2019 Convention Workshops Preview

Focus Area: Diversity and Inclusion
Title: Understanding and Addressing Equity Issues in NC Schools
Identifying, addressing and reducing inequities that exist in students’ educational experiences.

Focus Area: Special Education
Title: Literacy Skills: Key to  Success for Special Education Students and Students Living in Poverty
Focus on providing literacy skills for Special Needs students and those living in Poverty, given by Special Ed Language Arts Teacher and someone from Raleigh Rescue Mission Project for Literacy as a success model.

Focus Area: PTA Leadership and Governance
Title: PTA, Schools, Families – A Team Commitment to Healthier Eating
This session will share preliminary results of a project, funded by the Aetna Foundation, focused on improving healthy eating behaviors among K-12 families and students both at home and school that is being implemented by 3 PTAs in Durham, NC. Participants in this session will learn how to: Create multidisciplinary healthy eating teams at their schools that include parents, students, food service, school leadership, and community partners; host family taste test nights; and advocate for nutrition efforts and opportunities throughout the district.

Focus Area: Diversity and Inclusion
Title: I Bully U
BULLYING numbers are on the rise!  But why?  What can be done to stop it?  Chris will address all of the major concerns and teach attendees the simple process to empower students, build RESILIENCE, increase conflict resolution skills and solve the issue of BULLYING.

Focus Area: Diversity and Inclusion
Title: Supporting Newly-Arrived Hispanic Students through One-Way Dual-Language Approaches: A Potential Solution to Achievement Gaps
In the last five years, American schools have experienced an unprecedented influx of immigrant school-age children from Central American countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. With such trend predicted to continue, a fundamental question comes to mind: Are schools prepared to effectively support these newcomer English Language Learners (ELLs)—who in most cases present gaps in their educational background? Predictably, the increase in ELL population has put pressure on school leaders to become resourceful about the best way to serve these students. Some have proactively implemented off-site or even in-site transitional newcomer schools/programs with dual-language features (i.e., where Spanish and English are used for content instruction). However, most schools continue to rely on standard, English-based ‘pullout’ ESL models—approaches often described as expensive and least effective in closing academic achievement gaps.

Focus Area: PTA Leadership and Governance
Title: The Importance of Male Engagement within School for the Academic Success for Students
This session is designed to provide information on the importance of men and father to the academic success for students.  Also, participants will learn strategies on how to start and sustain male engagement initiatives within the school as well as how PTA members are able to be advocates for male engagement.

Focus Area: PTA Leadership and Governance
Title: Living on the Sunny Side – Resilience
Identify the Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on behaviors, physical and mental health outcomes

  • Learn what “resilience” is and is not
  • Understand the impact of Equality, Equity and Liberation
  • Tools to become more Resilience
  • Finding Your Sunny Side
  • Putting the Past…Past

Focus Area: Special Education
Title: IEPs from A to Z:  Best Practices for Navigating Individual Learning Plans
Session will focus on processes, tips and resources for educators and parents to simplify the IEP process and make it more effective and productive for students.  Q and A included.

Focus Area: Special Education
Title: The State of Special Education in NC
During this session, I will discuss initiatives and projects ongoing with the Exceptional Children Division at NC DPI. This will include our soon to be released data management system, which includes integrated IEP forms, reading and math instruction, behavior support and other initiatives to improve the services and education of our students with disabilities.   The information that is shared will be focused on parent interest and provide resources and contact information for further access.

Focus Area: Diversity and Inclusion
Title: Bridging Latinx Parents cultural norms and their children’s education. El  Centro Hispano’s perspective in Durham and Orange Counties
This session will provide a case study about Hispanic/Latinx parents/guardians in their students’ education, particularly how they navigate themselves within Durham Public Schools and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. Special emphasis will be on gaining cultural awareness of El Centro Hispano’s Latinx/Hispanic participants’ experiences when facing the K-8th-grade school system.

