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

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 for more information & registration.  Watch for the full year VT-HEC calendar


Tina Newman: Reading Comprehension for Students w/ ASD #vted

Tina Newman
Reading interventions that are specifically tailored to the student with ASD are critical

VT-HEC presents a workshop Reading Comprehension & Autism Spectrum Disorders on April 3, 2017 in Montpelier, VT. The day is designed to develop greater teacher competency in addressing the unique learning profiles of students with ASD; students who may have mastered the techniques of decoding text, but struggle with comprehension. This dynamic learning opportunity will include discussions of methodologies to improve student learning within the broad curriculum domain of reading comprehension skills.

The essential building blocks of successful reading comprehension will be reviewed including vocabulary, background information, literal comprehension, main idea, and the application of cognitive strategies to support reading comprehension. In addition, data collection procedures and the use of curriculum-based progress monitoring tools and standardized assessments to track student progress. will be addressed.

Dr. Tina Newman is a licensed clinical child psychologist who specializes in assessment and intervention with children who have individual learning needs. Dr. Newman received her Ph.D. in School/Applied Child Psychology from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and completed postdoctoral work at Yale University.

Dr. Newman held appointments as a Psychologist at the British Columbia Children’s Hospital, Sunny Hill Health Center for Children and as an Associate Research Scientist at the Yale University, Child Study Center. Her research pursuits included assessment and intervention with children who have individual learning needs, including multiple exceptionalities (e.g., areas of both strength and weakness) and circumscribed interests in autism spectrum disorders. Her clinical work included comprehensive assessments of children with complex learning profiles. She currently provides consultation and training for The Center for Children with Special Needs in Glastonbury, CT.

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