BCPDI 2020-2021

Webinars Spring 2021

Your Resource for Professional Development in Burlington County

Workshop Contacts:

Bobbie Downs, Administrator BCPDI - bdowns@burlcoschools.org

Carrie Long, Administrative Assistant BCPDI - clong@burlcoschools.org

609-702-0500 ext. 7419


Workshop Information:

Location: All workshops will be held ONLINE VIA ZOOM. You will receive an email confirmation of your registration and the Zoom Login information will be sent to that same email address as the date of the webinar approaches.

Providing Interventions and/or Modifications to Students Remotely

January 27, 2021 3:00pm-5:00pm


Presenter: Lisa Kiss


Target Audience: Educators K-12


Webinar Description: This webinar will provide educators with the resources needed to feel confident in providing quality interventions to students on-line. To start, educators will learn how to help families set up a workspace for their student. Educators will also learn how to tailor tools, times, methods to maximize engagement for students. Finally, many great resources, and how to get creative with them, will be shared, discussed and practiced. Participants will leave the webinar with the tools they need to successfully modify on-line learning for their students. The presentation will be interactive and allow the participants to share and develop plans for implementation with their students.


About the Presenter: Lisa Kiss is currently working as an Emotional Support teacher for IU13 in Lancaster County, Pa. Her thirty years of experience as a Special Education Director, a Special Education teacher, and a teacher of Gifted and Talented students in preschool through age twenty-one has given her an expansive knowledge of such areas as classroom management, intervention and student engagement strategies to use with students of all ages and intellectual levels.


Along with being a teacher and administrator, Lisa is an author, presenter, and coach. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge about through presenting and coaching. Lisa has published articles in Educational Leadership, co-authored with Susan Winebrenner Teaching Students with Learning Difficulties in Today’s Classroom (2014), and written blogs for Free Spirit Publishing. She also collaborated with Susan Winebrenner on an online PLC guide, Meeting the Needs of Twice Exceptional Students (2016).


She earned her Bachelors of Education degree from Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania and her Special Education Certification from Kutztown University. She attended Penn State University to earn her Master’s in Teaching and Curriculum, and later, her Supervisory Certificate for Special Education.


She has supervised numerous student teachers through Lebanon Valley College. She has presented at several state conferences, multiple times at the Learning Disabilities Association International Conference, California’s Gifted Conference, and multiple times at the conference for the National Association for Gifted and Talented.


Please click here to register.

Best Practices for Gifted & Talented Education

February 2, 2021 3:00-5:00pm


Presenter: Nicole Goldsmith


Target Audience: Teachers, Administrators


Webinar Description: On January 13, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law A4710, the Strengthening Gifted and Talented Education Act. This was the first time Gifted & Talented education has been addressed by the New Jersey Legislature since 2005. This workshop is designed to review the key components of the new law and how this will directly affect curriculum and instruction at the district level. Teachers and staff will look at several different program models, including criteria, assessment and selection for G&T programming. Teachers will learn best practices for G&T instruction, including servicing twice-exceptional students and English Language Learners which can be immediately implemented in their daily practice. This workshop will serve as compliance for the professional development requirement now mandated by the law.


About the Presenter: Nicole has over twenty years of experience in public education in New Jersey. Working as a self contained classroom teacher, Title 1 reading specialist, and currently as a teacher of the Gifted and Talented since 2007. Nicole received her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia. She has extensive leadership experience mentoring novice teachers, providing professional development, and has consulted with various school districts to help facilitate and guide their Gifted & Talented Program development. Nicole is an active member of the Shore Consortium for the Gifted & Talented, an organization dedicated to providing curriculum-driven enriching opportunities to Monmouth County school districts. Nicole is also a member of the New Jersey Association of Gifted Children, as well as a presenter for the Monmouth County Curriculum Consortium.


Please click here to register.

2021: Understanding the Evolving Threat Landscape: Part I

February 5, 2021 9:00am-10:30am


Presenter: Steven Crimando, MA, CTM


Target Audience: All disciplines working in the educational profession.


