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Classified Conference 2024: Respect Is Essential: When It Reigns, Success Follows

We are excited to announce that the virtual 2023 Classified Conference will be occurring on Saturday, March 11th, from 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM. Registration is now open for this event, which includes workshops on

  • School Nutrition Trends
  • Screen Time and Learning
  • Child Find
  • Managing Student Behavior
  • Mandatory Reporting
  • And more!

This conference is open to all union members. Many workshops will qualify for professional development and continuing education credits. 

Register here - space is limited!

This year's workshops:

Finding Your Communication Style (AM Session)

Communication is how we accomplish almost everything. We communicate even when we don’t think we are. Because communication involves so much interpretation, it’s easy to be understood differently than intended. While we can never learn to communicate perfectly, we can tap into our own natural skills and work to resolve mishaps in communication confidently and gracefully. This session will be interactive, so come prepared to share your thoughts and ideas.

Special Education and Child Find (AM Session)

Federal and state law both guarantee children with disabilities appropriate public education, and finding the children who need special education and related services is a basic function of the educational system. This workshop discusses what an effective Child Find process looks like.

Nutrition for Learners: Nutrition Program Trends (AM Session)

Access to nutritious food is necessary for every child to learn. School nutrition programs play a vital role in getting healthy food to students, but they’re also changing in significant ways. Workshop participants will learn about the trends in nutrition programs and how nutrition programs play a vital role in students’ access to food and ability to learn.

Navigating Your Benefits (AM Session)

Washington state’s benefits programs are constantly changing. This workshop covers changes to the SEBB program, as well as Washington’s Paid Family and Medical Leave program and the WA Cares Fund. Come learn about the changes, and get tips and tricks that help you maximize your benefits!

Managing Student Behavior (PM Session)

We know that every behavior is a communication of something, but what can we do when student behavior causes disruption to the school environment for students and staff? In this workshop we will define behavior, discuss what it can look like, and talk about ways to manage it in different school settings. This session will have a lot of discussion, so please bring your thoughts and ideas.

Supporting Students and Families: Mandatory Reporting (PM Session)

School staff are often the first people who see the signs of abuse and neglect in children, and are mandatory reporters. But what does mandatory reporting look like? This workshop focuses on issues including the role of professional codes of conduct in guiding ethical decision-making, the role of implicit bias around race, class, and gender in observations of children prior to making a report, and the best ways to connect families and caregivers to supportive services.

Managing the Impact of Screen Time On Learning (PM Session)

Increasingly, children use screens, as learning tools and recreational sources alike. This impacts what and how they learn, sometimes in significant ways. Vocabulary acquisition and development is particularly affected by the shift to screens from books. This workshop looks at ways to impact issues caused by increased screen time that acknowledge the shift to an increasingly digital world.

Retirement (PM Session)

Many of us look forward to retirement – but it’s common to ask yourself: “How do I know when I’m ready?” If you are 2 years, 5 years, or even 10 or more years from retirement, this panel is for you! This workshop is in two parts. The first part is a presentation from the Department of Retirement Systems with information that classified employees should be aware of to prep for retirement. The second part is a panel discussion with retired members of AFT Washington, answering some of the less technical questions about retirement and how they knew if they were ready to retire. We will have a Q&A with the panel, so bring your questions!

Professional Development Credit will be indicated when it has been approved. Workshops marked with an * are approved for TFESP members; workshops marked with a ^ are approved for Northshore and Issaquah members.

Questions? Contact Cortney Marabetta at

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