5th Annual Boot Camp Conference

June 21 & 22, 2022

Register for Conference

Presentation Topics

The Laughter Elixir: How Stress Makes You a Terrible Person and Why You Should Laugh About It!

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Session Summary: This interactive session will review the most recent science on the physical, psychological, and social impacts of chronic stress and will introduce participants to the science of laughter. This presentation will help participants understand the correlation between stress and mental health and will provide a brief overview of why poor mental health is the next epidemic.  Participants will engage in a short laughter "practice" and Dr. Wappett will provide several simple self-care strategies that participants can use to manage stress and promote mental health in their personal lives and in the classroom.

Presenter:  Dr. Matthew Wappett is a researcher, a writer, and an educator in stress management, leadership, and inclusion. Dr. Wappett is the Executive Director of the Institute for Disability Research, Policy & Practice at Utah State University. He holds an affiliate appointment as a Research Associate Professor in the USU Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling.  Dr. Wappett’s teaching and research on the effects of stress on learning and behavior helps individuals and organizations understand how to become more resilient and inclusive.  Dr. Wappett is committed to providing educators, social workers, and other human service professionals with the tools they need to manage their stress, and the skills they need to become more resilient. He is committed to creating inclusive environments that foster a sense of purpose and belonging. Dr. Wappett’s work is also focused on the effects of laughter as a stress management technique and a tool to create inclusion.  He finds great joy in teaching people how to laugh!

That’s Right! You are a Learning Architect!

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Session Sumary: Richard Deming stated “Systems are perfectly organized to achieve the results they get.” Both teachers and school leaders aspire after learning results almost never attained. Rather, they attain the learning results their classrooms and schools are designed to attain. This session will guide participants through an abbreviated process in which they will peel back, layer by layer their classroom or school to better understand why it produces the results it produces, and from there, the process will help them develop a fresh blueprint, that if deployed, will result in far higher levels of student, teacher, and school leader success.

Presenter: Dr. David Forbush has worked in education for 28 years. He has worked as an assessment specialist, school psychologist, Title I coordinator, special education director, project director – multiple federally funded projects, university pre-service trainer, academic interventions clinic director, and director of a state-wide professional development system. He is the Associate Director for The Center for the School of the Future at Utah State University. Among other projects and responsibilities, he currently coordinates USU’s charter school authorization efforts, and coordinates the Behavior Support, Consultation and Training Service. He is interested in evidence-based practices and in the implementation of those practices to good effect on student learning and behavior. Dr. Forbush has been recognized in a myriad of ways of the years, but for him, one of the most impactful recognitions was being honored as Utah’s Director of Special Education of the Year in 2013. He lives in the Cache Valley with his wife who is a 5thgrade teacher. He has two daughters who are educators. He likes to read and write, road and mountain bike, paddle board, ski, snowshoe, snowmobile and play with his four grandchildren. 

School Mental Health as the Foundation for Student Success 

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Session Summary: This presentation will discuss multi-tiered school mental health as a framework to support student social-emotional, behavioral, and academic success. Content will include a discussion of ways educators can create safe and supportive school communities for all students—ranging from class and school wide practices to therapeutic services provided by school psychologists, counselors, and social workers, behavior analysts, and other elected service providers. The presentation will highlight the importance of working on mental health collaboratively within schools and between community partners, and the benefits of strong mental health programming on student achievement.

Presenter: Dr. Aaron Fischer is the Dee Endowed Professor of school psychology, adjunct assistant professor of psychiatry, and director of the University of Utah Huntsman Mental Health Institute's School Mental Health Collaborative. He is a Licensed Psychologist and Licensed Board-Certified Behavior Analyst. He has worked with individuals with mental and behavioral health concerns, and their families for over 15 years.  His research focuses on the intersection of innovative technology and school mental health, specifically telehealth applications to support diverse students, caregivers, and educators.

