Skip to main content
December 1 - 4, 2015
2015 Parent and Family Engagement Conference
"The Next Generation of Partnership"


Most Pre-Conference sessions take place Tuesday, December 1st for the full day.


Programs get even more value from the conference by adding on special-track sessions!

How to Register

Unless otherwise noted, registrations for these sessions require an extra fee.


Professional Development Institute

Building Within: How organizations move forward in preparing children for success in school

This one-day Institute is dedicated to the development of individuals responsible for creating in-service trainings, building coaching and other support programs at local agencies, or collaborating with staff training sources such as colleges and consultants. This is NHSA’s inaugural effort to build a learning community specifically for staff development personnel. In addition to this institute, individuals will be invited to join a virtual learning community and take an active role in future PDI activities. This first gathering is a training day for trainers. Attendees are encouraged to bring agency T/TA plans as well as tools currently used to support professional development activities. The PDI lead, Dr. Norman Lorenz, will offer direct instruction on the topic of adult learning and facilitate peer-led discussions and planning sessions. This day is guaranteed to be informative, educational, and inspirational.

Find out more about this Pre-Conference Institute

Facilitator: Norman Lorenz, Ed.D.
Keynote: Kai-leé Berke, M.A.
Fees: $165, $185 (Member, Non-member)

Sponsored by NHSA’s Center for Effective Practice


Communication Tools for Working with People in Poverty

Many people living in poverty are more word-of-mouth communicators, while social service workers often use a print-based style of communication. This difference can lead to a breakdown in communication between families and service providers. Learn the common pitfalls in communication along with practical tools for communicating and relating across poverty barriers.

Presenter: Donna Beegle, Ed.D.
Communication Across Barriers

Fees: $165, $185 (Member, Non-member)


Early Math through Family Engagement Activities

Join us for a fun, highly interactive workshop to discover Early Math activities for families and staff. You’ll leave with plenty of activities and ideas that can be used with EHS/HS families to support positive adult-child interactions and improve school readiness and early math knowledge. These are kid-tested activities that are easy to share with families and to implement in the classroom.

Presenters: Judy Cashell, Debbie McBee, and Laura Keeley Saldana
A project of the California Head Start Association

Fees: $165, $185 (Member, Non-member)


Elevating and Escalating Strategies for Program Governance Five-Year Period

Participants will focus specifically on OHS regulations and requirements pertaining to Program Governance in a Five-Year Project Period as stipulated in the Program Performance Standards and the 2007 Head Start Act. As members of the Board of Directors, Policy Council/Policy Committees, or key management staff, you’ll enhance your leadership skills as a decision maker and learn how to safeguard Head Start/Early Head Start federal funds.

Presenter: Mable M Jones, M. Ed
The Jones Connection

Fees: $165, $185 (Member, Non-member)


Promoting Positive Behavior in Early Childhood Settings

Children use challenging behaviors to communicate when the demands of their environment are misaligned with their social, emotional, or adaptive capacities. This session will introduce a toolbox to help parents and teachers enhance social and emotional skills and reduce exclusionary discipline practices. Learn how role modeling, strengthening relationships, communicating clear expectations, establishing structures and routines, and useful adaptions can prepare you for the daily challenges of working with young children.

Presenters: Dr. Stacey Alicea, Alika Hope
Ramapo for Children

Fees: $165, $185 (Member, Non-member)

Train the Trainer Pre-Conference Sessions

(2-day, December 1-2)

Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors Training Institute

The cost-effective Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors train-the-trainer program fully prepares community leaders to deliver the curriculum to parents in their neighborhood. During the two-day training, facilitators learn about the unique features of the Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors curriculum, including the following:

  • Overview of the 10 sessions, which cover best practices in language development, bilingualism, early literacy, early math, health and social emotional wellness, attendance, civic engagement, parent leadership, goal setting and planning for family success.
  • An understanding of the cultural and linguistic relevance of the Abriendo Puertas curriculum, including its use of “dichos,” or popular sayings, activities such as the Lotería game, and how to create a safe environment for parent reflection.
  • Popular education techniques, ideas for parent outreach, and ways to engage local partners.

Presenter: Silvia Esqueda
Abriendo Puertas / Opening Doors

Fees: $555, $625 (Member, Non-member)
Fees include both Abriendo Puertas and a Full Conference Registration

(4-day, December 1-4)

Family Development Credential Instructors Training Institute

This is a train-the-trainer institute for those who wish to become certified instructors in order to offer and facilitate the Empowerment Skills for Family Workers course from the National Family Development Credential Program (FDC) — a professional training and credential for front line family workers, administered by the University of Connecticut. Using a research-based curriculum, participants practice and learn the skills and competencies of strength-based family support.

Presenter: Carol West, National FDC Instructor
Center for the Study of Culture, Health, and Human Development at the University of Connecticut

Pre-approval required

Fees: $675

(2-day, December 2-3)

Building Blocks for Literacy: Training of Trainers

Building Blocks for Literacy is a two-day, TOT professional development program — promotes early literacy skills for children in early care and education environments and homes. Developed at the Stern Center for Language and Learning, this effective resource teaches Head Start trainers how to foster early language and literacy skills in children. BUILDING BLOCKS is aligned with the proposed Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework: Ages Birth to Five, 2015 and supports the Class Observation Tool.

Presenter: Brenda Buzzell
Stern Center for Language and Learning

Fees: Included with full conference registration

(2-day, December 1-2)

Building Blocks for Literacy: Early Head Start Training of Trainers

Building Blocks for Literacy: Birth to Three Years — a two-day, TOT professional development program — promotes language development from babbling to sentences as the base for early literacy skills. Developed at the Stern Center for Language and Learning, this program teaches Early Head Start trainers how to support and scaffold early language and literacy skills from birth through 3 years of age. It aligns with the proposed HS Early Learning Outcomes Framework: Ages Birth to Five, 2015 and supports CLASS.

Presenter: Brenda Buzzell
Stern Center for Language and Learning

Fees: Included with full conference registration