Session Descriptions

Stevan Kukic – Keynote General Session I

Let’s get serious…together! Using a Multi Tier System of Supports (aka RtI) to Achieve Improved Outcomes for ALL students

All of us work throughout our careers to promote higher student achievement. Why is this quest so difficult? We can succeed with an adherence to data-based decisions 100% of the time. The Charter School movement has the potential to discover innovation beyond our wildest dreams.  If we have the collaborative will, we can improve the achievement of ALL our students using a Multi Tier System of Supports.  Let’s get serious…together!


Judy Elliot- Keynote General Session II

RtI: An Every Education Revolution, Putting All the Pieces together in a Partnership 

Dr. Elliott, a nationally recognized expert in Response to Intervention (RtI), will present strategies and techniques on what works as schools begin the adventure of recognizing ways to serve "Every Student" in effective ways.  She will share partnership strategies across schools and with the district.  Dr. Elliott has implemented these strategies with exceptional success in Long Beach, Portland, Oregon and LAUSD. She will share the strategies that can lead to significant improvement when every educator works together with a clear purpose.


 Todd Plate, Brian Bauer and Other Charter Leaders - General Session / Lunch

Saturday Afternoon: A New Deal on Charter Regulations

John Fensterwald of the Educated Guess reports that “Charter schools will have to follow state public records, open meeting, and conflict of interest laws. They will also have to make higher academic gains on standardized tests and serve proportionally the same numbers of special education and low-income students as in the surrounding neighborhood or school district to have their charters renewed. These are among requirements in a trio of bills that mark a meeting of the minds, after long negotiations, between a leading legislator and the primary organization representing charter schools. In a year in which charter advocates have been swatting back a slew of anti-charter legislation, the compromises on the three bills – AB 360, AB 440 and SB 645 – and their likely passage are a notable accomplishment that will serve the long-term interests of the charter movement, according to Jed Wallace, CEO of the California Charter Schools Association.” Panelists will discuss the implications of these bills for the charter community and for California education.


Diann Grimm

Helping Students with Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Thrive in K-6 Classrooms

This workshop will present strategies that elementary educators can easily implement to help students with Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism function and thrive in K-6 general education classrooms. Simple and practical intervention ideas will be presented using real-life classroom examples.  When these strategies are implemented by educators, students on the autism spectrum are likely to experience greater social, emotional and academic success.  

Helping Students with Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Thrive in Secondary Schools

This workshop will present interventions and strategies that promote the inclusion of students with Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism in middle and high school classrooms. Authentic examples will demonstrate how secondary educators can build capability and confidence in supporting the success of fully-included students on the autism spectrum.


Michele Douglass

The Power of Multiple Strategies in Mathematics (Middle Grades)

Exactly, what is number sense? And just why is it so important? This session focuses on key foundational skills that help early learners build a strong foundation of mathematical thinking, flexible problem solving, and a deeper understanding of number sense—which is the number one prerequisite to mathematical success. During the training, participants will build an understanding of the development of number sense, how students learn to compose and decompose numbers, and how to address the learning of facts using multiple strategies.  Hands-on activities will be modeled and shared.

Building mathematical understanding requires both the use of conceptual and procedural knowledge.  The relationship of these types of knowledge is built through students developing in-depth knowledge of a topic.  During this training, participants work through problems using multiple strategies for getting to a solution to understand and discover how understanding multiple strategies develops an in-depth understanding of a topic. Participants will see how “shortcuts” and tricks often create more confusion and misunderstanding and how multiple strategies assist students to correct the issues.   Numerous hands-on activities will be presented, and participants will discuss various alternative strategies that empower students to be successful in higher mathematics.

  Making Sense of Numbers (Elementary)

Exactly, what is number sense? And just why is it so important? This session focuses on key foundational skills that help early learners build a strong foundation of mathematical thinking, flexible problem solving, and a deeper understanding of number sense—which is the number one prerequisite to mathematical success. During the training, participants will build an understanding of the development of number sense, how students learn to compose and decompose numbers, and how to address the learning of facts using multiple strategies.  Hands-on activities will be modeled and shared.

