Conference Host -PCE Solutions 501c3 | PO Box 677 | Murrieta | California | 92564 |
Hello. Connect with us


Workshops Overview:

The School Climate Conference will feature (70) general workshops.   To print out the conference program, use the download option.

2024 Conference Program

Click to View 2024 Program

Day 1

  • 10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. – Registration
  • 1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. – Workshop 1
  • 2:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. – Workshop 2
  • 4:00 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. – General Session 1
  • 5:45 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. – Social

Day 2

  • 6:45 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. –Coffee & Registration
  • 8:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. – Workshop 3
  • 9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. – Workshop 4
  • 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. – Workshop 5
  • 12:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. – General Session/Luncheon
  • 2:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. – Workshop 6
  • 3:45 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. - Workshop 7 (Team Building)

Day 3

  • 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. – Coffee & Registration
  • 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. – General Session
  • 10:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. – Lunch on your own

*Workshops can change prior to conference. 

Sample - 2024 Workshops

April 24 | WEDNESDAY | 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm

Room: Sumac

A Creative Writing Mental Wellness for Self-Discovery: Enhancing School Climates Through Easy Creative Writing Ideas

To foster safe and supportive school environments, research shows the profound impact that creative writing can have on mental health and overall well-being. Integrating creative writing for mental wellness programs into any classroom is a powerful strategy to contribute to a positive and secure school climate. 

The creative writing for mental wellness curriculum promotes: Emotional Expression, Building Resilience, Fostering a Sense of Community, Strengthening Communication Skills and Empowering Student Voice. Teachers and staff are barely catching their breath, not only provide vital educational content but also support themselves and others with self-regulation and self-care simultaneously. 

In this hands-on workshop participants will explore different emotions and experiences through creative writing exercises. By reflecting on thoughts and feelings through writing, participants will develop a deeper understanding of their own mental health, emotional intelligence and well-being. Participants will also learn how creative writing can be utilized as a powerful tool for self-expression and self-discovery. Join us and learn how to use writing prompts and activities that include poetry, journaling and imaginative writing. Participants leave this session with inspiring ideas and a list of creative writing activities that work for students and staff!

Presenter: Maia Akiva, Trainer / Ambassador - kid-grit


Room: Elderberry

Activities That Can Be Used to Build a Strong Culture

This session will focus on basic things that an administrator, director or teacher can do to change or improve the climate and culture of their campus. Proven ideas that motivate and inspire students, staff and the community will be shared with the audience.

School SPIRIT is the driving force behind student involvement at Great Oak High School. Students who are involved are more likely to be successful in school and beyond. With a 98% graduation rate, 91% participation rate, top 4% of academic high schools in America, and 340 student leaders on campus, the presenters will share various activities and programs that foster leadership in all areas of the high school experience. Join us for a fast-paced, engaging session where we discuss how to create leaders on campus, in the classroom, and how to involve your feeder schools and dozens of ways to celebrate your student body. Participants will leave with practical strategies that they can implement on their campus.

Presenter: Don Skaggs, Activities Director - Temecula Valley Unified


Room: Cottonwood

Gender Support Plans for Safe and Inclusive Schools

How to create a climate of safety and acceptance for all students. Tori St. Johns has been with Desert Sands Unified School District for 32 years. Chairperson of the Riverside University Health System Behavioral Health Board and Children's Mental Health Committee.

This workshop will include information on writing effective Gender Support Plans and current California laws protecting LGBTQ+ students, and how to make your school safe and inclusive for all students

Presenter: Tori St. Johns, Tupe Coordinator - Desert Sands Unified School District


Room: Manzanita

Motivating Students Through Building Self-Efficacy

Do you have students who lack confidence and/or motivation? Are they having trouble managing how they think, feel and behave? This presentation focuses on building self-efficacy in all students as well as motivating the unmotivated. You will walk away with practical strategies that can be used to promote positive emotional health and academic results.

This workshop will target ways to appeal to students' interests and natural curiosity. Passivity thwarts motivation however, high self efficacy yields success. In this workshop we will define self-efficacy and connect research based principles to practical strategies that can be used right away to increase motivation in unmotivated students.

Presenter: La'Kesha Pryce, General Education Teacher, Induction coach, and  Alder Mentor  - Challenger School of Sports and Fitness - Victor Elementary School District


Room: White Sage

Enhance your Tier 1

Enhance your Tier 1 with peer-led actions that sustain safe schools, increase positive school climates, and create meaningful actions to address and prevent student issues on campus. Learn from three high school PLUS Program Advisors from Stockton Unified School District who have implemented a successful calendar of activities based on student voice and student data. Youth Participatory Action Research is where it is at, and where you want to be. Come join us!

Presenters: Danielle DeSantiago, Weber PLUS Teacher; David Nelson, Edison PLUS Teacher; and Shoual Chang, Stagg PLUS Teacher - Stockton Unified School District


Room: Rabbit

Demystifying Tier 2 Structures: Enhancing Efficiency and Performance

In this session, we will unlock the potential of Tier 2 practices for enhancing results with practical strategies. We’ll explore how to optimize a Tier 2 interdisciplinary team with specific skill sets and backgrounds that identifies students needing intervention for externalized and internalized problem behaviors, in addition to ensuring that every student receives equitable, whole-student support that is evidence-based, culturally responsive, matched to need, and developmentally appropriate through multiple supports. We will also take a deep look at how to track the proportion of students experiencing success through progress monitoring (alter, intensify, or fade) student performance data using daily/weekly progress reports for various interventions beyond CICO.

Presenters: Monica Bonillo, Lead Interventionist; Stephen Granucci; Matthew Fontaine; and Lili Duncan - Kern High School District 


Room: Red Tailed Hawk

Mental Health: Preventing Targeted School Violence Part 1 & 2

This session is designed to be presented for counselors, school administrators and mental health professionals seeking an in-depth understanding of targeted school violence in schools. This workshop is not intended for non-professionals and will include graphic imagery to illustrate key concepts.  Although the workshop sessions are broken are designed to build on one another, they do not exclude participants from just attending one of them.

*Please no recording or photos allowed, presenters will share a redacted version of each presentation of the material that is safe to distribute. 

Part 1 – Includes: 1. Overview and Evolution 2. Case Examples & 3. Pre-Incident Indicators

Part 2 - Includes: 1. The Pathway to Violence 2. Trends & Warning Signs and Red Flags

Presenters: Tony Beliz, PhD, University Southern California Safe Communities Institute and Nicolas Beliz, Psy.D, School Threat Assessment Response Team (START), Los Angeles County Dept. of Mental Health


Room: Fox

Understanding and Addressing Trauma in the Classroom

The role and impact of trauma in the classroom is often misunderstood. Through a better understanding of what trauma looks like and how it is expressed at school, along with strategies to address trauma, this workshop will allow you to support your students and build trust and empathy with them. Teachers, administrators, and support staff will benefit from this session.

