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Saturday, February 17th, 2018

2008 Supporting Students to Success
Effective Strategies for Pennsylvania's Schools

On May 20, 2008, the Pennsylvania Department of Education sponsored a one-day symposium entitled, "Supporting Students to Success". This was the third annual event to support Pennsylvania's schools in the development of effective strategies to help students reach their educational 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 keynote address provided by Dr. Edmund Gordon (video recording below), sixteen workshop sessions and four plenary sessions (audio recordings and materials from selected sessions below).




Download the Symposium agenda booklet (12 pages)
(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.


Keynote Address: Equity in Education Requires Affirmative Development of Academic Ability

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Edmund Gordon, John M. Musser Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, Yale University, Richard March Hoe Professor of Psychology and Education, Emeritus, Teachers College, Columbia University

In this informative general session, Dr. Gordon provided a description of how, in a diverse and unequal society, equitable educational treatment is preferred to equal treatment, but the goal is to achieve excellence. He outlined how competence in the use of knowledge, skill and understanding to solve practical and novel problems is the universal currency of technologically advanced societies. He also provided participants with an understanding of how the achievement of intellective competence requires both affirmative action and the affirmative development of academic ability in all children.

Audio Recording (file size: 47.9 MB, runtime: 52:21)


View the Recording of the Live Broadcast

The video below is a recording of the live web broadcast of introductory remarks by Mary I. Ramirez, Director, Bureau of Community and Student Services, Pennsylvania Department of Education, followed by the Keynote Address by Dr. Edmund Gordon.

NOTE: In order to view the video, you will need the Adobe Flash Player plug-in. To download the free plug-in, click here to visit the Adobe website.



Affirmative Development of Academic Abilities (PDF format)



Redefining Wraparound: New Expectations for Building Positive Behavioral Supports


Shannon Fagan, Director, Youth and Family Training Institute, Pittsburgh, PA

Stanley Mrozowski, Director, Children’s Bureau, Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, Harrisburg, PA

Thomas Seben, Special Education Program Manager, Bureau of Special Education, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Harrisburg, PA

The three co-presenters in this workshop described how wraparound has been used in Pennsylvania for many years, but not implemented with universal fidelity to the principles of building on youth and family strengths and natural supports. They informed participants of how the Commonwealth has made a commitment to the National Wraparound Initiative which encourages universal fidelity, and discussed how the principles and practices of High Fidelity Wraparound would be reviewed and applied to school settings in conjunction with positive behavioral supports.

Wraparound has been used in Pennsylvania for many years, but not implemented with universal fidelity to the principles of building on youth and family strengths and natural supports. The Commonwealth has made a commitment to the National Wraparound Initiative which encourages universal fidelity. In this session, the principles and practices of High Fidelity Wraparound will be reviewed, and its application to school settings, in conjunction with positive behavioral supports, will be discussed.

Audio Recording (file size: 42.3 MB, runtime: 46:14)



Building a Culturally Competent School

Presenter: Fredrika McKain, President/CEO, Institute for Cultural Partnerships, Harrisburg, PA

In this workshop, Ms. McKain provided a description of how the Institute for Cultural Partnerships uses a wide range of programs to strengthen the community and share traditions across cultures. The session focused on the Institute’s curriculum and training programs to explore diversity, expand awareness and facilitate dialogue to mediate racism and discrimination. Participants learned about these tools and other resources they could use in their own communities.

Audio Recording (file size: 49.6 MB, runtime: 54:13)



It Really is Doable: School-Based Behavioral Health Services

Heidi Kraft, Director, School & Community Network, Lancaster, PA
Pam Smith, Safe Schools/Healthy Students Coordinator, School District of Lancaster, Lancaster, PA

In this session the presenters outlined how the School District of Lancaster focuses on collaboratively creating the optimal conditions for student learning. They described how, while keeping the child and the family at the center of all efforts, partnerships were formed to provide the needed behavioral health services at schools. This workshop highlighted the systemic change efforts, as well as the implementation successes and challenges of school-based outpatient therapy provided in all schools.

Audio Recording (file size: 40.2 MB, runtime: 44:00)



Illinois Social Emotional Standards

Presenter: Colette Lueck, Managing Director, Illinois Children's Mental Health Partnership, Chicago, IL

In this workshop, Ms. Lueck described how the Illinois Children’s Mental Health Partnership was charged with creating the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Standards and a professional development plan to support their implementation. She discussed the rationale and process used to develop the SEL standards, as well as the statewide infrastructure, professional development and school-based support needed to integrate the standards in the classroom and the assessment strategies related to the standards.

Audio Recording (file size: 44.6 MB, runtime: 48:44)


Presentation Slides (PDF format)



Strategic Plan for Building a Comprehensive Children’s Mental Health System in Illinois - Executive Summary (PDF format)

Illinois State Board of Education Social Emotional Learning Standards (PDF format)

A Brief Discussion Paper and Proposed Plan Regarding Social and Emotional Learning Standards Assessment (PDF format)

Illinois Children’s Mental Health Partnership SEL Standards Professional Development Project - Work Plan for Year Two: July 1, 2007 – June 30, 2008 (PDF format)



Putting Resiliency in Action: A Foundation for Student Success

Presenter: Nan Henderson, Resiliency in Action, Ojai, CA

This plenary session focused on the link between resiliency and academic success that is emerging from the fields of psychology, psychiatry, sociology and education. Building on Nan’s keynote address and workshop at the 2007 Symposium, the emphasis of this year's presentation was on describing specific strategies that schools and organizations can use to move students from “risk to resiliency.”

Audio Recording (file size: 61.8 MB, runtime: 1:07:30)



Resiliency-Building "Hidden" Predictors of Academic Success (PDF format)

Resiliency Handouts (PDF format)



Closing the Achievement Gap: A Role for Student Support Services

Presenter: Dr. Jennifer Durham, Robert H. Baldwin Fellow, Communities in Schools National Office, Alexandria, VA

In this plenary session, Dr. Durham provided a description of how educators and policy makers have been actively engaged in a dialogue about the achievement gap, and how most of the discourse has been focused on instructional practices and home-based factors, while the interface between academic achievement and psycho-social development has been virtually ignored. This presentation focused on the results of case study research that examined the role of student support services in closing the achievement gap in schools, and suggested strategies and practices.

Audio Recording (file size: 49.9 MB, runtime: 54:34)