Registration for the 2023 Annual Conference, Aug. 2 & 3, will open May 1. Pre-Conference is scheduled for Aug. 1.

SAI Annual Conference
Aug. 2-4, 2022, in Des Moines

Tuesday, August 2

9 a.m. - 3 p.m. - Pre-Conference: Relationships Are the Oxygen of the Nervous System: Applications of the New Research in Applied Educational Neuroscience  - Lori Desautels (@desautels_phd

Join Dr. Lori Desautels to explore how trauma and adversity impact the developing brain and body and show up in the challenging behaviors we sometimes see. Learn about mitigating the effects of trauma in our schools and communities while building resiliency and a secure sense of belonging through a relational approach to discipline. Discover practices that meet our children, youth, and adults in their brain and body state and cultivate their social, emotional, and cognitive well-being. Dr. Desautels will be revisiting the principles she introduced last spring and incorporating new research and strategies.
This pre-conference can be bundled with two other qualifying SAI events for a licensure renewal credit.

Wednesday, August 3 - Hear from Wednesday's presenters! ▶️

8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. - Exhibits, including Techknowledgy Bar learning!

8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. - Bookstore Open 

9 - 10:30 a.m. - First General Session – Greg Bell (@gregbellspeaks) - What's Going Well?: The Question that Changes Everything
Based on his popular new book, What’s Going Well?, Greg Bell takes attendees on a journey to the frontiers of neuroscience and positive psychology and reveals engaging activities that change our physical wiring for the better. Through this entertaining and interactive session, Greg shows how consistently focusing on the good in our lives can positively impact our mindset, success, and overall well-being, and he shares how to start building the habit here and now.

Through this presentation and practicing the What’s Going Well mindset, attendees will:

  • Build a positive work culture and relationships
  • Inspire others
  • Improve productivity
  • Experience better health and well-being
  • Generally have a better perspective

10:45 a.m. - Noon - Thought Leaders 

  • Greg Bell - Water the Bamboo: Unleash your potential

    Watering your goal—or bamboo—with focused attention can lead to astonishing results. Those who catch the spirit and understand the principles of the bamboo farmer will see their well-watered visions suddenly explode into reality—seemingly out of nowhere.

    This session will help everyone focus on the importance of self-responsibility and creating value for those we work and live with. One of Greg’s most popular programs, it goes beyond the workplace to show you how to enrich your personal life as well.

  • Mark Church - Creating a Culture of Thinking:  What is the Story of Learning in Our Classrooms, in Our Schools?

    Every classroom and school communicates to students a story of what learning actually is—what it feels like, what it looks like, and how it works to develop deep and long-lasting understanding. Too often though, within the day-to-day pace of schools, classrooms become settings of “just getting through the work,” and rich opportunities for students to develop powerful thinking dispositions get lost in the busy. It’s rather unfortunate when classrooms become places of work-compliance rather than places where students become better thinkers that will support their learning long into the future.

    The Cultures of Thinking team at Project Zero, a research group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, has long worked alongside teachers and leaders to explore what classrooms and schools could be like if they were places where student thinking is routinely made visible, valued, and actively promoted as part of the day-to-day learning experiences. This interactive session is designed to bring interested educators and school leaders into this reflective space.

  • Rachael George (@DrRachaelGeorge) - PrincipalED: Navigating the Leadership Learning Curve

Principals and district leaders are critical to school success, however, we rarely discuss how challenging this can be and how to do it well. We believe every administrator who is willing to put in the work with grit and grace can achieve incredible outcomes for kids while fostering a vibrant school culture. This session takes school leaders through the application of reflecting on the needs of their community, focusing on best practices, connecting with others to leverage success, and caring so deeply that failure is not an option. 

  • John Krownapple - Belonging Through a Culture of Dignity: The Keys to Successful Equity Implementation

Explore how educational leaders can avoid a predictable cycle of ineffective and dysfunctional equity work by shifting their focus of implementation to the concepts of belonging and dignity. Walk away with a framework for creating the conditions for all students and staff to thrive.

  • Wendy Murawski - UDL for the School Administrator: Legal, Philosophical, and Practical Applications

Where does Universal Design for Learning fit in an inclusive school setting? Come laugh and learn with Dr. Murawski as she shares what you need to engage in UDL legally, why you’ll want to engage philosophically, and how you can engage practically. Strategies for implementing UDL incrementally and helping teachers employ more UDL in their classes for all students will be paired with concrete tips for modeling UDL in your own administrative practices.

