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Sponsors NH Council on Developmental Disabilities Northeast Delta Dental ParentingNH NH Family Voices Bellwether Community Credit Union Easter Seals of NH Ocean Bank Gateways Community Services Discovery Center Speedy Printing and Copying NEA-NH NAMI-NH NH Assoc. of Special Education Administrators Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce Back in the Saddle Equine Therapy Center Critters ‘N Creatures Live Animal Shows Merrimack County Savings Bank

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P4E Show on Keys to ParentingClick to Watch a Pre-Conference Video featuring Cynthia Billings of PlusTime NH, speaking about Extended Learning Opportunities


NH Department of Education



NH Association of School Principals

NH Association of Special Education Administrators

Manchester Coalition for Quality Education


NH School Counselor Association

Harvard Family Research Project

FIRST Robotics

PlusTime NH

Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)

NH Board of Education

Bow High School

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Over 200 people turned out on May 15 for our keynote, 21 sessions, and exhibitors in what proved to be our most exciting and comprehensive conference yet.


Dr. Leo Corriveau's Keynote Video

Communicating with Parents, Families, and the Larger Community: The "Principal" Effects of Community Relations

The Future of Education in NH: What Students, Parents and Teachers Need to Know

Fred Bramante, NH Board of Education, and Panel

NH High School Extended Learning Opportunities: What Youth are Doing and How They are Engaged

With Cynthia Billings, President and CEO, Plustime NH, and Student Panel

New Directions for Parent Involvement in Middle and High School: A Research Update

With Dr. Heather Weiss, Director, Harvard Family Research Project

10 More Videos -- Click here

Concurrent Sessions

Download course list here (PDF).

10:30AM Concurrent Sessions

If We Don’t Teach Them Who Will? The Basics of Sound Money Management for Every Student (Dan Hebert, NH Jump$tart Coalition)

This session offers a unique perspective of the importance of teaching our children basic personal financial principles.  Topics include: NH’s educational standards for financial literacy; the importance of starting when children are young; new technologies and financial education for teens and college students; creating a culture of savers; and overview of NH Jump$tart Coalition.

Using Technology to Plan the Future:  Online Resources for Families, Educators, and Students (Mitch Taranow, Technology Chair, NH School Counselor Association)

Technology has opened up endless possibilities for planning for life after high school.  This interactive session will explore technology reasources schools and families can use to support students in exploring opportunities for life after high school.  Career exploration, college planning, and other on-line resources will be shared. 

Experiencing A Learning Disability: What Does It Really Feel Like? (Alison Batey, Paul Curtis and RSEC Academy Students)

This is an interactive workshop where all session participants will be involved in various activities that will allow them to understand what having a learning disability feels like. The activities and most of the discussion will be facilitated by high school students with learning disabilities.  By understanding what it feels like to have a learning disabilitiy, families, schools, and students are able to more effectively work together. 

It Takes a Community to Educate a Child! A Day In The Life of a College Admissions Counselor (Richard Haynes, UNH)

In this inspiring presentation, UNH Admissions Counselor Richard Haynes will share his "Never say Never” personal journey as a first-generation student and outline  the importance of family, teachers, mentors, and community groups on the ability of every child to gain the freedom and opportunities to accomplish anything in life. He concludes with a call to action for  creating a 360-degree approach  to educating  all students in the 21st Century.

The Future of Education in NH: What Students, Parents and Teachers Need to Know (Fred Bramante, NH Board of Education, and Schools)

NH's new educational regulations make it possible for students to get credit for learning outside the classroom, and even graduate by 10th grade. Fred Bramante, member of the NH Board of Education, will be joined by a panel of school superintendents and adminstrators to discuss: how to empower students to take ownership of their learning; how to help teachers in  their new role during the paradigm shift from "seat time" to "mastery of competencies";  how to help parents understand the changing landscape of education and how best to support their children for a 21st century education..

Building Family-School-Partnerships – Administrators Leading the Way! (Solid Foundation, Researched Based Programs in NH, Karen Gerdts)

Leadership is the key to successful parent and educator partnerships. Come join this session and hear “what is working” in New Hampshire. Discussion will include: 1) Processes and Strategies That Work and 2) Overcoming Challenges 3) Getting Started (School Administrators and Leadership Team Members) (This course is open to School administrators only)

Parent Involvement in Special Education Survey:  Using Results to Improve Student Success (Mary Lane, NHDOE, and Dr. Batya Elbaum, US Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP))

This workshop will review NH's procedure for obtaining relIable and valid data on Indicator 8 - extent to which schools are facilitating parent involvement in special education - of the NH's State Performance Plan.  The presenters will explain how examining NH's results over time can inform the development of both parent - and school-focused activities that hold promise for improving services and outcomes for students with disabilities. Strategies and practices in which parents, teachers, and others to work together for student success will also be shared. 

12:45PM Concurrent Sessions

Communicate Effectively with Parents : A Session for School Administrators (Peg McAllister, NH Association of School Principals)

In this lively presentation, former principal and current Executive Director of NH Association of School Principals shares from humorous stories from personal experiences about how create a win-win situation with parents in your school.  Learn about the keys to avoiding conflict and turning every situation with parents into a golden opportunity to improve school culture and climate. (School administrators only)

Thinking Outside the Books: Everyday Opportunities for Promoting a Love of Words in Young Children (Kimm Phillips, NH State PIRC)

Both research and common sense tell us that early literacy opportunities lay the foundation for reading and academic success. Besides reading to children daily, there are many other meaningful ways to promote literacy and language development. In this workshop we’ll discuss how parents and caregivers can capitalize on these opportunities for children from birth through age five, including encouraging conversation skills, creating a literacy rich environment, making discoveries about reading through play and of course reading aloud. Come learn about the NH State PIRC Early Literacy Volunteer Program and how you can become a volunteer and/or offer free workshops to parents and colleagues.

