Skip to Main Content

Materials for the 2019 BEST/MTSS Summer Institute

General Materials:


2019 Opening Remarks

Monday – Mark Freado – The Other 3 R’s: Relationships, Resilience, and Restorative Practices

The Active Ingredient in all successful work with children and youth is in developmental relationships. A strong caring and healthy bond with a significant adult contributes to a young person’s sense of safety and sets the stage for learning to occur. Relationships provide support and guidance through stressful experiences of our students, identifying strengths and helping their innate resilience to emerge. On the foundation of safe relationships and developing strengths, children and adolescents are more willing to take the risks necessary to learn and grow. This sets the stage for young people to accept responsibility and interact with others in restorative practices, not only building individual skills but also contributing to a safer and healthier community.

Tuesday – Loui Lord Nelson – The World is Your Oyster

How important is the learning environment? What needs to be thought through when creating an inclusive space where all learners are members? This interactive keynote will use the analogy of an oyster along with teacher-told stories, classroom examples, and the Universal Design for Learning framework to share the message that all learners can be expert learners when the environment is designed for that outcome.

Thursday – Large Group Activity with Joelle van Lent


CANCELLED! Strand A: VTPBIS Universal Training – Presenters: VTPBIS State Trainers

Strand B: VTPBIS Targeted TrainingPresenters: Cortney Keene, Jeremy Tretiak, and Melissa Tappin

Strand C: VTPBIS Intensive Training – Presenters: Sherry Schoenberg, Ken Kramberg, Kym Asam, and Jean Haigh

Strand D: Refresher in VTPBIS Features – Presenters: Cassandra Townshend, Kristin Beswick, and Lauralee Keach

Strand E: Creating a Positive and Proactive Classroom to Support ALL Learners – Presenter: Brandi Simonsen

Strand F: Getting Started with a Whole School Approach to Restorative Practices – Presenters: Annie O’Shaughnessy and Chris Palmer

Strand G: Deepening and Expanding Restorative Practices within a Multi-Tiered System of Supports Presenters: Jon Kidde and Amy Wheeler-Sutton

Strand H: The Art of Kid Whispering; Reaching the Inside KidPresenter: Mark Freado

Strand I: What Makes Engagement, Engagement?Presenter: Loui Lord Nelson

Strand J: Youth Mental Health First Aid and Understanding Compassion FatiguePresenter: Lance Metayer

Strand K: Start Where You Are: Developing and Strengthening SEL ImplementationPresenter: Rebecca Lallier

Strand L: Creating Trauma Responsive School Communities & Fostering Resilient LearnersPresenter: Joelle van Lent


  • “National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. (2015). Supportive Relationships and Active Skill-Building” Strengthen the Foundations of Resilience: Working Paper 13. Retrieved from
  • National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. (2018). Understanding Motivation: Building the Brain Architecture That Supports Learning, Health, and Community Participation: Working Paper No. 14. Retrieved from

Strand M: Mitigating Bias in our Schools and Uncovering Unconscious BiasesPresenter: Rhiannon Kim


Strand N: Leveraging your Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) to Achieve Better Outcomes for All StudentsPresenters: Tracy Watterson and Tom Faris


  • Expanding and Strengthening Best-Practice Supports for Students Who Struggle (DMG 2017)
  • VTmtss Field Guide 2019 (available soon)



Workshop A: Teaching Social Cognition and Self-Regulation Strategies to Improve Social Skills in Early Elementary – Judy Houde-Hardy

Workshop B: How do the PBIS Framework and Trauma-Responsive/Informed Practices Align? – Kym Asam

Workshop C: Blazing a Trail to Academic and Behavioral Success in the Classroom: Overview of Positive and Proactive Classroom Practices – Brandi Simonsen

Workshop D: De-Escalation and Relationship Building Skills – Ken Kramberg

Workshop E: Mindfulness Practices for Educators – Rhiannon Kim

Workshop F: Using Data for Decision Making within a PBIS Framework – Sherry Schoenberg and Amy Wheeler-Sutton

Workshop G: Creating and Implementing Targeted Academic and Behavior Supports Within MTSS – Rebecca Lallier and Rick Dustin-Eichler

Workshop H: Function-Based Thinking as a Method for Understanding and Responding to Problem Behavior – Cortney Keene and Jeremy Tretiak

Workshop I: Building your Inventory of Targeted Interventions – Ashley Creighton, Mandy Couturier, and Sarah Schoolcraft

Workshop J: Offering Targeted-Level Support within the Classroom Through Individualized Goal Setting – Nikki Raney

Workshop K: Shifting Our School Culture Together: Youth-Adult Partnership and Restorative Practices – Lindsey Halman

CANCELLED! Workshop L: Bullying Prevention in a PBIS School

Workshop M: Overcoming Initiative Fatigue through Integration and Alignment – Annie O’Shaughnessy

Workshop N: Mastering a New Habit – Gillian Pieper and Shevonne Travers

CANCELLED! Workshop O: Advancing Racial Equity in Your School

CANCELLED! P: Addressing Act 173 Through a VTmtss Lens

Workshop Q: VTmtss Field Guide Sneak Peak – Marge Lipson, Pat Gallant, and Tracy Watterson