association and Liberia with The Carter Center. She also taught English to college students as a Peace Corps volunteer in China.
Kayla received a Master’s degree in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence at the Heller School at Brandeis University. Her undergraduate education is in Sociology and Global Studies.
CANCELLED! - Workshop F - Learning about Resilience Efforts from Our Most Important Education Stakeholder — Youth!
This workshop will provide an opportunity for participants to learn from youth about how schools are meeting their social/emotional/behavioral needs and contributing (or not) to their resilience. During a pre-recorded focus group session lead by a youth facilitator, youth will give feedback on what works and doesn't work and what their experiences have been. The workshop session will include viewing the focus group, having a discussion with the leader of the focus group, and how to set up focus groups back at their schools. Participants will: listen to the experiences of youth in Vermont schools, as they relate to social/emotional/behavioral efforts in schools; reflect on what they heard and how it may connect with their own schools/districts; gain an understanding of how to set up focus groups in their schools; develop one action step to bring with them back to their team time related to this topic.
Individuals, introductory, any grade level
Workshop G - Developing Social-Emotional Learning Standards: One SU's Approach
Presenters: Steve Messier and Sandi Simmons
This workshop will provide an overview of how to create a district-wide SEL implementation plan related to the creation of PK-adult learning standards and teaching practices. Presenters will review systems-level planning considerations, as well as how to structure each standard in developmentally specific, student-centered "I-can" statements. As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to identify the various ingredients of a district-wide SEL implementation plan, understand the steps that a small team could take in order to create and structure SEL standards, and learn of the specific learning goals, sub-goals, and benchmark skills that the Missisquoi Valley School District guide is comprised of.
Both individual SEL practitioners, as well as school and district teams looking to gain insight on how to develop a system-wide approach to social-emotional learning. This is not specific to any particular grade level, but rather encompasses the creation of standards across the continuum of early childhood through adult learners.
Steve Messier is a school administrator, coach, former school board commissioner, and certified A.L.I.C.E crisis response/safety instructor. Steve has over 18 years of experience working directly with children and adolescents, where his primary focus has been the development of social and emotional skills through experiential and relational practices. Over the last several years, Steve has served on the advisory councils of two public school alternative programs and overseen the creation and development of hands-on, socially supportive learning environments for at-risk youth. In his current role as the Director of Student Affairs at Missisquoi Valley Union, Steve provides support on issues related to social-emotional learning, student behavior, conflict resolution, mediation, bullying and harassment education, and school safety planning and training.
Steve has previously served on school boards for the Saint Albans City School and the Franklin Central Supervisory Union (now Maple Run School District). Additionally, Steve currently serves as a member of the teacher advisory board for Teacher Vision, is a founding member of the VT chapter of the Social-Emotional Learning Alliance for The United States (SEL4US), and operates an educational consulting company, Social Emotional Learning of Vermont, LLC where he provides training for educators on SEL best practices and implementation strategies.
Sandi Simmons currently works as a School Counselor at Swanton Elementary School. She has a breadth of experience working with all ages of children and youth both in public schools, as well as in the broader community. After completing her Masters of Counseling in 2010, Sandi began her school counseling career and has worked at several schools throughout Franklin County, VT. However, she has also served as a youth pastor, preschool teacher, children's missionary and summer camp director. Sandi loves her role as a counselor, and she has also really enjoyed the roles of PBIS Coordinator, WSCC (Whole School, Community & Child) Committee member and being a part of MVSD's (Missisquoi Valley School District) Social-Emotional Learning team! On a daily basis, she teaches SEL through classroom lessons, small group interventions and one-on-one counseling. In her free time, she can be found coaching figure skating, teaching Sunday School or volunteering at a variety of community events. She is honored to be able to be able to share some of her work with SEL in this workshop!
