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Ed Leaders Share How to Build School Culture to Improve Grades, Behavior, and Mental Health

Thursday, February 16, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST

Ed Leaders Share How to Build School Culture to Improve Grades, Behavior, and Mental Health

Presented by Abraham Olivares, Principal, Fort Miller Middle School, Fresno Unified School District (CA); and Phil Boyte, School Culture Expert and Author
Moderated by Jessica Berlinski, Director of K-12 Education, Ripple Effects

Sponsored by Ripple Effects

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Learn more about viewing the live presentation and the recording, earning your CE certificate, and using our new accessibility features.

Watch renowned school culture expert Phil Boyte and Fresno Unified School District Principal Abraham Olivares share the strategies and tools they use to engage and connect with students and adults to improve academic, behavioral, and mental health outcomes. In this edWebinar, viewers learn:

  • How to create connections with students so they feel like they belong and want to come to your school—even when coming from multiple feeder schools
  • Fort Miller Middle School’s secret to achieving a 95% non-recurring suspension rate
  • A cost-effective “one-stop-shop” digital tool for all MTSS tiers that improves behavior AND connection to school
  • What “people first, professionals second” means and practical applications to enhance staff and student relationships

This recorded edWebinar is of interest to PreK-12 school and district leaders, teachers, school counselors and social workers, federal program coordinators, and those involved in supporting students’ and families’ mental health.


Abraham OlivaresAbout the Presenters

Abraham Olivares has been a principal at Fort Miller Middle School in Fresno Unified for four years. Prior to this role, Abraham worked at Golden Valley High School in Merced, CA where he served students as an associate principal and special education teacher. As a child of immigrants and an English learner himself, he understands the challenges many of our students face today and has an uncompromising belief that all students can learn and thrive in a positive school community with the support and engagement of family, staff, and community. He is a strong advocate for student well-being and has experience developing effective programs and supports for students’ mental and behavioral health.

Phil Boyte

Phil Boyte wants your school to be a place so fun, encouraging, and safe you have to beg students and teachers to leave at the end of the day. His desire to improve the lives of young people has led him across the continent to speak with thousands of students and educators as they transform their schools into places overflowing with kindness and respect. He believes in the power of personal stories—and that by creating an environment where people feel safe to share their stories, communities will be strengthened and lives will be changed.

He has created nationally known programs, Link Crew, WEB, and Breaking Down the Walls, which encourage students to share their stories, and by doing so, find out we all have way more in common than we might initially think. Phil authored the book School Culture By Design, inspiring educators to create fun, safe, and encouraging schools where students thrive. His goal is to leave you with excitement at the possibilities that lie ahead and confidence in your ability to be a change maker in the lives of those around you.

Jessica BerlinskiAbout the Moderator

Jessica Berlinski is the director of K-12 for Ripple Effects, an innovative social-change enterprise focused on leveraging personalized SEL to improve students’ behavior and academics and achieve educational equity. She brings over a decade of experience leading organizations dedicated to supporting the “whole child” through academic and SEL tools and programs to her work. Jessica co-founded and served as Chief Impact Officer of SEL tech start-ups, If You Can and Centervention (formerly Personalized Learning Games). In these roles, she commercialized the first evidence-based SEL assessment and learning game for K-12, and the first SEL iPad game for the consumer marketplace. Previously, she served as Managing Director of GameDesk, a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded non-profit focused on innovative learning models, and as National Director of Character Counts. Jessica speaks on technology and SEL at education and social-change conferences nationally, and her work has been featured on National Public Radio, and in Forbes and Newsweek. She graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in philosophy.

Learn more about viewing the live presentation and the recording, earning your CE certificate, and using our new accessibility features.

Join the Creating a Positive School Climate community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.

Ripple EffectsRipple Effects is the only digital SEL and mental health program for students and staff that is proven to improve student behavior, academics and SEL skills, and reduce drop-out rates and depression scores. The CASEL aligned Ripple Effects program empowers K-12 learners to build resiliency assets around their personal needs and traumas via over 400 interactive lessons (e.g. anxiety, loneliness, getting help, unplanned change, substance abuse).

Ripple Effects


Thursday, February 16, 2023
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST
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