Courses, Lectures & Workshops

All teachers should have access to training in best educational practices and current research.
Our faculty is trained in the best research and evidence-based approaches to help our LD/ADHD students achieve success, but the reality is that not every student who needs a TSS education can attend. To extend our reach and help as many students as possible, we provide ongoing teacher training and professional development support. Below is a list of our professional development courses, workshops, and collaborative presentations offered in 2019 for both educators and parents. Our fall CoLAB Series will post soon. Thank you for your support and interest.
 

 
 
Welcome to The Southport School's new initiative - The Southport CoLAB. The CoLAB provides the highest quality programs in training professionals, educators, and families using a collaborative, partnership-based approach with like-minded organizations and experts in the field. Our mission is to integrate research, practice, and advocacy to effect positive outcomes for people with learning and attention issues.
 
Led by Southport School teachers and collaborators, we currently offer three specialized training programs: structured literacy, executive functioning, and assistive technology. Parents, teachers, and administrators are invited to learn more about how we can work as a community to impact the nearly 1 in 5 students with learning and attention issues, including the 1 in 10 with dyslexia, in our schools.
 
If you have questions, please contact the CoLAB by email or by phone at 203.254.2044. Click here to register for presentations. Click here for our 2019-2020 CoLAB brochure.
 
Thank you for your interest and we hope to see you on campus soon.
 

Courses | Lectures | Workshops

For Parents: Understand, Identify & Foster Executive Function - Oct. 2  |  Oct. 16 | Oct. 30

Understand, Identify and Foster Executive Function for Parents

Three-Part Series Workshop for Parents 

Features The Southport School & The Southport CoLAB’s Proprietary Executive Function Program 

 

Presenters:

Dr. Tim Heitzman, Developmental Neuropsychologist, Developing Brains LLC

Jeffrey Ruggiero, Director of Education, The Southport School

 

Date/Time:

October 2  | October 16  |  October 30

Wednesdays, 9:00–10:15 AM

Cost: $150

This workshop is closed.


According to new research, Executive Functioning is as good or better than IQ for predicting a child's success at school. However, many parents, teachers and health care providers struggle to understand Executive Functioning, let alone how to identify it and foster its development.  Executive Functioning is much more than just "organization." It also includes behavioral and emotional control, and intentionally regulating cognitive skills associated with tasks such as planning, getting started, sustaining attention, remembering multi-step tasks, and monitoring performance.  No wonder that it predicts school success so well!

This workshop is designed to review a much broader scope of executive functioning, recognizing that it is not one thing but a collection of specific and independent functions that support behavior, emotion, and metacognition.  Dr. Heitzman will first help participants learn to identify the specific functions. Next, he will review how the functions develop over the life of children as they move from preschool to elementary and middle school to high school and college.  Finally, participants will learn the theory and strategies to foster the development of executive functions at home and school.  

For Educators: Understanding EF and Its Relation to Educational Goals - Nov. 7 or April 21

Understanding Executive Function and Its Relation to Educational Goals

One Evening Workshop for Educators

Features The Southport School & The Southport CoLAB’s Proprietary Executive Function Program 

Presenters:

Dr. Tim Heitzman, Developmental Neuropsychologist, Developing Brains LLC

Jeffrey Ruggiero, Director of Education, The Southport School

Date/Time:

Two date options, same presentation:  Thursday, November 7, 2019 or Tuesday, April 21, 2020

5:00–8:00 PM

Cost: $125

Click here to register.


More and more research evidence demonstrates that executive functioning predicts success in literacy and math, and that this association may be even stronger than IQ. This puts pressure on educators to understand executive functioning in more sophisticated ways, and to relate this more specifically to educational goals for students at various developmental levels. This presentation will address both targets. Dr. Heitzman will offer participants a review of executive functioning and specifically relate this to education with respect to broader curriculum goals and individualized programming for children with special needs.      

For Preschool Educators: Explore the Senses in Our Sensory Lab! - Oct. 22

Preschool Educators Professional Development

Explore the senses in our Sensory Lab!

Presenters:  

Melissa Kahn, Sensory Kids

Amy Malley, OTR/L: Clinical Director, Sensory Kids

Date:  Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Time: 9:00-10:15 AM

Cost: $25

This workshop is closed.

