Equity. Excellence. Education.

Professional Learning

Official 2016-17 SERC Professional Learning Listings.

SERC believes the most effective learning opportunities are learner-driven, in a variety of formats. We offer comprehensive in-district technical assistance and support, online courses and learning modules, resources through the SERC Library and website, and other means to serve the unique needs of the learner.

This page features our pre-scheduled learning opportunities, with specific dates, for those who wish to plan ahead to attend in person. Registration is required. For anytime online learning, click the “Online Courses” tab.

March

Bureau of Special Education March Leadership Forum

March 1, 2017

The leadership forums are designed for ConnCase and district special education administrators to build their knowledge around specific BSE topics and legal issues to support their roles on behalf of serving students with disabilities and their families. The topic for the March session will be on Legal Issues in Special Education.

Time: 8:30 a.m.

Learn More & Register For This Event

Tier 1 Classroom Behavior Management Strategies

March 1, 2017

A primary responsibility of teachers is to help students learn, but learning can be difficult in chaotic environments. Sometimes teachers are challenged daily to create and maintain a positive, productive classroom atmosphere conducive to learning. In the process, teachers might make common classroom behavior management mistakes.

With this professional learning opportunity, teachers will better understand their role in preventing and responding to behavior through a Tier 1 approach. It will cover the 10 evidence-based strategies in proactive behavior management in a flexible system that can be adapted to any classroom environment.

Time: 9:00 a.m.

Learn More & Register For This Event

Self-Determination and Secondary Transition Planning

March 3, 2017

"Enhanced self-determination improves the educational outcomes of youth with disabilities." - Wehmeyer & Field, Self-Determination: Instructional and Assessment Strategies, 2007

To address Connecticut’s current needs in secondary transition, the CT State Transition Task Force has identified 16 key areas that were determined to be critical to the post-school success of any student with a disability. These key areas are referred to as the CT CORE Transition Skills. In January 2016, the following skill was added: To the maximum extent possible, Each Student with a disability will be able to utilize effective self-determination skills including areas such as: choice-making, problem solving, goal-setting, communication, and self-advocacy.

In addition, the passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) has led to Connecticut’s development of a new transition program for students enrolled in high school ages 16-21. This Level Up program has incorporated the instruction of self-advocacy as part of its pre-employment transition services.

During this professional learning opportunity, participants will be introduced to a number of instructional and assessment strategies that will enable teachers and BRS/DORS counselors from Connecticut’s Bureau of Rehabilitation Services/Department of Rehabilitation Services (BRS/DORS) to promote student self-determination.

Time: 9:00 a.m.

Learn More & Register For This Event

What Is Assistive Technology (AT) and How Can It Help My Child? - Elementary - Session B (In Spanish)

March 7, 2017

If you are a parent of a middle or high school student with special needs, you have likely heard the term "assistive technology" or "AT," but you might not be familiar with exactly what that means or how it can enhance your child's learning in school, at home, or in the community. In this session, parents/guardians will learn about the scope and functions of AT, and actually handle many of the low-, mid-, and high-tech devices (from SERC's AT Corner in the SERC Library) that can enhance student learning.

Participants will have the opportunity to share their questions and experiences with other families participating in the session. Parents will discover how they and the rest of the Planning and Placement Team can determine their child’s need for AT; how to choose AT devices and systems that would make a positive difference in their child’s learning; how to advocate for providing their child with an AT device or product he or she needs; the child’s legal right to AT equipment; and how AT can help a student achieve Secondary Transition goals and objectives.

This session is a collaboration among SERC, the CT Parent Information and Resource Center (CT PIRC), and the Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center (CPAC).

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Learn More & Register For This Event

CT Secondary Transition Community of Practice

March 9, 2017

Connecticut has created the CT Transition Community of Practice (CoP) to centralize all activities, resources, and initiatives related to secondary transition and to provide information and support to students, families, employers and professionals. The CoP is comprised of multiple stakeholder groups that have come together with a single focus: enhancing the transition of youth with disabilities to adult life. Come learn what we are all about, including the statewide Transition website and the wide range of Practice Groups that are working on innovative transition products, projects, and activities. See how your ideas fit into Connecticut’s overall plans and help us plot our course for the coming year!

Time: 8:30 a.m.

