Check out some of the exciting workshop descriptions from our most recent Maine Event Conference below:

School Justice Partnerships: How the North Carolina Experience Can Work For You, presented by: J. Corpening
The School to Prison Pipeline is real and affects children all over the country. This two-part workshop will explore the history of the problem and introduce School Justice Partnerships as an effective response to exclusionary school discipline and disproportionate minority contact. In addition, the new North Carolina School Justice Partnership Toolkit and Model Agreement will be introduced as resources to help jurisdictions develop their own partnerships, keep kids in school, improve school climate, and make schools safer.

This two-part session will explore the history of the School to Prison Pipeline and its adverse effect on all children, including the disproportionate impact on children of color, LGBTQ youth, children with educational disabilities, and children in foster care. The session will track the development of School Justice Partnerships as a response to the problem in other areas of the country and share data that supports the use of these partnerships. The session will also explore the impact that these partnerships have on school climate and school safety. The newly developed North Carolina School Justice Partnership Toolkit and the North Carolina Model Agreement will be shared with participants, and participants will be empowered to take these new tools home and work to build partnerships in their own jurisdictions to respond to issues related to exclusionary school discipline. North Carolina was the last state in the country to “raise the age” to bring 16 and 17-year olds into the jurisdiction of our juvenile courts (2017) but has now taken a leadership role by legislatively mandating the use of these agreements and developing the tools necessary to implement School Justice Partnerships across the entire state.

The Laws of Motions: Integrating STEM with Physical Activity, presented by Maureen Pepin
Numerous studies have shown that children who are active and healthy have a lower risk of juvenile behavior, an increase in academic achievement, and tend to have a much better self-image. This workshop integrates STEM and Physical Activity in a unique format that helps develop healthier, more productive children. Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in a one-of-a-kind workshop!

1) Attendees will increase their knowledge and practice new teaching tools to successfully and comfortably lead groups of children in physical activities with STEM integration.

2) Attendees will gain confidence in teaching fitness and STEM activities, including but not limited to, instant activities and games that even the fitness novice can implement in small spaces, with minimal equipment.

3) Attendees will understand how physical activity can positively affect student behavior and self-esteem.

The Role of the Social Nervous System in a Trauma Sensitive School: Increasing Student Success, presented by David Eichler
In this workshop, participants will learn about the role of the Social Nervous System and the ways this system hinders or assists staff to optimally meet the needs of students with challenging behaviors. This is based on the seminal work of Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal Theory, and how it can be used to inform trauma sensitive school practices. Participants will be given concrete behavioral strategies to bring into their school and classroom, to help increase student success and decrease challenging student behavior. This is suggested for administrators, teachers, social workers, and other individuals who work with students with challenging behaviors.

Participants will learn strategies to put into their classroom and embed within the school culture to increase the likelihood that students and adults are not unnecessarily hijacked by their limbic system. This information – how our social nervous system responds to environmental stimuli – is essential knowledge for administrators, teachers, and any support staff who have a role interacting with students. This is grounded in the research in the emerging field of neurodevelopmental psychology. I can present the bibliography of citations I use in my presentation, if necessary, many of which are peer-reviewed.

Using Experiential Methodologies to Enhance Social Emotional Learning Though a Trauma-Informed Lens, presented by Scott VanderWey
Using Experiential Methodologies to Enhance Social Emotional Learning Though a Trauma-Informed Lens is a WSU Extension training program targeted at educators who want to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to transform their classrooms into dynamic, high achieving learning communities. This program spans across curriculum, grade levels, and programs, establishing a scaffolding to support educators, resulting in increased student performance and decreased disruptive behaviors. Participants experience best practices, learn the latest research, and understand the theory behind it – gaining new tools and techniques. Join us for a jam-packed session that is sure to reignite your passion for teaching.

Using Experiential Methodologies to Enhance Social Emotional Learning Though a Trauma-Informed Lens is a Washington State University (WSU) Extension training program that brings the research and best practices of the experiential learning model into the classroom. The program is targeted at Educators who want to acquire the knowledge and skill needed to transform their classrooms into dynamic, high achieving learning communities. This program spans across curriculum, grade levels, and programs, establishing a scaffolding to support educators, resulting in increased student performance and decreased disruptive behaviors. Participants have the opportunity to experience best practices, learn the latest research, and understand the theory behind it.

This workshop is designed to offer educators a reflective experience focusing on where they currently are as teachers and identify ways to actively engage their students in the classroom. By reflecting on targeted outcomes, teachers will experience professional growth, and transfer their knowledge to the classroom. The topic of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Learning Communities in schools is one of the current waves of educational reform. Educators will learn to harness the power and momentum of these movements for their classroom and school.

This workshop offers participants the opportunity to experience best practices, learn the latest research, understand the theory behind it, and walk away with a new set of tools. Currently, we have trained over 10,000 teachers in twenty-eight school districts in multiple states. Excitement over this approach is contagious.

Our session format will consist of three parts – Interactive PowerPoint, Experiential Activities, and Co-Creative planning. Attendees will not only leave with new ideas and tools for their program or classroom, they will leave with goals and a plan to implement them into their curriculum. Each attendee will receive an Educator’s Handbook which includes the research, theory and application tools of this Learning Communities Model.