Improving Instruction to Close the Achievement Gap in Math, Grades 3 – 12  

In this session, participants will learn about the common characteristics of low-achieving mathematic students and what the research shows will change the performance levels.  Participants will experience many of the strategies that will assist low performers such as the use of representations, formative assessments, and the building of academic language.  Highly effective instructional strategies will be modeled in the context of curricula and other research based instructional strategies.  Systematic strategies will be shared so participants will leave with a department, school and/or district plan for improving student achievement and tracking progress towards the identified goals.  


Joanne Allain

Literacy in an RtI Context:  What does it Look Like at Our Elementary School?

Response to Instruction and Intervention has the capacity to maximize the potential of all students and teachers.  However, it is not a one size fits all model.  Each school is unique and must develop an RtI literacy plan that reflects the needs and individuality of the students, teachers, and community.  This hands-on working session offers the opportunity to focus on instructional design and implementation of a RtI literacy plan that will be most effective for each school’s unique needs.

Literacy in an RtI Context:  What does it Look Like at Our Middle or High School?

Response to Instruction and Intervention has the capacity to maximize the potential of all students and teachers.  However, it is not a one size fits all model.  Each school is unique and must develop an RtI literacy plan that reflects the needs and individuality of the students, teachers, and community.  This hands-on working session offers the opportunity for participants to focus on instructional design and implementation of a RtI literacy plan that will be most effective for each school’s unique needs.


  Jennifer Huber

Literacy in an RtI Context:  What does it Look Like at Our Elementary School?

This session is specifically designed for general education teachers, special education teachers and other specialists who currently co-teach or who plan to co-teach as part of their school’s inclusion practice. Personalities, roles and responsibilities are critical in this “collaborative marriage.” Participants will learn techniques to utilize the strengths of both professional educators in the classroom, increasing differentiation and maximizing instruction. They will discuss the “Do’s and Don’ts of Co-teaching,” identify strategies for co-planning, co-instructing, and co-assessing. Dr. Huber will share research-based strategies and teaching techniques that can increase the effectiveness and outcomes of an inclusive program through co-teaching. The focus of this session is on understanding the practicalities and strategies that can help make co-teaching work!


  Marta Anchondo, TASK

A.T. for Autism and Other Disabilities

TASK experts will introduce technology specifically related to disorders on the Autism spectrum and for those with developmental disabilities, including software with the following focus areas: Video modeling, social skills, life skills, vocabulary building, language development, communication, interpreting emotions and more. They will offer many ideas from low-tech interventions to high tech AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) devices. English and Spanish sessions offered.

  Basic IDEA Parental and Student Rights

An overview of the four basic rights and protections under IDEA, a brief overview of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and an explanation of record keeping and the assessment process. English and Spanish sessions offered.


Jeffrey Sprague

Response to Intervention: Using Universal Screening and Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports In Schools

With the No Child Left Behind Act increasingly focusing schools’ attention on test scores alone, programs that stress behavior, social development and commitment to school have sometimes gotten left behind. Research strongly indicates that schools adopting programs that target antisocial behavior also boost their students’ academic performance. This session will describe practices that successfully integrate academic and behavioral supports to achieve maximum success. This session will illustrate how an RTI universal screening approach should be used to identify students in need of additional supports, outline a framework for selecting and implementing evidence-based interventions in a PBIS model, and use progress monitoring methods to support data based decision making.


Mary Ann Dewan

Aligning Leadership Practices for Continuous Improvement

Educational leaders face numerous pressures for improved student achievement for all students. This session will explore processes and protocols for charter building and program leaders to align goals, staff evaluations, and professional development for improved student achievement. Best practices for instruction, teacher evaluation, and program evaluation will be shared. Participants will receive sample documents and tools to utilize. With easy to customize tools in hand, charter leaders will be prepared to develop an aligned plan or improve the alignment and accountability of an existing plan.

Sharing Resources to Enhance Programs for Students with Disabilities

Charter Schools and CMOs can benefit from shared services models for implementing some special education and related services. A variety of shared service models, sample MOUs, and billing structures will be examined.


