OKLAHOMA CITY -- In July, the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) will bring its fourth annual EngageOK on the Road summer education conference to five high schools across the state. The one-day conferences will be July 15-23 in Woodward, Lawton, Durant, Bixby and Moore.

As many as 7,000 educators are expected to attend the free conference offering more than 100 professional development workshops. New sessions will share strategies for tying curriculum to Oklahoma's academic standards and address best practices for teaching traumatized and at-risk students.

In addition, the conference will include hands-on sessions on how to implement and grow Individual Career Academic Planning programs. A graduation requirement for all ninth-graders beginning next school year, ICAP is a student-driven, personalized career planning process for career exploration well before high school graduation. The goal of ICAP is for all students to exit high school college, career and life ready.

"We are grateful to the 134 schools around the state that piloted ICAP programs over the past two years. Their willingness to step up has given us a number of best practices that will assist all our schools in rolling out ICAPs with statewide implementation this next school year," said Joy Hofmeister, state superintendent of public instruction. "Through this program, schools will work directly with students and families to provide guidance on postsecondary education opportunities, in addition to building strong industry and community workforce partnerships."

A popular session from previous years, "What Students Wish Their Teachers Knew," will return this summer. A regional student panel will discuss topics such as what makes an effective teacher, testing, advice for a first-year teacher and the importance of genuine connections between teachers and students.

At the final EngageOK site, Southmoore High School, the 12 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year finalists will be revealed at the 8 a.m. general session.

For the fourth year in a row, the agency will save hundreds of thousands of dollars and reach more educators by taking the conference to regional sites in lieu of what had long been a more traditional, multi-day conference in downtown Oklahoma City.

For the first time, participants will utilize a conference app, Whova, with various "tracks" centered on topics like elementary education, STEM and student needs to determine which sessions to attend.

Doors open at 7 a.m. The conference begins daily at 8 a.m. and concludes at 3 p.m.

• July 15 -- Woodward High School, 2406 13th St.

• July 16 -- Lawton High School, 601 NW Fort Sill Blvd.

• July 17 -- Durant High School, 950 Gerlach Drive

• July 18 -- Bixby High School, 601 S. Riverview Drive

• July 23 -- Southmoore High School, 2901 S. Santa Fe Ave., Moore

The conference is offered at no cost to educators, but attendees must register. For more information and to register, visit engage.ok.gov.

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