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Jill Brookner

 

Miamian Jill Brookner is instructional supervisor for Miami-Dade County Schools' Mentally Handicapped and Physically Impaired Programs.  She holds a BA from Indiana University and MS from University of Miami.   She is a seasoned classroom teacher of handicapped students and a Certified Experiential Trainer.  Jill's service with the Florida International Volunteer Corps demonstrates FAVACA's "long term commitment to short-term technical assistance."  Two of her six missions have been to St. Kitts and Nevis where she consults with that nation's Special Education Unit on curriculum development for main-streaming students with autism, attention deficit disorder, and other learning disabilities.  In Honduras, Jill has worked on four occasions with the Discovery School, an innovative bi-lingual institution in Tegucigalpa.  Over 1080 teachers from around the country attended Jill's Discovery School workshops in behavior management and alternative assessments, the only opportunity for in-service training many of them will have.

Projects:

DISCOVERY SCHOOL HOSTS NATIONAL EDUCATION CONFERENCE IN HONDURAS- The Discovery School in Tegucigalpa hosted a national education conference November 15-19, 2006 that provided an opportunity to more than 450 K-12 teachers to receive the latest information and materials on teaching techniques and research. Glenn Jones, director at the school and organizer of the conference worked with FAVACA volunteers to focus on presenting practical plans and techniques that could be used immediately by teachers in their classroom throughout Honduras. The training agenda included topics such as assessments, ESOL strategies, positive behavioral supports, team building, science strategies and multiple intelligences.  In response to the request for assistance from the Discovery School, the FAVACA training team was made up of multi-disciplinary professionals from the Miami-Dade County Public Schools  System that included return volunteers Jill D. Brookner, instructional supervisor and Josefina S. Derby, Staffing Specialist and first time volunteer Rosalia F. Gallo, instructional supervisor.  This national conference was of great significance to the Discovery School, FAVACA volunteers and participating teachers because such conference was the only one held in the country of Honduras annually that strived to meet the education needs of the entire community.

ST. KITTS SPECIAL EDUCATION UNIT RECEIVES TRAINING IN MAINSTREAM CLASSROOM INCLUSION.  Clarice Cotton, Education Officer at the Special Education Unit of the Ministry of Education in St. Kitts, requested a follow up workshop on inclusion.  Merging students with special needs into elementary schools has created the need for inclusion training for teachers and educators.  Return volunteer Jill Brookner, Instructional Supervisor with Miami-Dade County Public Schools traveled to St. Kitts March 1-4, 2006 to conduct a workshop on inclusion, community based instruction, supervision issues, and aspects of the United States  No Child Left Behind program.     As a result of this training, special education teachers gained skills to address a myriad of student needs while students with mild disabilities benefited from increased access to neighborhood schools.  Capacity building remains a priority leading to the need for teachers experienced in inclusion and differentiated instruction.

ST. KITTS SPECIAL EDUCATION UNIT RECEIVES FOLLOW UP CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT. Principal Clarice Cotton of the Ministry of Education Special Education Unit, requested follow-up curriculum development training.  The Special Education Unit, based in Basseterre, provides education and training for students with disabilities.  It is a self-contained facility which also advocates inclusion to mainstream education.  The Unit was established in 1982 and caters to children ages 3-19 throughout St. Kitts.  Jill Brookner, Miami-Dade County Public Schools and veteran FAVACA volunteer, traveled to St. Kitts March 2-5, 2005 to meet with teachers who are responsible for administration, evaluation, curriculum development, and literacy.  These teachers supervise children with Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder, and other learning disabilities.  Brookner reviewed their evaluation process, made recommendations for future needs, and determined next steps for professional development.

HONDURAS TARGETS EDUCATIONAL ASSESSMENT.  At the request of Glenn Jones with Honduras' Discovery School, Miamians Josefina S. Derby and Jill D. Brookner  conducted training in educational assessment at a nation-wide conference in Tegucigalpa, November 17-20, 2005.  Topics included Behavior Management, ADD & ADHD Students,  Performance Based Assessment, and ESL Strategies.  Brookner, a FAVACA veteran, is an instructional supervisor in the Division of Special Education, Miami-Dade County Public Schools.  Derby also with the Miami-Dade County Public Schools is a Staffing Specialist within the Division of Special Education.

