16th Annual MTSS Conference
Save the Date: April 30 & May 1, 2020 — Lansing Crown Plaza West
We look forward to seeing you at this year's conference April 30 & May 1, 2020.
Registration will open in mid-February.
Livestreaming select sessions both days to the following ISDs: Copper Country, Delta-Schoolcraft, Gogebic-Ontonagon, Eastern UP, and Marquette-Alger. More capacity and session offerings for on-site participants.
Materials for MIBLSI presentations for the 2019 conference are on the website's presentation page.
The annual conference focuses on advancing effective MTSS implementation to ensure the growth and success for all learners. The two-day conference is an opportunity to learn the latest in research and best practices related to MTSS, strengthen implementation within your context, and connect and share with other attendees.
Conference participants will have the opportunity to:
- Gain an understanding of the latest research, promising practices, and critical issues related to MTSS to connect with their existing practices.
- Learn about developing systems to support effective implementation.
- Expand learning of contextual implementation of practices.
- Acquire new knowledge and skills applicable to their specific role/position.
Thursday Welcome, Sheila Alles
Sheila Alles is the Chief Deputy Superintendent for the Michigan Department of Education, resuming her position after serving as the Interim State Superintendent.
In May 2018, the State Board of Education appointed Sheila as the Interim State Superintendent following the passing of State Superintendent, Brian Whiston. She was the first woman of state superintendents in almost 200 years and served in this position for 15 months until the appointment in August 2019 of Dr. Michael Rice as State Superintendent.
Sheila Alles was the Chief Deputy Superintendent for the Michigan Department of Education from March 2017 to May 2018. One of her biggest priorities is to continue the implementation of Michigan’s Strategic Plan to become a Top 10 Education State in 10 years.
2020 National Speakers
Dr. Terry M. Scott - Day 1
University of Louisville
Terrance M. Scott is a Professor and Distinguished University Scholar in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Louisville and is Director of the Center for Instructional and Behavioral Research in Schools (CIBRS). His research interests focus on school-wide prevention systems, the role of instructional variables in managing student behavior, functional behavior assessment/intervention, and scientific research in education. Since receiving his Ph.D. at the University of Oregon in 1994, he has successfully competed for more than $22 million in grant funding, has more than 120 publications - including four books, and has conducted well over 1000 presentations and training activities throughout the U.S. and around the world.
Dr. Michael Coyne - Day 2
Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut
Michael Coyne is a Professor of Special Education in the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut, Head of the Department of Educational Psychology, and Co-Director of the Center for Behavioral Education and Research. His research focuses on beginning reading instruction and intervention, multi-tiered systems of support, school-based experimental research, and effective practices for students with learning disabilities. Dr. Coyne has directed multiple grants and contracts funded by the U.S. Department of Education and is currently a Principle Investigator of the National Research Network on Integrated MTSS. Dr. Coyne is the co-editor in chief of the Elementary School Journal and an author of the IES practice guide, Foundational Skills to Support Reading for Understanding in Kindergarten through 3rd Grade. He has worked with state departments of education to develop, implement, and evaluate state-wide MTSS efforts and federal reading initiatives. Dr. Coyne is a former special educator in public schools.
Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN)
Dawn Durham is an educational consultant with the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN). She holds a Master of Education degree in Teaching and Curriculum from Penn State University in addition to certifications in elementary education from Millersville University, reading specialist from Penn State University, and Teaching English as a Second Language from Drexel University. Dawn has held a variety of positions in the school setting during her years in the field as a classroom teacher, interventionist, instructional coach, and now educational consultant. As a Certified Local LETRS trainer, Dawn is determined to provide evidence-aligned professional development to practitioners. She is a current doctoral student at Gwynedd Mercy University where she is pursuing a degree in Leadership in Special Education with her scope of work concentrated around teacher education. Dawn has presented at the International Research Methods Summer School, Limerick, Ireland on her dissertation research.
National Center on Intensive Intervention
Lindsey Hayes, senior researcher at the American Institutes for Research, has six years of experience leading technical assistance efforts for U.S. Department of Education-funded national centers related to special education, intensive intervention, educator preparation, and educator quality. Hayes is currently the intensive technical assistance lead for the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center. In this role she supports over 20 states to create robust networks between state education agencies, educator preparation programs, and local districts to align preparation policy and professional learning systems for teachers and leaders serving students with disabilities. She serves as the CEEDAR state lead for Colorado and New York. Additionally, Hayes serves as a technical assistance provider for the National Center on Intensive Intervention (NCII) and is task leader for NCII’s work with institutions of higher education. From 2013 to 2019 Hayes was a technical assistance provider for the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders. She provided context expertise to regional comprehensive centers and state education agencies to implement educator talent management strategies outlined in state ESSA plans, including strategies to address educator shortages in critical areas such as special education. Hayes previously worked as a special education coordinator for Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy and has special education teaching experience in two public charter high schools, both in the District of Columbia. Hayes earned her M.Ed. in special education from George Mason University and is a current doctoral student in special education at the University of Northern Colorado.
