ACCEPT offers on-site and live zoom professional development workshops to address the unique needs of educating a diverse range of student learners in public schools.
Our presenters have expertise in a wide range of topics in the field of education and inclusive practice. Drawing from current best practices, including DESE recommendations and relevant research, we use a variety of active-participation techniques to keep participants engaged.
Sample of Current Available Workshops:
- Trauma-Informed Functional Behavior Assessments (FBA) and Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs)
- The Nuts and Bolts of Transition Planning
- The Concepts & Strategies of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) for Educators
- Embracing a Strengths-Based Perspective and Approach to Teaching
- What Makes Special Education “Special”?: Understanding Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) for Students with Special Needs
- “How Do We Step Back?”: Fading Staff Support While Increasing Student Independence
- Maximizing Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) in the School Setting: Strategies to Take AAC Beyond the Speech Room
- Tiered Supports in Early Childhood Settings: Integrating PBIS and Inclusive Practices to Support All Learners
- Registered Behavior Technician (RBT®) Training Course for Paraprofessionals
- DESE’s Leading Educational Access Project (LEAP) Training
**All workshops are also available in a live online format via Zoom
Customized Workshops/ Series:
ACCEPT Consultants are available to create customized Professional Development options tailored to your staff’s needs. Common options include half-day PD, full-day PD, and multi-session PD series (spanning the school year), as well as opening day Keynotes. ACCEPT Consultants also offer follow up job-embedded coaching/consultation to support individuals in incorporating new skills into practice. Pricing for customized workshops is available upon request.
For popular district PD dates, we tend to book at least 6 months in advance so book early!
Current Available Workshops
Trauma-Informed Functional Behavior Assessments (FBA) and Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs)
Trauma has a pervasive impact on a child’s development, often manifesting in challenging behaviors at school that interfere with his/her ability to learn. Best practices in accordance with Federal and State mandates require schools to conduct Functional Behavior Assessments for students who exhibit challenging behaviors in order to develop effective Behavior Intervention Plans. This workshop will examine the underlying principles behind Functional Behavior Assessments (FBA) and review how FBAs can be used to decrease or prevent problem behaviors in schools. A specific focus will be placed on conducting FBAs for students with trauma histories and aligning assessment practices with a Trauma-Sensitive Schools framework. Participants will be provided with a step-by-step guide for conducting FBAs in schools, including learning how to identify which challenging behaviors to address, selecting members of a FBA team, measuring behavior, gathering information using various interview forms and screening tools, directly observing and recording challenging behavior, analyzing data, and planning an intervention. A variety of different assessment tools will be shared and practiced during the workshop, including recommended assessment procedures based on students’ learning profile and presenting problems. Additionally, sample reports and behavior plan templates will be shared with an emphasis on building participants’ knowledge of function-based behavioral interventions. directly observing and recording challenging behavior, analyzing data, and planning an intervention.
The Nuts and Bolts of Transition Planning
This workshop is designed for educators, related service providers, and administrators who provide special education services to students with disabilities aged 14-22. Key components of high-quality transition-related services will be explored, with a focus on the development of a clear transition planning process for the District. This workshop will focus on the transition planning process by providing an overview of federal and state regulations related to transition, quality indicators of effective transition planning as set forth by the Massachusetts’ DESE Transition Needs Assessment, and recommendations for a transition service timeline. A specific focus will also be made on the importance of transition assessments informing the entire transition planning process,with an emphasis on recommended assessment tools and the development of a transition assessment timeline. Participants will have the opportunity to practice integrating sample assessment results into the development of mock IEPs and TPFs and work in small groups on the development of a specific action plan for the District’s transition process.
The Concepts & Strategies of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) for Educators
Using a multi-tiered system of support model (MTSS), this hands-on workshop will introduce participants to the key components of successful SEL practices in school communities. Participants will leave with a clear vision for high-quality SEL implementation, a deeper understanding of the benefits of these practices, and ways to embed SEL opportunities into daily classroom routines and instructional approaches. An emphasis will also be made on strategies for collaboration with general education teachers and special education teachers/related service providers as a means of creating a more robust SEL framework within the school culture. A variety of learning activities will be integrated into the workshop to support the content and to actively engage participants.
