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

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.


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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