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Thurs. June 6


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Day Two: Thursday, June 6, 2024

Current Session Grid as of April 2024. Build your own schedule coming soon.


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Opening Keynote (8:00 – 8:50 a.m.): 

Partnering with Immigrant and Refugee Families: Avoiding Pobrecito Syndrome 

Laura Gardner and Alba Morales, Keynote Speakers 

As demographics continue to shift in our communities, schools are grappling with how to best engage immigrant and refugee families. Gain a better understanding of evidence-based family engagement strategies as well as resources. Discover the power of interacting with parents and caregivers as true partners who are capable of advocacy at the school and district levels. 


9:00 a.m. – 10:20 a.m. 


Maximizing Language Learning with AI: Crafting Personalized Resources 

Rob Greenhaw, EducationPlus and Jess Marty, Hazelwood School District 

Unlock the power of AI in language instruction for multilingual learners! Discover how AI tools can support teachers in producing a range of instructional resources that align with language functions in the WIDA Standards Framework. Explore effective prompts that result in AI tools producing examples, practice items and mentor texts. Learn how AI can help scaffold assignments and assessments, making sure the tasks asked of MLs are in alignment with their current level of English proficiency 


Portfolios That Align with Key Language Uses 

Elena Okanovic, Mary Rodriguz and Heather Tuckson, St. Louis Public Schools 

EL portfolios are a tool that helps teachers and students understand and monitor the students' language growth including ELs participating in Alternate ACCESS. Discover effective strategies of developing progress monitoring tasks for English Learners using Key Language Uses across content areas. Learn how to apply these best practices to your school context connecting WIDA Tools to creating EL portfolios for all EL receiving services including ELs qualifying for Alternate ACCESS. 


Psychological First Aid as Hopeful Support for Refugees 

Rhonda Hittenberger-Ortiz, MSU Agency for Teaching, Leading and Learning  

Psychological First Aid is an evidence-based, communication approach designed for lay people to use in the aftermath of a traumatic event. Explore sources of trauma and practice strategies for offering hope, fostering resilience and linking individuals to community resources. 


10:30 a.m. – 11:20 a.m. 


Partnering with Immigrant and Refugee Families: Ensuring Equitable Engagement 

Laura Gardner and Alba Morales, Keynote Speakers 

All immigrant and refugee families, regardless of their circumstances, have hopes and dreams for their children and want the best for themGain strategies for equitable engagement with immigrant and refugee families, including language access, school orientation nights, home visits and more. 


Cultural Differences: An Exercise in Examining Cultural Miscommunications 

Reah Morabith, Heart of Missouri RPDC 

Read, analyze, and engage in thought-provoking discussions on presented situations to examine the underlying cultural values and belief differences that may be influencing the behaviors, actions and reactions described in the event. Gain increased awareness of and sensitivity to cultural differences and recognize how influential culture is in everyday interactions. 


Engaging MLs in Class Discussions 

Karissa Sywulka, St. Louis University 

Participation in class discussion is often challenging for culturally and linguistically diverse students. This hands-on workshop includes opportunities to learn and reflect on various approaches to teaching MLs and identify action steps towards engaging all students in class discussions. 


Supporting the Mental Wellbeing of MLs 

John Converse, EducationPlus 

In today's diverse educational landscape, understanding and addressing the unique challenges faced by multilingual learners is paramount. Drawing from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) framework of the 8 dimensions of wellbeing, delve into strategies and practices to support the holistic mental health of multilingual learners. 


12:30 p.m. – 1:20 p.m. 


Empowering MLs: Creating Digital Books with the Book Creator App 

Cathy Kraus, Mehlville School District 

Explore how to harness the power of the Book Creator App to foster language development in Multilingual Learners. Gain step-by-step guidance on crafting digital books, building a class library and leveraging various tools within the app. Check out student exemplars demonstrating language growth and collaborative sharing, empowering MLs to express themselves effectively across languages.  