FLORIDA EDUCATORS SHARE WITH HONDURAN COUNTERPARTS.  In November 2003 the Discovery School in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, hosted their second teaching strategies conference for bilingual educators.  The third and much anticipated conference was held on November 18-21, 2004.  Director Glenn Jones invited veteran volunteer Jill Brookner and first-timer Sharon McGee to share their skills.  Both volunteer consultants are employed with Miami-Dade County Public Schools.  Brookner is an administrator with the Office of Exceptional Student Education and McGee is a specialist at Edison Park Elementary.  Brookner updated her standing-room-only workshops on classroom management and alternative assessments.  McGee covered reading instruction including phonemic awareness, reading strategies and shared reading and writing.  Outside of the formal workshops the volunteers continued to offer suggestions and resources to their Honduran counterparts.  The Discovery School is an innovative bilingual school in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.  This year's workshops attracted over 350 educators from around the country.  It is one of the few professional development opportunities they will have throughout the year.   Jones reported next year's conference may be extended or offered in two cities to accommodate the demand.

HONDURAN TEACHERS FORTIFY SKILLS.  In April 2002 the Discovery School in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, hosted the first teaching strategies conference for bilingual educators, followed by a second conference in November.  In what is becoming a much anticipated annual event the Discovery School organized a third conference for November 21-22, 2003.  Director Glenn Jones invited veteran volunteer and perennial favorite Jill Brookner, an administrator from the Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS), to build on her popular workshops on classroom management and alternative assessments.  Jones also sought expertise in reading instruction.  Brookner's colleague at MDCPS, Cindy Kauffman, covered this topic with sessions on early literacy phonemic awareness, shared reading and writing behavior management and cooperative learning.  The Discovery School is an innovative bilingual school in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.  This year's workshops drew over 300 educators from around the country.  It is one of the few professional development opportunities they will have throughout the year.

ST. KITTS  DEVELOPS SPECIAL EDUCATION CURRICULUM. In March 2003 FAVACA International Programs Coordinator Natasha Marks traveled to St. Kitts along with Major Alberto Rivera of the US Southern Command New Horizons Program to explore collaboration.  As a result of their meetings Clarice Cotton, principal of the Special Education Unit requested assistance in curriculum development.  The Special Education Unit provides education and training for students with disabilities.  It is a self-contained facility which also advocates inclusion to mainstream education.  The Unit caters to children ages 3-19 throughout the island.  The Unit was established in 1982 and has never developed a curriculum.  Veteran volunteer Jill Brookner, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, traveled to St. Kitts February 8-11, 2004, to train fourteen teachers at the Unit along with eight members of the Ministry of Education's advisory committee.  This training will lead to a new curriculum and contribute to the Unit's mission: "to equip each student with skills that will enable them to lead as independent of a life as possible; thus creating a spirit of self-acceptance that would enhance their self-confidence and self-esteem."

HONDURAN EDUCATORS HONE SKILLS AT SECOND WORKSHOP. In response to a well-received event in April, Glenn Jones, director of the Discovery School hosted a second two-day teaching strategies conference.  The Discovery School is an innovative bilingual school in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.  The workshops were held November 15-16, 2002, and attracted 230 teachers of English as a Second Language (ESL).  Some participants traveled from as far away as San Pedro Sula, a four hour bus ride.  Veteran volunteer Jill Brookner, from the Miami-Dade County Public Schools, was invited back for her popular workshop on classroom management.  Volunteer Lina Spalding-Ramsay, Miramar, an ESL program specialist at Kensington Park Elementary, focused on ESL teaching strategies.  Faculty and students from the National Autonomous University of Honduras also participated.

FLORIDA EXPERTS SHARE TEACHING STRATEGIES WITH HONDURAN EDUCATORS. The Discovery School, an innovative bilingual school in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, hosted a two-day workshop on teaching strategies for over 200 local teachers of English as a Second Language (ESL).  Carlos Viera and Jill Brookner, colleagues from the Miami-Dade County Public Schools, presented several workshops April 23-28, 2002. The workshops focused on instructional and behavioral strategies for ESL teachers. Faculty and students from the National Autonomous University of Honduras also participated. Viera and Brookner also consulted with Discovery School Director Mike Kent and his staff on strategies for school improvement. Viera is director of the Office of Educational Planning and Quality Enhancement.

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