MissionMonday is a plan to impact your community and make it a better place one week at a time. Learn how to use intentional interventions to impact the climate, culture, and individual relationships. Sam will help you take the Random out of Random Acts of Kindness. You will leave with a plan to engage stakeholders and empower them with consistent interventions to foster the assets everyone needs to be authentically successful, socially responsible, and emotionally sound.

An overarching goal of SEL is to integrate the SEL competencies into the daily fabric of the school which in turn creates a positive environment where all feel safe, supported, respected and ready to learn (and teach!). 

This interactive session will explore what an integrated and systemic approach looks like in a school environment and within a district. To ensure maximum impact and sustainability of any SEL or school climate improvement efforts within a school/district, it is critical to create a structured approach that promotes coordination, shares knowledge and builds capacity.

Noon - 2 p.m. - Visit the Exhibits! 

1 - 2:55 p.m. - Techknowledgy Bar in the Exhibit Hall

  • 1:00-1:15 - Up Your Gmail Game
    Email is a part of our life and every tip and trick will save time and energy! Join us as we share several of Gmail’s hidden gems that will up your communication game! 

  • 1:20-1:35 - Your Calendar is Your BFF
    Most of us live & breathe by our calendars. Join us for a few tips & tricks for how to be even more efficient with your time & streamline your work!

  • 1:40-1:55 - Computer Science Resources & Updates
    District computer science plans were due July 1, 2022, so as you prepare to implement your plans, come learn about resources and professional learning offered to support implementing your plan. 
  • 2:00-2:15 - Spreadsheet Helpers
    Google Sheets can be your friend! Come pick up some helpful tips and tricks on how to use some basic formulas, and do some formatting that will help you visualize your data. 
  • 2:20-2:35 - Pear Deck Delights
    This engagement tool can be used with educators and students alike and the premium version is provided to all Iowa districts by their AEA. This session will share some ideas on how you can layer Pear Deck on a slide deck to gain feedback and ideas from stakeholders. 
  • 2:40-2:55 - NEW! AEA OneClick & Additional Complimentary Resources, Oh My! 
    The AEAs have so many resources at your disposal! Come learn about how your teachers and students can easily access AEA resources and links with AEA OneClick and your district email and hear about what has been added NEW for this school year!

2 - 3:15 p.m. - Thought Leaders 

  • Mark Church - Creating a Culture of Thinking: What is the Story of Learning in Our Classrooms, in Our Schools? (repeat session)
  • Rachael George (@DrRachaelGeorge) - PrincipalED: Navigating the Leadership Learning Curve (repeat session)
  • John Krownapple - Belonging Through a Culture of Dignity: The Keys to Successful Equity Implementation (repeat session)
  • Wendy Murawski - UDL for the School Administrator: Legal, Philosophical, and Practical Applications (repeat session)
  • Sam Stecher (@samMMstecher) - MissionMonday: Take the Random Out of Random Acts of Kindness (repeat session)
  • Liz Warner and Trish Heindel (@CultureClimate) - Integrated and Systemic Approaches to School Climate Improvement and SEL: How to Ensure Success, Impact and Sustainability (repeat session)

3:30 - 4:30 p.m. Second General Session – Josh Linkner (@joshlinkner) - Rethink. Reboot. Reinvent. An innovative framework to navigate volatile times

Over the past 24 months, the world as we knew it was turned upside down. The COVID pandemic sent shock waves through our economy, supply chain, and workforce, ringing in a new era of accelerated transformation. The successful models of the past have been rendered obsolete, requiring leaders to rethink their strategy in this defining moment.

In this inspiring and actionable keynote experience, five-time tech entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author, venture capitalist, and world-renowned innovation expert Josh Linkner helps leaders respond to volatility with creative confidence. Exploring the core mindsets, habits, and tactics of the most innovative leaders on the planet, Linkner leaves audiences with an elevated capacity for inventive thinking and creative problem-solving through his battle-tested Reinvention Framework:

  • Reset. Pause, take inventory and reassess. Recalibrate vision, goals, regulatory environment, and threats.
  • Release. Let go of existing assumptions and beliefs. Challenge conventional wisdom, defy traditional approaches and reexamine previous models.
  • Reimagine. Spark fresh ideas using proven tools for creative problem solving and inventive thinking.
  • Redefine. Establish new rules of engagement. Retool existing approaches, models, and systems.
  • Realign. Reengage and reconnect key stakeholders to the new reality.
  • Relaunch. Put new models into action intentionally while refining and readjusting in real-time.
  • Reclaim. This deliberate framework will allow your organization and leaders to regain confidence and momentum.

