S3 Symposium 2013

The week before Thanksgiving is a busy time for many, as it heralds the start of the holiday season, and preparations for Thanksgiving gatherings are well under way. In Sacramento, however, the nearly 300 school and district staff, and school community stakeholders involved in California’s Safe and Supportive Schools (S3) program were busy for a very different reason – they were attending and participating in the 2013 S3 Symposium.

The first S3 Symposium took place in 2012 in Southern California, so the northern part of the state got to play host this time around. Representatives from all 58 S3 schools traveled to the Sheraton Grand in Sacramento for the event, that focused on idea-sharing and planning for sustainability. Here are some of the highlights:

Grantees participated in a poster session, featuring success stories from their schools’ programs.

Symposium attendees viewing posters from S3 school sites.


The posters were mounted for display at the evening welcome reception, and stayed up for the remainder of the Symposium, in order to allow participants plenty of time to peruse them for information and ideas.

S3 Grantee Posters from the 2013 Symposium.


In the plenary sessions, participants were treated to a range of activities, from energizing keynote speakers such as William Preble…

William Preble delivers the keynote address on the first full day of the Symposium.


…to an inspiring and engaging student panel from a local S3 school.

The student panel gets introduced by a moderator.


Several “master classes” (2.5 hour long sessions) were offered providing in-depth topic discussions and skills development…

Alison Adler leads a Master Class entitled “Moving all Staff Toward a Single School Culture.”


…along with over a dozen 75 minute workshops on school climate-related topics.

Participants engage in a discussion during a workshop.


Grantees were offered further opportunities to share their experiences, ideas, and questions in Ignite Talks and “Job-a-like” discussion sessions.

Participant shares out information from a Job-A-Like discussion with the full group.


WestEd, Duerr Evaluation, Center for Applied Research Solutions (CARS), and California Department of Education staff were on hand through it all, coordinating, organizing, and facilitating the Symposium from start to end.

Symposium staff meet to review the following day’s assignments.


Overall, those in attendance agreed that the event was a huge success.

Resources such as slides from presentations, photographs of posters, and other program materials will be made available shortly on the California S3 website.

Many thanks to all those who helped make this event such a great one, including our speakers, presenters, attendees, and event organizers.


  1. Hilva Chan says:

    Good job on capturing the highlights, Carol!

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