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Pre-Conference Institutes

General Information

  • Daily Schedule: Pre- conferences will start at 8:15 AM and end at 4:00 PM with an hour and a half for lunch.
  • The fee for pre-conferences includes tuition, materials, lunch and breaks. The fee does not include conference registration. Pre-conference payment may be included in your conference registration check/ wire transfer.
  • Late registration fees will also apply to registration for pre-conference program.
  • All pre-conferences will be held at the Real Intercontinental Hotel.




Two Day Pre-conferences

October 6 & 7

One Day Pre-conferences

October 7, 2014




Monday October 6 & Tuesday October 7, 2014

“Mary Had A Little iPad: How the Tech Effect Puts Early Childhood Development at Risk”, “Fast Forward Childhood: When to Push Pause, Delete, and Play: The Impact of Tech on Elementary School Children’s Development and Education” & "Understanding Families and Dealing with Difficult Parents”

Presenters: Catherine Steiner-Adair, Ed.D & Michael Thompson, Ph.D.
Audience: Counselors, Teachers Preschool-12, School Administrators and Leaders
Dates: October 6 & 7, 2014


Day 1 AM - “Mary Had A Little iPad: How the Tech Effect Puts Early Childhood Development at Risk”
This workshop will help early childhood educators understand the research on the impact of technology on all aspects of preschool (infancy to 5) children’s development —neurological, psychological, physical and social development as well as creativity. Enthusiastically creating online identities for their not yet born infants, today’s young parents have a hard time absorbing the advice of pediatricians and educators about the risk factors of the impact of screens on all aspects of early development, as well as the parent /child relationship This will equip teachers to better help parents understand the limitations of technology, offer research and compelling stories to help parents resist the pressure to let each new app replace essential parent–child interactions, as well as discuss best practices for the role of tech in early childhood education and parenting in the digital age., and how to protect the magic of ‘the magic years’.

Day 1 PM - “Fast Forward Childhood: When to Push Pause, Delete, and Play: The Impact of Tech on Elementary School Children’s Development and Education”
This workshop will address the impact of technology on elementary age children’s education and development. While wonderful in so many ways, tech has also erased the boundaries that used to protect early childhood. Young children are spending hours of after school time on screens, absorbing messages, images and values that they are not developmentally or psychologically equipped to handle, contributing to a premature loss of childhood innocence and discovery.  New research suggests that the fast paced nature of digital life is also effecting this generations capacity for self generated creative play, sustained attention and focus, empathy, and the art of conversation. We will look at how the Digital Age requires elementary school teachers to expand their ‘responsive classroom’ and traditional whole child approaches to include comprehensive social and emotional tools and curriculum in order to best educate today’s young children.

Day 2 - "Understanding Families and Dealing with Difficult Parents”
Contemporary parents want to be closely connected to their children’s school journey; they want more knowledge of grades, day-to-day performance, their child’s learning style, social functioning with peers and relationships with teachers.  This means that parents are far more psychologically connected to school than ever before, and that teachers now have far more contact with their students’ parents.  For the most part, teachers have been able to handle these increased contacts with parents; in a small minority of cases they have not.  In this talk (workshop) Dr. Thompson discusses the paradoxes that bedevil that modern, concerned parent and how many families are now looking to their child’s school for a kind of co-parenting experience.  He will describe the ninety-five percent of parents who are “workable” and the five percent of angry, unrealistic or troubled parents who need special management by administrators.  Dr. Thompson offers suggestions for improving relationships with parents at all levels, from Pre-K through 12th grade, and offers particular suggestions to administrators for working with difficult parents.

Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair is an internationally recognized clinical psychologist, school consultant, and speaker.  She is the author of The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age, and Full of Ourselves: A Wellness Program to Advance Girl Power, Health and Leadership, along with other books and articles. Dr. Steiner-Adair has consulted in over 350 independent schools and leads workshops with faculty, administrators, parents and students on a wide range of topics related to: 1) the impact of technology on children’s psychological development, family life and education, 2) strengthening children's social and emotional development, well-being and leadership skills 3) girls’ psychological development, education, and best practices for educating girls to lead 4) deepening parents' connections to their children.

  Dr. Steiner-Adair is a frequent resource to the media, on television, film, radio, newspapers, magazines and online.

