Special Education Conference 2018

Supporting inclusive practices for students with disabilities

Our 2018 Special Education Conference was held on Saturday, April 21st, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Hayfield Secondary School, 7630 Telegraph Rd, Alexandria, VA 22315.

Contact: FCPS Parent Resource Center (703) 204-3941

Conference Schedule

Time Event
8:00 – 8:30 am Registration
8:30 – 9:15 am Opening Remarks - Auditorium
9:15 – 10:30 am Keynote Presentation -  Auditorium
10:30 am – 10:45 am Break
10:30 – 2:00 pm Exhibit Hall Opens - High School Cafeteria
10:45 – 11:45 pm Session 1
11:45 - 12:45 pm Lunch Break - Middle School Cafeteria 
Book Sales & Book Signing - Middle School Cafeteria
Exhibit Hall - High School Cafeteria
12:45 - 1:45 pm Session 2
1:45 – 2:00 pm Break
2:00 pm Exhibit Hall Closes
2:00 – 3:00 pm Session 3

Keynote Session (9:15 am - 10:30 am)

Dr. Pamela Mims
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Pamela Mims

Using Evidence to Guide Practice: Justifying Inclusion for All. 
Dr. Pamela Mims, East Tennessee State University

Please join us for the keynote session to learn more about justifying inclusion for all students. The Philosophy of Least Dangerous Assumption, coupled with evidence-based practices, data collection, and data-based decision making, has provided a model for meaningful inclusion of students with a wide range of disabilities in the general education curriculum and classroom. New research on providing accessible grade aligned content has highlighted prior expectations which have shown that all too often an inadvertent glass ceiling has been placed on the achievement of students with disabilities. By promoting high expectations and the use of evidence-based practices, we can see how capable students with disabilities can truly be, as well as providing an opportunity to increase quality of life for all students.

Dr. Pamela Mims is an Associate Professor of Special Education, as well as Associate Dean of Research and Grants in the College of Education, at East Tennessee State University. She teaches graduate and undergraduate special education courses focused on severe disabilities. She taught middle grades for 7 years in a classroom for students with profound, multiple disabilities and autism. She earned her Undergraduate degree in Special Education at East Carolina University, her Master’s degree in Severe Disabilities at Western Carolina University, and a PhD in Special Education with a focus on Severe Disabilities at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. Her research interests include: (a) examining the use of systematic instruction strategies for supporting inclusive practices and providing access to the general curriculum for students with low incidence disabilities, (b) examining the use of technology to promote access to the general curriculum, and (c) implementation of data based decisions in the classroom. Dr. Mims has authored several curricula focused on using evidence-based practices to promote access to grade aligned ELA and early literacy skills. 

Guest Speakers

Dr. Lisa Bateman
Dr. Lisa Bateman

Dr. Lisa Bateman is a licensed clinical psychologist in Virginia. She earned her Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of South Florida. Her primary research while at USF focused on life satisfaction of youth with symptoms of ADHD. She specializes in the use of cognitive-behavioral therapy with exposure and response prevention to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder, as well as other primary anxiety disorders. Dr. Bateman has experience in providing academic, behavioral, and mental health interventions in elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as providing family-based behavioral and therapeutic interventions in home-based and clinic settings. Dr. Bateman has also provided comprehensive psychological services for autism spectrum disorders, mood disorders, and other psychological conditions.
Kirk Martin

Kirk Martin
Kirk Martin


Kirk Martin, Celebrate Calm Founder, has given over 600,000 parents and teachers in 19 countries very specific, practical strategies to stop power struggles, yelling, and defiance in strong-willed children. Kirk has experience helping children with ASD, ADHD, OCD, ODD, anxiety and attachment disorders. Based on over a decade of work with 1,500 challenging kids that he has invited into his home, and years spent in classrooms, Kirk's approach is practical, honest, and funny! 