Presenter: Dr. Julie Troletti, Principal - Ingenium Charter Middle School


Room: Bear

How We Think About Substance Use Matters: Transformative Reflections for Student Support 

As educators, it’s critical to grapple with underlying frameworks that shape our understanding of student identities and experiences. One place where biases often go unchecked is in our approaches to student substance use, addiction, and recovery. This session will engage participants through a guided assessment and review of assumptions and beliefs that develop our professional and personal approaches to student substance use and their implications for how we support students.

Presenter: Sydney Cheifetz MPH, Assistant Director of SAFE Campuses


Room: Mountain Lion

A Tiered Approach to PBIS Coaching: Recipe for Success

Compassionately and strategically supporting educators in continuous improvement is one of the most impactful ways to improve student outcomes. This training will define behavior coaching, helping you build capacity and develop tools for effective coaching. Join us to sharpen your skills and affect greater behavior change.

Presenter: Denise Granger, PBIS Coordinator - Riverside County Office of Education


Room: Summit A

The Online Enticement of Children

Online Enticement involves an individual communicating with someone believed to be a child via the internet with the intent to commit a sexual offense or abduction. This is a broad category of online exploitation and includes sextortion, in which a child is being groomed to take sexually explicit images and/or ultimately meet face-to-face with someone for sexual purposes, or to engage in a sexual conversation online or, in some instances, to sell/trade the child’s sexual images. This type of victimization takes place across every platform, social media, messaging apps, gaming platforms, etc.

Presenter: Jaiquin (Jay) Moore, Investigative Technician II, Riverside County District Attorney’s Office and Jason Polanco DA Inv. II/K-9 Unit Electronic Scent Detection (ESD) & SOLO K9, Riverside County District Attorney’s Office


APRIL 24 | WEDNESDAY | 2:30 pm – 3:45 pm 

Room: Sumac

Creating a Roadmap to Wellness

Mapping out pathways for mental wellness while incorporating MTSS, SEL, and PBIS frameworks into mental health services is essential for promoting the holistic well-being of our students. By incorporating these frameworks into mental health services, our “concierge” system will help you create a comprehensive and integrated approach to promoting mental wellness that supports students, staff, and parents at the junior high and high school levels.

Presenters: Phillip Falcetti, MPH, Ashley Laurell , Bryn Desmarais, LCSW, and Mohammed Forouzesh, PhD - Partners4Wellness


Room: Elderberry

Building an Equitable, Integrated MTSS Across a District

Learn the intentional steps one district took to implement an equitable, multi-tiered system of support (MTSS). There will be no sugar coating. Instead, the sharing of years of real work done across departments and divisions resulting in positive outcomes for students. Learn how the district honored and built off established initiatives to build Tier I systems and processes to meet the needs of ALL students in academics, behavior and social-emotional (SEL).

This presentation will highlight the intentional steps one district took with implementing an equitable, multi-divisional, multi-tiered system of support (MTSS). There will be no sugar coating, but the sharing of the years of real work done across departments and divisions which resulted in positive outcomes for students. 

Participants will learn how the district honored the programs and work already established within the district by including their education partners throughout the process of building an inclusive Tier 1 system. The district will share intentional steps they took to message and motivate buy-in across the district by keeping the ‘main thing, the MAIN THING’ and how that statement was the mantra used to keep everything in focus. 

Educators will learn the key steps the district considered, as well as lessons learned during the implementation of MTSS. With the goal of having sustainability and positive student outcomes at the end any implementation of an initiative, you will want to learn from this district how they did just this by including education partners, providing support, and making changes system-wide.

Presenters: Gail Angus, Ed.D., Consultant - NavigatED and Dr. Daniel Sosa, Assistant Superintendent TK-12 Instruction - Riverside Unified School District


Room: Cottonwood

Time to Thrive: Nurturing Connections to Transform Climate and Instruction

The largest high school district in the state of California bridges MTSS, PBIS systems, SEL, and restorative practices to shift school culture and classroom climates through the intentional development of professional development, tier 1 systems coaching, and on-going supports at both district and site levels for staff and students alike.

Our District coaches discuss how they help guide and support Tier 1 teams who are focused on implementing PBIS practices to fidelity in order to sustain and deepen the framework. MTSS-PBIS TOSA's discuss facilitating professional development, new staff professional developments, boosters and refreshers for veteran staff as needed, as well as providing guidance and modeling to foster school-wide implementation. Additionally, the team will share how they are committed to providing sites the tools to build capacity around MTSS structures while fostering the culture and climate of the school. Finally, our team will present their creation of KHSD's The Connection Project that brings students and staff together at participating school sites in a collaborative, high-energy workshop setting, allowing participants to see each other as leaders, individuals, peers, and colleagues. It offers strategies and activities to show students that they are not alone; there are others who feel, think, and strive for the same goals and experience the same life struggles. Participants will learn to make meaningful connections and build relationships, recognizing that they are a part of a larger community, who develop empathy, learn from each other, and can, therefore, find more measurable success both in and outside of the classroom.

Presenters: Tiffany Bledsoe, PBIS MTSS TOSA and Jenna Odlin, PBIS-MTSS TOSA - Kern High School District


Room: Manzanita

Unpacking Crucial Conversations

This training program delves into the science of handling crucial conversations with a strong emphasis on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Educators learn how to foster a school culture where challenging discussions are welcomed and where all voices are heard. This training equips participants with the tools needed to navigate difficult conversations effectively.

Presenter: Candice Dagnino, LAIRP Leadership Development


Room: White Sage

Stop Doing the Research on the Students and Let the Students do the Research on Themselves!

In this session, participants will learn how Stockton Unified School District, one of the largest school districts in the State of California, uses student voice to assess, measure and address the critical issues impacting school climate, and to inform their LCAP. Come learn about the steps that Stockton USD has taken to empower their students as restorative advocates with an active responsibility to build a safe and supportive school climate. SUSD utilizes a district- wide youth development approach to empower students to gather quantitative and qualitative data that serves as a source of information to address the critical issues impacting their school climate, including bullying, violence, attendance, and tobacco use (among many others). In addition, this data is also shared with PBIS/MTSS Teams, School Safety Teams and School Climate Committees to take systemic approaches to improve school climate.

In 2013 Stockton USD implemented the Peer Leaders Uniting Students Program (PLUS), an evidence-based Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) model as a tool for schools to utilize in their action plans. After 12 years, a full-time coordinator, two A-G classes, 4 full-time teachers, 100 advisors, and 1250 student leaders, this Student Voice model is stronger than ever. The data speaks for itself, when we stop doing the research on the students, and let the students do the research on themselves, we find effective Solutions!