Focus Area: Diversity and Inclusion
Title: How Can Schools Promote Equity Through Family School Partnerships?
Authentic and equitable family engagement contributes to improved student outcomes and to closing persistent achievement gaps among students of different racial and ethnic backgrounds and family income levels. Based in existing research and best practices participants will walk away with the following:

  • Understanding on how to implement the “Dual Capacity-Building Framework” which is new framework for designing family engagement initiatives that build capacity among educators and families to partner with one another around student success.
  • What kinds of family engagement strategies offer the most “bang for the buck.”
  • How to increase the engagement of underrepresented families into the PTA.
  • How to establish your Family and Community Engagement Team.

Focus Area: Diversity and Inclusion
Title: How can the school PTA provide an inclusive and equitable family engagement for Latino Families?
Participants will walk away with the cultural competencies needed to engage Latino families in their school and PTA Unit.

Focus Area: Diversity and Inclusion
Title: Courageous Conversations about Racial Equity”
Emphasis on what inclusion looks like. How do we ensure all ethnicities are actively involved at all levels of decision making and actively taking part in the solutions? Emphasis on impact of racial equity on parent and family engagement and MORE!

Focus Area: PTA Leadership and Governance
Title: Session I- Topic: Engaging Men of Color
Emphasis on how to talk so men will listen and how to listen so men will talk. Emphasis on building a male engagement framework to support student achievement.

Focus Area: PTA Leadership and Governance
Title: Lead by Example and Lead Your PTA Unit/Council to Excellence
School of Excellence is a great way for local PTAs to attract action-oriented members who want to focus on the most critical issues affecting our children. In this workshop, PTA leaders will gather to discuss the impact of the School of Excellence program. Share your experience and learn how other PTA leaders are promoting the program, supporting applicants, and celebrating designees. Take time for self-reflection to examine how you can become a School of Excellence. Leave this workshop better equipped to:

  • Engage your or Council PTAs to become key partners in continuous school improvement initiatives.
  • Showcase PTAs in one local School District (Durham Public Schools) and Durham Council of PTAs and how they embrace efforts to improve family-school-community partnerships and help all students succeed.
  • Support family engagement efforts at the local level.
  • Increase awareness, action and celebration of family and community involvement.
  • Model your efforts after the successes and lessons of others.
  • Learn how a Local PTA Council worked with the school system to integrate School of Excellence.

Focus Area: Diversity and Inclusion
Title: The Importance of Racial Equity for the Academic Succes of all Students
This session is designed to share information and data that will bring an awareness to the racial inequities, disparities and disproportionality regarding students of color within the school system.  Also, this interactive session will provide helpful strategies for how PTA members can advocate for all students.

Focus Area: Special Education
Title: Beyond High School: College, Employment, Financial and Other Options for Special Education Students
Focus will shed light on many new college and employment options and resources for a wide range of special education students.  Will include Q & A.

Focus Area: Diversity and Inclusion
Title: My Community is Diverse, My PTA is Inclusive
As PTA members, we know the importance of feeling welcome and included, more so when we have realities that make us different. This is an interactive workshop where participants will share their challenges and successes in getting diverse and/or underrepresented groups in their communities to join, support and/or participate for more inclusive PTAs.

Focus Area: Diversity and Inclusion
Title: Unconscious Biases
Understand how to minimize the impact of unconscious bias and micro-inequities in decision-making.

Focus Area: PTA Leadership and Governance
Title: The Role of the President – Leading with Purpose
This workshop is for PTA leaders.  Join me as we discuss the role of the president.  This session will prepare you to lead the oldest and largest child advocacy organization with purpose, integrity and success. Plan strategically for a productive year, engage a diverse team for best outcomes and make a difference for all children.

Focus Area: PTA Leadership and Governance
Title: How to use MemberHub to increase the success of your PTA!
MemberHub is your partner in completing your PTA responsibilities.

  • Learn how to use MemberHub as your PTA’s “system of record” with all membership information, NC PTA good-standing requirements, State dues remittance, and officer information stored in one place.
  • See how to use MemberHub to quickly set-up a free Online Store to sell memberships, merchandise, and accept donations.
  • Find out how to send communications, newsletters, and volunteer Sign Ups to your families via email AND text, with full analytics so you can see how many people are receiving and opening your messages.
  • Hear about new features that have been added to MemberHub and get a chance to ask your questions on how to use the system to increase the success of your PTA unit.

