Thursday, May 2, 2019

Hilton Hotel, Woburn, MA
7:45 a.m. - 3:30 p.m

Each of us are facing tremendous pressures and stimuli every day, from a variety of sources. At a time when striving to be many things to many people in many contexts is the norm, how do we find peace, balance, satisfaction and hope? Devote a day to being immersed in the latest thinking about the most actionable opportunities for advancing the health and wellness of today's students, educators, parents and families, both within your school's community and across our world at large.


Arrival, Registration & Networking Breakfast

7:45 - 8:30 a.m.


Claire Leheny, Executive Director, AISNE
8:30 a.m.

Opening Keynote Address

Lynn Lyons, LCSW and Psychotherapist
8:30 - 9:30 a.m.

Let’s Get Ahead of This Thing: A Proactive Paradigm for Stopping the Surge of Anxiety

What we do to treat anxiety is virtually identical to what we can teach to prevent its growth. Can we begin to think and act in more concrete and proactive ways that emotionally equip our children? The answer is yes.

With a special interest in breaking the generational cycle of worry in families, Lynn is coauthor of two books on anxiety: Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents: 7 Ways to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise Courageous & Independent Children, and the companion book for kids, Playing with Anxiety: Casey’s Guide for Teens and Kids. She speaks and trains globally on anxiety, its role in families, and the need for a preventative approach at home and in schools. Open your mind to new perspectives and be inspired and empowered by Lynn during this morning talk to kick off our full-day conference.

Breakout Session I

Select One: 9:45 - 10:45 a.m.


What You Need to Know about Teens and e-Cigarette Use
Dr. Sarah Bagley and the CATALYST Clinic

Learn the latest trends in e-cigarette use, including vaping and policy changes being implemented to reduce access. Discuss tangible advice to give to teens about the risks of e-cig use and strategies to reduce use in schools.


Building a Culture of Child Protection: Preventing Sexual Abuse
Steve Mandell, Founder of Big Back Pack and Educational Outreach Specialist for Darkness to Light

Protecting young people from sexual abuse is fundamental. We may create cultures of child protection through direct training, open dialogues and the development of clear policies and guidelines. Leverage thinking from the Stewards of Children® program, which emphasizes the importance of making the choice to take proactive steps towards preventing child sexual abuse, including taking risks and advocating for administration level support. Consider

The 5 Steps to Protecting Children™, which include learning the facts, minimizing opportunities, talking about it, recognizing the signs and reacting responsibly. Engage in discussion with Steve and your peers about how school leadership, policy and culture may create meaningful change within your school's community.


Action Over Avoidance: Creating Effective Plans for Anxious Students
Lynn Lyons, opening keynote speaker

Anxiety demands certainty and comfort, and many of the accommodation plans we put in place unknowingly strengthen anxiety. Talk concretely about how to create skill-building plans to move students forward, rather than plans which inadvertently “do the disorder.”


May I Have Your Attention Please: Understanding and Supporting
Today’s Students with ADHD and ADD

Dr. David Gleason, Developmental Empathy, LLC

Learning challenges and mental health problems frequently overlap. Consequently, students get treated for depression, anxiety, learning disabilities and even poor school fit, when too often, the true culprit is an undiagnosed attention control problem. This workshop will review and expose these overlapping conditions and clarify how to make accurate diagnoses for effective interventions.


Increasing Gender and Sexuality Equity and Inclusion Within Our Schools
Erica Pernell, Dean of Diversity, Noble and Greenough School

As increasing parts of our world break away from past gender and sexuality binaries, schools and organizations face new challenges and opportunities for fostering communities that are truly healthy and positive places for LGBTQIA+ students and families.

Build on your conceptual understandings of gender and sexuality diversity. Learn gender identity vocabulary such as "trans", "gender non-conforming" and "non-binary" and explore gender pronouns. Acquire some of the latest LGBTQIA+ inclusion and equity best practices, including methods for addressing new facility and policy needs, as well as tools and resources for facilitating social integration, employee training and student / parent / guardian education. Come away from this breakout with a menu of options for making your school more gender and sexuality inclusive and equitable.


Eat Well, Be Well
Joan Salge Blake, Clinical Associate Professor at Boston University

You are what you eat, and for some of us, we may not be optimizing our food choices during the day to optimize our energy levels and health. This breakout session with Dr. Joan Salge Blake, EdD, MS, RDN, nutrition professor at Boston University and the host of the hit health and wellness podcast, SpotOn! will show you how to Eat Well to Be Well.

Active Break

Select One: 10:45 - 11: 45 a.m.

Chair Massages by Appointment
Boston Chair Massage

Enjoy a 15 minute chair massage as a part of your conference experience.