Presenter: Jillian Glende, PLUS/TUPE Coordinator - Stockton Unified School District


Room: Rabbit 

Promoting Inclusive Education: Best Practices for Gender Support Plans

In today's diverse educational landscape, fostering an inclusive environment that supports students of all genders is paramount. This conference session aims to explore the best practices for implementing effective Gender Support Plans in educational communities. By addressing the unique needs and experiences of students across the gender spectrum, we can create educational spaces that are safe, respectful, and empowering for all.

During this presentation, we will delve into the key components of a comprehensive Gender Support Plan. We will discuss policies, procedures, and guidelines that educational institutions can adopt to promote inclusivity and support gender-diverse students. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the importance of appropriate language, pronouns, and gender-affirming practices.

Presenter: Lynelle Lujan, Senior Program Specialist Tobacco-Use Prevention Education - LACOE


Room: Red Tailed Hawk

Mental Health: Preventing Targeted School Violence Part 1 & 2

This session is designed to be presented for counselors, school administrators and mental health professionals seeking an in-depth understanding of targeted school violence in schools. This workshop is not intended for non-professionals and will include graphic imagery to illustrate key concepts.  Although the workshop sessions are broken are designed to build on one another, they do not exclude participants from just attending one of them.

*Please no recording or photos allowed, presenters will share a redacted version of each presentation of the material that is safe to distribute. 

Part 1 – Includes: 1. Overview and Evolution 2. Case Examples & 3. Pre-Incident Indicators

Part 2 - Includes: 1. The Pathway to Violence 2. Trends & Warning Signs and Red Flags

Presenters: Tony Beliz, PhD, University Southern California Safe Communities Institute and Nicolas Beliz, Psy.D, School Threat Assessment Response Team (START), Los Angeles County Dept. of Mental Health


Room: Fox

From Disease to Disaster to Recovery

At the peak of the pandemic, our district experienced the most significant wildfire in our county’s history. As a staff, we prioritized and placed intentional energy on creating a safe and healing virtual space that would not only reflect the core beliefs of our mission and continue to nurture our learning and teaching community, but would also set the stage for our post-fire and post-pandemic school. Participants will learn how we built on our whole school visions and traditions of teaching and celebrating monthly Life Skills, whole school community and character building, and our home-grown system of STARS (Study Skills, Time Management, Accountability, Resourcefulness, Success) to maintain our deeply rooted and valued programs and set new goals on how to stay connected and establish approaches for the health and wellness of all. Learn how we elicited support from our County Office of Education, SEL frameworks, technology and resources and how our elementary school adopted new strategies to cope with emotions and hardships, gathered tools and data that would lead to a brighter and more resilient future and kept the Bonny Doon School spirit alive.

Presenters: Mike Heffner, Superintendent - Bonny Doon Union Elementary School District, Kristie Summerrill, Kindergarten Teacher & Climate & Culture TOSA, and  Heather Cline-Scott, Intervention Teacher


Room: Bear

Empowering Students To Collaboratively Identify & Address School Conflicts - SPIRIT

The United States Department of Justice Community Relations Service (CRS) helps students to address school conflicts through its Student Problem Identification & Resolution of Issues Together (School-SPIRIT) program. The program helps schools address tension and conflict related to issues of race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, or disability.

CRS, along with trained volunteer facilitators, delivers the School-SPIRIT program, which brings together diverse groups of students to identify and address issues over a full day or two half-days. The program is student-driven and helps students develop problem solving skills, including issue identification and prioritization, decision-making, and solution development. As a result, students take a leadership role in addressing conflicts in their schools and build the skills and capacity to dissuade future conflicts.

Presenter: James Williams III, United States Department of Justice - Community Relations


Room: Mountain Lion

School Climate Compassion Fatigue, Resilience and the Science of Awe

Nearly half of U.S. children have experienced adverse childhood events, poverty and trauma. It is not surprising that the educators working with children are affected. Compassion fatigue among educators is prevalent and needs to be addressed. This workshop will explore the recent research related to educator compassion fatigue and will introduce a way to use the “science of awe” to build resilience through a one-day recharge experience.

Recent research indicates that educators are especially subject to high levels of compassion and fatigue and burnout. This workshop is intended to explore some of the causes and provides a method to help build resilience through the "science of awe". Participants will explore some of the relevant issues pertaining to school climate, workload, and system overload. They will also be exposed to the concept of compassion fatigue and learn about the components of developing a self-care plan through a unique one-day experience that combines circle activities, journaling, discussion, poetry and music, and an "awe" walk.

Presenter: Dean Lesicko, Educational Consultant - Just ListenED


Room: Summit A

The Dark Side of Artificial Intelligence and Deep Fake Videos

Deep fake videos are the product of artificial intelligence or machine-learning applications that merge, combine, replace, and superimpose images and video clips onto a video, creating a fake video that appears authentic. The main issue with Deep fake videos is that anyone can produce explicit content without the consent of those involved. While some of these videos are humorous and benign, most of them are pornographic. The faces of celebrities and other well-known (and lesser known) individuals have been superimposed on the bodies of porn stars. The existence of this technology erodes trust in video evidence and adversely affects its probative value in court.

This research describes the current and future capabilities of this technology, stresses the need to plan for its treatment as evidence in court, and draws attention to its current and future impact on the authentication process of video evidence in courts. Ultimately, as the technology improves, parallel technologies will need to be developed and utilized to identify and expose fake videos. Analysis showed more than 143,000 new deep fake videos were posted online in 2023.

Presenter: Jaiquin (Jay) Moore, Investigative Technician II - Riverside County District Attorney's Office -Cyber


APRIL 25 | THURSDAY | 8:00 am – 9:15 am 

Room: Sumac

Reimagining Innovative Learning Environments

What if we take that learning and continue to reimagine what learning environments could look like in the future? Look at the lessons learned from teaching during the pandemic’s multiple iterations, research on teaching and learning, information about today’s students, and great educational practices - then apply those to the learning environment. Come and reimagine what flexible, stimulating, dynamic, connected, and versatile learning environments can look like and feel like – and how to apply them. Let’s reimagine spaces together!

Presenter: Sue Ann Highland, PhD, National Education Strategist - School Specialty


Room: Elderberry

Schools and Law Enforcement Working Together

The Schools and Law Enforcement Working Together presentation entails Chief Komin providing a detailed description of the services law enforcement can provide to schools. Discussions surrounding the structure and the day-to-day operations of school police departments are included. The services school police can provide, how schools can effectively collaborate and communicate with law enforcement and the potential advantages and disadvantages of stationing police on school campuses are a few more of the topics to be discussed.

Parents, students, and staff agree that schools have a sacred obligation to not only provide an education to the students in their care, but to also keep them safe while doing so. Responsible school administrators are constantly looking for ways to enhance the security of their campuses and ensure a safe learning environment. Seldom do student safety conversations occur without school police being mentioned. 

In order to make intelligent decisions regarding whether to include school police as part of a school safety plan, administrators need to have an understating of how school police departments operate, the services they can provide and how best to work with law enforcement to enhance student safety.. This presentation is intended to remove the mystery surrounding school police, and to provide the attendees with an opportunity to have their questions about law enforcement accurately answered. 

