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At AASPA's 86  
Annual Conference

October 15-18, 2024   Seattle, WA

2024 Pre-Conference Line Up Is Taking Shape! 

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AM Pre-Conference Workshops: 9 am - 12 pm

With the All Access Registration you may choose 1 AM and 1 PM session. 

1. Systems Change Through Storytelling

Presented by Sara Baker, Executive Director of Workforce Planning, Sarah Semroc, Human Resources Partner, Cathy Kim, Human Resources Partner and Michaela Raikes, Project Manager for Workforce Planning, Highline Public Schools, Burien, WA

Data is often discussed as a starting point for assessing and understanding institutionalized inequity. Data can also be used in ways that perpetuate dominant power structures or operate in service of compliance.  This session will explore the opportunity that exists for HR departments to impact systems change through data practices. Learn how Highline Public Schools is expanding our definition of ‘data’: to collect and curate stories that humanize our system’s data and elevates the experiences of our community. This session will also include workshop time; come ready to engage in dialogue and try on some new ideas in support of reimagining data practices and planning in your context!

2. Investigations and Documentation of Employee Misconduct

Presented by Richard Verstegen, Attorney, Boardman & Clark, LLC, Madison, WI

Allegations of employee misconduct trigger investigation processes. These allegations may come from other employees, students and the public, and they may raise complaints about matters that occur on or off school grounds. Human resources administrators often play an important role in guiding the investigation process and addressing political, procedural and legal issues. This role can be
challenging, especially considering the various policies that may be triggered depending on the type of misconduct involved. Consideration must also be given as to what documentation is created and who has access to this documentation. This presentation will provide details of the investigation process, scenario discussions, and related considerations such as law enforcement involvement, child abuse reporting, records creation and other issues.

3. Addressing the National Teacher Shortage

Presented by Emily Douglas-McNab, Co-Founder & Chief and Dr. Kate Heynoski, Co-Founder & Chief, Experience Management Institute, Delaware, OH

4. Exploring Leadership Dynamics: Strategies for a Thriving Work Environment

Presented by Flor Perry, Position Management Specialist, Atlanta Public Schools, Atlanta, GA

Explore the intricacies of leadership dynamics with me as we delve into strategies for fostering a thriving work environment. This session aims to equip you with next-level leadership-followership strategies to navigate diverse challenges effectively. Through interactive exercises and insightful discussions, you will learn to apply positive leadership behaviors and adapt to various workplace situations. Discover how to promote collaborative communication, pinpoint areas for personal growth, and cultivate trust while empowering your team. Acquire tools and techniques to bring about support and growth in your workplace, promoting a culture of continuous learning and development for both leaders and team members.

5. People Matter: A Playbook for Implementing DEI Practices that Grow Pipelines and Foster Belonging 

Presented by Nathifa Carmichael, Assistant Superintendent, EdGenius Solutions, Atlanta, GA

Diverse teams generate better ideas, enjoy stronger culture, and achieve greater outcomes. As a result, creating positive employee experiences and recognizing the importance of an inclusive culture have become key human resource levers for driving organizational improvement. While many leaders advocate for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), employees often question the actual impact of these policies. Not surprisingly, employee disengagement and attrition remain at all-time highs.  This session includes practical strategies for building more inclusive talent pipelines by setting measurable goals, creating integrated systems, and developing tangible processes that offer a path for growth and opportunity for all employees. Session participants will learn from K-12 system examples and apply actionable steps to build a diverse and equitable organizational culture where all employees thrive.

6. FMLA, ADA and Workers’ Compensation: Untangling the Spider Web, Legal Update and Best Practices in Leave Administration

Presented by Scott Macdonald, Managing Director, Macdonald & Associates, Middletown, CT

The complexity of administering FMLA leaves has been tripping up employers for over 30 years. Adding to the difficulty is the interplay of the FMLA with Americans with Disability Act and State Workers’ Compensation requirements. This session reviews important caselaw involving the FMLA in Part I. Part II provides attendees with useful, practical tips and tools for managing the entire FMLA leave process, including employee requests for leave, how to train administrators and supervisors about their respective roles, addressing return to work issues, how to avoid costly claims of FMLA violations, and much more. Sample policies and other documents will be provided.

PM Pre-Conference Workshops: 1 pm - 4 pm

With the All Access Registration you may choose 1 AM and 1 PM session. 

7.  Navigating Employee Discipline: Legal Considerations in a Complex Landscape

Presented by Sam Chalfant, Partner, Sarah Mack, Partner, and Curtis Leonard, Partner, Pacifica Law Group, Seattle, WA

This presentation will delve into the legal landscape surrounding employee discipline, particularly in contentious times. Presenters will explore the intersection between employee discipline and the First Amendment, federal disability laws and collective bargaining agreements, offering insights into the challenges and strategies for effectively managing disciplinary actions. Core topics will include the implications of employee speech rights and religious liberty, as well as employee protections related to leave and collective bargaining provisions, all of which significantly influence disciplinary considerations in schools throughout the country.

8. Righting the Ship without Rocking the Boat

Presented by Philip Georgia, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Gabe Cappozzo, Director of Human Resources, Lake Forest Schools, Lake Forest, IL

9. Get Your Training On! Required Training Under the New Title IX Rules

Presented by Jackie Gharapour Wernz, Legal Consultant, University of Idaho, Dallas, TX and Holly McIntush, Partner, Thompson & Horton, LLP, Dallas, TX

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits sex-based discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in public schools, has been amended—again. This paradigm shift will impact how schools process cases involving sex discrimination and harassment, including those involving school personnel. The 2024 Title IX rules require that Title IX coordinators, investigators, decision-makers, and informal resolution facilitators receive training on the new rules. They also require more limited training for all employees and, if a school chooses to recognize them, confidential employees. This session will cover all the required training topics under the Title IX rules, allowing you to hit the ground running if your school or district receives a Title IX complaint. You will also learn the information you need to provide others when you return to your district. Attendees will receive an electronic copy of the training materials to be posted on their school or district website as required by the Title IX rules.

10. Thriving Amidst Challenges: Talent Management During a Workforce Shortage

Presented by Dr. Sara Skretta, Sr. Director of Accreditation, Placement & Licensure/Certification Officer, University of Nebraska - Lincoln and Kristen Finley, Supervisor of Elementary Personnel Services, Lincoln Public Schools, Lincoln, NE

Talent management is more crucial than ever as education faces unprecedented workforce shortages. This interactive session will provide participants with how to strategically navigate challenges and optimize talent resources within their district.  Actionable strategies and insights on key topics like strategic talent acquisition, talent development and upskilling, retention strategies, collaborative partnerships, and adaptive leadership will be provided. Join us to expand your talent management skills during a workforce shortage while maintaining educational excellence.

11. Inclusivity & Belonging

12. I’ve Got 99 Problems, But Substitutes Ain’t One!

Presented by Jamie West, Non-Instructional Recruitment Partner, Lake County Schools, Tavares, FL, Andy Moore, Director of Human Resources, Shelby County Schools, Shelbyville, KY and Tina Limner, Director, Employee Systems & School Support, Puyallup School District, Puyallup, WA

Have a substitute problem that needs fixin’? Join our session and we’ll help give you tips and tricks for substitute management success. In this session, you’ll learn how to create a substitute teacher program within your district, manage that program, and give that program longevity with purpose. This session will be interactive and serve both beginners and intermediate substitute program managers. Let’s discuss what steps you can take toward substitute management success and how to remain proactive instead of reactive toward any bumps in the road. We’ll also peel back the layers of various components to a happy substitute teacher pool including but not limited to professional development, pay incentives and structures, and retention programs.  

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