Partnering with Immigrant and Refugee Families: Ensuring Equitable Engagement 

Laura Gardner and Alba Morales, Keynote Speakers 

All immigrant and refugee families, regardless of their circumstances, have hopes and dreams for their children and want the best for themGain strategies for equitable engagement with immigrant and refugee families, including language access, school orientation nights, home visits and more. 


I See What You Mean! Comprehending Classroom Content 

Julie Antill, Southeast RPDC and Tracy Retherford, Cape Girardeau Public Schools 

Making classroom content comprehensible to multilingual learners can sometimes be challenging. Discover how to scaffold comprehension and production of an elementary lesson. Student responses and classroom work will show that they “I see what you mean”! 


Leading with Parents: Engaging Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Families 

Ted Huff, EducationPlus 

Learn strategies that will empower your school to become a true "Partnership School." Understanding the need to meet our families where THEY are will guide your work to include all family structures within your school community. Gain multiple strategies, practices and tools that can be implemented in your school immediately. This work is based on the research of Dr. Karen Mapp and Anne Henderson, authors of Beyond the Bake Sale: The Essential Guide to Family-School Partnerships 


Routines to Support Multilingual Learners in Math 

Sarah Browne, EducationPlus 

Discover how Math Language Routines can help boost math skills for Multilingual Learners. Explore fun and effective routines to help support MLs in grasping new math concepts. Gain ready-to-use strategies for supporting ALL students when learning and using mathematical language.     


1:30 p.m. – 2:20 p.m. 


Creating Welcoming Schools 

Shawn Cockrum, Missouri Office of Refugee Administration 

Schools across the United States and Missouri continue to welcome newcomer students, including children and youth from Afghanistan and Ukraine. Learn more about the educational systems in Afghanistan and Ukraine, expand on cultural and migratory stressors and discuss strength-based strategies to use across school settings. This will be geared toward educators, school administrators, school-based mental health professionals and youth program staff who are working with refugee children, youth and their families, especially in school-based settings. 


Elevating Academic Language Instruction: Next Level Strategies 

Rob Greenhaw, EducationPlus and Daisy Skelly, Wright City R-II School District 

If you enjoyed Beth Skelton yesterday, then you'll love this session! Discover additional strategies for teaching academic language at the word, sentence and discourse levels from Skelton and Huynh's Long-Term Success for Experienced Multilinguals. Boost your understanding of academic language in a fun-filled learning experience. 


Multiple Representations to Support MLs in Math 

Sarah Browne, EducationPlus 

Learn how multiple representations can empower multilingual learners in understanding mathematical concepts. Participants will collaborate to practice making connections between multiple representations of mathematical concepts to help students see the story the math is telling. 


Read, Lead, Exceed: Steps to Success for MLs 

Cammy Goucher, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education 

Missouri's Read, Lead, Exceed: Steps to Success series provides a framework of action focused on the alignment of state, district and local efforts ensuring that all students develop strong literacy skills. Discover information and expectations for addressing the literacy needs of Missouri's English Learners. Reading Success Plan scenarios and examples of literacy goals for ELs will be shared. 


2:30 p.m. – 3:20 pm. 


Building Bridges: Inclusive Strategies for Math Instruction 

Jamie Williams and Amanda Wyatt, Mehlville School District 

Are you looking for ways to strengthen students' mathematical reasoning skills? Explore strategies and linguistic support for all students in math class at the secondary level. 


MLs Flipping Over Learning 

Sheri Lawson, Hazelwood School District 

Learn to adapt the flipped classroom model for ELs, offering personalized instruction to meet diverse linguistic needs. Explore practical strategies, leveraging technology and interactive activities to enhance language development and cultural understanding.  


Shifting Mental Models in the Education Setting 

Jennifer Riesenmy, Ladue School District 

Mental models are our values, beliefs and a series of assumptions about how the world works. Unconsciously, we create a story about other people, institutions and the world which drives our behavior. Discover how our mental models have an impact on the student experience, how we as educators can keep our mental models from being a barrier and how our mental models can evolve to be culturally inclusive.