Professional Development > Conferences and Workshops

Conferences and Workshops
(Click here for the 2019-2020 Professional Development Series PDF)


Building Community with Responsive Classroom
Jenny Spero

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 9:00 am - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 3:30 pm

ISACS Classroom
Chicago, IL


  • Day One: "Introduction to Responsive Classroom" with Jenny Spero, Tuesday, December 11, 2018, Time: 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
  • Day Two: "Responsive Classroom for Special Area Teachers" with Jenny Spero, Wednesday, December 12, 2019, Time: 9:00 am - 3:30 pm

Day One: Tuesday, December 11

Learn how Responsive Classroom practices foster positive community, integrate academics with the teaching of social and emotional skills, and create the conditions for positive student behavior. Hear the characteristics of teacher language that promote respectful, kind, and positive classroom communities and explore interactive modeling—a structure to introduce routines and procedures in a clear and concise way. Participate in interactive learning structures to use with your class to make lessons more engaging and see how the Responsive Classroom approach to discipline can establish a calm, orderly, and safe environment for learning. Participants will experience Responsive Classroom strategies as an adult learner, and watch videos of Responsive Classroom teachers implementing the strategies with students in grades K–8.

The Introduction to Responsive Classroom Resource Book is included with registration.

Day Two: Wednesday, December 12

Special area teachers face unique challenges—tasked with imparting expertise across grade levels, in small windows of time, often with an entire week between classes. You are also uniquely positioned to become experts in child development, supporting students as they grow and change year after year. Learn how Responsive Classroom practices can be used to explore the opportunities and address the challenges of special area settings. Participants will identify specific developmental patterns in students across grade levels and will generate ideas to manage a changing environment that serves a wide range of ages and stages. Learn the five essential Responsive Classroom practices: rules and routines, interactive modeling, teacher language, engaging academics, and responding to misbehavior and consider the impact of, and learn to apply, these core practices in time-pressured special area classrooms.

The Special Area Teachers Resource Book, Responsive Classroom for Music, Art, PE, and Other Special Areas is included with registration.

This workshop is K–8 special area teachers and specialists who teach music, art, physical education, foreign languages, and other elective courses.

Jenny Spero is a professional development designer and consultant at Center for Responsive Schools (CRS). Prior to working full time for CRS, Spero taught for 12 years at The Plains Elementary School in Athens, Ohio. She quickly developed a passion for Responsive Classroom teaching practices after attending a Responsive Classroom workshop and seeing the positive impact the approach had on her students. In her current role, Spero enjoys being able to influence other educators through her travel around the United States and internationally, where she coaches and shares the Responsive Classroom approach. 

Location of Workshops
The workshops will take place at the ISACS classroom, 55 West Wacker Drive, Suite 702, Chicago, IL. 

Directions, Parking and Public Transportation for the ISACS Classroom
The location is located in the heart of Chicago, with easy access to public transportation.

Click here for directions to the ISACS classroom including driving, parking, and public transportation.

Parking is available at several area garages. To secure discounted rates prior to your arrival in Chicago, visit If possible, we suggest taking public transportation.

Air Travel
Both Midway and O'Hare airports are easily accessible to the ISACS classroom. Fly into Midway (on Southwest Airlines) or into O'Hare and take the "L" (Chicago's public transportation) and be at the ISACS classroom in less than an hour.  

​Ground Transportation from O'Hare and Midway Airports
Taxis from O'Hare and Midway airports cost approximately $40-50 to downtown. Uber/Lyft options are offered at both airports and will be less expensive.

ISACS has negotiated a special rate with GO Airport Express (shared van shuttle service) for ISACS members – 15% off the standard rates. Reservations MUST be made in advance and online to receive the discounted rate.  The standard rate per person to/from O’Hare is approximately $28 one-way; $49 round-trip. The standard rate per person to/from Midway is approximately $24 one-way; $40 round-trip. To receive the 15% discount off the standard rates, please click here for the Go Airport Express website to make a reservation in advance. A credit card is required and charged at the time of reservation. Airport walk-ups are not eligible for the discounted rate. Parties of two more reserving at the same time receive a discount. Please visit their website for more information.  

Hotel Accommodations 
ISACS has secured discounted room rate of $109/night plus tax at The Godfrey Hotel Chicago: a luxury boutique hotel for the nights of Monday, December 10 and Tuesday, December 11. To make a reservation, please contact The Godfrey Hotel Chicago at (312) 649-2000 and identify yourself as a member with the Independent Schools Association of Central States (ISACS) and provide the Group Code: ISACS Workshop Responsive Classroom. Discounted rooms are available until November 21. Credit cards are required to book all room reservations. If you would prefer to book online please click here to make your reservation. For directions to The Godfrey Hotel Chicago, which also includes walking directions to the ISACS classroom, click here

If you are looking for another option or the room block is full, please take a moment to check out the other hotels which ISACS has partnered with in the Chicago area. The hotels are within walking distance of the ISACS classroom and, as a member of ISACS, you have access to the discounted rates all year long for your professional and personal travel. Click here to find out how to make a reservation at any of the hotels and select the option that meets your travel needs. We recommend booking your hotel room early.

If you have any difficulties booking a room at The Godfrey Hotel Chicago or at any of the hotels listed, please contact the ISACS office at (312) 750-1190.

Registration Fee

  • During the registration process, please select the day(s) you plan to attend.
  • Register early as we anticipate this workshop will reach capacity
  • These workshops are for ISACS member schools only

Two-day Fee

  • $350 member fee
  • Group discounts are available for two-day registrants from the same school - the first person pays the full two-day fee, each additional registrant receives a $25 discount
  • Two-day workshop includes coffee/tea, light breakfast, lunch, and refreshments on Tuesday and Wednesday
  • Please review the Registration Confirmation information below

One-day Fee

  • $190 member fee
  • There is no group discount available for one-day registrants
  • One-day workshop includes coffee/tea, light breakfast, lunch, and refreshments
  • Please review the Registration Confirmation information below

These workshops are for ISACS member schools only.

Registration Confirmation Communications from ISACS
Once registration for the workshop has been completed the following communications will be sent from ISACS:

  • Once registration is complete, an email will automatically be sent to the contact person on the registration confirming that registration has been completed.
  • Approximately three weeks prior to the workshop, ISACS will send a confirmation email to the registrant with details for the workshop.
  • Approximately one week prior to the workshop, ISACS will send a final confirmation email to the registrant with details for the workshop.

If you do not receive these emails prior to arriving at a workshop, please call the ISACS office at (312) 750-1190. It is possible your email address was entered incorrectly OR your registration was not completed.

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations for workshops held at the ISACS classroom must be received in writing to ISACS by emailing 10 business days prior to the event to receive a refund. ISACS will determine the refund amount, if any, on a per workshop basis and may be unable to determine the refund amount until the workshop’s conclusion. At any time, registration may be transferred to another member from the same school. If a workshop has a waitlist and ISACS can identify a replacement, a full refund will be provided. ISACS reserves the right to cancel the workshop for insufficient enrollment. In this case, participants will be notified and given a full refund. 

Contacting the ISACS office
If you have any questions related to any aspect of your attendance or travel, please contact the ISACS office at (312) 750-1190 or email programinfo


Cost: $350
This event is open to participants from ISACS member schools only.


55 West Wacker, Suite 701 · Chicago, IL 60601 · Telephone (312) 750-1190 · Fax (312) 750-1193
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