Advocacy for Supports in Public Schools: Tips from the Trenches

Pete Stavinoha

Communicating with public schools regarding student educational needs and supports is often difficult, and sometimes even frustrating. This session focuses on ways to improve identification of needs and advocacy for appropriate supports through a clear understanding of public school rules and expectations. The focus is on the intersection of the medical/clinical world and the public school environment. Strategies are presented for optimizing implementation of recommended supports within the public school setting.

An Open Conversation About Race: What Attitudes and Beliefs Do You Carry With You?

Deanna Morgan and Kelly Ihejiawu

A space to explore explicit biases that you carry with you and how they impact the work that you do. The region we grow up in, our family values, and even our friendships can shape the way we think about a group of people. Recent events have triggered many opinions about race and the role it plays in the way groups are treated by large systems. As educators we touch many lives. The goal of this discussion is to help you explore the impact you may have on the lives of those most vulnerable to experiencing racism in education.

Awaken to a Different World: Virtual Volunteering Is Here

Catherine Parts and Sarah Steinke

Hospital School Program (HSP) volunteer tutors play a vital role in providing instruction to many patients in the hospital. With the onset of the pandemic, it was no longer possible for these tutors to assist in the hospital due to COVID-19 restrictions. This session will provide a look at how one school program designed and implemented a virtual tutoring program, allowing volunteers to stay engaged by providing educational support to patients via virtual platforms.

Building a Community of Practice-A Practical Discussion from Saskatchewan Hospital Teachers

Miranda Field and Heather Lewis

Saskatchewan (Canada) Hospital Teachers have joined together to create a professional Community of Practice. This community of practice includes Kindergarten through Grade 12 teachers on pediatrics, psychiatry, and rehabilitation wards, as well as mainstream teachers of student’s with complex medical and mental health needs. A roundtable discussion will showcase the strengths and challenges of implementing and sustaining a professional community through the three year lived experience of Saskatchewan Teachers. Participants will be provided time to collaborate with others on how a professional community could supported in their communities.

CAMP: A Field Guide for Hospitalized Students' Best Summer Yet

Catherine Vautier and Scott Zagalak

Schools may be out for the summer, but the learning does not have to stop! This interactive workshop will teach you how to transform your hospital’s education program into an eight week summer camp for inpatient students and families. Learn how to create a new theme for each week, foster relationships with outside community organizations, and collaborate with medical teams and other hospital staff to create in-classroom and bedside engaging summer fun for every child.

Cancer in Children's Picturebooks: Examining Quality of Text, Accuracy of Representation and Children's Responses to Specific Texts

Katie Doering

This presentation describes a research study which combined a content analysis of children’s picturebooks featuring main characters with cancer with semi-structured interviews of children in active cancer treatment. Findings shared will highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the books, suggestions for improvement, and how to choose books to obtain meaningful reader responses. Session participants will also gain insight into the lived experiences of children with cancer, and the benefits of prioritizing children’s voices in childhood cancer research.

Continuity in Education Journal: Get Published!

Mindy Elliott

Get published in an international journal focused on the medical and mental health needs of students. HEAL partners with three other associations from around the world to publish the scientific journal, Continuity in Education, which is the first international journal focused on the medical and mental health needs of students. Roundtable discussions will focus on the steps necessary for attendees to share their experience and knowledge related to work with this unique population through journal article submissions. Whether you are seasoned in publishing work or this is your first time ever dreaming of writing for a journal, please join us to learn more and brainstorm topics and pathways to be published.

Creating a More Inclusive Hospital School Program

JoAnna Miller

This interactive workshop will be co-facilitated by a general education secondary and a special education teacher. Our discussion will center around our process of including more children with extensive and pervasive support needs in programming in our hospital school program. Participants will have the opportunity to hear about other school programs’ inclusive practices, share their own experience, and plan for next steps to further their inclusion model within their own programs.

Data-Driven Strategies for Informing Interventions and Assessing Outcomes to Promote the Educational Development of Children with Significant Medical and Mental Health Needs

Jennifer Lindwall

It is important to use data-driven strategies to assess the needs of youth with medical and mental health needs to deliver the most beneficial interventions possible. This roundtable discussion will review tools and tips for using data to guide interventions and assess progress, and will also invite participants to share their own tips and tools. Professionals engaged in this work can learn from one another’s experiences to more effectively use data-driven strategies in their settings.