A few of the topics to be covered include the legal and structural differences between contracted SRO’s and school police departments, the services school police can provide, how schools can effectively work with law enforcement, the advantages and disadvantages of stationing school police on campus and how to maintain a positive and beneficial relationship between schools and law enforcement.

Presenter: Edward Komin, Chief of Police - Kern High School District Police Department


Room: Cottonwood

Let Them Catch Your Calm: A Playbook for Educators

Create a campus where students thrive! We provide practical and immediately applicable strategies to reinvigorate and improve systems, allowing educators to navigate behavioral conversations with both increased confidence and effectiveness. Together, we will do a deep dive into the danger of power struggles, and provide you with practical tools for how to avoid them without losing your cool. Educators will leave with sentence stems, templates, and easy-to-implement strategies to transform school culture through the art of connecting through conversation.

Presenter: Erika Bare, Assistant Superintendent - Ashland School District


Room: Manzanita

Building Resilient Futures: Empowering Minds in Crisis with Baron Warren

Our proposal, led by Baron Warren, focuses on a multifaceted approach to address mental health and crisis response, with a particular emphasis on educational institutions. It encompasses:

Mental Health Integration: Destigmatizing mental health issues and creating a supportive atmosphere within schools to foster well-being.

Access to Care: Expanding access to mental health services for students, faculty, and staff to ensure timely support.

Crisis Management: Integrating crisis response with mental health support for a more comprehensive approach.

Community Engagement: Collaboration among educational institutions, mental health professionals, and local communities to create a support network.

Resilience Promotion: Promoting resilience-building programs to equip individuals with effective crisis navigation skills.

Baron Warren's leadership and expertise will guide this initiative to create safer, nurturing school environments, raise mental health awareness, and enhance crisis preparedness. The ultimate goal is to empower individuals to overcome challenges, ensuring their long-term well-being.

Presenter: Baron Warren, International Speaker - Cuts & Coaching LLC


Room: White Sage

Mental Health and the Internet: Modernizing the Conversation Around the Adolescent-Internet Relationship

From Dateline’s “To Catch a Predator” to dangerous TikTok challenges, we are all aware of the many ways the Internet poses risks to our youth.  However, the research around internet and adolescent mental health presents a more complex picture, one that cannot be discussed in terms of “good” or “bad.”  From the incel subculture to the self-harm support forums, this seminar covers the many places on the Internet shaping the digital culture and mental health of our young people.  Learn a nuanced approach to understanding the relationships our adolescents have with the internet, amplifying its benefits, and protecting against its risks.

Presenter: Emily Aihara, LMFT Behavioral Health Clinician 2 - CEGU Probation Mental Health and Recovery Services


Room: Rabbit 

PBIS Basic and Awareness for Campus Safety Officers and Support Staff

This workshop will explain to participants how PBIS may be the next best step to improving school climate and student outcomes. The national PBIS Framework will guide participants to understand why PBIS is important and what it might look like at their school.

PBIS Universal supports include helping all school staff to use positive reinforcement including pre-corrective phrasing. Prevention is especially important for students who learn and think differently since they tend to experience unwanted behaviors more often than their classmates. Pre-corrections and prompts also provide a sense of agency, one of the elements of trauma-informed teaching. 

The Los Angeles County Office of Education, Region 11 Technical Assistance Center uses eight steps for each of the three tiers to guide school sites through three phases; getting ready, getting started, and culminating in continual phases of getting better. These are designed to help sites build frameworks helping to improve school climate, safety, behavior, and attendance.

Presenter: Tate Burns, Coordinator II - Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) 


Room: Red Tailed Hawk

 Empowering Students through Restorative Practices

This session focuses on equipping educators with the knowledge and skills needed to empower students through restorative practices. Participants will learn how to create a supportive and inclusive classroom environment, foster positive relationships, and effectively address conflicts using restorative principles.

Presenter: Carlos Alvarez, Trainer and Founder - Los Angeles Institute For Right Brain


Room: Fox

U FIRST (United Families Intervene & Redirect Students Together)

The U FIRST program gives a new approach to educating students placed in the disciplinary alternative education program (DAEP). Administrators, the student, and parents agree to an alternative form of corrective action where the student attends

a reduced DAEP placement term and then returns to the home campus. The student completes the rest of the DAEP term by attending/completing a variety of U FIRST activities. Attendees will have access to U FIRST program forms.

Presenter: Annette Perez, Director - United ISD


Room: Bear

What Can Schools do Today to Push Back Against the Drug Culture?

After delivering more than 1,200 school-based substance prevention assemblies to 220,000+ students in the US and 16 countries since 2007, retired DEA Special Agent Rocky Herron will share the messaging that he has utilized to successfully engage students around the world with his substance abuse prevention presentations.   In the absence of mandated funding for substance prevention programs, Rocky believes it is crucial to give students at least some basic understandings about the serious drug threat to them today and this session will provide you with some tools to use in your schools.

Presenter: Rocky Herron - San Diego County Office of Education 


Room: Mountain Lion

A Strategy to Demonstrate Accountability and Build Support for your School Counseling Program

Participants will learn about a useful resource, the School Counseling Program Profile (SC PRO), to help their stakeholders learn about how Student Support works at their school. Participants will be able to review previously submitted SC PROs, will be told about a free resource to help them develop their own SC PRO, and will have an opportunity to start working on their own SC PRO during the workshop.


  • Identify the key components of a Student Support Program
  • Understand the importance of sharing information about the Student Support Program with all stakeholders
  • Learn how to begin the process of performing a site audit if their current program

Presenter: Dean Lesicko, Educational Consultant - Just ListenED


Room: Summit A

Youth-led Participatory Action Research (YPAR): Increasing Evidence Use and Policy Impact Through an Online Platform

Youth-led Participatory Action Research (YPAR) engages students as researchers to generate evidence to improve their schools. Funded by the California 100 initiative, led by Berkeley’s Possibility Lab, our team is partnering with YPAR programs like PLUS  to help connect youth-generated findings to CA school-, district-, and state-level decision-makers for increased policy impact. We will share progress on the development of an online YPAR data dashboard, which includes an interactive map of youth voice projects with user-friendly/ policy-relevant findings as well as dissemination templates. Come learn about YPAR and get involved to explore future opportunities related to this work!

Presenters: Dr. Amia Nash, DrPH, MS and Brian Villa, MPH, MSW - UC Berkeley


Room: Summit B

AI in Action: Equity, Experimentation, and Educational Leadership

In the dawn of the 5th Industrial Revolution, educational leaders are poised to lead the charge in integrating AI to redefine teaching and learning landscapes. This workshop offers a strategic platform for school leaders to begin to actively experiment with use of AI, fostering equity and innovation in our schools. Through dynamic discussions and hands-on activities, participants will share their AI experiences, learn to recognize AI bias, and master the "PROMPT Recipe" for creating impactful AI interactions. Participants are encouraged to bring their devices equipped with their preferred AI chatbots, ready for live application.