There will be a specific number of spots available. Sign-up will be first come, first served when we send out our pre-conference session registration communication, about a week prior to this conference. Signing up for slots in advance will eliminate the non-relaxing experience of waiting in long lines!

Massages at work are a win-win for employers and employees, as many companies with massage programs report the following:

  • An increase in employee productivity and accuracy
  • An increase in employee loyalty, morale and retention
  • An improvement in overall health and ability to manage stress
  • A higher job satisfaction level that has led to higher employee retention

All Style Dance
Kassandra Rateau

Come get moving with a mixture of hip hop, locking, popping, breakdancing, afrobeat and step. Dancers of all abilities are welcome and people who have never participated in a dance class are encouraged to join. Kassandra's goal is to build confidence, motivation, endurance and precision with each member of each of her classes. She is extremely popular at AISNE's student conferences!

Moments of Mindfulness: Resilience & Self-Care for Educators
Shannon Smith, School Integration Specialist, Center for Resilience

Try out simple and accessible mindfulness practices you may use anytime. Short breaks, like the ones in this session, help manage stress and get you back on track for the remainder of any busy school day. As they say at 30,000 feet, "we have to put our own oxygen mask on before we can help others". Come invest in some self-care!

Triggering the New You: Interactive Practices Working Toward Mental Well-Being
Marie Mechtaly, Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, Coaches Training Institute (CTI)

Learn to identify your own stress triggers - such as limiting beliefs & negative narratives. Explore engaging tools to support shifting your perspective in order to experience higher levels of gratitude, joy and ease, both at work and at home.

Yoga for Self-Care
Marie Nagode, Certified Yoga Instructor and Mindfulness Teacher,
Dedham Country Day School

Before you may effectively care for others, you must first make time to care for yourself. Yoga is a way into this practice of self-care, and it’s easier than you might think! Join Marie for one hour - you will learn ways to calm your mind, relieve physical stress and restore your soul. Take time to nurture yourself in this all-levels yoga class!

Thank you to our generous, Active Break sponsors:

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Networking Lunch

11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Breakout Session II

Select One: 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.


Why Teens Use Drugs and Alcohol
Dr. Sarah Bagley and the CATALYST Clinic

Learn about the latest trends in alcohol and other drug use and why teens use substances. Discuss how to talk to teens about substance use and how to distinguish between sporadic use and the development of a substance use disorder.


Creating and Maintaining Connections: From Admission, Through the School Years
and Beyond into College

Princess Bomba, Director of Unity & Diversity
Sharonda Dailey, Associate Director College Counseling & Student Support Coordinator
Sarah Palomo, Upper School History Teacher; Interim N-12 History Department Chair
Peggy O'Neil, Director of Counseling & Student Health Services
Maria Xavier, Admission Associate, Middle School Liaison
The Wheeler School

At Wheeler, our holistic approach to caring for and nurturing the whole child requires intentional, collaborative responsibilities from a variety of departments. Our practices are particularly impactful when interacting with and supporting students and families from underrepresented populations. With guidance from the Office of Unity & Diversity, individually tailored assistance begins from the initial contact with an admissions officer and often extends to include health and wellness, a strong peer support network, college counseling and post-graduation transition support.

Join a small team of Wheeler professionals to learn how we commit to working with students and families from start to finish and beyond.


Dual Roles of Faculty, Staff and Administrators as Parents: 7 Ideas Each for Administrators, Colleagues and Teacher/Parents for Optimizing this Wonderfully Complex Benefit
Annette Raphel,
Former Independent School Head, Belmont Day School
Math Coordinator, Dedham Country Day School

Diane Dillon, Ph.D., The Hotchkiss School

You get your class roster. On it, you see the name of a colleague’s child. You see your own child’s class has faculty children in it. You feel ______. What would be good to know? This session will explore the benefits, challenges and strategies for making the most of these cherished, at times, complicated scenarios when balancing multiple roles within your school's community.


Birds and Bees: Best Practices for Developing Your School's Sex Ed Program
Megara Bell, Director, Partners in Sex Education

Sexual health education supports your students by giving them critical tools for becoming happy healthy adults in a world of confusing and often contradictory information. Schools are ideally situated to confront misinformation directly through age-appropriate and evidence-based sexual education programming.

Join national recognized subject matter expert Megara Bell for a robust breakout covering curriculum development, staff selection, program length, program grade levels, professional development for educators, parent support, parent FAQs, addressing the diversity of values held within your community, LGBTQIA+ inclusivity, opt-out vs. opt-in permission slips, legal obligations, handling community concerns and much more!

Walk away with the resources to start a new sex education program or improve your school's existing one.


