Back-to-School: Special Education Parent Empowerment Conference

Back-to-School: Special Education Parent Empowerment Conference

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Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale

155 Temple Street

New Haven, CT 06510

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$65 Online Tickets available through 10/2/19. $85 At the Door.

School is back in session! Prepare yourself for a successful year at SEEK's 2nd annual conference with trending special education issues and must-know advocacy skills to help your child or clients. SEEK is Connecticut’s only parent/professional run organization created to identify barriers in special education and SEEK solutions through changing policy and legislation.


9:00 a.m. Registration. Coffee, Continental Breakfast

9:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Welcome, Panel Introduction

9:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Morning Panel: How Special Education Decisions are Made

  • Typhanie Jackson, Director of Special Education, New Haven Public Schools
  • Attorney Linda Yoder, Partner, Shipman and Goodwin LLP
  • Kirsten Dovenberg, Esq., independent mediator, Bureau of Special Education, Connecticut State Department of Education
  • Natalie Jones, Educational Consultant, Connecticut State Department of Education
  • Attorney Andrew Feinstein, Feinstein Education Law Group
  • Panel Moderator - Jacqueline Rabe Thomas, Education Reporter, The Connecticut Mirror

11:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. Coffee/Tea Break

11:15 a.m. -12:30 p.m. Simultaneous Workshops

  • A1. IEPs, FBAs & BIPs for Children with Behavioral Challenges by Jeffrey Forte, Esq. & Solandy Forte, Ph.D., LCSW, BCBA-D
  • A2. Best Practices in Transition Planning for Individuals with ASD by Nicholas Gelbar, Ph.D.
  • A3. Understanding Your Student's IEP by Attorney John Flanders
  • A4. Reading Basics by Kathleen Whitbread, Ph.D.

12:30 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. Box Lunch

12:45 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. SEEK Update, Panel Introduction

1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. Midday Panel: The Future of Special Education

  • Rep. Bobby Sanchez, Chairman, Education Committee, Connecticut Legislature
  • Denise Marshall, Executive Director, Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA)
  • Patrice McCarthy, Deputy Director and General Counsel, Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE)
  • Steven Hernandez, Executive Director, Connecticut Commission on Women, Children and Seniors
  • Robyn Kaplan-Cho, Connecticut Education Association
  • Panel Moderator - Andrew Feinstein, Esq.

2:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Simultaneous Workshops

  • B1. Using Literacy Evaluations to Inform Instruction & Assess Progress by Sheryl Knapp, M.Ed., C/AOGPE, CDT
  • B2. School Refusal & Truancy by Jennifer Laviano, Esq.
  • B3. All About Independent Educational Evaluations (IEE) by Diane Willcutts, Education Advocate
  • B4. Parent Advocacy Playbook: Essential Tips for Navigating the IEP Process by Kit Savage, Education Advocate & Julie Swanson, Education Advocate and SEEK President

3:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. Coffee/Tea Break

3:45 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Simultaneous Workshops

  • C1. Trans-Students: Obtaining Educational Services via IDEA & 504 by Dana Jonson, Esq.
  • C2. Legal and Financial Planning: How to protect and preserve funds for your loved one’s care - now and in the future by Michael Beloff, CFP & ChFC & Colleen Masse, Esq.
  • C3. Disciplining Students with Disabilities - suspension, expulsion & manifestation determination by Erin Shaffer, Esq.
  • C4. Mock PPT Meeting, an interactive performance. by Anne Treimanis, Esq.

5:00 p.m. Cash Bar Reception

Sponsor and Exhibitor Tables available too, click here.

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