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Potpourri Conference: Breakout Session A

Potpourri Regional Conference 2020The 2020 Potpourri Conference is an online training for parents and childcare, social work, and education professionals. For more information, including how to register, please go to


Breakout Session A – 10:10 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Breakout Session A-1: What Every Parent,Teacher and Para Professional Should Know about Executive Functions

o Executive functions consist of a variety of “higher-order” mental processes and behaviors. They are mental skills that help the brain organize and act on information. Often times as teachers we may notice weaknesses in the executive function areas when a student is identified with a disability. However, executive function weaknesses can be identified in a multitude of learners and have a significant impact on the way your students perform in the classroom. Learn the basics about students’ executive function skills, as well as strategies and interventions in different executive functioning areas for students in K-12.

o Presenter – Mary Beth Kelley MA – Program Developer/Assessment Supervisor · Learning Disabilities Association of MN (Elementary).

Breakout Session A-2: Utilizing Positive Behavior Supports for Learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder

o In this session we will cover a variety of evidenced-based positive behavior supports which can create more inclusive environments and support individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder through various stages of life.

o Presenter – Mike Pucci – Education Specialist – Autism Society of Minnesota (Elementary, Transition)

Breakout Session A-3: Consent, Boundaries, Safety: Teach Them Early, Often and Consistently 

o It’s more than the birds and the bees! In this presentation, Katie will facilitate a conversation on teaching consent, boundaries, and safety to young people with disabilities. Participants will learn about resources, tools and strategies, as well as gain confidence in having conversations with young people about sexual health and healthy relationships. Rest assured, Katie is great at putting audiences at ease.

o Presenter – Katie Thune, MA Ed, Founder of Mad Hatter Wellness  (Preschool, Elementary)

Breakout Session A-4: Birth to Three Yellow Zone

o In this session, attendees will learn about regulation and well-being and how to support children’s development based on The Yellow Zone. The Yellow Zone is a resiliency initiative created by Stearns County Public Health, in collaboration with community professionals, to help schools, businesses, and the community establish environments that support the health and well-being individuals based on positive psychology research. Specific well-being and regulation strategies to use in early childhood settings will be demonstrated.

o Presenter – Anna Clavin, MA, LMFT, IECMH-E® – Ellison Center (Preschool)

Breakout Session A-5: Legislative Update: Policies Impacting Children with Disabilities & How You Can Help

o   Join this session to hear about policies and legislative proposals impacting young children with disabilities. Learn information about a pre-K suspension ban that was recently passed in Minnesota, and about efforts to expand access to inclusive child care. There will be time to share some of your experiences with child care – both successes and barriers – and learn about how you can help advocate on this issue in the future.

  Presenter – Alicia Munson, BS Political Science – Public Policy Director, The Arc Minnesota.

  Presenter – Maren Christenson Hofer – Administrator – Multicultural Autism Action Network (MAAN), Contractor -Minnesota Department of Education Leadership Team for Minnesota’s Comprehensive System of Personal Development for Early Childhood.