Latest Event Updates

Student Names & School Culture

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Early Registration for Vegas ends 2/28! null

What is the value of a student hearing his or her name pronounced correctly?

Learning to pronounce students’ names correctly — even if it takes a lot of effort/practice — can be a huge step toward communicating respect and helping students understand that educators value and celebrate diversity.

My Name, My Identity ( is a national campaign launched by the Santa Clara County Office of Education.  Organizers note that many students can feel shame because of their names, and sometimes even opt to change their given names to nicknames to avoid unwanted attention.


Watch a PBS News Hour panel discuss the campaign, and how prioritizing proper pronunciation of each student’s name can promote positive school culture.

For educators and students who want to take action and practice pronouncing names correctly, the campaign website offers some helpful tools:

The School Climate & Culture forum features practical, real-world initiatives that are successfully transforming the quality, character and personality of schools.  It showcases programs, assessments and tools proven to improve school culture and climate.  Evidence-based and research-based interventions will be introduced, while the forum also highlights high-potential efforts currently being implemented in the laboratory of everyday school life.  REGISTER NOW!


Girl & Boy Brains: Understanding the Innate Strengths & Differences Webinar – Grades 6-12

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Webinar Feb 22nd @ 11:30 am or 2:00 pm ET  teenage_brain700

Girls and boys are different — and they learn differently. Understanding these differences can help educators defuse escalations, keep students engaged in the classroom and increase their chances of success.

In this 90-minute, interactive webinar, author and nationally known speaker Steph Jensen, MS, LPC will explore the physical and chemical differences in boys’ and girls’ brains and how educators can implement classroom practices based on those differences to help students succeed. She will discuss the underlying neuroscience and latest research concerning drama and relational aggression that can derail teen girls in school. This webinar will also help educators understand how boys process differently from girls to better support boys’ developmental needs. Webinar attendees will gain an appreciation of what makes each gender tick and will discover innovative strategies to help boys and girls achieve their highest academic potential.


  • Exploring male and female brains
  • Structural and chemical differences
  • Contrasts between girls and boys regarding:
    • Friendship
    • Games and sports
    • Conversations
    • Hierarchies among peers
  • Withdrawal symptoms from too much screen time
  • How nature and nurture influence girl drama and relational aggression
  • Learning to take advantage of male liveliness, curiosity and thirst for competition
  • The rule of TIME

Webinar attendees will learn to:

  • Explain how boys’ and girls’ brains work including the unique structure and chemistry
  • Identify the differences in the ways female and male students focus
  • Recognize the role of hormones in how the brain works
  • Discover how to instill social/emotional connections among girls and boys
  • Implement individual, small group and classroom strategies and activities to engage students of both sexes to ensure the best possible academic outcomes.

Thursday, 2/22/18 @
11:30 am & 2:00 pm Eastern Time



  • Teachers
  • School Counselors
  • Social Workers (All Levels)
  • Principals and Administrators
  • Deans
  • Special Education Personnel
  • At-Risk Coordinators
  • Behaviorists
  • Intervention Specialists
  • After-School Program Coordinators
  • Psychologists
  • Nurses



Steph Jensen, MS, LPC is an award-winning author and international speaker recognized for her insight and understanding of relational aggression. She combines 15 years of practice in the fields of education and counseling with research, practical strategies and humor to address challenging behaviors and build positive relationships with kids. She has held positions as classroom teacher, education consultant and international speaker. She holds a master’s degree in clinical counseling, focusing her efforts on adolescent and family issues.

In recent years, Stephanie has applied her passion for adolescents to focus on the dynamics of relational aggression, social-emotional learning, and positive behavior interventions. She is the author of Thrive in the Hive: Surviving the Girl’s World of Good and Bad Relationship Bee-haviors, Mom’s Choice Award-winning Princess Priscilla and the Bully-Bee Day, Princess Priscilla and the Mood Ring Rainbow and her latest Princess Priscilla and the Great

Rosalind Wiseman: Balancing Popularity & Peer Relationships

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Rosalind Wiseman says that students can learn to channel popularity in positive, inclusive ways to better manage conflicts with peers.


Watch Rosalind  Wiseman describe the role of popularity in balanced peer relationships.

Social activist and author of bestsellers Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and the New Realities of Girl World and Girls & Other Hazardous Materials, Wiseman will open the Innovative Schools Summit Atlanta.


Dr. Yong Zhao: How Creativity Energizes School Culture

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Take Advantage of Early Registration in Vegas Thru Feb. 28th! – Register Online at!

Innovative Schools Summit Plenary Speaker Dr. Yong Zhao says “the process of creating is a natural desire of students — and one that schools could choose to systematically support — rather than squelching such instinctive learning urges. This need to be creative must be supported from a young age, thus the implications for school cultures is significant.”

Watch Dr. Yong Zhao explain how creativity encourages openness, intellectual risk-taking and novelty in students.

Dr. Zhao is an expert on globalization and education.  He has published over 100 articles and 20 books, including Catching Up or Leading the Way: American Education in the Age of Globalization.  Dr. Zhao will deliver a plenary presentation at the Innovative Schools Summit Las Vegas.

Scholars struggle to consistently define and distinguish the terms, but educators agree on the need to transform both “climate” and “culture” to improve academic outcomes.  The School Climate & Culture forum features practical, real-world initiatives that are successfully transforming the quality, character and personality of schools.  It showcases programs, assessments and tools proven to improve school culture and climate. Evidence-based and research-based interventions will be introduced, while the forum also highlights high-potential efforts currently being implemented in the laboratory of everyday school life.  REGISTER NOW!

Helping Young People Learn Self-Regulation Spring 2018 Dates Announced!