Presenter: Stacie Chana, Ed.D., Principal Consultant - TechEd Maven Consulting


APRIL 25 | THURSDAY | 9:30 am – 10:45 am


Room: Sumac

Navigating Resilience: A Trauma-Informed Approach to Moving Youth from Trauma to Wellness

A well-being program should be comprehensive so that it supports each person; students, teachers, counselors, administrators, SROs, no matter where they are on their wellness journey. Utilizing the ten dimensions of wellness, we’ll provide tools and resources to inspire school-based staff to incorporate these strategies into their MTSS and SEL curriculums. By integrating well-being with student mental wellness support services, we’ll describe how to create a holistic approach to fostering a positive and supportive educational environment.

Presenters: Phillip Falcetti, MPH, Ashley Laurell , Bryn Desmarais, LCSW, and Mohammed Forouzesh, PhD - Partners4Wellness


Room: Elderberry

Balancing Data and Love As A Leader

Good leaders collect and analyze data. Great leaders ensure their students’ well-being. The best leaders do both. Please join us as we discuss how you can relentlessly pursue excellence while still ensuring students’ essential needs are being met. Scholarship Prep leadership will share how to build data systems to monitor student achievement, teacher effectiveness, family engagement, staff belonging, student wellness, and more while still putting students’ well-being and essential needs first.

Presenter: Andrew Crowe, Deputy Director - Scholarship Prep


Room: Cottonwood

Harnessing the Power of Connection

Everyone knows why building connections with our students is so important, but couldn’t we all benefit from the playbook on how to do it? Utilizing a good dose of humor, the co-authors of Connecting Through Conversation: A Playbook for Talking with Students, provide this with practical and immediately applicable strategies to reinvigorate and improve systems by harnessing the power of connection. With a fast-paced and fun approach, this session is full of engaging content, model demonstrations, and back-pocket strategies you will be inspired to put into practice and share with the other educators in your building. Relying on their experience as practicing administrators, the stories and examples sprinkled throughout the session are something that any educator can relate to. At the center of this work is the premise that at the very heart of education is connection. This session will provide you with the tools you need to build a culture of connection in your school where students and educators thrive.

Presenter: Erika Bare, Assistant Superintendent - Ashland School District


Room: Manzanita

Treating Substance Use Disorders in a School Setting

We work with external substance abuse partners on campus, but we also have certified substance abuse disorder specialist at each school in our district to support students with the growing substance epidemic.  I know we are the only district in CA to have this, may be even the US.  This was a challenging journey, but we can share with schools about how we were able to fund and get support around this.

Presenters: Ben Amey, Lead Substance Abuse Specialist, SSW/CADC Certified; Sarah Tyler; Andrew Jones; Alice Mejia; and Kelly Borrego - Kern High School District


Room: White Sage

Student Voice: Powered by PLUS

The Peer Leaders Uniting Students (PLUS) Program is a student voice and participatory action program.  PLUS offers schools a comprehensive approach to student-led school climate improvement, and includes activities for youth-led school climate data collection, synthesis, and dissemination. Schools need to use student voice activities to assess, measure and address the critical issues impacting school climate. In this session, participants will learn how schools are funding youth leadership classes to empower students with time to gather data and work alongside the PBIS/MTSS Team, School Safety Team and the School Climate Committee to address the critical issues impacting their school climate. The PLUS Program, an evidence-based Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) model will be highlighted as a tool for schools to utilize as part of their action plans.

Presenter: John Vandenburgh, Executive Director,  Protect Connect Educate & Author of the PLUS Program


Room: Rabbit

Classroom Management: Utilizing Six Effective Classroom Practices

Classroom management is one of the critical elements of effective teaching. This workshop will provide participants to develop classroom management procedures that are linked with school-wide expectations to strengthen their Tier I behavior support intervention within their classroom structures. Participants will also be able to assess their classroom management strategies.

Participants will be exposed to six effective classroom practices that can be implemented immediately upon their return to the classroom. The six effective classroom practices the presenters will dive deeply into include: 1.Physical Environment, 2. Classroom Teaching Matrix- Expectations, Rules, Routines, 3.Active Supervision, 4.Encouraging Appropriate Behavior, 5. Continuum of Response for Inappropriate Behaviors, and 6.Opportunities to Respond and Academic Engagement. Participants will hear from two presenters who have extensive experience in the K-12 learning environment in multiple roles ranging from instructional aides, teachers, administrators and other roles that contribute to real stories that connect the participants to actionable items that can be implemented immediately.

Presenter: Erin Villaverde, PBIS Coordinator II - LACOE


Room: Red Tailed Hawk

Empowering School Communities: Suicide Prevention and Awareness

The session will equip educators and school staff with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively address the critical issue of suicide prevention. Participants will learn how to recognize warning signs, provide support, and promote mental health awareness within the school community.

Presenter: Dr. Daisy Gomez, LAIRP Adolescent Forensic Psychologist 


Room: Fox

Restorative Practices; Building Positive Relationships

The workshop on Restorative Practices; Building Positive Relationships will provide participants with a clearer understanding of restorative practices, and how these practices can be used in schools to develop more positive relationships between school staff, students and parents, as well as between students with each other. Participants will learn how restorative practices can be used to decrease stereotypes, and to promote the social emotional well-being and equity in the school community. Participants will increase skills and strategies they can use to strengthen positive relationships in the classroom and in the school.

Presenter: Anthony Ceja, Senior Manager, Whole Child Community Design Dept.  - San Diego County Office of Education


Room: Bear

Facilitating Focus Groups to Promote Social and Emotional Learning and Impact

As social and emotional learning (SEL) continues to gain traction across the state, it is important to collaborate with youth and amplify their voices and perspectives to inform SEL action. In this session, participants will learn about UC Berkeley-developed youth focus group protocols focused on SEL, and how to use focus group data for change. Participants will have an opportunity to engage with the protocols and a focus group transcript, and consider uses in their own setting. This workshop is open to anyone interested in collecting and using data with and for youth as it relates to SEL!

Presenter: Dr. Amia Nash, DrPH, MS - UC Berkeley


Room: Mountain Lion

Creating Connections: Fostering Belonging in Schools

Join us as we delve into the transformative power of belonging. Discover how fostering a sense of belonging drives well-being, benefitting both staff and students alike. Explore engaging and straightforward activities that can significantly enhance belonging. Learn how data, measured on a 5-point scale, can provide insights into the sense of belonging. Don't miss this opportunity to create a more inclusive and thriving educational environment!


  • Understand the significance of belonging as a driver of well-being for both staff and students in educational settings.
  • Identify and implement a variety of enjoyable and accessible activities designed to enhance the sense of belonging within your educational community.
  • Learn how to effectively use data collected on a 5-point scale to assess and track the sense of belonging, fostering a stronger sense of belonging among interest holders.