Nathan Cross

Using Data to Drive Instruction

Participants will develop a clear understanding of the importance of using data to improve instruction and student learning. They will explore the role of leadership in creating a data-driven organization, particularly in the service of students with disabilities.  They will learn about different uses of formative and summative data and how it can be used effectively as part of an ongoing instructional planning cycle. Participants will have an opportunity to practice protocols for having a data conversation with individual teachers and teacher teams.

Professional Learning Communities: What Are They and Where Do I Start?

Participants will understand the attributes of professional learning communities and how to make the Cycle of Continuous Improvement a part of their school’s culture. Participants will assess the culture of learning in their schools and develop actions for implementing and/or enhancing their own learning communities. 


Todd Plate Esq.

Legal Advice for Leaders: Top Five Personnel Related Issues

In this program participants will review the personnel issues that come up most frequently in the employment setting and provide clarity on how to properly address each issue.  Participants will leave with an understanding of the legal basis for dealing with each issue.  Moreover, participants will be given real world guidance on how to navigate the landmines before they become a legal matter and result in potentially costly scenarios for charter schools.

Preventing Due Process Claims

Due Process claims can be very costly for charter schools and without the correct understanding of what triggers a claim and how to prevent a claim, charter schools could face devastating outcomes.  This session will directly answer the questions, what is a Due Process claim, how does it affect charter schools, and how do charter schools prevent them?  This session will give participants the confidence to ask the right questions and to protect the charter school from potential liability. 


  LAUSD Autism Support Staff

Autism Instructional Team Resources and Information 

LAUSD Autism Support Staff use quality indicators to support programs for students with autism regardless of where students are educated. Students with autism may be in general education with supports or special education programs. The Autism Support Staff work with all students, teachers and assistants following the principles of structured teaching and applied behavior analyses. This session will enable the participants to learn best practices in working with students with autism. 


  Technology

Brokers of Expertise — where educators can share innovative approaches, high-quality resources, and best strategies for truly inspired teaching!

You're invited to learn more about Brokers of Expertise (BOE), a new online community where you can access high-quality, standards-matched classroom resources as well as share innovative approaches for improving instruction and showcasing excellence in education. In this session, you will learn how you can use myBOE to network with your school site, work groups, and project teams to increase engagement and get those collaborative juices going!

Infinitec  

Finding, Manipulating and Simplifying Electronic Text

Are you struggling to support students who are not reading at grade level?  This hands-on presentation will focus on finding sources of electronic text, how to access it, and  how to manipulate it to meet the educational needs of your students. Discussions will be held about how accessible instructional materials meet the criteria for Universal Design for Learning. Participants will practice converting digital texts into other formats.  Participants are encouraged to bring their laptops.

Universal Design for Learning, Differentiated Instruction and Assistive Technology: how do they work together?                            

Many educators are familiar with the terms Differentiated Instruction, Universal Design for Learning, and Assistive Technology.  However, these terms often look very different from school to school.  Join us for this presentation where we will clarify what these terms mean and how they relate to one another.  We’ll also look at simple strategies to differentiate instruction, resources that support the principles of Universal Design for Learning, and how they can be used as Assistive Technology.  These strategies will benefit all students but are critical to the success of your struggling students.

Overview of Infinitec Resources for all Learners

This presentation provides educators opportunities to explore the Infinitec website and its numerous resources.  Participants will learn about a variety of free educational resources and activities that can be used as Universal Design for Learning (UDL) tools to differentiate instruction to meet a variety of student learning needs, styles, and abilities.  They will also discover the many professional development opportunities that are available to them, including face-to-face trainings with nationally-recognized experts and Infinitec staff members, more than 100 video trainings that are accessible via the MyInfinitec.org website and available 24/7, and webinars covering topics relevant to today’s classroom.  Our newest program, InfiniTEXT, provides accessible instructional materials to students with print disabilities, offering more than 1000 titles of textbooks and novels in a variety of formats (pdf, mp3, kurzweil, etc.).  This incredible, timesaving resource offers instant differentiation of instruction to assist students who struggle to read printed text.