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Katy Independent School District

Professional Learning

Learner 360 is a collaborative learning event designed to support teachers, administrators, counselors, and other school professionals in creating "360 degrees of support for every learner."

This two-day professional learning opportunity features multiple perspectives that support the well-being of diverse learners to accelerate academic achievement for all. 

Learner 360 Schedule 

​Keynote Session 
Wednesday, July 17, 2019 
Legacy Stadium

Finding the Fluoride: Understanding How and Why Developmental Relationships are the Active Ingredient in Interventions That Work

Dr. Kent Pekel, President and CEO of the Search Institute

New research from Search Institute is showing that when young people experience relationships with adults that are characterized by five essential elements, their attitudes, behaviors, and outcomes are better and their risk behaviors are lower. Those five elements are expressing care, challenging growth, providing support, sharing power, and expanding possibilities. During this session, Search Institute’s President and CEO, Dr. Kent Pekel, will share some of the findings that are emerging through Search Institute’s studies and will introduce participants to several practical tools that they can use to help staff build developmental relationships with and among the young people they serve. 


​District Sessions 
Thursday, July 18, 2019 
​Culturally Relevant Pedagogy to Close the Achievement Gap
Gwen Coffey, Special Education Director for Compliance

Can you describe the cultural ecology of your classroom and school? Do you hold any cultural biases that may impede the learning of the students in your organization?  This session will address how to apply concepts related to cultural proficiency to create equity within your classrooms and schools for the purpose of closing the achievement gap. Participants will leave with tools that can be immediately applied at the classroom and school levels to both assess and increase their cultural proficiency, thereby increasing learning outcomes of their students. Enroll
​Looking Through the Trauma Lens
Anne Miller, LMSW, Social Worker 

1 in 4 Students have experienced a traumatic event.  This workshop will examine the impact of trauma on the body, brain, and behavior.  We will look at the immediate and long term impact of a trauma event and how it manifests in our students.  Most importantly we will discuss the impact of relationships and how to build connections with these students so they are not only successful academically, but socially and emotionally. Enroll
Meeting the Mental Health/Emotional Needs of All Students  
Dr. Kristie Moore, Instructional Officer for Psychological Services

Attendees will learn about the various psychological disorders and emotional needs seen in schools across grade levels.  How these needs impact the learning and social-emotional functioning of students will be explained.  Attendees will acquire practical skills to apply in their roles to assist in meeting the social-emotional needs of all students.  Enroll

​SEL Strategies in the Classroom 
Edie White, Coordinator for Bullying Prevention and Student Support 

Social-emotional learning is a process for developing skills that underpin a child’s academic success and personal well-being. Social-emotional learning teaches students self-management skills to focus on learning amidst distractions; persevere when learning gets challenging; develop social awareness and relationship skills to work well with others; and how to make responsible decisions. If SEL skills are what students need to be successful, we need to teach them! The good news is that teaching SEL skills is not "something else on your plate.” Conversely, SEL can easily be woven into the fabric of daily instruction.
Attendees will leave with…
• an understanding of social-emotional learning and its impact on a child’s academic success
• a deeper understanding of one’s personal social and emotional skills and current teaching practices
• a toolbox of strategies that promote students’ development of SEL competencies in the classroom.
Happy to Learn: Mental States that Promote Student Success
Karen Lewis, Professional Learning Coordinator 

Creating emotionally supportive school environments for students can lead to increased learning and well-being. This session draws from the research of Shawn Achor, Stephen Krashen, and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi to show how happiness, relaxed mental states and a sense of flow have the potential to not only contribute to emotional well-being, but prime students for deeper, more successful learning. Educators will explore strategies for helping students transition into an optimal mental state for learning through classroom routines and instructional support.  Enroll
Don’t Forget the Relationships
Dr. Nicole Zwahr, Professional Learning Coordinator 

To Do List: make copies, plan lessons, meet with team/parents, go to meeting……..
Does this list look familiar? In our fast-paced world, we can get caught up in all of our “to dos” that we forget about the people. Relationships are an important component that can help with student achievement, classroom management, and overall student well-being. This interactive session will provide key strategies and activities for building relationships. Enroll
​Preventing Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma 
Christy Maeker, Director of Counseling Services

Supporting students’ academic and social-emotional needs can be as emotionally and physically draining, especially when crises occur. Vicarious trauma occurs when working to meet the needs of others in high-stress situations. Regular exposure to stress can cause compassion fatigue, which impacts both the mind and body and can potentially lead to burnout. Learn how to identify symptoms of compassion fatigue, how to prevent it, and healthy coping strategies for when it does happen. Enroll
​Stepping Back, and Other Strategies for Emotionally Healthy Leadership
Mr. Jeff Stocks, Assistant Superintendent for Secondary School Leadership and Support

In this session, we will discuss a variety of resources and strategies to help school leaders mitigate the emotional stresses that affect them. Topics may include crisis management, handling criticism, dealing with angry parents, having tough conversations, etc. The target audience includes school administrators, classroom teachers, counselors, or any school leader. Enroll
Trauma-Informed Schools 
Christy Maeker, Director of Counseling Services
Jodi Slaughter, Woodcreek Junior High Counselor 

“Stressed brains cannot learn.” Traumatic stress has a negative impact on students’ behavior and academic performance. Trauma-informed practices acknowledge and address the social-emotional needs of all school stakeholders, leading to a healthier school climate, higher academic achievement and fewer behavioral issues. Learn how to implement elements of trauma-informed practices on your campus and set the stage for an improved school culture.  Enroll
Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall…..Who is that Looking Back at Me?
Dr. Nicole Zwahr, Professional Learning Coordinator

Reflection is a key component of growth. Being self-aware of who you are and why you act and interact the way you do is a driving force in growth. We first have to look within to find out. In this session, learners will take a look within and reflect on their characteristics/attributes to see how they contribute to why and how they do the things they do. Enroll
​Engaging Families of English Learners in the School Culture
Carmen Nguyen, Professional Development Specialist for English Learners

Cultural differences, misunderstandings, or inexperience between campus staff and the families they serve can often become a barrier to fully engage families and students. Getting families of English learners involved in the school culture requires an understanding of the cultures of the families we serve, examining the view and assumptions we have about those families and their cultures, and finding ways to recognize, value, and incorporate families’ into the school community. This session will focus on recognizing the diverse aspects of culture and diversity, being cognizant of our own biases, and learn outreach practices that facilitate family engagement. Enroll
​Cultural Competence for Educators 
Jessica C. Wright, M.A., Behavior Interventionist

Research has established the importance of cultural competency in improving students’ academic and behavioral outcomes. This session will focus on the educator’s role in building cultural competency and developing a culturally responsive learning environment. Enroll
​Character Counts
Mr. Ted Vierling, Assistant Superintendent for Operations
Yamilet Arroyo Batiz, Instructional Coach 
Rafael Brazo, Katy Junior High Assistant Principal

Teaching character in our schools is important work that is not always done.  This session will provide educators with the importance of character education, the struggles implementing character education in the classroom, and a possible solution to your school’s character education plan.  Enroll

TEA District"A"  Rating
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