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Collaborating with experts to support schools and deliver professional development, ensuring the success of all students.


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.

Dennis has been the Director of the the VT-HEC since it was founded in 2000. He spent 16 years at the VT-DOE as Director of teams with various names that included: special education, Title I, health and wellness and other family and education support services. Prior to that Dennis worked at the Barre Town School (VT) starting as a special educator and serving many years as the Director of Student Support Services. He also spent 6 years as a classroom teacher grades 5-8 in NJ.

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