Workshop H - Expanding our Data Systems to Identify Social/Emotional/Behavioral Learning Needs and Strengths of Students
Presenter: Sherry Schoenberg
This workshop will provide strategies and tools for identifying student needs and strengths around social/emotional/behavioral learning and well-being. A review of simple surveys and formal screeners as well as processes for matching results to proactive and preventative practices will be highlighted. Participants will:
• Develop a shared understanding of the context and rationale for identifying students at risk of social/emotional/behavioral challenges
• Examine the systems in place to collect, analyze, and act upon data
• Consider several informal and formal tools
• Discuss matching findings to interventions
• Explore next steps
Individuals who are member of school or SU/SD leadership teams, including teachers, school counselors, administrators, special education staff, school psychologists, and family representatives.
Sherry Schoenberg is the Vermont BEST/PBIS Project Coordinator, located at UVM's CDCI, and has been a member of the BEST Team for 25 years. She has a background in children’s mental health as a direct service provider, state level program administrator, and as a school and mental health consultant since 1982. Sherry coordinates the training, technical assistance, and evaluation for the Vermont Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports State Team and provides training and support in several social/emotional/behavioral health topics.
Workshop I - Supporting Students with Disabilities through Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports
Presenter: Brandi Simonsen
The critical features of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) can be utilized and intensified to support students with disabilities with an MTSS framework. After attending this workshop, participants will be able to: 1. Describe the critical features of PBIS to support students with disabilities. 2. Discuss how to differentiate and intensify key practices, and 3. Identify resources to support implementation. For each practice, a range of examples from a variety of learning environments will be included.
K-12 classroom teachers who want to enhance supports for students with disabilities. Introductory, but applicable to those who are more advanced but haven’t thought explicitly about how students with disabilities can be supported at the universal level. While not required, it is recommended that individuals attend as a team with someone else from their school.
Brandi Simonsen, PhD is a professor of Special Education and the Co-Director of the Center for Behavioral Education and Research (CBER; www.cber.org) at the University of Connecticut. She is also the Co-Director of the National Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS; www.pbis.org), Co-Principal Investigator of the National Multi-Tiered System of Supports Research Network (www.mtss.org), and a Senior Advisor to the National Center on Intensive Interventions (intensiveintervention.org).
Workshop J - Creating LGBTQ+ Inclusive Learning Environments
Presenter: Mara Iverson
This interactive workshop will help teachers to increase fluency with LGBTQ+ inclusive concepts, terminology, and practices. Participants will learn and practice approaches for making school environments and systems affirming and supportive for youth of all genders and sexual identities. Teachers will identify specific opportunities for and challenges to inclusivity in their particular school context. Participants will leave with broader knowledge of LGBTQ+ youth topics, methods for recognizing gaps in inclusivity, and ideas for how to apply affirming practices to fill those gaps. Participants will practice skills for intervening in bullying and preventing LGBTQ+ erasure within school spaces and activities. A video created by Vermont LGBTQ+ youth will be highlighted.
Mara Iverson (she/her) is Director of Education at Outright Vermont, a statewide LGBTQ+ youth advocacy organization. She has worked at universities in Pennsylvania, Texas, and Vermont and has 15 years of LGBTQ+ advocacy and education experience. Mara also works in advocating for racial justice and understanding and managing implicit bias.
FULL! - Workshop K - Inspire, Engage, Connect, and Build Community! Experiential, Brain-Based Approaches to Integrating Academics, Social and Emotional Learning, and School-Wide Inclusive Culture Building
Presenter: Jen Stanchfield
Join this dynamic and interactive workshop and take away experiential, brain-based techniques to inspire meaningful academic and social/emotional engagement, buy-in, and ownership of learning. Fill your toolbox with innovative methods to engage student, faculty, family, and advisory groups in connecting, talking, and reflecting. Take away novel ways to differentiate instruction to build a positive, inclusive, and supportive learning community. Promote voice, choice, engagement, and reflection in all learning environments and across grade levels. Leave with practical strategies, creative inspiration, and new perspectives on your role as an educator.
