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Stetson and Associates Services


Stetson & Associates, Inc. offers an array of services for staff, program, and leadership development.

Each of our training sessions may be customized for your school or district. If you don’t see a topic that addresses your needs, we will gladly develop a training session based on the needs in your school. The trainings and services listed below have been developed on the basis of over thirty recent formal and information evaluations of school district and support effective educational systems that are responsive to all learners.

View our entire services catalog!

Staff Development

Staff Development

Our expert associates provide high impact, interactive professional development for all members of the school faculty.

Leadership Development

Leadership Development

Our leadership services offer a variety of capacity building and personal coaching options for district and school leaders.

Stetson Online Courses

Stetson Online Courses

Our Stetson Online course catalog consists of engaging and flexible online professional development courses.

Program Development

Program Development

Our program development services are designed to make a significant impact and improve programs at the district level.

Search by Audience

Keynote Speakers Available!

Leadership and Courage: The Seven Circles of Change

With the demand for leaders who are skilled in directing and sustaining change, an important starting point is the identification of the highest priorities–those that will exert the leverage needed to propel systems forward. Dr. Stetson will present her 2020 nominees for those high priorities for change in achieving improved outcomes for students with disabilities. Borrowing from the work of Brene’ Brown on Courage, the critical roles of leaders in facing the challenges and opportunities ahead will be presented with practical tools to support changed practice!

Let’s Make Lemonade!

It is a long-held belief that when truly difficult times arrive, it offers savvy leaders the opportunity to reconsider – reimagine – and revitalize our processes and results. This is particularly true as we all face COVID-19 and its challenges. There truly are opportunities to rethink our delivery and we will look back on this time as one of personal and professional trials and undiscovered gifts! Leadership 2020! As Winston Churchill said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste!”

Not for Sissies! Leadership for Students Receiving Special Education Services in Times of Great Turmoil and Opportunity

What an amazing time! Issues of changing school culture, the need for shared ownership for all students, budget considerations and still we focus on students and improved outcomes! This keynote session features a launching pad of mindsets and strategies for leading in times of uncertainty when much is at stake. Dr. Stetson will knit together the challenges and themes that educational leaders face in the evolution of services for students with disabilities by offering specific strategies for success in 2019 and beyond.

Here are the eight strategies featured:

1st: Surface adaptive challenges
2nd: Close the knowing-doing gap
3rd: Begin with the Why question
4th: Practice and insist on civility
5th: Provide clear standards of quality
6th: Identify necessary conditions for success
7th: Initiate courageous conversations
8th: Revisit your own belief systems

For each leadership strategy, resources and examples are provided.

The Softer Side of Leadership: Balancing the Needs of the Organization with the Needs of the Individual

In today’s hectic workplace, many educators feel the stressors of too many mandates and roles and too little time, guidance and validation. This session focuses on the softer side of leadership and the techniques for creating an environment of excellence and support. As the authors of the book: Leadership for the Common Good, remind us: “Leadership is heart and soul work. You won’t exercise leadership unless you care for the common good.”

But what does that mean in practical, every day terms? Let’s explore five responses to the challenge of motivating and leading: authentic relationships, physical presence, high standards and clear expectations, gifts of space and time, and concern for the ‘whole adult’! Participants will apply these approaches to case studies that mirror those situations you find most challenging in achieving the balance between the organization and the individual.

Reviewing Effective Staff Utilization: New Lessons for Doing More with Less!

Now more than ever, the effective use of personnel is a precondition for delivering quality services and achieving higher outcomes for students. Dr. Frances Stetson of Stetson and Associates, Houston, brings her extensive experience from staffing studies, program evaluations, and on-site technical assistance to a practical working session to demonstrate that doing more with less can actually mean just that! Such challenges as making certain that in-class support in inclusive classroom truly results in benefits that reflect two adults versus a ‘visitor on the side of the room’; making decisions regarding the need for paraeducator services on the basis of student needs versus adult preference; using an objective process for staffing and scheduling that results in improved student outcomes and other related issues will be discussed. Participants will also receive practical tools that support immediate use of these strategies in their own districts, schools and classrooms.

Quality Standards for Inclusive Practices: A Working Session for Assessing Your Current Status and Identifying Your Next Improvement Targets

As the philosophy and practice of inclusion have evolved, educators have moved beyond asking “why inclusion?” to focus on specific strategies for improving results for students and schools. Based on our list of quality standards for inclusive practices, Dr. Frances Stetson, of Stetson and Associates, Inc. will lead participants through an inclusive school assessment guide. For each standard, participants will learn cutting-edge strategies for achieving it and receive practical tools and resources to make the journey easier! Standards such as a commonly-held belief system and vocabulary, an objective, individualized process for deciding the most appropriate services for each student, effective staffing options, scheduling techniques and many more topics will be presented. This will be presented in a working session appropriate for small teams or for individuals with responsibility for achieving inclusion for all students.

23 Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap for Students with Disabilities

As schools review their accountability status, the progress of students with disabilities continues to raise serious concern. This session identifies 23 variables that positively impact efforts to close the achievement gap, beginning with the need for a system-level commitment to shared ownership for ALL students. This list is accompanied with specific explanations, implementation tools, and self-assessment instruments to lead district leaders toward improved outcomes for students and schools! School leaders will find the resources contained in this presentation very useful in enriching the dialogue and collaboration with curriculum and instructional staff, principals, and special populations directors. Participants will receive a link to related resources and tools for immediate use. Note: This is a rushed ½ day – even better for a full day working session.

