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Lynn Lyons – Accommodation Plans & Anxiety: What Works & What Doesn’t

Almost every accommodation plan I have ever seen for an anxiety disorder actually makes the anxiety stronger

Student abilities and challenges vary widely and we thus have an important federal statute (Section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act) that guarantees all children have equal access to educational opportunities. I do many trainings in Canada and they have a similar process for educational plans that are created through IPP planning. If you’ve ever heard me speak or are familiar with my approach to treating anxiety, what I’m about to say will come as no surprise: Regardless of what we call them, almost every accommodation plan I have ever seen for an anxiety disorder actually makes the anxiety stronger. I’m not exaggerating.

Why? Because schools and parents act in a loving, caring, helpful manner…and seek to provide the student with the comfort and certainty that anxiety feeds upon. Of course concerned adults want to keep anxious kids in school, but when the plan focuses on allowing a child to avoid anxiety-provoking situations, the child never learns the skills necessary to step toward challenges rather than away from them.

Think of it this way: anxious children already know how to get out of things. That’s anxiety’s main coping strategy. If the accommodation plan is based on creating escapes, avoiding challenges and keeping the classroom “safe” (which to anxiety means keeping the environment predictable and comfortable) then adults are actually making the anxiety stronger and more permanent. To manage anxiety in a new way, the child must learn how to stay in the situation and thus respond differently to the thoughts, feeling and sensations that worry and anxiety create.

When creating, updating, or reviewing an accommodation plan for anxiety, keep these
guidelines in mind:

1) All plans for anxiety should be based on teaching the skills of managing anxiety when it arrives, rather than eliminating or avoiding triggers.
2) Plans should have a “weaning off” component that moves the child toward more independence and less accommodation. And in my experience, weaning can happen quickly (weeks) once the skills are in place and everyone is working together.
3) If a plan has been in place for several months or even years with no changes in a positive direction, then the approach to the child’s anxiety disorder should be evaluated.*
4) If a plan allows a child to leave the classroom, there must be a plan for HOW the child will deal with the anxiety and return as soon as possible… and all involved adults must be aware of the plan.
5) A child will benefit greatly from an adult to coach and support her as she moves into anxiety provoking situations. That coach must be familiar with the plan that, in a nutshell, expects anxiety to arrive, externalizes it (steps back from it, talks back to it, reacts differently to it) and experiments with the anxiety by taking steps toward the anxiety rather than away from it.

I heard recently of an accommodation for a high school student with social anxiety. He was not to be called on in class and was exempt from doing presentations in front of his peers. This plan had been in place since seventh grade. This bright 17 year old was now looking ahead to college, but his plan had excused him from learning HOW to feel anxious, manage that process, and take a risk. His anxious behavior had been cemented, not challenged. I wonder how he’ll be able to get through a college course on his own.

Am I asking a lot of schools? Absolutely. I do the same of parents. But I’m only so bossy because anxiety is so treatable and I just can’t stand to watch it take charge! Everywhere I look–websites, books, internet articles, even Pinterest–I see accommodation plans that make anxiety applaud and cheer. “Make sure your anxious child has all the information ahead of time.” “Send a note home a day ahead if there’s
going to be a change in the school routine.” “Warn anxious children of fire drills and allow them to skip noisy assemblies.” “Find a safe place for the child can go until she feels comfortable and ready to return to the classroom.”Hurray! says Anxiety. Boo! says Lynn.

Please trust me when I tell you that such well-meaning and short-term solutions are the opposite of what we need to do for anxious children.

* The school, the parents, and the treating therapist must be working together with the child on the same “step into it” plan. Recommendations from a therapist or parents that accommodate the anxiety are virtually impossible for the school to contradict.

The VT-HEC is pleased to present Lynn Lyons at the Stoweflake Resort in Stowe, VT, on October 10 & 11, 2018: Interrupting the Worry Cycle: Advanced Strategies for Managing Anxious Students (& Parents!)

