2014 New Orleans
Conference Wrap Up

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Dr. Debrah Hall accepting the 2014 NAPSEC

Leadership and Innovation in Special Education Award



The Monarch School

Houston, Texas


The Monarch School is dedicated to providing an innovative, therapeutic education for individuals with neurological differences-such as those associated with autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder, learning disabilities, Tourette Syndrome, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, traumatic brain injury and seizure disorders.


We believe that learning must be learner-centered and intrinsically motivated. This is consistent with the psychological research and the framework for school design and reform in the American Psychological Association’s 14 Learner-Centered Principles. We have designed our program so that it focuses on the critical cognitive, motivational and affective factors that research suggests determine success in school and life.


We also believe that growth takes place within a developmental context. That’s why we’re committed to helping students progress in Four Core Goal areas: Self-regulation and self-awareness; Executive functions; Relationship development; Academic and professional competence.


Our developmental Levels System includes four unique stages: Novice, Apprentice, Challenger and Voyager. For each level, students work on individual objectives within the Four Core Goal areas. As objectives are mastered, new ones are chosen. Roles for teachers, questions for students, parent training priorities, social grouping and curriculum selections all vary according to the student’s individual objectives.


With an exceptionally low faculty-student ratio of 1:2.5, Monarch studies each student’s style of learning and executive functioning - as well as their unique approach to organizing relational, personal and cognitive tasks and functions. Our faculty develops a neurodevelopmental profile that highlights the strengths and challenges of each student and informs the treatment plan. We then identify targets within our levels-based system that inform learners, families and professional educators about developmentally pivotal skills and strategies that will promote growth.


Our students’ neurological differences have marginalized them in typical educational settings, depriving them of the many practices necessary to regulate themselves in response to a challenging world. It is our responsibility to provide each student with a teacher or coach who facilitates these practices, guiding, counseling and mentoring the student.


At Monarch, integrated multidisciplinary teams of psychologists, social workers, counselors and therapists work with professional educators to develop relationship-based behavioral and cognitive plans, as well as design tracking and reflection systems that support the students’ work through our Levels System. Learners are given thousands of opportunities to practice skills and strategies in our Four Core Goal areas and are encouraged to develop ownership and awareness of their progress. In addition, self-monitoring strategies and intentional goal setting are taught, trained and coached at every level.




NCASES Accreditation Recognition


The Horizons School, Birmingham, AL


Dr. Tom McCool, NAPSEC President,

Dr. Jade Carter, The Horizons School,

Sherry L. Kolbe, NAPSEC Executive Director/CEO


The Phoenix Center, Nutley, NJ

(L to R)

Dr. Tom McCool, NAPSEC President,

Julie Mower & Dr. Geri Gibbia, The Phoenix Center and

Sherry L. Kolbe, NAPSEC Executive Director/CEO


Other 2013 NCASES Accredited Programs:

The Board of Child Care - Strawbridge School, Baltimore, MD

Seven Hills Academy, Worcester, MA



You can find conference information including session handouts

and attendee listing on the Conference APP

2014 Conference APP Link


Conference Presenters Contact Information

Monday, January 20th

General Session

Dealing with People Who Drive You Crazy

Dr. Joel Freeman

The Freeman Institute

Box 305, Gambrills, MD 21054

greatworkshops@gmail.com   Email

www.FreemanInstitute.com    Web Site


Concurrent Sessions


The Opportunities and Pitfalls of Leadership Succession Planning

John Littleford

Littleford & Associates, LLC

PO Box 14806

Baton Rouge, LA 70898

JLittlefor@aol.com     Email

www.JLittleford.com   Web Site


Integrating Big Data Into Private Special Education

Dr. Rich Collins

Joe Viscomi

Brehm Preparatory School

1245 East Grand Avenue

Carbondale, IL 62901

richard.collins@brehm.org    Email

Joseph.viscomi@brehm.org   Email

www.brehm.org    Web Site


Straight Talk About Restraint & Seclusion

Tom Dempsey

South Campus

909 E. Wilmette Road, Suite F

Palatine, IL 60074

tdempsey@southcampus.net   Email

www.southcampus.net   Web Site


Aaron Parsons

Kennedy Krieger School Programs

3825 Greenspring Avenue

Baltimore, MD 21211

parsons@kennedykrieger.org   Email

www.kennedykrieger.org   Web Site


Susan Szekely

Illinois Center for Autism

548 S. Ruby Lane

Fairview Heights, IL 62208

sszekely@illinoiscenterforautism.org    Email

www.illinoiscenterforautims.org   Web Site


Dr. Jessica Woods


2600 Wayland Road

Berwyn, PA 19312

jessicawoods@melmark.org    Email

www.melmark.org   Web Site


Tuesday, January 21st


General Session

Strategic Versus Operational Governance

John Littleford

Littleford & Associates, LLC

PO Box 14806

Baton Rouge, LA 70898

JLittlefor@aol.com     Email

www.JLittleford.com   Web Site


Using Goal Attainment Scaling at the Student, Teacher and Program Levels

Dr. Ann Cox

Scientist and Project Director

National Professional Development Center in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute

University of North Carolina

CB #8040

Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040

ann.cox@unc.edu   Email

http://autismpdc.fpg.unc.edu   Web Site


Bullying: We Know What It Is, But What Do We Do Abou6t It?

Dr. Gregory A. Hudhnall

Executive Director


greg4hope@gmail.com   Email

www.hope4utah.com   Web Site


School Nutrition Programs

Shannon Jones, Branch Chief

School Nutrition Programs

USDA, Food & Nutrition Service

Southwest Regional Office

Shannon.Jones@fns.usda.gov  Email


Wednesday, January 22


General Session

Preparation of the Next Generation of Learners: Innovations and Practical Application

of Current and Emerging Technology

Dr. Lisa Dieker

Pegasus Professor

Lockheed Martin Eminent Scholar Chair

Ph.D. in Exceptional Education Program Director

University of Central Florida

Lisa.Dieker@ucf.edu   Email


Relevant Web Sites

Lockheed Martin Academy - https://education.ucf.edu/lmacad/

TeachLive - http://sreal.ucf.edu/teachlive/

Ph.D. Exceptional Educators - http://education.ucf.edu/phd/


Concurrent Sessions


Adult Transition At ACCEL

Connie Laird, Executive Director

Dr. Mindy Malik, Vice President

Kathryn Kolysko, Director of Adult Program


10251 N. 35th Avenue

Phoenix, AZ 85051

claird@accel.org   Email

mmalik@accel.org    Email

kkolysko@accel.org   Email

www.accel.org   Web Site


Adult Transition to Adult Living - ScenicView Academy

Robert Johns, Employment Specialist

Jack White, Employment Unit Manager

SenicView Academy

5455 North River Run Drive

Provo, UT 84604

rjohns@svacademy.org   Email

jwhite@svacademy.org    Email

www.scenicviewcenter.org   Web Site



Plan to join us next year!


2015 NAPSEC Annual Leadership Conference

January 18 - 21, 2015

The Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans, LA


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