Robin Moyher
Robin Moyher


Robin Moyher, Ph D, BCBA, LBA is the Assistant Director at the Mason LIFE Program at George Mason University. Before this position she held numerous positions in Fairfax County Public Schools, as well as private ABA therapy and Adapted Tae Kwon Do. Her research interests include sex education, social skills, and independent living skills for young adults with disabilities. 



Breakout Sessions

Session 1 (10:45 am - 11:45 am)

Assistive Technology Ambassadors Panel
Mollie Kropp and Jen Fier
(All Grades)
In this session, the Assistive Technology Ambassadors will lead a panel discussion in which they share their experiences using assistive technology and discuss their involvement in an advocacy project. Participants will be provided an overview of the Assistive Technology Ambassadors program. AT Ambassadors will describe how they serve as role models for other students who use assistive technology. A component of this session will include Q & A with the audience.

Best Practices for Educating Students with High Functioning Autism: Prek-1
Patti Page
(All Grades)
This session provides an overview of Autism Spectrum Disorder (High Functioning Autism) including characteristics and academic/instructional supports.

Building Connections: Neutralizing the Impact of Trauma Exposure and Toxic Stress on Student Success
Kelly Henderson and Shannon Hailer
(All Grades)
This session will provide parents, caregivers, teachers and other caring adults the opportunity to learn a practical three-step approach to connect with children and youth who have challenging and concerning behavior to build competency and resiliency. Students need to develop skills around the qualities of resiliency, communication, and collaboration to successfully meet the Portrait of a Graduate vision in Fairfax County Public Schools. Children and youth who have experienced challenges often require extra support to master these critical skills.

Building Independence in Students Following an Adapted Curriculum
Moniera Chi
(All Grades)
This session will provide strategies for fostering independence in students following an adapted curriculum.  Topics will include the use of task analysis, reinforcement, and prompt/prompt fading for setting goals to promote independence.

Calm 24/7: Stop Yelling, Lecturing and Reacting
Kirk Martin (Guest Speaker)
(All Grades)
Do you want to finally stop yelling and lecturing? Would you like calm children? At this workshop you will learn specific, concrete strategies to stop yelling and calm your kids down. You will walk away with 10 tools to prepare your kids to participate and learn at home and in inclusive educational settings.

Career Assessment: A Valuable Resource for Transition Planning
Lisa Rahman and Jean Allen
In this session Career Assessment presenters will provide useful information which is integral to effective transition planning and self-determination. Participants will explore options that are available in FCPS, how to get the most out of the service, and how to use the information for effective career planning.

Developing Inclusive Programs in Schools
Jennifer Kruzynski, Allison Neun and Aki Goto
(All Grades)
Robinson Secondary School's Partnership class and club will present how their programs create an inclusive school culture, cultivate acceptance, and spread awareness throughout the school, community, and even globally. Participants will learn about highlighted events such as Fan Quest, Day Prom, Foundations Graduation, and more.  Come and ask questions and learn how to create an inclusive program at your school.

Diploma Options for Students with Disabilities
Darrell Sampson, Ellen Agosta, Andrew Guillen and Mary Lewis
(Elementary and Secondary)
Participants will learn the various diploma options available to students with disabilities.  A focus will be given to the use of credit accommodations, as well as the new requirements for ninth graders entering in 2018-19 and beyond.

Ed Puzzle: Engage and Educate Students through Video
Meaghan Tracy
(Elementary and Secondary)
Ed Puzzle is an online assessment tool that allows educators to create interactive online videos by embedding either open-ended or multiple-choice questions, audio notes, audio tracks, or comments on a video.  Teachers can share video lessons with their students and review student understanding and participation. This tool reinforces accountability for watching videos, while enabling self-paced learning and encouraging students to be active and reactive viewers. 

From Parents for Parents: Tips for Successful Transitions
Rachna Sizemore Heizer, Brianne Russell-Morris and Toby Latham
(All Grades)
Transitioning a child from one level of school to another can involve additional challenges and planning to help a child adjust to a new atmosphere and changed expectations of independence, behavior, academics, and organization. Proactive planning and support can go a long way to helping your child effectively transition and thrive in their new school environment. Come to this session to learn tips and strategies from a panel of parents who have recently helped their children successfully transition from Child Find to Preschool, from Preschool to Elementary School, and from Elementary School to Middle School, and from Middle School to High School. 