Description:

Multi-sensory and pediatric occupational expert and therapist, Melissa Kahn and Amy Malley will lead on interactive workshop to explain the importance of a well-functioning sensory system in children to function in their day-to-day activities and the "occupation" of being a child. Each of the sensory systems play a vital role in a child's ability to express themselves with confidence and ease.

Ms. Kahn and Ms. Malley will review the importance of recognizing behaviors that may be influenced by sensory processing and how we can all provide a sensory supportive environment. Come experience specific strategies that can be immediately implemented and incorporated directly into the classroom environment. 

For Parents: LD-EdTech: How Can Technology Help My Child? – Nov. 12

LD-EdTech: How Can Technology Help My Child?

Presenter:Sharon Plante, Chief Technology Integrator & Faculty Member at The Southport School

Date/Time:Tuesday, November 12  |  9:00-10:15 AM

Cost:$25 -- Click here to register.

Description:

Today’s educational technologies are prime to be incorporated to support the academic needs of students with learning disabilities; moreover, they are in the everyday devices that students are eager to use. How does a parent support their child's use of the range of tools, apps, and websites entering the educational landscape that is ever-changing and daunting to explore, while knowing there is no one-size-fits-all solution for those with learning disabilities? What resources are available for families and how can they access them?

In this workshop, we explore the basics of available accessibility among current devices and programs. Additionally, we will discuss what parents should consider when choosing assistive technology along with other educational tools that can support students in various academic areas. The technologies discussed will cover devices, apps, and websites that represent the options that exist to provide support for all learners. Our goal is to demonstrate the possibilities for LD students to find their own academic success through the use of the technology.

Assistive Technology Webinar for Educators: Engaging Students in Reading Thru Technology - Jan. 22

Assistive Technology 20-Minute Webinars

Engaging Students in Reading Instruction through Educational Technology 

Presenter: Sharon Plante, Chief Technology Integrator and Faculty Member of The Southport School

Date: Wednesday, January 22

Time: 4:00-4:20 PM

Cost: Free - Click here to register.

Description:
The utilization of technology (Interactive screens, iPads, apps, and websites) can make reading instruction (decoding/encoding, fluency, and comprehension) a multi-sensory process that is engaging and explicit while maintaining the individualization and diagnostic-prescriptive aspects of the lesson.  It can support the organizational challenges for necessary lesson materials that can occur when working with multiple students at once, while also allowing for ease of differentiation within a small group format. Additionally, educational technology can provide ways for the teacher to collect work samples and data from multiple students simultaneously and allow for individualized feedback. The session will focus on the use of various tools that can support differentiated and individualized engagement during small group multi-sensory reading instruction.

 

For Educators: TechnolOGy-EdTech to Enhance Structured Literacy Instruction - Nov. 16

TechnolOGy: EdTech to Enhance Structured LiteracyTM Instruction

Presenters:  

  • Sharon Plante, Chief Technology Integrator and Faculty Member of The Southport School
  • Theresa Collins, Fellow and Trainer of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators, IDA Certified Dyslexia Therapist and, Tutorial Department Head and Faculty Member of The Southport School

Date:  Saturday, November 16

Time:  9:00 AM - 4:00 PM (lunch provided)

Cost: $225

Click here to register.

Description:

Structured LiteracyTM approaches have been shown historically to be the most effective for remediating language difficulties. Many of those approaches, such as Orton-Gillingham, have traditionally been used in a 1:1 setting, but the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators has recently embraced a Classroom Educator model, to provide more educators with the tools to deliver effective instruction to a greater number of dyslexic students. The challenge becomes how best to provide that instruction in a small group environment.

The utilization of technology (interactive screens, iPads, apps, and websites) can make Structured Literacy instruction a multi-sensory process that is engaging and explicit while maintaining the individualization and diagnostic- prescriptive aspects of the lesson that are its hallmarks. Technology can support the organizational challenges for necessary lesson materials that can occur when working with multiple students at once, while also allowing for ease of differentiation within a small group format. Additionally, educational technology can provide ways for the teacher to collect work samples and data from multiple students simultaneously and allow for individualized feedback.

