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Saturday, February 17th, 2018

Supporting Students to Success
Effective Strategies for Pennsylvania's Schools

On May 22, 2007, the Pennsylvania Department of Education sponsored a one-day symposium entitled, "Supporting Students to Success". This was the second annual event to highlight effective strategies to support Pennsylvania’s schools in the development of instructional strategies to help students reach their education and career goals.

Over 300 people, representing 77 school districts and 10 intermediate units and a broad range of organizations, attended the symposium that was held at the Hilton Harrisburg in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Participants benefited from a wealth of information presented throughout the day, including the general session of the overview of the systemic approach for student success and how to integrate resiliency into Chapter 12 student services (audio recording below), a keynote address on resiliency from Nan Henderson (audio recording below), and workshops on topics ranging from parent involvement (materials below) to ensuring the confidentiality of student records (audio recording below).




Download the Symposium agenda booklet (12 pages)
(PDF format)




A special presentation during the luncheon from Anne Spector of PennCORD (Pennsylvania Coalition for Representative Democracy) provided participants with an overview of the campaign to refuel civic education for all Pennsylvania students. For further information, visit or contact Anne directly at:


Presentation Slides: Refueling Civic Education in Our Schools (PDF format)

Pennsylvania Coalition for Representative Democracy flyer (PDF format)


Symposium Proceedings

Presentation slides and other materials are being made available from this page in PDF format.

Additionally, a number of the sessions were recorded and the full-length audio recordings are available from this site in MP3 format. Listen at your desk using your computer's media player such as Windows Media Player, Real Player or Quicktime or download to your favorite portable MP3 player to listen on the go.


General Session

Diane Castelbuono, Deputy Secretary, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, PA Department of Education, Harrisburg, PA

Mary I. Ramirez, Director, Bureau of Community and Student Services, PA Department of Education, Harrisburg, PA

In this session, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) presented an overview of the systemic approach for student success. The PDE model for academic results which incorporates standards, assessment, curriculum, instruction, resources and materials and interventions was highlighted. Participants also reviewed how to help every child achieve academically and experience wellness through implementing the protective factors of a resiliency approach. Based on the research of Henderson and Milstein, the PDE model highlights high expectations, meaningful student engagement, connectiveness and bonding, skills for life, clear and consistent boundaries and unconditional support. Participants also learned how to integrate this resiliency approach into the Chapter 12 student services requirements of their strategic plans. For further information and materials, including the powerpoint presentation from this session, see the PDE Chapter 12 website at:

Audio Recording (file size: 28.1 MB, runtime: 30 minutes)


Keynote Presentation: Resiliency In Action: How To Build Bounce-Back Kids

Nan Henderson, Resiliency In Action, Ojai, California

In this presentation, Nan Henderson examined the research base of resiliency that is emerging from the fields of psychology, psychiatry, sociology, and education. Her presentation emphasized the practical application of these research findings in strategies that can be used to move children and youth "from risk to resiliency." Examples of practices and programs that are building resiliency were shared, as well as the research-based connection between fostering resiliency and student success.

Audio Recording with introduction by Dr. Juan Baughn, Director, Distinguished Educator Program (file size: 74.2 MB, runtime: 1 hour, 21 minutes)


You’ve Got the Power to Move Children and Youth from Stressed to Success

Nan Henderson, Resiliency In Action, Ojai, California

Resiliency and other positive youth development research clearly shows that the most powerful
positive changes in young people’s lives happen as a result of one-to-one personal relationships.
For many young people, relationships with educators, youth workers and mentors are often the
most powerful contributors to healthy, resilient life outcomes. In this “more personal and in-depth”
examination of the resiliency/positive youth development framework, Nan Henderson
shared the strategies anyone can use to foster resiliency in everyday personal interactions
with others, as well as within themselves, with an emphasis on what educators can do and what
educators are doing that works.

Audio Recording (file size: 67 MB, runtime: 1 hour, 13 minutes)


Ensuring the Confidentiality of Student Records

LeRoy S. Rooker, Director, Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC

This session provided an overview of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA). Mr. Rooker fielded questions from participants regarding these two federal laws. The session also focused on the most recent changes to the legislation and provided specific guidance to assist participants in assuring the confidentiality of student records.

