Saturday Sessions

8:15 AM - 9:25 AM Breakout Sessions

Session 27: A New Comprehension Model for Specific Learning Disability Evaluations

Presented by Veronica Fiedler & Dr. Peter Thompson

This presentation will focus on using the Building Blocks of the Brain Model to guide IEP teams through determining special education eligibility. Using this new neuroeducational framework to individualize evaluations for SLD and Traumatic Brain Injury eligibility, the BBBM guides IEP teams in building a comprehensive BoE for special education eligibility decision making.

Session 28: Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Family Engagement

Presented by Sandra Rasmussen

Family engagement improves academic outcomes, however, culturally and linguistically diverse families demonstrate lower levels of family engagement in special education, despite valuing education and supporting their child’s academic success. This session will explore models and recommendations for family engagement in relation to culturally and linguistically diverse families.

Culturally and Linguistically Handout (PDF)

Session 29: Self-Determination 101

Presented by Jennifer Sedaghat, Ed.S.

Self-Determination Presentation Slides (PDF) 

This session is replacing the cancellation of "Difference or Disability: Why Does it Matter". 

Session 30: Promoting Student Engagement Through Gamification 

Presented by Diana T. Sylvander; Angela Ubben; Rebecca Reed; Rachel Moothead & Michele Clark


The session offers novelty ideas for energizing educational practices! Participants will explore elements of gaming that can be incorporated into classroom activities to build student engagement while maintaining the academic rigor. A ready-to-implement, editable gamified resource (including strategies to reach EL students and digital content) will be offered!

Promoting Student Engagement Through Gamification Handout (PDF) 

Session 31: Disleksick: Now What? The Umbrella that Bridges it Together

Presented by Tammy Curran & Gay Carlson


The term dyslexia may be an intimidating word when it comes to teaching students who are diagnosed with dyslexia. These students can be reached within the classroom if the teacher has the proper tools. In this session, we will discuss the components of reading and how to teach reading within the classroom.

Disleksick: Now What? The Umbrella that Bridges it Together Presentation Slides (PDF)

Session 32: Self-Support for Instructional Leaders

Presented by Ahmad Sedaghat; MA, LPC, MBA

People often say, “Gosh, I never saw it coming - It just came out of nowhere!” when they face challenging behavior.  It happens in classrooms, home, and work.  It is more comfortable to ignore misbehavior than working with it.  However, we all know that ignoring a misbehavior is not an answer and we have a better chance to correct a misbehavior if we jump on it at an earlier stage.  In this session, we will learn how to work with misbehavior at each stage and do our best to connect with students in our classrooms.

This session replaced the cancellation of "From Failure Self-Determination Grows"

Session 33: Experiential Outdoor-based STEM Activities with Diverse Students

Presented by Lynn Knight

This workshop will share with hands-on activities and examples, of how experiential, outdoor based learning imprints on students’ lives and shapes their understanding of themselves as well as supports deeper understanding in academic content. Participants will learn how to design STEM/STEAM lessons that are connected to nature. 

Experiential Outdoor Handout (PDF)

Session 34: Reframing Accommodations: Fighting the Stigma and Empowering Students

Presented by Mikayla Story

When a student walks into the classroom wearing glasses, no one bats an eye but when they have extended time on tests there is a negative perception.  In reality, the two situations aren’t all that different.  This presentation will analyze the current perception of accommodations and the potential impact they have on students.  It will offer a new lens through which to view and talk about learning disabilities and the supports provided. Educators will walk away with a simple yet effective approach to identifying necessary accommodations, ensuring they are offered, and communicating with students about them.

This session has replaced the cancellation of "Building a Collaborative Bridge between Home and School".

Session 35: 12 #teacherlife Hacks

Presented by Carina Kemble, Ed.S.


Looking for ways to make your life a little easier? I’ve got 12 teacher hacks for you! They range from Life Skills to Paperwork to Behavior Hacks. These simple strategies are both low and high tech and will undoubtedly make life a little easier to handle! 

#teacherlife Hacks Note Catcher (PDF)

10:20 AM - 11:30 AM Breakout Sessions

Session 36: Help Children Learn to Generalize Self-Regulation Skills

Presented by Briana Makofske

Often times, students have difficulty applying learned coping, and self-regulation strategies in the classroom. This presentation offers ways to incorporate reasonable challenges in a small group setting to help students problem-solve and practice their learned strategies, while dysregulated, successfully. Increasing the likelihood, they can do it, independently, in other environments.

Help Children Learn to Generalize Self-Regulation Skills Presentation Slides (PDF)

Session 37: Engagement Structures for Mathematics: Quick Wins for All 

Presented by Juliana Tapper

Experience four low and no prep engagement activity structures you can use with any math content in any classroom setting (in-person, virtual, or hybrid) to increase engagement of your students with diverse learning needs. This session will use secondary math examples, but elementary educators are welcome to attend.

Session 38: Fostering Social Acceptance of Students with Disabilities

Presented by Rebecca Canges

Since the authorization of IDEA, schools have made progress in the inclusion of students with disabilities and their methods for supporting their academic needs. But, are the students socially accepted by their typically developing peers? This presentation will offer specific strategies teachers can implement to increase the awareness and social acceptance of students with disabilities at their school.

Session 39: Identifying, Referring, and Servicing Dually Identified EL/SPED Students

Presented by Fran Herbert & Lynda Idle 

Participants will explore how educators can use comparative data to meet the needs of English Learner (EL) students in making informed decisions about referrals to special education thereby reducing disproportionality.