An Orton-Gillingham Fellow and the Chief Technology Integrator share how they have collaborated to include technology as an instructive and assistive tool, following the traditional OG approach in the small classroom setting. This session focuses on the use of various tools that can support differentiated and individualized engagement during small group multi-sensory Structured Literacy instruction.

For Preschool Educators: Self-Regulation in Preschool Children - Jan. 29

Self-Regulation in Pre-School Children

Presenter: Dr. Tim Heitzman

Date: January 29, 2020

Time: 9-10:15AM

Cost: $25 -- Click here to register.

Description: 

Some believe that executive functioning does not exist in preschoolers.  However, research suggests that not only do preschoolers come in with a developing foundation of executive functioning, but that preschool activities can offer students opportunities for bursts in that development.  Much of this comes by way of helping preschoolers develop behavioral and emotional self-regulation. Dr. Heitzman will review the early development of self-regulation and its connection to higher level metacognitive skills that will stem from early opportunities in preschool and predict success with later academic demands.  Participants will learn this connection and strategies for supporting it with their young students in the classroom.     

 

Assistive Technology Webinar for Educators: Chutes & Ladders of the Writing Process - Jan. 29

Assistive Technology 20-Minute Webinars

Chutes & Ladders of the Writing Process

Presenter: Sharon Plante, Chief Technology Integrator and Faculty Member of The Southport School

Date: Wednesday, January 29

Time: 4:00-4:20 PM

Cost: Free - Click here to register.

Description:

Guiding students through the writing process is like a game of Chutes and Ladders, with progress and cycling back to craft well-developed pieces. Through the use of educational and assistive technologies, students can be provided the tools to gain support and independence in the process. From brainstorming with mind-mapping tools such as Inspiration to using Speech-to-text and word prediction to formulate sentences then employing grammar checking tools as part of the editing process, there are many options to engage technology to empower students in the writing process. 

 

Assistive Technology Webinar for Educators: Enhancing Notetaking with Educational Technology - Feb 12

Assistive Technology 20-Minute Webinars

Enhancing Notetaking with Educational Technology 

Presenter: Sharon Plante, Chief Technology Integrator and Faculty Member of The Southport School

Date: Wednesday, February 12

Time: 4:00-4:20 PM

Cost: Free - Click here to register.

Description:

From handwriting to typing to sketchnoting, there has been a larger educational discussion related to note-taking in the field. With studies showing that handwriting and drawing have greater benefits for memory, how do we account for our learners with dyslexia and dysgraphia? Participants will be introduced to various educational technology options for note-taking with thought to considerations that need to be taken into account for students with learning differences. 

For Preschool Educators: Addressing Concerns with Parents - April 28

Addressing Concerns with Parents

Presenter: Kristi Kopps

Date: April 28th, 2020

Time: 9:00-10:15 AM

Cost: $25 -- Click here to register.

Description: 

A discussion of how to communicate with parents about your concerns. Academic and behavioral concerns will be addressed as well as ways to evaluate and monitor progress.

 

 

For the Greater Community: "Experience" Learning Differences - April 30

"Experience" Learning Differences

Presenters: Theresa Collins and Jeffery Ruggiero

Date: Thursday, April 30, 2020

Time: 9:00-10:15 AM

Cost: Free - Click here to register.

Description:

Join us for this interactive workshop led by facilitators who are familiar with dyslexia, learning disabilities and ADHD profiles. After a walkthrough of the brain research participants will experience some of the issues that those who have learning differences face on a daily basis. We will end by exploring how brain research can guide teaching practices for students with learning differences. 

For Parents: Self-Regulation and Its Connection to Executive Function – March 31 | April 7

Self-Regulation and Its Connection to Executive Function

Two-Part Series Workshop for Parents

Features The Southport School & The Southport CoLAB’s Proprietary Executive Function Program 

 

Presenters:

Dr. Tim Heitzman, Developmental Neuropsychologist, Developing Brains LLC

Jeffrey Ruggiero, Director of Education, The Southport School

Date/Time:  Tuesdays, March 31  |  April 7 - 6:00–7:30 PM

Cost: $125

Pre-requisite: Must attend the three-part series Executive Functioning overview workshop offered in Fall 2019

Click here to register.