Michael Thompson, Ph.D is a consultant, author and psychologist specializing in children and families.  He is the clinical consultant to The Belmont Hill School and has worked in more than five hundred schools across the United States, as well as in international schools in Central American, Europe and Asia.  Michael has authored or co-authored numerous books, including Raising Cain:  Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys (1991), Best Friends/Worst Enemies:  Understanding the Social Worlds of Children (2001) and The Pressured Child:  Helping Your Child Achieve Success in School and Life (2004).  A dedicated speaker and traveler, he has appeared on the Today Show, the Oprah Winfrey Show, 20/20, and 60 Minutes, among others.  Michael has been the keynoter at ACA national conferences and currently serves as an ACA spokesman.  He and his wife have two children, Joanna, 26, and Will, 21.

What It Takes to Dramatically Improve Teaching & Learning

Presenter: Jim Knight, Ph.D.
Dates: Instructional Coaches, Principals, Teacher Leaders (Pre-school-Grade 12)
Audience: Instructional Coaches, Administrators, and Teacher Leaders
Dates: October 6 & 7, 2014 (all day)

Learn about a comprehensive set of high-impact instructional practices and examine specific, validated instructional coaching methods. Discover school-wide organizational processes for creating school improvement targets that teachers understand, agree with, and commit to implementing. Leave with a step-by-step guide for dramatically improving teaching and learning.

Jim Knight has written or co-authored several books including Instructional Coaching: A Partnership Approach to Improving Instruction (Corwin, 2007). Knight), edited Coaching: Approaches and Perspectives (Corwin, 2009) and co-authored Coaching Classroom Management (Pacific Northwest Publishing, 2010). His book Unmistakable Impact: A Partnership Approach to Dramatically Improving Instruction was chosen as Corwin Press’s 2012 book of the year.  Jim’s newest books are High-Impact Instruction: A Framework for Great Teaching (Corwin, 2013) and Focus on Teaching: Using Video for High-Impact Instruction (Corwin, 2014).

Jim’s articles on professional learning, teaching, and instructional coaching have appeared in journals such as “The Journal of Staff Development,” “Principal Leadership,” “The School Administrator,” “Kappan,” and “Educational Leadership.”

Frequently asked to lead professional learning, Knight has presented and consulted in most states and nine other countries. He has a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Kansas and has won several university teaching, innovation, and service awards. Jim also writes the Radical Learners blog.


Calling Curriculum & Instructional Leaders: Step up and LEAD Assessment in Your School!

Presenter: Bambi Betts
Audience: Curriculum Directors, Instructional Leaders, and Teacher Leaders (Pre-school- HS)
Dates: October 6 & 7, 2014 (all day)

Curriculum directors and instructional leaders should be playing a key role in the design and implementation of a comprehensive assessment process across the school.  This two day session will provide participants with updated assessment practices, as well as a window into some of the key leadership behaviors that ensure those practices are actualized.  Specifically, as a participant, you will:

  • Examine the role that individual beliefs about assessment are playing in your school.
  • Practice with 5-6 of the key classroom assessment practices that are making a difference to learning.
  • Learn about creating a simple school wide framework addressing collecting and interpreting learning evidence, feedback to learners, recording and reporting.
  • Examine school-wide assessment practices that are essential to an effective assessment process.
  • Explore leadership strategies proven to be a catalyst for ensuring these practices actually happen.

Come ready to have some of your ideas challenged and one those leadership skills!
Audience: All instructional leaders: Principals, Curriculum Directors, Department chairs and grade level team leaders

Bambi Betts is the director of both the Principals’ Training Center for International School Leadership (PTC) and the Teacher Training Center for International Educators (TTC) as well as the CEO for the Academy for International School Heads (AISH) and founder of the two additional training centers for international educators, including counselors and school business leaders. Bambi has been a director, principal and teacher in international schools for over 25 years.  She has been a consultant in over 100 international schools, conducting professional development sessions on a wide range of topics related to the effective international school, including assessment, curriculum leadership, teacher leader strategies, instructional strategies, faculty evaluation, and governance. She has written many articles on practical ways to improve international schools and authors a regular column on the PTC pages of The International Educator (TIE).