Focus Area: PTA Leadership and Governance
Title: Session II – Topic: Sustaining your Male Engagement Program
Once you get them, how to keep them. Emphasis how to build a successful male engagement program.

Focus Area: Special Education
Title: Engaging Special Needs Students: How to Plan Inclusive PTA Events and Programs
All children want to be included in school programs, fairs and celebrations! This workshop is designed to help parents, educators and special needs providers develop, organize, and execute school programs and events that are inclusive of students of all mental and physical abilities.  It will include dos and don’ts, examples of some successful and inclusive events, and tips on best practices.

Focus Area: Special Education
Title: Dispute Resolution: Assisting Families and Schools with EC Disputes
Participants will identify the mechanisms that can be used to resolve disputes at the local level with no cost supports provided by the Department of Public Instruction, Exceptional Children Division.

Focus Area: Special Education
Title: Effective Strategies for Dispute Resolution: How to Handle IEP Conflicts and Disagreements
When disagreements occur between the school/district and parents regarding the Individualized Education Program (IEP) for students, tensions and frustrations can result in unnecessary battles that can inadvertently shift the focus from the true needs of the student. District/school personnel and parents will learn proven strategies for resolving conflicts that arise and hopefully avoid due process that can result in unnecessary fiscal and emotional costs for all parties.

Focus Area: Special Education
Title: Why Medicaid Reimbursement to Schools Matters
Most recent data indicate the federal investment in educating students with disabilities is 16% (or $1,843 of the $11,534 per student) of the excess cost; the remaining 84% is left to states and local school districts to supply (Dancy, 2016). Medicaid cost recovery for Individualized Education Programs [IEP] services now reduces the $17 billion IDEA burden on states by about $4 billion (McCann, 2013). While Medicaid fee-for-service reimbursement of some health services provided by schools does not dispatch the entire IDEA funding deficit, it helps significantly. That said, few resources exist to translate and braid Medicaid and special education policy into compliant, reimbursable local school-based service delivery. While state Medicaid agencies codify the terms of reimbursement to schools, their policies do not describe how optimized school-based Medicaid programs function. As a result, stakeholders often demonstrate considerable confusion, suspicion, and/or resistance when they encounter school-based Medicaid claiming. Further, without an organizing framework for start-up and sustainability, school districts may rely on duplicative, incomplete, fragmented and/or ad hoc processes based on local, anecdotal knowledge and interpretation of policies to administer school Medicaid programs. This session will provide an update of Medicaid programs in NC schools and provide a tool for assessing and improving these programs.

Focus Area: Diversity and Inclusion
Title: Latinx/ First generation student Middle school to high school transition; address differences in systems, access to college and college prep.
This workshop seeks to provide the opportunity for stake holders to begin the process of learning and creating cultural aware program, tools and/or initiatives to address Latinx and first generation students in their transition from middle school to high school.  It is no secrete that the US education system is different than the majority of places where some of the students and their families come from, which creates a need to address the difference in order to insure the student and parents are adequately prepared.  The workshop will touch on practices learned to better inform parents and students as to processes and timelines they must know in order to prepare for the next part of their public school education and a college or university career.

Focus Area: Diversity and Inclusion
Title: Policy Brief on issues affecting the immigrant community: enrollment processes, ESL policies, sponsorships, in-state tuition, DACA and more.
This workshop will focus on giving an update on State wide polices effecting students in the immigrant community.  The presenters will talk about policies and practices put in place in NC that effect immigrant students form the moment they are attempting to enroll in schools to the end of their educational career. Issues that will be the main focus will be: enrollment of new immigrant student practices, In-state vs. Out – State tuition, DACA students and language access programing. Participants will walk away with a deeper understanding of these issues and the manner in which they are impacting the students, their families and their educational plans.