The Information and Resource Conference


SESSION 1: 10:30 - 11:30am

IEPs: Everything You Need to Know (Trilingual)

Have you ever been in an IEP meeting and wished you knew more? This workshop will provide an overview of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process. Participants will be provided with information to help them be active participants in their child’s IEP meetings. We will discuss all the parts of the IEP and what to expect at IEP meetings. Bring your IEP and your questions!

Presented in English by Charlotte Tresslar, Parent & Community Coordinator, SFUSD Special Education Services
Presented in Spanish by Flavia Valdes, Bilingual Education Coordinator, Support for Families
Presented in Cantonese by Josephine Cheung, Bilingual Education Coordinator, Support for Families

Understanding Special Education Assessments

Successful Individual Education Plans (IEPs) rely on assessments. Do you know how to read and understand these very important tests? Attend this workshop to understand how to request, read and understand assessments. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn and ask questions about the assessment process!

Presented by Cynthia Ortiz-Front, Psychological Services Supervisor, SFUSD Special Education Services

College and Career Planning for Students with Disabilities (Panel Discussion)

Does your child have a transition plan? Are you aware of the resources available for them at a junior college, a state college or at work? Representatives from various agencies will provide an overview of the resources and support their organizations provide to individuals with disabilities.

Moderator: Kara Schinella, Transition Program Supervisor, SFUSD Special Education Services
Panel: Marilyn Ridgway, CA Department of Rehabilitation; Kenny Adams, Disability Specialist, SF State Disability Programs and Resource Center; Prasant Nukalapati, What Comes Next Educational Consulting

SFUSD Behavior Supports

Many kids are struggling with the return to school after the pandemic. In this workshop, we will discuss the tools SFUSD has to support students at school and explore ways parents can help kids return to school and manage behavior through a positive and trauma-informed lens.

Presented by Cathy Sherman, Related Services Supervisor, SFUSD Special Education Services

Staying Calm When Your Kids Are Not

Do your children trigger you? Do you match anger with more anger? Or do you want to hide from conflict? You CAN interrupt these reactions and replace them with productive responses. You can hold calm power, both inside and out.

Presented by Ed Center, Founder, Village Well Parenting

SFUSD Special Education Literacy Interventions

This workshop will provide an overview of the interventions available to students with IEPs who struggle with reading. Participants will learn about SPIRE and other interventions.

Saveth Seang, Tier 3 Literacy Program Administrator, SFUSD Special Education Services

SESSION 2: 12:30 - 1:30pm

Guide to SFUSD Special Education Classroom Placement Options

Once an IEP team has decided what services a student needs, a decision needs to be made about where those services will be provided. SFUSD offers many different types of Special Education Classrooms for students with IEPs from full inclusion in general education, to learning centers, blended programs, special day classes and more.. We look forward to answering your questions about finding the best environment for your child to learn!

Presented by Jenny Jimenez Payne, Executive Director of Instructional Programs, SFUSD Special Education Services and Jean Robertson, Assistant Superintendent & SELPA Director, SFUSD Special Education Services

Alternative Dispute Resolution: Resolving Conflict Early

Many parents and caregivers of students with IEPs have experienced a situation where there is disagreement on the IEP team (which includes you!). Learn how to lean-in to that conflict productively and request support when the team struggles to come to a mutually agreeable solution independently.

Adriana Aro, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Compliance Supervisor, SFUSD Special Education Services

Transition Planning - Accessing Services for Your Older Child (Panel Discussion)

Join us for this panel discussion that will help you lay the groundwork to support your family member as they move into adulthood and independence. Panelists will share their resources to access services for continuing education, job training, social opportunities, as well as independent living skills, whether that means living at home or figuring out how to live in an apartment or group home. This is the place to find answers and get connected to resources that support adults with disabilities once they leave the school district.

