Family Involvement Conference
October 28-29, 2024
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Session Descriptions - Monday

Our website is under construction for the 2024 conference.
All speakers and sessions will be updated as soon as possible.
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Welcome and Keynote Speaker

Helping Students Find their Passion and Purpose to Make the Community and World a Better Place
Dr. Harrison Bailey
Fifth Floor Ballroom
9:00 A.M. - 10:15 A.M.

8:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M.
Fifth Floor Lobby
7:30 A.M. - 6:00 P.M.
Fifth Floor Lobby
7:30 A.M. - 8:45 A.M.
Fifth Floor Lobby
10:30 A.M. - 11:45 A.M.
Bridging Cultural Divides: The Value of Engagement Through Partnership
Dr. Ferdinand Surita
Innovation 1 - Third Floor
The involvement of parents and families in their children's education has a favorable impact on learning and achievement. While this connection may seem obvious, varying ideals of parental involvement limit the ways in which culturally diverse communities understand, encourage, and benefit from meaningful school-home-community relationships. The purpose of this interactive session is for educators, educational leaders, and parents to expand their existing understanding of parental and family engagement in ways that are culturally relevant and responsive to the diverse strengths and challenges of families in their school communities.
Family Equity Supports
Tatiana Berrios
Innovation 2 - Third Floor
This session is designed to support families in their understanding of the word Equity and what it means in the schools.
Building a Community
Kevin Weis, Amanda Murphy
Innovation 3 - Third Floor
Using research-based best practices, this presentation will enhance the knowledge of families, school/school system staff, and community members about the benefits of partnerships between community organizations and schools. Through my work as a Community Coordinator in a Title I school, I will share different strategies and tasks that have resulted in BRES becoming the hub of the community. Studies show these partnerships can lead to: Stronger social and emotional skills development. Enhanced student engagement (higher attendance rates and lower chronic absenteeism) Improved academic outcomes (higher test scores and better grades, higher rates of on-time grade promotion, and higher graduation rates)
Expanding Upon the Capacity to Learn through Reciprocity of Care
Michelle Mitchell
Innovation 4 - Third Floor
This session is designed to build upon social emotional learning competencies that include executive functioning skills, self-awareness, self-management, empathy towards others, physical health and well-being, and stress reduction to improve focus. This session will begin with expanding the attendees (educators) own SEL competencies through experiential sessions, and then providing tools and resources to implement SEL practices with learners. In addition to topics such as neuroscience of stress, alleviating stress cultivate self-management and model citizenship will also be learned.
12:00 P.M. - 1:00 P.M.
Lunch, Awards Ceremony, Door Prizes
Fifth Floor Lobby
1:15 P.M. - 2:30 P.M.
Empowering Families Through Early Engagement
Nyanda Finley de Santos, Amanda Steele
Innovation 1 - Third Floor
Participants will understand key touchpoints in engaging families (Birth to 5). Participants will identify the differences between participation, involvement, and engagement. Participants will learn strategies to support families on their path to self-empowerment. Brief Description: Through this dynamic presentation participants will be offered an opportunity to reflect on their current practices and given a glimpse into the future of Family Engagement starting in the early years. Empowering families is the key to successful cradle to career outcomes for their children.
Target Audience: Family Advocates/Workers, Teachers, School Administrators, Early Childhood Professionals, Volunteers
Engaging Families Beyond Elementary School in Middle and High School
Dr. Sheila Jackson
Innovation 2 - Third Floor
Learning Objective 1: Participants will examine their perceptions and expectations about the assumed "decline" in family engagement as students progress from elementary to middle and high school.
Learning Objective 2: Participants will experience a deep dive into evidence from research that both supports and debunks the assumption and perception of the "decline" in family engagement as children progress to higher grades.
Learning Objective 3: Participants will walk away with relevant strategies and tips to employ that reinforce the importance of shared responsibility to build and sustain family engagement across students' academic lives.
Knowing WHETHER parent/family engagement actually declines between elementary school - middle school and middle school - high school can illuminate how parent/family engagement must be embraced differently as children grow older and expectations shift all around them. In order to make sure we proactively ensure that there is no decline in student achievement and psycho-social development between the elementary and secondary school years, we will uncover the "non-negotiables" for building and sustaining effective home-school partnerships beyond elementary school in this interactive session.
Targeted Audience: Parents,Teachers, Principals, Faith-Based, Family Engagement Professionals and Community Partners
Engaging Families: An Early Intervention Perspective
Melissa Friend
Innovation 3 - Third Floor
Early intervention services are vital to promote the growth and learning of young children with identified developmental delays. Identifying children at an early age is important as we can maximize their potential and give families and caregivers the tools and support to foster their child's growth and development.
During this session, we will discuss building and promoting a positive working partnership between early intervention professionals and families and the benefits of empowering families to foster their child's development. This session will explain how using a coaching model supports families and caregivers to work on target skills during the child's daily routines and activities, making a far greater impact.
We will discuss the barriers to this process including how to address and work through them to support families with young children.
This session will touch upon adult learning and how understanding this concept will help promote a healthy, working relationship where the child's and family's needs and priorities are the focus.
The targeted audience includes home visitors, early intervention providers, supervisors and administrators and parents/caregivers.
PDE - Family and Community Engagement
Samantha Rusho, Clarisa Rosario
Innovation 4 - Third Floor
Using the PA Family Engagement Birth through College, Career, Community Ready Framework, participants will understand the components of the framework and how to use it as a tool to guide the implementation of effective practices for family and community engagement.
Define and discus family engagement.
Introduce the PA Family Engagement Framework.
Discuss strategies to address equity in family engagement practices.
Share real life examples of family engagement and leadership development.
Targeted Audience: School Professionals, Community Members, and Families
Panel Discussion: What Does Family Engagement Look Like (Birth - 21)
Dr. Ferdinand Surita, Nyanda Finley de Santos, Melissa Friend, Tatiana Berrios, Samantha Rusho
Moderator: Karen Shanoski
Fifth Floor Ballroom
3:15 P.M. - 4:30 P.M.

5:00 P.M. - 7:00 P.M.
Welcome Reception
Fifth Floor Lobby
Dinner on your own