Webinar Description: The 2021 threat landscape will likely be dominated by the rise of domestic terrorism in the U.S. and the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its cascading effects on all aspects of daily life. This 90-minute program will provide an overview of current trends and threats of concern to communities and school systems, including:

  1. Pandemic Fatigue: The psycho-social consequences of a complex and prolonged public health emergency and strategies for coping.
  2. Recognizing and Responding to the Radicalization of Youth by Domestic Extremists: The types of domestic extremist groups in NJ; Methods of Radicalization; Warning signs of radicalization in youth; Prevention and response of radicalization.


Goal: Enhance safety and security for students, school personnel and facilities.


Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to describe the various types of extremist groups active in New Jersey, their beliefs and basic operating modes;
  2. Participants will be able to identify types and warning signs associated with efforts to radicalize students to extremist views or action;
  3. Participants will be able to explain the concept of "pandemic fatigue", its causes and impact on individuals and organizations.


About the Presenter: Steve Crimando is the principal and founder of Behavioral Science Applications, an operational risk management consultancy located in New York metropolitan area. He is a consultant and educator focused on the human element in crisis intervention, security and emergency management.


Mr. Crimando is a Certified Threat Manager (CTM), Certified Homeland Protection Professional (CHPP) and a Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress (BCETS). With more than 30 years of experience in the field, Mr. Crimando was deployed to the 9/11 and 1993 World Trade Center attacks, as well as New Jersey's anthrax screening center and other acts of international terrorism. He is a published author who is frequently called upon by the media and the courts as an expert in violence prevention and response. He provides training and support to programs with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Justice, law enforcement, intelligence and military agencies, as well as NGO's, such as the United Nations.


Please click here to register.

Self-Care and the Trauma Informed Classroom

February 9, 2021 3:00pm-4:00pm


Presenter: Melissa Sadin, EdD.


Target Audience: All School Staff


Webinar Description: This engaging presentation will provide attendees with an understanding of the importance of self-care in trauma informed education. An introductory explanation of trauma informed education will be provided. Participants will leave with specific strategies for use personally and professionally.


About the Presenter: Dr. Sadin has served as a special education teacher, a gifted education teacher, and a building administrator. Most recently she served as a director of special education. Dr. Sadin has been vice-president of her local School Board and is recognized as a Master School Board Member. Dr. Sadin is a published author and has produced numerous webinars on children with attachment trauma in schools. Currently, Dr. Sadin works as an education consultant and developmental trauma expert providing professional development to school districts, municipal service providers and parents. Her Trauma Guide Series of books are available on her website, www.traumasensitive.com.


Please click here to register.

Introduction to Culturally Responsive Practices: Culture and Race

February 10, 2021 1:30-3:30pm (will not be recorded)


Presenter: Dr. Robin Harden Daniels


Target Audience: All School Staff


Webinar Description: Culturally Responsive Practices (CRPs) is a powerful pedagogy. Through its use, educators gain skills in identifying and disrupting the biases embedded within traditional instructional practices. Through this training, participants will learn the core principles of CRPs and their impact on racialized cultural narratives. The training then shifts from concept to application as participants explore biased-based thinking, its impact on student engagement, and its seven most common classroom expressions. Lastly, the training ends with “next steps” in becoming a culturally responsive practitioner.


About the Presenter: Robin Harden Daniels is a consummate teacher, certified administrator, and a professional developer. Her equity- based workshops feature culturally responsive instruction, strategies for overcoming racial dynamics in schools, and techniques for improving school culture and climate through restorative practices.


Dr. Daniels has worked with districts throughout New Jersey. Her trainings have been overwhelmingly described as “substantive”, “engaging”, and “dynamic.” Dr. Daniels uses her research and unique interpersonal skills to connect with trainees. This connection allows for the open discussion of sensitive issues of race, class, and privilege and how these dynamics impact classroom and school leadership. Dr. Daniels is a lifelong learner who possesses three graduate degrees, one in theology from Harvard University and two in educational leadership from Rowan University and the University of Scranton.


Please click here to register.

Engaging Readers in the Virtual World: Strategies for All Content Areas

February 17, 2021 1:00pm-3:00pm


Presenter: Alexandra Harb, M.S., W.D.P.