Creating Effective Action Plans for Goals in Special Education: Working together for Student Success (NH Connections Staff)

The Partnership for Student Success is a model that includes evidence based strategies for effective teamwork. The P4SS provides a platform to encourage family-school-community to work together towards shared interests of the success of students. Learn effective ways to move your district priorities forward by creating effective action plans.

Impact of After School Programs (FIRST) on 21st Century Education and Career Choices (Roseann Stevens, VP, FIRST)

Learn how FIRST LEGO and Robotics competitions (here in NH and around the US) help students discover and develop a passion for science, engineering, technology  and math. Young people who participate learn team-building and presentation skills from experienced mentors, coaches and volunteers — and gain invaluable experience for succeeding in college and careers. Students enrolled in these programs are also eligible to apply for over $12 million in scholarships.

NH High School Extended Learning Opportunities: What Youth are Doing and How They are Engaged (Panel) (Cynthia Billings, PlusTimeNH)

This workshop will explore opportunities for NH high school students to pursue learning outside of the traditional classroom setting (Extended Learning Opportunities or, “ELOs”).  A panel of NH high school students who have been involved in this type of learning will share their experiences.  We’ll hear from students on what they did, why they chose to do it, and how it looked and felt different than a classroom experience.  We’ll also explore the school process for earning academic credit for their work. 

Transforming Communication: How Parents and Teachers (and Students!) can Speak and Listen so that Everyone's Needs are Met (John-Michael Dumais, NH State PIRC)

This session will explore the common pitfalls of communicating and negotiating, especially around student's needs, performance and behavior, and share a framework for seeing beyond often-inflexible positions to discover the underlying needs, values, and aspirations being expressed by the other party. Participants will have the opportunity to practice new communication strategies through discussion and role plays.

Sweet Success! Reading and Language Arts Ideas That Work For All Grade Levels (Karen Gerdts, NH State PIRC, and School Partnership Teams)

What are the ingredients that contribute to successful parent-student language art events? Come to this session to hear “first hand” (from Elementary and Middle School educators and parents) how to engage parents and students in activities that promote creative ways to encourage reading!

2:15PM Concurrent Sessions

Real Life Learning: How School-Business Partnerships are Preparing Students for College and Career Success
(Mary Ann Gaschnig, Bow High School, and panelists)

In this stimulating session, Mary Ann Gaschnig, Bow School to Career Coordinator, will demonstrate the value of educators, the business community, students and parents teaming together to help young people prepare to enter the world of work. School to Career Partnerships link academic classroom content with the community via work-based real-life learning opportunities. A panel comprised of a business leader, educator, and student will participate in the presentation.

Partners are People: Overcoming Barriers to Parents and Educators Working Together (Michelle Lewis, PIC)

This workshop provides an overview of the many ways that parents and educators can be partners in children’s education.  Values, beliefs and assumptions about parent involvement will be explored.  Together, parents and educators will strategize the first steps in the development of comprehensive and effective parent/school/community partnerships.

New Directions for Parent Involvement in Middle and High School: A Research Update (Heather Weiss, Harvard Family Research Project)

When it comes to Parent Involvement in education, both parents and educators tend to have  a clear notion of what is involved and what works for younger children. But the same strategies do not work as children enter middle and high school. This session presents compelling research — relevant across ethnicities and income levels — that charts a new course for how parents and schools can respond to the unique needs of older students

Understanding Bullying: What Every Parent, Teacher and Community Member Should Know (Professor Malcolm Smith, UNH)

Dr. Smith, a nationally recognized presenter and researcher will present clear, practical advice for parents, educators and professionals who serve families on how to deal with the current epidemic of bullying in our communities.

From Facebook to Texting: The Risks and Benefits of Kids' Use of Media (Rona Zlokower, Executive Director, Media Power Youth)

The average child, ages 8-18, uses media 7½ hours a day and with multitasking over 10 hours (not counting texting or talking on phones, according to current research). Join Rona Zlokower, executive director, Media Power Youth, for a media-rich session on how educators, parents, youth service providers and volunteers can empower children and families to lead healthy, safe lives through smart use of media.

Transition Planning in Special Education:  How a Family, School, and a Community Agency Worked Together - Successfully! (Alan Pardy, Director, NH Association of Special Education Administrators)

Planning for life after high school for a youth with a disability can be an overwelming experience.  It takes collaboration from the families, schools and community agencies to make it successful.  Join a family, their special education director and a representative from an area agency as they share how they worked together to creat an innovative and youth-centered plan. 

Ready, Here I Come! Getting Every Child Ready for Kindergarten (Jo-Ann Mulligan, ReadyManchester; Karen Gerdts, NH State PIRC)

This session will explore what parents and educators can do to prepare their children for Kindergarten. Participants will discuss roles, discover strategies, and receive materials that can be used to assist parents in supporting their children.