January 31, 2020

Exceptional Care with a Team Approach to Inclusion

Recorded Sessions

From January 19 – 29, 2021, Trying Together hosted our free Virtual UnConference: Exceptional Care with a Team Approach to Inclusion. Recordings of each workshop have been added to this page for those who were unable to attend.




UnConference Details

Young children thrive and grow in their natural learning environments, including children with developmental differences. Educators play a critical role in creating an inclusive and diverse environment for children to feel a sense of belonging, to feel valued as a member of the classroom, and to feel empowered to learn to their full ability. UnConference: Exceptional Care with a Team Approach to Inclusion dives into the importance of working together—with a collaboration between teachers, intervention specialists, and parents/caregivers—to provide this environment for children to learn and grow in differentiated ways yet feel included in the group.

This is a free Virtual UnConference.

What Do I Receive?

    • PQAS and/or Act 48 hours.
    • Networking with colleagues.
    • Interactive workshop sessions.
    • Refreshed or refined thinking about your work with young children.



Featured Sessions

Keynote: Exceptional Care with a Team Approach to Inclusion

Tuesday, January 19, 2021  |  1:30 – 3 p.m. 
Presented by: Trying Together and Children’s Institute  |  Keynote Speaker: Wendy Pardee  

During the keynote session, Wendy Pardee, President, and CEO of The Children’s Institute will share how they created a collaborative environment that provides a positive view on early intervention in an effort to bring different parties together in the best interest of the child. The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion featuring an educator, parent, and intervention specialist.

Transition and Educational Support in the Early Childhood Environment

Thursday, January 21, 2021  |  6:30 – 8 p.m.
Presented by: Kristina Berg and Loreleigh Elders, DART

Early Childhood Educators are an active and critical part of a child’s early intervention team that is often lost in the process of transition and service planning. This presentation will provide an overview of the early intervention process, as children age out of the Infant/Toddler Early Intervention Program and transition into Preschool Early Intervention Support. We will provide practical examples and resources of ways to support children and families through the transition process, as well as ways to adapt the preschool classroom environment in order for all children to be successful.

Creating and Building Inclusive Support Teams for Children

Friday, January 22, 2021,  |  10 – 11:30 a.m.
Presented by: Serena Washington, Trying Together

When thinking about what a team/collaboration approach looks like when working with children and families we must be open to asking the following questions: Why is it important to build a team for a child(ren)? What does the team/collaboration approach look like? Who and what do we need on the team/collaboration? How do we work and communicate as a team? In this workshop, join us for a robust discussion and learn strategies for creating an inclusive team to support your children.

How to Assess Your Students Needs: Using the ASQ through the Lens of Infant Early Childhood Mental Health Program

Tuesday, January 26, 2021  |  1:30 – 3 p.m.
Presented by: Gloria Rodriguez-Ransom, The Pennsylvania Keys

Through the expertise of the Infant Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) program, participants will receive an overview of the Ages & Stages Questionnaires with a particular emphasis on assessing children’s social and emotional development. The developmental screening tools ASQ3 and ASQ:SE 2 are designed for children ages three months to five years and designed for use by early childhood educators and health care professionals. Attendees will learn how to administer and score the screener and share the results of the screener with families and professional colleagues. In addition, recommendations for suggested resources will be shared if additional services are needed.

Overview of Infant/Toddler Early Intervention Services in Allegheny County Referral Through Transitioning Out of 0-3 Services

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | 10 – 11:30 a.m.
Presenters: Erica Balint and Vonna May-Miller, Alliance for Infants and Toddlers

In this workshop, presenters will discuss how the child’s 0-3 Early Intervention (EI) team collaborates with families and child care staff so that all have an understanding of how the EI system in Allegheny County operates and supports children. This session will give an overview of how children are referred and become part of the EI system. Information will include how a child is referred, eligibility criteria, evaluation process, service planning, and implementation along with transitioning out of 0-3 services.

Catering to The Whole Classroom: Lesson Development and Implementation That Speaks to Every Child

Friday, January 29, 2021 | 10 – 11:30 a.m.
Presented by: Daile Fordoski, Lyasha Bishop, LaRae D. Cullens, The Learning Loft

There is not one lesson in any learning environment that is one size fits all. It is the educator’s responsibility to develop ways in which a lesson can benefit every child in a classroom. This workshop examines strategies for planning and implementing inclusive activities for children of varying developmental levels. Participants will have the opportunity to practice these skills by dissecting a pre-made lesson and sharing ideas and strategies of accommodation that can be applied in their setting.





Registration for this event is closed. Recordings of each workshop session will be available on this webpage after the conclusion of each session. Please continue to monitor this page for updates.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Do I Attend this UnConference Virtually?

These sessions were hosted using the web-based video conferencing platform Zoom. Please download Zoom to your device of choice prior to the start of the UnConference. UnConference hosts sent out all workshop links via email at least 24 hours before the start of each event.

How Do I Receive Credit?

PQAS and Act 48 credits are available to professionals who registered for and completed these sessions. More information, including the online Attendance form, will be sent via email to individuals who registered. Once completed, Jasmine Davis, Professional Learning Program Manager at Trying Together, will process your credit. If you have questions specific to receiving credit, please email

More Information

For questions about the UnConference, contact Yu-Ling Cheng at

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About Wendy Pardee

Wendy Pardee, UnConference Keynote and President & CEO, The Children's Institute

Wendy Pardee, President & CEO, The Children’s Institute

Dr. Wendy Pardee joined The Children’s Institute as President and CEO in August 2017. She has led the 118-year-old nonprofit organization through transformational change in a short period of time thanks to her leadership, vision, and advocacy for our community’s youngest residents. Wendy has more than two decades of management experience in the healthcare, human services, and financial services sectors. Previously, she served as President and CEO of Skills of Central Pennsylvania, an organization with sites in 18 counties serving those with intellectual disabilities. She also served as CFO of the Community Guidance Center and began her career at First Commonwealth Financial Corporation.

Wendy has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Accounting and Management of Information Systems, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, and a Doctorate in Administration and Leadership Studies. She has served on community child care boards, community health councils, local YMCA boards, the Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association board, the Center Area Transportation Authority Board, and the American Association of University Women.



Thank You To Our Sponsors and Partners

A huge thank you to our series sponsor PNC Group Up Great, our sponsor Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) Region 5, co-host The Children’s Institute, and workshop partners.




PNC Grow Up Great logo








About Trying Together

Trying Together supports high-quality care and education for young children by providing advocacy, community resources, and professional growth opportunities for the needs and rights of children, their families, and the individuals who interact with them. Trying Together works regionally (in Southwestern Pennsylvania) and takes its expertise and models to statewide and national audiences.


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