Target Audience: K-12 educators (all content areas)


Webinar Description: When students cannot understand content-area reading materials, their academic success is greatly inhibited. In this professional development workshop, teachers will gain knowledge about the importance of comprehension, as well as learn how to implement at least one instructional strategy before, during, and after reading to promote students’ comprehension. K-12 educators of all content areas are invited to attend this professional development event to further their understanding of reading comprehension strategies. Educators should come prepared with a lesson plan related to reading comprehension (for any content area) to be used during the workshop.


About the Presenter: Mrs. Alexandra Harb is a preK-12 Reading Specialist servicing multiple schools in Burlington County, New Jersey. Mrs. Harb is a certified Wilson Dyslexia Practitioner (W.D.P.) and a staunch advocate for children’s literacy success. Through her time spent in general education classrooms, Mrs. Harb realized the importance of reading comprehension across all subject areas and grade levels. As a Reading Specialist, Mrs. Harb hopes to help other teachers bridge the gap between literacy and core content area instruction.


Please click here to register.

Harnessing the Power of Instructional Assistants

February 24, 2021 3:05pm-5:05pm (will not be recorded)


Presenter: Meredith Alvaro


Target Audience: Educators, Grades 2-12


Webinar Description: Designed for all Instructional Assistants (one-on-one aides, shared aides, classroom aides, etc.), this strategy packed workshop will offer techniques, tools, and methods to support diverse learners in the virtual classroom.

Content will include:

• Helping Learners Get Organized: Supplies, Support, and Strategies

• Motivating Students and Promoting Independence and Self Advocacy

• Tools for Time Management and Task Completion

• Types of Virtual Academic Support

• Supporting Students with IEPs in the Virtual Classroom


About the Presenter: For nearly 20 years, Meredith Alvaro has provided both on-site and Virtual Staff Professional Development to PreK-12 districts around the country. She has a deep level of expertise across a wide range of grade levels, subject areas, and environments including inclusion, self-contained, and co-teaching classrooms, and push in/pull out resource. Meredith also specializes in workshops supporting effective and engaging distance learning and virtual instruction across a wide range of platforms and programs including Google Hangouts/Meet, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, and Cisco WebEx. Meredith’s expertise includes distance learning differentiation and virtual conferring and small group instruction across all grade levels and content areas. Meredith's practical workshops, demonstration lessons, and dynamic webinars focus on developing strategies to support the needs of ALL students in powerful ways.


Please click here to register.

How to Adapt or Rewrite Goals to Meet Student Needs During COVID

February 25, 2021 3:00pm-5:00pm


Presenter: Lisa Kiss


Target Audience: Educators, Administrators, all School Staff


Webinar Description: This webinar will provide educators with the resources needed to feel confident in adapting or rewriting quality meaningful and measurable goals for students during COVID.

During this webinar, Educators will:

  • Briefly review how to write meaningful and measurable goals.

  • Explore methods to adapt these goals and objectives so they remain meaningful and measurable.

  • Learn how to rewrite goals and objectives that can be meaningful and measurable in alternate environments during COVID.

Participants will leave with confidence, tools and resources to meet this new challenge due to the COVID pandemic.


To start, educators will explore methods for delivering instruction to meet goals. Educators will also learn how to tailor tools, times, methods to maximize engagement for students. Finally, many great resources, and how to get creative with them, will be shared, discussed and practiced. Participants will leave the webinar with the tools they need to successfully modify on-line learning for their students.


About the Presenter: Lisa Kiss is currently working as an Emotional Support teacher for IU13 in Lancaster County, Pa. Her thirty years of experience as a Special Education Director, a Special Education teacher, and a teacher of Gifted and Talented students in preschool through age twenty-one has given her an expansive knowledge of such areas as classroom management, intervention and student engagement strategies to use with students of all ages and intellectual levels.


Along with being a teacher and administrator, Lisa is an author, presenter, and coach. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge about through presenting and coaching. Lisa has published articles in Educational Leadership, co-authored with Susan Winebrenner Teaching Students with Learning Difficulties in Today’s Classroom (2014), and written blogs for Free Spirit Publishing. She also collaborated with Susan Winebrenner on an online PLC guide, Meeting the Needs of Twice Exceptional Students (2016).


