Vision Coalition of Delaware’s 10th Annual Conference


October 30, 2017


8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Vision Coalition of Delaware’s 10th Annual Conference, Strengthening Partnerships in Health and Education: Delaware and the Nation, will launch the University of Delaware’s Partnership for Healthy Communities and bring together community members, educators, and policymakers to explore the intersection of education and health.

Special guest former Vice President Joseph R. Biden will provide the keynote speech. Other speakers include: Delaware Secretary of Health and Social Services Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Delaware Secretary of Education and Vision Coalition Leadership Team member Dr. Susan Bunting, University of Delaware President Dennis Assanis, University of Delaware Provost Domenico Grasso, and Chair of the Vision Coalition and President of Delmarva Power Gary Stockbridge, among others.

This year’s conference will cost $30 to attend. This fee includes access to the morning session, luncheon, and afternoon session.

AGENDA (Subject to Change):

Time Program
7:45am Registration, Breakfast & Networking
8:15am Student Presentation
8:30am Conference Welcome: National Overview
10:00am Break
10:15am Delaware Focus & Panel Session
11:30am Healthy Break – Poster Walk
12:00pm Luncheon (Sponsored by the Delaware Health Sciences Alliance)
1:45pm Workshop on Social and Emotional Learning & Idea Exchanges (See more information below)
3:30pm Forum: Planning for the Partnership for Health Communities
4:30pm Conference Wrap-up


Kaamilah Diabate _ Headshot

Kaamilah Diabaté is a senior at Howard High School of Technology. She earned first place recognition at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Communication Contest and the 19th Annual NAACP Essay Oratory Contest. She also spoke at the 2016 TEDxWilmington Annual Conference.

Throughout her high school career, she has maintained a 4.0 GPA while serving as the captain of Howard’s varsity basketball team and pursuing many other endeavors both in and out of school. In 2017, Diabaté competed in SkillsUSA National Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

Check out the video below to learn more about the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Communication Contest:


During this year’s conference, we will hold Idea Exchanges. These small group, informal conversations will bring up to ten participants together to explore a topic of their choice in health and education. Many of the Idea Exchanges draw connections between these two “siloes” and will bring to life the recommendations of Student Success 2025.

Idea Exchanges provide participants a chance to share and learn collaboratively from others, receive answers to their questions, find ways to get involved, connect work underway and identify opportunities to make progress.

Building Effective Family-School Partnerships
How can we develop the capacity of all adults to work together and help struggling students to achieve? This Idea Exchange will share lessons learned from brain science, growth mindset, and special education transition planning to explore the power of schools and families partnering together to set high expectations. Participants will discuss how adults can work together to teach ALL students to develop self-efficacy and self-determined approaches to learning.

Facilitated by Amy Pleet-Odle, Ed.D., Inclusion Focused Coaching

Civic Engagment/Social Capital

How do we advance civic engagement to bring forth healthier outcomes especially in the most vulnerable communities? This Idea Exchange will draw upon key issues such as social cohesion, civic participation, and advancing the social capital of communities most vulnerable to social determinants. These factors, as well as community context, reflect the connection between aspects of a person’s social environment (social support, family circumstances, and community engagement) and their health and well-being.

Facilitated by Peggy Geisler, Consultant – PMG Consulting

Community Solutions to Improve Literacy
How can we collectively support all students to develop literacy skills? Reading by 3rd grade is critical for success in school and life, and we know literacy skills are built from birth and are impacted by summer experiences, school attendance, and out of school support. This Idea Exchange will explore community-based strategies to support children and their families to build a strong foundation for success.

Facilitated by Diane Frentzel, Program Manager, Delaware Readiness Teams

Connecting, Creating, Enhancing Economic Opportunity
How do we create an environment that advances economic opportunity in spite of inequality? Understanding inequality of opportunity has never been more urgent. This Idea Exchange will explore the steps to create economic opportunity for those who have been impacted by the social determinants; including factors like socioeconomic status, education, the physical environment, and social support networks.

Facilitated by Ty Jones, United Way of Delaware

Coordinating a Multi-Tiered Support System for the Whole Child
How can we build consensus to coordinate and integrate individualized supports for students? This Idea Exchange will discuss supports inside and outside the school building, asset mapping, data and evaluation, community partnerships, and creating change at a building and/or district-level.

Facilitated by Megan Pell, Ph.D., Project Coach, Delaware Positive Behavior Support, University of Delaware Center for Disabilities Studies

Crossing Organizational Boundaries to Strengthen Education
How can we cross organizational boundaries to work together? In this idea exchange, UD’s Partnership for Public Education will host an open conversation for those representing the many organizations that support P-12 education to talk about challenges and strategies for cross organization collaboration, to share known or upcoming opportunities, and to identify commonalities in current work to develop a stronger statewide network in support of public education.