Workshop Learning Objectives:

1. Experience key elements of a successful learning community

2. Gain new tools and techniques for teaching and learning

3. Understand current trends in educational research

4. Create an implementation plan

Reflection as a Tool for SEL and STEM Learning, presented by Trina Dorn
The overarching goal of the session will be to develop an understanding of student reflection as a tool for social-emotional and academic STEM content learning for students in poverty and English language learners. Daily reflection – whether peer-, self-, or group-oriented – engages students in active processing of information and contributes to a deeper understanding of themselves and the academic content being studied. We will define and discuss what reflection is, then practice a variety of short and in-depth reflection activities. Participants will leave with practical ideas for implementation.

Participants will leave with practical ideas for implementation of reflection activities, as well as a basic understanding of the theories and research publications on reflection in the classroom. Evidence of this can be found in the well-known Habits of Mind (Kallick & Costa) where reflection is woven into multiple skills. There are also numerous ASCD publications that highlight reflection as an effective classroom practice (Learning and Leading with Habits of Mind, 2008; Teaching Student to Self-Assess, 2015; Teach, Reflect, Learn, 2015) and the well-known Habits of Mind. Participants will be engaged in hands-on practice of reflection activities as well as ending with an active reflection circle to synthesize their own learning from the workshop.

FREE Drugs & Electric Dreams (Part 1 & Part 2), presented by Hector Sapien
This 2-part workshop takes a look at the effects of recent neuroscience research as well as neurotransmitter chemical reactions that influence how we think and feel in our lives, particularly in our relationships with others. Consequently, after an overview of these processes, we will attend to how we leverage their use while enabling improvements in strategic assertiveness, mindfulness, and intentionality so that we improve our competencies in promoting optimal development of the young people we work with across settings. The workshops will delineate ways this knowledge can be applied in our direct care work with results that mutually benefit the young person and the direct care worker.

They will learn how our brain reacts to differing degrees of stress, which then affects how we navigate our world while emphasizing ways that optimize growth & development. Consequently, learning how we can strategically leverage this information for the developmental benefit of the youth we serve as well as ourselves as youth workers. We also will learn how our body creates naturally good feeling drugs that orient us toward self-regulation and optimal relational development. Bruce Perry’s Brain Activation research & Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain Your Brain to Boost Your Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin, & Endorphin Levels by Loretta Graziano Breuning.

Re-engaging Socially Anxious and other Threshold: A New Model for working with Chronically Truant and Dropped Out High Schoolers, presented by Emanuel Pariser
We will review what we have learned from our first year of operating Threshold, a new model for working with teens who are socially anxious, or parenting, or have some other combination of challenges which have kept them from attending school regularly or at all. Threshold’s home-visiting approach puts the creation of a sustaining relationship with one visiting teacher/advisor at the center of the hoped-for transformation of students from school leavers to school completers.

We will explore the kinds of issues which have kept our students from success in the traditional school systems that most of them have left or attended too infrequently to make academic progress. We will look at the effects of social anxiety on these students and how Threshold works to alleviate some of the results of this condition including working closely with involved parents or guardians. For attendees interested in adopting or adapting this approach to their schools – we will also discuss the program’s architecture from curriculum to finances.

Trauma-Sensitive Schools, presented by Kathleen Guarino
In a trauma-sensitive school, all aspects of the educational environment — from workforce training to procedures and policies adopted— are grounded in an understanding of trauma and its impact and designed to promote resilience for all. Everyone has a role to play in adopting this approach, both in the classroom and schoolwide. This session offers educators, instructional support personnel, and administrators with a framework and strategies for supporting a schoolwide, trauma-sensitive approach. The session will draw on a new Trauma-Sensitive Schools Training Package from the U.S. Department of Education for supporting staff development and practice implementation.

Learner Objectives: Participants will be able to:

• Recognize how trauma effects students, staff, and schools.

• Learn a framework for building a trauma-sensitive school.

• Identify concrete strategies for supporting a trauma-sensitive approach.

Phoenix Flight: Our Journeys through Struggle toward Strength, presented by Pender Makin and youth presenters CPI Phoenix Team: Emily Denbow, Justice Wright, Shaniece Holmes-Brown
Two members of the CPI “Phoenix Team”, Emily Denbow and Justice Wright will be joined by Shaniece Holmes-Brown to share their stories of early struggle and to discuss the protective factors that helped them to overcome extreme hardships with resilience and courage.
Race and Youth: Supporting Student Perspectives and Voice through Courageous Discussions, presented by Jane Armstrong

Come here from the experts… middle school students!
This presentation, designed and presented by 3 outstanding students, will target the following:

  • The importance of implementing discussions on controversial topics in classrooms with safe space protocols.
  • Time to reflect on your own practices and the possible benefits that can come with such discussions
  • Practical tools and resources for creating a safe and inclusive classroom for courageous discussions
The Power of Calm, presented by Karen Williams
Neuroscience shows that youth cannot behave, listen, remember, recall, learn, become resilient, think or develop until they are calm. And never, in the history of calming down, has anyone every calmed down by being told to do so. We have automatic, primitive behaviors (fight, flight & freeze) to alert us – and announce to others – when we are not calm. Punishment only escalates these primitive behaviors. What we must teach our youth are the habits for being and staying calm, regardless of the situation. Their future depends on it.

Objectives: Participants will learn:

·       the role of behavior

·       how positive habits are built

·       how to teach & practice the habit of being calm

Sources: The National Institute of Health; the National Research Council; Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child