Emma Herdean leverages connections, resources and research to provide attendance awareness, advocacy and assistance to school administration, students and families and to the community. She currently provides local attendance support to schools in the city of Detroit, helping to increase academic success in K-12. Emma’s knowledge and experience with non-profit organizations, family literacy programs, schools and community partnerships in the last twelve years have been instrumental for the current work of improving school attendance.
Emma led the implementation of family literacy programs through partnerships with community-based organizations and with the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) for a decade. She provided oversight for the implementation of the Community Schools model in the DPSCD for three years. She holds a BA in English and an MA in Linguistics, both from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. Emma is currently earning her doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership from Oakland University in Rochester, MI. Emma is fully trilingual and consistently volunteers with children and youth programs, and with immigrant communities.
Wisconsin Rtl Center
Milaney Leverson is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist who has been working in and supporting schools for over fifteen years. Milaney currently works as a Regional Technical Assistance Coordinator providing support and training for both PBIS and culturally responsive practices to schools in Wisconsin. She has collaborated with other state PBIS teams to embed culturally responsive practices into their PBIS framework and has presented at state, national, and international conferences on the topic of creating culturally responsive PBIS systems. Additionally, Milaney is a founding member of the Equity Work Group with the National PBIS Center.
Hedy Nai-Lin Chang
Hedy is the founder and executive director of the non-profit initiative, Attendance Works. Attendance Works is the nation’s “go to” resource for strategies to reduce chronic absence (missing more than 10% of school for any reason). Since its founding in 2010, Attendance Works successfully moved chronic absence from a little-known term to a required reporting and optional school accountability metric in the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). A dynamic speaker, Hedy is also the author of numerous article and reports on the impact of chronic absence on student success and educational inequities and what works to improve attendance.
Hedy has spent three decades working in the fields of family support, family economic success, education and child development. She served as a senior program officer at the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund and as co-director of California Tomorrow, a nonprofit committed to drawing strength from cultural, linguistic and racial diversity. She has a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and B.A. from Occidental College.
Dr. Beshon Smith
Center for Supportive Schools
Dr. Beshon Smith has spent the past 21 years of her professional career using the transformative power of education to enhance the lives of students and their families. A native New Yorker, Dr. Smith has partnered with school districts in New York City, Washington D.C., and Maryland to help strengthen student academic achievement and engagement and improve school culture and climate.
She is currently the Executive Director for Delaware, Maryland and Washington, D.C. with the Center for Supportive Schools (CSS). Prior to joining CSS, she managed Baltimore City Public Schools’ Office of Attendance and Truancy, where she was responsible for developing and overseeing systemic supports and strategies to combat chronic absence and increase student attendance.
Dr. Smith received her Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the City University of New York-John Jay College, and a MPA with a concentration in non-profit management from the City University of New York-Baruch College. Beshon received her PhD in language, literacy and culture from the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. She resides in Maryland.
Wisconsin Rtl Center/PBIS Network
Kent Smith has been a school social worker in Wisconsin for the last 20 years, and was a child abuse investigator and in-home family therapist before beginning working in schools. He currently works for the Wisconsin Response to Intervention Center/PBIS Network, focusing on training and supporting culturally responsive practices and PBIS for schools in Wisconsin. He has presented content on PBIS, Response to Intervention and PBIS, as well as Culturally Responsive Practices and PBIS at state, national and international conferences and has collaborated with other state PBIS team to begin embedding culturally responsive practices in their frameworks. He is part of Wisconsin’s Culturally Responsive Practices team and a founding member of the Equity Work Group with the National PBIS Technical Assistance Center.
University of Oregon
Jess Surles has over thirteen years of experience in delivering classroom instruction, collaborating with educators and leadership to support program implementation, and designing professional development on literacy and educational practices. Currently, she works for the Center on Teaching and Learning (CTL), University of Oregon and the National Center on Improving Literacy (NCIL) to develop curriculum and provide technical assistance across the nation. She partners with literacy experts and university researchers to integrate current research and instructional practice for educators, leadership, and educational agencies. Jess provides training, on-site coaching, and virtual support to assist with implementation of evidence-based literacy practices.
Dr. Jade Wexler
University of Maryland
Jade Wexler is an Associate Professor in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education at the University of Maryland. Her current research focuses on designing reading interventions to support adolescents with reading difficulties and disabilities in the content-area and supplemental intensive intervention setting. She also focuses on designing and evaluating professional development and school-wide service delivery models to support the implementation of evidence-based literacy practices. Dr. Wexler currently serves as the PI on an IES funded Goal 2 development project, Project CALI, a middle school co-teaching and literacy professional development model. Dr. Wexler also currently serves as a Co-PI on an OSEP funded adolescent literacy model demonstration project aimed at designing a school-wide literacy model to improve outcomes for students with disabilities. She has over 40 publications and is the co-author of three books about adolescent literacy and supporting adolescent literacy instruction across school-wide models.