Learn More & Register For This Event

Finding and Using Low-Cost/No-Cost Technologies for the Classroom - Session B

March 10, 2017

This learning opportunity will introduce educators and families of students with disabilities and learning differences to low-cost/no-cost technologies that support learning in school and at home.

The Internet and app stores are full of resources, software, and apps that are of little cost or entirely free. Participants will learn how many of these valuable technologies support student learning by providing alternative means of accessing the curriculum. These technologies include open source software, free and low-cost apps for iPad and Chrome book, Google apps, and free literacy and teaching resources and websites.

This training will provide context and examples for the use of these technologies. Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to explore SERC’s new Assistive Technology Corner that features displays and demonstrations of various assistive technologies.

Time: 9:00 a.m.

Learn More & Register For This Event

Differentiating Speech-Language Impairment from Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD)/Dyslexia

March 14, 2017

The appropriate identification of SLD/Dyslexia in the elementary grades requires the input of speech and language pathologists (SLPs) who can offer planning and placement teams (PPTs) essential information about a student’s phonological processing and support differentiating a reading disability from a generalized speech-language impairment (SLI).

On Day 1 of this professional learning opportunity, participants will review foundational information about SLD/Dyslexia, including its neurobiological basis, and will compare student data profiles consistent with this disability category in contrast to SLI. On Day 2, participants will bring their own student data (with confidential information redacted) and engage in facilitated group discussions about evaluation results and eligibility determination. On both days, participants will also have opportunities to interact with the extensive collection of special education assessments in SERC’s library.

Speech and language pathologists completing this professional learning opportunity will illustrate the interactive processing systems underlying reading comprehension; explain the profiles of students with reading and oral language difficulties; map comprehensive assessment results to profiles of reading and oral language difficulties; and differentiate SLI from SLD/Dyslexia.

Time: 9:00 a.m.

Multi-day Event: 3/14/2017, 3/30/2017

Learn More & Register For This Event

What Is Assistive Technology (AT) and How Can It Help My Child? - Secondary - Session A - English Session

March 14, 2017

If you are a parent of a middle or high school student with special needs, you have likely heard the term "assistive technology" or "AT," but you might not be familiar with exactly what that means or how it can enhance your child's learning in school, at home, or in the community. In this session, parents/guardians will learn about the scope and functions of AT, and actually handle many of the low-, mid-, and high-tech devices (from SERC's AT Corner in the SERC Library) that can enhance student learning.

Participants will have the opportunity to share their questions and experiences with other families participating in the session. Parents will discover how they and the rest of the Planning and Placement Team can determine their child’s need for AT; how to choose AT devices and systems that would make a positive difference in their child’s learning; how to advocate for providing their child with an AT device or product he or she needs; the child’s legal right to AT equipment; and how AT can help a student achieve Secondary Transition goals and objectives.

This session is a collaboration among SERC, the CT Parent Information and Resource Center (CT PIRC), and the Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center (CPAC).

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Learn More & Register For This Event

Differentiate Your Math Instruction (K-5)

March 17, 2017

Today’s increasingly diverse math classrooms call for increased focus on differentiated instruction. At its core, differentiated instruction simply involves teachers reacting responsively to learners’ differences. Research has shown various approaches to be effective in providing differentiation.

In this session, participants will learn strategies for grouping, providing learning activities, assessing, and offering student choice. On Day Two, participants will share their own classroom differentiation experiences and provide feedback to one another.

Time: 9:00 a.m.

Multi-day Event: 3/17/2017, 5/3/2017

Learn More & Register For This Event

Understanding the Transition from School to Adulthood for Students with Behavior/Mental Health Issues

March 17, 2017

During this professional learning session, participants will utilize case studies involving students with behavior and mental health needs and learn how these students can manage the various aspects of the secondary transition planning process. Through this review, participants will build their capacity to support students’ self-determination, time management/organization, choice making, problem solving, self-advocacy, and goal-setting skills.

Time: 9:00 a.m.

Learn More & Register For This Event

Mental Health First Aid

March 21, 2017

You are more likely to encounter someone -- friend, family member, student, neighbor, or member of the community -- in an emotional or mental health crisis than someone having a heart attack. Mental Health First Aid teaches a 5-step action plan to offer initial help to young people showing signs of a mental illness or in a crisis, and connect them with the appropriate professional, peer, social, or self-help care.