Closing the Knowing-Doing Gap: 10 Priorities for Special Education Leaders

We all have personal knowing-doing gaps: starting that diet, cleaning the closet…In our professional lives, we have an important Knowing-Doing Gap to consider as well. Join Dr. Frances Stetson for her top ten list of effective practices that must be in place to see significant growth in achievement for students with disabilities, better use of scarce resources, and stronger teams to accomplish the work. You will receive your own Knowing-Doing analysis packet and resources to assist you in jump-starting your efforts to reshape and revitalize services for students with disabilities. Note: This session can also be designed to be appropriate for teachers as well as leaders.

Whatever Happened to Tier One? And Other Mysteries that Plague our Progress for All!

Call me discouraged and hopeful – all at the same time! Our extensive bank of knowledge gained from work across hundreds of school districts across the country provide a clear picture of the most pressing issue blocking progress for every student. That issue is the lack of effective Tier One strategies in virtually every classroom resulting in over attention to costly and ineffective ‘treatments for Levels 2 and above’ for students who would not need them if attention was paid to those research-based practices that prevent school failure and loss of time and energy for struggling students.

Dr. Frances Stetson of Stetson and Associates offers a clear and compelling argument for attending to the quality of Tier One instruction in every classroom! This session contains a message for school leaders and teachers through practical strategies, self-assessment instruments and hands-on resources to build and sustain strong Tier One practices for all students. We already know What to do – we just need to DO it! Implementation strategies are also discussed to narrow the leap from concepts to actions!

Note: This session can also be designed to be appropriate for teachers as well as leaders.

Five Easy Ways to Fail in Education

For an audience full of poster children for success, Dr. Frances Stetson brings her experience in thousands of schools across the US and her international experience with inclusive practices to focus on five easy ways to fail in education. With humor, insight and plenty of practical tools, this keynote session will engage the audience in a process of self-examination and personal skill-development in systems change, relationship-building and cultural proficiency. (Originally presented as a Keynote for CASE, San Antonio, 2014)

Sustaining Inclusive Practices or Avoiding Organizational Drift

Stetson & Associates, Inc. is recognized for our emphasis on quality standards for services for students with disabilities. We focus on systems-change and improved outcomes, but have recently noted that once great systems often slide right back where they started when new leadership is added or with the passage of time. We have devoted thought and new development to the task of sustaining the positive changes our clients have realized with inclusive education and other priorities for effective schools.

This session is perfect if you, too, are challenged by the difficulties of keeping rather than losing the hard-fought gains of change leadership. Stetson & Associates, Inc. provides each participant with a Sustainability Checklist and resources to lighten the load. Whether it is inclusive education, a new RTI approach, or any other change you have recently implemented, you will find our Sustainability Checklist useful again and again!

Doing More with Less: Budgeting in Tough Times for Better Results!

This timely session was designed to respond to our current financial woes in education by providing practical guidance to district leaders in ways to cut costs while boosting effectiveness and impact. Dr. Frances Stetson of Stetson & Associates, Inc. brings her extensive experience from staffing studies, program evaluations, and on-site technical assistance to a practical working session to see if “doing more with less” can actually mean more efficiency and effectiveness! Participants receive materials featuring cost cutting recommendations, and tools and strategies for improving quality practices related to assignment of teachers, paraeducators and central office personnel. A link to practical tools presented during the session is provided so they can be adapted and implemented within the district. These recommended changes represent a new level of focused attention to ongoing improvement of services for students with disabilities.

Originally designed as a five-hour working session for special education directors, this keynote offers highlights of high-yield strategies. Due to demand across Texas, this session has been replicated in eight different regional locations. It has been presented in short form for the Special Education Urban Collaborative in Los Angeles, and as a keynote to the Fall 2013 CASE Conference in Indianapolis.

Inclusive Practices: Recent Accomplishments and Remaining Challenges for Special Education Leaders

Dr. Frances Stetson brings perspectives from her work as sponsor of the international Inclusive Schools Network and from over 25 years as President of Stetson & Associates, Inc., an education consulting firm specializing in systems change for students with disabilities. This session focuses on the remaining challenges facing educational leaders in creating collaboratively shared responsibility for inclusive schools. Principal among them are the need for shared ownership for all students, more effective use of personnel, instructional strategies that increase successful access to the general curriculum, and various structural issues such as collaborative planning time and accountability for positive outcomes. For each challenge, cutting-edge practices and strategies will be offered. This session raises hope for a new culture of inclusive schools and success for every student.

The Science of Happiness - The Art of Leadership

The field of Positive Psychology has opened up new knowledge about the brain and the incredible possibilities for changing our outlook, efficiency and effectiveness! Our keynote speaker, Dr. Frances Stetson, will share strategies for increasing your happiness index, for influencing staff to approach challenges in a more positive and proactive way, and for capitalizing on the capacity of the brain to reconfigure our thought processes. Shifting to the applications of positive psychology to the field of special education and to the leadership roles we play, Frances will offer several ideas that just might shape your approach to leading and influencing people in the future! (Originally presented for CASE, Reno, 2017)

More Topics Available Upon Request