Transforming Community Service-to-Service Learning: Academic, Engaging, Real

Presenter: Cathy Berger Keyes
Audience: All teachers, service learning coordinators and school leaders
Dates: October 6 & 7, 2014 (all day)

Service learning-a powerful teaching strategy-creates a conducive environment for developing transferable 21st Century skills and knowledge, high engagement, and relevance that gives meaning and purpose to school for teachers as well as students. Teachers continually describe how their students go beyond required assignments with service learning. The process allows students to reveal hidden talents, apply themselves in ways that stretch their intellect, retain what they have learned, and transfer skills and knowledge to new situations.

During this preconference session, receive a copy of The Complete Guide to Service Learning: Proven, Practical Ways to Engage Students in Civic Responsibility, Academic Curriculum, & Social Action as the author Cathryn Berger Kaye leads you through a step-by-step process that includes:

  • Clarifying the Difference between Community Service and Service Learning
  • Entry Points
  • Essential Elements
  • Trans-disciplinary Curricular Mapping
  • Five Stages of Service Learning
  • Research Methods
  • Literature Connections

Our experiential journey shows how service learning is applicable for all grades, including within IB programs. Be prepared for lively conversation, thoughtful reflection, ways you can lead professional development on these concepts, and practical ideas that bring learning to life.

Cathryn Berger Kaye, M.A., president of CBK Associates and ABCD Books, provides professional development globally through keynotes, in-depth institutes, and on-site multi-day consultations with exceptional education and learning resources on service learning, 21st Century competencies, social and emotional realms, climate and culture, youth leadership, teaching strategies, and environmental sustainability. Her education work aligns with best teaching practices. Cathryn consults with the International Baccalaureate Programme infusing her dynamic service learning model into CAS, MYP and exploring advancements in PYP. Cathryn is the author of The Complete Guide to Service Learning and two books with environmentalist Philippe Cousteau. 

Be Core Ready with K-2: A Close Look at the Common Core Learning Standards and How to Make Use of Them

Presenters: Pam Allyn & Vincent Ventura
Audience: Teachers, Curriculum Directors, and Administrators
Dates: October 6 & 7, 2014 (all day)

If you were to pick up any education journal and flip through the pages, there would be a high probability that you would stumble upon the words Common Core State Standards. Many schools are embarking on the journey of adopting “the” Common Core.  But, what does that mean?  What might it look like in your school?  In this interactive course, Vincent and Pam will guide participants in a dynamic and close look at the new standards for literacy and how they can and will impact teaching and learning in K-2. The two days will be chock full of practical tips on new strategies including close reading in primary grades, the emphasis on the three writing strands (narrative, informational and opinion) and ways to use literature. Whether you are new to the standards or experienced already, this course will give you a deep and fresh look at the best ways to implement the standards. The course will weave in speaking and listening as a core component of literacy and also the role that text study plays at even the youngest ages.

Pam Allyn is a world-renowned literacy expert, innovating home, school and community solutions on her mission to make every child a learner. She is the Executive Director and Founder of LitWorld, a groundbreaking global literacy movement serving children across the United States and in more than 60 countries, and LitLife, a cutting-edge consulting group working with schools to enrich teaching methods and curriculum in reading and writing. Pam received the 2013 Scholastic Literacy Champion Award for her work with children living in the most vulnerable communities both in the United States and around the world, and the National Parenting Magazine Award, for her contributions to the public conversation around learning in the home. Pam is the author of many books, including Your Child's Writing Life (winner of the Mom's Choice Award), What to Read When, and Pam Allyn's Best Books for Boys. Her most recent series, Core Ready, published in 2013, is a 14-book series focusing on the Common Core Learning Standards.