She earned her Bachelors of Education degree from Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania and her Special Education Certification from Kutztown University. She attended Penn State University to earn her Master’s in Teaching and Curriculum, and later, her Supervisory Certificate for Special Education.


She has supervised numerous student teachers through Lebanon Valley College. She has presented at several state conferences, multiple times at the Learning Disabilities Association International Conference, California’s Gifted Conference, and multiple times at the conference for the National Association for Gifted and Talented.


Please click here to register.

Just Talk About It

March 3, 2021 1:00pm-3:00pm


Presenters: Minding Your Mind's Guy Iacono & Scott Pendergast


Target Audience: All School Staff


Webinar Description: This 90-minute program opens with a Minding Your Mind clinician discussing the signs and symptoms of the mental health issues most prevalent in adolescents through young adulthood, and to know the difference from typical teenage behavior. The Young Adult Speaker adds a real-life story that illustrates the information from our clinician, transforming it all into relatable experiences. In addition to being an inclusive introduction to a variety of mental health issues, this presentation can be customized to address a specific need or topic. While every Just Talk About It includes information on these subjects, additional time can be dedicated for an in-depth focus on a particular area:

• Negative Coping
• Self-injury
• Eating Disorders
• Substance Use
• Bullying
• Social Media
• Effects of Childhood Trauma
• Positive Coping/Resilience


About the Presenters:

Guy Iacono is a licensed psychotherapist. After overcoming adversity in his younger years, Guy decided to use his life experience to help others. He attended Saint Joseph’s University where he studied sociology and philosophy and eventually went on to earn a Master’s in social work from Monmouth University. Before joining Minding Your Mind, Guy worked in both an outpatient and partial hospitalization program. Most recently, he served as clinician working with dual diagnoses (mental illness & chemical addiction). His experience ranges from addiction and crisis intervention to mood and personality disorders. In addition to his role with Minding Your Mind, Guy works with individuals and groups in a private practice and coaches a youth baseball team. Contact Guy at guy@mindingyourmind.org.


Scott Prendergast - As a teenager entering high school, Scott knew his life was going to change – everyone goes through changes in high school, right? What he did not expect was that the change would come in the form of depression.

After being cut from his high school basketball team, Scott began to feel worthless and spent his days mentally abusing himself. It was also around this time that Scott developed severe acne that made him extremely self-conscious about his image. Throughout college, Scott struggled to pull himself out of the self-hatred and negativity that filled his mind, but the issues only grew.

Scott was able to turn his world around by incorporating positivity into his life. It was difficult at first, trying to put small points and acts of positivity into every day. Sticking with these efforts, the more Scott implemented different strategies focused on changing his mindset, the more he began to see his life drastically change. Scott learned how to achieve self-security regardless of what life threw his way. By harnessing the power of positive self-talk, Scott realized that thoughts are just as important as actions.

Scott has a passion for helping others; his goal is to help people overcome the everyday mental obstacles that hold them back in life. His story is powerful, relatable, and relevant to students, and will give parents a window into what their children may be thinking and feeling about themselves. Scott works to inspire others to climb out of the darkness and find the light in their lives.


Please click here to register.

Unpacking the New NJ Comprehensive Health & Physical Education Standards

March 10, 2021 1:30pm-3:30pm


Presenter: Judy LoBianco


Target Audience: Health & Physical Education Teachers, K-12


Webinar Description: In this session, participants will be introduced to the key state mandates and standard revisions in order to successfully implement curriculum in K-12 Health and Physical Education to begin no later than September 2022. These changes include progressive objectives around gender identity/LGBTQ+, sex education, the infusion of climate change across all NJDOE subject areas and adjustments in academic language.


About the Presenter: Judy LoBianco taught for 10 years at the high school level as a health and physical education teacher and then became the district’s Supervisor of Health, Physical Education and Nursing from 2004-2017.


As a Supervisor, she secured grant funding, revised curriculum, observed and evaluated health and physical education teachers and directed the district’s nursing program. During her tenure, she trained and facilitated a student and staff conflict resolution program, secured 2 Carol White Physical Education Program grants for a record-breaking total of 2.74 million dollars and provided leadership in the area of infusing technology into health and physical education classrooms. Additionally, she co-chaired the District Wellness Committee alongside the Director of Food Services.