For more information and registration go to: vthec.org

VT-HEC Fall Focus on Special Needs

This fall VT-HEC has lined up a varied and robust schedule of professional development opportunities focused on students with disabilities, struggling learners and learners with various other challenges & needs
  • Curriculum and Instruction for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder – Kathryn Whitaker, M.Ed. -Workshops and/or Course (10/22 & 10/23 – Montpelier) Kids with ASD can be among our most challenging but Kathryn can help you design, implement and evaluate instructional systems utilizing strategies that have worked for students with these issues.
  • Orientation to Special Education – Andrea Wasson, M.Ed. & Joy Wilcox, M.Ed. – Workshop (9/27 & 9/28 – Montpelier). Are you new to special education, new to Vermont, do you have to supervise or evaluate special educators or related service providers, or do you or your staff just need to review the basics to ensure you are all using you time wisely and focusing on the right stuff? If the answer to any of these is yes, this is the offering for you and yours.
  • Addressing Educational Benefit through the Special Education Process Jen Patenaude, M.A.  Workshops (10/17, 11/8, 12/12, 1/10 – Montpelier) This is a series every special educator should be taking to improve student progress by using the special education procedures in the most productive manner. Jen is a Vermont treasure and this offering should be required.
  • Strategies for Sustaining the Student-Centered Classroom – Carol Tomlinson, Ed.D. & Bill Rich, M.A. – Three-part WORKshop series (10/18, 12/6 & 3/20 – Montpelier). Carol literally wrote the books on differentiated instruction and Bill has been working in VT for many years focused on using what we know about the brain and learning to make education work for all kids.
  • Special Education Legal Update – Art Cernosia, Esq. – Workshop (10/25 – Montpelier) Special Education law can be deadly but Art makes it easy to take.  You’ll hear what’s new, what’s coming, what to focus on and what can take a back seat.
  • Advancing and Sustaining Equity Literacy – Paul Gorski, PH.D. – Workshops (11/1 & 11/2 –
    Montpelier). Paul founded EdChange, a coalition of educators and activists providing professional development on educational equity.  This year VT-HEC is working with the VPA and other Vermont organizations to present an array of events and learning opportunities focusing on equity. These two days will focus on the foundations of Equity Literacy and how your schools can put its principals into practice. A follow-up three days is planned of the spring focusing on different equity themes – race, poverty & gender.
  • Building Collaborative Teams/Effective Partnerships: Working with Tough Teams – Alicia Lyford, M.Ed. & Joy Wilcox, M.Ed. – Workshop and/or Course (11/5 & 11/6 – Montpelier) There are few more frustrating things than a dysfunctional team and few things better than an effective one – find out the ways to ensure yours are the latter.
  • Lights, Camera, Action! Use Built-in Tools on Your Smartphone to Create Quick and Effective Learning Opportunities for Your Students – Patty Thomas, OT and Chris Knippenberg, M.S., OTR/L, ATP – WORKshop and/or Course (10/26 – Rutland) Chris and Patty have this offering down and will help you use the tools on your phone or tablet to create a variety of learning activities to meet the specific needs of your students.
  • Tips and Tools for Early Childhood Special Educators – Judith Masson, M.Ed. -Workshops (10/4 & 11/7 – S. Burlington) Judith shares practical tools, charts, forms and practices that can be tailored to your work setting and students to help make you more efficient and effective.

 

Trauma, Anxiety & Behavior

 

And there is more on the VT-HEC Drawing Board for the spring; check back often to see the latest news & opportunities. For more information and registration go to vthec.org.

National Experts Coming to VT on: Anxiety, Student-Centered Learning, Equity, Special Education Law

Lynn Lyons; Carol Tomlinson w/Bill Rich; Art Cernosia; Paul Gorski

In addition to the many excellent Vermont presenters the VT-HEC has scheduled for the coming year we are excited to announce a number of very special offerings by experts from around the country.

