Thank you to everyone who attended ERI’s VIRTUAL Therapies in the School Conference in November. For more than 20 years, our conference has provided resources and tools to help school-based therapists improve their practice. While this year’s virtual event format was unlike year’s past, the outcome was still exceptional; our phenomenal speakers successfully shared expert advice and engaging content to nearly 300 school-based therapists via Zoom; therapists previously unable to attend the conference due to travel were able to participate; and the level of collaboration connection in virtual break out rooms and chats were truly inspiring and informative.
This year’s topics included essential information to address the present-day challenges posed by COVID-19 including adapting school-based practices to telehealth, integrating trauma-informed treatment strategies (including COVID-19) into practice, evaluating participation, applying best practices for school-based learning, supporting students with sensory processing disorder using the STAR frame of reference, and so much more.
Therapies in the School is a success because of the truly remarkable speakers who inspired us with their knowledge, practical applications and skills. Thank you to Suzanne Davis Bombria, Susan Cecere, Sharon Cermak, Colleen Whiting, Kim Wiggins, Kimberly Wynarczuk, and so many more.
A special thank you to Anne Buckley-Reen for starting Day 2 with a yoga session that allowed us to make space to learn and feel connected to ourselves and fellow participants.
Not only does the annual conference provide therapists with the tools they need to succeed, the conference also builds new connections and fosters connections made among returning therapists and new participants. We also recognized those who have made exceptional strides in their field. This year, we recognized Candace Frantz as the recipient of the ERI Scholarship for New to School-Based Practice. Candace provides extraordinary support for students and caregivers, and continues to advance her career through her dedication to education. This year’s ERI Creative Therapies Award was awarded to Polly Merrchaert. Polly’s colleagues describe her as a team player, collaborator, and innovator who is consistently searching for inventive ways to engage with her students and caregivers, and serves as a consistently resource for fellow therapists, staff members, administrators and families.
Stay tuned as we create new opportunities and virtual groups to help continue to build connections and support among this community of professionals – Coming in the New Year!
At ERI, we understand and appreciate the importance of continuing your education. We are already busy gathering topic, speaker, and connection ideas and assembling next year’s conference. In the meantime, be sure to register for upcoming live webinars for school-based therapists that are not to be missed including Jessica Minahan’s “Practical Strategies for Reducing Anxiety in Students” on January 20 and 27, 2021, or pre-recorded on-demand courses including the Therapies’ in the School Online Series.
Once again, thank you to all the attendees and speakers and be sure to check out what others are saying below!
“This was my first year attending this conference. I will definitely come again! It was well run and speakers are all highly knowledgeable.” – K. Callum
“Great conference! After 32 years in practice it can be hard sometimes to find continuing ed that is enjoyable and applicable. This conference fit the bill! Very knowledgeable speakers and ERI goes out of their way to make sure things run well.” – K.Truppa
“Overall this was a great conference with a lot of great “take home” information. References provided an opportunity for meaningful follow-up. I would definitely recommend this conference.” – V. Mason
“I was really blown away by this conference! Because it was held virtually, I was able to attend for the first time as a second-year school based PT. The knowledge I gained from this conference will be able to be immediately applied, which is great. As I am the only PT in my district, having a clearer direction and understanding on how school based therapy and clinic based therapy differ will really help me out in the long run. I enjoyed each of the speakers, and all of the courses are applicable to my needs as a school based PT. I plan on returning in the future, and hopefully in person!!” – V. Brooks