Generalizing Behavior within Inclusive Settings
Sarah Korfonta, Katie Boxer and Laurie Hilton
(All Grades)
Participants will review common challenging behaviors that occur in inclusive settings and learn strategies to support behavior. In this session there will be a focus on data collection across various settings and how to make data-based decisions for generalizing interventions.

Inclusion Models for Literacy Instruction
Norma Gordon and Tracy Price
During this session participants will learn about varied instructional models in general and special education settings for literacy instruction. A variety of evidence-based reading programs will be discussed, as well as general education reading instruction and strategies.  

Introduction to Mindfulness Practices to Promote Stress Reduction
Elyse Cooner
(All Grades)
This session provides an introduction to mindfulness as a way to reduce stress, alleviate anxiety, and optimize general well-being. These mindfulness practices are beneficial for children (K-12) and adults. 

Maximizing Productivity While Decreasing Stress
Nancy Chang
(Elementary and Secondary)
This session will focus on executive functioning skills, as well as relaxation and mindfulness. Participants will be provided with strategies to support anyone working with students who have ADHD, difficulties with executive functioning skills, and/or managing emotions and stress. Strategy cards will be provided for all participants.

Parents as Partners in Your Child's IEP
Jane Strong and Angelina Prestipino
(All Grades)
Students with disabilities benefit and achieve greater performance when their parents and school teams collaborate. This session provides strategies for parents and staff to use that help overcome communication barriers while working through the annual IEP process.

Portrait of an ADHD Graduate: Harnessing Your Superpowers
Patricia M Hudak and Pam Barton
(All Grades)
This session will focus on ways parents and teachers can join forces to support students diagnosed with ADHD.  Topics will include developing strategies to compensate for executive functioning deficiencies and identifying unique strengths and attributes that can be harnessed to move the “model student” to becoming a “model citizen”.

Read 20 Minutes: Building Your Toolbox to Create Positive Reading Experiences
Melissa Johnson and Dottie Skrincosky
Read 20 minutes is commonly assigned as homework at the elementary school level.  In this session participants will explore ways to support students at home. Strategies will be discussed to build reading stamina and independence, how to set a purpose for reading, and to explore various tools to support reading widely across genres.  

Social Skills and Adaptive Training for Students on the Autism Spectrum
Sajjad A. Khan
(Elementary and Secondary)
This session will focus on inclusion-based practices that help children with Autism learn appropriate social skills. Participants will engage in a discussion of developmental challenges that inhibit social learning, strategies to improve conversation skills, recognition of non-verbal communication, and problem solving in social settings.

Tips from Twice Exceptional (2e) Parents
Laura Baker Diane Cooper-Gould, Michelle Cades, Deb Discenza and Janet Bradford
This session will feature a panel of parents who will discuss options and best tips for gifted students with disabilities in middle and high school programs.

Understanding and Molding your Preschool Child's Behavior
Erin Snell and Molly Ozga
During this session, presenters will share activities and strategies used in the early childhood special education classroom and at home to support behavior needs in preschoolers.  Participants will learn about basic behavior interventions, direct behavior/social skills instruction and intensive behavioral support to manage behavior in preschool age children.  Come to this session to learn new ways to support behavior in the home and community environment.

Visual Strategies to Support Non-Verbal Students
Colleen Kalamajka and Ashley Kiley
(All Grades)
Are you looking for strategies to help your student or child with complex communication needs?  Participants in this session will receive information about why visuals could help in the home and how to use them. Visual supports and resources that could help with communication, routines, and transitions will be provided.

Session 2 (12:45 pm - 1:45 pm)

Accessing State Required Assessment
Katie Baxter-Gagen and Debbie Miller
(Elementary and Secondary)
The Virginia Assessment Options session will provide participants with valuable information regarding the following topics: state assessment options including alternate and alternative assessments for students with disabilities, access to state assessments using accommodations, and implications of assessments on graduation. 

