Conferences

Wyoming Department of Education > For Teachers > Conferences

Professional Development Opportunities

The WDE offers conferences on a variety of topics throughout the year. Check this list frequently for updates.


The Wyoming Department of Education has announced the start of the 2021-22 WAVES conference schedule. All sessions will be offered virtually and free of charge and include the opportunity for PTSB/STARS credits. Don’t miss the opportunity to capture high-quality professional development on topics critical to the success of our Wyoming students.

Fall 2021 Schedule:

From 3:30-5 p.m. on September 30, 2021:
Executive Function Series #1: Executive Function and Metacognition: The Keys to Unlocking Success and Reducing Anxiety – with Dr. Lynn Metzler

How do we empower students while reducing stress and promoting academic success in school and life? The recent challenges of implementing online and hybrid models of learning have highlighted the critical importance of teaching students strategies for goal-setting, organizing, prioritizing, thinking flexibly, memorizing, and self-monitoring. These executive function skills affect students’ performance in most academic areas and are foundational for improved school performance, growth mindsets, reduced stress, and resilience. This presentation provides an overview of executive function and metacognition and focuses on the what, why, how of teaching executive function across the grades and content areas. Attendees learn practical strategies for promoting metacognitive awareness, flexible thinking, and executive function as part of the classroom curriculum. The session concludes with a discussion of the connections between students’ use of executive function strategies and their self-concept, persistence, and resilience.

Register here.

From 3:30-5:30 p.m. on October 7, 2021:
Executive Function Series #2: Executive Function and Stress Reduction: FlexibleThinking Strategies for Getting Unstuck – with Dr. Lynn Meltzer & Donna Kincaid, M.Ed

How can executive function strategies help students to learn when their funnels (or brains) get clogged and they become overwhelmed and anxious? When students get stuck and their thinking becomes rigid, their ability to execute tasks decreases and they may avoid or easily give up even on simple assignments. In this training, attendees will learn about the importance of cognitive flexibility, one of the cornerstones of executive function, and its critical role in school performance, growth mindsets, and reduced stress. We will also discuss the connections between students’ cognitive flexibility and their self-concept, persistence, and resilience. This session focuses on evidence -based strategies for promoting students’ cognitive flexibility so that students learn to shift and think flexibly in academic and social situations. 

Register here.

From 3-5 p.m. on October 12, 2021:
Refining the Implementation of IDEA in Wyoming for Speech/Language Pathologists – with Lenore Knudtson

This session is specially designed for Speech Language Pathologists to refine the implementation of IDEA. All Speech/Language Pathologists and Special Education Directors are encouraged to attend this event. 

Register here.

From 3:30-5 p.m. on October 14, 2021:
Session 3: Executive Function and Independent Learning: Strengthening Motivation and Engagement – Michael Greschler, Ed.M. 

What is the relationship between motivation, engagement, and executive function? Students who struggle with procrastination or low effort are often unable to utilize the executive function strategies necessary to stay engaged. They may also be unable or unwilling to work independently, and give up when they become frustrated. In this training, attendees explore the impact of motivation and engagement on students’ use of executive function strategies, and how to use EF strategies.. We will develop a more nuanced appreciation for understanding student’s procrastination and fluctuating motivation. Through hands-on activities, we will learn to teach executive function strategies in a way that addresses engagement and motivation, empowering students to be more independent and successful. 

Register here.

From 3:30-5:30 p.m. on October 21, 2021:
Session 4: Executive Function and Early Learners:  Creating Spaces to Foster Flexible Mindsets and Reduce Stress – with Dr. Julie Dunstan

How can early learners begin to develop the flexibility and resilience that is needed in school and at home? During these uncertain times, it is essential that we equip children with the tools to respond to adversity with resilience and flexibility. In this session, participants explore practical strategies for building metacognitive awareness and executive function processes in early childhood through storybooks and structured imaginary play. Participants also discuss the criteria of language and feedback that help to create spaces for learners to ask questions, make mistakes and take risks for learning.

Register here.

From 3-5 p.m. on November 9, 2021:
Refining the Implementation of IDEA in Wyoming for PT/OT/BIS – with Lenore Knudtson

This session is specially designed for Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Behavior Intervention Specialists to refine the implementation of IDEA. All PT/OT/BIS and Special Education Directors are encouraged to attend this event. 

Register here.

PTSB Credit: Participants should track their hours of attendance for the WAVES conference from August through November, and only submit one Summer/Fall PTSB form after November 9, 2021.  Submission deadline is December 15, 2021 for all Summer/Fall WAVES sessions.  PTSB credit will be submitted by the WDE once attendance has been verified. There will be a separate PTSB submission form for the Winter/Spring WAVES sessions, which will begin in January. 

Special Education Paraprofessional Training Series

This series focuses on professionalism, ethics, and confidentiality; behavior management strategies; high-leverage practices to support students; and effective teacher-para collaboration strategies.

Sign up here to receive email updates for all 2021-2022 WAVES Conference sessions.


2021 Wyoming Innovations in Learning Conference

For more information, visit the Innovations in Learning website or contract Robin Grandpre at 307-777-5315 or robin.grandpre1@wyo.gov.


Watch for 2022 Details for these WDE Conferences:

2022 Embracing Literacy Conference

For more information, contact Brittany Scherden at 307-777-7624 or brittany.scherden@wyo.gov.


2022 Native American Education Conference

More information is available on the conference homepage.


The 2022 Wyoming Education Summit

For more information, contact Danielle Saulsberry at danielle.saulsberry@wyo.gov.