2021 On-Demand PREPS Conference REGISTRATION OPEN



We are pleased to announce the registration for our PREPS Virtual Conference, Can You Hear Me Now? Zooming into 2021 is now open.


PREPS “ON DEMAND” VIRTUAL CONFERENCE DATES- MARCH 5 - MARCH 31 – Sessions will be available for participants to watch and learn in their own time between our kick off on March 5th through March 31st.


NO COST- This is a FREE event that will take place virtually and on-demand. CEUs for teachers $10 - You can earn up to 1.8 CEUs.


REGISTER NOW ---CONFERENCE REGISTRATION LINK- The registration link is: conference-preps.talentlms.com .




On-Demand Virtual Conference Catalog


Sessions for teachers, administrators, and both admin and teachers.

Teachers: Each session is designed for 1 hour of instruction which would be 0.1 CEU each. You must participate in at least 5 sessions for 0.5 CEUs. You may earn up to 1.8 CEUs by participating in all sessions that are geared for teachers. Read the descriptions for more information on each session.



Session Title: Change Leadership Strategies for Engaging Faculty & Staff

Presenter:Studer Education Group


Session Description: This session is for school administrators. Accelerating team capacity to learn and grow leadership is a critical role for every building and department leader and their teams. We envision “every child, every day” yet most teams struggle balancing daily ‘urgent’ issues with staying centered enough to execute on the important work. Leaders and teams get distracted, even exhausted by isolated initiatives. As a result, 70% of change efforts fail. Yet, we know success is possible.


Improvement becomes real when we expand the capacity to lead and tackle the real barriers together. Improvement at scale requires a commitment to hardwire new routines centered on service to our students, their families, and one another. Actions become informed by listening deeply, measuring what matters most, and problem-solving becomes shared. Leaders and team learn to hardwire critical routines to engage, work along-side their teams, and intentionally grow leadership capacity at every level.


Ultimately, building and department teams grow into an army of improvers focused on service and taking action to achieve what is valued. Join to learn how to grow team capacity, hardwire routines to problem-solve together, and align your school or department goals to key system priorities in-order to stay centered and filter out the initiative white noise.



Session Title: Closing the Learning Gap in Mississippi

Presenter: Stacy Blair, National Academic Advisor, Renaissance


Description: This session is for school leaders and teachers. This session will explore key findings from the Renaissance How Kids Are Preforming Report, including state-level trend data for Mississippi. You will gain insights into the impact of school closures and disruptions on both reading and math achievement. You will also learn how Renaissance can partner with you to assess and close learning gaps, as well as track and motivate growth for every learner.


Session Title: Connection Conversations: Increase Confidence & Remove Barriers

Presenter: Studer Education Group


Session Description:This session is for teachers. In this session, we will explore three types of connections to make with students and parents: Teacher-Student Connection Conversations, Teacher-Parent Connection Conversations, and Plus/Delta Check-ins. Use the Connection Conversations Session Strategies Guide, along with the session video to create your plan for connecting with students and parents.


Session Title: COVID Learning Loss; The Data and Solutions

Presenter: Pat Ross, Tanisha Washington, and Dr. J. P. Beaudoin

Bailey Education Group


Session Description:This session is for school leaders and teachers. Students across America have experienced unprecedented interruptions in their typical instructional cycle in the last year. The affects of these interruptions do not discriminate; high performers, average performers, and those students who have significant challenges will all feel the affects of missing a substantial amount of in-person instruction. In this round table session, we will discuss learning loss data which show a significant challenge for schools across America, as well as instructional and school leadership recommendations for how schools and districts can meet the ever-changing needs of all children.


Session Title: Creative Awards Winners Showcase


Session Description: This session is for school leaders and teachers. Browse through the showcase our 2020 Creative Award winners! The 2020 school year was unlike any other we have ever experienced. Look through this showcase of exemplary efforts by school districts to see how they were able to empower parents, connect their students to Wifi, provide social emotional learning support, provide open houses, and continue to build student relationships throughout this pandemic.


