Early Childhood Education Symposium

As a regional leader in early childhood education, The Summit Country Day School hosts a free community-wide symposium annually featuring national, regional and local experts in childhood learning, health and wellness. Gathering these thought leaders under one roof on the same day allows parents of children from birth to age 10 to quickly learn more about important and timely topics. Each year, a keynote address is followed by breakout sessions.

2018 Keynote: Author George Couros on Developing an Innovative Mindset

George Couros, author of “The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent and Lead a Culture of Creativity,” was the featured speaker for the 2018 Early Childhood Education Symposium on Saturday, Oct. 27. Couros has worked as a teacher, technology facilitator, and a school and district administrator in K-12 schools. Since the publication of “The Innovator’s Mindset” in 2015, Couros has become a sought-after speaker globally on the topic of innovative student learning and engagement. 

In addition to the keynote address, Couros spoke separately to parents of middle school students on how kids have an opportunity to make a difference in their world through the effective use of technology and social media.

As one of a few schools in Greater Cincinnati which offer an academic program for children as young as 18 months, The Summit is committed to quality early childhood education and the notion that "Parenting Matters" in that education. So this annual event is free and open to the public. CEUs are available for teachers. 

The Early Childhood Education Symposium keynote speech for 2016, 2017 and 2018 has been sponsored by Drs. Renee and Michael Kreeger. 

Thanks for participating

We thank all the presenters at our 11th annual Early Childhood Education Symposium and for all those who attended. While we are planning the 2019 event, we are leaving last year's program schedule online so that website visitors have an idea of the quality of programming presented.

2018 Program Schedule

8 a.m. Registration
The Summit Country Day Lower School

8:30 a.m. Welcome, Lower School Gym
Rich Wilson, Head of School, The Summit Country Day School

8:40 a.m. Keynote Address, Lower School Gym
“The Innovators Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent and Lead a Culture of Creativity”
George Couros

A leading national educator and author in the area of innovative leadership, teaching, and learning, George Couros will deliver the keynote address on his book, “The Innovators Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent and Lead a Culture of Creativity. Known for his emotional and humorous style, George’s presentation will push your thinking and connect to your heart in a way that remains with you long after the keynote address.  He will share strong messages on why it is critical to foster innovation and inspire creativity with our children in order for them to become effective citizens in a rapidly changing global society. He will inspire attendees to think about their own parenting and school choices and how those pieces will shape the way their children learn.

George Couros, Biography
George Couros is a leading educator in the areas of innovative leadership, teaching and learning. He has worked with all levels of school--from K-12 as a teacher and technology facilitator, school and district administrator and is the author of the book "The Innovator's Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity." He is a sought after speaker on the topic of innovative student learning and engagement and has worked with schools and organizations around the globe. George is also the creator of Connected Principals.com, an initiative that brings educators and leaders together from around the world to create powerful learning opportunities for students.

Although George is a leader in the area of innovation, his focus is always the development of leadership and people and what is best for learners. His belief that meaningful change happens when you first connect to people's heart, is modeled in his writing and speaking. 

10:00 a.m. Session Block 1

How Parents Can Support Their Child’s Learning Beyond the Classroom
Kathy Scott, M.Ed., R.N., Montessori Director, The Summit Country Day School

Parents are the first educators of children and have the key influence when it comes to children and learning. During the school year, children spend approximately 30 hours per week in a formal school setting. The rest of the time is spent outside of school.  With this knowledge, educators are often asked, “What can I do at home to support my child’s learning at school?”  This session will look at the importance of the first six years of life, the components necessary for learning, how the Montessori method of education supports the development of those key components and how parents can support the process beyond a traditional academic focus.  Intended to inform and be a resource for parents, Kathy Scott, Montessori Director from The Summit Country Day School, will provide parents with suggestions to help develop “soft” skills necessary for a lifetime of learning.
 
Child Adult Relationship Enhancement (CARE); Connecting with Children and Improving Compliance
Erica Messer, PsyD, Pediatric Psychologist, Clinical, Behavioral Medicine & Clinical Psychology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

This workshop introduces specific skills to effectively connect with children or enhance current relationships with children. It also provides a set of techniques for giving children directions to increase compliance and redirect problematic behaviors.  This workshop is applicable to children of all ages and can be generalized to a wide variety of settings and implemented at different levels of intensity.  

