I-MTSS - January 18, 2018

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Overview

The 2018 I-MTSS Symposium is focused on the challenges facing education today. We are challenged to reduce racial and ethnic disproportionality in school discipline and consider our implicit bias. Is is also no secret that the behavior challenges facing teachers feels overwhelming at times. Our keynote speakers and concurrent session presentations address and provide insight into these challenges. Our special guest speakers this year are two of the original Freedom Writers. Armed only with pens and paper, they challenged the education system to become better. Join us for a day that will impact you both personally and professionally.

  • Implicit Bias and Reducing Disproportionality in School Discipline: Presented by Kent McIntosh, PhD., Professor, University of Oregon
  • The 10 Tenets of Behavior: Presented by Dr. Laura Riffel, Behavior Doctor Seminars
  • Overcoming Hardships and Becoming a Catalyst for Change: Presented by Narada Comans and Sue Ellen Alpizar

Concurrent Sessions Include:

  • Dyslexia and its Impact on the English Learner
  • Enhancing the Cultural Responsiveness of PBIS Systems
  • Thinking Outside of Schools: Evidenced-Based Strategies for Involving Parents in the Education of Youth
  • Culturally Proficient Education
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder Strategies for Teachers
  • Developing a Restorative Climate
Kent McIntosh

Kent McIntosh, PhD.

Keynote Speaker and Invited Presenter

Kent McIntosh is an expert in school violence prevention, bullying, school discipline, and racial disparities in school discipline. At the University of Oregon, he is an associate professor in the College of Education and the associate director of Educational and Community Supports. His research examines how effective school and classroom behavior support practices can be implemented to enhance their effectiveness, efficiency, equity, and durability. He is co-investigator on the OSEP National Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports and founding member of the PBIS-SCP Canada Network.

Kent has keynoted at numerous conferences across the country including the APBS conference in Boston and Florida and the PBIS Summer Institute in Minnesota. He has published over sixty-five journal articles and most recently received the honor of “Article of the Year” from the Council for Exceptional Children. He has received the Champion Researcher Award and the Distinguished Early Career Research Award. He recently published a book titled, Integrated Multi-Tied Systems of Support: Blending RTI and PBIS

Laura Riffel

Dr. Laura Riffel

Keynote Speaker and Invited Presenter

With more than 30 years of experience, Dr. Riffel has trained thousands of teachers, parents, counselors, psychologists, administrators, and bus drivers how to make data based decisions as a way to change behavior. Her trainings are filled with humor and make data collection easy to understand and use in any setting.

Laura served as the webmaster for the National Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports sponsored by the Office of Special Education Programs (www.pbis.org) from 1999-2012. She travels the world presenting on Functional Behavior Assessment and Writing Effective Behavioral Plans as a private consultant. She also presents on Positive Interventions and Effective Strategies for classroom teachers, autism, oppositional defiant disorder, ADHD, and learning disabilities.

In the early 1970’s, Dr. Riffel began her career as a volunteer at the School for the Blind, which led to her interest in special education. She received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Kansas State University with a minor in special education. Her master’s degrees were in: 1) special education with an area of concentration on learning disabilities and intellectual disabilities; 2) special education consulting; and 3) personal counseling. Her Ph.D. from the University of Kansas is in Cognitive and Multiple Disabilities, Families and Policy, with a minor in research. Dr. Riffel has had the opportunity to teach the following students:

  • Inclusive classrooms in Kindergarten, First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth grades.
  • Resource and self-contained classrooms in learning disabilities, emotional behavior disorders, mild intellectual disabilities, moderate intellectual disabilities, severe and profound intellectual disabilities and medically fragile students. (Elementary and Middle School levels).
  • Students who were deaf using Signing Exact English (SEE II) in an inclusive setting where all students and teachers were taught to use sign language as they spoke.
  • District tutor for adjudicated youth; teaching middle and high school grades at detention facilities.
  • Director of a statewide program for behavioral intervention planning serving 500 students per year
  • Director of a day program for students with significant behavioral needs

Previously, Dr. Riffel enjoyed teaching at the college level at the University of Kansas, Georgia State University, and the University of Central Oklahoma. She taught the following courses: Families and Quality of Life, Applied Behavior Analysis for Classroom Teachers, and Managing Classroom Behavior.