  • Anxiety – Lynn Lyons – is an author, therapist and expert on anxiety in kids & families. Lynn has been featured in the NY Times Magazine, On Point/NPR, Time & Psychology Today and is the author of Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents – 7 Ways to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise Courageous & Independent Children. Lynn will be coming to Stowe, VT on October 10 & 11 for the presentation Interrupting the Worry Cycle: Advanced Strategies for Managing Anxious Students (& Parents!). In addition, Lynn will be offering two webinars to support those who are working to implement her strategies.
  • Student-Centered Learning – Carol Tomlinson & Bill Rich – Carol literally wrote the books on differentiation with her latest being The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners. Carol will be teaming with Vermont’s own expert on learning and the brain & proficiency-based learning for a presentation on October 18 in Montpelier, VT entitled: Strategies for Sustaining the Student-Centered Classroom. This will be the kick-off of a three-part series with Bill following-up with two additional workshops.
  • Special Education Law – Art Cernosia – National expert on special education law & issues will be returning to Vermont on October 25 for his annual Special Education Legal Update in Montpelier.
  • Equity – Paul Gorski – Paul is a prolific writer and professor at George Mason University where he founded EdChange, a coalition of educators and activists providing professional development on educational equity.  This year VT-HEC is working with the VPA and other Vermont organizations to present an array of events and learning opportunities focusing on equity. The VT-HEC Mission Investment Fund is sponsoring Paul’s 2-day presentation: Advancing and Sustaining Equity Literacy on November 1 & 2 in Montpelier.  This will be followed by three more days focused on equity themes in the spring – gender, race and poverty.

 

Additional information and registration on vthec.org.

Also, check out the many other offerings VT-HEC has planned for the year covering a wide variety of topics including; trauma, early childhood, behavior, gender, special education, teaming, autism and much more.

 

 

 

Spring Focus on Special Education & Struggling Learners

The VT-HEC continues to focus on supporting educators and administrators who work with students with disabilities and/or have other challenges to their learning and success.  Whether it is developing programs for specific students or building the capacity of your MTSS, the VT-HEC is developing a multi-year array of learning opportunities and supports to help you move forward in a consistent manner.

Getting Ready to Learn Series: Make and Take WORKshop Series One of our most successful series for a reason. It is focused on creating materials to meet the specific needs of young students with significant learning challenges including Autism and developmental disabilities. Participants will leave with an arm-load of learning materials tailored to the needs of their kids with the greatest challenges and tips on how best to use them. This year we have added the option of earning credit focused on implementation of these concepts and materials. Led by Patty Piotrowski and Chris Knippenberg (OTR) in So. Burlington, VT (2/2, 3/13, 4/10)

Registered Behavior Technician Training based on the Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) certification of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). The training is designed for paraprofessionals, and others desiring these competencies, working in education, mental health and related fields. It will be offered as a 40 hour training experience that will provide an excellent foundation of the knowledge and skills needed to implement behavior and education intervention plans. Led by BCBAs Candace Fugazy and Joanna Hull in
Colchester, VT ~ Six dates (3/10, 3/17, 3/24, 4/7, 4/14, 5/5)

A Systematic Approach to Teaching Socialization and Play for Young Learners – Learning to interact with peers is one of the most important skills a child can learn and for some it doesn’t come easily. Chris will help particiants develop and plan for those students in a way that will benefit all kids. With Chris Knippenberg in Burlington, VT (5/4)

Special Education: Approaches to Case Management with an Eye to Recent Cases and Legal Requirements with Heather T. Lynn Esq. in S. Burlington (2/8) Heather will share the practical implications of recent court decisions and current regulations on the special education process, IEP development, etc. and how you can navigate the often- confusing legal waters of special education to avoid danger zones, resolve conflict and stay on a safe and productive course.

Connecting the Dots: Using Best Practices to Support Infants, Toddlers, and Their Families in Montpelier, VT ~ Three more workshop dates (2/9, 3/23, 5/3) Supporting young children and their families is one of the most important things we can do for Vermont’s future.  Next up is Jayne Singer from Boston Children’s Hospital and then Dee Smith from UVM. Don’t miss these experts as they explore the most effective practices and research findings.

MTSS Ground Level Systems Planning: What does effective, daily implementation look like? K-6 with Jen Patenaude in Rutland, VT (4/4 & 4/5) Do you need to make changes to your MTSS structure and systems in order to more effectively implement multi-tiered programming designed to serve all students? If so, this intensive two-day workshop is the perfect time to plan for the next school year. Strategies and suggestions shared are drawn from the collective experience of schools from across Vermont that are well underway with implementing MTSS. Jen is the perfect person to lead your team to assess your needs and design the changes your system should put in place for next year.

Proficiency-Based, Personalized-Learning within an MTSS System: What does effective, daily implementation look like?  7-12 with Jen Patenaude in Rutland, VT ~ A two day offering (5/8 & 5/9) A middle/high school version of the above offering taking into account efforts toward personalization and proficiency-based learning in the complex 7-12 setting.

