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

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

So, Now What? Family Engagement from a Leadership Perspective
Dennis Williams
Family engagement is one fundamental tenet that lives beneath the surface in successful schools. It lurks below the surface because its importance is obvious - it is rarely advertised, often underfunded, under-resourced, and easy to fake commitment to the work. This keynote session is focused on leadership's roles in developing, maintaining, and sustaining family engagement.
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.
Ballroom A+B
10:30 A.M. - 11:45 A.M.
Creating Family Engagement that Works
Marta Droddy and Nikki Musselman
Ballroom D
Family Engagement is so much more than getting families to school for cultural events and volunteering for field trips. We will go through the strata of family engagement and what each level does or should look like in schools. The activities will be interactive and hands-on. This is meant for families, staff members, administrators, and outside community organizations.
Building IDEA Stakeholder Capacity: What should stakeholders know before they provide advice to the Bureau of Special Education
Barbara Mozina and John T Cica
Ballroom E
This session will build capacity among school leaders, parents and other stakeholders to recognize the critical role of compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and the impact of not meeting the requirements of IDEA on their students with disabilities. The IDEA requires the U.S. Secretary of Education to make an annual determination as to whether each state is meeting the requirements of the Act. In addition to the federal-to-state determination requirements, IDEA also mandates that states make annual determinations of the status of every Local Education Agency (LEA) in the state. To this end, local reviews of student outcomes as well as compliance data is utilized in evaluating LEA performance. In addition, IDEA requires every state to develop a State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report (SPP/APR) which requires public reporting. States must report annually to the public on the state's progress or slippage in meeting the measurable and rigorous targets of the SPP/APR and the performance of each school district, charter school, and preschool early intervention program in the Commonwealth on meeting targets. The presenters will facilitate a more meaningful and substantial understanding of the SPP/APR and its relationship to LEA's special education programs.
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.
Differentiated Family Engagement
Jamie Rackl
Heritage Room
Differentiated Family Engagement (DFE) is an EPIC copyrighted framework intended to help afterschool/agency staff, school and district leaders, teachers, and parent leaders understand the goals and strategies for family engagement. Participants will learn to take into account a family's ability and motivation to be involved in supporting their child's success. DFE helps participants understand that a one size fits all approach to engaging families leaves a large majority of parents out of the picture.
12:00 P.M. - 1:00 P.M.
Ballrooms A+B
1:15 P.M. - 2:30 P.M.
Healthy Boundaries
Lisa Eller
Ballroom C
Healthy boundaries are critical in creating lasting, loving relationships. Creating, respecting and teaching boundaries enables families to develop healthy relationships. Parents and educators play a critical role in this process and this presentation will go over the best ways to make boundaries a healthy part of a child and family development.
Family Engagement Framework
Rita Perez
Ballroom D
During this training, participants will learn about the Family Engagement Framework. They will review the purpose and components of the Framework and explore ways in which they can partner with schools, parents, and community agencies to bring the Framework to life.
MEP Virtual Excellence in Leadership PAC Academy: Sharing the Process & 5 Simple Principles of Family Engagement
Ines Vega Vega and Rachel Opala
Ballroom E
Research has repeatedly shown that children whose parents and families are closely engaged with their learning and education are more likely to see favorable outcomes for all involved parties across a wide variety of sectors. It is evident that Family Engagement continues to be an essential element for student success during COVID-19 recovery and beyond. In this session, presenters will share strategies that were implemented throughout the planning and delivery of their first virtual parent academy and they were able to keep the multilingual parents connected and engaged via Zoom. The online sessions provided an opportunity for parents to build their capacity and leadership. Sessions focused on the 5 Simple Principles of Family Engagement written by Dr. Steven Constantino.
Creation of the Caregiver Community Changers A Family Centered Design
Malkia Singleton Ofori-Agyekum and Katie Rubenstein
Harris Room
In 2020 ParentChild+ and PHMC project team were selected as one of four program teams to participate in the Philadelphia Parent Innovation Institute. The Institute brought early childhood organizations and the families with whom they work together to learn family-centered design so they can strengthen family engagement in early literacy and language programs for Philadelphia's youngest learners. From January-June 2021, ParentChild+, PHMC staff and two ParentChild+ parent graduates worked collaboratively to identify program challenges to solve together. The process involved co-designing and rapid cycle learning to create high impact solutions that support quality early childhood experiences and meet the real needs of families with young children. At the end of the project the team decided to pilot a Parent-Led Committee, called the Caregiver Community Changers. The purpose of this group is to give current and graduated families the opportunity to connect and receive support with transitions to Pre-K and Kindergarten, job training and participate in decision-making for the Philadelphia ParentChild+ program. Participation in the Parent Innovation Institute has deepened our commitment to incorporating parent voice in program operations and gave us new skills to ensure that we are doing that. The presenters will share a short description of the process and participants will have an opportunity to ask questions about their experiences. Workshop participants will be able to discuss key components of family voice in the Family Centered Design process.
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.

Panel Discussion

Family Engagement through a Leadership Perspective
Dennis Williams (facilitator), Malkia Singleton Oforio-Agyekum, Kimberly Jenkins, and Jacqui DiDomenico
Session description coming soon
Ballrooms A+B
3:15 P.M. - 4:30 P.M.