6 questions (and answers) about this summer’s California MTSS Professional Learning Institute 

California MTSS PLI title

This summer, the Orange County Department of Education and the Butte County Office of Education are teaming up to host the sixth annual California MTSS Professional Learning Institute at the Anaheim Convention Center. 

Spanning three days from July 18 through July 20, the conference aims to help educators, administrators and other school-based professionals meet the needs of all learners with strategies and resources that are based on the California Multi-System of Support framework.

We learned this week that early bird registration rates for the PLI have been extended through Wednesday, May 31. And here are some additional details about the event:

Who is this conference for?

The Professional Learning Institute, or PLI, is geared toward a diverse range of professionals in the education field, including teachers, administrators, school counselors, school psychologists, school-based mental health clinicians, paraeducators, non-instructional staff and representatives from community-based organizations. 

What can attendees expect to learn?

Themed “Equity in Action: Every Student, Every Day,” the PLI will focus on addressing issues of equity and access in underserved populations, improving teaching practices, utilizing data-driven decision-making, and creating positive school environments. With scores of sessions, activities and networking opportunities, attendees can expect to take away practical strategies and resources that can be applied to their specific roles and educational contexts.

What is the California Multi-Tiered System of Support?

As we mentioned, the conference is aligned with the California Multi-Tiered System of Support, or California MTSS, which is a comprehensive framework designed to help students succeed based on their specific academic, behavioral and social-emotional needs. Relying heavily on data and collaboration, California MTSS is based on three levels — or tiers — of support.

In the first tier, all students receive a baseline of high-quality instruction and support in inclusive settings. Examples include effective classroom management strategies, positive behavior interventions and differentiated instruction, which employs a variety of teaching methods to meet the needs of each student.

A second tier provides additional assistance for those who need it, such as small-group instruction or tutoring. And for a smaller number of students with the greatest needs, tier three offers more targeting interventions, such as individualized behavior plans or even one-on-one counseling.

In 2016, the California Department of Education selected OCDE as the lead agency to help scale up California MTSS statewide. The framework has since been linked to a number of positive outcomes, including higher academic scores and lower rates of bullying and harassment.

Who will present at the conference?

So far, more than 200 speakers with impressive resumes and a wide range of backgrounds and experiences have been tapped as presenters. Each day will also feature one keynote presentation — so there will be three keynotes total. 

The first keynote, titled “Educational Leadership,” will be delivered by Dr. Candy Singh, who brings 33 years of experience in K-12 and higher education, including 11 years as superintendent of the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District. In July, Dr. Singh will serve as the professor of leadership and superintendent in residence in the LaFetra College of Education at the University of La Verne. 

Day two will feature Roni Habib, the founder of EQ Schools, who specializes in promoting happiness, resilience and purpose among educators, leaders and parents. His talk is called “Joyful and Effective Leadership.”

The final keynote will come from Lessoncast CEO Nicole Tucker-Smith, who helps schools implement professional learning initiatives centered on inclusive teaching and equity best practices. Tucker-Smith will speak to “Ensuring Equity through a Healthy System of Support.”

What is the cost to attend?

From now through May 30, attendees can register at these early-bird rates:

  • Pre-conference and conference: $599
  • Conference only: $499
  • Pre-conference only: $99

And these are the registration rates after May 30:

  • Pre-conference and conference: $649
  • Conference only: $599
  • Pre-conference only: $149

How can I register for the PLI?

Those interested in attending the conference can secure their spots by visiting the official registration page on the California MTSS PLI website. Just follow the prompts to select the registration option that works best. And take a look around that website for more information.