Go to vthec.org for more information and registration

Spring Preview – General Education

VT-HEC has a full schedule of learning opportunities planned for the spring covering a variety of topics within the general education area including the practical use of learning scales, gender diversity, using technology in early elementary grades and a series on where proficiency & personalization is working in Vermont. We welcome some of VT-HEC favorites such as Jen Patenaude and Bill Rich as well as some new presenters that we are very excited about including Paul Foxman on anxiety in the classroom and Joelle van Lent and Gillian Boudreau on trauma and resilience. In short, there is something for just about everyone.

Creating Gender-Affirming School Environments: What Leaders Need to Know and Do in S. Burlington, VT (2/15) Experts from Outright VT will help leaders and their teams understand gender-related issues, the challenges, legal implications and, most importantly, what you can do to create a system-wide environment accepting of all kids.

Where is it Working? Studying VT-Made Models of Student-Centered, Proficiency-Based Learning in Action with Bill Rich in Montpelier, VT ~ Two more workshop dates (3/22, 5/15) presenting real examples from VT schools that are working hard to implement the ideals of personalization and proficiency-based instruction.

The Why, What, and How of Taking a Brain-Based Approach to Student-Centered, Proficiency-Based Learning with Bill Rich in Killington, VT ~ Two more WORKshops covering performance assessment and how to put it all together in your classroom and school (3/7, 5/11)

It Came from Outer Space: Integrating Technology and Writing Across the K-3 Curriculum with Arlyn Bruccoli and Jennifer Fitch in Montpelier, VT (3/9) The title says it all…. Arlyn, a library/media specialist, and Jennifer, an accomplished classroom teacher, will show you how. They will have you practicing with the tools they use working together using technology to help younger students express their ideas and reactions about science, social studies, literature, etc.

Creating a Gender Inclusive Classroom with Lisa Estivill in Montpelier, VT (4/5) How to move past basic understanding of gender diversity to reviewing examples of classroom resources and strategizing how to implement gender inclusive language, curriculum and group expectations in your own classroom.

Fostering Resilient Learners: Creating Trauma Sensitive School Communities, with Joelle van Lent, Psy.D, and Gillian Boudreau, Ph.D., in Montpelier, VT ~ Four workshop days (1/18, 2/16, 3/16, 4/12) and an additional date (5/17) for 3-credit graduate course. From the basics on the impact of trauma on kids’ ability to form relationships to utilizing mindfulness and other strategies to build their resilience, these workshops and course will put you and your school on track to support students dealing with or recovering from trauma.  Joelle and Gillian form a dynamic team with complimentary expertise and experience.

Managing Anxiety in the Classroom, with Paul Foxman, Ph.D., in Montpelier, VT (1/26) Daily headlines seem to bring more sources of anxiety that are difficult enough for adults to deal with but are putting more and more kids in the situation of trying to deal with chronic anxiety without the supports or tools to help. Paul will help you recognize the symptoms and develop strategies to help your students cope and succeed.

MTSS Ground Level Systems Planning: What does effective, daily implementation look like? (K-6) with Jen Patenaude in Rutland, VT (4/4 & 4/5) Do you need to make changes to your MTSS structure and systems in order to more effectively implement multi-tiered programming designed to serve all students? If so, this intensive two-day workshop is the perfect time to plan with your team for the next school year. Strategies and suggestions are drawn from the collective experience of schools from across Vermont that are well underway with implementing MTSS. Jen is the perfect person to lead your team to assess your needs and design the changes your system should put in place for next year.

Proficiency-Based, Personalized-Learning within an MTSS System: What does effective, daily implementation look like? (7-12) with Jen Patenaude in Rutland, VT ~ A two day offering (5/8 & 5/9) A middle/high school version of the above offering taking into account the efforts toward personalization and proficiency-based learning.

Check out our other series for offerings that may also address your interests and needs including: Special Education and Early Childhood – Grade 3

 VT-HEC WORKshops are learning opportunities that are planned to have participants practicing, applying and tailoring the concepts, skills and models that are being shared for much of the day and often include a course option to support implementation in your own setting.

