In-Service Workshops 2021-2022

 

MPY is committed to bringing cutting-edge information and high-quality professional development to Massachusetts educators, students and parents. Our workshops are facilitated by experts recognized in the fields of education, psychology, counseling, anti-racism and student safety. MPY partners with our members to tailor each workshop to meet the individual district’s unique and varied needs.

As a benefit of membership, each member district/organization may select up to five in-service workshops annually. The following workshops are available remotely on Zoom for staff and parents unless otherwise noted. Upon request, workshops may be offered in person.

For more information or to schedule workshops, please contact Prevention and Education Coordinator, Amy Welch at amy@mpyinc.org.

 NEW! 4 Key Levers for an Antiracist Classroom 

In this workshop, educators take a critical look at four ways educators can apply antiracism in real-time in their classrooms. Participants will begin to unpack their own biases while centering on community, family, and student's voices. Participants will also learn the first steps to decolonizing their classrooms and curriculum.

An Act Relative to Bullying - How This Legislation Impacts Our Schools

On April 24, 2014, the legislature passed An Act Relative to Bullying, with the intention of creating safe and supportive school environments throughout the Commonwealth. The specifics of the requirements for public schools are explained, with a focus on cyber bullying.

 Addressing Caregivers of Students with a High Level of Need 

This presentation addresses the stress and impact of raising a child with significant mental health needs.  With an emphasis on the neuroscience of anxiety, this in-service workshop will also address the trauma and fear related to caring for students with a high level of need. Through this lens, we will identify ways to approach caregivers in partnering to support high risk students. 

An Introduction to Teen Dating Violence and How to Respond to Disclosures

Teen Dating Violence, while incredibly pervasive, is often shrouded in secrecy and shame. Teens who are experiencing dating violence are often hesitant to seek support from an adult, and instead turn to their peers and social media for information and guidance. In this workshop, program participants will receive information and skills to recognize, respond, and support youth experiencing relationship abuse.  Learn about common behavioral indicators of dating violence, health effects, and tools to assist youth after disclosures of abuse. 

NEW!  Anxiety and Executive Functioning: Two Sides of the Same Coin?

Managing stress and anxiety as well as coping with executive functioning demands are perhaps the two most common and, in many ways, most challenging issues related to education, affecting a large number—some might say majority—of students.  Educators often see both in students, and research supports these observations, that there is a neurological connection between the sections of our brains that manage each set of behaviors.

We need to understand both to effectively address each. This set of two workshops examines the aspects of anxiety and executive functioning, covering the issues specific to each and how they also interact. Each workshop will cover the characteristics, evaluation procedures, and intervention strategies that a variety of experts have recommended. 

Anxiety and School Performance

Anxiety not only challenges academic progress, but also significantly affects behavior. This workshop will review how anxiety affects student behavior and performance, and strategies that can be employed to help students effectively manage the demands of school and home. This presentation is only available to school staff and administrators. 

 Bringing Healthy Relationship Education into the Classroom

In this session, we will explore adult and teen perceptions of teen dating violence, discuss messages and barriers that uniquely impact youth relationships, and provide strategies to address these barriers when talking with teens. We will offer strategies for opening up the conversation and engaging teens in thinking critically about healthy and unhealthy relationships. Participants will leave with tools for responding to difficult questions, as well as several interactive activities they can facilitate with their students. Participants will learn techniques to create 2-way discussions about values, boundaries, and your role in supporting their relationship development.

 NEW! Building An Antiracist Classroom 101

Despite decades of progress, racial disparities still remain in learning communities today. designed for K-12 educators, this in-service workshop will delve into the roots of structural racism built into the fabric of our education system. Topics will include recognizing and addressing implicit bias in pedagogy and curriculum, dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline, and creating a classroom culture that prioritizes student voice. Participants will gain the social emotional learning tools needed to transform their classroom into a safe space where young people feel free to honestly share their beliefs, hopes, fears, and questions.

NEW! Combatting Curriculum Violence 

Combatting curriculum violence is antiracism in action. In this workshop, educators engage in deeper learning about one of the most covert ways racism presents in American schools. Participants will learn the four ways racial trauma shows up in schools, how to identify curriculum violence, how to navigate curriculum trauma, and how to support students.

NEW! Conversations on Race

"What can I do?" It’s a question many are asking right now. Perhaps you’ve asked yourself, perhaps you’ve asked others. This program provides participants with an opportunity to discuss this exact question, listen to different perspectives, and better understand the implications of intention versus impact this question may have. Resources, book recommendations, and takeaway materials will be offered.

