Workshops occur on Wednesday morning from 8:00 - 9:30. Please indicate your first, second, and third workshop choices on the Individual Registration Form.
CANCELLED! Workshop A - Let’s discuss what we learned by watching Listen Up!
Presenter: Bess O’Brien, Director/Producer, Kingdom Country Productions
Spend the morning with youth from the Listen Up Musical discussing the many issues that the show raises. Listen Up goes to the heart of current youth issues, including mental health, resilience, racial justice, sexual identity, friendship, love, family, community, social justice, and current issues including COVID, climate change, and the future of Vermont for young people. We will break into groups and have conversations with teens about these subjects and use the “Listen Up discussion Card Deck’s” to spark ideas.
All who attended the film screening on Tuesday afternoon are welcome to attend this session.
Listen Up is produced by Bess O’Brien and Kingdom County Productions in collaboration with Centerpoint. O’Brien has produced many documentary films over the years including “The Hungry Heart,” “Ask Us Who We Are,” “Coming Home,” “Here Today,” “I Am From Here,” and others. For more information about the film go to ListenUpvt.org.
Workshop B - Running Staff Meetings and PLCs Restoratively
Presenter: Annie O'Shaughnessy
Based on her experiences supporting schools, Annie believes successful implementation of any relationally-based approach is hindered or helped by the degree to which the approach is practiced by the adults in the buildings or district. Too often schools implement positive and restorative approaches with students without first focusing on the culture, climate, and practices of the staff. In this workshop, Annie will offer a model for running staff meetings, PLCs, and other committees based on the restorative “Balance in the Process.” She will offer real examples from schools she is currently working with to demonstrate what it looks and feels like to be part of a restorative culture and provide time to identify ways to make your meetings more restorative and effective.
In this workshop, participants will:
• Reflect on the current meeting structures and rituals in your school.
• Experience how a restorative meeting is structured to create the skills, capacity, and motivation to work together as a team, including all voices, develop trust and be effective.
• Reflect on adaptations you might make for different meetings in your milieu.
• Identify achievable goals to modify your meetings and learn a simple assessment tool to check your progress.
All are welcome
Annie O’Shaughnessy began sharing circle practices in the early 2000s by leading retreats around the country. It was during these extended circle experiences that she developed a deep, experiential understanding of how mindful presence, empathy, and understanding expanded and strengthened during circles, working to create the conditions for authenticity, healing, and restoration. After taking a break from teaching, she came back to discover that this mindful presence and the circle practice were powerful allies when working with youth in schools—building the classroom skill, capacity and motivation to actively engage in learning and name, acknowledge and repair harm. In 2017, she received her Masters in Mindfulness for Educators focusing on the interdependence of Mindfulness, Restorative Practices, Equity, and Trauma Informed Practices. When colleagues asked her to share what she was doing in her classroom that made students want to be there, she agreed. Leading workshops, seminars, and courses for educators, she eventually started the graduate certificate program in Holistic Restorative Education at Saint Michael's College. A deep love for teachers and students and faith in the inherent goodness of our true nature drives her work. She currently serves locally and nationally as lead consultant of True Nature Teaching in Vermont, coordinator and instructor of the Holistic Restorative Education Certification Program at Saint Michael’s College, co-founder of Partners in Restorative Change, and more.
Workshop C - SoulCollage® Workshop: Creative Collage to Promote Well-Being
Presenter: Carolyn Tatlock, School Counselor, Monkton Central School
Let your art and soul out to play! SoulCollage® is an easy, creative, and fun process of using your intuition and imagination to create collaged cards, made from simple materials: magazine images, scissors, glue, and cardstock. It is a process that is truly accessible to everyone, even people who believe they have no artistic ability, and it allows for easy, artful self-expression.
• Create collaged cards that are meaningful to you
• Explore a creative process for self-discovery, acceptance, and personal empowerment
• Share in an inclusive, diverse, and cooperative community for mutual encouragement
SoulCollage® is for everyone because it meets people wherever they are on this journey called life! No one has to be an artist in order to make SoulCollage® cards and have the satisfaction of meaningful creativity. No experience is necessary. Limit of 25 participants. All materials provided. Optional: Bring a "unique to you" magazine with images to donate for another SoulCollage® workshop.
