Family Involvement Conference
October 14-17, 2018
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Session Descriptions - Monday

Our website is under construction for the 2018 conference.
All speakers and sessions will be updated as soon as possible.
Currently listed is content from the 2017 conference.
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Welcome and Keynote Speaker

Be Intentional - Inclusive - Inspired. Be Engaged.
Frances Frost
Ambassador, U.S. Department of Education
Effective family engagement is achieved by incorporating the diversity of families' voices and perspectives into the planning, implementation, and evaluation of school programs and activities that effect children's development and education. Frances Frost, Family Ambassador at the U.S. Department of Education, will discuss welcoming all families and building on their strengths to improve student outcomes as an integrated part of school programs.
Ballrooms A+B
9:00 A.M. - 10:15 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.
How to Engage a Community to Help Those in Need
Maureen Ross and Leslie Collins
Operation Wildcat, Mechanicsburg School District
Ballroom C
Operation Wildcat, a school based charity in the Mechanicsburg Area School District started over 10 years with little more than a desire to reach out to the community to help school district families in need. We started small, with no money - just a lot of ideas and energy to put the ideas into motion. We would like to share what we have learned - the 'who, what, where, when and how' of starting a charity, engaging a community, partnering with the School District - and continuing to grow to meet the needs of students and families.
WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students) Building family engagement through fathers and father-figures of your students volunteering a full school day
Keith Schumacher
WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students)
Ballroom D
Through a structured interactive strategy session, supported by testimonials and time-proven best practices, the participants will learn how to utilize the WATCH D.O.G.S. program to reach out to the fathers and father-figures of their students, invite those men to take a full day off of work during the school year and spend that entire day volunteering at their child's schools. The session attendees will learn the steps required to identify a qualified parent program coordinator, build a small team of advocates, create a successful launch event, and then schedule and organize a record number of parent volunteers utilizing the available WD program materials and support.
Education and Wellness
Michelle D Smith
Philadelphia Home School Association
Ballroom E
Demonstrate movement and learning while being active in the classroom with activities. Jumping jacks counting, the ABC exercise movement as well as other kinesthetic that can be done at school or home with families.
Parent Education: Equipping Parents as Educational Partners
Jennifer Brodhag and Jason Fitzpatrick
Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School
Harris Room
How can we equip parents to be educated, effective partners in their child's educational journey? Parent education is not just sending an announcement or an e-mail. The design of the parent education program should be intentional; making real-world connections and enhancing the parent’s role as a partner in their child's educational journey. This is not an easy task as schools need to take into consideration the individual needs and changing schedules of parents. This workshop highlights the role of the parent in the education process and how to provide information in a format that is easy to understand and practical to implement.
Family Resource Centers
Karen Shanoski
Center for Schools and Communities
Cameron Room
School based Family Resource Centers convey a strong welcome message, strengthen the support network for parents and students, and provide concrete resources to family members that build protective factors and increase their capacity to support their children in reaching high levels of success. Such centers, resulting from the collaborative effort of school staff, family members and family organizations offer a place for parents to engage in discussions, participate in workshops, connect with other parents, learn about their children's academic efforts and find helpful resources. Community organizations and businesses may join with schools and families in efforts to encourage family-school-community partnerships, strengthen family-child interaction, improve student achievement and support the school community.
12:00 P.M. - 1:00 P.M.
Ballrooms A+B
1:15 P.M. - 2:30 P.M.
Pursuing Systemic Change to Advance Family Engagement
Keami Harris
National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement
Ballroom C
High-Impact family engagement is a core strategy for improving children's development and increasing student achievement. Parent engagement was a significant element early childhood programs like Headstart from its very beginning, and the FSCE field has benefitted from their approaches. Learn what the broader research now tells us about the huge impact family engagement has on development and learning. Hear about a movement to both build capacity for high-impact family engagement practices, and to elevate family engagement as a priority in the policy sector. Help shape the future direction of family engagement.
Runaway and Homeless Youth: A Strategy
David Chaney, Sr. and Nitah Dunham
Youth Service, Inc. Youth Emergency Service
Ballroom D
The workshop will address the challenge of runaway and homeless youth using Philadelphia and its surrounding area statistics. A description and impact of Youth Emergency Service's Basic Center Program serving runaway and homeless youth between the ages of 12 and 18 will be given and include actual testimonials of youth and families who participated in the YES program. There will also be a description of National Safe Place of which YES is a member agency and its impact on connecting youth in need to resources and help through community partners. The workshop will describe the connection to the SDP McKinney Vento rights and services for youth coming to this program. The workshop will include an interactive segment where participants craft strategies that can be put in place in their communities to address the challenges of runaway and homeless youth.
Building Educator Capacity For Family Engagement
Sheila Jackson
Prince George's County Public Schools
Ballroom E
In a vibrantly interactive session, participants will examine practices and beliefs that hinder effective engagement. Proven strategies for building the capacity of all partners will be explored.
Making a New Path: how change happens
Michelle Letosky
Beginnings, Inc. Family Foundations Academy
Harris Room
This presentation focuses on why families live in the same chaos and dysfunction regardless of negative outcomes. Many times, we as professionals realize that until the families we serve can accomplish a secure and sustainable foundation, we will not be effective in achieving projected outcomes. Why do some families and individuals choose to live in this life of addiction, poverty, criminal behavior, homelessness, joblessness, couch hopping, relationship hopping? Why do they keep making the same destructive choice over and over again? This presentation focuses on how the autonomic nervous system enforces these behaviors through survival mechanisms. And more importantly... how to break that cycle.
Exploring and Developing a School and Home Health & Wellness Program through Parent Advocacy
Donna Randolph
Cameron Room
This session is designed to assist parents in exploring plans for effective and collaborative school and home health and wellness programs. Participants will learn successful consumer skills, effective couponing, healthy lunches on a budget, and how parents can design healthy family advocacy programs in their schools. We will explore strategies for winning at school wellness and becoming effective consumers! Participants will be provided with tips, hints, skills, and ideas to move forward in living and providing wellness advocacy for their families and schools. There will also be an opportunity to exchange ideas with other participants to learn about other wellness programs throughout the state.
2:45 P.M. - 4:00 P.M.
Youth for Astronomy & Engineering Program: Engaging Local Families and Partners
Tania Anderson
Space Telescope Science Institute
Ballroom C
Ever wonder how you can bring the wonders of the universe to your community? Join us to find out. The Space Telescope Science Institute, located in Baltimore, Maryland, is the home to mission planning, telescope scheduling, and public outreach activities for NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. It is also the science and operations center for the future James Webb Space Telescope. This session will feature an overview of the Youth for Astronomy & Engineering (YAE) Program at the Space Telescope Science Institute. The YAE Program seeks to promote awareness of STEM concepts and career opportunities to students and their families through forums, astronomy and engineering clubs, and family events. Join us to learn more about how you can start and sustain a STEM based program in your community.
Engaging the WHOLE Community with Technology
Joni Carswell and Lori Genzer
Living Tree
Ballroom D
Today's technology can be overwhelming for parents and educators alike, but it doesn't have to be! This session will focus on using technology to help build trust and partnership within school communities – including educators, parents, and students! Technology can and should be a cornerstone in unifying your community across all barriers, including socio-economics, language, and much more. We will focus on best practices learned across Title I schools that have started over 4 million conversations in 100+ languages. The unifying REST framework will be presented in the context of using private social media to connect all community members in a single, safe location to collaborate and achieve student success. Join us to learn simple, executable steps to identify and implement the right technology to engage your WHOLE community!
Social Cruelty: Why Good Kids Act Cruel
Tammy Rodgers
Domestic Violence Service Center
Ballroom E
This session is designed to help parents, principals, teachers, and counselors develop strategies to reduce incidents of social cruelty in school where it is most likely to occur. This presentation will focus on the early adolescent years when young people decide to treat each other in a cruel and demeaning manner. Strategies for communication to inform adults and present healthy alternatives will be discussed and provided.
Family Involvement: Strategies and Promising Practices for Student Success
Shelly Grim and Sarah Billings
Communities In Schools of Pennsylvania
Harris Room
Research has shown that there is a very clear need for schools and families to work as partners on behalf of children in schools. Communities in Schools has worked to serve students for over 40 years. This presentation will help simplify the complex topic of family involvement by: defining and explaining the different types of parent involvement; summarizing the most current research on the relationship between family involvement and student outcomes; and outlining specific strategies for family engagement and troubleshooting common challenges. Examples of strategies that are being employed by the CIS network will be discussed with session participants encouraged to address strategies they are using to engage families.
5:00 P.M. - 6:00 P.M.
Welcome Reception
Ballrooms A+B
6:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.
Ballrooms A+B
8:00 P.M. - 9:30 P.M.
Hospitality Suite
Heritage Room