Conference will look at creative intervention for at-risk students

York’s Faculty of Education will hold a conference on Friday, May 6, titled “Children and Youth at Risk: Understanding Factors and Exploring Creative Interventions” from 8:30am to 3pm in Vari Hall Lecture Theatre A.

The keynote speaker for this event will be motivational speaker and leadership trainer Barry O’Conner, senior adviser to the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Student Success Project. The President of Foundations 2 Succeed, a company providing project management and leadership training, O’Connor has an extensive background in education and served as director of education for the Frontenac County Board of Education and the Limestone District School Board for more than eight years. A former Chair of the Council of Ontario Directors of Education, O’Connor believes that through quality publicly-funded education, society will grow and prosper and democratic societies will flourish.

The conference panelists are Zanana Akande, Urban Alliance on Race Relations; Chuck Waterman, superintendent of programs, Peel District School Board; Dr. Glenn DiPasquale, chief psychologist, York Region District School Board; and a representative from the Toronto Youth Cabinet.

The conference workshops will feature several York faculty members including Debra Pepler of the Lamarsh Centre for Conflict Resolution and Faculty of Education members Susan Dion, Nancy Foster, Celia Haig-Brown, Stephen Gaetz, Carl James, Isabel Killoran and Connie Mayer. Other presenters include Maureen Adams, United Way vice-president of allocations and community services; Steve Levkoe, principal at Mississauga’s Glenhaven Senior Public School; Angie Littlefield, retired principal and member of the Durham West Arts Centre; Dino Paoletti, Central Toronto Youth Services; Joyce Mounsteven, Toronto District School Board representative on the Toronto Training Board; Kathryn Turp, resource teacher with the Peel District School Board; Dick Mean; and Steve Meredith.

Topics to be discussed include:

• adolescent depression and suicide
• inadequacy of formal schooling for Aboriginal youth
• homeless youth
• poverty
• using arts to engage students
• harm reduction strategies
• understanding diversity
• literacy and numeracy and students at risk
• bullying
• lesbian, gay/bisexual Youth
• alternative programs
• special education
• principal’s role in supporting students at risk

This forum will be of special interest to teachers, community and support workers, principals and central staff and senior management at district school boards. Registration is $100 and cancellations are subject to a $20 administration fee.

To register, visit the York Office of Research and Field Development online registration Web site and select “Conferences”. The deadline for registration is Friday, April 29, 2005. For more information, visit the conference Web site or contact the Field Development office at ext. 55003.