Empowering Activities Following the COVID-19 Lockdown in Italy. An Overview of a School Re-Entry Program and of its Initial Results

Michele Capurso, Claudia Mazzeschi, and Luciana Pagano Salmi

The isolation related to the COVID-19 pandemic has raised concerns on children’s physical and mental health worldwide. Schools and kindergartens represent a crucial context that can play an important role in promoting young people’s well-being. This speech will present a school re-entry program aimed at creating an arena where children can process emotions, rediscover interpersonal connections, and develop an awareness of effective coping strategies. We will provide an overview of the results and children’s products.

The Future Redefined: Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult College and Career Fair: A Collaborative Symposium to Provide Pro-Active Education for Patients and Survivors

Bonnie Butler, Ashley Smith, and Priti Tewari

The first Future Redefined College and Career Fair for Pediatric, Adolescent, and Young Adult oncology patients was hosted in a hospital setting during March 2019. Patients interacted with colleges and organizations to equip them in making college and career readiness decisions. Journey through our first of many to come, Future Redefined College and Career Fairs to equip you with knowledge and skills to implement this collaborative platform within your institutions.

Hemonauts: A Digital Learning Game to Increasing STEM Learning and Disease Literacy in Chronically Ill Children

Elaissa Hardy

Our project has designed and created innovative ways to teach science and math using digital learning games to teach and promote disease and health literacy for chronically-ill children, in which their own medical experience is used as motivation and a springboard for learning. Our presentation will include educational outcome data collected in the game and an opportunity to play the game.

Hospital to School: Transitions for Students with Special Healthcare Needs

Maggie Davis

This research evaluates inpatient care educational programs for children with special health care needs, and both hospitals’ and schools’ capacity to effectively support these students as they transition back into “typical” school settings. This research assesses the current inpatient and outpatient systems’ effectiveness in supporting children during their transition. In ineffective cases, the research seeks to understand methods that could improve such programs. Twenty, semi-structured interviews with healthcare professionals, school nurses, teachers, social workers, and therapists were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness. The research highlights the negative impact of low school attendance on medically fragile children. It was found that a common home-hospital liaison or the use of a centralized database could create fluent and effective communication between all parties. Without a cohesive device for communication, the transition for students with healthcare needs becomes fraught and risks significant negative impacts on the child’s educational progress. The research provides an opportunity to create positive change in the disability, education, and healthcare communities by emphasizing the individuals’ voices who are impacted by these disparate systems.

Implementation of a Tiered Service Model for School Intervention: Results and Lessons

Kathryn Kirkpatrick

This session presents the results from the first year of a three-year study. The school intervention program is using the BSNI (Elam, Murphy, & Irwin, 2019) to establish level of school needs and then provide tiered services to meet the level of need for patients in the Division of Hematology/Oncology. The study assesses the feasibility and fidelity of a tiered service model. Year one data and lessons learned in the implementation process are shared.

Mental, Medical and Multiple Diagnoses: A Look into the Individualized Academic and Transition Plans for Common Comorbid Diagnoses

Andrea Martin and Katherine Toman

Eating Disorders present unique medical, cognitive and education challenges beyond the primary diagnosis that requires individualized learning approaches. Academic and transition plans must include unique accommodations that take into consideration the most common cognitive, medical and learning concerns of each patient. These common conditions require a structured, well-rounded plan to guide the whole care team, including the patient, family, home school and future treatment teams, during patient recovery within all levels of care.

The Need for a Comprehensive Communication Tool for Patients, Families, Schools, Hospital Educators, and the Medical Team

Elaissa Hardy

Similar to communication tools used by schools and apps used by diabetic patients and their extensive care team, we’d like to create a communication tool for chronically ill children where patients can easily communicate their daily status with their network of school teachers, hospital school teacher, and medical team allowing everyone the ability to follow up accordingly. During the roundtable discussion, we’d like to explore important and required design features of a comprehensive communication tool.

New Member Orientation

Patty Dillhoff

New Member Orientation provides new and/or existing members a broad overview of the Hospital Educator and Academic Liaison Association. Join HEAL President, Patty Dillhoff, in an interactive session that will include information on the mission, vision, history, structure, partnerships, events, networking opportunities, educational offerings, and opportunities for greater involvement in the organization.

Optimizing Educational Advocacy for Hospital-Based School Liaisons: Strategies for Success from Assessment to Intervention

Kyle Landry and Christie Ruehl

Unlike specific medical conditions, which are diagnosed and treated by medical specialists, the responsibility for diagnosing and supporting related neurodevelopmental deficits falls into a gray area. For this session, workshop facilitators will share the benefits of engaging a member of the child’s medical team into routine school collaboration, as well as share key tips and tricks for school staff to get the information they need to comprehensively support the child’s unique learning needs. This presentation is consists of an on demand presentation followed by an interactive workshop. Participants are encouraged to view the on demand presentation prior to workshop participation.