Behaviors that Support Tier 1 Mental Health in the Classroom 

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Session Summary: Recent events have effected the overall mental health of millions of Americans.  Our students have experienced unprecedented increases in depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, sadness, and hopelessness. As educators, there are specific behaviors we can display to provide support and protective factors for our students. These behaviors are free, simple to use, and evidence-based to be effective to enhance overall mental health and wellbeing of students and staff. Research shows when we infuse these practices into our daily routine, students and staff are happier, time engaged in learning increases, and overall outcomes are improved.  

Presenter: Christine Manning is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and a Licensed Behavior Analyst in the state of Utah. She has a passion for helping children with autism and other abilities in the home and school settings. She enjoys collaboration with administrators, teachers, and parents in support of children with challenging behaviors using evidence-based interventions. She worked as a special education teacher and principal for Spectrum Academy in North Salt Lake for 10 years, supporting children with autism. She worked for the Utah State Board of Education (USBE), as an education and behavior specialist in the special education department. These experiences have allowed her to grow and fulfill her life-long desire to help children be successful. She currently works as a behavior and special education consultant for Utah schools and contracts with Utah State Center for Schools of the Future Behavior Supports Team. She is the chair of the UtABA School Collaboration Committee supporting behavior staff in Utah schools. She is part of the Utah School Mental Health initiative working to promote mental health services in schools with wrap around services in the community. She is the Director and owner of Manning Behavior Services, an in-home ABA clinic serving clients along the Wasatch front. She has a genuine compassion and dedication to serving children and families and takes joy in supporting people in living happy and fulfilling lives. 

Sustaining Student Engagement

Andrew Vardas

Session Summary: Have you felt like the strategies you've used just aren't motivating or engaging students in the ways they used to? In this session we will look at the changing landscape of engagement as well as the research and practice that will help you continue developing your understanding of what makes students want to fail forward, learn, and grow.

Presenter: Andrew Vardas-Doane, after teaching in the classroom for a number of years and collecting degrees like candy on Halloween, Andrew has been working as a portfolio manager for the Utah State Charter School Board. He currently consults with around 40 charter schools across the state and specializes in helping students, teachers, and administrators find stainable ways of motivating and engaging to enhance learning.

Prevention and Intervention -- You've Got This!

Katie Harris Portrait

Session Summary: This year, teachers and paraeducators have voiced frustration over problem behaviors in the classroom setting. We often see “procedural drift” when it comes to implementing the basics of effective instruction and classroom management techniques. This session’s tips and strategies will help teachers feel more confident addressing challenging behaviors through antecedent and consequence-based interventions.

Presenter: Dr. Katie has over twenty years of experience working with children and adults with disabilities in a variety of environments. Most of her experience is with children with autism and severe disabilities; she has served as a behavior specialist, special educator, coach, special education coordinator, and currently works as an assistant teaching professor in the World Campus Applied Behavior Analysis graduate program at Pennsylvania State University. In addition, she worked as an implementation specialist for the Utah Professional Development Network where she delivered trainings throughout the state on the topic of addressing challenging behavior, and currently works as a team member for Behavior Support, Consultation, & Training at the Center for the School for the Future.


Behavior Support Consultation & Training

Utah State University's Center for the School of the Future (CSF) offers behavior support, consultation and training to Utah’s school leaders, instructional staff and behavior specialists to effectively support students displaying tier III level behaviors. 

What is it?

  • Face-to-face and virtual consultation
  • Face-to-face and virtual student observations
  • Virtual or video recorded student observations
  • Face-to-face or virtual coaching
  • Face-to-face or virtual implementation support
  • Functional behavior assessment
  • Behavior intervention plan development
  • Ecological/environmental assessment
  • School-wide tier 1, 2, 3 systems analysis
  • Parent, staff and student training
  • School or system wide professional development
  • Face-to-face or virtual implementation support
  • Policy development assistance
  • Guidance on applying IDEA policy and procedures responsive to behavioral issues

How do I get started?

It’s easy… simply email or contact David Forbush to learn more about BSCT and discuss your needs 435-797-9050, david.forbush@usu.edu.

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BSCT is a fee for service offering. BSCT staff have extensive experience, are friendly and look forward to working closely with you.