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Developing Brain, Developing Accountability

Monday, September 29 at 9:00 AM
Iowa Events Center, Des Moines, IA, 50309 Show Map

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Developing Brain, Developing Accountability: Using Science to Direct Our Policy and Practice for Educating, Disciplining and Growing Our Children into Accountable Adults

Register today!

New Location!
Iowa Events Center (Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center)
730 Third Street
Ballroom B – 4th level
Des Moines, IA  50309


The brain science is clear. The youth brain is uniquely different than that of an adult. That reality has profound implications for how we educate, discipline and nurture our children in our schools, justice system and our community. This conference will feature a series of brief, dynamic and interactive presentations from some of the leading experts in the field on this important topic. Learn what’s happening locally and, most important, learn what you can do to create a safe community where every child counts!


  • Review the biology, research and science of early brain child and adolescent development.
  • Contrast the current state of child and adolescent discipline and accountability practices with evidence from the science of child and adolescent brain development.
  • Examine new program models and evidence-informed strategies being implemented to promote child and adolescent success.
  • Discuss innovative concepts for bridging the gap between what we know and what we do that impact outcomes for the transition from child to young adult in the community.
  • Identify next steps and engagement opportunities for the Developing Brain project.


8 am Registration and Breakfast
am Welcome
Angela L. Franklin, PhD, President, Des Moines University
9:15 am Early Experiences Elevate Education: Early Brain and Child Development as a Foundation for Policy and Practice

  • Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD
9:50 am Brain Science and Policy Implications
10:45 am Education: Catching Kids Before They Fall

  • Jim Sporleder
11:30 am Restorative Practices in Iowa Schools 
12 pm Iowa City’s Multi-System Approach 
12:30 pm Lunch 
1:30 pm Justice: State of the State Panel
2:15 pm Changing Lens: A Different Approach to Juvenile Justice
3 pm Summary and Call to Action
3:30 pm Adjourn


Early Experiences Elevate Education: Early Brain and Child Development as a Foundation for Policy and Practice

Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD

Dipesh Navsaria is an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and a practicing primary care pediatrician at Access Community Health Center in Madison, WI. Dr. Navsaria is committed to bridging the science of early brain child development (EBCD) to inform social policy planning as it impacts long-term outcomes of health and success for both the individual and the community.

Catching Kids Before they Fall

Jim Sporleder, retired principal

Jim Sporleder led the effort that earned Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, Washington national recognition as a “Trauma-Informed” school. Mr. Sporleder will describe how the entire staff was trained in effective strategies for interacting with students that live with toxic stress and carry the burden of multiple Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in their lives. Mr. Sporleder will report their outcomes of applying a trauma-informed approach to education, which resulted in an 85% reduction in out-of-school suspension days within the first year of implementation. A panel of educators from Iowa schools will highlight their success with creating a trauma-informed school culture ranging from early childhood through high school.

Justice and the Developing Brain

Jessica Johnston, MA; Judy Bradshaw, Des Moines police chief

Teenagers can make bad decisions. How we hold them accountable for those decisions has lasting consequences for the teen and our community. Jessica Johnston is a programs analyst with the Court Services Division State Court Administrator’s Office in Denver, CO. Mike Bandstra and Cory McClure, local juvenile attorneys, and Judy Bradshaw will look at current trends in our local juvenile justice system and explore how the system works as well as how it could work if practice and policy were driven by science. In addition, Matthew Golde, assistant district attorney in Oakland, California, and Howard Zehr, the “grandfather” of restorative justice and author of more than 10 books on justice in America, will share the wisdom of the restorative justice approach through video interviews.

Dress Code

Business casual.

Social Media


Twitter – https://twitter.com/ia_developbrain

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Iowa-Developing-Brain-Conference/721814387872292


Des Moines University, Polk County Health, Des Moines Public Schools, Blank Children’s Hospital, Mid Iowa Health Foundation, Orchard Place, AMOS, United Way of Central Iowa, Employee and Family Resources

Iowa Events Center Parking

Parking is available north of the Iowa Events Center with entrances off the following streets: Third, Fifth and Crocker. Iowa Events Center surface lots offer the closest and most convenient access to the facility, and easy access to I-235 and other major routes after the event. ADA accessible parking is available at the Iowa Events Center by entering the lot south of Crocker Street, next to Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center.

COST: $7

Maps, directions, and parking.

Continuing Education Credit

Certificates of Attendance: This live activity is designated for 4.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.

CLE: Iowa Supreme Court Commission on Continuing Legal Education has approved this event for 300 minutes (5 hours).

CME: UnityPoint Health – Des Moines is accredited by the Iowa Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for IMSLogo190x67physicians. UnityPoint Health – Des Moines designates this live activity for a maximum of 5.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

CEU: Approved for 0.6 CEUs by Iowa Board of Nursing Provider #31, UnityPoint Health – Des Moines. No partial credit awarded.

Social Workers: This conference has been designed to meet criteria for 5 CEU credit hours under the Iowa Board of Social Work Examiners and Iowa Board of Behavioral Science Examiners.

The Iowa Board of Certification (IBC) has approved this event for 5.25 hours total; Category A: Special Populations.

PLEASE NOTE:  The instructors have disclosed that they have no financial relationships relevant to today’s presentation.


The cost to attend is $20. Student can attend for free. Lunch is included.

Cancellation policy

  • All cancellations must be received in writing at cme@dmu.edu.
  • A nonrefundable administrative fee (50% of registration fee) will be charged for all cancellations.
  • No refunds will be given three (3) business days prior to the activity start date.
  • Individuals who fail to attend the activity (no-shows) will not be entitled to any refund. Forfeited fees may not be applied to subsequent activities.


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Continuing Medical Education
3200 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50312

Lana Herteen, MA, LMHC
Blank Children’s Hospital