Beyond The School Day: Access to After School and Extracurricular Activities
Dawn Schaefer, Cameron Hibshman and Bill Curran
(Elementary and Secondary)
This session will cover the requirements for providing access to after school and extracurricular activities for students who are eligible for special education and Section 504. Participants will gain an understanding of how to navigate requests for accommodations and access for students and ways to address students' needs in these environments.

Building Healthy Relationships
Robin Moyher (Guest Speaker) and Laura Freeman
(Elementary and Secondary)
Navigating the social world is hard and it can be extremely difficult for children and teenagers with disabilities. This social inclusion session will provide information and strategies to help your child/teenager build healthy relationships in the social world. Highlighted topics include strategies to help teach your child/teenager build healthy relationships with family, friends, and in the community.  

Building Skills for Success in Physical Education
Phyllis Orner, Manda Krimmer and Christy Sloan
(All Grades
During this session, participants will learn about the importance of physical activity for all students and how to support skill development at home, especially for students with low incidence disabilities. Participants will leave with ideas for fun, simple activities they can enjoy as a family and resources for recreational opportunities within the community.      

Due Process and Eligibility: Procedural Safeguards and Parental Rights
Lourrie Duddridge
(All Grades)
This session will provide participants an overview of the procedural safeguards. The special education process and related timelines will be reviewed as well as discussing parental rights at each stage.    

Dyslexia for a Day Simulation
Elin Paier
(All Grades)
Are you the parent or educator of a child with dyslexia?  Have you found yourself wondering what individuals with dyslexia experience during the reading or writing process?  This session provides a highly rated simulation which offers similar frustrations and feelings through targeted reading and writing tasks to help participants gain a better understanding of and empathy for children and adults who struggle with dyslexia.      

Embracing and Loving the Interests of Preschool Boys
Heather Temple, Anne Buttarazzi, Pam Thomas and Erin Snell
Karate Chop! Bad guy! Life with a preschool boy can be very active and filled with surprises. During this session participants will learn to create an environment that embraces the physical movement of boys and provide activities and strategies to accommodate their classroom and home needs.    

Embracing Neurodiversity: How to Develop an Inclusive Culture and Community through Utilizing Strengths
Based Strategies-Kelly K. Brady and Rachna Sizemore Heizer
(All Grades)
Neurodiversity means an inclusive school culture that embraces the diversity in mental as well as physical being, embracing both as part of the “norm” of human experience. This session will provide strategies on how to create a neurodiverse school culture, creating meaningful, strengths-based inclusion with an ability focused mindset.  Strategies will be shared on how to develop inclusive opportunities tailored to a student’s interest and ability to ensure the student is included in a productive and meaningful way. Conversations will focus on how to create opportunities for social and academic inclusion to maximize the benefits of inclusion. Studies show an inclusive school environment benefits students with and without disabilities. Inclusion gives all students the chance to develop the social, emotional, academic, and communication skills needed to be successful in a diverse 21st century workplace and society. 

Evidence-Based Practices for Students Accessing the Adapted Curriculum
Jugnu Agrawal and Aimee So
(Elementary and Secondary)
In this session participants will be provided information about current evidence-based programs implemented in FCPS for instruction of students accessing the adapted curriculum in K-12 settings. Evidence-based practices for reading, math, science and social skills programs will be shared.  

FCPS At-A-Glance for Preservice Teachers
Michele Costello, Melissa Hicks, Lena Cohen and Nicola Williams
(All Grades)
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is a great place to work!  This session invites preservice teachers to come and learn more about the advantages of working in FCPS, the resources available to novice teachers, and living in the Northern Virginia area.  We look forward to seeing you!    

Fostering Independence in the Home
Chrystal Foster
(All Grades)
Participants will learn strategies to support your child in their development of independent skills essential for success in life. 