Presenters: Christine L. Sisco, Assistant Superintendent - Stanislaus County Office of Education Instructional Support Services, and Eric Ranes, Program Manager of Wellness - Stanislaus County Office of Education


Room: Summit A 

Working With Digital Natives: Pop-Culture and its Effects on Youth

The presentation is founded on an academic study teaching effective communicate with the "digital natives" of today. A communication model will be used to demonstrate how popular culture competes for the loyalty and attention of young people. The instructor has presented this workshop for over 20 years and brings his experience as a 31-year police veteran, academic studies in interpersonal and intercultural communication and as an involved parent, grandparent and uncle of over 60 family members from this new generation.

Presenter: Paul LeBaron, Chief of Police - Hermosa Beach Police Department


Room: Summit B

Responding in times of crisis: Lessons learned from the Lahaina, Maui fire

Leilani Ahina-Dawson, PsyD will lead an open discussion, followed by a Q & A opportunity, on the impact of the Lahaina Fires on families, communities, and the state of Hawaii.  An account from a historical perspective of Native Hawaiians will also be shared.  She will reflect on the collaborative work done to restore and reimagine what was lost after the Lahaina Fires.  Loss has had a significant impact on the State of Hawaii as a result of the Lahaina Fires and training on grief and loss was arranged to educate those who will be working with the children, adults, and families in need.

The devastation resulting from the Lahaina, Maui fire on August 8, 2023 had a significant impact on children, families, communities, and the entire state of Hawaii. Dr. Leilani Ahina-Dawson, a psychologist with over 20 years experience working in schools in Hawaii, will share her observations and experiences responding to the needs of those impacted by the fire. She will also share how her experience has highlighted the importance of integrating evidenced based and culturally informed support including crisis response, grief counseling, and mental health care. Immediately after the fire she was able to recognize the evolving needs of the communities and respond in a variety of ways, including coordinating grief training for professionals working with children, adults, and families in need on 3 islands throughout the state. She will share her experience in collaborating and mobilizing a variety of interventions with other school and mental health professionals, and lessons learned that may be applicable to your community and school setting in responding to small and large scale crisis events.

Presenters: Lei Ahina-Dawson, PsyD, Director of Social & Emotional Health - 'Iolani School - Regina Siez, LCSW,PPS - Temecula Valley Unified School District


APRIL 25 | THURSDAY | 11:00 am – 12:15 pm


Room: Sumac

Building Culture Through Student Voice

Focus on updates based on year 2! Participants will hear the story of Greenfield Middle School in El Cajon, CA. The school is comprised of 86% free and reduced lunch, 36% English Learners, and 26% Special Education students. The school has changed its culture through the power of relationship building. Participants will learn about the strategies utilized by the school to drive relationship-building. The strategies include a morning advisory model that utilizes morning meetings daily, strategies for allowing teachers to be vulnerable and allow students to get to know the adults on campus, built-in time for one-on-one conversations between staff and students, the power of positive phone calls home, providing students a voice through monthly surveys, and utilizing PLUS forums to allow students to strategize how to help solve problems

Presenter: Jacob Launder, Principal - Greenfield Middle School


Room: Elderberry

Directing the Narrative: The Red Thread for School Climate Improvement

This session is designed for building leaders, teacher leaders, and central office staff. Connecting every aspect of your building with a red thread is critical for shifting the culture and climate of your building so ALL students thrive. Directing the Narrative is about being intentional with your messaging, processes, systems, and routines so no students slip through the cracks, and teachers have the support they need to succeed. You will see positive outcomes in your building when you use the framework for Directing the Narrative by: 

  • Knowing your students and families 
  • Aligning your district goals, building goals, and teacher goals 
  • Create an engaging teacher led pd plan 
  • Develop school wide culturally responsive PBIS 
  • Systematically create ongoing/cyclical MTSS 
  • Honoring student voice, ownership, and belonging 
  • Implementing restorative approaches 

We must have our foundational beliefs aligned with systems in place to consistently, collaboratively work toward your north star. This is up to the leaders to direct that narrative. No matter your school demographics, we all have these three things in common: all students have brilliance, all students have needs and all teachers need support. By having a clear, consistent vision that is supported year long, you can meet the needs of your building, but you MUST direct that narrative. If you don’t, others will.

Presenters: Zac Stowell, Principal and Michael Mihelakakis, Counselor - Robert Eagle Staff Middle School | Seattle Public Schools


Room: Cottonwood

Comprehensive School Safety Plans – Requirements, is there a Template?

Comprehensive Safe School Plans (CSSP)are required to be updated annually. The CSSP must include items such as crime assessments, tactical response plan to criminal incidents, disaster planning, safe ingress and egress of pupils, parents, and school employees. This class will discuss the components of a CSSP including methods to improve school climate and physical environment, based on the updated Educator’s Guide to Comprehensive School Safety Plans, 2021 Edition.

Tom and Eric are retired from law enforcement. Eric, a retired Lieutenant. Tom a retired Sergeant, became a high school teacher, site administrator, Director of Student Services, and a Safe Schools and Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), Consultant II at the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE). Tom is the writer of the 2021 LACOE Educator’s Guide to Comprehensive School Safety Plans (CSSP) which was written with a team from LACOE, CA Dept. of Education (CDE), CA Office of Emergency Services, CA Dept. of Justice and Campus Safety Group. It is the update of the CDE 2002 Safe School guide. 

Tom and Eric will use PowerPoint to make the presentation that will include participant participation. The presentation as well as a handouts that contain information about Incident Command System (ICS) training, and other resources to complete a compliant CSSP will be provided.

Presenters: Eric Rosoff, Chief Executive Officer and Tom Steele, Director - Campus Safety Group


Room: Manzanita

The Power of Pause

Discover the transformative power of the pause in the professional realm. Recognizing the opportune moment to step back, reflect, and innovate is a prized quality in any workplace. This session is designed for classroom teachers and school administrators seeking to harness the courage to slow down, ideate, and foster positive change. Join us as we delve into the art of pausing, exploring how it can be a catalyst for problem-solving, idea generation, and team enhancement. In this engaging session, participants will unlock the potential of the pause, envisioning the campus or classroom of their dreams through the lens of innovation and creativity.

In this hands-on learning session, we will present readings and research from the book, The Pause Principle. We will share ideas and build action plans for where and when pausing can be used as a strategic intervention for problem-solving, self-regulation, and creating new initiatives.

Presenter: Julia Gabor, President/CEO - kid-grit


Room: White Sage

Peer-Led Tier 2 Supports

Come learn how Stockton Unified School District utilizes their PLUS Program to support students with specific supports in tier 2. Two high school PLUS programs from different comprehensive high schools will share how they have infused peer supports into their site’s restorative approach to discipline and intervention. From mentoring, conflict mediation, and student focus groups, you will learn how students are the greatest resources on our campuses.