Vincent Ventura is the Director of LitLife Latin America.  He started his career in Toronto, Canada where he taught junior and middle school grades.  Vincent moved to New York City, where he was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to become a Literacy Coach.  He continued to receive professional development through the Reading and Writing Project, Teachers College, Columbia University. He was selected to help pilot MONDO Publishing’s BEL Project in selected schools throughout Queens, New York.  Vincent moved to Monterrey, México to support the implementation of Reading and Writing Workshop from Nursery to Second Grade at the American School Foundation of Monterrey (ASFM).  He has presented at the Tri-Association Conference, Columbia University’s Teachers College Institute on Literacy Coaching & Whole School Writing Reform and at Hamline University’s Literacy Institute.  Vincent co-instructed the Tri-Association Conference’s six part Literacy Institute: Lifting the Level of Instruction to Maximize Student Achievement.  Vincent is a regular guest blogger for Lesley University’s “Talk Literacy.”  Vincent has been working in an international school setting for over eight years.  He consults with schools throughout Central and Latin America, including such countries as: Colombia, Curaçao, México and Suriname.

Inclusive Education Program/University of Kentucky.
Course I.: EDS 600 Survey of Special Education

Presenter: Lee Ann Jung Ph.D.
Audience: Participants in the Tri-Association & University of Kentucky Inclusive Education Program
Note: This pre-conference is open only to participants in this program.
Dates: October 6 & 7, 2014 (all day)

EDS 600 Survey of Special Education
This course is designed to provide an overview of a broad range of disabilities, including learning disabilities, autism, behavior disorders, genetic conditions, and children at risk. Information will include topics on the history of educating children with disabilities including US public laws relating to individuals with disabilities and current worldwide trends, such as the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Participants will be introduced to identification and assessment of children, inclusion, coordinating with various agencies and specialists, and planning, delivering, and documenting educational services. This is a foundational course for work in inclusive education.
Lee Ann Jung, Ph.D., has worked in the field of special education since 1994, including the roles of teacher, administrator, researcher, and independent consultant. Since 2002, Lee Ann has been on faculty in the University of Kentucky's College of Education. As an independent consultant, Lee Ann regularly works with programs and school districts on topics of family involvement, IEP/IFSP development, grading exceptional learners, and intervention planning, data collection, and progress reporting.

Lee Ann is coauthor of the books, Grading Struggling and Exceptional Learners and Answers to Essential Questions about Standards, Assessment, Grading, and Reporting, which were finalists for the Distinguished Achievement award from the Association of Educational Publishers in 2012 and 2013, respectively. She is also coauthoring the 5th edition of the best-selling textbook:  Assessing Young Children. Lee Ann has authored more than 30 journal articles and book chapters and has been awarded in excess of 4 million dollars in federal funding to support personnel preparation and research. Lee Ann is associate editor for Young Exceptional Children, has served as guest editor of Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, and is an editorial board member for these journals as well as Journal of Early Intervention.


World Virtual School Project
Tri-Association / AASSA Pre-Conference

Presenter: Nigel Robinson
Audience: First Day: Schools that are currently in the WVS Project & Second Day: Schools interested in joining the WVS Project
Dates: October 6 & 7, 2014 (all day)

The World Virtual School (WVS) Project is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Office of Overseas Schools to assist participating schools and regions in terms of curriculum quality and continuity, opportunities for collaboration, progressive professional development and resiliency in the face of natural or man-made emergencies. The World Virtual School Network now provides coordination of a network of learning management systems for participating international schools to use affordable and reliable online academic resources for day-to-day instruction, for continuity of operations during times of emergency, and for fostering and supporting collaboration directly among participating schools, among regional associations, and at the multi-regional (global) level.

As part of the WVS Project each participating school receives up to $1000 from the U.S. Department of State to send their WVS system administrator to the annual regional conference.  These funds are provided for each school to cover travel and hotel costs. Schools are also encouraged to send additional interested teachers and staff to the WVS Tri-Association Pre-Conference Meeting in San José, Costa Rica on October 6 & 7, 2014.

This two day Pre-Conference session is intended for Tri-Associations and AASSA schools who are current members of the World Virtual School Project.  The session will be in the form of a round table discussion focusing on the following topics:
WVS Framework
Regional Goals and Objects
Successes and Challenges
Staff Development
Blended Learning and Technical Tools
Integration Opportunities
Collaborative Initiatives
Resource Sharing

Schools who are not yet member of the WVS Project may send a representative to sit in on the second day of the regional meeting on Tuesday October 7 and are encouraged to attend the session during the Main Conference entitled, “World Virtual School Project”.
Nigel holds a BA in Digital Media Studies from the University of Denver, Colorado; Nigel also holds a Master of English as a Second Language, from The College of New Jersey, Ewing, New Jersey.  Currently he is the Academic Technology Director at the Carol Morgan School in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  He has eleven years of experience as a technology educator in Rabat, Morocco; Maracaibo, Caracas, Venezuela and now the DR.  Nigel is the Regional Services Coordinator for the World Virtual School Project, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Office of Overseas Schools.