Google Suite for Education in FCPS
Jeff Sisk
(All Grades)
Google's Suite for Education offers an assortment of technology tools that are commonly used in Fairfax County Public Schools.  This session provides a brief overview of Google tools commonly accessed in FCPS classrooms.   Participants will explore and discuss strategies for their instructional use. 

Home Speak Home
Julie West
(Preschool and Elementary)
Communication devices can be intimidating. This session is intended to help parents develop a plan for device use at home, as well as strategies for modeling language to their child on the communication device.     

I Can Read That!
Diana Ree-Reeder and Karen Burke
In this session, participants will explore how to access reading supports and built-in features on mobile devices.  Learn more about iPad and Android devices to support readers through free apps available such as Kindle, Overdrive, Libby, and Natural Reader.  Accessibility features within the Chrome browser will also be shared. 

Increasing Family Engagement and Inclusion at Your School
Joanne Walton and Diane Cooper-Gould
(All Grades)
Participants are invited to join members of the newly formed Fairfax County Special Education Parent Teacher Association (PTA) to learn about ways to support your school's efforts at engaging families and promoting inclusive practices.

Multisensory Techniques to Make Learning Stick!
Dorothy Skrincosky and Tracy Puckett
Multisensory instruction is a critical component of the Orton-Gillingham approach, which can be beneficial for struggling students, including those with dyslexia. Participants who attend this session will learn some active, multisensory techniques for improving decoding, encoding, recall, and other reading skills.  

Parenting Your Teen While Keeping Your Sanity Intact!
Michele Tureaud
This session offers information on current brain research to help parents understand and appreciate the evolving person beneath a sullen teenager. Tools and strategies will be provided on how to approach common adolescent behavior challenges such as rebellion/challenging authority, defying curfew, school problems, risk-taking behavior, choice of peer group, and experimentation with drugs/alcohol.     

Pensive Popeye: Executive Functioning Strong
Danielle Armstrong
This session will focus on strategies to support executive functioning. Participants will be able to identify the eight functions that comprise executive functions, to include planning, prioritizing, organizing, task initiation, emotion regulation, impulse control, and flexible thinking. Participants will be provided with tools to assess specific areas of weakness and be able to identify a minimum of five strategies or activities to support the various areas of executive functioning.  

Providing Meaningful Grade Aligned English/Language Arts (ELA) Content to All
Pamela Mims (Keynote Speaker)
(All Grades)
Students with intellectual disabilities and autism have been underexposed to grade aligned English/Language Arts (ELA) content, including literacy. This session highlights research to guide participants’ practice in implementing meaningful grade aligned ELA content such as vocabulary, opinion writing, comprehension of fiction and nonfiction text, and student led research for students with low incidence disabilities. A presentation of evidence-based practices such as the use of technology, grade aligned adapted fiction and nonfiction text, and systematic instruction will be featured, as well as ways to promote personalized learning in the classroom.    

Reaching Every Child: Differentiation in the Preschool Classroom
Chrissy Roehm and Christie Johnson
Make the most of your preschool day! Join us to explore ways to differentiate and accommodate every child in your classroom by examining environment, expectations, materials and teaching strategies.     

Restorative Justice in FCPS: An Alternative to Traditional Discipline
Vickie Shoap
(All Grades)
This session will provide an overview of Restorative Justice (RJ) services available in all Fairfax County Public Schools. An RJ process is an alternative to traditional discipline and is modified as needed by highly trained and skilled facilitators to ensure that special needs students are given the opportunity to fully participate. RJ practices are also utilized for relationship building in the classroom, escalating conflict and teaching social skills.    

Using Videos and Multimedia Content in Group Counseling
Jill Priesmeyer and Averlyn Mayers
(Elementary and Secondary)
Come to this session to learn creative ways in which clinical staff use video clips from popular movies and TV shows to engage students in group lessons. Participants will learn how to make social skills and counseling groups more effective and meaningful for positive student outcomes. 

