Agenda May 19 2021-05-17T08:41:41+00:00

All times are listed in Eastern Time.

Wednesday, May 19

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | Concurrent Sessions

Inspired by the groundbreaking CARE — Compassionate Arts Remaking Education Project — partnership between Cleveland Play House, Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the U.S. Department of Education, you will be able to explore the process of how to develop and use theater skills, social emotional learning curriculum and trauma-informed pedagogy to help serve educational institutions and communities.

Learn how classroom scholars can use theater games and techniques to help recognize and manage their emotions, develop caring and concern for others, establish positive relationships, make responsible decisions, and handle challenging situations constructively and ethically. This theatrical SEL journey will offer a hand on exploration of the theatrical curriculum resources, techniques, data and games used to launch and sustain the CARE project.

Thomas T. Kazmierczak III, CARE Project Director, Cleveland Play House, Cleveland, Ohio

Colleen Jackson, CARE Project Associate Director, Cleveland Play House, Cleveland, Ohio

Pamile DiPasquale, Director of Education, Cleveland Play House, Cleveland, Ohio

Cassey Fye, CARE Coordinator, Cleveland Play House, Cleveland, Ohio

Historically, the experiences of black girls in school have been centered between black boys and white girls. Because neither of these identities account for the intersectional, raced-gendered perspective of black girls, their experiences have been marginalized in educational settings. There is evidence that black girls are subjected to disparate treatments in the school setting, including hypervisibility, invisibility, adultification, disproportionately harsh disciplinary practices, and academic achievement that lags behind other racial and ethnic groups. These experiences affect their academic achievement and their long-term life outcomes. Learn about the risk factors affecting black girls’ experiences in school settings as well as understand how CASEL’s core competencies can be used to mitigate identified risk factors and facilitate inclusive, safe and supportive educational environments for black girls.

Tawanna Jones Morrison, Founder and Executive Director, we.Reign, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Explore best practices in designing, implementing and sustaining a cross-age peer group-mentoring model as a school-based strategy for developing social emotional learning competencies among youth. When using this model, older students are trained to become effective mentors and role models for younger peers. They provide support to the younger students as they transition from elementary to middle school or middle to high school. Peer mentors create a safe, supportive and nurturing environment for incoming students, allowing students to learn and practice SEL skills to support their social and academic success in school and beyond.

Hear from local students and educators involved in the implementation of this peer leadership and high school transition program known as Peer Group Connection as they talk about common challenges and creative solutions associated with establishing an effective cross-age peer-mentoring program in a middle or high school. Learn about evidence-based practices for effective peer-to-peer mentoring and the preliminary findings and lessons learned from a U.S. Department of Education-funded rigorous evaluation of this peer-led approach to SEL. The findings will show that this model can improve school engagement while simultaneously decreasing discipline and suspension incidents.

Sherry Barr, Managing Director, Operations and Evaluation, Center for Supportive Schools, Princeton, New Jersey

Beshon Smith, Executive Director for Delaware, Maryland and Washington D.C., Center for Supportive Schools, Princeton, New Jersey

Serving youth in any capacity is the most powerful and influential job an adult can possess. It is the duty of parents, educators, support staff and administrators to educate and cultivate children. We strive to create safe spaces and nurturing environments where all children can thrive, but what happens when emotionally distressed children trigger counter aggression in adults? “The number one reason for the increase in student violence in schools is staff counter aggression. While staff does not initiate student aggression, they react in ways that can perpetuate it” (Long, 1995). We all carry innate counter aggression. Learn how to utilize self-awareness and self-management skills to dismantle your role in the child’s conflict cycle, and determine ways to be intentional in building relationships with children.

April Terrell, Educational Consultant, Authentic U, LLC, Plainfield, New Jersey

Every day, caring teachers make connections and build relationships with students in ways that help students become successful learners for life. Explore how implementing a mentoring program that is integrated into all areas of learning, along with an intentional focus on building social emotional skills, can help students be successful not only in class but also in life. Learn about resources, tips and current practices that you can utilize in your daily practices to create a growth mindset culture that helps students develop social emotional skills, engage in their learning, as well as be empowered to take ownership of their learning.