Bullying and Power Differential

All schools have bullying response guidelines but sometimes school staff struggle with understanding the causes of bullying. This workshop addresses the dynamics between bullies and victims and explores the role bystanders play. Practical suggestions to deal with bullying will be given. This presentation is only available to school staff and administrators. 

 Caring for Ourselves is Caring for Our Students

Every day, educators bear witness to the impacts of trauma in their classroom. Young people share their stories with us through behaviors (acting out, withdrawing, overachieving), attitudes (angry, distracted, anxious), and their own words. We care deeply about our students and creating a safe and supportive learning environment. As teachers, we also have our own stories and our own pain- both past and present. The goal of this workshop is to create a space to acknowledge the cumulative toll bearing witness to trauma can have on us, and develop strategies to care for ourselves and support one another in doing this important and impactful work.

 NEW! Creating a Trauma-Sensitive Classroom Where all Students Can Thrive 

Creating a trauma-sensitive classroom fosters an environment for all students to learn because educators are uniquely positioned to help students overcome challenges and build resilience.  Participants will review preliminary information and definition of terms, and explore ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) before delving into academic instruction techniques and relationship building for teaching students impacted by trauma. This workshop will also examine misconceptions about trauma, the effect trauma has on the brain, and review common challenges when working with students impacted by trauma. Participants will have an opportunity to share and reflect on their current practices and to learn ways to improve their self-care to ensure that the classroom is a safe space for all learners to grow. 

Cultural Proficiency

Educators are encouraged to adapt to the diversity of their community and lead activities which allow students to see their lives reflected in curriculum, instructional materials, and school practices. Designed to engage, challenge, and provoke serious conversations related to diversity, this in-service workshop promotes educational equity through the lens of cultural proficiency and provides a model for individual transformation and organizational change.

 Effective Tier 1 Supports to Support Trauma Sensitive School Cultures

Understanding the implementation of effective research-based tier one interventions is fundamental to the MTSS process. This includes school-wide expectations, routines, expectations, incentives, and strategies that are clear and consistent. Participants will walk away with an understanding of structures and supports to support all students to feel safe and successful. 

 Executive Functioning

Many students may be able to comprehend classroom instructions and other lessons, but struggle with organization and how to manage academic production demands, including homework and writing assignments. This workshop identifies the specific areas and skills involved in executive functioning, methods of assessment, and how we can effectively address this challenging area for students. This presentation is only available to school staff and administrators. 

Family Life Education (FLE)

Family Life Education (FLE) is the practice of equipping and empowering family members to develop knowledge and skills that enhance the well-being of children and adolescents while strengthening interpersonal relationships through an educational, preventive, and strengths-based approach. This in-service workshop will provide effective tools for helping school staff and parents to build bridges, use common language, and refine communication skills. FLE’s goal is to  create  a shared vision of defining problem behaviors while collectively finding solutions for youth.

 Gangs in Our Communities

Gang activity and violence take many forms. This training highlights the trademarks (colors, signs, graffiti, and tagging) of national and local gangs and explains how they recruit and retain members. This presentation is only available to school staff and administrators. 

 Healthy Balance: Screen Time

Increasingly, data suggests that exposing youth to large amounts of time in front of screens (TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone) can have negative effects on physical and mental development including issues with memory, attention, and language skills. This workshop is designed to provide the tools and vocabulary needed for children and adolescents to make wise choices about balancing daily screen use while focusing more attention on exercise and nutrition.

How to Support Those at Risk of Suicide

This workshop is for trained professionals who care for and support those considered at a high risk for suicide. Participants will learn about Samaritans’ services, facts and myths of suicide, risk factors, and warning signs. Participants will also learn how to talk to an individual who may be suicidal and basic steps in getting a suicidal person help. This workshop is presented by Samaritans, Inc. This presentation is only available to school staff and administrators. 

 Improving Attendance & Truancy

Focusing on the importance of intervening early when students show a pattern of missing school or arriving late, this workshop explores the dynamics of excessive absenteeism and truancy, including why students do not come to school. Resources available through the courts and social service agencies are detailed. This presentation is only available to school staff and administrators.

Introduction to Trauma and Child Exposure to Domestic Violence

Many of our students have been exposed to trauma before ever entering our classroom. When children experience or are exposed to domestic violence and other forms of trauma, it can have a dramatic impact on their brain development. Every child has the incredible capacity to heal, and every child deserves a learning environment that fosters healing and resilience. This workshop will focus on the impact of child exposure to domestic violence and other forms of trauma to help us better understand the behaviors a traumatized child may exhibit in the classroom and to develop strategies to offer support.