At What Cost: Defending Adolescent Development in Fiercely Competitive Schools
Dr. David Gleason, Developmental Empathy, LLC

Anxiety, disillusionment and depression emerge, sometimes with devastating outcomes, as conflicts between ever-increasing school expectations and students’ developmental capacities persist. Concurrently, over the past decade, unprecedented human brain research has revealed environment not only affects adolescent identity, but shapes the brain itself. In light of the intensifying pressures on adolescents which we admit to imposing on them, what must we do now? For all our students, finding the right balance between an appropriate level of academic rigor and educating them in healthy, safe and balanced ways have crucial lifelong implications.

Fully engage the structured and interactive interview technique Dr. Gleason has used in his research in schools throughout the U.S. and all around the world. Using this direct “hands on” experience, understand more about how you may change the direction of “developmentally empathic” approaches towards educating your students.


The Pursuit of Perfection: Supporting Youth Athletes
Neha Raukar
Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, The Mayo Clinic
Adjunct Professor, Brown University

Sports specialization, defined as the intense training in a single sport to the exclusion of other types of physical activity, is increasingly common during childhood and early adolescence. It has become a part of our culture for our youth to specialize in a single sport... but what price are they paying? Are they really reaping the benefits they're striving to achieve? Come explore this topic with Dr. Raukar and your peers.

Refresh Break

1:30 - 1:45 p.m.

Breakout Session III

Select One: 1:35 - 2:35 p.m.


Maintaining Balance in Our Digital World: How Parents, Teachers and Students Balance Pressures Around Social Media, Texting, Cyberbullying and Being Online

Erin Albert, School Psychologist, Dedham Country Day School
Kate Reardon, DIrector of Academic Technology, Dedham Country Day School
Megan Haddadi, Head of Academic TechnologyThe Park School

This session will discuss the impact of social media and online interactions on childhood development. The presenters will share resources and tips for helping teachers and parents manage technology with their students. We will discuss ways to balance technology so that students feel supported and safe both online and offline.


The Parent Trap: Roadblocks, Mishaps & Misunderstandings
Debbie Offner, Clinical Psychologist and School Consultant

Most teachers and school administrators are not prepared to consider parents in a substantial way. Yet here they are: at Back-to-School Night, parent-teacher conferences, on your playing fields and in your offices.

This breakout will delineate common dilemmas teachers, counselors, coaches and administrators encounter with students’ parents; shed light on the practical and emotional challenges in contemporary families’ private lives; provide tips & strategies for managing difficult parent conversations; and explain why (and how) you should develop collaborative partnerships with parents.


Bringing Mindfulness to Your Students, Classroom and School Community
Dr. Christopher Willard, Harvard Medical School Faculty

Join author, psychologist and consultant Dr. Christopher Willard in this breakout designed for educators interested in bringing mindfulness to your students. Dr. Willard will share proven practices for teachers, therapists and others seeking creative ways to share mindfulness. Explore awareness, movement, games, play and creative activities for all ages.

Learning, cultural and developmental differences, and more, affect how children learn best. This session explores ways for adapting mindfulness, rather taking a one-size fits all approach. Acquire ways for tailoring techniques based on the depression, anxiety, executive function challenges, trauma or stress needs facing your students. Practices covered will provide a diverse range of approaches and fits, aligning with students with attention spans spanning from 30 seconds to 30 minutes.


Musical Engagement: How Music Helps Through Hard Times
Vijay Gupta, closing keynote speaker

In this talk, Vijay (Robert) Gupta explores the connection between music and mental health, explaining why music’s redemptive power may hold more potential than we realize. Gupta draws from his work as director of Street Symphony—a classical music outreach concert series—to illustrate how music can help bring people back from the brink of their darkest times. How does music speak to people in ways language cannot? Why is music education vitally important, especially to those who are most in need? Erudite, eloquent, and passionate, Gupta shows audiences that music isn’t just something to be enjoyed—it's something that can change lives.


The Concern About Concussions
Neha Raukar
Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, The Mayo Clinic
Adjunct Professor, Brown University

No topic in sports medicine has received as much attention as concussions. What do you need to know about this injury? How does it affect our youth? What may we do to support kids who have one? This breakout will focus on the science of concussions, with the goal of addressing, and debunking, some of the myths.

Closing Keynote Address

Vijay Gupta, Violinist, Speaker, Advocate
2:45 - 3:30 p.m.

Vijay is a leading advocate for the role of the arts and music to heal, inspire, provoke change, and foster social connection. He is the founder and Artistic Director of Street Symphony, a non-profit organization providing musical engagement, dialogue and teaching artistry for homeless and incarcerated communities in Los Angeles.

Take away Vijay's empowering message and applications, to close out a full and thought provoking day together with your colleagues and peers.


Enjoy Group Savings Rates!

Designate one representative from your school to register your entire group together to unlock group savings registration rates.

Thanks to our generous Gold Sponsors: