Strand 1: Inclusive Education and Universal Design for Learning – 3 days
Dr. Jennifer Katz
Today’s classrooms reflect the diversity of a global world. This diversity means that students vary in what they already know, what they are ready to learn, the pace at which they are able to proceed through curriculum, and the level of adult support they require for success. Building inclusive learning communities requires that students see school as a place where they belong, are valued, and have something to contribute. The Three-Block Model of Universal design for Learning (TBM) weaves together the work of CASEL on social and emotional learning with the work of CAST on UDL. Informed by research and practice in inclusive education, and Indigenous educators and elders, implementing the TBM allows teachers to meet the needs of diverse learners K-12, and address critical issues in education today including mental health, SEL, the TRC, and the new BC curriculum. Together we will walk through a synthesis of all the strands teachers are being asked to address, in a practical framework that makes both teaching and learning more engaging. Sample units, lessons, rubrics, video, and student work will be shared!
Strand 2: Functional Assessment and Positive Behavior Support: Tools to Understand Why Problem Behaviors Occur and How to Make It Better! – 3 days
Dr. Brenda Fossett
This strand will introduce participants to an evidence-based approach for assessing and intervening on problem behavior. Participants will learn about common assessment strategies that clarify why an individual is engaging in problematic behaviors in a particular setting or situation. In addition, participants will learn about common intervention strategies designed to prevent problem behaviors from occurring and teach more appropriate behaviors. Participants will have the opportunity to practice specific assessment and intervention planning activities during the three-day strand, using case examples provided by the presenter. Participants will also receive advice for accessing ongoing in support in conducting behavioral assessments and developing positive behavior support plans in their individual settings.
Strand 3: Transition and Employment – 3 days
Dr. Paul Malette and Deborah Simak
Changing Post Secondary Outcomes for Diverse Learners-From Segregation to Fully Inclusive Lives
BC’s New Curriculum and Graduation Program are designed so that students graduate from secondary school as educated citizens, with the knowledge, competencies, and skills they will need to transition successfully into higher education, training and the workforce. To date, students with disabilities, particularly students with developmental disabilities, have had limited opportunities to transition to higher education, training and the work force.
This three-day strand focuses on current, evidence based high school transition practices for students with diverse abilities. An emphasis is placed on the predictors for an inclusive life after high school; self-determination and paid employment in the high school years. Participants will be shown detailed exemplars of research in practice. Specifically, participants will be shown the process of self-determination instruction, and students developing and acting upon their Self-Directed Life Plans with a focus on paid employment and customized employment practices in the high school years.
This three-day strand is led by Dr. Paul Malette and Deborah Simak of CBI Consultants (formerly Director of Learning Support, Burnaby School District). The three-day strand is interactive with inspiring British Columbia based stories and practices that support BC’s New Curriculum, core competencies and successful career-life development for all students. The strand emphasizes home, school, and community collaboration and systems change. The strand is designed for School Trustees, District Teams, School Based Teams, classroom teachers, educational assistants, parents, community agencies and CLBC staff. Participants are encouraged to come as teams to collaborate and leave the strand and Institute with action plans to put research into practice.
Strand 4: Including Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Challenges and Strategies
– 3 days
Dr. Vicki Knight, Dr. Pat Mirenda, Dr. Connor Kerns
In British Columbia, 1 in 46 school-age children (age 6-18) receive funding through an government autism agreement. In order for these students to have access to inclusive educational opportunities, teachers and others need to understand how ASD affects them and how to address their learning differences. This strand will address both of these issues across three days. On Day 1, Dr. Vicki Knight will provide an overview of ASD, with emphasis on strategies for creating comfortable learning environments that accommodate the needs of students with ASD. On Day 2, Dr. Pat Mirenda will describe a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework, with examples of how UDL can be applied to curriculum design that includes students with ASD across the range of ability. On Day 3, Dr. Connor Kerns will provide an orientation to the mental health needs of students with ASD and offer suggestions for supporting students with co-occurring anxiety, in particular. The emphasis across all three days will be on practical strategies that can be applied to students with ASD and their classmates.
Strand 5: Nurturing all learners through inclusive literacy practices – 3 days
Dr. Leyton Shnellert
Every child arrives at school with a multitude of literacies. Come join us as we explore systems, structures and strategies that build from children’s funds of knowledge to develop essential school literacy skills for our diverse learners.
Over the three days we will revisit and deepen our understandings of reading, writing workshop, literacy centres and stations, culturally responsive teaching, and critical literacy. Special attention will be paid to developing inclusive literacy communities where every child is an author and inquirer (Tier 1), and opportunities for supports that scaffold emerging literacies (Tier 2 and 3).
Strand 6: Competency & Strength Based IEPs for Inclusive Classrooms – 3 days
You have probably heard about BCs Competency Based Individual Education Plans (IEPs), but do you know where they came from? This institute will focus on why IEPs are changing, and how they can be used to build students agency in strength based way that align to BCs redesigned curriculum. We will look at how IEPs can be helpful in advocating, and in designing for support and instruction for inclusive classrooms.
Strand 7: Social Emotional Learning– 3 days
Dr. John-Tyler Binfet
This strand will provide participants with an overview of SEL including reviewing the pillars of SEL, key aspects of successful SEL programs/interventions, and the positive outcomes arising from SEL initiatives. You will also build on and extend our understanding of SEL by sharing new innovations in SEL research and explore the link between SEL and school climate and factors that enrich the learning climate for exceptional students. Drawing from Dr. Binfet’s own research and the research of others, Day 3 will provide participants with a solid foundation in the science of kindness. Topics to discuss include Pedagogical Kindness and Kind Discipline. Participants will review the benefits to well-being that arise from being kind and explore how educators can structure opportunities to practice kindness for all students. This interactive workshop will address topics including the role of stress contagion, using SEL to establish a positive affective learning climate, how intentional acts of kindness can foster well-being, and how SEL can facilitate positive student-teacher rapport.