 NEW! It's All About Humanity - See Me! Hear Me! 

This workshop will focus on seeing the value of many minority groups.  It acknowledges the importance of understanding anti racism through the lens of equity.  It centers on why cultural inclusivity and race matters.

Just Talk About It

Just Talk About It is a clinician-led workshop covering adolescent mental health topics such as anxiety, depression, self-harm, disordered eating, substance use, social media, and suicide. This workshop is 60-90 minutes and features a Young Adult Speaker to provide dual perspective. The program’s goal is to ensure that adults have the information needed to understand adolescent mental health, identify mental health challenges and crises, and to respond in helpful and supportive ways. This workshop can be tailored to parents/caregivers, school personnel, or community members. This workshop can be offered in Spanish. 

 Mindfulness in the Age of Digital Distraction

Teachers and parents will learn the “Power Down for Presence” process, proven to increase attention and focus for more efficient and productive homework time. As the ubiquity of the 24/7 digital world increases, the appeal of technology becomes even greater. The brain science supports the power of mindfulness to pause one’s use of technology and be present for greater mental and brain health. This workshop shares evidence-based research tools and skills.

 Navigating the Cyber World

This workshop reviews the challenges and dangerous situations that may arise through use of the internet, social media, and smartphones. It is important for school staff and parents to be aware of the popular apps, social media sites, and programs used by youth online. This workshop explains the issues and possible consequences of cyberbullying, sexting, and revealing identifying information to strangers.

 Neuroscience of Anxiety

In order to truly understand the roots of behavior,  it is essential that educators understand what is happening in a student's body when they are anxious or stressed.  Anxiety presents in different ways, and we all predictably have a stress response of fight/flight/freeze. This workshop will help participants identify the difference between an anxiety disorder and basic stress, and explore ways to best support students. An emphasis on how to integrate social/emotional support into a school setting, along with how to address oppositional behavior, school refusal, work avoidance, and bullying, will be explored through the lens of anxiety.

NEW! Project-Based Learning and Social Justice 

In this workshop, educators will explore project-based learning as an educational method through which social justice can be taught effectively. Additionally, educators will design a project relative to their teaching context.

Protecting Children & Youth: 51 A Mandated Reporting

Developed by the Middlesex Children’s Advocacy Center,  this online presentation outlines indicators of abuse and/or neglect and explains what to do if a mandated reporter suspects abuse or neglect.

 Restorative Justice

Traditional school discipline does not always help students take responsibility and be accountable for their behaviors or to realize how those behaviors reverberate through the school community. Restorative Justice helps to change behavior by allowing the victim to be heard and acknowledging that a harm has been done. This workshop will give participants the tools necessary to expand disciplinary alternatives. This presentation is only available to school staff and administrators. 

 NEW! Self-Care Comes First: Tips for Practicing & Promoting Well-being

Participants in this workshop will learn how to best practice self-care so that we are better able to meet our students’ needs. Self-care is always important, but now more than ever, it is critical. Whether you are trying to build or to maintain a routine for self-care, this workshop will provide you with the tools and knowledge you need. Make time for you now; your future self will thank you. 

Self Regulation Strategies: Grades K-5

Providing K-5 students with a cognitive behavioral approach to teach how to identify and to process feelings will result in developing strategies to cope with difficult situations. These skills will lead to improved self-regulation in students as well as increase increased ability to be actively engaged in learning. 

 Self Regulation Strategies: Grades 5-12

Providing 5-12 students with a cognitive behavioral approach to teach how to identify and to process feelings will result in developing strategies to cope with difficult situations. These skills will lead to improved self-regulation in students as well as increase increased ability to be actively engaged in learning. 

 NEW! Setting Boundaries for a Sustainable Work-Life Balance in Times of Uncertainty

Self-care is always important, but now more than ever, it is critical. The lines between work life and home life are blurred as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 crisis. During this workshop, participants will receive an overview of the self-care domains and learn quick, easy, and cost-accessible tools for building resilience, boosting productivity, and promoting well-being with special attention given to creating boundaries, protecting your sensitivities, and developing a self-care routine to meet your needs.

NEW! Six Elements of Social Justice Education 

It’s easy to say “I want to be an antiracist educator” but we often get stuck in the theory and fall short of application. In this workshop, educators learn about the six elements of social justice education and what they can look like in practice, and how to apply the elements to their different contexts.