This course is intended for teachers, support staff, paraeducators, coaches, and other school employees who have frequent contact with youth. Participants will have time to action plan to strategize a procedure for intervening with identified students.

Time: 9:00 a.m.

Multi-day Event: 3/21/2017, 3/22/2017

Learn More & Register For This Event

Proud to Be Me, & other Social Studies Themes in Early Childhood to Promote Positive Self Image

March 23, 2017

Positive self-image fosters achievement in all learners, especially students of color. Families often socialize their children in ways that promote racial and ethnic pride, high expectations for learning, and positive behavior. As educators serve the increasingly diverse needs of children and families, they must be prepared to support children’s growing curiosity about themselves, other people, and the communities in which they live and learn.

Even in early childhood settings, learning about social studies can build on the family’s contribution to their child’s development of self-image. This two-day professional learning opportunity provides support and time for early childhood professionals developing social studies units for preschool and kindergarten children.

Participants will learn about understanding and supporting positive self-image and identity and the role of family for all children; how to implement equitable learning and anti-bias education; and opportunities to develop a social studies curriculum and units of study using the CT Early Learning and Development Standards.

Each participant is asked to bring lesson plan templates and/or a non-fiction or fiction picture book they wish to incorporate into the social studies unit they seek to create.

Time: 9:00 a.m.

Multi-day Event: 3/23/2017, 4/27/2017

Learn More & Register For This Event

Designing General Education Behavior Support Plans: A Practitioners Guide

March 29, 2017

In this session, school administration and staff will learn about systems and structures that aid in supporting students’ behavioral, social-emotional, and mental health needs. Participants will learn best practices for designing general education behavior support plans using their framework of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS).

As participants learn more about the function-based behavior process for students, they will better understand the motivation, pay-off, or function of a student’s problem behavior. They will then use that information to identify and implement effective interventions to include in behavior intervention plans (BIPs), as part of their tiered supports.

Time: 9:00 a.m.

Learn More & Register For This Event

Differentiate Your Math Instruction (6-12)

March 29, 2017

Today’s increasingly diverse math classrooms call for increased focus on differentiated instruction. At its core, differentiated instruction simply involves teachers reacting responsively to learners’ differences. Research has shown various approaches to be effective in providing differentiation.

In this session, participants will learn strategies for grouping, providing learning activities, assessing, and offering student choice. On Day Two, participants will share their own classroom differentiation experiences and provide feedback to one another.

Time: 9:00 a.m.

Multi-day Event: 3/29/2017, 5/10/2017

Learn More & Register For This Event

Helping Struggling Readers: A Case Study Approach

March 30, 2017

What are the best ways to support struggling readers, including those with learning disabilities? Which research- and evidence-based interventions are best suited to meet the needs of particular students? Join us as we use a case study approach to identify ways to teach and support students who struggle with reading. Members of Cohort XI of the Albertus Magnus Advanced Alternative Preparation (AAP) Program in remedial reading/language arts will present their recent findings from their capstone project during this hands-on, interactive session. Refreshments will be served

This session is a collaboration between Albertus Magnus College and SERC.

Time: 4:30 p.m.

Learn More & Register For This Event

PPT Chairperson Training (Spring Session)

March 30, 2017

The Planning and Placement Team (PPT) chairperson works as part of the team to develop IEPs for students with disabilities that provide access and opportunities for meaningful participation and progress in the general education curriculum. Within schools, the PPT chairperson should ensure that the compliance requirements of the PPT process are met, that assessment data and goals and objectives are directly linked to the general education curriculum, and that placement decision-making occurs after the goals and objectives are developed.

Participants in this professional learning activity will receive an overview of the rationale for the legal requirements of an individualized education program (IEP); develop in-depth knowledge about the PPT process and how it is to be properly documented; examine quality and compliance indicators of the components of the PPT process; learn how to foster culturally relevant family engagement; and examine/practice strategies for facilitating effective PPT meetings.

Time: 9:00 a.m.

Multi-day Event: 3/30/2017, 3/31/2017

Learn More & Register For This Event

General Disclaimer | Privacy Statement | Copyright Statement | ADA Notice
© CT State Education Resource Center. All rights reserved.