2020 Sessions

Sessions are still being added to the 2020 Institute. Please check this page frequently for updates.

A Roadmap for Family-Centered Transitions

Type: Concurrent
Target Audience: Professional Development Providers, Practitioners, Families, Local Administrators
Content Level: Appropriate for all levels

Transitions from early intervention to preschool or other services provide important opportunities for parents to engage in a process of considering and mobilizing a range of potential formal and informal opportunities. Too often service coordinators and providers overlook transition as a time to help families systematically identify both formal and informal ongoing learning opportunities for children and help families develop a comprehensive vision for ongoing support. This session focuses on using capacity-building family-centered practices to help families systematically identify their priorities, identify a full range of ongoing learning opportunities, analyze the advantages and disadvantages of the options in light of the family's values and preferences, empower families to mobilize and advocate for their priorities, and help families evaluate and modify their plan over time. Participants will get to see capacity-building transition planning in action, discuss how to individualize the process within their own practice, and leave with ready-to-use roadmap for coaching families through transitions.

A Wealth of Possibilities: Learning from Reggio Emilia’s Approach to Inclusion

Type: Concurrent
Target Audience: All

Reggio Emilia is a small town in Northern Italy where parents, educators, and citizens have worked together for more than fifty years to create and provide an outstanding public system of care and education for children three months to six years of age. Reggio Emilia is able to achieve tailor-made programming to foster both the cognitive and social development of ALL children. Vividly illustrated through slides and video from the world-renowned inclusive early childhood programs this conference session will cover: children with “special rights” as competent, families as partners, teachers as researchers, environment as a third teacher, an education based on relationships, individualized instruction and integrated therapy.

Blended PreK Program: Uniting for Change

Other Speakers: Brand, Robin
Type: Concurrent
Target Audience: State Administrators
Content Level: Introductory

The Blended PreK program was established to provide opportunities for children with disabilities to participate in general education classes in a state without universal preK. This session will outline the formation of this program, the collaboration between district and state level staff, and the increase in outcomes for children with and without disabilities. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss the potential for a Blended program in their own state.

Building an Infant and Early Childhood Mental Workforce

Type: Concurrent
Target Audience: All
Content Level: Appropriate for all levels

Having a well-prepared workforce to address the social-emotional needs of children and their families requires synergy at the federal, state, and local levels. This presentation will describe national policy initiatives, current research, and describe work in NC focused on workforce development across sectors of early childhood. The presentation will specifically highlight the work of the North Carolina Infant and Young Child Mental Health Association (NCIMHA) Workforce Development Project that seeks to integrate early childhood mental health competencies statewide. The presentation will share lessons learned moving from a grassroots initiative to adopting a set of national competencies and endorsement system through the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health.

Crafting Slam Styles Stories

Type: Concurrent
Content Level: Appropriate for all levels

StorySlams [events where tellers perform live 5 minute stories on a theme, using no notes] are enjoying huge popularity. When we share and listen to stories, we are engaged and able to imagine different perspectives, creating an empathetic and, at times, transformative experience. Using stories in our advocacy as parents, family, teachers, and service providers can paint pictures for medical professionals, legislators, and decision makers that help shift perspectives, leading to important conversations and great strides.

 Join Moth storyteller and host Bethany Van Delft Moffi for a session where we will discuss slam story format, use simple writing prompts to mine participants’ unique experiences for rich details and generate compelling stories. We’ll also get tips for live performance and discuss ways to use in our advocacy. Participants will have the opportunity to share their stories in front of the group.

Dealing with Challenging Behavior: Innovative Tier 1 Strategies for Classroom Teachers

Type: Pre-Institute

In this session, we will approach challenging behavior by developing an understanding of children’s motivation.  With stories and examples from his own time in the classroom, Dr. Holland will illustrate practical ways to set up a classroom in order to reduce or eliminate challenging behavior and provide strategies for how to handle it when it does pop up.  The session will include time for discussion and application as well as opportunities for question and answer.

*This workshop is full.  Click HERE to be added to waitlist.

Developing an Effective Statewide System To Support Inclusion Using the Implementation Science Framework

Other Speakers: Cate, Deborah
Type: Concurrent
Target Audience: Professional Development Providers, Local Administrators, State Administrators
Content Level: Appropriate for all levels

As Implementation Science became a way of structuring work to accomplish previous statewide special education initiatives (e.g., Autism PD Project) the successes experienced encouraged the development and application of this process to larger scale initiatives. The application of a “Plan-Do-Study-Act” framework to meet our state supervisory responsibility underlies many Implementation practices—supporting programs to implement exploration through monitoring activities data based decision making, technical assistance (TA) and professional development (PD). Tools to help staff prioritize efforts, understand challenges, and finance guidance and other technical assistance and  supports will be shared. These resources support efforts to move programs from compliance (or to compliance) to best practices in early childhood education. Interaction during the session will be encouraged through review of sample materials, discussion, and Q&A.

Dosage Decisions in Early Intervention: A Tool for Determining Intervention Frequency

Type: Concurrent
Target Audience: All
Content Level: Intermediate

What are the factors to be considered when determining the frequency of early intervention services on the IFSP? This session will examine the current literature on dosage in early intervention and provide a tool for considering the amount of service that may be beneficial. Participants will have the opportunity to see the tool in use and discuss how it could be informative.

Engaging Teams in the Problem Solving Process

Type: Concurrent
Target Audience: All

The session will focus on a team-based problem-solving process to support young children who exhibit challenging behaviors.  Participants will explore ways to collect and use data to in planning behavioral supports.  The session will also focus on strategies to engage families in the problem-solving process.  Participants will engage in activities and discussion focused on using a team-based approach for problem-solving to support young children.

Enhanced Collaboration through Effective Leadership Skills

Type: Concurrent
Target Audience: Practitioners, Local Administrators, State Administrators
Content Level: Appropriate for all levels

As leaders embrace the goal of inclusive practices and reducing suspension and expulsion in early childhood, collaboration is key. Participants will learn how to foster needed conversations through self-care and morale-building strategies. Easy to implement resources grounded in DEC Recommended Practices will be provided to support leaders of all kinds within the field through this highly interactive session.

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