2016 Keynote Speaker Karen Williams

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It’s not often that OSROA brings back presenters from out of state. When we do, it’s because they’re phenomenal. Karen Williams, MSSW, is known for her amazing ability to explain the latest neuroscience in ways that are easy to remember and applicable in real life. Karen explains the science behind why young people act the way they do. Anyone who has ever wondered if their teen’s brain was “broken” needs to hear what Karen has to say. Her current areas of focus include: brain development and behavior; the adolescent brain and behavior; the impact of distress, anxiety, and trauma on brain development and behavior; and the vital role of our “second brain.”

This year Karen will be presenting, “Lessons from Lincoln High: A Win-Win Solution.” In 2010, Lincoln Alternative School in Walla Walla Washington had a reputation for being worse than Philadelphia’s schools were a few years back. Then they turned things around in stunning fashion: an 85% decline in suspensions and a 40% decline in expulsions in YEAR ONE. After four years: a 90% drop in suspensions, ZERO expulsions, and graduation rate increased five-fold!  It also became famous for being the first high school in the U.S. to integrate science-based, brain-friendly, trauma-informed, and resilience-building practices.

Karen’s presentation, which will explore the science and the approaches and practices that change the lives of both students and educators, will close out our conference on Wednesday morning. If you work with young people she is not to be missed!

For more information about OSROA’s 2016 School Safety Conference click here.

Karen Williams, 2014

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