Carolyn Tatlock, MS (she/her) Monkton School Counselor, Mentoring Coordinator, and SoulCollage® Facilitator
Carolyn has been a Vermont School Counselor for 27 years and is an experienced PBIS Coordinator at the Universal, Targeted, and Intensive levels in two schools. Carolyn became a licensed SoulCollage® Facilitator in February 2022 and is delighted to share this creative and fun process with other educators for the purpose of supporting self-care and well-being through creativity and social connection.
Workshop D - Practicing Self-Compassion
Presenter: Rebecca Lallier
Self-compassion means treating yourself as you would treat a dear friend: with care, understanding, and comfort rather than harsh judgment. It helps us feel less isolated and allows us to “be” with painful feelings rather than suppressing or over-identifying with them. Mindful self-compassion is solidly supported by research and is linked to well-being, coping and resilience, motivation, healthier behaviors, and improved relationships. Please come join us as we explore self-compassionate practices that you can use in difficult moments, when you can grab a few minutes, or when you’re able to set aside time for yourself.
All are welcome
Rebecca Lallier 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 helping schools and teams center equity for all students, create relational trust, build on strengths, and solve problems to increase fidelity of PBIS implementation. Rebecca is especially interested in how PBIS, SEL, adult well-being and resilience, and positive school culture and climate support and strengthen one another.
CANCELLED! Workshop E - Getting To "Y": Youth Bring Meaning to their Own Survey Data
Presenter: Sharon Koller and youth co-facilitator
In this workshop, participants will learn about UP for Learning's Getting to 'Y' program, in which youth and adult teams are trained in bringing meaning to their local health and well-being data. Students analyze Youth Risk Behavior Survey data or their school's Student Climate Survey data, identify strengths and concerns, engage with their community and take action to improve student well-being. In addition to generating school and community awareness and concrete interventions about what matters to youth, participating students consistently remark on how the experience helps them better understand their community, increases their confidence as leaders and empowers them to make positive change in their schools.
Youth are the experts in their own experiences. By putting data (normally seen only by adults) in their hands, they feel empowered to examine the causes of risky behavior in their communities and to discuss them with their peers and the adults in their lives. Youth see firsthand how they can play a role in making positive changes by taking action.
Individuals or teams from elementary, middle, and high schools (teachers, administrators, and staff).
Sharon has been the Coordinator of the Getting to ‘Y’ program (GTY) since 2017, supporting school teams in Vermont, New Hampshire and Oklahoma as they implement GTY. Sharon started her career as a licensed therapist working in community mental health and later became deeply involved in schools by serving on governance boards, volunteering in classrooms, and by implementing student engagement and leadership initiatives. Before joining UP for Learning, Sharon worked as a Student Assistance Program counselor, providing mental health and substance use prevention, screening and intervention services, and also advising leadership clubs, including GTY.
Workshop F - Utilizing De-Escalation Strategies to Maintain Least Restrictive Environments
Presenter: Evan Sivo
This workshop will highlight various strategies for de-escalating students. Participants will learn about CVSD's ATLAS Program and how this program has created an opportunity for students to remain in their home school community, avoiding out-of-school placements. Participants will learn that every stage of the Escalation/Crisis Cycle is an opportunity. Utilizing the right tool(s) can prevent further escalations and protect the dignity of the student we are working with. A key component within de-escalation is the goal to improve our relationship with our students by using the least restrictive interventions first.
• Learn several strategies to de-escalate students by understanding the different stages in the Escalation/Crisis Cycle;
• Identify proactive and preventative strategies that can be implemented by every provider in the school building and used with all students;
• Examine ways to improve relationships with students that exhibit challenging behaviors;
• Explore ways to create safe environments that frontload interventions to break the cycle before it begins.
All are welcome
Evan Sivo is the Coordinator of the ATLAS Program for the Champlain Valley School District (CVSD). Evan is a licensed special educator and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Over the past 13 years, Evan has worked as a behavior interventionist (BI) within Howard Center's INCLUSION Program, a classroom teacher at the Baird School, and a special educator at Hinesburg Community School. Evan enjoys consulting and supporting school teams in developing high-quality programming for students with significant social-emotional and behavioral challenges.
Workshop G - Using PBIS Data to Work Smarter, Not Harder
Presenter: Sherry Schoenberg
A Vermont educator recently stated – “This year feels like being handed a tiny shovel to dig out a big hole and then being given two more shovels to dig even more with just one set of hands!” If you are a member of a team that implements PBIS at your school, this workshop will help you use the right tools at the right time. Using data in this way will help you to prioritize the smallest things you can change for the greatest impact.
In this workshop, participants will learn to:
• Identify specific goals for change;
• Use PBIS fidelity data to develop do-able action steps;
• Explore various data sources for problem-solving across the tiers (School-wide, Individual Student, etc.);
• Use a problem-solving process to address behavior concerns.
VTPBIS SU/SD and school coordinators and VTPBIS school team members
Sherry Schoenberg is the retired director of the Vermont BEST Project, which provides training and technical assistance to help Vermont schools address the needs of students who are at risk of or who have emotional and behavioral challenges. A significant focus of the BEST Project is the planning and implementation of PBIS. Sherry is a VTPBIS trainer at all levels and has provided technical assistance on PBIS to Vermont schools since 2007. Areas of interest include systems development to support effective practices, integration of mental health within PBIS, and the efficient use of data for decision-making.
Workshop H - Building Relational Trust, Safety, and Connection Through Play
Presenter: Howard Moody
Students learn best when they feel safe and connected. One of the best ways to create connection is through engaged, well-led social play experiences. Energizers, cooperative games, improv theater games, and active play can be interwoven throughout the educational process. Play is also an active and real way for students to feel and express their joy and it is also a remarkable tool for emotional regulation and learning effective social skills.
In this workshop, participants will:
• Experience together, by actively engaging in play, what it feels like to be connected and feel safe within social play experiences;
• Learn concrete skills of effective play leadership;
• Learn how to lead games successfully in a variety of settings and with different groups of students;
• Explore a variety of ways that play supports restorative justice practices
Any educators of all age groups.
Howard Moody has been facilitating workshops for over 25 years with an emphasis on play, connection, and engagement. Howard has been a faculty member at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies for over 20 years and he is the co-founder of The Adventure Game Theater, an extraordinary improvisational learning process for teens that has been featured on PBS and NPR.
Howard is also a certified Advanced Trainer for The Nurtured Heart Approach and has recently completed a book, Nurtured Heart Play in collaboration with Howard Glasser, the founder of the Nurtured Heart Approach. Howard has also recently self-published The Heart of Play Games Manual, Over 200 Activities for Connection and Joy, which focuses on bringing Social Emotional Learning and Mindfulness into the practice of leading games.
CANCELLED! Workshop I - Building a Movement for Ethnic Studies and Education Justice in Vermont
Presenters: Kayla Arena-Giron, Alyssa Chen, and Amanda Garces
In this workshop, we will discuss what a movement for ethnic studies and education justice looks like in Vermont and how that connects to the implementation of Act 1. We will be sharing tools, resources, and stories about how youth and adults can collaborate to use their voice to organize around ethnic studies and education justice in the state. This workshop will be an interactive opportunity for individuals to discuss their hopes around the implementation of ethnic studies and social equity standards.
• Understand what Act 1 is, including what ethnic studies and social equity looks like in schools;
• Explore themes of youth-led organizing and youth and adult collaboration around ethnic studies and justice in a general sense and in regards to the implementation of Act 1;
• Develop goals and aspirations in regards to the implementation of ethnic studies and social equity standards.
This workshop is open to both individuals and teams. We plan to make the workshop accessible to students and staff of all ages and experiences.
Alyssa Chen (she/her) is the Coordinator at the Education Justice Coalition of Vermont. Before becoming an organizer with the EdJ Coalition, Alyssa worked in alternative high schools in Vermont and California. Alyssa is excited to be in Vermont growing an education justice movement and exploring the outdoors.
Kayla Arena-Giron (she/her) is the Education Justice Organizer at the Education Justice Coalition of Vermont. Kayla's passion is working towards ending injustice and helping to transform schools across the state into equitable spaces where all students can thrive. Kayla has experience working in the Pre-K through 12 school system, advocating for change on state and federal levels, and community and youth organizing. Outside of the EdJ Coalition, Kayla is currently pursuing her M.S. in Equity and Diversity in Education from University of Nevada, Reno. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and eating her way through Vermont.
Amanda Lucía Garcés joined the Vermont Human Rights Commission in December 2019. Prior to joining us, she was a consultant and speaker committed to education equity and human rights. Amanda moved to Vermont in 2017 and founded the Education Justice Coalition of Vermont, bringing together people from various racial and ethnic groups, disability rights and LGBTQIA+ advocates. The Coalition was a leader in drafting language and working with legislators and other stakeholders to pass Act 1, relating to the ethnic studies and social equity working group. Amanda comes to Vermont via New Jersey, Los Angeles, and Arizona where she worked in organizing around immigrant rights, border issues and against the proliferation of private prisons. A proud Colombian immigrant, Amanda believes in the power of narrative; while in Los Angeles, she co-founded the World Summit Award-winning Mobile Voices Project, an open source storytelling platform for day laborers and household workers to tell their own stories from their cell phones. Her most inspiring and thoughtful teachers have been the immigrant workers with whom she spent the past decades organizing with.
Workshop J - Integrated Intensive Intervention
Presenter: Brandi Simonsen
In this workshop, participants will:
• Learn core practice features of effective, research-based intensive intervention to support students’ social, emotional, behavioral, and academic growth in the classroom;
• Consider core data and systems features to support implementation (e.g., integrated assessment, integrated teaming structures);
• View examples and tools to support integrated intensive intervention planning; and
• Consider applications of integrated intensive intervention with their own students.
Specifically, after attending this strand, participants will be able to:
• Describe core practice features of effective, research-based intensive intervention to support students’ social, emotional, behavioral, and academic growth in the classroom.
• Identify core data and systems features to support implementation.
• Discuss examples and tools to support integrated intensive intervention planning.
• Consider applications of integrated intensive intervention with their own students.
Educators who support intensive social, emotional, and behavioral intervention within their own settings and want to consider strategies to integrate intensive SEB and academic intervention.
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 K - Team Building for Leaders
Presenter: Jen McKusick
Team building activities provide a low-stakes opportunity for educators to communicate, build relational trust, and provide meaningful feedback. These activities provide practice for teams to strengthen communication and collaborative skills that they can later draw on when the team is facing more challenging decisions or situations. Team building activities are effective strategies leaders can use to create and ensure nurturing environments for their staff.
Team building activities build communication and trust amongst participants. As educators, we need to practice participating in activities that give us opportunities to connect with others and reflect on our role in a team environment. With effective facilitation, these simple activities give rise to individual voices and allow teams to reflect on their practice in a non-threatening manner. This workshop will give participants the opportunity to engage in energizing activities that are not only fun, but useful in building the social-emotional learning of their school teams and building a nurturing school culture..
• Participants will learn about the importance of effective teams and their positive impact on school culture;
• Participants will make connections between the core components of MTSS, PBIS, and effective leadership teams;
• Participants will understand the impact of effective teams on the social-emotional well being of staff and students;
• Participants will participate in team-building activities they may implement in their own districts or schools;
• Participants will deepen their understanding of the importance of communication and relational trust.
Instructional Leaders (any individual leading a team of adults). Participation is limited to 20 individuals.
Jen McKusick is an Implementation Coach and Trainer for Vermont PBIS. She has been working in Vermont Public Schools since 2001 as a classroom teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal and now as a Director of Curriculum and Instruction. Jen holds an undergraduate
degree in Elementary and Middle School Education, a masters in Public Administration, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership. She has training and experience as a PBIS Coordinator, instructional coach and mentor to both teachers and principals. Jen is
passionate about building a strong, equitable school culture that supports students and staff. Her expertise is in leadership coaching and systems change for creating positive school communities.
Workshop L - Educational Support Team (EST) Plan Templates - Information and Guidance
Presenter: Tom Faris, VT Agency of Education
The presenter will share information about new Agency of Education (AOE) templates for EST plans, including how and why these were developed. Participants will discuss how the templates may be applied in their ESTs. Participants will understand the rationale for the components of the EST templates. Participants will be able to apply the use of templates to the completion of EST data requested from the AOE.
This workshop would be appropriate for EST coordinators, MTSS coordinators, EST members, administrators with EST oversight, and instructional staff who may make EST referrals.
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.
