OPSI, in partnership with WASA and support from our ESDs, is proud to offer 2023 MTSS Fest.  This year’s theme is Advancing Your Leadership to Support Student Learning and Belonging.  The focus of these two days will be to provide tools and strategies to strengthen your systems.  You and your school district teams will not want to miss these dynamic two days of impactful learning.  We encourage prompt registration as we expect this conference to fill quickly!

August 3, 2023 | 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. 
August 4, 2023 | 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Three Rivers Convention Center
7016 W Grandridge Blvd
Kennewick, WA 99336

Keynote Speakers:  James Whitfield, Jamila Dugan, and Jennifer Spencer-Iiams (See photos and bios below!)
Breakout Strands
Data: Using for Implementation and System Change 
Mindset Change
Cascading Supports
o Student, Family, and Community Partnerships
o …and much more!


James Whitfield 
employs a decidedly multi-disciplinary approach resulting from broad-based experience as an executive in business, non-profit, and government, including having been appointed by the White House to oversee the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In his dual role as the Regional Director for the Pacific Northwest and a Deputy in the Office of the Secretary, he split his time between Seattle and D.C and managing staff across the nation. James has also held positions on numerous local, statewide, and national boards of directors – including the founding board for Leadership Eastside where he subsequently served as CEO for approximately ten years and helped develop a Masters Degree in Executive and Civic Leadership. James has studied health care policy at Harvard; has a TEDx Talk called “Defining Equity. Pursuing Unity.”; is the author of the hospital patient guide, “Just What the Patient Ordered”; and is co-founder of Nourishing Networks, a local all-volunteer anti-hunger movement. He has received numerous accolades for his public speaking, training, and civic engagement work. James has been married to his wife and business partner, Kristen Whitfield, since 1992. They have two adult children together who are their undisputed pride and joy. James and Kristen are currently co-authoring a book about the Five Universal Leadership Questions at the Root of DEI Success.

Dr. Jamila Dugan (she/her/hers) is an author, leadership coach and researcher. 

Jamila has dedicated her career to making “equity” more than just a buzzword. She works with individuals and organizations across the nation to develop and support transformational leaders who care deeply about advancing diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Jamila is the co-author of Street Data: A Next-Generation Model for Equity, Pedagogy, and School Transformation, focusing on culturally-rich education environments and anti-racist approaches to reimagine learning. She has also co-hosted the Brave Spaces Institute that brings together hundreds of participants to learn how to lead inclusively.  

Dr. Dugan began her career as a teacher in Washington, D.C. She holds a doctorate in Education Leadership for Equity from the University of California, Berkeley; a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University; and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Fresno State University. 

Dr. Jennifer Spencer-Iiams
 is the Assistant Superintendent for Student Services in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District in Oregon. She has been a teacher and educational leader for 32 years. She led significant transformation in her district in the movement to a full inclusion model that honors student strengths and promotes belonging. Jennifer has served as an adjunct professor in the area of Special Education and in Emerging Bilingual Education. She has presented on models of inclusion at numerous conferences, served on statewide leadership groups focused on improvement in Special Education, and she collaborated to support national educational reform efforts for higher education and educator standards. Jennifer is a triple Duck, earning her bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees from the University of Oregon. She is the child of educators and her mother was always active in improving her community. Jennifer is the youngest sister to five strong women. She lives in West Linn, Oregon with her husband, three grown children in the area, and her dog Gus.


Thursday, August 3 
10:45–11:45 a.m.
Why MTSS Matter in the World of Children with Learning Disabilities
Achieving Success with MTSS: Supporting Students in All Tiers of Instruction
MTSS: Creating the Conditions for Inclusionary Practices
Family Engagement
Deaf Experience: A Glimpse Into the Deaf World
Multilingual Education
Tier II Interventions That Work

1:15–2:15 p.m.
Isolation and Restraint
Boots on the Ground: Implementation of ESSB 6162 Data Review from Literacy Listening Tour
Get on the Bus! The Road to Structured Systemic Literacy for All Learners
Cascading Supports
Listening and Learning: Creating District Systems and Structures that Amplify and Honor Student Voice
How do Special Education, 504, and Tiered Interventions Work Together Anyway?
Comprehensive Social Emotional Behavioral Mental Health Screening: A State-wide Approach to Policy and Capacity
What You Look For is What You Find
MTSS in an America School Counseling Association Model Program

Friday, August 4 
9:45–10:45 a.m.