Embracing a Strengths-Based Perspective and Approach to Teaching
This Professional Development series will introduce participants to the principles of developing a strengths-based approach for at-risk students with social-emotional needs. An emphasis will be made on the intersection of trauma-informed care with a strengths-based approach, and practical strategies to create a strengths-based classroom learning environment will be discussed. Participants will learn how to build resiliency and self-determination skills in their students and implement strengths-based assessment strategies to inform the development of appropriate student-centered goals. Participants will actively participate in sessions through the use of engaging technology and hands-on activities designed to help them apply the content to their professional practice.
What Makes Special Education “Special”?: Understanding Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) for Students with Special Needs
This workshop will focus on the “specially designed instruction” (SDI) requirement of special education services within the context of tiered models of support. Participants will review relevant special education legislation related to eligibility and gain an in-depth understanding of accommodations vs. modifications as they relate both to teachers’ everyday practices as well as documentation of these supports on the IEP. Massachusetts’ multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) will also be examined with an emphasis on SDI for students with disabilities as a simultaneous process across all tiers. Participants will have the opportunity to review specific examples of SDI across the school District’s in-district special education programs and collaborate in small groups during activities/case studies.
“How Do We Step Back?”: Fading Staff Support While Increasing Student Independence
This workshop promotes the goal of student independence by teaching participants how to fade support in planned and purposeful ways.
Participants will increase their awareness of the potential detrimental side effects of excessive adult support, including learned helplessness and over-reliance/prompt dependence, then review and practice a variety of ways to strategically fade adult support while still providing the necessary instructional and/or behavioral supports in the least restrictive environment. Specific evidence-based best practices will be discussed in detail, in addition to guidelines set forth by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Roles and responsibilities of teachers and support staff will also be examined to maximize communication and coordination around supporting independence for each individual student.
Maximizing Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) in the School Setting: Strategies to Take AAC Beyond the Speech Room
This workshop will explore augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) in the school setting, with a focus on expanding AAC to all aspects of our students’ school day. We will begin with the guiding principles and best practices of AAC, in addition to legal requirements related to regulations and guidelines set forth by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Practical ideas for implementation using low-, mid-, and high-tech AAC strategies in the classroom will be explored, with an emphasis on supporting students with a range of learning needs in inclusive settings. Additionally, common classroom AAC challenges will be discussed, as well as potential solutions using an interdisciplinary team intervention model.
Tiered Supports in Early Childhood Settings: Integrating PBIS and Inclusive Practices to Support All Learners
This Professional Development workshop will focus on embedding inclusive practices and tiered supports into integrated preschool settings. Topics will include an overview of Massachusetts’ Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS) and the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework, with an emphasis on establishing these systems in early childhood settings. Practical examples of best practices will be shared within a case-study approach. Participants will also learn about the Quality Inclusive Practices Checklist and complete a self-assessment on current practices used to support all students. Participants will actively participate in sessions through the use of engaging technology and hands-on activities designed to help them apply the content to their professional practice.
Registered Behavior Technician (RBT®) Training Course for Paraprofessionals
Description: This course will introduce participants to basic concepts and principles of Applied Behavior Analysis as they relate to children and adolescents. Participants will become knowledgeable about evidence-based interventions, based on the principles of behavior, for intervening on behalf of students within the public school setting. Specific topics include assessing behavior, strategies to reduce challenging behavior, skill acquisition, data collection, documentation and reporting, and professional conduct/ethics. This is a fully online course that follows the topic schedule and learning objectives identified on the Registered Behavior Technician™ (RBT)* Task List. *Note: This training program is based on the Registered Behavior Technician Task List and is designed to meet the 40-hour training requirement for the RBT credential.The program is offered independent of the BACB.
DESE’s Leading Educational Access Project (LEAP) Training
The Leading Educational Access Project is a DESE initiative to provide training and resources to districts to increase understanding of the impact of poverty on student outcomes. LEAP trainers will offer instructional knowledge and materials to support school districts in their efforts to develop sustainable systems and practices to support all students, and especially our most vulnerable students – inclusive of low-income students, ELL students, students of color, and students with disabilities.The key focus areas for this project are:
- Improving understanding of and teaching with poverty, race and culture in
- Improving resources for educators and student support teams
- Improving services and placements for high mobility students
- Decreasing inappropriate eligibility determinations for special education
- Increasing identification of special education placements in the least restrictive environment