Executive Functioning is a network of specific and independent functions that support behavior, emotion and metacognition, but what relates them into one collection is the ability to regulate. This workshop helps to widen the scope of executive functioning in general to help us understand the children/young adults who struggle with executive functioning deficits. As such, the limited perception of being "disorganized" shifts to a broader perspective that includes patterns of "dysregulated" behavior, emotion and metacognition commonly seen in typical and atypical development across the age span.  

Dr. Heitzman will review the developmental progression of regulation associated with executive functions and the importance of regulating behavior and emotion for controlling metacognition such as planning, organizing, initiating, sustaining attention/working memory, and monitoring skills. From that foundation, participants will learn strategies for teaching children at various ages to develop internal/intentional 

Structured Literacy IV - AOGPE Certified Level II, Sept. 2019 - May 2020 (Tuesdays)

Structured Literacy IV - AOGPE Certified Level II

Date:  September 2019 - May 2020  (Tuesdays)

2019                           
September 10
October 1
October 22
November 12
December 3

2020
January 7
January 28
February 25
March 17
April 7
April 28
May 19
June 16 (snow day)

Time: 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Fee:  $1,595 

Course is closed. Wait list available for next course offering and registration information.

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Instructor: Theresa Collins

Cancellation Policy:  Please scroll to bottom for details


Course Description:

The Certified Level coursework is designed to expand and deepen the trainee's Associate knowledge base and is a 36-hour course. It covers specific topics, such as phonology, morphology, vocabulary, and comprehension in greater depth as well as broadening the trainee's background in other learning differences that are often co-morbid with dyslexia.  At the Certified Level, practitioners practice independently and must possess the background and skills to be able to work with students who have more complicated profiles.  

The Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators requires 100 hours of coursework at the Certified Level.   Twenty-five of those hours can comprise conference attendance hours, and twenty-five hours can include web content or webinars approved by the Principal and/or Supervising Fellow.

The Certified coursework offered by The Southport School is divided into Certified I and Certified II, which do not need to be pursued in sequential order. 

This course does NOT include the practicum, which is required for Academy membership at the Certified Level.  The Practicum can be arranged for an additional fee.                    

The order of topics is approximate.  Some topics will fill more than one session; others will be developed throughout the course.  Videos will be included where appropriate.

Course Goals & Objectives:

Goal 1:  The Certified member is able to explain the underlying principles and describe the specific concepts and procedures that set the Orton-Gillingham Approach apart from others.

Objectives:

1. The Certified member is able to explain that the Approach explicitly teaches the structure of language in its phonological, morphological, semantic, and syntactic

2. The Certified member is able to cite references that support Orton-Gillingham as the instructional Approach of choice for persons with dyslexia.

Goal 2:  The Certified member of the Academy demonstrates the knowledge and skill to provide instruction as an independent Orton-Gillingham practitioner.

Objectives:

1. The Certified member demonstrates orally, in writing, and through practice with students, an understanding of the principles of the Approach.

2. The Certified member understands the nature and needs of the learner.

3. The Certified member is able to teach the structure of the English language.

4. The Certified member is able to interpret diagnostic evaluations, administer relevant academic and diagnostic tests, and design specific therapeutic interventions using the Approach.

5. The Certified member is able to write case histories and progress reports.

6. The Certified member demonstrates competence in case management.

Goal 3:  The Certified member adheres to the Academy’s Code of Ethics and understands the privileges and responsibilities of the Certified member.


Structured Literacy II - AOGPE Associate Part II, Sept. 2019 - May 2020 (Fridays)

Structured Literacy II - AOGPE Associate Part II

Date: September 2019 - May 2020 (Fridays)

2019
October 4
November 1
November 22
December 6

2020
January 10
January 24
February 7
February 28
March 13
May 1
May 8
June 5

Time: 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Fee: $1,595 

Course is closed. Wait list available for next course offering and registration information.

ADD ME TO THE O-G COURSES WAIT LIST

Instructor: Theresa Collins

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Classroom Educator course

Cancellation Policy: Please scroll to bottom for details


Courses Description:

The Associate Level coursework is designed to hone the trainee's ability to provide diagnostic and prescriptive instruction in a one-to-one remedial setting. In addition, it exposes the trainee to more sophisticated levels of language instruction than can be provided in the Classroom Educator course.

The Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE) requires a total of hours of 60 hours of coursework at the Associate Level. Trainees who have already taken Classwork Educator have met the first half of that requirement.  This 36-hour follow-up course will exceed the Academy's requirements for Associate Level coursework.

Associate Part II coursework will include but is not limited to:  morphology; assessment, both formal and informal; vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency; and the writing process. An additional emphasis will be on developing lesson plans and student profiles in preparation for the trainee's application to the AOGPE at the Associate Level.

This course does NOT include the practicum, which is required for Academy membership at the Associate Level.  The practicum can be arranged for an additional fee.

Curriculum: AOGPE Associate Level guidelines       

Note:  The order of topics is approximate.  Some topics will fill more than one session; others will be developed throughout the course.  Videos will be included where appropriate.


Course Goals/Objectives:

The training program at the Associate level leads to the following:

Goal 1

The Associate in training (the trainee) understands the rationale for selecting the Orton-Gillingham Approach for individuals with dyslexia.

Objectives:

  1. The Associate trainee demonstrates an understanding of the stages of normal reading development.
  2. The trainee is able to explain why the principles of the Orton-Gillingham Approach
  3. The trainee is able to explain why Orton-Gillingham is the Approach of choice for the dyslexic learner.

 Goal 2

The Associate trainee has knowledge and skill to provide instruction working under the supervision of a Fellow of the Academy.

Objectives:

  1. The trainee demonstrates general knowledge of the needs and nature of the dyslexic learner.
  2. The trainee has basic knowledge of the English language's
  • History
  • Structure

3. The trainee demonstrates knowledge of the following principles of instruction the essential components of the Approach:

  • Diagnostic and prescriptive
  • Synthetic - analytic
  • Sequential, structured, systematic, and cumulative
  • Multisensory Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Tactile (VAKT)
  • Teaching toward automaticity
  • Teaching for integration and application of principles

4. The trainee’s lesson plans provide evidence of clear goals that match a sequence of Orton-Gillingham concepts.

5. The trainee demonstrates awareness of formal and informal assessment measures.

Goal 3

The Associate trainee adheres to the Academy’s Code of Ethics and understands the privileges and responsibilities of the Associate member.


Cancellation Policy:  

In the event that The Southport School closes for weather or other unexpected events, class will be canceled.  Under those circumstances, the instructor will contact trainees as soon as possible via e-mail or text; Southport’s closings are available on Facebook, Twitter, NBC-30, News-12, and CTWeather.com.  For the most part, Southport follows Fairfield public schools for weather-related closings. 

AOGPE Practicum

The Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE) places great value on the mentorship model, which involves the application of information and teaching skills acquired through the formal coursework.

The practicum includes:

  • ongoing support by the Supervising Fellow;
  • observations of the trainee teaching complete lessons in a variety of settings;
  • written and verbal feedback after the observations;
  • completion of required readings;
  • development of a teaching portfolio; and
  • support for application to the AOGPE for certification.

Participants will also be encouraged to participate in ongoing coursework and professional development through attending additional course offerings at The Southport CoLAB.

  • Teachers who are already working in school environments are welcome to complete their practicums within their home school environments.
  • Teachers working in private practice may complete their practicums in their own teaching sites.
  • Observations may be conducted onsite or remotely, depending on individual circumstances.

The AOGPE has set specific guidelines for the practicums at each level of membership to ensure that the teacher is competent to instruct using the Orton-Gillingham Approach. More information about those requirements can be found on the AOGPE website.

Cost:

$5,500 (includes 10 observations over two years)

$2,750 year one (includes first 5 observations)

$2,750 year two (includes second 5 observations)

Practicum registration is closed. Sign up on the wait list for next offering and to receive more information.

ADD ME TO THE O-G COURSES WAIT LIST

Cancellation Policy:  

In the event that The Southport School closes for weather or other unexpected events, class will be canceled.  Under those circumstances, the instructor will contact trainees as soon as possible via e-mail or text; Southport’s closings are available on Facebook, Twitter, NBC-30, News-12, and CTWeather.com.  For the most part, Southport follows Fairfield public schools for weather-related closings. 

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