Facilitated by: Liz Farley-Ripple, Director, UD Partnership for Public Education

Developing the Future of College and Career Advising
How can we expand equity and access to college and career support services for all students? This Idea Exchange will discuss the current landscape of college and career programming available statewide. Participants will discuss how to involve and coordinate a broad variety of stakeholders including community organizations, families, businesses, and all educators – not just counselors, to build a culture of college and career readiness.

Facilitated by Jenna Ahner, Senior Program Officer, Rodel Foundation of Delaware
Shawn Snyder , Principal, Milford High School, Milford School District

Facilitating Diverse Communities
How do we facilitate environments that embrace our diversity and ability to interact effectively with people from a variety of cultures and backgrounds? This Idea Exchange will discuss how to build the capacity to value diversity, conduct self-assessments, leverage the dynamics of difference, and acquire and institutionalize cultural knowledge in an effort to adapt to diversity and the cultural contexts of our communities. Participants will explore the awareness of one’s own cultural worldview, knowledge of other cultural practices and worldviews, tolerant attitudes towards cultural differences, and cross-cultural skills.

Facilitated by Carol Henderson, Vice Provost for Diversity, University of Delaware

Food Security and Nutrition
What are the best practices and efforts to understand and improve healthy food access? This Idea Exchange will discuss the latest efforts in the US and abroad to understand and influence access to healthy food and food security. From community gardens to global food policy, a variety of efforts are underway to support healthy choices for moderate and low-income residents.  Discussion topics will include food policy approaches, practices at the community level and metrics to track progress.

Facilitated by Allison Karpyn, Director, Center for Research and Education and Social Policy, University of Delaware

Fostering Student Ownership
How can we promote positive peer relations that develop social skills and protective factors for students? This Idea Exchange will draw upon an example of a peer mediation program, a preventative student-centered discipline policy that fosters student relationships, collaboration, and empowerment. Participants will discuss other strategies for student voice and ownership over individual learning and education.

Facilitated by Kevin Lair, Eighth Grade U.S. History Teacher, Friere Charter School Wilmington

Housing as a Determinant of Health
Do our homes determine our health? Access to safe, quality, affordable housing – and the supports necessary to maintain that housing – constitute one of the most basic and powerful social determinants of health. This Idea Exchange will examine the connection between supportive housing and health, and the strategies needed to bring about housing solutions to improve the overall health of the most vulnerable, while also building strong and healthy communities.

Facilitated by Jane Vincent, Fellow, Center for Community Research and Service, University of Delaware

Linking Community Development and Health
How Does Community Development Affect Health? This Idea Exchange will identify concrete and successful local community development models that improve the health and well-being of the community residents. The conversation will incorporate strategic and public policy levers that can draw health and community development actors together to influence place-based strategies for improving health and wellness.

Facilitated by Steven Peuquet, Director, Center for Community Research and Service, University of Delaware

Meeting the Needs of At-Risk Students
How can schools use their time, talent, and resources to meet the unique needs of all students, particularly English Learners, Special Education, and low-income students? This Idea Exchange will identify the challenges that all schools face in supporting these students and share lessons learned from individualizing academic, social, and emotional supports through personalized learning, extended afterschool and summer learning opportunities, and other approaches.

Facilitated by Margie López Waite, Head of School, Las Americas ASPIRA Academy

Neighborhood and Built Environment
What strategies, both short and long term, can be adopted to advance the built environment? This Idea Exchange till examine the social and economic features of neighborhoods which have been linked with mortality, general health status, disability, birth outcomes, chronic conditions, health behaviors, other risk factors for chronic disease, and more. Physical and social environments in neighborhoods can be overtly hazardous – for example, pollution or crime and these dangers can severely limit the choices and resources available to individuals.

Facilitated by Cassandra Codes-Johnson, Deputy Director, Delaware Division of Public Health

Partnerships to Develop Student Employability Skills
How can business and school partnerships help students gain employability skills through work-based learning experiences? This Idea Exchange will share information about current student opportunities for career awareness, exploration, and immersion. Participants will discuss how to grow the role of the business community, develop education-business partnerships, and coordinate across sectors to help students gain the skills needed for success beyond high school.

Facilitated by Chandlee Kuhn, Director, Office of Work-Based Learning, Delaware Technical and Community College

Policy, Law, Funding and Structures
How are policies and law interacting or even the cause of social determinants? This Idea Exchange will review the impact of policies that result in changes to the social and physical environment that can affect entire populations over extended periods of time, while simultaneously supporting people to change individual-level behavior. Improving the conditions in which we are born, live, work, and age will ensure a healthier population, thereby improving national productivity, security, and prosperity through a healthier workforce. This Idea Exchange will discuss how to develop strategies at a local, state, and federal level that will truly advance health for all.

