A National Leader in Inclusive Urban Education
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2017 Institute Schedule

Day 1 - Monday, August 7

9 a.m.

Welcome

9:15 a.m.

Lighting A Candle (Instead of Cursing the Dark)
Julie Causton, Ph.D., and George Theoharis, Ph.D., Syracuse University School of Education

11:30 a.m.

Lunch on your own

12:30 p.m.

Learning Outside the Lines: Empowering Students with Learning Differences
Jonathan Mooney, author, speaker, and disability rights activist

Learning disabilities (LD) and attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) are profoundly paradoxical experiences. Often students with these academic and behavioral labels struggle profoundly in traditional settings. Yet emerging brain research suggests that many students labeled LD/ADHD have profound gifts for creative and visual thinking that go unrecognized in academic environments. As a result, many bright and gifted labeled students struggle with a devastating pattern of academic failure, learned helplessness, and low self-esteem.

This presentation tackles this paradox head on.  In this presentation, Jonathan clearly outlines the research that validates a reframing of LD/ADHD as not a set of deficits or disorders but in fact, as cognitive gifts. He speaks honestly, based on his personal and professional experience, about the systemic and cultural barriers to validating these unique learning styles. Most importantly, in this practical presentation, Jonathan empowers teachers and other education professionals with concrete strategies to build a positive self-understanding in labeled students.

1:30 p.m.

Walking the Talk: Hillsboro School District, Oregon
Elaine Fox and Jon Pede

Walking the Talk presentations are lead by school leaders who will provide key steps/strategies they have used to create and maintain inclusive schools in the age of accountability and common core.

2:15 p.m.

Breakout Sessions:

  • Pointing Forward: Communication, Access, and Inclusion
    Christy Ashby, Ph.D., Syracuse University School of Education

  • This interactive presentation will address communication and inclusion for students with limited verbal speech. This session will feature a panel of individuals that type to communicate sharing their perspectives, alongside practical strategies for increasing academic and social access in inclusive schools and classrooms. 

  • Dream Big! A Panel of Students with IDD (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities) Present Their College Experience
    Beth Myers, Ed.D., Syracuse University School of Education

  • This session will feature a panel presentation by students with intellectual and developmental disabilities enrolled at Syracuse University through the InclusiveU initiative.  Moderated by Professor Beth Myers, the panel will share their experiences in higher education and the paths that led them there.

3:30 p.m.

Afternoon Wrap-up

 

Day 2 - Tuesday, August 8

9 a.m.

Welcome

9:15 a.m.

Why Leaders & Influencers Matter
Torrie Dunlap, CEO of Kids Included Together

In this session, we’ll explore the prevailing mental models of disability, and how as leaders we can shift our school cultures to reflect more inclusive practice. We will examine social theories that can be applied to any population to fuel a cultural transformation by finding our early adopters and leveraging their influence to make sustainable change.

11:30 p.m

Lunch on your own

12:30 p.m.

Walking the Talk: Cicero North Syracuse School District, New York
Shannon Brisson and Melissa Venner

Walking the Talk presentations are lead by school leaders who will provide key steps/strategies they have used to create and maintain inclusive schools in the age of accountability and common core.

1:45 p.m.

Through the Same Door
Micah Fialka-Feldman, Syracuse University alum and self-advocate

Micah is part of the new wave of adults with intellectual disabilities attending college. Since first grade, when he told his parents he wanted to go in the same door as all of his friends, he has been fully included in his school, community, and now on a college campus. 

2:15 p.m.

Creating a Culture of Inclusion through Film and Advocacy
Dan Habib, University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability

Filmmaker and parent-advocate Dan Habib will share how his son Samuel, 17, has inspired him to use the documentary film medium to advocate for more inclusive schools and communities.  Habib will screen and discuss clips from two recent film projects, Intelligent Lives and SWIFT Schools, that show inclusive K-college evidence based practices such as universal design for learning, assistive technology, family engagement and youth leadership.

3:45 p.m.

Afternoon Wrap-up

 

Day 3 - Wednesday, August 9

9 a.m.

Welcome

9:15 am

What Success Looks Like
Jennifer Sommerness, Ed.S., University of St. Thomas, education consultant

Creating inclusive systems that enhance educational outcomes, especially for those students who have the most complex of needs, can be achieved simply through creating a new norm. Establishing a paradigm where we think, talk, write, and act in strength-based ways on children's behalf, we can truly know what success looks like. This presentation will share the magic, the specific strategies, and the stories of individuals who are finding extreme success within inclusive school systems.

11 a.m.

Walking the Talk: North Penn School District, Pennsylvania
Jenna Rufo

Walking the Talk presentations are lead by school leaders who will provide key steps/strategies they have used to create and maintain inclusive schools in the age of accountability and common core.

12 p.m.

Lunch on your own

1 p.m.

A Journey to Belong
Betsy Smith

Betsy Smith will share her story of being educated in inclusive public education and how it led to the life she enjoys today.

1:45 p.m.

Beyond Shenanigans: The Lasting Impact of Inclusive Education
Thomas H. Bull and the LBE Summer Shenanigans Alumni

Summer Shenanigans, an award winning, fully inclusive summer recreation program, was facilitated for sixteen summers by School of Education faculty member Tom Bull, when he was an inclusive elementary school educator at Long Branch Elementary in the Liverpool Central School District. Twenty-five years after the first Summer Shenanigans, a panel representing the 1600+ students and families that participated, have come together to share their experiences in this unique program, and how inclusion has impacted and shaped their adult lives.

2:45 pm

Wrap-up and Closing