Montessori Literacy:  A Look at the Foundation of Literacy Skills
Alexis Weaver, M.Ed., Montessori and Lower School Literacy Coach, The Summit Country Day School

As parents and educators, we are aware that a child’s very early experiences set the stage for development of literacy.  We also know that learning to read and write is critical to a child’s success in school.  Please join us as The Summit Country Day School’s Literacy Coach, Alexis Weaver, explores the development of language as it pertains to literacy.  We will deepen our understanding of how we develop language skills through a close look at the Montessori environment and its natural way of cultivating the skills necessary for reading and writing. Alexis will also address the importance of a "good fit book" for independent reading as well as the benefits of read -aloud.
 
Tackling Challenges:  The Role of Mindsets and Anxiety on a Child’s Approach 
Elizabeth Drumm, M.A., Lower School Counselor, The Summit Country Day School

Adults can have a huge impact on how children learn strategies for managing their fear of failure, tolerance for mistakes and anxiety about their performance.  In this session, attendees will discover how to recognize some common approaches that children take when facing a potential challenge to their ability or self-concept, and learn practical ways to foster the type of growth mindset in children that promotes high achievement while also building resilience in the face of a setback.

THINK PLAY
Rene Mattson, M.Ed., Professor and Field Coordinator for Special Education Programs, Xavier University

Growing research shares the importance of executive function skills as building blocks in learning. We also know that these skills will help children in general as they go through school and life.  Learn about how purposeful play opportunities, created by parents and teachers can help children learn to stop, start, transition, focus and prioritize.   In general, when we teach these skills to our children through playful means, we help them to function more successfully in their world and achieve more growth at school and home. 

10:50 a.m.  Break, please pick up a light snack in the Lower School Dining Hall

11:00 a.m. Workshop, Lower School Gym
“The Innovators Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent and Lead a Culture of Creativity”
George Couros 

When working with groups, George Couros encourages discussing the “why” through a keynote then following up with hands-on workshops. This pushes learning forward, having participants leave with ready to use tools and educators ready to implement their new learning immediately. 

12 p.m. Session Block 2

Understanding the Social Milieu of Your Child
Mike Johnson, M.Ed., Lower and Middle School Director, The Summit Country Day School
During this session, participants will touch upon three distinct topics in an effort to deepen their understanding of the social dynamics of their children, their family and their workplace.  We will discuss two primary needs that drive our behavior – especially our children’s behavior.  We will then discuss the shifting moral compass and how this impacts behavior.  Finally, we will work with a dynamic visual to discuss the social milieu of our children. 

Nurturing Character Strengths and Promoting Healthy Mindsets
Sarah Zawaly, MSW, Director of the Innovation Lab at Children, Inc
Explore the latest research in Positive Psychology and Neuroscience to foster the “best” in ourselves and our children.  Learn simple strategies that support a growth mindset and build positivity in our young learners.  Participants will leave with tools to support their children’s resilience and help them bounce back from adversities.  This session brings research to life and connects it to every day practices to support healthy social-emotional skills that can ultimately lead to improved academics, positive relationships and increased self-confidence.  
 
Creative Problem Solving & Thinking Activities: Fun and Games You Can Use Now
Kirstin McEachern, Ph.D., Director Curriculum and Instruction, Diversity and Inclusion, The Summit Country Day School

Complex problem-solving, critical thinking and creativity are the top three skills students need in our future marketplace, according to the World Economic Forum. We can start developing these skills in our children now by introducing them to creative problem-solving in age-appropriate ways that will serve them well as they grow. How can you embed creativity and problem-solving into your children and students’ lives? With fun and games! In this hands-on session, we will learn about the Creative Problem Solving model and play some creativity games and engage in short exercises to flex our creative muscles, all of which can be replicated for use with children.

Beyond the Headlines: Empowering You to Feed Your Family with Confidence
Amy Reed, MS, RD, CSP, LD, Pediatric Dietician, Northeast Cincinnati Pediatrics

Do you feel like every day the news on food changes? One day something is good and the next day something is bad. In this session, we will look at some of the popular topics that are in the media regarding food and nutrition. Learn how to take a balanced look at nutrition and how you feed your family.

About the Symposium
As a leader in early childhood education, The Summit Country Day School annually hosts a free community-wide symposium featuring national, regional and local experts in childhood learning, health and wellness. Gathering these thought leaders under one roof on the same day allows parents of children from birth to age 10 to quickly learn more about important and timely topics. Each year, a keynote address is followed by breakout sessions. The keynote speech for 2016, 2017 and 2018 is sponsored by Drs. Renee and Michael Kreeger. As one of a few schools in Greater Cincinnati which offers an academic Montessori program for 18 month olds, The Summit is committed to quality early childhood education and the notion that "Parenting Matters" in that education. 

Review our Resources page for insights provided by past presenters. View our Testimonials page to see what previous participants have said about it.