Judy has served in various volunteer leadership roles. She was President of the New Jersey Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (NJAHPERD) in 2008, President of the Eastern District Region of the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE America) in 2013 and was President of SHAPE America in 2018-19.

She has also done several state keynote speeches on Moral Courage across the country and mentored countless future professionals around interviews and resume writing.


Judy is the co-editor of the Human Kinetics textbook: Organization and Administration of Physical Education Programs with Dr. Jayne Greenberg, Dept. of Health and Human Services.


Judy currently teaching as an adjunct professor at two universities in New Jersey, and most recently participated on the New Jersey State Standards Review Team for the NJ Department of Education.


Please click here to register.

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) in Remote Settings

March 11, 2021 3:00pm-5:00pm


Presenter: Dr. Imad Zaheer


Target Audience: Primarily educators but also school mental health professionals and administrators


Webinar Description: Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a positive, strength-based approach to creating nurturing, safe and effective learning environments. It provides a range of strategies to support all students as well as adults through changing the systems of practices in schools. These include practices for promoting strong relationships and prosocial behaviors, preventing challenges from arising, teaching social emotional skills and responding effectively to positive and negative behaviors.


With the recent transition to remote learning, PBIS offers a powerful tool to continue to support students, families and school professionals. However, considerable changes and adjustments need to be made in order to effectively translate PBIS to a remote setting, ensuring successful implementation. This session will briefly provide an overview of PBIS, followed by concrete steps towards converting common PBIS strategies to remote settings, including creating or setting up (1) virtual expectations and rules, (2) effective routines and signals, (3) positive and rewarding learning environment, (4) plan for responding to challenges, and (5) partnering with families for successful learning.


About the Presenter: Dr. Imad Zaheer is an Assistant Professor of School Psychology in the Department of Psychology at St. John’s University. Dr. Zaheer is a pediatric school psychologist and has worked on numerous projects in clinics, hospitals, and public and alternative school settings that involve direct and indirect (consultation) services across individual, group (classrooms) and systems level. His areas of interest are in developing assessments and interventions for children with emotional and behavioral challenges and creating comprehensive school-based prevention programs by integrating school mental health (SMH), social emotional learning (SEL) and school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports (SW-PBIS). For his work in these areas, Dr. Zaheer was awarded the Council for Exceptional Children’s (CEC) Professional Performance Award in 2019. Additionally, Dr. Zaheer sits on the steering committee for the national group, Family School Community Alliance (FSCA), which is an organization dedicated to creating robust collaboration and engagement across schools and families/community settings. Dr. Zaheer is the co-founder of the Nurturing Environments Institute (NEI).


Please click here to register.

Updates to the NJSLS for Visual and Performing Arts

March 16, 2021 3:00pm-5:00pm


Presenter: Seth Herman


Target Audience: School Administrators, VPA Teachers


Webinar Description: In this webinar, Mr. Herman will walk the participants through the most relevant and essential changes to the 2020 New Jersey State Learning Standards for Visual and Performing Arts, which are to be implemented by school districts by September 2021. Mr. Herman will review the new structure of the standards and offer practical interdisciplinary suggestions on how to implement them in every grade band. Depending on the amount of time left after answering questions, Mr. Herman may also lead an activity in which district faculty will review strategies regarding how they can adapt their current curriculum to incorporate the new standards.


About the Presenter: Mr. Herman is the Supervisor of World Language, Fine & Performing Arts, Health & Physical Education, and ESL in a NJ High School. He holds an MA in Educational Leadership from Fairleigh Dickinson University, an MA in International Education from Framingham State University, and a BA in Spanish from Davidson College. Before becoming a supervisor, Mr. Herman was a high school teacher for ten years. Previously, he was an elementary coordinator and teacher at the American International School of Bolivia. Mr. Herman has presented in Bolivia and the United States.


Please click here to register.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) 101

March 24, 2021 1:00pm-3:00pm


Presenter: Adell Valasek


Target Audience: Teachers, Paraprofessionals, Administrators, Case Managers, Related Service Therapist, Parents


Webinar Description: The purpose of this workshop will be to go over basic principles of Applied Behavior Analysis and how to use them to assist students with socially significant behavioral changes. We will focus on core vocabulary and definitions of reinforcement and functions of behaviors. This vital knowledge assists us with developing treatment plans for students. Lastly, we will review strategies to address functions of behaviors.


