Event Postponed

The Center for Access and Engagement's Summer Symposium, scheduled for August 1, 2, 4 and 5, has been postponed. New dates will be announced soon! You will be able to find updates on this webpage.

If you have any questions, please email cmaponte@smcoe.org. Thank you for your support and we hope to see you at our event in the future!

Meet the Center for Access and Engagement Leadership team:

Sarah Notch

Sarah Notch Executive Director, Special Education and Instruction

Zoni Boyer

Zoni Boyer Coordinator, Special Education and Instruction

Kris Carroll

Kris Carroll Coordinator, Special Education and Instruction

What is the Summer Symposium?

Center for Access and Engagement logpThe Center for Access and Engagement's Summer Symposium is a workshop-style conference that provides professional development and resources to teachers, administrators, and other school staff who are looking to strengthen inclusive practices in their classrooms and on their school campuses.

Workshops will include topics such as thoughtful planning of academic environments, strategies to better manage behavioral and emotional dysregulation, increasing student self-determination and self-advocacy, increasing feelings of connectedness among the student population, strengthening home/school relationships, as well as practical tips, tricks, and tools that participants can walk away with to enrich the culture and climate of their school environments.

This Year's Theme: Reconnect, Reimagine, Reinvigorate

The last several years have been stressful for educational professionals and with the ever-changing needs of learners. Now is the time to reconnect with other educators, reimagine the system, and reinvigorate each other to turn inspiration into action! The Symposium provides information and support from experts in the field, and creates space for participants to connect with colleagues to discuss, problem-solve, and strategize how to make learning environments more inclusive and equitable for ALL students.

2022 Symposium Details

The Summer Symposium will take place on August 1, 2, 4, and 5 from 8:00 am-3:30 pm each day at 101 Twin Dolphin Drive, Redwood City, CA 94063. Participants are able to customize their experience by choosing between concurrent sessions that run throughout each day.

All educators, including teachers, paraprofessionals, counselors, related service staff, and administrators, are invited to attend this in-person conference. Learn more and register below. The first 25 registrants will receive a special giveaway!


  • Price of 4 days (full week) = $500
  • Price of 2 days (Monday/Tuesday) = $300
  • Price of 2 days (Thursday/Friday) = $300
  • With the purchase of 4 full week registrations = free complimentary fifth registration
  • With the purchase of 4 full week registrations = free complimentary registration for one Administrator

Register HereHeadshot of Sam Drazin


Keynote: What's Your Inclusion Inspiration?
Sam Drazin, Changing Perspectives

A nationally recognized educator and changemaker, Founder and Executive Director Sam Drazin applies his personal and professional background to lead Changing Perspectives’ mission to strengthen school communities through social-emotional learning, disability awareness, empathy development, and inclusion. Sam was born with Treacher Collins Syndrome, a rare congenital disorder resulting in both facial anomaly and hearing loss. His experiences, both as a student with a disability and as a teacher working in an inclusive classroom, helped him recognize the importance of supporting students in developing the essential life and relationship skills that underpin equity, inclusion, and social change. The students and educators we work with around the nation are a constant inspiration for Sam.

TBAHeadshot of Kevin Shaefer

Keynote: Inclusion by Design - Reflecting on Ourselves, Our Students, and Our System
Kevin Shaefer, Supporting Inclusive Practices Project

Kevin Schaefer is currently the Director of Equity and Inclusive Practices for the Supporting Inclusive Practices project through the El Dorado County Office of Education. In this role, Mr. Schaefer works to improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities by providing high-quality leadership and support to the California Department of Education and LEAs throughout the state. His varied background as a special education teacher, administrator, and national/state technical assistance provider has led to expertise in the areas of systems change and inclusive educational practices that result in educational benefits for all students.


Elizabeth Estes Keynote SpeakerKeynote: (Session Title Forthcoming)
Elizabeth Estes, Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo

Elizabeth Estes dedicated her legal career to supporting schools and the children they serve. She founded Breaking Barriers in 2014 to bring together leaders from across child-serving systems throughout California who are united by the conviction that only through collaborative planning and problem-solving can we insure the educational, social, emotional, and behavioral wellbeing of California’s children and youth. Elizabeth has recently taken on the role of Executive Director of the California Institute on Law, Neuroscience, and Education (CILNE) to promote a collaborative focus on neuroscience, law, education, and social justice to improve literacy outcomes in school settings for youth.


James McKennaKeynote: Inspired and Prepared to Thrive
Dr. James McKenna, California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE)

As the Assistant Director, Professional Learning and Leadership Development, Dr. James McKenna leads CCEE's internal and external support for Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Dr. McKenna is nationally recognized expert in UDL, with particular expertise in the application of UDL to professional learning. Over the past seven years, Dr. McKenna has supported educators across the state to begin their UDL journey and has designed/co-designed numerous online learning resources, including CCEE's new UDL Journey Guide. He is a co-founder of the CA UDL Coalition and the CA UDL Network. He is also a former member of the CAST National Faculty. Dr. McKenna received a Doctorate in Education Leadership/Education Psychology from the University of Southern California and is certified as a Master Instructional Designer by the Association for Talent Development (ATD). James lives in Lomita, California with his wife, Janine, and his children, Juliet and Jack.

For assistance, please contact:

Christian Morales-Aponte

Administrative Assistant III

Email: cmaponte@smcoe.org

Phone: (650) 802-5632