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Learning Session "B" - Monday April 15, 2024 1:30 pm - 2:45pm


 Stars next to the workshop title means the
workshop is Student Oriented 

B1     Foster Youth Educational Outcomes: Exploring DataQuest and the CDE’s Downloadable Data Files 

Diana Casanova ,California Department of Education, Foster Youth Data Liaison

Mindy Corless, Los Angeles County Office of Education, Program Coordinator, Foster Youth Technical Assistance Program    Liberty Van Natten, California Department of Education, Education Research & Evaluation Administrator, Data Access & Strategy Office

Students in foster care represent one of the most vulnerable and academically at-risk student groups enrolled in California schools. The California Department of Education (CDE) monitors the educational outcomes for foster youth and engages with multiple state agencies and non-profit organizations to ensure these students receive the supports and services they need. This interactive workshop will provide an overview of foster youth educational outcomes for the 2022-23 academic year and discuss the CDE’s upcoming projects that examine their educational experiences. We will review tools such as DataQuest and the CDE’s downloadable data files and will provide a tutorial on exploring the Chronic Absence and Absence by Reason reports. You are encouraged to bring your devices (e.g., laptops) to get hands-on experience using these tools and data.

B2     Maximizing Collaboration with Sites

Ling Busche, San Francisco USD FYSCP, Lead Counselor 

Jaymie Frazier, San Francisco USD - Students and Families Experiencing Homeless, Lead Counselor


San Francisco USD, Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program (FYSCP) / Student and Families Experiencing Homelessness (SAFEH) programs will share promising school site-based practices to maximize collaboration on supporting foster youth and students experiencing homelessness. Drawing from our practice of joining school based Coordinated Care Team (CCT) meetings, we will explore everything from outreach, to meeting agenda/presentation, preparation of resources, data review, follow-up and impact of collaboration. By the end of the session, participants will be able to contextualize a similar process to implement at their own school sites.  Space will also be provided to share ideas on how to further expand collaboration.


B3     Centering Black Girls in Education 

Martine Jones, LACOE FYSCP


As a first-generation former foster youth who graduated from California Polytechnic State University in Pomona, I want to utilize my lived expertise to chart more equitable possibilities for system impacted youth. I want to raise awareness and encourage support around the lack of accessibility for Black girls in education. In this workshop we will be exploring the relationship between institutional implicit bias and race-based traumatic stress. Addressing and identifying these racial disparities will assist in more preventive and intervention resources. I will also be sharing healthy school diversions models that can combat over-policing and adultification of Black bodies.


B4     Promises2Kids - Creating & Sustaining Relationships for a Brighter Future 

Dr. Stephanie Oquendo, Promises2Kids, Clinical Services Manager

Egyiel Limbo, Promises2Kids, Associate Director of Guardian Scholars


We have all had the youth that is aging out of the system struggling to commit to programs and we think “WHAT more can I do to help them navigate this critical transition?” If you want to tackle this question and much more, please join the Promises2Kids team for an innovative take on how promoting healthy relationships and networking can move youth towards success. Promises2Kids and the Guardian Scholars Program have been teaching the importance of connection and community partnerships for over 42 years with amazing results. Come hear about this program that is serving 300 current and former youth a year, and has an 85% college/vocational graduation rate that utilizes advocacy, mentorship, and multi-agency collaborations to guide transitional aged youth. By combining youth voice and data trends we will engage in an interactive game in which you will learn how the Promises2Kids team work to break barriers and motivate our youth toward their brighter future.



B5     Out of the Clinic and Into the Woods!  Sharing case studies and methods in nature-based treatment and recovery programs for high-need youth 

Peter Mayfield, Gateway Mountain Center, Executive Director, Founder

Brittney Sampson, Continuity Consulting, Continuity Consulting


Over the past 13 years, Gateway Mountain Center has developed innovative nature-based treatment programs for youth suffering from severe emotional disturbance, complex trauma, and substance dependence. These range from individual weekly nature-based sessions to  Natural High Retreats for groups visiting the Sierra from across California, including many youth in foster care. This workshop will share inspiring case stories, lessons learned, and outcome data while teaching the fundamentals of a robust framework, Four Roots for Growing a Human. The workshop will be interactive and fun, with participants experiencing a well supported “vestibular activation course” and the sharing of very current neuroscience research supporting the efficacy of “embodied peak experience” in the treatment of emotional disturbance and substance dependence. 