Social Media's Impact on Mental Health: Optimizing the Connection

Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook foster a culture of peer comparison and entice users to stay online longer than they intend, which can foster discouraging or negative feelings. Snapchat locations and Instagram stories cause FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), contributing to anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Teachers and parents will learn individual and group strategies to optimize students' use of social media.

Strategies for Creating Trauma-Sensitive Classrooms

Children's experience with trauma can interfere significantly with learning and behavior at school. For many students, school may be the only place a child feels safe, and therefore serves as a critical system of support for children. Administrators, teachers, and staff can help reduce the effects of trauma on children by recognizing trauma responses, accommodating and responding to traumatized students within the classroom, and referring children to outside professionals when necessary. In this workshop, participants will develop skills to build positive, trusting relationships with students and tools to create a trauma-informed environment that fosters resiliency.

Students with High Functioning ASD

Students identified with High Functioning ASD, formerly known as Asperger's Syndrome, present behaviors that require more subtle and relationship-oriented interventions compared to an ABA approach. This presentation reviews some of the challenges inherent in this diagnostic profile, including addressing the question as to what interventions are necessary. This presentation will review the social skills challenges that students encounter, with specifics addressing the needs of young students vs. adolescents.

Supporting Queer Youth

LGBTQ+ students face unique challenges related to sexual orientation and gender identity. This workshop includes an overview of the concepts of homophobia, heterosexism, and the positive impact allies can have to create an inclusive environment for queer youth. 

 Supporting Transgender Youth

Transgender students are at a higher risk for peer ostracism, victimization, and bullying. Participants of this workshop will examine the terminology associated with gender identity, learn about inclusive school policies and practices, and why it is important to provide a safe and supportive school environment for these students whose rights are protected under the law.

 Teen Depression

This in-service workshop addresses teen depression, how to talk to teens and parents about depression, the treatment options, where to get help, and what to do if help is refused. This workshop is presented by Families for Depression Awareness.

 Underage Substance Use

Underage substance use continues to be a major issue in our schools and communities. Street drugs are readily available in many communities and teen drug users may easily obtain over-the-counter or prescription medications from a variety of sources, including their family's medicine cabinet. Information about the opioid epidemic is included in this workshop. 

 Understanding and Responding to Victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation

Every day, young people are deceived, manipulated, coerced, and forced into the commercial sex trade. This multibillion-dollar industry targets vulnerable individuals in our communities. The Understanding and Responding to Victims Training gives service providers, law enforcement, and community members the tools needed to better serve this marginalized population.

 NEW! Understanding Digital Abuse

Incidents of Digital Abuse are on the rise. Digital Abuse, which includes the use of technology to harass, exploit, and intimidate others takes many forms. This conversation focuses on how young people today may be exploited and explores the definition and types of digital abuse. This workshop will also demonstrate how digital abuse is similar/different than other forms sexual violence, our state's laws, and best practices for prevention.

Understanding Marijuana Today

The legal marijuana industry has come to Massachusetts and has begun marketing products containing high levels of THC, including marijuana food items (edibles). This workshop will explain the impacts of the new marijuana industry on youth and what schools and parents can do to relay a clear, consistent message about this drug to youth.

 Understanding Psychological Reports through a Neuropsychological Lens

This workshop is for specialized school staff, including psychologists, social workers, guidance counselors, nurses, and special education staff, to help make better use of available data through the lens of neuropsychology. Developing instructional and behavioral strategies for students with challenges will be a focus.

NEW! Unlocking Potential: The Power of Developing & Promoting a Growth Mindset

Whether it is a fixed or a growth mindset, exploring our mindsets allows us to examine our true potential and view failure as an opportunity. In this workshop, participants will learn the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset and how it pertains to working with students. Additionally, participants will evaluate their mindset to see where their beliefs are and discuss how small shifts in thinking and reframing circumstances can dramatically impact daily life inside and outside the classroom. Best practices for classroom management will be examined, and tips for developing teacher-student relationships that promote a growth mindset and allow students to flourish.

Vicarious Trauma and Self Care

Teachers are the front line to our students and often take on secondary trauma that their students have faced in their little lives. This can lead to fatigue and burn out in staff. Being able to identify physical and emotional symptoms of vicarious trauma as an educator allows teachers to build a tool box of self care supports.

 What Are You Puffing? Vaping and Our Youth

Vaping has recently become a troubling trend in our schools and communities. This workshop focuses on how to recognize vaping devices and products and the physical impact vaping has on the body. 