Presentation Slides (PDF format)

Audio Recording (file size: 66.4 MB, runtime: 1 hour, 12 minutes)


Designing a Student Services Plan

Robert Cormany, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Association of Pupil Services Administrators, Carlisle, PA

This workshop presented a model for creating a student services plan that incorporates national standards into an overall design for counseling, health, psychological and social work services. The product can serve to meet the requirements of Chapter 12, section 12.41, for a written plan of student services.

Presentation Slides (PDF format)

Audio Recording (file size: 58.1 MB, runtime: 1 hour, 3 minutes)


The Role of Student Services and Resiliency in School Improvement

Sally Chamberlain, Chief, Division of District and School Improvement, PA Department of
Education, Harrisburg, PA

Norma Mateer, Superintendent, Steelton-Highspire School District, Steelton, PA

Richard McCann, School Improvement Facilitator, Research for Better Schools, Philadelphia, PA

The Pennsylvania Accountability System challenges all districts and schools to increase
student academic performance to proficient or advanced levels in reading and math as
defined by the Pennsylvania Academic Standards. The purpose of this session was to explore
how non-academic indicators impact student performance and drive student achievement. If
the goal of strong results for all students is to be achieved, then information on resiliency and
programs available through Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Student Services must be considered in
the state’s continuous school improvement planning. During this session, participants learned how Steelton-Highspire School District developed and secured resources, and implemented action plans, to address both the academic and non-academic needs of their students. The session concluded with an examination of the logic of the “Getting Results” framework and how the content of the Symposium could be used with respect to that logic.

Audio Recording (file size: 49.8 MB, runtime: 54 minutes)


A Cross-System Approach to Reducing Truancy

Stephen Fisher, School Services Unit, PA Department of Education, Harrisburg, PA

Cindi Horshaw, Director, Program Policy Unit, PA Department of Public Welfare, Harrisburg, PA

Michael Kozup, Supervisor, Division of Safe Schools Services, PA Department of Education, Harrisburg, PA

Lynda Long, Dropout Prevention Coordinator, Center for Schools and Communities, Camp Hill, PA

Truancy is not solely a school concern.  Truancy negatively affects every facet of society and requires the active involvement of all child-serving systems to provide real solutions.  Several studies have shown that truancy is an early warning sign for other problematic behavior such as high school dropout, juvenile delinquency, and/or teen pregnancy.  Learn about Pennsylvania’s targeted efforts to address these critical issues, including the Truancy Elimination Plan and the collection of truancy rate data through the annual Safe Schools Report.

Presentation Slides (PDF format)


How to Encourage Parent Involvement

Caroline Allen, President, PA Parent Teacher Association, Harrisburg, PA

Linda Dolan, Director, PA Parent Information and Resource Center, Camp Hill, PA

Marsha Greenfeld, Senior Program Facilitator, National Network of Partnership Schools – Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

This discussion highlighted the importance of building effective school-family-community partnerships linked to student success. Presenters provided information about the new PA Parent Information and Resource Center, the National PTA Standards for Parent Involvement, the challenges that parents face in diverse school settings, how to initiate better parent involvement practices in schools, the basic components of the National Network of Partnership Schools program, and how partnership programs have evolved over time.

Presentation Slides (PDF format)


Reducing the Barriers to Learning, Netting Strong Results for Students: How the UCLA Mental Health Model Helps a School District Infuse Prevention Science within the Regular School Day

Julie Botel, Deputy Superintendent, Harrisburg School District, Harrisburg, PA

Rebecca Hostetler, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Harrisburg School District

Keith Imboden, Director of Special Education, Harrisburg School District

Sybil Knight-Burney, Assistant Superintendent of Student, Family and Community Services, Harrisburg School District

Dana Milakovic, School Psychologist, Harrisburg School District

Judy Nuss, Coordinator of Social and Emotional Learning, Harrisburg School District

In this session, the Deputy Superintendent of Harrisburg School District introduced the district’s philosophy and operations of universal prevention and early intervention efforts that provide appropriate supports for learning while building on the individual’s learning strengths and optimizing limited resources for all learners. Harrisburg’s system of student supports is modeled after the UCLA Model of Comprehensive Mental Health Services. A panel of district leaders described prevention programs and discussed how the function of traditional support roles are used differently to benefit more students earlier, enabling students to use their own protective factors of resiliency to overcome personal barriers to learning before they become insurmountable.

Presentation Slides (PDF format)