Adams Elementary MTSS Evolution: Common Thoughts, Common Beliefs, Common Practice
Multilingual Program Evaluation and Action Plan for Program Improvement for Multilingual Students
Improving Student Behavior with Academic Rigor
Inclusion for All, One District’s Journey to Education Reform
IPP - Family Engagement, Collaborative Family Partnership Toolkit
State Learning Standards Review
Creating Balance in Unbalanced Times: Implementing the Science of Reading and Writing Through a MTSS Framework
Pathways Towards Equitable Access to Grade-Level Curriculum
Think Big! Career Connected Learning as Intervention and Acceleration
MTSS for School Improvement Planning

11–12 p.m.
Nested MTSS: Building Cohesive Systems for Students Success Together
High School MTSS: A Journey of Using Data to Dive Into Tier 2 
Common Pitfalls and Solutions for Tier 2 Implementation
Leveraging Teams and Partners to Increase Attendance and Re Engage Students
At the Table or On the Menu
Dyslexia and the Science of Reading:  What Administrators Need to Know
Considerations for Alternative Learning Spaces
Applying and MTSS Model to Adult Wellbeing and Addressing Secondary Trauma in the K-12 Workforce: Tiering it Out
Delivering Tiered Interventions in Response to Attendance and Discipline Disproportionality
Technical Assistance Room


$149 per person. Up to 11 Washington State Approved Clock Hours are available (dependent on your participation in individual sessions) and are included in registration.
Registration is closed for this event. Please contact Lisa Gehman @lgehman@wasa-oly.org if you have any questions. 


View the program!

Wednesday, August 2

6:00 p.m. Welcome Reception for any MTSS participants present (appetizers provided)

Thursday, August 3
7:30 Breakfast buffet
8:30 MTSS Fest Opening Session & Keynote Speaker
10:45  Breakout Sessions
11:45 Lunch Session
1:00  Breakout Sessions
2:30  Closing Keynote
4:30  Movie & Popcorn! Showing of documentary: Forget Me Not
Sponsored by: 

Friday, August 4
7:30  Breakfast buffet
8:30  Opening Keynote Speaker
9:45  Breakout Sessions
12:00 Lunch
2:00 MTSS Fest Ends

The following meals are included in registration:

  • Wednesday Reception
  • Thursday Breakfast
  • Thursday Lunch
  • Friday Breakfast
  • Friday Lunch

*Dinner is on your own on Thursday evening.


Fairfield Inn Kennewick
7809 West Quinault Avenue
Kennewick, Washington 99336
Use this link to secure your hotel at a discounted rate by July 15, 2023 or until rooms are full. 

Red Lion Hotel Columbia Center
1101 N Columbia Center Blvd B
Kennewick, WA 99336

Rooms are available at $99 per night until they are filled.
Comfort Inn Kennewick Richland
7801 Quinault Ave.
Kennewick, WA  99336
509.783.8396 | $129 / night
Deadline to register at the WASA rate: Sunday, June 2, 2023
Call hotel directly and provide the following information:
- Group Name:  WASA Special Education Conference
- Group Number:  YR65L6

Hilton Garden Inn
701 N Young St
Kennewick, WA  99336
Please call 509.735.4600 to make your housing reservations by Monday, July, 3, 2023 or until filled to receive the discounted group rate. 

Springhill Suites
7048 West Grandridge Blvd
Kennewick, WA  99336
Discounted housing rates are full for Springhill Suites at this time. 

SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western Kennewick Tri-Cities
Discounted housing rates are full for Best Western at this time. 


11 hours will be available to attendees the end of the session on August 4, 2023.


A $75 administrative fee applies to all cancellations submitted by June 20, 2023. 
No refunds after June 20th. 
No Show = No Refund.


Contact Lisa Gehman at lgehman@wasa-oly.org or 360.943.5717 with registration questions.

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