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Thurs. June 6


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Opening Keynote  

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. 


Lessons from the SALaMA Study: Building Community with Newcomer Students Workshop 

Sarah Rangwala, QFI Consultant 

PhotoVoice is a tool that has been used all over the world to engage with and give voice to marginalized community members that circumvents language and uses photos to convey ideas. Discover the SALaMA study, that used Photo Voice, to assess the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of high school students who have been resettled to the US from the MENA region. Experience PhotoVoice and learn firsthand how you can use this tool to enhance your community building particularly with newcomer students. 


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. 


Research to Real World:  Moving from Theory to Practice 

Sherri Kulpa, EducationPlus 

It's tough to keep up with new educational research, and who has the time to think about how research translates to classrooms?!  Join this session if you're curious about new research in instructional strategies and want to collaborate on how to bring theory to life in your own classroomDig into student agency, feedback and brain research so you can plan for the new school year knowing that you're up to date on the latest research and ready with new ideas for instructional design. 


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. 


Utilizing Culturally Responsive Practices to Foster Independent MLs 

Diana Hsu and Jennifer Riesenmy, Ladue School District 

Utilizing concepts from Zaretta Hammond's teachings, learn how to apply culturally responsive practices to foster the development of independent versus dependent English Learners. 


12:30 p.m. – 1:20 p.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. 


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.  


I See What You Mean! Comprehending Classroom Content 

Julie Antill, Southeast RPDC  

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 MLs 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. 


When Words Fail 

Jamie Williams and Amanda Wyatt, Mehlville School District 

Looking through the secondary lens, explore how to support all language levels of Multilingual Learners in various content areas using nonlinguistic representation. 


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. 


Teaching MLs is a Team Sport 

Tracey Handal and Nikki Luckett, Kirkwood School District 

Explore three fun, interactive and cross-curricular strategies that can be adapted to fit all levels of students and ELs. Gain materials to use in the classroomA team approach in teaching ELs can have a positive impact so time will be provided for collaboration and connections – making you part of our team. 


2:30 p.m. – 3:20 pm. 


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. 


Shifting to Self-Reflecting Reading 

Erin Rendon and Kate Sritnemann, Parkway Schools 

Based on the Shifting the Balance (3-5) book, explore how to move away from independent reading to self-selected reading. Discover what has worked in our co-taught classroom and the positive outcomes for both EL and non-EL students. 


Multilingual Mentors: Partnering Elementary and High School MLs 

Nikki Stockdell, Ft. Zumwalt School District 

Discover how an elementary school and a high school in the Ft. Zumwalt School District paired several high school EL students with elementary EL students that share the same native language to establish a mentor or "buddy" relationship, launching a new program titled "Multilingual Mentors." Discover why establishing this program is beneficial for both the elementary students as well as the high school students, gain ideas about how to begin implementing a similar program at your own building and specific examples of activities that can be incorporated into the program.