 

Spring Preview: Early Childhood – Grade 3

VT-HEC has a full slate of offerings planned for the spring covering topics ranging from the practical use of learning scales to a series of “Make & Take” WORKshops focused on young students with developmental disabilities.  We welcome some of VT-HEC favorites such as Jen Patenaude, Chris Knippenberg and Bill Rich as well as some new folks that we are very excited about including, Heather Lynn on Special Education law, Paul Foxman on anxiety in the classroom and Jayne Singer from Boston Children’s Hospital.  In short, there is something for just about everyone.

Our spring offerings that most relate to young children through grade 3 include:

Connecting the Dots: Using Best Practices to Support Infants, Toddlers, and Their Families in Montpelier, VT ~ Three more workshop dates (2/9, 3/23, 5/3) Supporting young children and their families is one of the most important things we can do for Vermont’s future.  Next up is Jayne Singer from Boston Children’s Hospital and then Dee Smith from UVM. Don’t miss these experts as they explore the most effective practices and research findings.

Getting Ready to Learn Series: Three Make and Take WORKshops with Patty Piotrowski and Chris Knippenberg in So. Burlington, VT (2/2, 3/13, 4/10) – One of our most successful WORKshop series for a reason. It is focused on creating materials to meet the specific needs of young students with learning challenges. You will leave with an arm-load of learning materials tailored to support your toughest kids and tips on how best to use them. This year we have added the option of earning credit focused on implementation of these concepts and materials.

It Came from Outer Space: Integrating Technology and Writing Across the K-3 Curriculum with Arlyn Bruccoli and Jennifer Fitch in Montpelier, VT (3/9) The title says it all…. Arlyn, a library/media specialist, and Jennifer, an accomplished classroom teacher, will show you how. They will have you practicing with the tools they use working together using technology to help younger students express their ideas and reactions about science, social studies, literature, etc.

A Systematic Approach to Teaching Socialization and Play for Young Learners with Chris Knippenberg in Burlington, VT (5/4) Learning to interact with peers is one of the most important skills a child can learn and for some it doesn’t come easily. Chris will help you develop and plan for those students in a way that will benefit all kids.

Fostering Resilient Learners: Creating Trauma Sensitive School Communities, with Joelle van Lent, Psy.D, and Gillian Boudreau, Ph.D., in Montpelier, VT ~ Four workshop days (1/18, 2/16, 3/16, 4/12) and an additional date (5/17) for 3-credit graduate course. From the basics on the impact of trauma on kids’ ability to form relationships to utilizing mindfulness and other strategies to build their resilience, these workshops and course will put you and your school on track to support students dealing with or recovering from trauma.  Joelle and Gillian form a dynamic team with complimentary expertise and experience.

Managing Anxiety in the Classroom, with Paul Foxman, Ph.D., in Montpelier, VT (1/26) Daily headlines seem to bring more sources of anxiety that are difficult enough for adults to deal with but are putting more and more kids in the situation of trying to deal with chronic anxiety without the supports or tools to help. Paul will help you recognize the symptoms and develop strategies to help your students cope and succeed.

Special Education: Suggested Approaches to Case Management with an Eye to Recent Cases and Legal Requirements with Heather T. Lynn Esq. in S. Burlington (2/8) Heather will share the practical implications of recent court decisions and current regulations and how you can navigate the often- confusing legal waters of special education to avoid the danger zones, resolve conflict and stay on a safe and productive course.

MTSS Ground Level Systems Planning: What does effective, daily implementation look like? (K-6) with Jen Patenaude in Rutland, VT ~ Two workshop dates (4/4 & 4/5) Do you need to make changes to your MTSS structure and systems in order to more effectively implement multi-tiered programming designed to serve all students? If so, this intensive two-day workshop is the perfect time to plan for the next school year. Strategies and suggestions shared are drawn from the collective experience of schools across Vermont that are well underway with MTSS. Jen is the perfect person to lead your team to assess and design the changes your system needs for next year.

Check out our other series for offerings that may also address your interests and needs including: Special Education; Trauma, Resilience & Anxiety; Gender and where Proficiencies & Personalization are really working in VT.

VT-HEC WORKshops are learning opportunities that are planned to have participants practicing, applying and tailoring the concepts, skills and models that are being shared for much of the day and often include a course option to support implementation in your own setting.