Session Title: Designing Standards-Based Mini Lessons: ELA

Facilitator: Lynsey Black, Kids First, LLC


Description: This session is designed for ELA teachers. Designing and implementing standards-based lessons is key to ensuring mastery of CCR exit standards. This session is designed to detail the necessary components and process for developing a standards-based mini lesson. Participants will reflect on current practices through reviewing quality examples of standards-based mini lessons.


Session Title: Designing Standards-Based Mini Lessons: Math

Facilitator: Stephanie Brewer, Kids First, LLC


Description: This session is designed for Math teachers. Designing and implementing standards-based lessons is key to ensuring mastery of CCR exit standards. This session is designed to detail the necessary components and process for developing a standards-based mini lesson. Participants will reflect on current practices through reviewing quality examples of standards-based mini lessons.


Session Title: Developing Social & Emotional Skills through Positive Relationships

Presenter: Venola Mason, Associate Partner, International Center for Leadership in Education

Session Description: This session is for teachers.

Research shows that teachers have the biggest impact on student achievement. Relationships are the foundation for the development of the cognitive, social, and emotional skills and competencies that students need to be successful within the classroom and beyond. This webinar is designed to help educators understand the critical nature of these relationships and the impact they have on student learning. Participants will leave the session with:

  • A deeper understanding of the science and practice of social and emotional learning

  • Practical tips to establish and maintain relationships with students

  • Strategies to cultivate a sense of belonging within your classroom and among students


Session Title: Digital Citizenship & Cyber Security

Presenter: Eva Harvell, Pascagoula Gauiter School District


Session Description:This session is for teachers. You have a firm grasp of the content you teach, but do you have a firm grasp of what it takes to prepare students to become positive digital citizens and safe online? Join me as we discuss what digital citizenship and cyber security is and what it looks like in today's classroom.


Session Title: Formative Assessment: Strategies and Virtual Tools for Success

Facilitator: Shawnese Herrington , Kids First, LLC


Description: This session is designed for teachers. At any given time, teachers should be able to answer the three driving questions: 1. Where are we going? 2. Where are we now? and 3. How can we close the gap? Utilizing quality formative assessments will afford teachers the opportunities to answer all questions while addressing learning loss for students. This informative session will guide participants in identifying and applying research-based practices for quality formative assessments as well as available aps/extensions for closing the gap for students.


Session Title: How to Boost your Spreadsheet Game

Presenter: Jeannie Steer, Pascagoula-Gautier School District


Session Description:This session is for school leaders and teachers. Google Sheets is an incredibly powerful tool and can transform your data in so many ways. But how many of you are unsure of how to use Sheets and want to learn the basics? Check out these simple tips and tricks for beginners to level up your spreadsheet game.



Session Title -- Integrating STEM into Core Curriculum to Increase Student Engagement

Presenters: Debra Simpson, Mississippi Education Partnership Lead for Tynker, Daniel Rezac, and Leanda McGriff, Senior Education Partnerships Lead for Tynker


Session Description: This session is for teachers and leaders of prek-AP students. Increase student engagement Pre - AP with STEM activities that ALL teachers and ALL students can do with the support of Tynker! See how easy STEM and coding can be integrated into your classroom, regardless of your grade level, your content-area, and/or your prior experience.


Session Title - Leading through Disruption: Creating a Culture of Care & Excellence

Presenters: Studer Education Group


Session Description: This session is designed for school leaders. A High Performing System requires a steadfast leadership commitment to build and sustain the organization’s “backbone” for improvement. How do you stay centered on what is most important? Too often, powerful efforts to improve get siloed in our large, wickedly human systems. Attempts to scale what is learned get blocked by isolating structures and daily routines building hidden barriers. Good people unconsciously trapped in layered systems of fragmented initiatives. The result is often wasted resources, exhausted staff members, and lost kids.

The Nine Principles of Organizational Excellence create our "why." The Evidence Based Leadership (EBL) framework creates the system “backbone” and consistent "how." Together, supporting leaders to leverage and “hardwire” efforts that make improvement stick. Leaders learn how to align improvement decisions to what is valued, build leader capacity, unleash the power of their teams, and streamline limited resources. Learn from a leader who has navigated this journey. See the results teams from across the country learning how to align their systems, improve outcomes and restore hope for their students, families, and communities.



