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Kickoff Conference News
Posted on August 9, 2013, by GAPMP
Making the Miles after the Conference Count
Friday Morning Action Planning Session
By Kim Chester and Jane Grillo
A special committee was formed through the leadership council for the 2013 annual Georgia Parent Mentor Partnership Kickoff Conference to develop a way for mentors to transform conference information and resources into action steps that could be implemented as soon as mentors return from the conference.
Bartow County Parent Mentor Kim Chester was joined by Gordon County Special Education Director Ann Cross and Evans County Parent Mentor Amanda Locke. The group developed a process for mentors to utilize a Conference Note Taking Guide that would be used during Friday morning’s session to develop an action plan specifically related to their focus indicator.
“The structure of the Friday breakout session was influenced by the work being done in Collaborative Communities within the GLRS regions. Cross and Chester teamed up to design and plan the session to give parent mentors information they could take back to their district, and truly apply to their plan. In addition to offering information that tied directly to the plans, we also wanted to offer other things that would be helpful to know about, such as Universal Design for Learning, Youth Mental Health First Aid, and IEP information” said Anne Ladd, Georgia Department of Education Family Engagement Specialist. She added, “it was great to see people sitting down in the lobby Thursday evening making notes and getting organized in preparation for the Friday morning sessions.”
On Friday, Sept. 13, mentors gathered in the final hours of the conference to specifically share ideas about the indicator they are working on in their plans. During this session, parent mentors and their directors completed the activity by developing an action plan related to one of the following indicators:
- Parent Satisfaction
“I received good feedback from the transition session that I led,” said Chester. “This year, parent mentors truly left the Kickoff Conference ready to go with an action plan in hand,” she said. One of the challenges, Chester admitted, was capturing everyone’s great ideas in the limited amount of time.
Amanda Locke agreed to compile all of the action steps reported during the sessions. These will be shared on the website when they become available.
So, in the spirit of effective planning and creating best practices, Chester assisted in the development of some vital behaviors:
Parent Mentors will refer back to the Conference Note Taking Guide and Action Plan when updating or revising their FY14 plans.
Parent Mentors will utilize conference materials and resources posted on the Learning Curve and the listserve.
Parent Mentors will connect with each other at Regional Meetings to share how they are using what was learned at the conference and how they are activating their action plans.
Next year’s conference:
Parent Mentors will strategically choose conference sessions that will specifically relate to their focus indicator.
Parent Mentors will specifically note information from the conference that could be utilized in their plan.
Parent Mentors will develop 4-5 action steps related to their focus indicator.
Click on the downloads below for conference presentations and handouts