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A place to get ABE news from across Minnesota.

Empowering ABE Support Staff: Conference Updates - By Marty Olsen, ABE Coordinator

Don’t miss out on a fantastic learning experience! It’s also a great time to connect with others who have similar job responsibilities. Friday, November 17th is the last day to register for the Support Services Conference, to be held November 30th and December 1st. That is also the last day to apply for a travel scholarship.

REGISTER for the 2017 Support Services Conference >>

TRAVEL SCHOLARSHIPS – There are still a few scholarships available for hotel and mileage for those who travel more than 75 miles to attend the conference.

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Country Inn & Suites on Snelling (2740 Snelling Ave N, Roseville, MN 55113 / 651-628-3500). You can reserve a 2 queen room for $114.00 per night and a king suite for $139.00 per night. You must ask for the MN Dept. of Ed. rate. The block will be held until November 15th, but the hotel is very busy the week of the conference, so once the block is gone, there may not be more rooms available.

APPLY for a travel scholarship >>
(to find the application form and instructions, scroll to the bottom of the page)

Conference Highlights

Thursday, November 30 – PRE-CONFERENCE:  The trainings offered on Thursday are important for all staff. Trainings offered include ABE Foundations, CASAS Implementation Training, and TABE Implementation Training. Staff can attend these trainings even if they won’t be attending the Friday sessions.

Friday, December 1 – CONFERENCE:

  •  WELCOME & STATE UPDATE – Our state ABE staff will provide us with important updates.

  • CONCURRENT SESSIONS – Following the welcome and state update, there will be a variety of sessions to choose from. The sessions fall into the areas that are required for those desiring to earn a Support Professional’s Certificate. The areas include Tech Tools, Policy, Customer Service, and Work Culture.

    View the conference program >>
    • Google Makes Online Forms a Breeze: Surveys, evaluation forms, information requests, training registrations, and volunteer applications are just a few of the uses of this powerful, yet easy to use, application. 
    • Measuring our Progress: State ABE Discussion: Join state ABE staff to take a deeper dive into accountability topics like measurable skill gain, give input on the state assessment policy, and raise your questions about reporting, data, WIOA and other ABE hot topics.
    • Understanding Immigration in Challenging Times: Learn immigration basics, how new policies impact Minneapolis learners and their families, and how to connect to trusted legal resources.
    • How to Reduce and Defuse Classroom Conflict: How can we promote equity and inclusion while recognizing each student’s individuality? This workshop will cover the roots of conflict, differing types of conflict, and the role of communication skills.
    • SiD Reports/Excel: Take a look at reports available in SiD, from attendance to testing information, level gains and goals. Share ideas about how to put this information to use. Learn tips and tricks for exporting and organizing information in excel. There will be time for questions and answer.
    • What’s New at GED Testing Service: We will discuss and review new GED offerings, including GED Live, a program to supplement classroom instruction, partnering with Kaplan, and GED Flash, a digital flash card program, developed in conjunction with Aztec. 
    • Considering Poverty in ABE: Poverty and socioeconomic disparities are key issues that affect ABE students across Minnesota. In this session participants will consider history and information about poverty, as well as recommendations for working with individuals experiencing poverty. 
    • Bridges to Benefits: Bridge to Benefits improves the economic stability of low-income families by connecting them to several public work support programs and tax credits that can fill the gap between low wages and a basic needs budget. 
    • SiD Barriers to Employment/Goals and NRS Tracking: Question and answer time on tracking items required by state and federal guidelines as well as information for your local program reporting. Discuss best practices for both gathering and using this information in SiD.
    • Bearing Witness: Traumatic Stress and the Helping Professional: Participants will learn to identify and monitor indicators and symptoms of secondary traumatic stress conditions and their impact. 
    • Advice on Advising: Advising is an integral part of serving all Adult Basic Education students, from low-level English language learners up to those students who are transitioning into college. Hear from several unique programs who have created and are using different models and strategies for advising.
    • Critical Issues in Assessment: Information will be provided on best practices in assessment, updates on the new TABE and CASAS tests, and other critical issues.