Narada Comans

Narada Comans, Freedom Writers

Guest Speaker

At age 9, Narada Comans moved 3,000 miles away from his hometown, Pittsburgh, PA. His once suburban neighborhood turned into an urban nightmare. His father began to abuse drugs fueling the constant physical abuse against his mother and destroying the household he once knew.

At the age of 14, Narada again was forced to move due to circumstances beyond his control. The summer before his sophomore year at Wilson High School, he was evicted from his single household apartment due to his mom’s job loss. Too young to get a job and not willing to do anything illegal to get money, Narada felt defeated, helpless, and ashamed. With the start of 10th grade a few weeks away, he felt more compelled to keep the hardships of his summer a secret for fear of being made fun of by his peers.

However, soon he would discover his experience as a Freedom Writer allowed him to open up about the hardships of his life. Through the trust and guidance of Ms. Gruwell and his classmates, Narada would learn through activities such as the Line Game and journal writing, and as others began to share the hardships of their own lives, Narada no longer tried to keep his a secret. This began the bond between himself, his classmates, and Ms. Gruwell. The newfound support would allow Narada to finish high school and go on to college.

Today, Narada speaks about the difficulties of growing up in poverty, surrounded by gang violence, and the lack of a positive male role model in the household. Narada has shared his diary story for over 10 years now with the hope his story can help and inspire others dealing with their own hardships. Narada also contributed an additional diary entry to the 10th anniversary edition of The Freedom Writers Diary.


Sue Ellen Alpizar

Sue Ellen Alpizar, Freedom Writers

Guest Speaker

Sue Ellen was raised in one of the predominantly poor and violent neighborhoods of Long Beach, California. As the youngest of four it wasn’t uncommon for her to see prostitutes, drug deals, and gang violence at the end of her block. The violence didn’t end there, it extended into her home in the form of an alcoholic and abusive father. By the time she was 13, her parents divorced, and Sue Ellen became homeless along with her mother and brother. She recounts life as a homeless and abused teenager who had no hope and no future. At school, her teachers called her lazy rather than working through her undiagnosed dyslexia. When she was 16, Sue Ellen’s brother passed away. It was the same year she started in Erin Gruwell’s classroom. She describes how Room 203 was the first place where, through the power of education and writing, she was able to overcome adversity and become liberated from the labels that once defined her.

After graduating from Wilson High School, Sue Ellen graduated in 2009 from California State, Long Beach with a Bachelors of Arts in Chicano Latino Studies and her Bachelors of Science in Professional Studies. Today she works at the Freedom Writers Foundation and is responsible for the human resources and accounting functions.


Topic and Presenter Description Handouts

Morning Keynote

Understanding and Neutralizing Implicit Bias in School Discipline

Kent McIntosh, Professor, University of Oregon

Recent research has indicated that racial disproportionality in school discipline arises primarily from implicit bias, the unconscious influences on our decisions. This presentation will describe the concept of implicit bias in education and share specific strategies for reducing its effects on decision-making to enhance equitable outcomes for all students.

Presentation Handout

Dyslexia and its Impact on the English Learner

Dr. Bonnie Garcia & Dr. Karina Quezada

Dyslexia is a reading disorder usually identified within the criteria of Specific Learning Disability. It impacts the academic, behavioral and social-emotional development of children and results in lower graduation rates, lower future economic attainment, and higher imprisonment. An approximate 80% of identified special education pupils present with a reading disorder. English Language Learners (ELL) have historically been disproportionally represented in special education under the criteria of Specific Learning Disability and Speech and Language Impairment. This workshop will discuss the trends that lead to the over/under representation of ELL students. Participants will be provided with best practices in educational assessments and instruction that alleviate the perpetuation of this phenomenon.

