Course Description

One-day Conference

Tuesday, May 9, 2017
8:20 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (check-in: 8:00 a.m.)
Memorial Union Building, UNH, Durham Campus, NH

Register Early and Save!
$220 ($245 if registered after April 25)

Approved by NASW, NH Chapter, for 6 Cat. 1 CE Credits, Auth.# 3308


8:00-8:20 a.m.--Registration & Coffee

8:20-8:30 a.m.-- Welcome

8:30-10:00 a.m.--Keynote Speaker: Karen Mapp, Ed.D.
Building the Capacity for Effective Family-School Partnerships

10:00-11:45 a.m.--2 Breakout Sessions

  • Promoting Shared Decision Making in the Special Education Process
  • Making the Connections: Family Engagement in Early Childhood Settings (Birth-Grade 3)

12:00–12:45 p.m.--Lunch

12:45-1:45 p.m. --Featured Speaker: Richard Feistman, Ph.D.
Utilizing Local Resources to Build a Sustainable Family and Community Engagement Program

2:00–3:45 p.m.--2 Breakout Sessions

  • Nashua Model of Family and Community Engagement (Elementary and Middle School)
  • Managing Difficult Conversations: Find a Way Forward

Session Descriptions

Keynote Address: Building the Capacity for Effective Family-School Partnerships

The purpose of this keynote is to share what we now know about the critical role that partnerships between families and school staff play in the support of academic achievement and school improvement. Dr. Mapp will discuss the link between these partnerships and student outcomes as well as the high impact strategies that lead to effective partnerships between families and schools. Dr. Mapp will summarize the research and promising practice strategies featured in the 2007 publication Beyond the Bake Sale: The Essential Guide to Family-School Partnerships, the 2011 publication, A Match on Dry Grass: Community Organizing as a Catalyst for School Reform, and the 2014 USDOE Dual Capacity Framework for Family-School Partnerships.
Keynote Speaker:  Karen Mapp, Ed.D., is a Senior Lecturer on Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and the Faculty Director of the Education Policy and Management Master’s Program.

Featured Speaker: Utilizing Local Resources to Build a Sustainable Family and Community Engagement Program

New Hampshire’s schools/districts have many resources available to them on the national, state, and local level for developing a sustainable system of family and community engagement. The problem is that those resources are often useless unless an interested school/district has a team comprised of staff and families that can properly assess their own needs and seek assistance in serving those needs. This presentation will focus on how to set up those teams as well as present some of the resources and material available – often and low to no cost.
About the Speaker: Richard Feistman, Ph.D., is the Senior Research Associate for the Center for Collaborative Education whose mission is "to promote innovative models of schools and to engage in related activities that increase justice and opportunity for all learners."

4 Breakout Sessions

Promoting Shared Decision Making in the Special Education Process

The special education process requires that parents make informed decisions about their children’s education. How do school staff promote parents’ informed participation in decision-making? Currently, many health care professionals (including here in NH) are using the Shared Decision Making (SDM) model to help patients make informed decisions in their medical care. This model supersedes older, authoritarian models of professional-patient interaction and has been shown both to build patient trust and improve patient outcomes. Application of the SDM model to decision-making in special education holds promise of achieving the goals of building family-school partnerships and improving results for students and their families. This session will describe a recent practice model of SDM that has clear applicability to engaging families in decision-making related to the special education process. Through interactive discussion and activities, we will discuss how the three key steps in the practice—Team Talk, Option Talk, and Decision Talk—can be implemented in the context of IEP meetings. Please note: presenter Batya Elbaum will join the presentation via an online meeting.

Presenters: Batya Elbaum, Ph.D., University of Miami & Jennifer Cunha, Project Director-NH Parent Information Center

Making the Connections: Family Engagement in Early Childhood Settings (Birth-Grade 3)

Explore family engagement and the connection between families’ involvement in early childhood education with children’s outcomes and school readiness skills. Barriers to family engagement will be discussed, along with principles of partnering with families. You will have the opportunity to complete a family engagement self- assessment, and begin to develop family engagement strategies to meet your organization’s needs. You will learn concrete strategies to create family engagement initiatives, and identify ways to create family-friendly environments. This workshop is appropriate for teachers, social workers, administrators, and center directors of private or public educational programs serving children birth through Grade 3. This session was presented at the 2016 NH Educators’ Summer Summit.

Presenters: Pam Lane and Heidi Toursie, Southern New Hampshire Services

Nashua Model of Family and Community Engagement (Elementary and Middle School)

Family and Community Engagement is a shared responsibility in which schools and other community agencies and organizations are committed to reaching out to engage families in meaningful ways and in which families are committed to actively supporting their children’s learning and development. It is continuous across a child’s life and entails enduring commitment but changing parent roles as children mature into young adulthood. Effective family engagement reinforces learning in multiple settings where children learn— at home, in prekindergarten programs, in school, in after school programs, and in the community. Please join us to learn what the Nashua School District is doing to encourage parent and community participation in all of our schools K-12 and join in on a discussion to brainstorm new ideas for your community.

Presenters: Cherrie Fulton, Title One Director, Nashua School District
Blanca Chavez, Home/School Coordinator and Lisa Stempler Parent Educator at Fairgrounds Elementary School; and Adelina Hernandez & Dora Vargas, Home/School Coordinators at Nashua Middle Schools

Managing Difficult Conversations: Find a Way Forward

Even with the best intentions, sometimes IEP Teams must have difficult conversations or may find themselves in conflict. In this session we will discover and apply different practices in order to move forward in an agreeable manner when these situations arise. Participants will learn to better recognize what makes some conversations difficult and use a structured framework to help conduct difficult conversations. Together we will explore different ways to deal with difficult behaviors and learn about possible strategies to defuse a difficult situation. This session will expand your ability to convert difficult situations into collaborative solutions and work with families in a productive way.

Presenters: Maureen Shields and Barbara Publicover from the NH Parent Information Center

Accrediting Associations


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