Work Based Learning: Connecting the Classroom to Adult Life
Sue Eaton
Work-based learning (WBL) provides students with a continuum of career related experiences that support their career goals and prepares them for education and employment beyond high school. In partnership with businesses and community organizations, WBL extends the classroom into the workplace, transforming acquired knowledge and abilities into the skills that employers are seeking for their workforce. During this session, participants will be provided with an overview of FCPS’ current career awareness, exploration, preparation and training opportunities for special education students through Career and Transition Services (CTS).    

Working with Hard of Hearing and Deaf Students
Anne Marie Aschenbrenner and Kate Adams
(All Grades)
This session will explore the effects of hearing loss on learning in the classroom. Participants will be able to identify the definitions of degree of hearing loss, listening accommodations, and universal supports to improve educational outcomes for students. Demonstrations of Roger assistive listening technology will be included.    

Session 3 (2:00 pm- 3:00 pm)

All about Individual Education Programs (IEP)
Beth Cantu and Jen Krempasky
(All Grades)
This session will provide an overview of the how a student can become eligible for special education. Participants will review various special education procedures from the start of the referral process, through eligibility and IEP development.

Building an Inclusive School Culture
Laura Allen, Stefanie Farhat, Courtney Korb, Shawn McKenna, Guinnevere Parise and Nicole Walker
(All Grades)
Come to this session to learn how about Camelot Elementary School’s journey of working together to build a culture of inclusiveness. Camelot’s process to educate the student body and staff on celebrating differences will be shared.   Learn about the proactive steps taken to create the Camelot Buddy Program, Acceptance Celebration Month, Special Education Parent Roundtables and much more in support of inclusive practices.

Bullying in a Cyber World
Alicia Clarke
(All Grades)
How do we protect our children from bullying in a digital world? Participants will engage in a dialogue on what is bullying and tips educators and parents can utilize to ensure a kind and safe digital environment. 

Co-Teaching: The Basics
Caroline Tuss
(Elementary and Secondary)
This session will review the basic understandings of co-teaching models and explore the competencies that contribute to the co-teaching team and school success. Participants will leave with the skills, knowledge, and behaviors required to be an effective co-teaching team and to support improvement in practice as they co-plan, co-instruct, and co-assess in inclusive settings.

Engineering Your Home Environment to Cultivate Communication
Chrystal Foster
(All Grades)
Participants will learn some easy strategies to engineer the environment to maximize your child's communication. 

Exploring the FCPS Online Dyslexia Handbook
Diane Leipzig and Karen Durocher
(Elementary and Secondary)
In this session, participants will be provided an opportunity to walk through the FCPS online dyslexia handbook which launched in October 2017. Participants will explore sections of the handbook which include: an overview of dyslexia, resources for schools, and a focus on the student.

Happy, Healthy Kids: How Mental Health Interventions Support Student Success
Lisa Bateman (Guest Speaker)
(All Grades)
One in five children and adolescents will experience mental health problems during the K-12 years. Many of these students also have special education needs. These problems are often first identified by parents and teachers, as these issues can directly affect a student’s academic and social functioning. This presentation will focus on the mental health supports that are available in schools both for students with disabilities in general education and their child’s success at school and can best advocate for their children by first building knowledge about identifying and intervening on mental health problems. This presentation will briefly address mental health problems that commonly affect students’ school success in order to equip parents with the knowledge to recognize these problems if and when they first emerge. Next, parents will receive information about the various evidence-based accommodations and interventions that can be provided in the school system to increase success and inclusion of special education students with mental health problems.  

Increasing Inclusion Opportunities for Middle School Students
Sarah Espanol
During this session, participants will learn about ideas and strategies for including all students in afterschool activities. Come and learn about social and sports activities that are held on a regular basis at school in order to improve inclusion opportunities for students with a variety of needs.  

Lights! Camera! Action! Dramatic Play in the Early Childhood Classroom
Christie Johnson and Anne LeMay
In this session, participants will look at a three-tiered approach to incorporate dramatic play into daily classroom activities. Dramatic play is an excellent way to engage students in activities to promote development. Participants will have an opportunity to create dramatic play scenarios with provided materials and to collaborate with other colleagues to develop dramatic play strategies.