CANCELLED! Workshop M - Celebrate and Plan for Improvement in your PBIS implementation with Learning Walks
Presenter: Kym Asam
PBIS has evolved considerably over the last several years and understanding all the changes can be overwhelming. PBIS Learning Walks can assist schools in advancing their PBIS implementation efforts. The process is anchored to the Tiered Fidelity Inventory (TFI) and provides an opportunity for the VTPBIS team members to engage local school leaders and their PBIS team in a comprehensive, on-site procedure. This is a non-evaluative process that allows for mutual discovery about the strengths and challenges of the fidelity of your implementation and, since BEST team members are outside observers, there is increased objectivity in reviewing current implementation practices. A thorough write-up is completed that allows the PBIS team to develop an action plan for sustaining successful practices as well as identifying core elements that would benefit from further development.
• Examine the details of the Learning Walk process;
• Review the tools associated with the process;
• Understand the potential outcomes and benefits of the exercise; and
• Engage in reflection on current PBIS practices.
PBIS School and SU/SD Coordinators
Kym Asam is an Implementation Coach and Trainer for Vermont PBIS. She has practiced as a licensed independent clinical social worker since 1992 and in addition to direct work with clients, providing clinical supervision to multiple staff, and consultation to schools on complicated emotional/behavioral student needs, Kym has conducted numerous trainings for school personnel, both in and out of the state of Vermont. She is designated as an ARC (Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competency) trainer for the state of Vermont and works with multiple SUs and districts on developing trauma-responsive practices, policies, and procedures. She is in the process of being certified in the Neuro-Sequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) and has extensive training in multiple, evidence-based methods for working with and treating children and adults who have experienced developmental trauma.
Workshop N - Family Engagement - Building Effective Two-Way Communication
Presenter: Nancy Hellen
By hearing from a panel of family liaisons and family members, participants will learn strategies/practices and problem-solving methods focused on authentic communication of family engagement. Using elements from the Family Engagement Toolkit and Self-Assessment Core Principle 2: Building Effective Two-Way Communication, panelists will focus on communication across roles and culturally-proficient communication.
Family and Community Engagement staff, family members, administrators
Nancy began her work at the Agency of Education as a Title I Educational Consultant for the Federal Programs Team with an emphasis on Parent and Family Engagement. In 2018 she joined the Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) Team and continues to focus on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement as well as on trauma-informed practice and resiliency. She previously served in Vermont schools as an elementary teacher and toured Vermont as a puppeteer with Puppets in Education.
Workshop O - Implementing an Assets-Based Growth Model for Equitable VTmtss
Presenter: Audrey Richardson, NEXIS Program Coordinator
This workshop will provide the framing and resources necessary to leverage the assets and identify areas for growth for the effective and sustainable implementation of VTmtss. Education leaders and teachers are focusing more energy than ever on building equitable systems, but it is not an easy task and it requires new ways of approaching systems design, as well as an immense amount of bravery in order to recognize and dismantle systems that are not meeting the needs of all students. This workshop will provide leaders and coordinators with the improvement science theory (including Plan, Do, Study, Act Cycles), helpful tools, and capacity building techniques needed to implement VTmtss with fidelity in support of all learners.
This topic inspires passion in education because it positions VTmtss as a liberator framework that supports all students’ right to learn and be supported by a fully functioning system. In addition, we will look closely at what equity really means in systems implementation and how leaders and coordinators can engage their faculty, staff, and families in this work. Participants in this workshop will receive tools and coaching on how to engage these stakeholders in decision making and action steps that move their VTmtss implementation forward from whatever point it is at. This session is all about the long game of VTmtss and recognizing the invaluable roles robust stakeholder knowledge base, aligned district vision, and consistent iteration plays when building a VTmtss system that promotes student learning and growth. As the coordinator of PLL'S NEXIS program, our work is centered on leading teams through the improvement cycle process on both large and small scales and this workshop will help schools start this work on their own. We have both school exemplars and actionable resources to share!
Leaders, curriculum coordinators, MTSS coordinators, teacher leaders, and coaches. This strand would be suitable for anyone who is a part of VTmtss decision making.
Audrey Richardson, MA., has been an educator for over 15 years as a high school English Teacher, literacy interventionist and literacy coach in Woodstock, Vermont. Currently, Audrey is a Ph.D candidate at UVM in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program hoping to graduate in the Spring of 2022. Audrey’s central focus, in both her research and work with PLL, is the implementation of equitable systems that support literacy learning for ALL students. As PLL’s NEXIS coordinator Audrey is committed to bringing education stakeholders together from around the state to engage in actionable literacy change. Audrey lives in Taftsville, Vermont with her dairy farmer husband and two daughters.