Aiko Malynda Maurer, Director of Innovation, Incubation and Development and CEO of Central Pennsylvania Digital Learning Foundation, Altoona, Pennsylvania

What does it mean to have racial literacy? How do you know what your racial literacy strengths and opportunities to grow are? A research study about adults using race themed picture books in their classrooms and a review of literature on this topic has resulted in a comprehensive framework consisting of five racial literacy dimensions — humility, knowledge, communication, beliefs and teaching practices. Discover how you can apply this framework to your own life and work and explore more by using a race themed picture book. Gaining knowledge about the five dimensions and practicing will increase your self-awareness of when racial literacy strengths and challenges occur in either thoughts, language or actions, as well as increase your ability to understand how others may perceive the race-related aspects of your interactions.

Shannon Wanless, Director of Office of Child Development and Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Amanda Cross, Evaluation and Research Specialist, Office of Child Development, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Caitlin Forbes Spear, Evaluation and Research Division Director, Office of Child Development, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Medina Jackson, P.R.I.D.E. Community Engagement Director, Office of Child Development, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Aisha White, Positive Racial Identity Development in Early Education Program Director, Office of Child Development, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

This interactive session, presented by a husband and wife team of educators, focuses on domains of emotional quotient, along with research-based strategies for increasing personal EQ and using one’s scope of influence to inspire increased EQ in our colleagues and students. The link between positivity and productivity/learning will be explored along with proven methods for increasing personal levels of positivity. Activities for inspiring buy-in of personnel will be modeled. Use your scope of influence to inspire increased EQ in your colleagues and students by learning about the domains of EQ as well as research-based strategies for increasing personal EQ. Explore the link between positivity and productivity/learning along with proven methods for increasing personal levels of positivity. See activities in action for inspiring buy-in of personnel.

Kim Blackwood, Training Specialist, Clayton County Public Schools, Jonesboro, Georgia

Ed Blackwood, Assistant Principal, Clayton County Public Schools, Jonesboro, Georgia

How does the brain develop? How can trauma and neglect at early ages cause significant learning and behavior difficulties and even impact a student’s social and emotional skills?
Knowing the problem is good. However, knowing the solution is better. The brain has the amazing ability to adapt throughout life. Discover and practice practical interventions that can be implemented to regulate the brain, promote positive brain growth and ultimately improve academic performance and social interactions.

Joshua MacNeill, Director of NeuroLogic Initiative, Lakeside, North Wales, Pennsylvania

Forgiveness education in social emotional learning is used to teach students to express their emotions in a healthy way, to understand the perspective of others, and to increase empathy and compassion. Hear about research evidence of forgiveness education programs administered in different cultural settings, as well as the use of forgiveness curriculum and suggestions of curriculum implementation.

Jiahe Wang Xu, Ph.D. Student, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin

Polarization. Misunderstandings. Conflict. Our schools and communities are facing these divisive forces. We envision a world that collaboratively solves society’s social ills. Students Taking Action Together is an initiative started by Maurice Elias’s Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab at Rutgers University, to address these pressing issues. STAT includes a set of evidence-informed teaching strategies that can be integrated seamlessly into classrooms and support social emotional skills, character, caring classroom climate and civic engagement. Explore the teaching strategies and leave prepared to integrate these strategies into your classroom the next day.

Samuel Nayman, STAT Project Director, Rutgers University, Tenafly, New Jersey

Crystal Molyneaux, SECD Lab Grants Coordinator/STAT Consultant, Rutgers University, Woodbridge, New Jersey

Self-awareness is a set of intrapersonal, social and emotional skills that aid educators in understanding and articulating their values and beliefs, improving their self-confidence and self-efficacy and enabling them to foster better relationships with students and peers. Research shows that self-awareness is the essential skill needed for success in all areas of life. It is important to create and sustain opportunities for educators to cultivate their own self-awareness prior to and alongside teaching social emotional skills to students. Learn about strategies, approaches and activities that you can use to further develop your self-awareness skills.

