Education professionals are invited to join the Kenan Refugee Project at Duke University for Rethinking Newcomer Education, a one-day conference focused on challenges and solutions for refugee youth in the public education system.
The program will include morning panel discussions with leading experts on interrupted education and childhood trauma, followed by small group workshops with individual panelists in the afternoon. Registration is free and available through this form.
Schedule of Events
8 a.m.: Check-in and breakfast
8:45 a.m.: Opening remarks
9 a.m. Panel: “The Newcomer as a Student”
- Educational consultant Dr. Andrea DeCapua
- Las Americas Middle School Principal Maria Moreno
- Doris Henderson Newcomer School Curriculum Facilitator Valeria Kouba
10:30 a.m. Panel: “Trauma and Learning”
- Clinical Psychologist Dr. Molly Benson
- Research Scientist Dr. Katie Rosanbalm
- Legal Advocate Michael Gregory
1 p.m.: Roundtable Workshops
3:15 p.m.: Closing remarks with reception to follow
Panel 1 – 9 a.m.
“The Newcomer as a Student”
Educational consultant Dr. Andrea DeCapua, Las Americas Middle School principal Maria Moreno, and curriculum facilitator for the Doris Henderson Newcomer School Valeria Kouba evaluate and address the varying challenges of newcomer education both in the classroom and at an administrative level.
Panel 2 – 10:30 a.m.
“Trauma and Learning”
Clinical psychologist Dr. Molly Benson, research scientist Dr. Katie Rosanbalm, and legal advocate Michael Gregory discuss the impact past trauma can have on children in the classroom and approaches to constructive intervention.
Attendees will be able to join one of these six roundtable discussions, which will take place concurrently at 1 p.m.
- Las Americas: A Case-Study in Newcomer Education with Maria Moreno
- Classroom Challenges: Building Strategies for Newcomer Student Success with Valeria Kouba
- Beyond the Classroom: Trauma Sensitive Schools as Policy with Michael Gregory
- Mutually Adaptive Learning: A Culturally Sensitive Approach to Newcomer Education with Dr. Andrea DeCapua
- The Clinical Approach: Treating Trauma in Refugee Youth with Dr. Molly Benson
- The Local Context: Exploring Trauma Intervention Strategies in N.C. Classrooms with Dr. Katie Rosanbalm
Dr. Molly Benson is the Associate Director for Refugee Treatment and Services at the Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center at Boston Children’s Hospital. She provides oversight, training, supervision, and support for program activities focused on the development and dissemination of treatment interventions and resources for refugee children and families. She is licensed clinical psychologist who has experience providing evaluation and treatment to children and adolescents, including those who are refugees and youth seeking asylum in US. For several years she provided clinical services and supervision through the Psychosocial Treatment Program at Boston Children’s Hospital and currently she maintains a small private practice.
Andrea DeCapua, Ed.D., is a researcher, educator, and educational consultant. Her interests include second language acquisition, intercultural awareness, and second language learners and the classroom. She specializes in teacher training for teachers working with students with limited or interrupted formal education (SLIFE) as well as other struggling culturally and linguistically diverse learners.
Dr. DeCapua, alongside her colleague Helaine Marshall, has developed the Mutually Adaptive Learning Paradigm (MALP®), transition struggling learners to the educational priorities and practices of formal education. She is a frequent presenter and trainer at conferences, national organizations, and school districts around the country, and the author of several books on SLIFE and other struggling language learners.
Michael Gregory is Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Senior Attorney at the Trauma Learning and Policy Initiative (TLPI), a collaboration between Harvard Law School and the Massachusetts Advocates for Children. Along with Susan Cole the director of TLPI, Mike co-teaches Harvard’s Education Law Clinic, in which law students represent individual families of traumatized children in the special education system and participate in TLPI’s larger systemic advocacy for trauma-sensitive schools. Mike is a co-author of TLPI’s landmark report and policy agenda Helping Traumatized Children Learn, and is also a co-author of Educational Rights of Children Affected by Homelessness and/or Domestic Violence, a manual for child advocates. In 2009, Mike was named a Bellow Scholar by the Association of American Law Schools, in recognition of TLPI’s advocacy for Safe and Supportive Schools legislation in Massachusetts. He received his JD from Harvard Law School in 2004, graduating cum laude, and he also holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from Brown University.
Maria Moreno is the Principal of Las Americas Newcomer School. Las Americas is an English intensive school for recent immigrant and refugee students who have had a limited formal education in their native countries. Las Americas represents students from 32 different countries and 29 different languages, including Urdu, Nepali, Swahili, Arabic, and Vietnamese. She is a recognized member of the American Leadership Forum, Houston/Gulf Coast Chapter, Association of Hispanic School Administrators, Houston Association of School Administrators, and the Gulfton Youth Development Program. She is a featured speaker for the National Hispanic Professional Organization (NHPO), on the topic of Diversity Education in the 21st Century Classroom.
Valeria Kouba currently serves as the Curriculum Facilitator at Doris Henderson Newcomers School in Guilford County, NC, serving immigrants and refugees in their first year in US schools. She collaborates with several teams of teachers to design and implement curriculum, instructional units, and interventions to accelerate the language acquisition of ELLs in grades 3-12. In addition, she has focused on implementing appropriate assessment tools to monitor the academic progress of ELLs. She has a special interest in creating opportunities for students to develop their leadership skills and for teachers to grow in their cultural competence. Mrs. Kouba, a national of Argentina, has experienced Newcomers’ education and its challenges both as a mother and as an educator. During her twenty-eight years in education, she has taught English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in Argentina, taught Spanish and English as a Second Language (ESL) in US, and facilitated professional development for teachers in Argentina, Japan, and US. She was recognized as Teacher of the Year in 2008.
Katie Rosanbalm is trained as a child clinical and quantitative psychologist. Her work focuses on program implementation and evaluation in the areas of child maltreatment prevention, early childhood systems, and self-regulation development. She has conducted longitudinal evaluations of child welfare reform, early childhood Systems of Care, and manualized mental health and educational interventions. She has also served on multiple state-level boards and task forces to strengthen the evidence-based implementation of programs for children.