STUDENT ASSEMBLIES

 Mental Health Awareness for Youth: Young Adult Speaker Presentation

The Young Adult Speaker program is geared for youth grades 6+ and features young adults who provide educational programs built around lived experiences. Through sharing their experience with a mental health condition and related crisis, they challenge negative stereotypes, give hope and skills to audience members, and encourage students to reach out for help. Students also learn the signs and symptoms of mental health challenges and conditions, negative versus positive coping skills, the similarities between mental health and physical illness, the language and skills needed to have a conversation about mental health, and how to create a supportive school environment. This is facilitated through Minding Your Mind.

 NEW! Foundations of a Healthy & Happy Life: Self-Care for High School Students (Student Assembly)

Being a high school student can be stressful, and preparing to graduate can be exciting and nerve-wracking. In this workshop, you will learn the importance of taking care of yourself beyond an occasional bubble bath and a pedicure. Self-care is the daily, consistent, foundational way you take care of yourself to show up as the best you possible. You will learn many quick, easy, cost-accessible self-care practices that you can add to your toolkit and start using immediately. Take care of yourself now; your future self will thank you! 

Navigating the Cyber World (Student Assembly)

While there are countless benefits from using technology, potential challenges and even dangerous situations can arise. This assembly gives students the tools necessary to protect their digital footprint and engage in safe cyber behavior. 

 OMG TMI N/C: Preventing Teen Sexting (Student Assembly)

Teens are sharing, posting and sending images of themselves at alarming rates including images that are illicit in nature. This student assembly will discuss the legal, personal, and emotional ramifications of teen sexting behaviors. 

 NEW! Reach for the Stars: How to Maximize Your Full Potential with a Growth Mindset for High School Students  (Student Assembly)

When faced with a challenge, how do you react? How do you cope with failure? Do you value effort? Exploring our mindset, whether it is a fixed or a growth mindset, allows us to examine our potential. In this workshop, students will learn the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset and how it pertains to their goals and achievements. Additionally, students will evaluate their mindset to see where their beliefs are and discuss how small shifts in thinking can dramatically impact daily life.

Red Solo Cups, Weed and Pills: Underage Substance Use (Student Assembly)

Teen substance use, including alcohol, marijuana, and illegal use of prescription drugs, impacts our schools and communities. The dangers of substance use and abuse, including how the opioid and heroin epidemic is affecting Massachusetts, will be highlighted.

 Teen Dating A to Generation Z: Healthy Relationships (Student Assembly)

This workshop provides an overview of teen dating relationships and how to identify the signs of healthy and unhealthy relationships. Strategies to deal effectively with jealousy, controlling behaviors and emotional/physical abuse are presented, along with suggestions on ways to combat peer pressure and help friends to improve interpersonal relationships. 

 Teens Talk Depression (Student Assembly)

The Teen Speakers Program from Families for Depression Awareness presents teen speakers who tell their personal stories to dispel stigma around mental health issues. These speakers encourage young people to seek help with mental health issues, if needed. The Teen Speakers program helps the teen speakers to develop their confidence and public speaking skills as they become emissaries for mental health awareness and wellness.

Thriving in the Age of Digital Distraction (Student Assembly)

In today’s world, 24/7 connectivity contributes to digital distraction and phone dependence, which may hinder students' physical, mental, and emotional health. Social media platforms can foster a culture of peer comparison. How do we all shift from digital overload to more tech/life balance? Students will learn the data and be introduced to the LookUp Challenge: a student-led initiative to take a break from phones, social media and technology for a week as a school community on each students' own terms.

Understanding Marijuana (Student Assembly)

Since the legalization of marijuana in Massachusetts, teens are receiving many “mixed messages.” The marijuana industry’s marketing campaigns  are designed to appeal to youth and may mask important information that students would benefit from understanding. This workshop details the truth about the alarming effects of marijuana on the developing adolescent brain and how marijuana use may negatively impact concentration, attention, motivation, and mood. In addition, this workshop highlights the legalities of marijuana and the role of school policies.

 What Are You Puffing? Vaping Presentation (Student Assembly)

Vaping has recently become a troubling trend in our schools and communities. This presentation focuses on the physical and mental impact vaping has on the body. Many students falsely believe that vaping is a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes and are unaware of the health consequences.

 What's Up With Bullying? (Student Assembly)

Bullying, which is prohibited in Massachusetts, takes many forms including cyber bullying. Focusing on prevention, this student assembly emphasizes the important role of being an upstander.

To Request an In-Service Workshops:

  • Please submit requests at least two months in advance, if possible.
  • Individuals must register in order to participate.
  • A minimum attendance of 25 is required for each workshop. There is a maximum capacity of 500. In-service workshops may be cancelled at MPY’s discretion due to low attendance.