All times are listed in Eastern time.

Tuesday, Dec. 7

During the conference, you will be able to visit our Exhibits page as well as hear from our exhibitors during Coffee with our Exhibitors on Wednesday at 8:15 a.m.

Adolescent Development and Mental Health

Why are teenagers so hard to understand? This interactive training is designed to help school resource officers and educators understand how adolescent brain development and the impact of childhood trauma influences adolescent thinking and behavior. Common adolescent mental health conditions, and how these conditions may present in a school environment, will briefly be discussed along with strategies to assist youth with successful crisis management. Understanding adolescent development will assist participants in better serving the youth. Understand basic adolescent development and how it influences adolescent behavior.

Kerri Williamson, Training Director, National Association of School Resource Officers, Hoover, Alabama

Introduction to the Social Development Strategy

Participants will receive an overview of the Social Development Strategy (SDS), the research behind SDS, and a protective factor overview. The Social Development Strategy fosters the success and health of young people from before birth through every stage of development. It is easy to use, easy to remember, and it works! Providing young people with opportunities, skills and recognition strengthen bonding with family, school and community. Strong bonds motivate young people to adopt healthy standards for behavior.

Jeffery Hogan, Systems Change Specialist, EPIS, College of Health and Human Development, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania

Wednesday, Dec. 8

During the conference, you will be able to visit our Exhibits page as well as hear from our exhibitors during Coffee with our Exhibitors on Wednesday at 8:15 a.m.

Hear from our conference exhibitors about their products and services during this live, online session.

Transitioning Our Students Back

Youth as young as six to young adults are experiencing significant increases in behavioral health concerns from the effects of isolation and diminished social and educational interactions since the onset of COVID-19. During this workshop, participants will identify safe, inclusive and supportive approaches that destigmatize mental health challenges, improving the learning environment for students and staff. Discussion and examination of social and emotional learning practices to promote students’ sense of belonging, create predictable routines, and foster connection, will provide participants with strategies to implement in schools and youth-serving agencies.

Stephanie Colvin-Roy, Training and Organizational Development Associate, Center for Schools and Communities, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

Understanding Safety and Security Assessments and What Climate Has to Do with It

Are you curious about what a safety and security assessment for your school entails? Join us to discuss the different aspects of Act 44 assessments. As approved assessors with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), this presentation will give a unique look into what a comprehensive safety and security assessment should look like and how to interpret the final recommendations. We will explore common pitfalls and how you can prepare for your upcoming assessment. When ready, the Center for Safe Schools can help you schedule your next assessment.

Leah Harry Galkowski, Safe Schools Coordinator, Center for Safe Schools, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

Tom Ryan, Consultant, Center for Safe Schools, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

Where Everyone Knows Your Name: The Importance of Partnerships Before, During and After a Disaster

This presentation will highlight how the Phoenixville community came together in March 2020 and successfully built on existing relationships to find creative solutions to navigate the challenges of the pandemic, storms and power outages, an apartment building fire, and a hazardous materials incident through cross-sector partnerships. The session will identify how collaboration, cooperation and coordination were key factors in understanding the issues facing us and moving forward to develop solutions and practices.

Rafael Henin, Emergency Management Coordinator, Phoenixville Hospital, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania

Karin Williams, Director, Phoenixville Office of Emergency Management, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania

Janet Zeis, Director of Agency Relations and Distribution, Chester County Food Bank, Exton, Pennsylvania


Joey Melvin, Director, Center for Safe Schools, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

Shileste Overton Morris, Director, Center for Schools and Communities, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

Carol Kuntz, School Safety and Security Manager, Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Scott Kuren, Director, Office of Safe Schools, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Corporal Brent Miller, Director, Pennsylvania State Police, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Keynote Address | Supporting LGBTQ+ Students

Dre Ceja, Director of Training and Education, LGBT Center, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Trevor Project and governmental agencies like the CDC have conducted excellent research on the unique experiences and needs of LGBTQ+ students. This research would serve as a foundation for the keynote and as a way to emphasize the urgency of LGBTQ+ inclusion in schools. Interactive exercises will help participants practice interpersonal skills and approaches, and attendees will leave with new confidence around these topics and best practices.

Enjoy some downtime while we get ready for the afternoon.

It is with Great Sorrow We Inform You That … — Responding to Deaths in a School Community

This workshop provides an overview of the Highmark Caring Place and what we have learned from grieving families and school communities over the past 25 years. The focus of this session is to prepare school personnel with the “who, what, why and how: to respond in the event of a student or staff death in the school community.” The Caring Place is a free resource to grieving families and support to the school community. Participants in the session will obtain vital information on how to access these needed supports.

Laurie Scherer, School Services Coordinator and Child Grief Specialist, Highmark Caring Place, Lemoyne, Pennsylvania

Stop the Bleed

We think of first responders as the professionals who rush to the scene after the incident. However, in many cases, bystanders to an incident are the first on the scene. With the knowledge obtained by attending this session, participants will have a better understanding of how lives can be saved during mass casualty events and everyday medical emergencies the public may encounter. Bystanders will be more aware of life-threatening bleeding and have knowledge and tools to control it until help arrives.

Deborah Erdman, Injury Prevention Coordinator, Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, Pennsylvania

Girard Jenkins, Trauma Program Integration Specialist, Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, Pennsylvania

Using Trauma-Informed Approaches to Build Positive Learning Environments

This presentation will discuss the core values of Trauma-Informed Care identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the importance of viewing positive learning environments for staff and students through a trauma-informed lens. The creation of a safe, supportive environment requires a deliberate focus on supportive relationships, policies, and everyday practices. Participants will review core values, create common language related to trauma-informed learning environments, and provide strategies to implement as part of their journey.

Dana Milakovic, Statewide Advisor for Trauma-Informed Practices (K-12), Pennsylvania Department of Education, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Pay Inequity Analysis — The Impact on Women and Communities

This session aims to explore the gender wage gap, the common myths associated with the wage gap, and the trends behind the gap. During this session, participants will explore how the wage gap affects a person’s likelihood of experiencing risk factors for intimate partner violence and theorize how these connections might form. By developing an understanding of the data around the wage gap, educators will be able to address some of these factors at an early age and support the next generation of wage earners.

Kristen Herman, Director of Prevention, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Aishwarya Sinha, Prevention Specialist, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Safety Planning

This session will focus on developing a comprehensive eight-point safety plan for schools. The readiness plan will concentrate on a multi-hazard approach in the prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery to natural or man-caused incidents. Participants will gain an understanding of the importance of leadership and safety teams identified and cross-trained in each other’s responsibilities.

John Sakoian, Owner and Founder, Command Excellence LLC, ACTION™ Training, McDonald, Pennsylvania

A School Guide to Developing an Action Plan for a Student Who May be Bullied: Tier III Interventions

Addressing an alleged bullying situation is a complex process, which often begins with determining if it is bullying (one-sided) or conflict. Once it is determined to be bullying, what obligation do educators and administrators have? If initial attempts to stop the bullying have proven to be unsuccessful, it may be necessary to develop a written plan. Key points will be discussed on how to create an effective plan and how this individual intervention aligns with an evidence-based, Multi-Tiered System of Support approach to bullying prevention.

Mary Dolan, Bullying Prevention Consultant, Office for Safe Schools, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania