BREAKOUT SESSION DESCRIPTIONS

KEYNOTE: Requirements, Implications, Consequences…Going Beyond What Is Required
by Jim Keith, Adams and Reese Law Firm
Description coming soon.

KEYNOTE: School Safety Fidelity-Reducing Gaps Between Perceptions and Reality
by Michael Dorn, Safe Havens International

This dynamic and thought-provoking session will include practical, powerful no-cost and low-cost concepts that can be utilized to prevent and prepare for a wide array of school and school bus crisis events. The session is based on the presenter’s upcoming 600-page university textbook Understanding and Protecting People from Active Assailant, Hate Crimes and Terrorist Attacks as well as his latest book Staying Alive – How to Act Fast and Survive Deadly Encounters combined with his experience providing post-incident assistance for fourteen K12 active shooter incidents and several hundred more typical campus crisis incidents he was worked over his 36-year career. The presenter will discuss common opportunities for improvement noted by Safe Havens analysts during more than 6,500 school safety, security and emergency preparedness assessments across the United States, Canada, South Africa, Kenya, India and Vietnam. The session will conclude with Mr. Dorn’s most powerful presentation – Weakfish – Bullying Through the Eyes of a Child.

KEYNOTE: Somebody Needs You! Improving School Culture to Create Safer Schools
by Larry Bell, Multicultural America
Educators are tasked with the incredibly important job to help make our schools safer. Students need all adults working together to create an educational environment that is inclusive, welcoming and relatively low stress. This keynote, using guiding points from research, will empower participants to create a culture of trust and respect. This “culture of connectivity” linking students to each other, their teachers and the school community is now more important than it has ever been. Through data, anecdotes and a dynamic speaking style Larry Bell will motivate and inspire participants to tackle this latest challenge in education.

KEYNOTE: The Complacency Conundrum: Why Organizations Fail to Prevent Tragedies
by Les Nichols, R. L. Nichols and Associates
We, as individuals, have deep within us a natural survival instinct to avoid becoming victims, sometimes called our “gift of fear.” Yet, when we function as part of a large organization, we often override that instinct to comply with organizational priorities and norms. As a result, the people within the organization fail to recognize and respond to a life-threatening tragedy in the making and acting far too late. Why don’t people within organizations see and react to what we later know was in plain view, when doing so would have clearly save lives? How do such fundamental human tendencies such as complacency and convenience work to compromise our need to better protect others and ourselves?

 

Active Shooter Response Plan
by Kerry Reid, Ready Defense
The Active Shooter Response Plan (ASRP) is about educating individuals on how they can help themselves when no one else is coming to help them in time. This training will provide each participant with the knowledge and skills to address 14 key topics such as cover and concealment, moving under fire, improvised ballistic shields, loose weapon decisions, and much more.

Covering All Your Bases: Building an Effective Youth Protection Program
by Les Nichols, R. L. Nichols and Associates
At the heart of every organization that serves children, should be a commitment to create a safe setting where children may grow and learn. This has always been difficult because children are more easily victimized than adults and particularly difficult today because of the changing nature of our society and the new threats this creates. In this session we will examine threats to the children under our care, such as bullying, sexual grooming and misconduct, abduction and armed attacks and identify your organization’s vulnerabilities and what you can do to prevent or mitigate those threats. This session will also help you understand how to guide your organization to develop a more comprehensive and reliable protection plan.

CPR/First Aid
by American Red Cross

CPR – or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation – is an emergency lifesaving procedure performed when the heart stops beating. Immediate CPR can double or triple chances of survival after cardiac arrest. When you understand CPR and first aid, you’ll gain the ability to help those in need. Through our first aid classes you’ll learn how to respond to specific situations, which will help you care for people in crisis as they wait for medical professionals to arrive.

Crisis Action Teams: Why and What Are Their Responsibilities
by Tim Carter, New Path Strategy Consultants

Session will review the purpose of the Crisis Action Team, Who serves on this team and how to train them

Detecting and Deterring the Sophisticated Sexual Predator in the K12 Environment
by Michael Dorn, Safe Havens International
Sophisticated sexual predators are often above average intelligence, well-informed on how to access youth, well-schooled in ways to avoid detection and often have no criminal record. Rather than using a traditional compliance and training approach to reduce liability, this session is focused on:

  • Proactive approaches designed to motivate the sophisticated sexual predator to self-select out of the employment application process.
  • Creating a structure that will make if more difficult for the sexual predator to abuse children if they are able to obtain employment or volunteer in the school setting.