Penny Willis, Training and Program Development Lions Quest, Lions Clubs International Foundation, Oak Brook, Illinois

Susan Keister, Founder, SELutions, Inc., Columbus, Ohio

12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Meet the Sponsors — Second Step

1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. | Plenary Session


Carol Paxton, Ph.D., Director, Center for the Promotion of Social and Emotional Learning (CPSEL), Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

Why Play Works for SEL, Even Now

Elizabeth Cushing, CEO, Playworks, Oakland, California

During this interactive session, participants will consider how equitable access to play is a concern and what we can do to ensure that every student has the opportunity to play every day. Attendees will experience play for themselves, leave with a deeper understanding of how play supports social and emotional learning, and see examples of how play can be adapted to a hybrid environment.

2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. | Meet the Sponsors — Second Step

3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. | Concurrent Sessions

When children exhibit challenging behaviors, they are communicating their need for help to manage their emotions and behavior. There are three supports children need during distress and a fourth that helps develop their ability to handle future challenging situations.

Gain a greater understanding of children’s emotional needs. Explore research-based strategies for each of the supports and be equipped with specific skills you can immediately implement in your classroom or program.

Diane Goyette, Owner, Early Childhood Specialties, LLC, Houston, Texas

Few things are likely to help schools expand their social emotional focus as purposeful leaders. Shift your beliefs about social emotional learning and learn how to apply key leadership practices to inspire staff.

Learn from two Baltimore principals of high-need schools about strategies, resources and research that will help you create an action plan you can use immediately in your school, as well as share your leadership experiences around creating an SEL school community.

David Turner, Resident Principal, Glenmount Elementary/Middle School, Baltimore, Maryland

Misha Stredrick, Principal, Baltimore City Public Schools, Baltimore, Maryland

Increasingly, schools committed to social emotional development for their students and staff include social emotional assessment as a way to determine social emotional growth. However, this process does not always include students’ feedback. With the right setup and boundaries, students can process their social emotional data and generate goals rooted in that data.

Learn how a student debrief protocol will push staff to develop their social emotional competencies as students drive the feedback process for themselves, their peers and the adults that serve them.

Joshua Bobrow, Deputy Director, Urban Assembly, New York, New York

David Adams, CEO, Urban Assembly, New York, New York

Mindfulness is the ability to pay attention, deliberately, non-judgmentally, in the present moment. It is a powerful practice that supports students in self-regulating their emotions, focusing their attention, and interacting effectively with others; all are critical skills for success in school and life. Incorporating mindfulness and mindful practices into education has been linked to improving academic, social and emotional learning.

Hear about the widespread growth of mindfulness, the neuroscience supporting its use, its impact on social and emotional development, and a variety of practical and useful strategies to use in your classroom. Learn and experience the significant benefits of mindfulness.

Joseph Diskin, Principal, Bridgewater Raritan Regional School District, Mountainside, New Jersey

Joseph Walsh, Principal, Bridgewater Raritan Regional School District, Flemington, New Jersey

Today’s students bring new challenges. Schools are seeing large increases in students with significant mental health problems and behavioral concerns. Educators are stressed. A way to positively impact students and staff is by creating trauma-informed and integrated social emotional learning environments. Hear about how to integrate SEL into the classroom fabric with concepts and techniques to promote regulated states, build strong relationships, and develop social emotional skills through a trauma-sensitive lens.

Amanda Deeter, Social Emotional Specialist, Montgomery County ESC, Dayton, Ohio

Jessica Davies, Director of Social Emotional Learning Division, Montgomery County ESC, Dayton, Ohio

Jackie Renegado, Social Emotional Learning Supervisor, Montgomery County ESC, Dayton, Ohio

Happy students are more creative, collaborative and productive. They are also more resilient and have richer lives. The number one predictor of well-being is having supportive relationships.
Explore the importance of your own well-being and learn self-regulation and mindset tools to help you face the daily challenges of being an educator. Learn about practical activities that integrate positive psychology, mindfulness and emotional intelligence strategies into your pedagogy and see how these strategies prime our students’ brains to be more ready to learn as well as lead to supportive and caring relationships in the classroom.