Presentation Handout

Developing a Restorative Climate

Michelle Fehlman, MS LMFT LPCC

Research shows that a punitive system alone is not enough to address misbehavior and create a community of positive interactions. Restorative practices have been found to be one of the most effective ways to reduce suspension and expulsion rates while also improving school climate. This workshop will provide an introduction to the continuum of restorative practices in schools and its use in creating an intrapersonal and cultural shift in school climates. It is an opportunity for educators to learn what is restorative practices, why it is needed, and how to begin the process of bringing restorative practices to schools.

Presentation Handout

Presentation PowerPoint

Enhancing the Cultural Responsiveness of PBIS Systems

Kent McIntosh, Professor, University of Oregon

Many schools are implementing PBIS in efforts to reduce racial disproportionality in school discipline. Although there is some research showing that schools implementing PBIS with fidelity have more equitable school discipline, eliminating disproportionality will likely require a specific equity focus. The presenter will share specific strategies and free resources for enhancing the cultural responsiveness of PBIS systems.

Presentation Handout

Thinking Outside of Schools: Evidenced-Based Strategies for Involving Parents in the Education of Youth

Yvette Latunde, Ed.D., Azusa Pacific University

The purpose of this session is to provide educators with evidenced-based strategies for not only increasing diverse parental involvement, but for encouraging meaningful engagement. Participants will learn: 1) The nuances of involvement for Latino and African American parents, 2) How to utilize parents preferences in supporting student learning, and 3) Strategies for building parents’ skills to support students in meeting rigorous standards.

Handout 1

Handout 2

Presentation

Culturally Proficient Education

Shinay Bowman, Program Manager, Prevention and Intervention Services. Marcelino Serna, Parent and Family Engagement Program Specialist.

Participants will be given tools and strategies to develop a strengths-based mindset when working with diverse students. This session will include defining the impact of culture on learning and how to challenge and debunk our own myths and stereotypes when educating students.

Handout 1

Handout 2

Handout 3

Oppositional Defiant Disorder Strategies for Teachers

Laura A. Riffel, Ph.D.- Director- Behavior Doctor Seminars

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), can be a difficult diagnosis to work with in the classroom. Dr. Riffel will share some evidence-based strategies with real examples that will help you build a relationship with the student.

Presentation Handout

Afternoon Keynote

The Ten Tenets of Behavior

Laura A. Riffel, Ph.D.- Director- Behavior Doctor Seminars

Dr. Riffel will share the ten rules that govern behavior. It's easier to intervene with behaviors if we understand where behaviors are generated. She will share real stories that help illustrate the tenets.

Presentation Handout



Agenda
7:45 - 8:30 a.m. Registration, Breakfast, and Vendor Interaction    
8:30 - 8:45 a.m. Opening and Welcome - Jenae Holtz    
8:45 - 10:15 a.m. Renaissance Room- Keynote Speaker: Kent McIntosh - “Understanding and Neutralizing Implicit Bias in School Discipline”    
10:15 - 10:30 a.m. Break and Vendor Interaction    
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Valencia 1

Dr. Bonnie Garcia & Dr. Karina Quezada

Dyslexia and its Impact on the English Learner

Valencia 2

Kent McIntosh

Enhancing the Cultural Responsiveness of PBIS Systems

Valencia 3

Michelle Fehlman

Developing a Restorative Climate

12:00 - 12:10 p.m. Transition and Vendor Interaction    
12:10 - 1:10 p.m. Lunch and Keynote - The Freedom Writers Overcoming Hardships and Becoming a Catalyst for Change.    
1:10 - 1:20 a.m. Break and Vendor Interaction    
1:20 - 2:50 p.m.

Valencia 1

Yvette Latunde

Thinking Outside of Schools: Evidenced-Based Strategies for Involving Parents in the Education of Youth

Valencia 2

Dr. Laura Riffel

Oppositional Defiant Disorder – Strategies for Teachers

Valencia 3

Shinay Bowman and Marcelino Serna

Culturally Proficient Education

2:50 - 3:00 p.m. Break & Transition    
3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Keynote Speaker: Dr. Laura Riffel, - The Ten Tenets of Behavior”    
4:00 - 4:15 p.m. Raffle and Closing - Corinne Foley    
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