About the Presenter: Adell Valasek started her career path and passion for teaching individuals with developmental delays in college at Shippensburg University. She completed her Masters in Administration with honors in 1999 and continued to pursue her special education teaching certification at Widener University while working at Devereux CARES. Ms. Valasek graduated with honors from Widener University and was inducted into the international honor society chapter of Kappa Delta Pi. Upon graduation, she began teaching in a self contained class at North Hanover School District. During this time, Adell continued to develop her passion by completing coursework in Applied Behavior Analysis at Penn State University. She received her Board Certification as a Behavior Analyst in December of 2005. Her journey continued as an Autism Consultant at the Educational Services Unit. Subsequently, she went back to school at Rutger’s University where she obtained her Supervisor of Education certification. Recently, she has completed her principal coursework from the University of Scranton in 2015.


Ms. Valasek is now working as the Supervisor of Education at Burlington County Special Services School District. She has provided trainings through the Burlington County Professional Develop Institute on teaching students with autism and behavior interventions. Adell provides consultation and training services to services to the International School of Brussels and their families. She continues to provide support and services in the community by working directly with students and families in the home setting.


Please click here to register.

Understanding Executive Functioning

April 20, 2021 1:00pm-3:00pm


Presenter: Michele Holmes, MSE


Target Audience: Teachers, Paraprofessionals, Counselors, Learning Consultants, Psychologists, Social Workers, Case Managers


Webinar Description: Executive functioning is a set of mental processes that help manage oneself and one’s resources in order to achieve a goal or execute a task. These skills allow an individual to organize behavior over time and override immediate demands in favor of long-term goals. Students who have executive functioning deficits, have trouble with many aspects of school (e.g., attention, short/long term memory, planning, prioritizing, organization, time management, etc.). This webinar will introduce the areas within the realm of executive functioning, examine the importance of executive skills for teachers and students, discuss how weak executive skills impact student performance, and offer quick tips and strategies for teachers to assist students in the classroom (in person and remotely) as they learn, develop, and maintain a roadmap for success with greater independence.


About the Presenter: Michele Holmes, MSE, is a special education teacher and, for over 18 years (14 years with the Educational Services Unit), has worked with students ages preschool through high school within Burlington and surrounding counties. She specializes in working with students and teachers as an Executive Functioning and Instructional Coach to develop executive skills and success in the classroom setting. Michele is a supplemental and compensatory education teacher within the Educational Services Unit as well as the Lead Assistive Technology Consultant conducting student specific evaluations and consultation for students, teachers, and parents. Michele was named the Educational Services Unit Teacher of the Year in 2019.


Please click here to register.

Terms and Conditions


  1. The Burlington County Professional Development Institute (BCPDI) is comprised of districts in Burlington County who pay an annual membership fee. All employees of participating districts are permitted to attend any and all workshops free of charge for the school year in which a membership fee has been paid.
  2. Employees of non-membership districts are able to register for any and all BCPDI webinar for $25 per webinar. At least one week before the webinar, you will receive an email from clong@burlcoschools.org asking if you would like your district invoiced or you will be paying personally.
  3. Registrants are required to secure permission to attend a BCPDI workshop according to the “Request for Professional Development Leave” policies established in their districts. The BCPDI is not responsible for securing professional leave for any workshop participant.
  4. A Professional Development Certificate indicating the date and title of the workshop, the name of the presenter, and the number of professional development hours awarded will be provided at the conclusion of the workshop. No PD certificates will be issued prior to the conclusion of the webinar.
  5. In the event of inclement weather or other conditions that result in the cancellation of a scheduled workshop, information will be posted on the Burlington County Special Services School District website. (www.bcsssd.k12.nj.us) An email will also be sent to all registrants. Every effort will be made to reschedule any cancelled workshop.

About Us

As a service provider, the Educational Services Unit seeks to support educational excellence by providing high-quality services to school communities by utilizing best practices delivered by professional staff.