Roni Habib, Founder, EQ Schools, Santa Cruz, California

Thinking on your feet is part of teaching, but how do you stay calm in the face of defiance or explosive situations? Our brains are designed to protect, so lashing out is instinctive. We know that an increased focus on emotional literacy and social engagement leads to greater classroom success. Unfortunately, we lack both strategies and teacher training to take full advantage of this knowledge. Because students are not boxes to be filled and teachers are not simple content-delivery devices, we are challenged with navigating the complex emotional landscape of the dynamic, and sometimes the fast-reacting brain. Recognizing and understanding the emotional style and evolving needs of teachers and students is crucial not only to school success but also to lifelong achievement. Shift happens, to all of us. The goal is not to become an emotional blob, but rather to become more aware, more connected, more insightful and more purposeful.

Think-time strategies are designed specifically for allowing educators to respond wisely rather than reacting rashly when under stress or pressure. Science is a powerful currency in our modern culture. By coupling empirical research from neuroscience and education, we can utilize proven practices and strategies to improve the dynamic needs of educators and students, and making classrooms warm and nurturing environments. You will leave this session knowing that, when shift happens, you are prepared.

Debbie Leonard, Consultant, BrainZones, Akron, Ohio

Marcey Aronson, Consultant, BrainZones, Akron, Ohio

Marlon Wayne, Consultant, BrainZones, Akron, Ohio

Social emotional learning comprises a key set of skills that are pivotal in the academic, social, emotional and behavioral development of youth. Many states have adopted SEL educational standards. The Social-Emotional Learning Skills Inventory, a rating scale in universally screening students in culturally and linguistically diverse school districts in the southeast United States, collected data from more than 2,000 students in PreK-12 and is being used to promote academic, emotional and behavioral success for students in PreK-12.

Learn about considerations for implementing universal screening and data showing the role of SEL data in predicting high-stakes test scores and office discipline referrals. Share current methods for assessing SEL in your setting, discuss legal and ethical issues in conducting universal screening and create a blueprint for potentially doing universal screening in your own setting.

Thomas Schanding, Associate Professor, University of Houston at Clear Lake, Houston, Texas

Donna Black, Assessment Consultant, Western Psychological Services, Torrance, California

A new free toolkit and professional learning community developed by the Maryland Out of School Time Network, provides practical resources for out-of-school time programs to incorporate social emotional learning directly connected to career and college readiness. Get hands-on experience with toolkit activities and learn more about how programs can use real-time data collection strategies to inform staff professional development and program design and improvement.

Ellie Mitchell, Executive Director, Maryland Out of School Time Network, Baltimore, Maryland

Sally Munemitsu, Co-Founder, COO, and Chief Collaborator, Algorhythm, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

For students to be well adjusted and happy, they need well adjusted, mindful teachers and leaders who foster climates in which students can learn, dream, create and be themselves. Unfortunately, many educators have excessive levels of stress in their lives, and it often affects their health and personal and professional lives. To manage a classroom or school effectively, teachers and leaders first must be able to manage themselves.

Hear about cutting-edge research in neuroscience that is focused on training the mind and promoting habits and strategies needed to maintain personal practices that cultivate healthy social and emotional skills, which foster healthy learning environments. Explore a variety of practices to regulate your own thoughts, feelings and emotions so you have the emotional capacity to support your students. Discover how to train the mind and establish healthy habits and simple self-care strategies that you can easily incorporate into everyday life.

Lisa Lucas, Professor, West Chester University, West Chester, Pennsylvania

Lisa Greenawalt, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Lehigh Career and Technical Institute, Schnecksville, Pennsylvania