Open to all roles, experience, and grade levels
Jen Stanchfield, MS works with schools worldwide to increase meaningful engagement, integration of social-emotional learning with academic content, and community building in the classroom and beyond. Jen's depth of experience, creativity, and knowledge of educational theory and practice is evident in her innovative yet practical workshops and publications that incorporate the art of facilitation and teaching with neuroscience and pedagogical research. Jen has worked as a teacher, a clinician in mental health treatment centers, an adventure educator, and professional training and organizational teambuilding. She earned her master’s degree in Experiential Education from Minnesota State University and continues to pursue the latest research from the educational neuroscience field. Through these diverse experiences, she has developed an extensive repertoire of evidence-informed experiential activities, tools, strategies to engage, and informative professional development, books, and teaching resources. She is the author of Tips and Tools for the Art of Experiential Group Facilitation, and Inspired Educator, Inspired Learner: Experiential, Brain-Based Activities, and Strategies to Engage, Motivate, and Create Lasting Lessons.
Basic contact and social media info:
Visit the Inspired Educator Blog or sign up for the Experiential Tools Newsletter to receive articles on group facilitation and teaching.
Check out Jen's books: Inspired Educator, Inspired Learner and Tips & Tools for the Art of Experiential Facilitation.
Join Jen for an upcoming workshop visit: www.experientialtools.com for a full workshop schedule.
Workshop L - Agency of Education Network Improvement Community (NIC) for Educational Support Team (EST)
Presenters: Tracy Watterson, Tom Faris, and Julia Scheier
This workshop will introduce and invite attendees to a 3-year Networked Improvement Community (NIC) focused on K-12 Educational Support Teams (EST) that will be formally starting in Fall 2021, with the AOE’s VTmtss Team acting as organizing hub. Attendees will learn how this NIC can serve as a statewide lab for developing shared practices and testing out EST models. The NIC will be conducted using continuous improvement principles and will employ the systems view of The VTmtss Framework with a goal of increased equity for all students and supports they may need.
Anyone who is interested in joining the NIC is invited to attend. The NIC will be open to K-12 teams at either the district or school level but will primarily support SU/SD-level engagement with EST.
Tracy Bettale Watterson has been an educator since 1986, serving children as a K-5 teacher, para-educator, interventionist, and K-8 math specialist in Missouri, Washington, and Virginia, and has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia. Additionally, she has provided professional learning in Washington, Virginia, Vermont, and at national conferences.
For the past eight years, Tracy has worked at the Vermont Agency of Education as the Multi-tiered System of Supports Program Manager and Team Lead, SWIFT SEA Co-Coordinator, and Elementary Mathematics Assessment Coordinator.
She is passionate about collective expertise, candid conversations, and continuous improvement that leads to access, membership & inclusion for all students, especially those historically underserved. Tracy is a nationally certified program manager and graduate of the Vermont Leadership, Exploration and Development (LEAD) program.
Tom Faris is from Shaftsbury Vermont and has worked as an educator in Vermont schools since 1978. He spent the first half of his career as a special educator in alternative programs as well as public schools. Tom entered school administration in 2000, first at Missisquoi Valley Union High School, then Essex High School. He has worked at the Vermont Agency of Education as a Multi-Tiered System of Supports Coordinator since July 2017. Tom works on a variety of projects and has particular knowledge about Educational Support Teams
Julia Scheier has supported the Agency of Education as a Vermont Multi-tiered System of Supports Coordinator since 2019 and is passionate about strengthening a systems lens and trauma-informed practices within school systems. Prior to joining the Agency, she worked as a paraprofessional in a public and private preschool in Massachusetts. She also served as Operations Director for a Vermont nonprofit, overseeing strategic planning, financials, and program development. She is currently enrolled in the Vermont Certified Public Manager course.
