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TAESE Coordinates Kansas Conference

Sue Reeves


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A TAESE employee sits at the information table
The information table at the Kansas Division for Early Childhood Conference in Wichita

The 34th Annual Kansas Division for Early Childhood Conference (KDEC) was held February 25-26 in Wichita, Kansas. The theme of this year’s conference was Building Real Relationships with Professionals and Families Using Evidence Based Practice. Staff from the Center for Technical Assistance for Excellence in Special Education (TAESE), the technical assistance division of Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilties, coordinated the conference. The conference had record attendance with 306 Kansas early childhood education professionals coming together for networking and professional development.

The conference included a day and a half of professional development opportunities, a pre and post conference, a poster session showcasing six students, and the opportunity to connect with 20 vendors. The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak, former faculty member of Kent State University and past president of the Division of Early Childhood. The keynote address was titled How Can You Avoid Making These Three Common K-Readiness Mistakes? A total of 35 breakout sessions were available to participants.

Mark Innocenti, director of the CPD’s Research and Evaluation Division, presented a well-received half-day workshop on using the PICCOLO (Parenting Interactions with Children:  Check list of Observations Linked to Outcomes). The PICCOLO was developed by Mark and colleagues at USU. The PICCOLO is currently being used across the U.S. and many other countries in programs serving families with children from birth through age three.

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