B6     Being a Trauma-responsive Foster Youth Ally 

Theresa Reed, The Trauma Collaborative, Educational Consultant


Shifting from Trauma-informed to Trauma-responsive Engagement is designed to take the principles of being trauma-informed to the next level.  Many agencies are making a shift to be trauma-informed but are not sure on what it looks like in practice.  Through group discussion, worksheets, and interactive games participants will examine the impact of trauma across the lifespan and explore how students may be stuck in survival mode while they are navigating through their educational journey. We will review the trauma assumptions to help you create an action plan for being more empathetic and trauma-responsive in your cross-agency collaborations to support students.  You will also assess how your work with vulnerable students may have an impact on your life both personally and professionally. The training is based on the book, It’s Not Drama, It’s Trauma and It’s Not Drama, It’s Vicarious Trauma written by the Facilitator.



B7     Education Rights for Youth in Foster Care – Laws and Best Practices Across Systems 

Moved to "C" Group of Workshop

B8     School Stability: A Student-Centered Approach to Educational Success 

Kawena Cole, Los Angeles County Office of Education, Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program, Coordinator I

Loretta Ledezma, Los Angeles County Office of Education, Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program, Coordinator III

Alaina Moonves-Leb, Alliance for Children's Rights, Assistant Director - Education Program, Assistant Director

Shannon Birden,  Eastside Union School District, District Social Worker / AB 490 District Foster Youth Liaison


Through an interactive conversation, guided by the California Foster Youth Education Task Force, School Stability Sub-committee,  attendees will learn about best practices that are used to initiate the best interest determination process, the role and responsibilities of various stakeholders in school stability conversations, and how the best interest of students is always considered from a student centered perspective. You will learn about legislation that guides school stability including the Every Student Succeeds Act, AB 490, and AB 1933. We will discuss how to address challenges regarding school stability including but not limited to transportation options.

B9     Data-Based Success Stories: SEL, Behavior & Moree

Dr. Drew Schwartz, 1-2-3 Wellness, Leader

What if you had the tools to better understand and tell the story of your student's successes every day? What if by uncovering your student's success stories, you could catapult their SEL, behavior, attendance and academic success, every day? In this session, administrators, teachers, and COE leaders will gain tools related to the 1-2-3 Wellness program to promote unprecedented SEL, behavior and academic success daily. Importantly, we will learn ways to quantify every student's success. Every day. We will discover how to uncover and tell the story of student success on an individual, school and even regional level.


B10     Coordinating Complex Cross-Sector Work to Drive Improvement for Foster Youth Students 

Abby Petropulos, , Executive Leadership

Annie Sharpasharp, Senior Director - Data Strategy and Improvement

Jacob Pence,  Lead Data and Analytics

Office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools

In this session we will describe the five enabling conditions necessary to make large scale change for the outcomes of Foster Youth leveraging the power of a Networked Improvement Community.  We will highlight the processes/protocols that led to highly successful attendance, stability, literacy, and care coordination outcomes in Year 1 for 82 students and will highlight the process used to spread this work to 238 students across three districts in Year 2. We will reveal the positive outcomes of our foster youth in year one in the following areas:  Attendance, School Stability, Literacy, and Care Coordination


B11      Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship: Navigating Your Pathway to Greater Success

Valencia Esther
Aquanetta Davis
Super Investors

Join our dynamic and engaging workshop, where foster youth will embark on a transformative journey into the world of financial literacy and entrepreneurship. In this hands-on session, you will learn essential financial management skills while simultaneously igniting your entrepreneurial spirit. We will delve into the fundamentals of budgeting, saving, investing, crypto, spending and credit management, equipping you with the knowledge to take control of your financial future. 

B12     Resilience Is Everything

Dee Hankins


Come hear a story of resilience that will touch your heart and give you hope and ideas as to how to create more resilience in your own life. Dee Hankins will share his experience in foster care and will give you tools and ideas you can use in your own life. Life might throw you curveballs, but Dee will help you see how you can turn those into home runs.


B13     Bridging Systems: Building a Culture of Collaboration Between Education and Child Welfare 

Monica Gonzalez-Williams, Sacramento County Office of Education, FYSCP Director and County Coordinator

Sal De Leon, Sacramento County Office of Education, FYSCP. Coordinator/Program Liaison

Tiffany Hunt, Twin Rivers Unified School District, Program Specialist/Foster Youth Liaison

Bilee Hernandez, Sacramento County Child Protective Services (CPS) ,  Human Services Program Planner

Veronica Carrillo, Sacramento Child Protective Services (CPS), Centralized Placement Support Unit, Program Planner

Stephanie Sandmeier, Sacramento Child Protective Services (CPS), Extended Foster Care & Independent Living Program, Program Planner


While education and child welfare often work in silos, collaboration is key to the academic success of our students in foster care. In this workshop, you will learn about how Sacramento County cultivated partnerships among education and Child Welfare systems. Our panel from Child Welfare, the County Office of Education, and school districts will discuss the specifics to building systems of communication, data sharing, aligning resources, addressing challenges, and implementing innovative practices. There will be plenty of time for Q&A.


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