March 23, 2018

SIU offering three professional conferences for educators and educators-in-training in April

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Conference and Scheduling Services is offering three conferences next month, providing diverse professional development opportunities.

The schedule includes the Southern Illinois Law and Leadership Conference on April 5, the Southern Illinois Art Education Conference on April 13 and the Closing the Gap Conference on April 24.

Law and Leadership April 5

“Illuminating Schools: Promoting Accountability and Transparency for Student Success” is the theme of the Southern Illinois Law and Leadership Conference, set for 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. on April 5 at the Student Center.

Principals, superintendents, school board members and other professions in the region will participate in workshop sessions focusing on such topics as:

  • legal issues (for pre-k through grade 12 and higher education),
  • student success, community and instruction partnerships, and
  • technology and education.

Libia “Libi” Gil, chief education officer with the Illinois School Board, will present the luncheon keynote address.

The event provides networking and school partnership discussion opportunities as well as an educational opportunity.

Art Education Conference April 13

Art educators at all levels will find new and innovative ideas at the Southern Illinois Art Education Conference, which takes place 8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on April 13 at Pulliam Hall and the Allyn Building.

The theme is “Embracing the Past, Creating the Future” and the lunch keynote presentation is by Sharon Vatsky, director of school and family programs at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

Breakout sessions will focus on a wide variety of topics, from classroom funding to art room multiculturalism. There will also be studio workshops, vendors displays and more.

Participating teachers can earn 5 Professional Development Hours.

Closing the Gap Conference April 24

The 17th annual Southern Illinois P20 Closing the Gap Conference will be from 8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on April 24 at John A. Logan College in Carterville.

More than 300 area educators participate each year and the 2018 theme is “Trauma-Informed Schools: Supporting the Whole Abused Child.” Glenn Poshard of the Poshard Foundation for Abused Children, is the opening speaker.

Many students today deal with problems, issues and struggles outside of the classroom that can affect their classroom learning and behavior. Conference participants will learn about adverse childhood experiences research, the impact of trauma on young brains, and classroom strategies to help students dealing with adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress begin to heal and better learn.

Evidence-based educational and trauma-informed care strategies to create healthy schools and help break the cycles of poverty, violence and disease that affect families will be the focus.

Breakout topics include:

  • adverse childhood experiences,
  • restorative practices,
  • toxic stress,
  • trauma-informed schools,
  • school safety,
  • social emotional learning,
  • resilience,
  • sensory disorders, and
  • sign language.

Register now

Costs for the conference vary, depending on professional status and date of registration. Discount pricing is available for students. Continuing Professional Development Units are available for professional educators who participate in any of the sessions.

For more information, or to register, visit and click on “conferences” or call 618/536-7751.