Feedback from clients from school districts of all sizes, faith-based schools and many of the nation’s top-tier independent schools has consistently been that the strategies in this session have been extremely helpful in enhancing even robust pre-employment screening approaches.

Difficult Conversations
by Impact Education
This presentation will be an introduction to the training module entitled “Crucial Conversations” developed by VitalSmarts organization. Crucial Conversations introduces the individuals in the audience the importance of not only what you say, but how and when you say it. Crucial Conversation full training teaches skills for creating alignment and agreement by fostering open dialogue around high stakes, emotional, or risky topics-at all levels of the organization. By learning how to speak and be heard (and encouraging others to do the same), you’ll surface the best ideas, make the best decisions, and then act on your decisions in a confident and successful manner. During this brief session, some of the high points of the two day training will be emphasized.

Essentials of School Threat Assessment: Proactive Measures to Prevent Targeted School Violence
by Tim Carter, New Path Strategy Consultants
The session will discuss the four essential elements of the Threat Assessment Team. In doing this, the Cycle of Threat Assessment will be discussed and the steps of conducting the Threat Assessment Inquiry. Who conducts and when it is conducted. Learning the three (3) levels of concern in threat assessment and when and how to walk through these levels with insuring the student rights are protected while maintaining the safety of the other students in the school.

Give Them An Out: Transforming Student Behavior
by Lindsay Brett and Mary Glynn Arledge
Student behavioral culture is a consistent issues in schools across the United States. Plantersville Middle School is attempting a three step process to improve student behavior. Through targeted group counseling, interest based clubs, and teacher training , the school is trying to give students opportunities for positive social interactions. Mindfulness is also incorporated in the classroom and in In School Suspension. All methods are grounded in research which will be presented during the workshop.

How Street Gangs Are Influencing the Public School System
by Steve Robinson, Fusion Center

During this informative session, Mr. Robinson will discuss how gangs have  infiltrated MS and are influencing the public school systems. Through his experience as Law and Public Safety Instructor, K-9 Officer, and MILO Officer, Mr. Robinson has vital information to share with MS educators on gang awareness and prevention.

I Got You! Healthy Life Choices for Teens
by Frankie Johnson, MS Department of Mental Health
I Got You! Healthy Life Choices for Teens (IGU) is an educational community health outreach program for 7th or 8th graders. IGU’s mission is to promote the health, safety, and well-being of youth by building skills and raising awareness through collaboration and education. IGU envisions a community that is healthy, safe, productive, and informed.

Through IGU students learn how to better cope with challenging situations, why it is important to seek help, and what resources are available. During this single-day intervention program, students are addressed by dynamic speakers who use a mix of motivational messages and dialogue. Topics include suicide prevention, healthy dating relationships, understand mental illness, alcohol and drug abuse prevention, bullying and cyber bullying, self-injury, and healthy coping skills. This intensive, integrated format has yielded a high level of student satisfaction and statistically significant results.

Is a Safe School Possible?
by Bill Welch, MS Department of Education
Description coming soon.

New Albany High School Freshmen Mentor Program
by Mr. Ferrell and others, New Albany Public Schools
To help a smooth transition for incoming freshmen at New Albany High School, teachers and students developed a year long curriculum which focuses on the traits the six core values of New Albany High School: Involvement, Collaboration, Innovation, Knowledge, Responsibility, and Respect. Juniors and Seniors apply to be mentors for freshmen during the school year. Topics in the developed curriculum include how to become active in extra-curricular activities, how to develop lasting and meaningful relationships with peers and teachers, and how to be active in the community. This process begins in the summer with Camp Freshman, in which at risk freshmen are also given leadership roles to build self-esteem and character. The program ends each year with a community helper day which involves several businesses and community partners. 

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
by Sydney Wise, Reach MS
Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports impacts school climate by focusing adult and student attention on appropriate behaviors. Students are taught behavioral expectations and are reinforced when they engage in those behaviors. Results of PBIS include fewer office discipline referrals, fewer suspensions, less violence, more student engagement and a more positive environment. This presentation will provide an overview of the implementation of PBIS through each of the three Tiers.

