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2024 Pre- and Post-Convention Workshops

Enhance your learning at CEC 2024 by adding on a Pre- or Post-Convention Workshop. These additional opportunities for a deeper dive into a particular topic are available on Wednesday, March 13 and Saturday, March 16 at the in-person convention (additional rates apply).

Click here to add a pre- or post- convention workshop to your registration:



2024 In-Person Pre- and Post-Convention Workshops

Workshop 01 – Legally Defensible IEPs

The U.S. Supreme Court has recently referred to the Individualized Education Program (IEP) as the “centerpiece” of the IDEA’s education delivery system for students with disabilities. In accordance with the Court’s updated two-pronged test for determining whether an IEP is appropriate, hearing officers and courts will look to both the procedural and substantive components of the IEP. We will examine common pitfalls that educators must avoid–both procedurally and substantively–to ensure that IEPs are legally defensible.

Presented by Julie J. Weatherly, Esq., Resolutions in Special Education, Inc.

Workshop 02 – Tier 2 and 3 Behavior Support: Developing Protocols and Implementation Plans

This workshop presents a multi-tier approach to behavior support that ensures that the easiest, and least staff-intrusive interventions are tried first, only progressing to more complex and staff-intensive interventions if needed. The first layer of this continuum is early-stage interventions, designed and implemented by general educations and special education teachers. Next, a menu of Tier 2 problem-solving processes and interventions will be provided—again with the goal that the easiest and least intrusive intervention is implemented with fidelity. Lastly, Tier 3 problem-solving processes will be described. You will evaluate the current array of Tier 2/3 supports in your school, identify gaps in that array, and develop an action plan for closing any gaps that currently exist.

Presented by Jessica Sprick and Tricia Rees Berg, Ph.D., Safe & Civil Schools

Workshop 03 – Engaging Diverse Partners and Families throughout Early Intervention/Early Childhood Personnel Preparation

The science is clear that the first years of children's lives set the foundation for their healthy development and a child's demographics should not determine their access to needed services, experiences, and outcomes. An increasing number of studies are raising the importance of having an early care and education workforce that reflects that diversity of the families served. This workshop will emphasize the development of pre-service and in-service curriculum with focus on engaging diverse faculty and students and related services, as well as highlighting engaging families.

Presented by Peggy Kemp, Ph.D., Division for Early Childhood (DEC), Darla Gundler, The Early Childhood Personnel Center (ECPC), and Mary Beth Bruder, Early Childhood Intervention Personnel Center for Equity @ UConn UCEDD

Workshop 04 – Paraeducators: What Administrators Should Know & Do

Effective utilization and training of paraeducators who serve students with disabilities as well as building capacity of the teachers to direct the work of the paraeducators are commonly reported challenges by administrators.  The session addresses these challenges and provides tips to administrators for utilizing CEC Core competencies for Special Education Paraeducators and CEC Paraeducator Assessment and Evaluation Toolkit to proactive develop policies and systems for defining roles, ongoing supports, training, and supervision that ensure the appropriate use of paraeducators.

Presented by Ritu V. Chopra, Ph.D. The Paraprofessional Resource and Research Center (The PAR2A Center), University of Colorado Denver & Peggy A. Yates, Ed.D., Alma College 

Workshop 05 – Supporting Students with Challenging Behavior Within an MTSS Framework

Challenging behavior occurs during the school day, especially in less structured settings (e.g., bus, cafeteria, hallway, gym). This session will extend evidence-based positive behavioral intervention and support in the classroom and beyond and include ways to implement coaching strategies for adults outside of the classroom, such as paraprofessionals, bus drivers and monitors, along with other school staff. This workshop will provide a review of evidence-based strategies that are seen in the research base, and then presenters will guide and work with participants to utilize evidence-based interventions and practices used throughout the school day in all school settings. Presenters will share research from coaching studies and use those to drive implementation plans, and share ideas for coaching support.

