Trauma Informed Conference

Thursday, April 4, 2019 | 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
DeWitt Learning Commons, Northwestern College

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Cost: $65 | lunch included 
Optional additional credit: 1 License Renewal credit $50 | 1 Graduate credit $150    

2nd Annual NWC Trauma Informed Conference for Schools
The one-day conference offers training for PreK-12 school counselors, administrators, teachers, social workers and educational support staff. Gain a better understanding of the impact of traumatic events and behavior outcomes in students, and learn the most current strategies and tools needed to create a trauma-informed learning environment. The day will also feature a viewing and discussion of The Kids We Lose documentary, a film about the human side of children and students with behavioral challenges, and the struggles faced by parents, educators, staff and other professionals in trying to ensure these kids receive the correct help they need. 

Trauma can impact a student's learning, behavior and relationships at school and beyond. By understanding the impact and signs of trauma, classrooms can create safe and supportive learning environments for all students.    

Registration is currently full.  
Please contact online@nwciowa.edu or 712-707-7388 with any questions or to inquire about the waiting list. 


Schedule, Speakers and Topics

8:00 - 8:30 a.m. Check-in
8:30 a.m.

Welcome, Laura Heitritter, NWC Education Department 

Be Nice! Creating a Trauma Informed and Responsive School 
Jeff Herzberg, Chief Administrator, Prairie Lakes AEA and Superintendent, Gilmore City-Bradgate CSD

Our students deserve schools in which we are informed, and responsive, to their needs, which are being impacted daily by trauma.  We will kick off the 2019 conference by setting the stage by Always Being Kind, Building Relationships, and Knowing our Why.  Jeff Herzberg, Chief Administrator at Prairie Lakes AEA and Superintendent at Gilmore City-Bradgate CSD, and more importantly, a 1988 graduate of Northwestern College, will bring humor, personal stories and research to the stage to help us think about this important topic.

9:20 a.m. 

Beyond Understanding: Transforming Yourself, Your Students, Your School, and the World
Darcie Van Voorst, In-Home Counselor, Trainer, Consultant  

When it comes to trauma informed care, understanding is vital, but we need to move beyond understanding to making sustainable changes.  Darcie Van Voorst will guides us not only in understanding, but ultimately to making these changes.  Join us as Darcie inspires you be transformed as an educator.

10:30 a.m.  Break
10:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Exhibits available: 
Sanford Harmony
Kaden's Kloset
AEA Suicide Prevention
Family Crisis Centers: Victim Call Center
Season's Center
NWC EDU314 Course - Sensory Toolkits 
10:45 a.m.

Breakout sessions: 

A Relationship Approach to Preventing School Violence 
John Eyerly, Superintendent, George Little Rock Schools

Research indicates that students who are engaged in school are more successful than students who are not involved/engaged. Students who have committed violent acts in schools have often been the victims of bullying and are not actively engaged in the school community. This presentation will provide attendees with a process that can help school officials by assessing the level of connection that students have with the school and take proactive steps to engage students who have been identified as not connected in school.

Sensory, Play and Language: Natural Development Techniques for All Children
Andrea Boerigter, The Speech Mom

When we stop communicating naturally with children, we don’t just get unnatural communication, we get silence.  Research indicates play is the fastest and most effective way to create new synapses into the child’s brain.  When we teach through play, we are not only effective, but we are also fun!  Join Andrea Boerigter, Speech and Language Pathologist, for a journey through the appropriate ways to stimulate a child’s speech and language development through natural daily tasks as well as play.


Vicarious Trauma & Compassion Fatigue: "I thought about quitting today"
Dr. Valerie Stokes, LISW, Associate Professor of Social Work, Northwestern College

Do you ever feel like you just can’t give any more than you have been giving? You look around your classroom and notice how many kids have experienced trauma in their little lifetime. You want to help, but you feel like burnt toast. There is a correlation among compassion fatigue, job performance, and teacher attrition. Come learn what is vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue. We will take an inventory to see how you rate on symptoms. We will explore practical applications for self-care and real-tool apps to take action.

11:45 a.m.

Catered lunch provided

12:45 p.m. 
Breakout sessions: 

Capturing Kids' Hearts: Building Relationships in the High School
Emma Heitritter, Johnston High School Teacher and Implementation leader for Capturing Kids’ Hearts

Johnston School implemented “Capturing Kids’ Hearts” during the 2017-18 school year in response to a difficult time period where several students were lost due to suicide. The program goals are to build relationships, build high performing faculty teams, and to build safe classrooms. This session will give you an overview of the program and how the program roll-out is working at Johnston. Come for an overview and some practical ideas of how you might capture kids’ hearts at your school.


Strategies for Trauma-Informed Care in an Early Childhood Classroom
Brittany Busch, Preschool Special Education Coach, sioux City Preschool Initiative, Gigi's Playhouse
Angela Conway, Preschool Instructional Coach, Sioux City Preschool Initiative  

Bringing research and practice together, Angela and Brittany will share evidence-based practices that teachers can use in their classrooms to support the success of all students.

Picky Eaters and Problem Feeders: Cracking the Code to Mealtime Madness
Andrea Boerigter, The Speech Mom

Meal time madness?  No more!  Crack the code of what brings so much stress and anxiety to your child at meal time.  Is a child a picky eater, or is there something deeper causing the issue that pushes them into the problem feeder category?  Discuss what causes children to react to meals while exploring strategies to bring peace to meal time with Andrea Boerigter, SLP and feeding specialist.

1:50 p.m. The Kids We Lose documentary by Ross Green
3:20 p.m. Break
3:30 p.m. Panel of Experts   
Darcie Van Voorst
Marty Wallace
Tonya Moore-Huss
4:15 p.m. Closing
Sara Waring-Tiedeman, Director NWC Master of Education
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