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Self-Regulation includes a set of insights and skills students need for academic success, emotional control and healthy social interaction. When a young person is lacking in his/her ability to self-regulate emotions and behavior, negative outcomes are easily observable. Helping young people improve their Self-Regulation skills can help them to better handle anger issues, anxieties, impulsiveness, academic challenges, classroom behavior issues, self-esteem struggles, social troubles and more. Helping young people improve their Self-Regulation skills will enable teachers, counselors, social workers, administrators and other educators to see observable and sustained positive changes in young people.

This seminar, Helping Young People Learn Self-Regulation: Teaching Impulse Control to Students Grades K-12, the presenter will provide recommendations and strategies that you will be able to use with all students, and in particular with students who have behavioral and/or emotional self-control issues. Included will be practical insights, recommendations and learning activities that are based upon the evidence-based approaches used in cognitive-behavior psychology. The content of this seminar is consistent with the principles underlying the RTI/MTSS and Positive Behavior Supports movements. The presenter will provide creative, fresh and engaging approaches for individual students, small groups, classrooms and the whole school.


In this seminar you will learn how to:

  • Develop a level of understanding of the Self-Regulation framework sufficient for teaching it to students and presenting it to parents.
  • Apply step-by-step strategies/activities to teach young people how to increase Self-Regulation including: Cooling the Flame, My Warning Signs, Melting Freeze, You
  • Can’t Make Me Laugh, Free Emotional Expression, Challenge Software Program, Defiance Trap
  • Organize and implement strategies in a way that is most effective for addressing many social/emotional, behavioral and academic problem areas including: anger and oppositional behavior, depression & anxiety, academic performance, chronic impulsiveness, ADHD, motivation, learned helplessness, bullying & other school safety issues
  • Access, monitor and report measurable outcomes from the application of Self-Regulation strategies presented in this seminar
Brad Chapin, LCP, LMLP
Brad Chapin is a leading authority on Self-Regulation and a masters level psychologist with a passion for helping others learn the skills necessary for success and happiness. He is a best-selling author and nationally-recognized speaker in the area of Self-Regulation. He has served as the Director of Child and Adult Community Services for a large community mental health center where he supervised 65 mental health field staff. Currently, Brad is Director of Clinical Services for Stormont-Vail Behavioral Health Services. Brad’s first book, Helping Young People Learn Self-Regulation, is in its second printing. He has since published Helping Teens Learn Self-Regulation, The Legend of the Regulators, Teaching Self-Regulation Smart Guidance DVD and the Self-Regulation Training Board. His latest book, Helping Pre-Schoolers Learn Self-Regulation, was released to critical acclaim in 2016.

Anxiety, Trauma, Asperger’s, ODD Seminar Spring Dates Just Announced!

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Studies show that approximately 20 percent of all students are diagnosable for a mental, emotional or behavioral health issue. This seminar will help counselors, teachers and other professionals understand how to support and teach this high-potential portion of the student population while avoiding an unmanageable classroom environment.

In a single classroom, it is quite conceivable that a teacher might be dealing with 4 or 5 different disorders. Some of the most common challenges mainstreamed in the classroom tend to be:

  • Anger Disorders
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • ADHD
  • Anxiety Disorder
  • Asperger’s Syndrome
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Reactive Attachment Disorder

These issues are often undiagnosed and easily misunderstood — and may be responded to as simple discipline issues. Behaviors that tend to be common to students who are wired differently include:

  • Disorganization
  • Perfectionism
  • Trouble dealing with change
  • Performance and testing anxiety
  • Social anxiety
  • Over- and under-reacting to adults and peers

The goal of Anxiety, Trauma, Asperger’s, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Early Onset Bipolar & More is to provide you with key insights and approaches to help you prevent disruptions and distractions, while maximizing the abilities of students with these unique challenges.




In this seminar you will learn to:

  • Restructure traditional policies and practices that often fail with these students
  • Implement do’s and don’ts for supporting this group of students with dignity and respect through:
    • Assisting with organizational challenges
    • Building an environment that minimizes perfectionism
    • Controlling change, while helping students deal with it
  • Create a climate that strikes a balance between challenge and support
  • Reduce stigma and create a respectful climate in the classroom and school
  • Integrate successful approaches to reach students with emotional, mental and behavioral challenges

Brain Scans: Predicting Male Engagement via Neural Resting States

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Dr. Michael Gurian says that the more words a teacher uses while teaching, the greater the likelihood that the male brain will become bored, drift, sleep or fidget.  In his book, The Minds of Boys, Gurian describes how “the male brain is set to renew, recharge, and reorient itself between tasks by moving to a ‘neural rest state.’”  When imagined how this might manifest in a classroom he writes:

image“With greater blood flow in the brain, girls tend to recharge neural focus without pronounced rest states; thus a girl can be bored with a lesson but keep her eyes open and take notes. Brain scans conducted by Dr. Daniel Amen have shown that in the resting female, there is just as much neural activity as in the male brain solving problems.  Female blood flow during brain rest is very active.  Male blood flow during a rest state is not.”

Tips for supporting male engagement in the classroom:

  • Keep verbal instructions to no more than one minute.
  • Provide “brain breaks” to allow for movement in the classroom.
  • Allow boys (and girls) to be occupied when sitting/listening is required. (Squeeze ball, doodling, pipe cleaners)

Founder of the Gurian Institute and New York Times bestselling author of 28 books, Dr. Gurian will present a plenary session entitled Boys and Girls Learn Differently:  Why Gender Based Instruction Works at the Boy Brains & Engagement Conference in Atlanta.

Boys are more likely to be held back, suspended or expelled.  They are also more likely to drop out of school, and comprise only 43 percent of college students.  This conference will help educators understand and support the unique neurochemistry of the male brain.  REGISTER NOW!