Connecting identity, pedagogy, and the science of learning to build belonging

This interactive workshop will present a framework for equitable learning that draws upon research in the fields of Mind, Brain & Education and Diversity, Equity & Belonging. Participants will be invited to reflect on their current practice and share effective strategies with each other.

Lorraine Martinez Hanley

Director of Professional Growth and Studies, Research Lead for Diversity, Equity, and Belonging, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School – Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning

Eva Shultis

Associate Director for Research & Product Development, The Center for Transformative Teaching & Learning 

Session location and time will be published via the Festival App in late September.

Creating Inclusive and Joyful Learning Environments: Strategies for DEI, Belonging, and Wellness

This presentation will provide educators with strategies for creating inclusive and joyful learning environments that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), belonging, and wellness. The presentation will cover topics such as:
– Strategies for creating a safe and inclusive classroom environment
– Techniques for promoting student voice and choice in the learning process
– Practices for promoting wellness and self-care in the classroom.
– Strategies for addressing implicit bias and systemic oppression in the classroom
The presentation will include interactive activities and opportunities for participants to ask questions and share their own experiences.

Stephanie Tellis

Founder and Lead Consultant, Stephanie Tellis Coaching and Consulting

Session location and time will be published via the Festival App in late September.

The Basic Ingredients of Autism-Friendly Classroom Instruction

This talk will discuss the basic ingredients of autism-friendly classroom instruction. We’ll begin by surveying the cognitive challenges and cognitive strengths in autism. We’ll cover detail focus, the inclination to systematize, the need for structure and systematic instruction, and the challenges with reading between the lines. We’ll then discuss how best to address these strengths and challenges as they play out in core academic subjects. We’ll survey evidence-based strategies for boosting comprehension and teaching new material, and we’ll look at field-tested strategies for improving expressive language skills.

Katharine Beals

Adjunct Professor, Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania

Session location and time will be published via the Festival App in late September.

The Complexity and Possibilities of Getting to Know the English Language Learners

In this session, participants will take away an understanding and appreciation of the complexity and possibilities of getting to know students’ diverse backgrounds and cultures that enhance their likelihood of succeeding. The session will offer some practical things we can do in our current environment to allow teachers to focus on getting to know their students well.

If detailed knowledge of each of their students, particularly the ELL students, will greatly increase their likelihood of success, then we must assure that teachers have the time to develop that knowledge.

Ultimately, that would certainly mean restructuring the teacher’s day-to-day responsibilities in an innovative way.

It is recommended for attendees to read the first chapter:

This is a four minute video that captures the significance and complexity of getting to know the ELL Students:

Bolgen Vargas

Retired School Superintendent and John Catt Published Author, John Catt Publishing

Session location and time will be published via the Festival App in late September.

Unlocking Inclusion & Equality through Accessible Digital Materials​

Accessible educational materials (AEM) are essential for promoting equity and inclusion in education for all students. They remove barriers to learning, accommodate learner variability, provide equal access to education, and enhance teaching efficiency. However, some teachers have reverted to only using paper/pencil activities as a result of the post-COVID trauma of virtual instruction, which creates barriers for many students regardless of disability. Convincing teachers to continue providing accessible educational materials with the resumption of in-person teaching has been challenging. Come see how FCPS has been tackling these barriers in a fun and whimsical way which has increased buy-in across our system.

Amy Boehman-Pollitt

Augmentative Communication & Technology Team Leader, Frederick County Public Schools, Maryland

Heather Rose

Teacher Specialist for Innovative Learning, Frederick County Public Schools, Maryland

Session location and time will be published via the Festival App in late September.