Workshop M - An Introduction to Vermont Early MTSS
Presenters: Lori Meyer and Early Care and Education Teachers/Leaders
This workshop will provide an overview of two specific Early MTSS innovations (The Pyramid Model and the Strengthening Families™ Approach). Participants will have opportunities to share their thoughts and ask questions about Vermont Early MTSS. The presenters will share Vermont-specific examples of Early MTSS. Participants will have time to develop an action plan to explore further Vermont's Early MTSS and integration into their contexts and communities.
As a result of attending this session, participants will be able to:
(1) state the importance of Vermont Early MTSS for families and young children
(2) understand the alignment between Early MTSS and VTmtss
(3) locate implementation resources for Early MTSS
(4) recognize regional assets for the implementation of Early MTSS across the state
(5) identify steps for how to explore the implementation of Early MTSS in their unique contexts and communities
Individuals, introductory, most relevant to birth-grade 3 educators
Lori Erbrederis Meyer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Education at the University of Vermont, where she teaches in the Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education programs. Dr. Meyer’s research focuses on young children with and without disabilities and their families within the context of early care and education systems. Specifically, she is interested in contemporary classroom environments, approaches, and system-wide infrastructure necessary to support the implementation of innovations to support young children’s social and emotional development and well-being. As a former inclusive preschool teacher, Dr. Meyer is dedicated to increasing the use of recommended practices in early childhood intervention and translating research into practice.
CANCELLED! - Workshop N - Practical and Evidence-Based Tools for Integrating Mental and Physical Well-Being into Every Day
Presenter: Kate Larson
How can we help kids and teens be up to the challenges of modern life -- mind and body? As educators and parents, we have the power to have an impact by helping ALL young people to build knowledge, skills and daily practices that result in better short and long-term health outcomes.
The goal of this workshop is to develop a greater understanding of the finite and precious resource that is every child’s body and mind while exploring a framework that elevates personal sustainability as the highest measure of success and preventative investment for their future. We will review multiple options for bringing health and life-skill learning to life for all community stakeholders. Content is designed to capture imagination and break down complex health concepts into engaging lessons and talking points.
Learning pathways include: wellness assessments, bi-monthly parent/teacher newsletter; customized wellness portals that shift and elevate health and life-skill learning; community events such as feature films on topics like anxiety, bullying, trusted adults, etc.; strategy consulting; and, grade 4-8 health literacy pathways built around youth voice. By generating meaningful dialogue between young people, families, teachers, and the larger health community, we hope to energize school cultures and support them in a shift that places greater value on positive health outcomes.
Self-care has always been foundational, but this public health crisis is shining a stark light on this truth. In fact, this is an essential time to build capacity for self-care, a positive mindset, a strong body, healthy relationships and a resilient spirit. The world needs connection, movement, decency and life-affirming days soaking up sunshine and air and spent with energy + play + purpose.
Individuals, teams, administrators. The learning framework is powerful for K-12 teams at either the district or school level with more resources available to support 4-8 teams.
Kate Larson - Registered Nurse, Educator.
These are the two beliefs that guide everything I do:
1. Young people have the power to shape their lives.
2. A person’s health literacy is directly connected to their future health outcomes.
With three decades of leadership experience, 10 years as an RN, and 15 as a single mother, I founded The Practice of Life, an online community and health education resource that provides advocacy and honors the strength, wisdom, and capabilities of young people.
Look, people are not always given the tools they need to take care of themselves. But being independent and self-fulfilled means managing your own self-care and practicing small changes that lead to a vibrant life. Through my work, I aim to inspire young people, parents, educators, and institutions, helping them build knowledge and re-imagine and elevate health, wellness and life skills learning in order to mobilize daily practices that support healthy minds and bodies.
Ultimately, my hope is that young people will add personal sustainability to the things they take a stand on, and new value will be placed on the knowledge that relationships are everything and that healthy connections will fortify a world increasingly built on remote interaction.