VT-HEC Preview: Focus on Young Children – Birth Through Primary Grades

From Topics on Children Birth to Three to Robotics & Reading in the Primary Grades

There is much ground to cover as we work to develop our pre-school system in Vermont and refine our primary grade experience.  It always seems there is so much to learn, from what the latest research is telling us to using technology tools to make the work more efficient and manageable.

The VT-HEC maintains its long-standing commitment to young children. Since 2005 we have run an Early Childhood Pathway to Endorsement Program leading to the Early Childhood Licensing Endorsement and EC Special Education Endorsement that can also lead to a Masters degree. In addition, we offer an annual array of workshops and related single courses as we work with other providers to meet the professional development needs in this critical area. This year’s line-up includes:

  • Effective Social Communication & Social Interaction Interventions for Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders with Patty Prelock, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, BCS-CL, in Montpelier, VT (10/12) A Vermont treasure and national expert on child development, communication & ASD – One of our favorite people sharing the latest and most promising research and strategies –  not to be missed!
  • Tips and Tools for Early Childhood Special Educators, with Judith Masson in Montpelier, VT ~ Two workshop dates (9/29, 10/26) with a 1-credit graduate course option. Practical tips, processes and short-cuts that you can adapt to your setting to make your work life easier and more efficient – lots of practical ideas to put into practice tomorrow.
  • Teaching Reading Comprehension to Students Who Require More Explicit Instruction with Tina Newman, Ph.D; Heather Flynn, Ph.D; and Kimberly Marshall, MA, BCBA; in Montpelier, VT ~ Two workshop dates (10/16 & 11/13) After a very successful presentation last year, we are bringing back these folks for two days to share more in-depth strategies to teach reading to students who have learning challenges. This is the kind of specially-designed instruction every interventionist, special and primary educator needs in their tool box.
  • Coding from the Littles to the Middles: Robotics in the K-6 Classroom with Arlyn Bruccoli and Jennifer Fitch in Montpelier, VT (11/17) Hands-on opportunity to see how robots and coding can be integrated into your classroom and curriculum. Jennifer is a classroom teacher and Arlyn a media/technology master. These delightful presenters work together and can talk about their collaboration as well as the technology – plus you get to play with a variety of robots.
  • Connecting the Dots: Using Best Practices to Support Infants, Toddlers, and Their Families in Montpelier, VT ~ Four workshop dates (11/3, 2/9, 3/23, 5/3) with a 3-credit undergraduate course option. Bringing you expert perspective and information on topics important to supporting young children and their families. Knowledge that will benefit everyone working with young children.
  • Lights, Camera, Action! Using your Smartphone or Tablet to Create Efficient and Effective Learning Opportunities for your Students with Chris Knippenberg and Patty Thomas in Montpelier, VT (12/15) Video is a technology tool that that can be used creatively with all kids with a little practice to motivate, teach and demonstrate learning. Learn how in another of VT-HEC’s WORKshops.
  • Getting Ready to Learn Series: Three Make and Take WORKshops with Patty Piotrowski and Chris Knippenberg in Burlington, VT (2/2, 3/13, 4/10) – One of our most successful WORKshop series for a reason: focused on creating materials to meet the specific needs of young students with learning challenges – you will leave with an arm-load of learning materials tailored to support your toughest kids and tips on how best to use them.
  • It Came from Outer Space: Integrating Technology and Writing Across the K-3 Curriculum with Arlyn Bruccoli and Jennifer Fitch in Montpelier, VT (3/9) The title says it all…. Arlyn and Jennifer will show you how and have you practicing with the tools they use working together.
  • A Systematic Approach to Teaching Socialization and Play for Young Learners with Chris Knippenberg in Burlington, VT (5/4) Learning to interact with peers is one of the most important skills a child can learn and for some it doesn’t come easily. Chris will help you develop and plan for those students in a way that will benefit all kids.
  • Check out our other series for offerings that may also address your interests and needs including: Special Education; Trauma, Resilience & Anxiety; General Education – Proficiencies & Personalization
  • VT-HEC WORKshops are learning opportunities that are planned to have participants practicing, applying and tailoring the concepts, skills and models that are being shared for much of the day and often include a course option to support implementation in your own setting.

