Professional Development > Conferences and Workshops

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


Interventions for Improving Executive Function Skills
Sarah Ward

Monday, January 14, 2019
9:30 am - 3:30 pm

ISACS Classroom
Chicago, IL


* Registration Update as of 12/19/18 *

This workshop has reached capacity. If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please select the waitlist button and complete the requested information. If a spot becomes available, ISACS will contact those on the waitlist. We encourage you to add your name to the waitlist. Please contact the ISACS office at (312) 750-1190 if you have any questions.

To successfully execute, children need to be aware of task demands and set goals. They must access forethought and hindsight to think in an organized way and to sustain their focus on the relevant features of the task at hand. Learn to define what the executive function skills are to determine effective interventions. Understand the term “executive dysfunction” and explore dozens of functional, ready-to-use strategies for teaching students to develop a “memory for the future”, to devise plans to achieve their goals, to use self-talk, to self-initiate, to transition to the next task of higher priority and to control their impulses and emotions to successfully complete a task. Help students “read a room” then “stop, think and create” an appropriate action plan and infer possible outcomes. Teach students to see and sense the passage of time, accurately estimate how long tasks will take, change or maintain their pace, carry out routines and tasks and complete long term projects within allotted time frames. Learn methods to improve a student’s ability to cognitively shift and be flexible in processing and accessing information. Learn how to use the Get Ready, Do Done Model to turn the core curriculum and lesson/treatment plans into powerful tools and leave with fresh approaches to help students develop automaticity for class routines and transitions.

All teachers, special educators, learning specialists, psychologists, social workers, counselors, administrators, and others who work in grades K-12 are invited.

The following major topics will be addressed:

  • executive function skills defined
  • executive dysfunction defined
  • self-regulation, situational awareness, and self talk
  • teaching students’ forethought and hindsight, to know the goal, to develop and initiate a plan
  • time management
  • teaching students to shift, make transitions, follow routines, and manage materials
  • executive function skills in academics
  • using the Get Ready, Do Done methodology to improve executive function planning 

Participants will be able to:

  • state the functional working definition of  what is meant by the term “executive function skills” as it pertains to therapeutic interventions 
  • define how situational awareness, self talk, forethought and episodic memory are the foundational skills for successful task execution
  • develop an intervention plan to foster a student’s ability to form more independent executive function skills by describing therapeutic activities to improve:
    • situational awareness, self talk and forethought
    • self regulation and following routines
    • task planning, task initiation, and transition within and between tasks
    • active self-management of the factors related to the passage of time
    • internal self-talk for initiating tasks
    • organized thinking and speed of processing
    • student management of materials
Sarah Ward, MS CCC-SLP has over 24 years of experience in assessment and treatment of executive function skill. Ward holds a faculty appointment at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions. A recognized authority on executive function skills she has conducted numerous presentations at international and national conferences and has consulted to over 600 schools on the programs and strategies she has developed with her co-director Kristen Jacobsen. Their 360 Thinking Executive Function Program received the Innovative Promising Practices Award from the National Organization CHADD. Awards received include Bette Ann Harris Distinguished Professional, Innovative Promising Practices Award by CHADD, The National Resource on ADHD, the MGH Expertise in Clinical Practice Award, the Distinguished Alumni Award, the Faculty in Excellence Award from the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions, and ACE awards from American Speech and Language Hearing Association.

Location of Workshop
The workshop 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 $89/night plus tax at The Godfrey Hotel Chicago: a luxury boutique hotel for the night of Sunday, January 13. 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 Executive Function. Discounted rooms are available until December 14. 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

  • $225 member fee
  • $300 non-member fee
  • There is no group discount for this workshop
  • Workshop includes light breakfast, lunch, and daily refreshments.
  • Please review the Registration Confirmation information below

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

Member Cost: $225     Non-member Cost: $300


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