Session 40: Trauma-Informed Instruction Must be Collaborative Emphasizing Neurodiversity

Presented by Dr. Tara Mason

Students' trauma-related behaviors are negatively impacting their academic and social/emotional outcomes in our schools. The effects of student trauma are far-reaching, resulting in behavioral outbursts and poor academic achievement. To address the trauma experienced by many of today’s students, particularly students served in special education, special education teachers must learn strategies for: collaboration, neurodiversity frameworks, and trauma-informed best practices. Research suggests that one of the most impactful approaches to trauma-informed instruction utilizes a neurodiversity, growth mindset, strength-based framework, which encourages students to see themselves as powerful and increasingly successful in their academic learning. Gathering together these various insights from theory and research, participants in this session will learn about strategies to implement them in their K-12 classrooms or teacher preparation programs.

Session 41: Special Service Providers and Trauma-Informed Care

Presented by Kallie Haritopoulos, B.S.

Though the roles of teachers and mental health professionals in trauma-informed care are detailed in the research, few discuss the role of special service providers. As trauma is linked to adverse academic outcomes, it is more than likely that the special service providers will serve children with trauma-ridden backgrounds.

Special Service Providers and Trauma-Informed Care Handout (PDF)

Session 42: Post-Secondary Support in a Post-COVID World

Presented by Tara Hitzig & Stephanie Deker 

Students with special needs benefit from transition activities and practice prior to graduation. Because of the pandemic, many of these opportunities did not exist for high school seniors. Learn about strategies and options to prepare for post-secondary success.

Post-Secondary Support Presentation Slides (PDF)

Session 43: Re-Set? You Bet! Implementing a Trauma Informed Practice

Presented by Nicole Crain-Girten

When children are dysregulated, challenging behavior may follow. The Re-Set Process is a cohesive approach to supporting students with regulation issues due to trauma - through both proactive and reactive methods. Rooted in science and grown in the real-life of schools, Re-Set is a promising method for changing how students and adults interact; it is both regulation and relationship-based. This session will overview the process and also offer specific guidance on implementing Re-Set as a whole class, proactive practice - something so necessary in today's schools.

11:45 AM  - 12:55 PM Breakout Sessions

Session 44: Born to Sparkle

Presented by Megan Bomgaars

Megan Bomgaars is a public speaker, artist, entrepreneur and star of A&E's Emmy award-winning docuseries, "Born This Way." Megan loves to share her life experiences with others and travels internationally giving keynote speeches and presentations on a variety of topics. Megan’s first children’s book called Born to Sparkle is a true reflection of her Don’t Limit Me mantra.  Megan continues to grow professionally and personally by teaching and learning in this ever-evolving world.

This session replaced the cancellation of "Identifying and Supporting Twice Exceptional Students". 

Session 45: Early Literacy for Bilingual Learners: What Matters Most? 

Presented by Kimberly McDavid Schmidt; Ekta Ghosh & Anna Handy

This session examines how the science of reading applies to early literacy instruction for emergent bilinguals. In addition to decoding, research shows that oral language development, cultural and experiential knowledge, and cross-linguistic transfer is especially important for emerging bilinguals. We will practice concrete strategies in each of these areas

Session 46: Five Manageable Steps to Meaningful Inclusion

Presented by Kara Halley & Charlie Buckley

Decades of evidence show that inclusive education leads to better outcomes for students with and without disabilities. However, students with significant support needs continue to be segregated. In this session, five steps to meaningful inclusion for these students will be discussed. Participants will apply these steps to students they support.

5 Steps to Meaningful Inclusion Handout (PDF)

Session 47: Now What? Next Steps in Trauma-Informed Practice Implementation

Presented by Marni Choice-Hermosillo, PhD, NCSP

Has your staff been trained in trauma-informed practices? Are you trying to determine your next step in this process? This presentation will outline research on best practices in trauma-informed practice implementation. The focus will be on the newly developed Trauma-Informed Practices Implementation Model, the research behind the model, and practical implications that will help guide you with your next steps.

Now What? Next Steps in Trauma-Informed Practice Implementation Presentation Slides (PDF)

Session 48: Applying Theory One: So, All May Learn

Presented by Philippe Ernewein

As educators, we know better than most that there is no “average” person. Each one of our students learns, grows, and develops in their own unique way. Yet, we operate in systems designed for a mythical “average.” One simple first step is to learn and apply Theory One coined by David Perkins in his book Smart Schools. This session will start with a theoretical overview and move to practical classroom strategies that teachers can use on Monday.

Applying Theory One Presentation Slides (PDF)

Session 49: The Power of Special Interests: Leveraging Passions to Increase Autistic Student Engagement

Presented by Laura K. Anderson

In this session, participants will learn about the role special interests play for autistic individuals and how to use those special interests to increase student engagement. Drawing from both research and the presenter's personal experiences as an autistic person with special interests, participants will understand how special interests are powerful tools for communication and teaching.

Session 50: Penguins & Aliens

Presented by Jean Rice

The trials and joys of raising a child with disabilities. As a mother I evolved into a person who fought, persevered, and clearly found delight in bringing a child with Autism and cognitive impairments through the various facets of life on into adulthood. Throughout this presentation I will share little snippets and relevant stories when words or concepts were misunderstood by our daughter, Allicia. This presentation is meant to bring hope of creating an understanding that a disability does not need to define the person and to also help others understand the person, the humor, and the personalities of people that just happen to have an unique way of learning and have been labeled with a disability.

Penguins & Aliens Presentation Slides (PDF)

Session 51: Youth Documentary Academy Presents

Presented by Kathryn Stults

The Youth Documentary Academy provides intensive media and documentary film training to middle and high school students in underserved and underrepresented communities of the Pikes Peak region. They locate themes from their own lived experiences, creating easy access to stories that matter to them and to the community.