Making Handheld Technology Work for You!
Judie Lieberman
Come and explore ways iOS mobile technology can increase independence at home, in the community and on the job. Accessibility features and apps for independence will be explored. Participants are encouraged to bring a personal smart phone or try out apps with technology provided.   

Parenting Inclusively: Raising Children Together With and Without Special Needs
Felicea C. Meyer-DeLoatch and Andrea Bylykbashi
(All Grades)
In this session participants will gain understanding from a child's perspective of living life with a special needs sibling.  Come to this session to learn the difference between parenting fairly verses equitably in a varied needs family.  

Promoting the Development of Executive Functions Skills: Prek-12
Alex Vann and Ashley Enright
(All Grades)
This session will focus on promoting awareness of what executive functions are and how these critical thinking skills are integrated into all aspects of instruction.

Strategies to Promote Successful Transitions from Elementary to Secondary
David Lojkovic, Erin Woodward and Shauna Gardziel
(Elementary and Secondary)
Participants will gain information on how to promote successful transitions from elementary to middle and middle to high school.  Strategies and resources for preparing students for the transition to the secondary level will be shared.

Supporting Students with Hearing Loss in Classrooms
Andrea Cossettini and Sara Sigler
(All Grades)
In this session participants will learn how to best serve students in classrooms who have a hearing loss, when to bring up concerns, and who to contact when you have questions. Get insight into common classroom accommodations and why they are effective.  FCPS audiologists and teachers for the deaf/hard of hearing are available to support students with hearing loss.

The Basics and Benefits of Mindfulness and Yoga
Erin Hurley
(All Grades)
Come and learn creative ways to encourage the practice of mindfulness and yoga at home or in school. The practice of mindfulness and yoga can improve academic focus and decrease anxiety.

The Power of Feedback
Kathy McQuillan and Erin Sylves
(All Grades)
Our choice of words whether as a parent or educator has tremendous power especially when providing feedback to children. In this session participants will explore how positive feedback can be used effectively in the classroom or at home to support our children.

Using Intentional Adapted Read Alouds and Guided Play to Promote Oral Language
Katie Fiese and Megan Shapiro
(Preschool and Elementary)
In this session Early Childhood Special Education teachers will provide information on adapted books, materials, and strategies to promote communication skills (expressive and receptive), social skills, and attending skills. Participants will learn about adapted read-alouds which provide access to early literacy for all students through technology, pictures, tactile objects, and adapted pages. In addition, guided play activities and strategies will be shared.

Wild about Writing!
Alicia Kuehn and Tracy Puckett
(Elementary and Secondary)
Come explore the wonderful world of writing! Participants will discover fun and engaging strategies to support students through the writing process.   

Working Collaboratively with Your School
Cheri Belkowitz
(All Grades)
Come to this session to learn how to effectively advocate for your child in school.  Understand how to prepare for your child's IEP meeting and understand the parts of the IEP document.  Participants will learn how to work cooperatively with school staff to ensure that your child gets a free appropriate public education.  

Food Options

The Special Education Conference will offer free pizza and a bottle of water to conference participants during the lunch break. A few food trucks will be on-site to provide food for purchase during the lunchtime break by Entrance Door # 6, which is located beside the high school cafeteria & exhibit hall. Please check out the food truck menus on website links for more information. Food trucks take cash and credit cards and there is no minimum sales required. These food trucks will be in attendance from 11:00 am-2:00 pm at Hayfield Secondary School by Door #6.

Food Truck Food Selections Website
Buena'Dillas! Globally inspired quesadillas https://www.buenadillas.com/buena-dillas-menu
Feelin' Crabby Regional tradition of blue crab seasoned with Old Bay in varied dishes https://www.buenadillas.com/feelin-crabby-menu
Village Café Sandwiches and Gyros http://www.eatatvillagecafe.com/vcexpress.php