Session Title – Making Learning Phenomenal

Presenter: Kristy Wheat, WILLIAM CAREY UNIVERSITY


Session Description: This session is for school leaders and teachers. Tune in to discover how phenomena-based instructional practices can leverage engagement, curiosity, connections, and communication for students K-12. The modeling and information presented will answer the following questions through fun and rigorous methods: What is a phenomenon? What makes it engaging? What benefits does a phenomenon-based lesson offer students? How can you leverage an engaging phenomenon to create access points for all students?


Kristy Wheat has been an educator for over two decades. She has spent the greatest part of her career teaching Science and Reading in Title I schools where she was the recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Kristy holds degrees in Science, Elementary Education, Instructional Leadership, Mild & Moderate Disabilities, and serves as an NGSS Specialist for the National Institute for STEM Education and as adjunct faculty at William Carey University. Kristy is passionate about helping educators create meaningful and engaging learning experiences combining STEM, Literacy, and Social Emotional Learning.


Session Title – MS Code of Ethics and FAQS

Presenter: Kelly Riley, MPE Executive Director


Session Description: This session is designed for teachers and pre-service teachers. Kelly Riley, Executive Director of the Mississippi Professional Educators, will share an overview of Mississippi’s Educator Code of Ethics, and answer frequently asked questions regarding teachers’ rights in Mississippi.


Kelly Riley has served as Executive Director of the Mississippi Professional Educators (MPE) since 2010. MPE serves approximately 13,500 educators and support personnel throughout the state. Prior to joining MPE in 2007, Kelly served as Chief Operations Officer for JBHM Education Group, a multi-state school improvement consulting company. She also served as Education Policy Liaison for Governor Ronnie Musgrove, Mississippi’s 62nd Governor. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Millsaps College and received her Master of Public Policy and Administration from Mississippi State University.


Session Title: MS Rural Broadband: A Conversation


Session Description:View this conversation with PREPS superintendents Dr. Wayne Rodolfich, Supt. of Pascagoula Gautier and Dr. Tyler Hansford, Supt. Union City Schools along with Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley and John Conradi from Connect Americans Now! as they discuss the policies and practices that can ensure that rural students and families have access to high speed broadband internet.


Session Title: Music in the Classroom

Presenter: Dr. Cassandra Weiss, WILLIAM CAREY UNIVERSITY


Session Description: "Music in the Classroom" is a presentation for regular academic teachers, K-12, to understand the importance of including music in your daily instruction. In order to meet the needs of our students, we must find various methods of instruction that differentiate the learning process. Dr. Cassandra Weiss discusses how music is beneficial, why some teachers avoid it, and how you can utilize it even if you are not a musician.


Session Title – Overview of the National Rural Education Association

Presenter: Dr. Allen Pratt, NREA Executive Director


Session Description – This session is for school leaders and teachers. Dr. Pratt will give the history and an overview of the benefits and works of the National Rural Education Association.


Session Title: Principal's Toolkit

Presented by Comprehensive Center Network


Session Description - Whether a veteran or novice school principal, all desire that every student returns to a school that is even better than the one the child left the previous year. Principals require support as they will continue to rally around students, teachers, families and staff in doing just that – ensuring this school year is more productive and successful than the last, despite the differences and changes that COVID-19 now requires.


While every new school year presents principals with a multitude of new particulars, the pandemic has spawned an info-demic. When it comes to Change, Communication, Collaboration, and Care, it is critical to get the correct and most current information for all within a principal’s direct circle of responsibility.


This succinct toolkit is meant to aid school leaders in structuring their thinking about the reopening and return to schools no matter how and where teaching and learning occur. We have attempted to keep to the point and, with a click, direct link users to critical and current resources. The Returning to School - A Toolkit for Principals includes four sections. All four sections begin with a conversational introduction, followed by some practical suggestions for consideration which are then supported by aligned resources, quick tip sheets, and templates. We encourage principals to scan the four sections and consider how these support preparations for an efficacious school year.



Session Title - Read by Grade 3: Developing Foundational Skills

for All Children

Presenter – Dr. Shane Templeton, HMH


Session Description:This session is for leaders and teachers, K–6.