You will leave the session…

  • Reenergized - fueled with inspiration and energy to forge ahead in uncertain times.
  • Reequipped - armed with a proven framework and specific tools to reinvent a new future.
  • Ready - emboldened to meet the challenges of the day and drive sustainable success. 

Thursday, August 4 

8 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. - Bookstore Open 

8:30 - 9:20 a.m. - Promising Practices 

  • Creating a Continuum of Supports for Student Mental Wellness
    In this session, you will be able to understand the steps needed to create a mental wellness continuum of supports by looking at the current services in your district/school. In addition, you will gain tips and tricks to find additional resources for students. Participants will be presented with a step-by-step guide to planning and implementing a support system for students in the fall of 2022.
  • Developing a Cohesive Leadership Team
    North Scott Administrators will share their journey to becoming a more effective and cohesive team. They will share tips, tools, and strategies you can apply with your leadership team and at the district or building level in order to meet the district or building goals and provide the best educational environment for students.
  • Figuring out Future Ready for ALL students
    Learn from Southeast Valley and West Delaware, about how they have developed opportunities for students to “explore, prepare and train for future careers beyond the traditional high school education.” You’ll gain insight into creating registered apprenticeships, establishing pre-apprenticeship programs, measuring career and college readiness skills, and navigating policy structures.
  • New ISSL in Action!
    What does it look like to lead and learn under the new ISSL? Join the Albia team and discover how they unpacked the standards using tools and resources available, crafted IAPDP goals, identified evidence and artifacts, and engaged in self-reflection and coaching as they participated in the evaluation process. 
  • School Transformation through Self Assessment
    Learn how George-Little Rock changed how they do business through an intensive school improvement process. Using the SAMI (Self-Assessment of MTSS Implementation) as our guide, we were able to improve student learning by analyzing the five areas of Differentiated Accountability. In this session, you will hear our story and be given the tools to transform your own school!

8:30 - 9:20 a.m. - Special Interest Sessions

    Whether you're new to IPERS or are nearing retirement, this session provides an overview of the state's largest public retirement system, including the system's financial performance and benefits program. The highlight will also include updates about legislation enacted during the 2022 session.
  • Iowa Department of Education Updates for the 2022-23 School Year
    The purpose of this session is to provide attendees with the latest information on Department priority work and requirements.

9:30 - 10:20 a.m. - Promising Practices 

  • Competency-Based Education: One School's Journey of Implementation
    This session will provide participants with information regarding CBE and how it was adapted into a virtual campus. The presenters will share their journey on how implementing CBE practices allowed for higher levels of independence and flexible thinking for students. Participants will come away with a better understanding of Competency Based Education and will be provided with tools and examples.
  • Leading Multiple Districts: The shared superintendent
    Whether you are one of 58 shared superintendents or are exploring a future shared role, this session is for you! Hear from five current shared superintendents about how to make it all work—from navigating two boards to determining how to allocate your time. Bring your questions!
  • Striving for Equity in Behavior Prevention and Response
    College Community leaders developed a matrix that clearly defines behavior incident types, required and optional responses to behavior incidents, and common language. The presenters will share the impetus for this work which many Iowa districts will find familiar: a rise in mental illness, diverse philosophies regarding behavior among staff and community, and inequitable disciplinary practices.
  • The Innovative Learning Model
    The Innovative Learning Model is an instructional model that synthesizes the best characteristics of district initiatives that can be implemented in any curricular area. It creates an environment where every student can be successful by allowing students opportunities to communicate and collaborate with peers through engaging activities while building executive functioning skills.
  • ​Using TLC to Be Creative in Flattening Leadership in Your District
    Find out how one district is leveraging its TLC dollars to improve alignment to the new leadership standards and increase opportunities for staff while flattening the leadership of the implementation of district initiatives.
  • What Do Students Need in 2022? Placing SEL Center Stage
    Learn ways to create lasting impact based on what students need at the social-emotional level. By moving beyond the data, we offer ways to build systematic levels of support and build a sense of community to meet the needs of all learners.

9:30 - 10:20 a.m. - Special Interest Session

  • Lessons from the Board—Complaints and Ethical Considerations
    A discussion with Board of Educational Examiners Board members, attorney and school attorney about lessons learned regarding complaints and navigating ethical issues with school employees.

10:30 - 11:30 a.m. Closing General Session - Matt Carver - Legal Briefs with the SAI Legal Guy

SAI Legal Services Director Matt Carver will highlight some of the recent court decisions and legislative actions impacting Iowa schools during the coming year, as well as recommend everyday, common-sense approaches to the law and leadership that should serve you well. Count on Matt for both legalities and levity with these updates for 2022-23.