Breakout Session 1


10:30 to 11:45 AM


Presenter: Erin Gruwell

Title: Write What Needs to be Written

Description: For over 20 years, the Freedom Writers have encouraged teens to put down their fist or even a gun, and pick of a pen—to write a wrong and tell what needs to be told!

Room 302

Presenter: Tim Lewis

Title: Tier II Overview: Readiness, Data Decisions, & Practices

Description: This session will provide an overview of the essential components of Tier II systems and serve as the foundation for the Tier II strand. Team processes, data to identify at-risk students, and evidence-based practices will be discussed and mapped to the SW-PBIS Tiered Fidelity Inventory.

Resources: Tier II overview Lewis.v2      MU Classroom Problem Solving Manual copy

Room 303

Presenter: Reuben Jacobson

Title: Community Schools: What are they and how do I get started?

Description: Learn what community schools are and why they have become the go-to education and neighborhood reform strategy. Hear from community school practitioners working in Des Moines and develop strategies to enhance partnerships with families and community organizations to create a thriving school. Work with your peers to create a results-focused community school strategy in your schools and school districts.

Room 304

Presenter: Joelle Hood

Title: Social Emotional Learning

Description: This informative, interactive and highly-engaging workshop explores the research that supports the importance of SEL practices in educators’ personal and professional development. Participants will learn how to implement SEL strategies and build skills in classrooms and school sites to prepare students to be successful in school, college, career, and life. Tools such as Neuroscience, Mindfulness in Education, Restorative Practices, Growth Mindset & Grit, Character Development, and Cultivating Kindness, Empathy, and Compassion will be reviewed and emphasis placed on how they play a critical role in building SEL skills and enhancing school culture and climate. The facilitator will lead participants in discussion and activities that they can replicate in a district, school site, and classroom the next day to initiate positive change in the lives of all stakeholders.

Resources:     Updated Joelle Hood Powerpoint

Room 305

Presenter: Barb Mitchell 

Title: Effective Classroom Management: Foundational Strategies for Supporting Student Behavior

Description: This session will provide a brief overview of essential instructional and classroom management strategies classroom teachers can use to encourage appropriate student behavior. Implementation examples and additional resources will be provided.

Resources: Barbara Mitchell – Session 1 & 3

Room 306

Presenter: Kay Augustine & Sheli Blazic

Title: Check & Connect: A Tier 2 Intervention

Description: Through student engagement and resiliency research we know the importance of students connecting with at least one significant adult in the building. Join us to learn about Check & Connect, an evidence-based intervention that provides a structured school-based mentoring process to increase student engagement with school and learning. We’ll share an overview as well as specific examples from both Iowa and across the country. Check & Connect is identified on the What Works Clearinghouse Dropout Prevention site as demonstrating a positive impact for keeping students in schools. If you are creating a Multi-tiered System of Support,  Check & Connect is a great fit for an upper Tier 2 intervention.

Resources: Check and Connect Powerpoint     Check Connect Handout 1     Check and Connect Handout 2     Check Connect Iowa Contacts

Check and Connect Readiness Indicators

Room 307

Presenter: Gilmara Mitchell

Title: Understanding Cultural Proficiency and Reflecting on Our Own Practices

Description: This interactive session will examine the basic concepts related to Cultural Proficiency and provide participants with an opportunity to reflect on their own practices as educators.  Participants will be able to define important terms related to Cultural Proficiency, explore the Cultural Proficiency Continuum, examine myths related to Cultural Proficiency and identify practical ways to become a culturally responsive educator.

Room 308

Presenter: Randall Lindsey

Title: Culturally Proficient Educational Practice: Barriers and Guiding

Description: Principles Participants will explore how systemic barriers within schools function as negative core values that limit and impede access to equitable social and educational outcomes.  These negative core values can be overcome when educators and their schools develop and own positive core values informed by the Guiding Principles of Cultural Proficiency.

Resources: Randall Lindsey – Breakout 1     Randall Lindsey – Focus on Assets     Randall Lindsey – Book Handout

Room 309

Presenter: Kim Davis

Title: Making it right in a school world of wrongs: creating a restorative school culture

Description: During this session, participants will learn more about what restorative practices are, how they can be implemented into the school setting, what is important to know about creating a trauma sensitive school and if the size of the session allows, session attenders will be able to practice some of the skills that they could utilize back in their own buildings.