Presenters: Joseph Soria, Franklin PLUS Teacher; Margaret Salazar, Chavez PLUS Teacher; Alen Navarro, Franklin Wellness Center Coordinator - Stockton Unified School District


Room: Rabbit

Cultural Responsiveness: A Compilation of Classroom Strategies

Understanding student’s lives and experiences can support teachers with ensuring a sense of belonging and shared respect in their classrooms. This session provides participants the opportunity to work together to create and identify strategies that showcase their individual teaching style through cultural responsiveness. Participants will be able to describe strategies to increase one’s awareness of their own culture and personal reasons for engaging in equity work and will learn strategies to include student voice within the classroom using music. Participants will also walk away with activities they can include in their everyday lessons.

Presenters: Angela Mgbeke Project Manager, Prevention and Intervention,  Desert Mountain SELPA  - Dr. Ed Resnick - Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) 


Room: Red Tailed Hawk

Fighting Fentanyl: The Fentanyl Crisis Affecting Our Communities

Fentanyl presentation provides a detailed PowerPoint on Fentanyl, the latest deadly trend in the drug world.  This presentation addresses the dangers associated with Fentanyl use and the different ways that drug dealers use Fentanyl to poison our communities.

Presenter: Raine Ritchey, Deputy District Attorney - Riverside County


Room: Fox

Improve Your Classroom Management to Improve Your School Climate

In this dynamic interactive workshop participants will be provided a framework/roadmap with which to evaluate classroom management practices in terms of their influence on the quality of a school's climate. The Alliance for the Study of School Climate (ASSC) has studied the relationship between overall SCAI school climate ratings and SCAI scale 5 (related to classroom management and discipline) ratings. The correlation is almost perfect, as well as an almost perfect predictor of school performance. The scale assumes three levels of quality and is defined by distinct types of practices. In this presentation, participants will be able to see why certain practices will lead to better climate and why others will tend to limit or worsen it. Impactful classroom management practices will be explored - those which will improve and those which will undermine school climate, including selected ideas from the book Transformative Classroom Management. The presentation is designed as a dynamic interactive session in which participants are given opportunities to discuss and share in teams and with those from other schools. SCAI scale 5 will also be used to support the hands-on experience.

Presenter: Dr. John Shindler,  Alliance for the Study of School Climate - California State University, Los Angeles


Room: Bear

Mental Health and Our Youths Today; What’s Going on?

Technology, social media, after effects of covid, working households. What is affecting our younger generation? How are these things impacting the mental health and behaviors of kids today. Communication, interpersonal relationships, structure, autonomy, risky situations, drugs, identity development etc. The focus is on increasing coping skills and decreasing problematic behaviors, but first we have to know what’s happening with our youths…including potential dangers and high risk situations; it’s a new generation!

Presenter: Dr. Ashley Brown, Licensed Clinical Forensic Psychologist, Psy.D, M.A., M.S. - Orange County Juvenile Hall


Room: Mountain Lion

High School Wellness Centers: A Story of Powerful Partnerships and Commitment

This presentation will highlight how one school district in North County San Diego designed and built beautiful and successful wellness centers on three large high school campuses. Presenters will share the journey of making this vision a reality by leveraging stakeholder support and by partnering with multiple community-based agencies. A special emphasis will be made on the power of interior design, staff buy-in, data collection, staff structure, and innovative interventions to create what have become essential and sustainable student wellness centers.

Presenter: Rich Watkins, Director of Pupil Services and Interventions - Escondido Union High School District


Room: Summit A 

Working With Digital Natives: Pop-Culture and its Effects on Youth

The presentation is founded on an academic study teaching effective communicate with the "digital natives" of today. A communication model will be used to demonstrate how popular culture competes for the loyalty and attention of young people. The instructor has presented this workshop for over 20 years and brings his experience as a 31-year police veteran, academic studies in interpersonal and intercultural communication and as an involved parent, grandparent and uncle of over 60 family members from this new generation.

Presenter: Paul LeBaron, Chief of Police - Hermosa Beach Police Department


Room: Summit B

Three Perspectives of Grief: Students, Parents, and You

Dealing with loss affects every aspect of a child’s life. Often, families do not talk to each other about death thus making it difficult for children to process the death. Participating in groups designed to address death provides a platform for children to express their thoughts and beliefs regarding death. It is necessary to address key components of grief in an age appropriate manner in an effort to facilitate the development of healthy coping skills. The facilitation of a grief group provides a safe environment for children to come together and gain the necessary tools to progress through the grieving process.

Presenter: Regina Siez, LCSW,PPS - Temecula Valley Unified School District


APRIL 25 | THURSDAY | 2:15 pm – 3:30 pm


Room: Sumac

Trauma and The Work of Recovery – From Trauma to Triumph

Educators have stressors in what seems to be an always-fluid environment of shifting priorities and emergencies. How can you even fit in a few moments for self-care that reward you with the resilience you need? How can a short seminar even begin to unpack such a complicated and deeply affecting topic? Realistically? It cannot. What it CAN do is offer practical ways to help you start the conversation by understanding what has occurred in recent events. 

  • Create those safe and supportive environments for students and staff that can help facilitate growth
  • Envision spaces that can assist with healing, progress, and achievement for students – And staff!
  • Incorporate trauma-informed principles into the design of your environments for both staff and students

Presenter: Sue Ann Highland, PhD, National Education Strategist - School Specialty


Room: Elderberry

Improving School Culture and Student Engagement

Dive into the importance of Student Engagement as it relates to School Culture. Discover methods to justify your program and budget by gaining insights into student involvement data. Learn how to collect and understand data from school activities, events, interventions and PBIS. Lastly, find out how to incentivize and reward students for their participation.

Presenter: Heidi Slagill, Client Relations Manager - 5-Star Students


Room: Cottonwood

Journey to Building Resilience

Journey to Building Resilience, Hemet USDs process in building General Education Behavioral health supports for students and families.


  • Understand the historical progression of steps to reach current practices
  • Increase awareness of pitfalls and special considerations in this work
  • Identify resources to support next steps in building a District Wide behavioral health program

Presenter: April Smith - Hemet Unified School District


Room: Manzanita 

Suspended for Fighting? Drugs? We Control the Days, the Time, the Message, and the Location

For the past 9 years, the Escondido Union High School District has run its own voluntary Prevention and Diversion Program (P.A.D.) Students found under the influence of, or in possession of a controlled substance for the first time are sent to this 5 day program. It covers a wide variety of substances and the physical and mental impact of using them. It covers causal factors and provides alternative coping skills, in addition to teaching positive decision making skills. Once a student has successfully completed this program, the suspension gets coded as a field trip in the student information system.