Tuesday October 7, 2014

A Curriculum Vision for the 21st Century: Implications for Leading and Teaching

Presenter: Dr. Fran Prolman
Audience:  Instructional leaders and teachers (Preschool-HS)
Date: October 7, 2014 (all day)

Dr. Fran Prolman will provide a practical toolkit of strategies to incorporate 21st century skills in daily classroom instruction and the total school vision and organization. This workshop will define ways of thinking and ways of working for the 21st Century. Skills and structures for enhancing creativity and innovation; critical thinking and problem solving; an enhanced repertoire for decision making and facilitating metacognition will be shared. In addition, the skillsets and structures for effective communication and collaboration will be defined and practiced. Strategies for expanding information literacy, cultural proficiency, transfer tasks, project-based learning and making student thinking visible will also be highlighted.
Dr. Fran Prolman is an internationally recognized consultant specializing in educational leadership, school improvement and instructional strategies as well as communication skills, critical thinking and organizational development.  Fran earned her doctorate in teacher training and international education from George Washington University and a Masters degree in Educational Administration and Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Pennsylvania.  She has been a two-time Fulbright Scholar in both India and Israel, and has presented numerous papers and workshops nationally and internationally.

Fran brings 30 years of educational experience as a teacher, staff developer, administrator, graduate level university instructor and published author.  She has made frequent presentations at state, national, and international conferences including the United States Department of State AERO Institute, the European Council of International Schools, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the Central and Eastern European Schools Association, The African International Schools Association and the Near East South Asia Association of International Schools.

Much of her time is spent in multifaceted organizational development work with school systems throughout the United States and internationally.  She is known for her depth of knowledge coupled with high energy and practical application of content.  Dr. Prolman incorporates a variety of training approaches: small group discussion, videotape analysis, demonstrations and dynamic interchange through her work.

Fran facilitates leadership retreats for administrators, delivers system-wide keynote speeches and workshops, and coaches administrators in the building of professional learning communities, instructional supervision, evaluation and professional growth systems and the change process.  She also facilitates workshops for teachers focusing on differentiated instruction, formative and summative assessment, classroom application of instructional strategies that enhance student achievement, critical thinking, and curriculum design for a Common Core standards-based classroom.

Dr. Prolman is President of The Learning Collaborative 21 based in Great Falls, VA, and Vice President for Training for the Center for Arts in Basic Curriculum.


AdvancED’s ASSIST Platform: A Hand’s On Practicum

Presenter: Dr. Dennis Klumpp
Audience: School representatives whose schools will be undergoing External Review visits
Dates: October 7, 2014 (all day)

This workshop will provide participants with a “hands on” opportunity to become familiar with and access the AdvancED ASSIST workspace.

The session is designed for school representatives whose schools will be undergoing upcoming External Review visits and demonstrate how to get into their school ASSIST workspace, look at the self-assessment templates, and discuss school-specific completion of the student performance diagnostic sheet, surveys, and the school improvement plan builder.
Dr. Klumpp joined the AdvancED accreditation division in July, 2012 as the Regional Director for Latin America.  Dennis brings to AdvancED extensive educational experience in Latin America, having worked as a teacher and administrator in several locations including serving as school head in five accredited American International schools in the region including Aruba, Brazil, and Paraguay.  Prior to his post with AdvancED he served as the Superintendent of the Pan American School of Salvador, Brazil for five years.  

Dennis began his educational career as a high school teacher in his home state of Michigan where he earned his BA degree in English and Journalism.  He also holds a MA degree in Educational Administration from Boston State College and an Ed.D. degree from Central Michigan University. Dr. Klumpp has been heavily involved in AdvancED accreditation through service as the Chair of the International Council as well as leading and serving on many AdvancED External Review teams. Dennis and his wife, Silvia are proud parents of Eric and Felipe who grew up attending the overseas schools where Dennis and Silvia worked.  



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