Family Involvement Conference
October 22-24, 2023
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Session Descriptions - Monday

Our website is under construction for the 2023 conference.
All speakers and sessions will be updated as soon as possible.
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Welcome and Keynote Speaker

Sustaining Our Momentum in Building Partnerships Between Home and School
Dr. Sheila Jackson
Ballrooms A+B
9:00 A.M. - 10:00 A.M.

8:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M.
7:30 A.M. - 8:45 A.M.
Ballrooms A+B
10:30 A.M. - 11:45 A.M.
Creating a School Community that Empowers Families
Debbie Bostian and Marta Droddy
Ballroom C
This presentation is meant for educators, family members, administrators and community organizations. We will show through interactive, hands-on activities how to navigate the school environment. The program is intended for people who are new to the school community or want to become more involved in the school community. It all begins with creating a welcoming environment and continues with various experiences to make people more empowered advocates for the students and their families.
Creating the Best Team Possible
Barbara Mozina and John T. Cica
Ballroom D
By creating the best team possible, every student can reach their mountaintop of success. This interactive workshop will discuss and provide tools for student success from the valley to the mountaintop (K-12th grades).
1. Change your beliefs about what student success looks like
2. Know what you know about creating the best possible team for student success
3. Shift your mindset and how to best achieve student success
What Administrators Need to Know About Family Engagement
Kimberly Jenkins and Linda Cartwright
Ballroom E
Children are the Priority. Change is the Reality. Collaboration is the Strategy. This quote by Judith Billings, former Washington State Superintendent, emphasizes the importance of collaborative conversations between educational stakeholders, including administrators, families, education staff, and community partners. Administrators lead the way by example and providing guidance for effective and sustained family engagement. This session, presented by the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN), the training arm of the PA Bureau of Special Education, will examine family engagement research, strategies, and best practices that administrators can implement to build the family engagement capacities of educational stakeholders.
As Within, Without: SEL Leadership Self-Assessment Tool
Kevin Thomas Briggs
Harris Room
The more people, organizations, and resources involved in SEL initiatives the better. However, those interested in getting involved in or learning more about SEL often are not sure where to start. The self-assessment tool that is the focus of this workshop can help people identify what they do and do not know about SEL and how they can best contribute to related initiatives. The workshop is suitable for adults working or living with K-12 students.
Connecting with Families
Karen Shanoski
Heritage Room
Parents are their children's first teachers. They strongly influence their children's readiness for and success in school. When parents and the organizations that educate children work together, the results can be powerful. Organizations and schools can affirm families' contributions to student success and promote family engagement with their children's learning and education at home, in schools (pre-K through 12) and in community programs (home visiting and out of school time). Participants will explore how the (home visiting and out of school time). Participants will explore how the Strengthening Families Protective Factors can promote strengths based approaches to creating a welcoming environment and working with families identify ways to engage parents as partners to promote school success and student well-being; and describe actions to make families feel that they are a part of the school community.
12:00 P.M. - 1:00 P.M.
Lunch and Awards
Ballrooms A+B
1:15 P.M. - 2:30 P.M.
Building the Systemic Village for Family Engagement
Dr. Sheila Jackson
Ballroom C
In this interactive session for attendees in any role and at any level of engagement, participants will learn about current collaborative practices across a large school district focused upon building shared responsibility for equitably engaging all families in the educational process. As an outcome, participants will design their own "ROADMAPS" to jumpstart the collaborative process back at home.
Understanding the Impacts of a Poverty Mindset
Jamie Rackl
Ballroom D
Participants will explore the impact of social determinants of health on education in order to fully understand the challenges the families that they work with may be facing. Then utilizing a virtual poverty simulator, participants explore and discuss how poverty impacts the decisions that families make regarding their children's education and health.
Strategies for an Equitable Family Engagement
Tatiana D. Berrios
Ballroom E
All participants will be able to learn about meaningful strategies that include their own self-awareness of their views on culture and how embracing cultural differences enhance proper communication channels for an equitable family engagement. This session will be a hands-on session for educators and educational leaders to understand research-based facts and strategies that lead to better student outcomes when the family is engaged in their education.
F2MAX PA Statewide Family Network: Modeling Family Leadership
Jacqui DiDomenico
Heritage Room
The Pennsylvania Statewide Family Network, FAMILIES TO THE MAX (F2MAX) is rolling out a new leadership structure. The new Regional Family Leadership Council will continue to bring family voice to lead the work of the network. With continued support from agencies and professional partners the network will expand and meet the needs of Pennsylvania families navigating special education from early intervention through school age and beyond. Come learn how F2MAX has empowered families to build awareness and lead change through storytelling, shared experiences, and meeting other families and professionals where they are. Families from across the commonwealth are participating at all levels of involvement to bring the principles of presuming competence, having high expectations and collaborating effectively to their schools and communities.
Family Engagement Resources and Strategies
Karen Shanoski (facilitator), Dr. Sheila Jackson, and Jamie Rackl
Ballrooms A+B
3:15 P.M. - 4:30 P.M.

7:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.
Welcome Reception
Main Lobby