Psychosocial Standards Review and How One Hospital is Implementing the Standards to Improve Care and Educational Opportunities

Kris Frost and Sheila Brown

Psychosocial professionals gathered on Capitol Hill to advocate for the psychosocial needs of childhood cancer patients and families. These meetings inspired professionals to conduct a systematic review and engage in discussions where psychosocial standards of care were developed (Wiener, Kazak, Noll, Patenaude & Kupst, 2015). These standards became the inspiration for one psychosocial team to review, critique current practice and implement new methods and programs to improve the psychosocial care of children and families.

Reaching Graduation for Students with Chronic Medical Needs

Gayle Domsch

This round table discussion will explore and share the multi-faceted problem of students with chronic medical needs navigating the complexities of managing competitive health and school requirements, especially focusing on secondary students. In addition to acquiring credits needed, their struggle to have sufficient advocacy for their health and academic needs is central to their success in achieving their graduation goal. School attrition, classroom engagement, and alternatives for traditional classes will be developed and evaluated.

School Avoidance: Supporting Students, Families, and School Teams

Karen Sexton

Students who struggle with emotional difficulties often avoid and/or refuse to attend school. Discussion topics will include an overview of the four main reasons students refuse school, a description of Kearney’s School Refusal Assessment Scale, recommendations for supporting students within their family system and school environment, and two resources to assist hospital staff when communicating with family adults.

Student Success Plan

Michele Britt and Virginia Trimble

Participants will learn about and design Student Success Plans (SSP) and through the use of a SSP template, help create an environment at school offering ongoing success. Learning to use the SSP will allow participants to encourage parents to advocate for their children throughout the school year and create the successful academic learning environment they desire. Presenters will demonstrate the use of the SSP format ultimately allowing attendees to develop several plans based on individual scenarios.

Supporting the Educational Needs of Adolescent and Young Adult Patients

Courtney Emery

A cancer diagnosis at any age is a daunting experience. For adolescents and young adults, who already face many unique challenges, a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Programs are being established throughout the country to offer support for the unique needs of these patients. School support services are often a critical component for the overall success of AYA patients. We will discuss the role of educational specialists in AYA programs.

Understanding and Meeting the Educational Needs of Children in Southern African Countries

David Gordon

The goal of this session will be to introduce HEAL Members to the educational needs of children with disabilities/chronic medical conditions in sub-Saharan Africa, discuss current efforts underway to meet the needs of children with disabilities/chronic medical conditions, provide preliminary data regarding current efforts in clinical and hospital settings in the Southern Tier of Africa, and discuss ways HEAL and HEAL members could play a role in addressing the educational needs of children with chronic medical needs across the Southern region of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Virtual Group Programming: One Institution's Best Practices

Gina Dragomanovich and Erin Henderson

At our institution all group programming spaces were closed March 13, 2020 due to Covid-19. This severely limited in person instruction and student interactions. As a response to this, individuals in our child life department generated innovative ways to make group interaction possible. This presentation will share our best practices for virtual group programming.

What Makes a Quality Hospital Education Program in the Diverse State of Queensland, Australia?

Michelle Bond, Ben Orford, and Perry Trattos

Access to high-quality education programs is a fundamental right for all children. In Queensland, Australia, we have embarked on a research-based initiative to determine the fundamental elements to a successful hospital education program. The outcomes of this initiative have ensured that inclusive practices are at the forefront of educational services, in order to support the diverse population of Queensland.

What School Personnel Need to Know About a Student's Cancer Diagnosis: Practical Information and Strategies for Support. Information and Interviews from LLS's Staying Connected Program.

Mary Kay Irwin and Karen DeMairo

Staying Connected: Facilitating the Learning Experience During and After Cancer Treatment, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s new interactive online continuing education (CE) program for school personnel will be highlighted in this session. A brief overview of the modules, including the effects of treatment for all cancers affecting children and adolescents, cognitive and psychosocial challenges for survivors throughout their education, laws that protect children and AYA survivors’ rights, strategies to help meet the students’ education needs, grief, and resources to support schools and families will be presented. A link to participate in the complete program to earn CE credit, as well as to share with other educators and healthcare professionals treating children and adolescents, will be shared for this free program.

WIZkids: The Initiation, Growth, and Adaptation of an In-Hospital Elementary School Hour During Normal and Not-So-Normal Times

Annie LeClere and Sarah Smith

WIZkids was designed to engage large audiences with innovative, creative, and interactive elementary lessons. In this session, one program outlines its start, the obstacles it has faced, and how it has thrived amid the pandemic. Walk away with the tools to start your own school hour or enhance your hospital’s current model.