In this session, we explore the important developmental and instructional relationships among the foundational skills: 1) Print Concepts; 2) Phonological/Phonemic Awareness; 3) Phonics and Word Recognition; and 4) Fluency. By appropriately determining the timing, pacing, and type of instruction for these skills, we ensure that more children will successfully attain their potential in reading by the end of third grade. For those children who still struggle, we will better be able to adjust instruction appropriately and effectively.


Session Title: Supporting New Teachers in Rural Schools to Promote Retention

Presenter: Kimberly Alford, Principal, Pearl River Central High School, Devon Brenner (Mississippi State University), Amy Price Azano (Virginia Tech), Karen Eppley (Penn State University) and Ann Schulte (University of California-Chico)


Session Description: Many Mississippi schools have challenges recruiting and retaining new teachers. This can be especially challenging in rural districts. Administrators and mentors can support new teachers by taking concrete steps to help new teachers understand and put down roots in the community, build professional networks, and understand the place where they teach. In this engaging panel discussion, Principal Kimberly Alford will talk with authors of a new book, Teaching in Rural Places: Thriving in Classrooms, Schools, and Communities. The panelists explore the unique strengths and challenges of teaching in a rural schools and ways to support teacher retention and help new teachers thrive.


Session Title: The Next Great Technology Challenge in Mississippi and How Public Educators Will Solve It!

Presenter: Dr. Wayne Rodolfich, Superintendent Pascagoula-Gautier Schools


Session Description: This session is for school leaders. For years we have called for greater Internet access, and this is now happening with the work of the Mississippi Public Service Commission utilizing funding to expand broadband statewide. With the acquisition of greater connectivity, educators were in need of more technology devices for their students. The Mississippi Legislature has allocated stimulus money for this to occur. But there is a third leg to this stool in public education - creating training opportunities so educators can maximize this newfound technology and bandwidth to maximize the educational opportunities for all students. I am looking forward to sharing with you how we, as public educators, can accomplish this training without ever leaving our communities or having to incur any costs by inviting talented educators to share their technology skills with their colleagues across the state. The PGSD has run in-person Tech Camps for Teachers for Years. Due to COVID-19 we have shifted to Virtual Tech Camps for Teachers, and we have impacted thousands of Mississippi educators’ confidence and skill-level using technology platforms. We want to help build the rocket ship to the 21st century in our classrooms!


Session Title - The Silver Bullet of Student Achievement

Presenter: Dr. James Hutto, Impact Education Group


Session Description: This session is for school leaders. John Hattie in his ground-breaking study, “Visible Learning,” ranked 138 influences that are related to student achievement. Many of these variables are very familiar to educators (e.g., response to intervention, prior knowledge, feedback, etc.). But, according to Hattie’s meta-analysis, the variable with the one of the highest effect sizes on student learning is “collective teacher efficacy.” This session will utilize a voice-over PowerPoint to define collective teacher efficacy, discuss the culture of schools with high teacher collective efficacy, and share strategies for positively impacting teacher collective efficacy.


Session Title: Tips, Tricks, and Timesavers

Presenter: Stoney Rogers, Pascagoula Gautier School District


Session Description: This session is for teachers. The average classroom teacher will make 1500 decisions every school day. With 6 hours of instruction a day, that’s more than 4 decisions every minute, so every second counts. This presentation shows you valuable tools and shortcuts to help save time on classroom tasks to free up time for instruction.


Session Title: What’s ImportantNow? A WIN for Leaders, Teachers, & Students

Facilitators: Tony Cook and Jennifer Weeks, Kids First, LLC

Session Description:This session is designed for administrators, instructional coaches, and district teams. The challenge to provide a high-quality education during the Covid-19 pandemic has prompted a need for change in the approach to improving teacher and leadership capacity while addressing learning loss for students. Kids First Education has developed a comprehensive, integrated approach focusing on principals, assistant principals, district/school instructional coaches, and teachers. In this session, participants will gain insight around specific strategies to ensure there is minimal learning loss for students. Participants will receive guidance for a District-Wide “WIN Plan” focusing on growth for leaders, teachers, and students.



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