Moderator: Linda Tung, Administrative Coordinator, Support for Families
Panel: GGRC, SFUSD Transition Services, InSF Adult Day program

Youth Mental Health: Parents as Allies and Advocates

Parents as Allies and Advocates is an educational presentation that provides an overview of youth mental health for parents/caregivers. The program includes information about mental health conditions, contributing factors, warning signs, communication strategies, and information about self-care and community resources. This workshop will be presented in Spanish with English interpretation available.

Presented by NAMI Presenters

Building Your Executive Function Toolbox

Does your child struggle turning assignments in on time, complete daily living tasks, and staying organized? In this workshop, Roberta Havens will help you build an “Executive Function Toolbox” to get your kid back on track. She will share techniques and practices to help you create a new way to work and parent your child. She will share some of the best tools and resources out there to help your kid organize their life, keep on top of their assignments and work to their potential.

Presented by Roberta Havens, Certified Educational Therapist/ADHD & Executive Functioning Coach

Experience Dyslexia: A Simulation

This popular hands-on learning disabilities simulation lets you experience some of the challenges and frustrations faced by people with this language-based learning disability. This lively and thought-provoking activity is for teachers, parents, or anyone interested in better understanding the lives of individuals with dyslexia.

Presented by Jen Salma, Decoding Dyslexia CA Regional Leader

SESSION 3: 2:00 - 3:00pm

Learning from Parent Leaders: IEP Tips & Tools

Join parent leaders as they share the lessons they have learned while supporting their children through the IEP process. Leaders will share their best practices for communicating and collaborating with schools, the school district and their community and most importantly, their recommendations for self care.

Presented by Havah Kelley, CAC Chair, Tina Perdices, CAC Member, Eileen Boussina, CAC Member and Support for Families Parent Mentor, Celeste Chacon, SF Kids Collaborative & English Parent Mentor Program Coordinator

Know Your Rights- Advocacy Workshop

The process of navigating special education services can be daunting and overwhelming, but families play a very important role in their child’s Individualized Education Program. Your participation as a parent is very important! In this workshop, participants will learn about Special Education law, the IEP process, what to do when things aren’t working, and how to become a more active and effective team member.

Presented by Noreen Ringlein, Special Education Advocate, Community Alliance for Special Education

Understanding Conservatorship and the Alternatives

Did you know that in order to maintain the legal rights to make important decisions concerning your child’s residence, medical treatment and education after age 18, you must be appointed conservator by a judge? And if you’re not there, who is going to be there to support your child? Do you have a plan? Conservatorship is an important step for some families of a child with special needs transitioning into adulthood. This workshop will explain what conservatorship is, why it is sometimes necessary, and alternatives that may work for your family. We will also cover an overview of the process for setting one up through your local court.

Presented by Alexis Lynch, JD, Attorney at Law, Law Office of Alexis Lynch

Young Adult Panel: Managing Mental Health Conditions 

Young adults share their knowledge and personal experiences managing mental health conditions. This group are amazing role models for younger students and for parents. Please join us!

Facilitated by NAMI

Healthy Sexuality for Teens with Disabilities 

What are the best ways to approach talking about sexuality with your teen who has an Intellectutal and Developmental Disabilities (I / DD) and Autism? Presenters will share research supporting sexuality education for people with I / DD and Autism and give suggestions for how to best explore conversations about dating, intimacy, curiosity and healthy boundaries as well as personal beliefs and attitudes related to sexuality and disability. (*disclaimer this workshop may not be appropriate for children)

Crossing the Bridge: The Transition from Early Intervention to Preschool and Beyond

Time flies doesn’t it? If your child will be turning three in the next year and you are currently receiving early intervention services, you may be wondering: what exactly is transition? We’ll help you understand the steps of transitioning from early intervention to preschool services for children with disabilities and/or special health care needs in San Francisco. Keep in mind that you are not crossing this bridge alone. There are many people, services and supports to guide you and your child over the bridge and beyond. These systems can seem overwhelming and confusing, but with time and support, you will learn how to be the best advocate for your child and his or her needs. 

Moira Zacharakis, Supervisor of Early Childhood, SFUSD Special Education Services