Saturday April 8, 2017 from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM EDT
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Currey Ingram Academy 
6544 Murray Lane
Brentwood, TN 37027

Driving Directions 


  • Early-bird Registration January 29 - March 17th
    • $125.00 - IDA Member
    • $175.00 - Non IDA Member
    • $125.00 - Groups (5+)
    • $ 25.00 - Full-time Student with ID
  • Registration March 18 -  March 31
    • $150.00 - IDA Member
    • $200.00 - Non IDA Member
    • $150.00 - Groups (5+)
    • $ 50.00 = Student

Contact Carmen O'Connor for more information


16th Annual RISE Conference

for Parents and Professionals

Saturday April 7, 2018

8:30am - 4:00pm

Keynote: 8:45 – 10:15 AM

Building Confidence from Competence: Intervention that Delights in the Successes of Young Language Explorers

Barbara Wise, Ph.D.


Children with dyslexia benefit from scientifically grounded structured-language interventions, such as Orton-Gillingham, Wilson, and Linguistic Remedies. A creative, positive teacher with deep knowledge of language science and a strong program can make exploring language a captivating, confidence-building experience. When a teacher encourages children, delighting in their discoveries, she builds their confidence as they notice their successes. Teachers can also help students, aides, or parents learn to coach positively as helpers. This talk teaches positive focused questioning in a game format, and demonstrates its use in a few teaching activities for reading, spelling, and vocabulary. While the activities come from Linguistic Remedies, they fit with many structured-language programs.


Breakout Session A: 10:30-11:45 AM

A1 – "Say Dyslexia" Legislation Guidance

Joanna Bivins, Ed.S., Director of School Psychology Services and Kate Martin, M.Ed., Executive Director of Special Populations, Tennessee Department of Education

This session will provide a description of dyslexia and how it relates to reading skills, and guidance related to the “Say Dyslexia” law. The legislation requires school districts to screen all students for characteristics of dyslexia and intervene appropriately as part of the RTI2 process. Additional legislative requirements include parent notification, reporting of students who receive interventions, and reporting of dyslexia specific interventions used within the district.

Target Audience: Educator, Parent, Advocate                       Grade Levels: K-12

A2 - Effective Comprehension Instruction and Strategies for Elementary Students

Casey Brasher, Ph.D., School Psychologist, Maury County Schools and Adjunct Instructor, Middle Tennessee State University  

This presentation will highlight the complexity of defining and assessing reading comprehension and discuss how that impacts instruction and intervention. Comprehension strategies, vocabulary intervention, as well as motivation and engagement will be discussed. Emphasis will be placed on providing participants with useful tips and strategies for improving the reading comprehension of elementary students.

Target Audience: Educator, Parent, Advocate                       Grade Levels: 1-6

A3 – Deconstructing the Complexities of the Writing Process

Nicole Cullom, M.S., Assistant Division Head, Currey Ingram Academy

Ms. Cullom will highlight evidence-based strategies to support students in Kindergarten through Sixth grade as they work to develop written expression skills. Specifically, the Self-regulated Strategy Development writing process, developed by Dr. Karen Harris, will be explored.

Target Audience: Educator, Parent, Advocate                       Grade Levels: K-6


Breakout Session B: 1:15 – 2:30 PM

B1 – Advocating with Confidence

Janie Potts, M.Ed., Student Advocate, and Sydney Cameron, College Student

Looking for strategies to advocate for your child?  I have two decades of advocacy experience as well as a master’s degree in education.  In this session, we will discuss parent rights within the educational system and different ways to access school services, regardless of where your child is on the spectrum of dyslexia. My goal is for parents to leave feeling more informed and more empowered to participate in the creation of the 504 plan or the IEP. Participants will also hear a personal account of how one college student with dyslexia learned to advocate for herself with and without an IEP.     

Target Audience:  Parent, Advocate                           Grade Levels: K–12 and College

 B2 – Addressing Anxiety in Children and Adolescents with Learning Differences

Amy Mariaskin, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist, Director, Nashville OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

Anxiety disorders are the most common emotional/behavioral disorder of childhood with up to 30% of children and adolescents meeting criteria for one. Learning differences can both affect and be affected by anxiety. In this talk, we will explore how best to address this common comorbidity.

Target Audience: Educator, Parent                                        Grade Levels: All

B3– A Framework for Paragraph Composition

Lynne Walker, M.Ed., CALT, Director, Simultaneous Multisensory Institute of Language Arts (SMILA) Middle Tennessee

 Beginning with oral language, paragraph construction can be explicitly taught to students throughout elementary school, and it can even be a little fun. This interactive session will provide teachers with new strategies for expanding oral language and written expression skills in a way that is exciting and engaging for students.

Target Audience: Educator                                                     Grade Levels: K-6

B4 – Classroom Supports for Middle and High School Students with Dyslexia

Wendy Boehm, M.Ed., Special Education Teacher, Williamson County Schools, and Vanessa Adams, Ed.S., Director of Educational Assessments, The Learning Lab

 During this seminar, presenters and attendees will discuss appropriate classroom accommodations for middle and high school students with dyslexia, including both high/low- technology options. The group will also examine accommodations for standardized testing and helpful ideas to prepare for college.

Target Audience: Educator, Parent, Advocate                       Grade Levels:  7-12


Breakout Session C: 2:45 – 4:00 PM

 C1 – What is Structured Literacy and Why Should I Use It?

Megan B. Murphy, M.Ed., CALT, CDT, Implementation Manager, Neuhaus Education Center 

The International Dyslexia Association uses the term Structured Literacy to describe the elements of good reading instruction. This umbrella term includes Orton-Gillingham and similar names for this instructional approach. This session is an introduction to structured literacy and the importance of embedding this in daily instruction for all students, but most importantly those with dyslexia. Participants will learn academic terms associated with structured literacy and discuss what this looks like in the classroom.

Target Audience: Educator, Parent                                        Grade Levels: K-12

C2 – Academic Standards, Instructional Implications, and Assessment

Wendy O’Neal, Ed.S., Parent and Teacher

In August 2017, Tennessee schools implemented the newly revised Tennessee Academic Standards for English language arts and math. Participants of this session will gain an understanding of the revision process, standards’ language, impact on teaching and learning, and explore assessment items.

Target Audience: Educator, Parent, Advocate                       Grade Levels:  4-12

C3 – Executive Function: Implications in the School Environment

Jane N. Hannah, Ed.D., Assistant Head of School for Academics and Programs, Currey Ingram Academy

This session will present information related to how Executive Function affects learning for the student in grades K - 12. In addition, educational practices will be presented that have been shown to improve executive function skills and subsequent academic skills.

Target Audience: Educator, Parent, Advocate                       Grade Levels: K-12

C4 – How Technology Can Support Students with Dyslexia

Krista Bolen, M.Ed., Assistive Technology Coach, Metro Nashville Public Schools, and Anna Thorsen, B.A., J.D., Decoding Dyslexia Tennessee

Your child struggles with reading and writing, and has trouble keeping up in school. How can you help them while still allowing them to be independent? In this presentation, you will learn how technology can support students with dyslexia and other reading disabilities. You will learn about assistive technology tools that are available on many devices, some you may already have in your home. You will hear about services that provide reading material in an accessible format for low cost or for free.

Target Audience: Parent, Advocate                                        Grade Levels: 1-12