Winter Symposiums

Student Health and Wellness

Pine Crest School, Fort Lauderdale
February 5-6, 2020

Winter Symposiums | Day 1

Pine Crest School, Fort Lauderdale
Wednesday, February 5, 2020  |  8:45AM-3:15PM

At What Cost?
Defending Adolescent Development in Fiercely Competitive Schools

Anxiety, disillusionment and depression emerge, sometimes with devastating outcomes, as conflicts between ever-increasing school expectations and students’ developmental capacities persist. Concurrently, over the past decade, unprecedented human brain research has revealed that environment not only affects adolescent identity, but it shapes the brain itself. In light of the intensifying pressures on adolescents that we admit to imposing on them, what must we do now? For all our students, finding the right balance between an appropriate level of academic rigor and educating them in healthy, safe and balanced ways has crucial lifelong implications.


David Gleason, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist; Founder, Developmental Empathy LLC


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Dr. David Gleason is a clinical psychologist who provides counseling and consulting services, as well as neuropsychological assessments, within public, independent and international schools. Dr. Gleason earned a B.A. in Psychology (1982) and an M.A. in Counseling Children & Adolescents from Boston College (1987), and then a Psy.D. at William James College (f.k.a. Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology) in 1993. Dr. Gleason then served as Administrative Director of Student Support Services at St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire before opening his own practice in Concord, Massachusetts in 2000. At that time, Dr. Gleason also joined Concord Academy as that school’s Consulting Psychologist. Dr. Gleason has taught psychology at the secondary, undergraduate and graduate levels, and he presents workshops and seminars at schools, national conferences in the United States, and at international conferences around the world. Dr. Gleason founded a consulting group, Developmental Empathy LLC in 2016, and his new book, At What Cost? Defending Adolescent Development in Fiercely Competitive Schools, was published in January, 2017. 



Participants in this session will have the opportunity to fully engage the structured and interactive interview that Dr. Gleason has used in his research in schools throughout the US and all around the world. With this direct “hands on” experience, participants will understand more about how they can change in the direction of “developmentally empathic” approaches to educating their students.


Winter Symposiums | Day 2

Pine Crest School, Fort Lauderdale
Thursday, February 6, 2020  |  8:45AM-3:15PM

Educators Making the Difference for Students in a Challenging World

The mental health needs of students, the screen age, the incidence of bullying, cyberbullying, school violence, and suicide have resulted in very challenging times to be an educator. This presentation will help everyone enhance their knowledge and understanding of the risk factors for students. Research has emphasized the need for all students to feel a connection to school and it is very important for each student to have a significant relationship with one or more adults. Numerous tragedies could have been prevented if students had come forward and alerted school personnel and other adults about the warning signs of suicide and/or violence. School safety is an inside job and a commitment is needed from students, faculty and parents.


Dr. Scott Poland
Professor, College of Psychology; and Co-Director of the Suicide and Violence Prevention Office, Nova Southeastern University

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Dr. Scott Poland is a Professor at the College of Psychology and the Co-Director of the Suicide and Violence Prevention Office at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Dr. Poland is an internationally recognized expert on youth suicide, school crisis and prevention and has authored five books on these subjects.  He previously directed psychological services for a large Texas school system for 24 years and is a past President of the National Association of School Psychologists and a past Prevention Division Director of American Association of Suicidology. He is very dedicated to prevention and has testified about the mental health needs of children before the U.S. Congress on four occasions. He is a founding member of the National Emergency Assistance Team and has personally assisted school communities after 16 school shootings and numerous suicide clusters. He is the co-author with his partner, a retired school principal, of the Suicide Safer School Plan for Texas and the Crisis Action School Toolkit on Suicide for Montana. He previously received the Houston Wage Peace Award and the Helping Parkland Heal Award.



Participants will learn the protective factors for youth outlined by the World Health Organization and the factors that were identified by the Carnegie Foundation that are essential for student success and resiliency.


Breakout Sessions


8:45AM  |  US 320 Room | Welcome

9:00AM  |  Keynote: Educators Making the Difference for Students in a Challenging World

11:15AM  | Session I  •  Beyond the Counselor's Walls

Social emotional growth happens in more places than the counselor's office. Explore ways to bring social emotional learning and emotional responsiveness into all aspects of the school day. Presenters will share ways in which faculty can bring the classroom to life throughout the day.
Presenters: Aimee Dispoto, Psy.D. Licensed Psychologist & Certified School Psychologist, School Counselor; and Jaimee Rashbaum, B.S., Social Sciences Teacher and Advisory Coordinator, Pine Crest School

12:15PM  |  LUNCH

1:15PM  |  Session II  •  Connecting and Coping Strategies

Presenters will share simple, applied ways to connect with learners in the classroom to help them cope with the stressors of daily life. The session will explore classroom-based mindfulness techniques, unplugged strategies for reducing stress, and advisory programming. 
Presenters: Marybelle Estman, M.A., School Counselor; and Scott Weil, M.S.W., School Counselor, Pine Crest School

2:00PM  |  Session III  •  Fostering a Safe and Responsive Learning Environment
This session will take an administrative lens in exploring how to sustain cultural shifts in building a safe and responsive learning environment, which encompasses both physical and emotional well-being. Presenters will explore strategies to establish a shared vision for safety and responsiveness and illustrate how to embody that vision every day.
Presenters: Tina Bruce, Senior Director of Security; Jamie B. Morris, MS.Ed., LMHC, CEDS-S, School Counselor; and Krista Promnitz Ed.S., C.A.S., Assistant Head of Upper School, Chair of Counseling Department, and Acting Director of the Learning Network, Pine Crest School
3:00PM  |  Surveys

3:15PM  |  Departure


Who should attend?

Heads  •  Division Heads  •  Senior Administrators  •  School Counselors  •  Teachers


LOCATION: Pine Crest School, 1501 NE 62nd Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334

PARKING: Please park in the parking garage, located on NE 62nd Street/Cypress Creek Road. The garage is East of Dixie Highway. The security officers will assist participants in locating a parking spot. It is strongly recommended that participants carpool from hotels, if possible. View Campus Map

REGISTRATION COST FOR ONE WORKSHOP: $225 (Members) | $325 (Non-Members)
* Fee includes lunch.

BOTH  WORKSHOPS: $395 (Members) | $550 (Non-Members)
* Fee includes lunch both days.

Payment must be made prior to the workshop.

CANCELLATION & REFUNDS: All hotel cancellations must be made directly through the hotel and in accordance with hotel policy. Workshop refund requests must be made in writing and emailed to There is a $50 processing fee through January 15, 2020, with no refunds after this date.

QUESTIONS? Please contact Alison Carlson in the FCIS office at 813-287-2820 or

Hotel Information

Hotel Reservations: Below are several hotel recommendations. To make reservations, please contact the hotel directly. There is no FCIS group rate.

The Westin Fort Lauderdale
400 Corporate Drive
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334
Phone: 954-772-1331
For the Pine Crest rate, contact Meagan Obst at Pine Crest.
Meagan's Phone: 954-492-6671 or
Meagan's Email: 

Sheraton Suites Fort Lauderdale at Cypress Creek
555 N.W. 62nd Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
Phone: 954-772-5400

Courtyard Marriott Fort Lauderdale North Cypress Creek
2440 West Cypress Creek Road
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
Phone: 954-772-7770

Questions? Please contact Alison Carlson at