Personal Self-Defense: A “Real” Life Insurance Policy
by Kerry Reid, Ready Defense
The C.O.B.R.A.™ self-defense program has been created from years of real-life experience and training in the areas of law enforcement, corrections, martial arts and reality-based, hand-to-hand combat. Also included in the program are many psychological and verbal combat tactics as they relate to self-defense. C.O.B.R.A.™ is an exclusive program which will provide realistic and, more importantly, effective self-defense for anyone who participates. Every minute is packed with verbal, physical, and mental self-defense techniques. Participants will be training in a highly structured and safe environment utilizing scenarios, drills, seminars, and a wide variety of offensive and defensive techniques.

Planning for the Worst and Preparing for the Best
by Dr. Cathy Grace, Graduate Center for the Study of Early Learning
Participants will engage in an assessment of their current emergency preparedness plans for children in grades pre-kindergarten through third grade by using a checklist comprised of practices and behaviors proven to mitigate confusion and reduce possible trauma as a result of a man made or natural disaster. Discussion around making the classroom safe while not alarming to young children as they go about daily learning.

Role of Schools in Supporting Students Who Have Experienced Trauma
by Amanda Winburn, Alex Kerwin, and Marc Showalter, University of MS

Schools have a responsibility to help children feel safe and support. Trauma prevention and interventions should be closely connected to school counseling curriculum and supportive services that students receive.. This presentation will focus on the roles schools play in addressing trauma and it’s related issues in schools. Participants will learn to distinguish children in crisis versus children who have been traumatized, along with trauma symptoms and related disabilities and disorders. The role of crisis teams will be discussed along with best practices.

Simple and Effective Strategies to Improve Student Supervision
by Michael Dorn, Safe Havens International
While the media often focuses on a wide array of controversial, expensive and unproven school safety measures, the reality is that improving student supervision is one of the most powerful tools to prevent fatalities and to reduce casualties once a school crisis event occurs. This session will provide participants with an array of concepts that can be adapted to fit individual schools. The presenter will also describe simple and innovative ways to use readily available technology such as security cameras, drones and line drawings to help significantly improve student supervision and to document fidelity in student supervision approaches.

Social Isolation: It Hurts More Than You Think by Beyond Differences
by Beyond Differences
Beyond Differences is the only student leadership organization dedicated to ending social isolation in middle school. We accomplish this by empowering students to become activists and help prevent teasing, bullying and disconnection from classmates at school. We focus on the positive and prevention as opposed to reacting after the fact.

This presentation will reveal the founding of the organization as a poignant story which has led to an explosive growth of over 5000 schools across the country utilizing our original curriculum, national awareness days and student leadership activities. We will include a closer look at the medical, emotional and academic consequences of social isolation. We will create participatory opportunities for the audience to experience our Positive Prevention Initiatives which could take the form of a No One Eats Alone simulation, exercises from our Know Your Classmates back-to-school curriculum which explores a celebration of differences through faith, culture and family traditions. We have a powerful film demonstrating our student leadership programs and how they have changed the lives of our student participants.

Strategies to Improve School Culture to Create Safer Schools
by Larry Bell, Multicultural America
This inter-active breakout session will provide the strategies needed to create a “culture of connectivity” in schools and classroom to help all students will feel welcome and respected. It is crucial to have technical and personal resources in place to secure our schools, but it is also critical to give teachers strategies to reach “loners” and the dis-enfranchised. Building a strong school community is a must. This session looks at research that shows why some students do not feel they are considered important to the teacher and/or school, or that their voice is not being heard. The presenter will provide several key points used to build community in highly successful “Larry Bell Schools” nationwide. Participants will be encouraged to work in small groups and with the presenter to share their ideas and to break the strategies down in a manner appropriate for use at their site.

Suicide Prevention
by Millcreek
This presentation introduces the scope and magnitude of the problem of youth suicide on both a National and State level, the signs of concern, risk factors, how to recognize young people who may be struggling, how to approach the student and help an at-risk youth find resources for assistance. It is important for educators, as a major influence in the lives of young people, to join in the battle against youth suicide. Educators, youth workers and coaches can do this by getting themselves and their schools educated on the warning signs associated with youth suicide and how to help.

Using Class and Morning Meetings to Build Community
by Dr. Renee Cunningham, University of Mississippi
Class meetings and Morning Meetings are excellent strategies for developing positive student identity, communication skills and a positive class environment. Learn how to get them started, tips for success, and the research behind why they work.

What Are Our Kids Doing Online?
by Jay Houston, Attorney General’s Office
Update on the most recent apps kids are using, their pitfalls, safety concerns and how to address it.