Resources: Kim Davis Powerpoint     Kim Davis Handouts

Room 310

Presenter: Judy Elliott

Title: Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS): Establishing a Common Language, Common Understanding

Description: This session will provide participants with an overview of MTSS and the key elements to consider when developing the compelling ‘why’ for its implementation.  The critical use of data and building a culture of beliefs around student learning will be discussed for both Secondary and Elementary levels

Resources: J.E. Powerpont #1

Room 312/313

Presenter: Mike Paget

Title: Not in the Best Interest of Self: 9 Strategies for Helping Students Challenged by Anxiety Conditions

Description: Thirteen percent of students experience significant anxiety that limits their engagement in school and in relationships. Anxiety conditions are the #1 mental health condition, and they often go unnoticed. But the impact on these students is significant. This session will help counselors, teachers and other professionals understand how to support and teach this high-potential portion of the student population while avoiding the development of an unmanageable classroom environment.

Resources: Mike Paget – Session 1 Handout

Room 314/315

Presenter: Wes Hall

Title: Relationship Building and Success Strategies for Reengaging the Disengaged Young Man of Color

Description: In this interactive session, Wes Hall, will discuss research findings on best practices and innovative policies that are having a positive impact on Black male achievement Prek-20.  The session will also identify proven skills, strategies, and solutions that are contributing to our young men graduating from high school and college, as well as, helping them navigate from high school to their future career.  Drawing from 8-years of research, this session provides teacher friendly, classroom ready tools designed to assist participants identify, modify, and redirect challenging student behavior. Learn how to re-engage the disengaged young man of color student and how to inspire him to vigorously participate in his own educational process.

Resources: Wes Hall – Success Strategies Handout

Room 316

Presenter: Saida Abdi

Title: Refugee Children:  Trauma and Resiliency – Part 1 of 2

Description: The workshop will focus on skills and strategies that can enhance mental health access for refugee and immigrant children in a school-setting; The importance of addressing social environmental factors that might negatively affect learning and how cultural brokers can help overcome cultural and linguistic barriers will be discussed. Trauma Systems Therapy for Refugees (TST-R) will be used to illustrate how trauma intervention can be adapted to meet the needs of immigrant and refugee students and their families. (2 Part workshop)

Resources: Saida Abdi

Room 317

Presenter: Christian Moore

Title: WhyTry

Description: WhyTry programs use a unique multi-sensory approach that allows students to see, hear, and experience the concepts being taught. Visual analogies give students achievable steps to gaining life skills and developing resilience in academic and real-world settings. For the hands-on learner, our programs use activities with relevant tie-ins, helping facilitators reinforce social emotional principles in an engaging way. With visual learners in mind, we encourage teachers to use relevant video to spark classroom discussion, and take advantage of the art and writing activities found in our journals. WhyTry music uses hip-hop and other genres to help teachers get past students’ defenses and reach them in a language they understand.

Room 318

Presenter: Emily Donovan & Jen Gilmore

Title: Addressing Mental Health In A Multi-Tiered System of Support

Description: This session will provide participants with an overview of best practices in the area of school based mental health across universal, targeted and intensive levels of support. Particular emphasis will be given to the ways schools can build protective factors for all students.

Room 319
No Presenter
Room 320

Presenter: Ami Chen Mills-Naim

Title: Innate Resiliency for Educators: a Session for YOU!

Description: Release more energy, inspiration and creativity… with less stress, everyday.

Nothing to memorize! Nothing to “do!” … Learn simple, foundational psychological principles that can help any educator, administrator, parent or staff member be more clear and present. Access creative teaching strategies and responses to students in the moment.

Where does insight and new energy come from, within us? What blocks these resources? What unleashes them? … In this profound, but lighthearted session, we look together at the true source of our “Best Selves” as educators—and reflect in a way that “hits home,” and touches our inner wisdom, so that we carry this wisdom into the classroom. No workbooks or manuals needed! … Note taking discouraged.

(Recommended to be taken together with “Tapping the Promise of Challenging Youth,” if possible.)

Resources: Ami Chen Mills-Naim Handout