EA Conference 2015


Westwind School Division #74 Education Assistant Conference 2015

I have closed registration to prepare your schedules – over 196 registrations have been received – we look forward to seeing you Thursday.

You will pick up your schedule at the entrance to the gym upon your arrival on Thursday.

Based on the feedback from last year we are using the same format for the conference – a brief opening session starting at 9AM in the Magrath main Gym for all participants. This year that will include greetings from our Superintendent and the Board.

The Schedule for the day looks like this:

9:00 – 9:35 Greetings and Opening Comments

9:35- 9:40 moving to session one and grabbing a snack.

9:40 – 11:00 Session One

11:00 – 11:45 Lunch

11:45 – 1:00 Session Two

1:00 – 1:10 Snack Break

1:10 – 2:30 Session Three – All Colony EA’s are asked to attend the Colony EA session in this third rotation.

2:30 On your way home. This early wrap up respects the travel time for schools away from Magrath.

Please make your selection for the three sessions – I’d like to suggest that schools EA’s look to try and get people into all sessions so you might share what you learn when you return to your schools.

Our feedback last year has directed us to a bit of a lighter lunch – soup – salad – type lunch.

As your choices are entered they are time stamped – before I print a final schedule for each participant (which will be closer to the conference) you can change your choices – I will work with the most recent course selection to print our your schedule for the day.

Here’s the brief summary of the sessions:

Conrad Boehme and Nathan Smith


One of the most prevalent obstacles for our students in school is anxiety. Come experience an interactive mini-session of Worry Dragons. Participants will receive an overview of what anxiety is and how it can impact student’s thoughts, feelings, and bodies. They will also walk away with tools and strategies to help their students cope better with anxiety at school and at home. They may even learn a trick or two to helping calm their own worries. Come join us in taming a dragon.

Elaine Ross

Literacy Strategies for Struggling Readers

Focus on current reading comprehension strategies and how they can be used with struggling readers in a one to one or small group situation.  The importance of modelling a strategy, choosing highly engaging books and supporting students who struggle with reading beyond “sounding it out”.

Rick Gilson/Lana Caldwell

IPad’s and Assistive Technology

We have dozen’s even hundreds of IPad’s in circulation and likely more on the way, in addition well over 100 applications have been purchased by schools, education assistants, and teachers but what are we using the most, what have we determined is best, what works and what doesn’t work as well as advertised.  Part of this session is to share with others – bring your Ipads from the schools – AND part of the session is to work through the Westwind App evaluation form in order that we can ensure we are helping our students achieve their maximum ability.  When do we get time to test out and share the apps in our day?  This would be that time.

Regan Bikman – SLP

“How to implement speech language goals & activities throughout the day in an inclusive classroom.”

This session is intended for all EA’s working with students working on speech and language development, colony and classroom EA’s as well as SLA’s.

Austin Davenport BSc. Kin, CSEP-Certified Exercise Physiologist ®

Projects Coordinator Lethbridge College – Be Fit for Life Centre

DPA Through Move & Play!  

This session aims to take some of the planning out of implementation of DPA sessions in the classroom. This active session will provide you with games and activities that you can learn today and play tomorrow in your classroom, gym space, or outdoors! Incorporating DPA can be difficult when space is limited. Let Be Fit For Life show you some of our favorite activities and resources that can supplement you DPA sessions.

Jerry First Charger -FSLC

Active Play learning and counseling – Come and explore the Labyrinth.  In this session you will have an opportunity to learn, walk and explore different way to using a labyrinth.  You will find insight, understanding, and fun as you take a journey in this ancient Archetype.  As time permits other activities with rocks and sand will also be a part of this session.

Kent Hollingsworth, MA, CSFT

Managing Challenging Behaviours:   A Brief Introduction to the Collaborative Problem Solving Approach

In this brief, interactive workshop overview, participants will come to understand:

  • How different explanations and interpretations of challenging behaviours lead to dramatically different approaches
  • Why conventional reward and punishment approaches may not be effective, and in fact may make things worse
  • How ADHD impacts behavior and why CPS is a beneficial approach to support individuals with this common diagnosis
  • The necessary steps in implementing the CPS approach

Shannon Pavan – Behavior Specialist

What do we have in the trunk to help in “this” situation

This interactive session will provide participants with a wide variety of anxiety,  behavioral, social and emotional interventions applicable to students of all ages.  These interventions will be demonstrated through verbal, non-verbal and tactile methods.  In addition, participants will be provided with the resources necessary to apply these interventions in their daily work. (registering for this session will allow us to purchase the right amount of samples to take back to your schools)

Deborah F. Pace, PhD, R.Psych Alberta Health Services Consultant

“Youth and Non-Suicidal Self-Injury”.

Self Injurious behavior appears to be on the increase amongst adolescents most often in middle and high school.  Teachers and Education Assistants likely will encounter this behavior at some point in their career and interacting with a student who self harms can be upsetting, frightening and perplexing.  In this session we will focus on how school personnel respond to these students. We will discuss the definition and terminology of “Self-Injurious Behavior” and learn about the different types of presentation on this topic and the reasons adolescents self harm.  We will discuss the common co-morbidities and characteristics, as well as ensuring what risk factors, demographics and assessing risk will help.  Finally, we will explore options on how to seek help for the student and examine some of the treatments available.

Janice West and Terry Heaney – Working with students on the Autism Spectrum.

ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder)  is a part of all of our lives.  If you’ve met one person with Autism, you’ve met one person with autism and as has been said previously the Autism spectrum is long and wide and we’re all on it.  Janice and Terry have recently completed a new course on ASD and working with ASD students and would like to share some of what they learned and some strategies for supporting students in the classroom.

Colony EA’s session – During Session Three Time Only

Shauna Keeler will chair this session for all EA’s working in the colonies. The time will be utilized to attend to issues specifically experienced by colony EA’s.  This should be the last session of the day for all Colony EA’s – part of the time will be used to discuss applying what was learned earlier in the day to the colony setting and part of the time used to discuss matters particularly related to your work on the colonies.




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