VT-HEC Fall Preview: Focus on Special Education

Special Education, Early Childhood, Autism, Reading, Trauma, Behavior

We hope we can help you get the year off to a great start with offerings in key areas of need that focus on gaining practical knowledge and skills as well as applying them in real ways to benefit students.

The VT-HEC began in 2000 as an effort of the VT Department of Education, VSC & UVM.  Our first program was the Pathway to Special Education Endorsement course series that continues to this day and has had over 350 completers. In addition, we have offered a selection of workshops and single courses for all those who work with struggling learners and students with disabilities.

Registration will open August 10th for these Fall offerings:

  1. Trauma & Resilience– There are many introductions out there on the impact of trauma and the strategies that can help but the VT-HEC is developing an array of learning opportunities that will go much further & deeper in supporting the application of the most effective strategies and creating in-school expertise. Working with the Northeast Family Institute (NFI) and experts like Joelle Van Lent & Gillian Boudreau, we are planning a coordinated workshops series and course sequence for 2017-2018 & beyond.  

 

Trauma-Informed Schools – September 26 & October 23, Rutland, VT:  David Melnick of NFI will kick things off with a two-workshop series that has an extended course option.

Spring 2018 Workshops & Courses: We have three additional offerings in this series for the spring– a Part II course presented by David Melnick, a workshop series & course by Joelle van Lent and Gillian Boudreau focusing on resilience, compassion fatigue and mindfulness and Paul Foxman on anxiety.

  1. Tips & Tools for Early Childhood Special Education, September 29 & October 26; Montpelier.  Judith Mason shares practical tools that will benefit both the newest and your most veteran staff member and give them an opportunity to tailor these tools to their own settings.
  1. Special Education Orientation, October 5 & 6; Montpelier. If you, your principal or your staff members are new to your position or to VT, this session is one you want to mark on your calendar now. Andrea Wasson, accomplished special education administrator and presenter/instructor, surveys the special education rules, process and best practices to help you and your staff get off to a confident start in this complicated field. 
  1. Autism Spectrum Disorder in Young Children, October 12; Patty Prelock, one of the most knowledgeable and distinguished experts in the field, will present this “can’t miss” presentation focusing on the latest research on ASD in younger children. 
  1. Teaching Reading Comprehension to Students Who Require More Explicit Instruction, October 16 & November 13; Montpelier- with Tina Newman, Ph.D; Heather Flynn, Ph.D; and Kimberly Marshall, MA, BCBA. A very practical review of the specialized instruction needed to teach reading to many students with challenging disabilities delivered by three experts in the field – a necessity for every reading interventionist and special educator.
  1. Special Education Law Update – November 2, Montpelier – Art Cernosia is a fount of knowledge and perspective on what is important to pay attention to and what is coming down the road concerning special education & related law, court decisions and regulations. 
  1. Power Struggles: What to do When a Student Says, “Make Me!”, November 8, 2017 Killington, VT – Jon Udis. Jon shares both what not to do and the strategies that work to de-escalate the situation and get students back on track. 
  1. Connecting the Dots: Using Best Practices to Support Infants, Toddlers, and Their Families, Montpelier ~ Four workshop dates (11/3, 2/9, 3/23, 5/3) with a 3-credit course option. Covering topics important to everyone working with young children.
  • Check out our other series including: Early Childhood; Trauma, Resilience & Anxiety; General Education – Proficiency & Personalization
  • Go to vthec.org for more information & registration.  Watch for the full year VT-HEC calendar

 

New Training for Paraprofessionals – Registered Behavior Technician

 Based on the Competencies for the RBT Credential of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board

The VT-HEC will be offering a new training based on the Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) certification of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).  The training is designed for paraprofessionals, and others desiring these competencies, working in education, mental health and related fields. It will be offered as a 40 hour training experience with an option to receive 3 college credits with some additional work.

This training will provide an excellent foundation of the knowledge and skills needed to implement behavior and education intervention plans. The course is designed to give paraprofessionals the background and basic skills necessary to implement a plan designed by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) or appropriately trained behavior specialist or professional educator.

This offering will meet the RBT training requirements and will cover the competencies set by the BACB.  The training will be offered by fully certified BCBAs. (Additional supervision and successful completion of the RBT exam is required to be officially awarded the RBT credential through the BACB).

The first session of this course is planned to be offered August 7-11, 2017 in Berlin, VT.  vthec.org