Western States Early Learning Institutes



February 11-14, 2019

Region 9’s Western States Early Learning Institutes has been expanded to offer a variety of experiences for education staff, program leaders and program partners.  You may attend just one element or a package that best fits your agency’s training priorities.

All activities will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Phoenix Tempe.  Located just minutes from the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, this location presents easy access for attendees from all area of Arizona, and throughout Region 9.  The Double Tree offers airport shuttles and on-site parking is free. Reserve your room by January 22, 2019.



Western States Early Learning Institutes Overview


Opening Session

Marcella Wilson, Ph.D.
CEO & Founder
Transition To Success®

Marcella Wilson, Ph.D., has over 30 years of extensive experience in healthcare administration, not-for-profit management, behavioral health, criminal justice and public sector programming. Dr. Wilson, a University of Michigan alumnus holds degrees in psychology, sociology, a Master’s degree in Social Work and a Ph.D. in Health and Higher Education. Dr. Wilson is committed to developing a national standard of care that changes the paradigm of understanding and response to the condition of poverty as a treatable, environmentally based condition not a character flaw.

Learn more


Closing Session

Maureen Burns Vermette

Supervisory Program Specialist

Office of Head Start, Region 9

Prior to joining the federal team, Maureen served as the Regional Field Specialist and an Early Head Start/Head Start director in the region.  During her tenure as the Regional Field Specialist, she provided support in all areas related to School Readiness, as well as she working collaboratively to roll out Practice-Based Coaching across Region 9.  Maureen spent the first decade of her career as a pre-k-8 classroom teacher, inclusion specialist, and mentor.   She holds bachelor’s degree in child development and a master’s in teaching with a specialization in early childhood education.  Maureen lives in San Francisco with her husband and three imaginative children.

Three tracks will be offered:

  • Education Services






Trainer: John Gunnarson, Consultant, Early Care and Education

Seminar: Behavior Management + CLASS = A Comprehensive Framework

Finally… a comprehensive, easy-to-understand approach to behavior management!   This two-day seminar with follow-up webinars will provide participants with a strong framework that they can use on behavior management.  Apply this framework program-wide or with individual classrooms.  On Day 1, you will learn concrete strategies for creating a classroom culture that embraces positive expectations, skills, and behaviors.   These are the foundational pieces that exceptional teachers use to develop their class into a cohesive, cooperative group.   Strategies will be presented using the CLASS Behavior Management indicators.   On Day 2, you will learn specific options for responding to the misbehaviors of individual children.  You will emerge with a comprehensive framework that you can apply to any misbehavior in any classroom.

The intended audience and participants for this seminar are education program managers, coaches, teachers, directors, and support staff.   Teams are encouraged to register.  All participants will receive a handbook to support their implementation of positive behavior strategies.

Here is the two-day agenda…

February 12, 2019

Proactive Behavior Management:  Use CLASS to Create a Classroom Culture that Supports Positive Behaviors

Learn specific techniques for creating classrooms in which teachers intentionally teach children positive behavioral expectations.  Using CLASS and other research, this engaging seminar will focus on:

  • Intentionally teaching behavioral expectations
  • Redirection of misbehavior
  • Proactive
  • Clear behavior expectations
  • Support for autonomy and leadership, and
  • Classroom meetings.

February 13, 2019

Reactive Behavior Management:  Use Effective Strategies to Respond to Behavior Problems

In response to misbehaviors, participants in this engaging seminar will learn concrete strategies to apply to any behavior problem.  After identifying the goal of the child’s misbehavior, teachers have effective options to choose from:

  • Ignoring the behavior
  • Restructuring the environment
  • Directing the behavior
  • Offering choices,
  • Problem-solving, and
  • Logical consequences.

Participants will practice using a comprehensive Positive Discipline Action Plan that can be applied to any misbehavior.

February 26, 2019 – 3:00-4:00 pm

Webinar:  Implementing Positive Behavior Management:  Strategies, Questions, Discussion

March 26, 2019 – 3:00-4:00 pm

Webinar:  Sustaining Positive Behavior Management:  Strategies, Questions, Discussion

  • Management Systems

Trainer: Kristen Hayes, Management Consultant

Seminar: Building Highly Responsive Programs Strategies

This two-day seminar will provide participants with a framework for considering program change – namely, the implementation of services that are highly responsive to the needs of the community.

The Office of Head Start is increasingly requesting information that demonstrates that the program options are responsive to the needs of the community.  Developing a truly responsive plan requires a careful balance of agency, staff, and family priorities.  This seminar will consider the use of data in informing change management, the role of community partnerships in meeting the individual needs of families, and leveraging the agency’s experience in the community to foster a program that is compliant, high quality, and in demand. We will consider what the data tells us, how social service programs market their services, and how leadership oversees change.  Participants will be asked to bring a variety of internal data and documents to this seminar, and will be encouraged to engage in strategic problem solving with Head Start colleagues.

This institute will be comprised of a strand of workshops that address key aspects of moving our families toward Self-Sufficiency.  From employment and financial literacy to volunteerism, soft skills development and community partnerships will be highlighted.  A panel on effective practices by Head Start agencies will be included in the series.  Participating programs will be encouraged to set up display boards of unique strategies.


The Vision

All children, regardless of their circumstance at birth, deserve a full and prosperous life.

The Mission

  • Support high-impact Head Start programs for children and adults by creating opportunities for collaboration, networking and information sharing.
  • Unite with state and national Head Start organizations to ensure regulatory and budget outcomes that support our work.
  • Champion the message that every child and family who succeeds makes their community a better place.

Contact Us

1225 8th Street, Suite 342
Sacramento, CA 95814



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