Presented by Kathy Randolph, Ed.D., Texas State University & Brittany Hott, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma, Norman

Workshop 06 – Put the “I” in IEPs Using High-quality Tools for Development and Implementation

Are you struggling with setting realistic yet meaningful goals for your students and designing instruction to meet their individualized needs?  This session, intended for special educators in K-8 settings, will introduce participants to data-based individualization (DBI), the National Center on Intensive Intervention’s approach to intensive intervention, as well as PROGRESS Center’s tools for developing and implementing high-quality IEPs. This interactive session will provide an overview of DBI and illustrate how it can be used to improve and simplify individual education program (IEP) writing by setting individualized, standards aligned goals, designing individualized, specialized instruction, and monitoring progress. The session will also highlight freely available tools and resources from both National Centers.

Presented by Donna M. Sacco, Ph.D., American Institutes for Research

Workshop 07 – Infusing High-Leverage Practices (HLPs) in Educator Preparation Programs: Strategies and Recommendations

In this workshop, you will learn about the second edition high-leverage practices (HLPs), how they support effective educator preparation, and how to infuse them in educator preparation programs broadly and within individual courses and field experiences.  You will have opportunities to apply ideas to your own courses and programs and then receive feedback from session leaders.

Presented by Melinda Leko, Ph.D.; Meg Kamman, Ph.D.; Lindsey Hayes, M.Ed., CEEDAR Center

Workshop 08 – What’s Important in Mathematics at Tier 2 and 3

Do you teach math at tiers 2 and 3? Do you want to know what’s essential in how you teach math? In this session, we’ll focus on five essentials for your math intervention efforts. First, we’ll talk about effective modeling, practice, and feedback. Then, we’ll highlight how to emphasize math language with your students. Next, we’ll talk about why it’s important to use multiple representations in intervention. Finally, we will discuss how to build fluency and provide word-problem intervention to your students. Come ready to elevate your math teaching!

Presented by Sarah Powell, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin

Workshop 09 – Best Practices for Transition Planning

This workshop begins with best practices for transition planning beginning in middle school. You will explore evidence-based (and practical) practices for career development and transition assessment for middle school students. This will provide a foundation for best practices for transition planning and post-school goal writing. In Part One: Career Awareness and Transition Assessment, presenters will cover topics including understanding work, education, independent living, and community options; appreciating and understand types of work/careers; understanding and developing disability awareness; writing initial postschool goals with compliance and fidelity; and choosing a course of study for high school.  Part Two: Career Preparation Activities and Focused Planning, will cover topics including developing meaningful and realistic postschool goals; understanding career and technical education options; increasing transition activities and services (classroom & community); and preparing for transition to post-high school environments.

Presented by Stacie Dojonovic Schutzman, Ed.D., Division on Career Development and Transition (DCDT)

Workshop 10 – Contemporary Co-Teaching: What's New and What Really Matters

Many professionals have learned about co-teaching and have implemented this service model for students with disabilities. However, co-teaching has evolved considerably over the past decade or so, supported by federal, state, and local policies; research and practitioner evidence; and broad culture shifts. Whether you are relatively new to co-teaching, a co-teaching veteran, or a school or district leader, in this workshop you will deepen your understanding of co-teaching's transformative potential, learn practical strategies that are co-teaching best practices (classroom, school, district/division), and participate in interactive Q&A sessions to address your co-teaching questions and challenges. Leave this session empowered, confident that you can take your co-teaching to the next level!

Presented by Marilyn Friend, Ph.D., University of North Carolina-Greensboro

Workshop 11 – Effective Reading Practices in Tiers 2 and 3: Supporting Early Elementary Students Using Enhanced Core Reading Instruction (ECRI)

The workshop will introduce you to best practices in what to teach and how to teach it when it comes to providing effective reading supports for elementary students in Tiers 2 and 3. You will learn about Enhanced Core Reading Instruction (ECRI), an evidence-based Tier 2 reading intervention that can be used for students at risk for reading difficulties, and strategies for intensifying ECRI to support students inadequately responding to Tier 2. You will get hands-on opportunities to practice using ECRI instructional routines which you can incorporate into your Tier 2 and 3 instruction.

Presented by Marissa Pilger Suhr, Ph.D., Boston University

Workshop 12 – Putting Paras in Play: Tips for Teachers Supporting Paraeducators in Your Classroom

Paraeducators deliver an array of special education services with little or no formal preparation for their duties. Additionally, they often work with teachers and licensed professionals who are legally and ethically responsible for directing the paraeducators’ work but typically do not have preparation for their supervisory role. As a result, paraeducators are often not effectively utilized with students with disabilities. In this interactive workshop, the presenter will share research based paraeducator supervision content, tools, and resources aligned with CEC Core Competencies for Special Education Paraeducators that can used by teachers to appropriately guide and direct the work of paraeducators.

Presented by Ritu V. Chopra, Ph.D. The Paraprofessional Resource and Research Center (The PAR2A Center), University of Colorado Denver & Peggy A. Yates, Ed.D., Alma College 

Workshop 13 – Executive Functioning Supports in Today's Classroom

You will spend this session learning about executive functioning, how deficits in this area can affect students, and techniques and tools to help support students. Attention, memory, and organization will be reviewed and you’ll have an opportunity to reflect on the changing need of these in today's classroom. You will make-and-take low tech assistive tools for executive functioning, including visuals, folders, color coding tools and more. High tech tools including Chrome extensions, iOS apps, and websites will be demonstrated. You’ll get hands-on and collaborate with colleagues on techniques that work for a variety of student needs.

Presented by Cassie Frost, Disruptive Teaching

Workshop 14 – Using Current and Emerging Technologies to Enhance Outcomes for Students with ASD and/or Intellectual Disability

This workshop combines practical demonstrations for educators while providing updated research evidence supporting interventions for students with ID or ASD. This workshop includes opportunities to learn about using mobile devices and immersive technologies to improve academic, functional, and health outcomes for individuals with IDD. Immersive learning tools such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and wearable devices provide us with new resources to build a more inclusive future for everyone. This session will feature applications of these technologies for students with disabilities. In addition to the demonstrations, you will have opportunities to try different tools in stations with our experienced session leaders.

Presented by Don McMahon, Ph.D., Washington State University; Sarah Howorth, Ph.D., University of Maine; Aleksandra Hollingshead, Ed.D, University of Idaho

Workshop 15 – Practical Strategies to Modify Curriculum

In this workshop, you will learn the purpose and process of modifying curriculum as well as numerous practical strategies for making modifications. You’ll review the purpose of curriculum modifications and how they differ with other instructional supports such as Universal Design for Learning and curriculum accommodations. You will then be guided through the process of modifying content which includes aligning materials with curriculum and ways for students with disabilities to access curriculum (alter content, alter educational goals, alter instructional method, and alter depth/breadth of topic). Finally, you will learn how to incorporate high-leverage instructional strategies to create modified materials. Throughout, multiple examples of modifications to print, media, and online resources will be provided to help with modifying curriculum. By the end of the workshop, you’ll learn strategies to make curriculum modifications for students with intellectual disabilities that will support their inclusion in the curriculum and beyond.

Presented by Nicole Eredics, The Inclusive Class

Workshop 16 – Literacy Intervention for Adolescents: Integrating Reading, Content Area Knowledge, and Social-Emotional Development

Middle and high school students with reading difficulties can have complex needs. This session will help educators plan to deliver interventions that are (a) aligned to the science of reading for developing adolescent readers, (b) address students’ motivation and self-efficacy, and (c) integrate literacy learning with building content area knowledge. 

Presented by Deborah K. Reed, Ph.D., Tennessee Reading Research Center at the University of Tennessee; Irma Brasseur-Hock, Ph.D., and Michael Hock, Ph.D., Center for Research on Learning at the University of Kansas

Workshop 17 – Building Communities of Practice: Strengthening Induction Programs to Support the Needs of New Special Education Teachers

The pandemic amplified teacher attrition, creating the influx and need for new teachers. This workshop is designed for administrators and mentors who are responsible for training and supporting new special education teachers. Presenters will demonstrate how to use the Survival Guide for New Special Education Teachers to enhance induction programs. Topics covered include clarifying roles and responsibilities, creating a culture of collaboration, supporting effective IEP (virtual and in person) structures, and developing skills to enhance new teacher competencies.

Presented by Clara Hauth, Ph.D., Marymount University & Catherine Creighton Martin, Ph.D., Training and Technical Assistance Center at George Mason University

Workshop 18 – Specially Designed Instruction in Action: Strategies and Techniques to Improve Student Outcomes

You’ve got the what’s next? How do you determine SDI to ensure student progress? This workshop will support participants in how to analyze student IEPs in order to identify effective specially designed instruction (SDI) strategies and build their repertoire of specialized strategies and techniques. Using High Leverage Practices in instruction and an SDI Toolkit shared in the session, you will have an opportunity to collaborate with colleagues to analyze your students’ learner characteristics, present levels, and goals from the IEP to take your SDI to the next level. Everyone will walk away with renewed confidence in planning and implementing their SDI!

Presented by Nicole Barrion and Amy Creed, Alexandria City Public Schools

Workshop 19 – Designing Accessible Digital Content

Join us for an adventure around the world of digital accessibility. Redefine the way you engage with the topic of inclusive design by embarking on a journey of discovery and interaction. You will engage in a presentation and explore various stations to gain new ideas and resources that support the creation of accessible digital content. Accessibility is no longer an option; it’s a necessity, and our workshop is your gateway to understanding, implementing, and championing inclusivity in the digital world. Get ready to create a passport of tools to effectively engage ALL students!

Presented by Cassie Brusch, Julie Ortlieb, and Christy Ruth from Montgomery County Intermediate Unit

Workshop 20 – Leadership Support for Behavior

One of your most important responsibilities as a building administrator is to create and sustain a safe and productive school environment that encourages responsible behavior, and fosters student and staff success. This workshop will guide you through the processes of selecting and adopting schoolwide approaches to discipline and classroom management, including using high ratios of positive to corrective interactions; developing guidelines for success; and working with your team to effect change through a continuous cycle of improvement.

Presented by Jessica Sprick and Tricia Rees Berg, Ph.D., Safe & Civil Schools

Workshop 21 – The Remix: Culturally Sustaining Practices for Student Engagement in MTSS

Engagement is the cornerstone of capturing the attention of your audience. In Hip-Hop, engaging your audience can include making them a part of the cultural expression through some of the core elements related to auditory, visual, and movement arts. There is space and a need for instructional support to be enhanced to promote active student engagement specifically for students from diverse backgrounds within Multi-Tiered Systems. In this workshop, you'll learn to build community for the students you serve through positive relationships and the personal experiences of your students, particularly those who come from marginalized backgrounds. No matter which tier you're on in which system, you'll understand how a focus on student engagement can improve outcomes. You'll discover interventions, strategies, and considerations that can support you in working with all students academically and behaviorally.

Presented by William Hunter, Ed.D., University of Memphis and Jonte' "JT" Taylor, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University

Workshop 22 – Building Relationships, Where Do I Start? What is Your Relationship Plan of Action?

No significant learning can occur without a significant relationship. The number one question in a teacher interview is, How do you build relationships with your students? Join us as we dive into the C.A.R.E. Plan, by describing the need for a systematic way to give educators tools to  authentically connect with students. In this session we will dive into what that C.A.R.E plan is and how to utilize it to build, maintain, and sustain relationships. You will learn the importance of Relationship Centered Interactions (RCI) in the classroom, how to utilize affective language during stand up chats, as well as, proactively utilizing Relationship Agreements in the classroom to have healthy relationship centered redirection.

Presented by Rufus Lott III, Lott Educational Consulting


Speakers are subject to change.

Last Updated:  12 January, 2024

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