In addition to the P.A.D. program the EUHSD runs a second voluntary program called Safety Outreach for Students (S.O.S.) This program is designed for students who have been in physical and verbal altercations, those that may be bullying others, or for students who are engaging in unhealthy and potentially dangerous behaviors. This is a 3 to 5 day program that covers problem solving skills, self examination and relationship building. Once a student has successfully completed this 3 to 5 day program, the suspension get coded as a field trip in the student information system.

Presenters: Holly Anderson , Counselor Prevention and Diversion and Nathan Boelhauf, Teacher Safety Outreach for Students Teacher - Escondido Union High School District


Room: White Sage

How to Do What is Best for Kids by Being Teacher Centered

A mentor once stated, “If you want to do what is best for kids, you must grow the adults.” This workshop will engage education leaders, school administrators, teacher leaders, and aspiring education leaders in the work of boosting school climate by way of increasing the capacity of teachers. We will reference the work of Transformational Leadership and direct hands-on experience of a school site administrator and a teacher leader on how to effect positive change.

Presenter: Lindsay Chavez, Principal and Kristy Wakeman - Heritage High School / Perris Union HS District


Room: Rabbit

Tier 3: The School Social Worker in Advanced Tiers

Have you ever been faced with complex student needs on a high school campus and wished you had a magic wand? Learn how to demystify challenging student behavior with this enchanting workshop led by School Social Workers from the Kern High School District. School Social Workers aren’t wizards; however magic can happen with sustainable Tier III structures.

Presenters: Kimberly Reynolds, Lead School Social Worker, LCSW, Brittany Brandon, LCSW and Michael Pawloski, LCSW  - Kern High School District


Room: Red Tailed Hawk

Building School Climate and Culture Through Themed Community-Building Activities: Dale Family Day Approach

Join us to explore the innovative Dale Family Day model, a transformative approach to cultivating a vibrant school climate and culture. Rather than immediately diving into the curriculum at the start of the academic year, Dale Family Day dedicates three days to community-building activities centered around engaging themes. Additionally, there is follow up day(s) and activities throughout the year. 

This presentation targets educators, school administrators, counselors, and community leaders interested in nurturing a positive school environment. The content offers opportunities to meet each other in a non threatening way and a fresh perspective on building a strong school community. Attendees will gain a clear understanding of the Dale Family Day approach, its purpose, and how it significantly contributes to school climate and culture.

Presenters: Rafael Santiago, Principal - Dale Junior High School, Lisa Hormuth, ASB Director/Title 1 Coordinator, and Sussanne Miranda, Community Schools Teacher Lead - Anaheim Union High School District


Room: Fox

Using Mindfulness Techniques to Change the Climate and Culture in Your School / Classroom

This session is designed to give you 4 comprehensive, yet different, strategies for bringing Mindfulness and Meditation to your school campus and / or classroom to improve the classroom culture and climate overall. This session will be divided in to 4 quadrants, where during each sub session, you will be given you practical strategies to build your calm classroom toolbox. Built-in time will be dedicated to learning about and exploring the following:

  • Creating a mindful space with an emphasis on the calming the senses.
  • Weekly mindful journaling (you will be given 50 – 75 readymade journal topics that can be augmented to your specific grade level as well as varying ways to use journaling throughout the day.
  • Mindful breathing and settling techniques, 7-10 student friendly breathing strategies to calm and refocus the mind.
  • Mindful student / adult coloring and music for the calming of mind and body.

Embedded in this session will be a 15 guided meditation for group relaxation and reenergizing just for you, because you deserve it! Guarantee, you will leave this session with many new strategies for you and your campus / classroom and you will feel personally relaxed, revived, and ready to go!

Presenter: Dr. Whitney D’Amico - Lake Elsinore Unified


Room: Bear

Leveraging Assessment Data to Improve Teaching and Learning

In this workshop, we’ll explore the experiences of two Riverside County districts in their quest to better harness the power of assessment data to improve Teaching and Learning—one of the 5 components that define School Climate. This session will explain how, when off the shelf systems proved inadequate, these two districts partnered with selected developers to invent a custom system to better provide the powerful assessment and report capabilities needed to successfully fuel classroom instruction, the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) and Positive Behavior, Intervention, and Support (PBIS) systems. You will hear accounts of how this marriage of teaching and technology continues to explore new and better ways to provide quality education thereby improving School Climate.

Presenters: Jessica Warren; Aimee Garcia - Val Verde Unified; Heather Goodwin; and Resma Byrne, Ed.D - Alvord Unified


Room: Mountain Lion

A Journey through Anxiety: A Troubadours Tale

The mental health of students, staff, and parents has drastically changed post Covid. Education has been hit hard with staff burnout and an increase in stress and anxiety.  This change is absolutely impacting the school climate and learning environment for our students.  In this session attendees will be introduced to Dave Rooney.  Dave is an internationally recognized Emmy award winning musician from Dublin who is no stranger to living with extensive stress and anxiety.  In this session, attendees will experience a guided journey through Dave's own triumphs, gaining valuable tools for resilience. With a well-known reputation for authenticity and sincerity, Dave will express how his own journey is now being shared with K12 Educators as a resource to address staff mental health.

Presenters: Dave Rooney, Author and Tammy Fleming, Director MTSS - Fontana Unified School District


Room: Summit A

The PLUS Program Happy Hour! 

Are you part of a school or district implementing the PLUS Program?  Are you an Administrator who is interested and wants to connect with others who are doing PLUS to learn more?  If so, come join us for the PLUS Program Happy Hour and meet colleagues from across the country who are the advisors, counselors and administrators leading the initiatives on their campus.   Learn from John Vandenburgh and the team behind PLUS who are developing the latest tools and curriculum to enhance the delivery of PLUS in schools.  Meet our University partners who will share insight on resources accessible to PLUS schools.  Come finish off a long day of workshops and network with your PLUS Team!

Presenters: The PLUS Program Staff


Room: Summit B

We Help Teachers Be Their Best: How Empathy Shapes School Culture and What Leaders Can Do About It

In today’s educational climate, where academic rigor often takes center stage, the transformative power of empathy is frequently overlooked. This highly engaging 45-minute workshop, led by John Broussard—an accomplished author, assistant principal, poet, and founder of 3030 Publishing—aims to shed light on the critical role that empathy plays in creating a healthy, productive school culture.

Empathy is not just a skill; it’s a cornerstone that can shift how we interact, teach, and lead. Drawing on current research and real-world examples, this workshop will delve into:

The Impact of Empathy: How a culture of empathy affects student engagement, teacher satisfaction, and overall school performance.
Leadership and Empathy: How educational leaders can model empathetic behavior and create systems that promote empathy.
Practical Strategies: Hands-on activities and actionable steps that can be immediately implemented to foster an empathetic environment.
By empowering educators to be their best, this workshop aligns with the vision that "how you show up can change the world one student at a time.

Presenter: John Brossard, Author, Asst.Principal, Poet, and Founder - 3030 Publishing