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School of Education to host area educators at 2015 Strategies Conference

Monday, June 01, 2015

LAWRENCE — As districts across the state struggle with budgeting decisions, the School of Education at the University of Kansas will host a free day of professional development for area educators. 

For the seventh year, the school will host the 2015 Strategies Conference to focus on a wide range of cutting-edge topics that need to be addressed in many districts. On Friday, June 5, the school, in partnership with various organizations, will welcome more than 350 educators from all across the state of Kansas and surrounding areas to the Kansas Union for the themed event: Teaching & Learning in a Technological World.

The 2015 Strategies Conference, which is co-sponsored by numerous organizations, will include two keynote presenters in the morning and more than 30 breakout sessions for participants to choose from through the afternoon. One of the keynote presenters will be Wesley Fryer, a fourth- and fifth-grade STEM teacher at Independence Elementary School in the Yukon Public School District in Oklahoma. Fryer also is an author, having written several books on effectively using digital technologies to communicate, tell stories, teach and assess learning.   

The school also welcomes the 2015 Kansas Teacher of the Year, Shannon Ralph, as the second keynote presenter. Ralph began her teaching career in middle school science in Holton. She has also taught at Dodge City High School for the past 14 years and currently teaches all levels of biology.

“We couldn’t have asked for two better professionals to join us as keynote presenters this year. At a time when the state is facing challenges to make sure that all students have access to a great education, we are excited to be able to provide such a well-suited professional development opportunity at no cost to our hard-working educators,” said Rick Ginsberg, dean of the School of Education. 

The 2015 Strategies Conference is hosted by the school and is co-sponsored by the Kansas Alliance for the Arts in Education and the Kansas State Department of Education. 

“With the support of our co-sponsors, our goal is to ensure that our guests leave with an inspired outlook on improving their lessons, classrooms, grade levels, buildings, colleagues and districts as a whole,” Ginsberg said.

Comments from the 2014  Strategies Conference participants:

  • “The things I learned today will help me improve student engagement.”
  • “I will be able to take information back to district staff to share with them during curriculum meetings.”
  • “You all highlighted current, relevant topics in education, and it showed the direction we are headed. And the day was well-organized, as usual.”
  • “Many new resources – our kids are getting iPads this year, and it was good timing to attend so that I can apply these resources.”
  • “Thank you for providing the concrete examples of strategies being used in classrooms.”
  • “Quality, enthusiastic presentations – thank you.”
  • “I got a lot of ideas for both instructional practices and resources.”
  • “Thank you so much for this conference.  This year [2014] was outstanding – A+”
  • “All presentations were very well-focused on educational improvement.”
  • “Great opportunity to meet people from the state in a field that requires all of us to collaborate with each other.”
  • “The involvement with KSDE is critical to help practitioners understand if what their administrations is saying matches the state dialogue.”

For more information on the 2015 Strategies Conference, please visit:

The School of Education is a nationally ranked school serving educators, counselors, and health, sport and exercise professionals to prepare them as leaders.    

10th among public universities for its master’s and doctoral programs
—U.S. News & World Report
#1 public program in nation for special education
—U.S. News & World Report
Assists public schools and other partners in all 105 Kansas counties
$938,377 in scholarship funds awarded to 420+ students
Research expenditures of $36,804,773 for 2011-12
Research from KU’s largest grant, the $24.5 million SWIFT project, assists educators, children, and families across the United States
The award-winning special education faculty published 140 refereed articles, 11 books, and 60 chapters in 2015-16
Students with intellectual disabilities are participating in KU undergraduate programs through a grant-funded KU special education program
Researchers on a $3.5 million grant are collecting data on an innovative reading program designed to teach reading to students with the most significant disabilities in seven Kansas school districts
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
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