Communication as Universal Design: Improving Behavioral Systems in Schools
Create a campus where students thrive! We provide practical and immediately applicable strategies to reinvigorate and improve systems, allowing educators to navigate behavioral conversations with both increased confidence and effectiveness. Together, we will do a deep dive into the danger of power struggles, and provide you with practical tools for how to avoid them without losing your cool. This presentation is fast-paced, fun, and full of engaging content, model demonstrations, and active participation to immediately apply the skills being taught. We cover the foundations of Connected Relationships for Learning and go into detail about how this behavioral approach overlays and improves your current discipline system. Educators will leave with sentence stems, templates, and easy-to-implement strategies to transform student behavior and school culture through the art of connecting through conversation.
Erika has been a proud educator for over twenty years, serving in a variety of roles. She currently serves the Assistant Superintendent for the Ashland School District in beautiful Southern Oregon. She grew up in Portland, OR, graduating from the University of Oregon with a Master’s in Education in 2001. She dove head first into her career as a special education teacher at the middle school level, thriving as both a resource teacher and then self-contained teacher. In this work, she endeavored to provide each student with the individualized supports needed to reach their limitless potential. This continued to inspire her when her family relocated to Southern Oregon, and she became a special education teacher on special assignment serving K-12 students. She earned her administrative credential in 2012 at Southern Oregon University, and transitioned to an administrative role at award winning Ashland High School as assistant principal and then principal. She had the great privilege of teaching and learning alongside a tremendous group of educators for seven joy-filled years. Following a desire to work with our youngest students, she moved to the elementary level as principal in a neighboring district, before being called to have a broader impact at the district office level, overseeing special education, counseling and behavioral health, social emotional learning, and elementary programs. Supporting all students through individualized supports continues to fuel her today, serving as both her why and her passion. Erika has developed and led workshops and professional development activities addressing a multitude of topics in education, communication, and leadership. These include School Improvement Science; Universal Design for Learning; Special Education; Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; Orientation and Training for Administrators; Leadership; Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment; Family Outreach and Engagement, and of course- how to connect through conversation in schools. Erika lives in Southern Oregon with her extremely supportive husband, two remarkable high school aged children, and a very mischievous cat. She feels especially fortunate to live in the community she serves.
Tiffany Burns lives in the Siskiyou Mountains outside Ashland, Oregon with her college sweetheart husband and their two fabulous children. Her house is a hub of activity - always full of kids, friends, family, and pets. Tiffany appreciates that working with kids is an art and a science and earned both a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Master of Science in Education, along with endorsements in administration and teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at Southern Oregon University. In her two decades in education, she taught elementary, middle, high school, and university students in public, private, bilingual, and homeschool settings in Oregon, Alaska, and Mexico. She has served as an instructional and extracurricular coach, curriculum writer and consultant, and creator and facilitator of workshops and professional development in education, equity, leadership, and communication. Tiffany has been a school administrator since 2012. She is currently the principal of a wonderful elementary school - which she finds to be simultaneously the most rewarding and bizarre job she’s held to date.