Facilitated by Bettina Riveros, Esq., Vice President, Cristiana Care

Poverty, Financial Well-Being, and Security
How do we advance financial well-being as a key driver to overall health, productivity and well-being? This Idea Exchange will explore financial well-being and asset building from a public health perspective. What strategies can be promoted and imbedded in education and health to build financial literacy, empowerment, financial security and asset building that will facilitate achievement of an individual’s life goals/plans and advance the overall health and well-being of communities.

Facilitated by Mary DuPont, Executive Director, Delaware Department of Health and Social Services

Racism and other Forms of Discrimination/Bias
How does racism, discrimination and bias both from a conscious and unconscious level contribute to social determinants? Inequalities including racism, sexism, and other forms of intolerance are related to the imbalance of power, stereotypes, and prejudices, and can hurt partnerships. This Idea Exchange will discuss how to build awareness and gain an understanding of the challenges of race and racism and to improve social, economic, and educational opportunities for all.

Facilitated by Yasser Payne, Reverend Donald Morton, Associate Professor of Sociology & Africana Studies

Removing Barriers to College Access
How can we address student academic readiness to increase college affordability and success? This Idea Exchange will share data from the Delaware’s College Success report, review innovative work underway, as well as discuss the roles that institutions of higher education, K-12 schools, families and the community can play to ensure students graduate from high school ready to enroll in credit-bearing courses.

Facilitated by Shana Payne, Director, Higher Education Office, Delaware Department of Education and Justina Sapna, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Delaware Technical and Community College

Resiliency and Trauma Informed Practices
How can we advance trauma informed practices within our organizations and build resiliency at the individual and community level? This Idea Exchange will highlight how childhood experiences, both positive and negative, have a tremendous impact on future violence victimization and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunity. Best practice strategies will be discussed relative to advancing trauma informed practices and tools to build resiliency.

Facilitated by Leslie Newman, Children and Families First of Delaware

Self-care Strategies for Building Resilience
How can we build the resilience of professionals – including educators — to best meet the needs of children who have experienced trauma and toxic stress? We know that strong and consistent relationships with caring adults are a protective factor for children, but recognize that adults also have their own social and emotional needs. This Idea Exchange will discuss brain-based, self-care strategies that those who work closely with students and children can employ to build community and avoid compassion fatigue. Let’s share strategies for filling our buckets and keeping them full so we never have to pour from empty wells.

Facilitated by Teri Lawler, Psychologist, Stanton Middle School, Red Clay Consolidated School District

Supporting Early Childhood Professionals
How can we support and professionalize the early childhood workforce in Delaware? Early childhood is an acute period of development in children’s lives, yet their teachers are often less educated, less well-paid, and less supported than teachers of other age groups. This Idea Exchange will discuss strategies to support and professionalize the early childhood workforce—and our aspirations in Delaware for doing so.

Facilitated by Kim Krzanowski, Director, Office of Early Learning, Delaware Department of Education

Two-Generation Strategies to Support Families
How can we connect with families to ensure that students have a strong foundation of support? This Idea Exchange will explore strategies like home visits, collaborative support groups, and integrated community resources to promote resilient families and the development of strong, healthy kids.

Facilitated by Julius Mullen Ed.D., NCC, Chief Clinical Officer, Children & Families First of Delaware

Valuing Student Diversity through Cultural Competence
How can we support adults and students to develop culturally responsive schools and communities? This Idea Exchange will share information about the impact that developing cultural competence has on student behavior and achievement, especially in urban settings. Participants will discuss the systems and strategies which can be collectively pursued across early learning, K-12, higher education, and the community to institutionalize cultural knowledge and adapt to diversity.

Facilitated by Gloria Grantham, Ph.D., President/CEO, LANE Professional (Educational) Services, Inc.

CONCURRENT WORKSHOP: Social and Emotional Learning Workshop: Exploring the Delaware Landscape

Social emotional learning (SEL) and trauma-informed support for children are gaining increased attention in Delaware as more research solidifies the correlation to other outcomes for students, including academic and lifelong success. While Delawareans from a variety of perspectives—employers, educators, families, and organizations that support them—agree that children need social emotional skills to thrive in school and in life, there is currently not a comprehensive understanding of the ways existing programs and initiatives work together to support students and educators in developing these skills and addressing these needs.

This large-group workshop will feature a panel discussion comprised of national, state, district, and school-level SEL champions to share promising work underway, followed by an interactive opportunity for attendees to develop solutions to identified challenges and opportunities for progress. Panelist  include:

  • Dorrell Green, Ed.D
    Director of Innovation and Improvement
    Delaware Department of Education
  • Michele Marinucci, Ed.D
    Director of Student Services
    Woodbridge School District
  • Wendy Turner
    2017 Delaware Teacher of the Year
    3rd Grade Teacher, Mt. Pleasant Elementary School, Brandywine School District

PDMS Instructions:

Course Title:  2017 Vision Coalition Conference
Course Number:  26435

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