The Spring Seminar, formally named Continuity Conference, began in 2000 with the desire on the part of early childhood practitioners:
- to infuse best practices that are developmentally appropriate into Pre-K through 2nd grade programs
- to ease the transition for children from Pre-K to the elementary setting
- to increase the communication among early childhood caregivers and teachers
- to increase the sensitivity to the needs of children and their families.
Teachers and teaching assistants, as well as directors and principals who serve this age group are targeted as the audience for the conference. Each year there is a particular focus, such as Literacy, Assessment, Leadership choices, Standards, Play Revisited, the New DAP and Intentional Teaching… all working on a higher level of professional development.
The Seminar is supported by RAEYC, the Rochester City School District, Children’s Institute, ECEQC, and sometimes other organizations, such as Child Care Council, Inc., ABC HeadStart, or through grants. There is also in-kind services and many programs offering assistance in printing, hosting, etc. All this helps to keep the registration fee low. This a collaborative effort made by many in the community.
It is also a part of the Month of the Young Child Celebration held each April. Attendance is usually kept at the 200 or so mark in order to keep it focused. The intention is also that we do not make a profit, just have seed money, start-up money. Earlier years there were workshops as well as the keynote speaker, but in recent years we have changed the format having one keynote speaker, dinner, and facilitated conversation on the topic.
Joann Manley started the Continuity Conference and was the Coordinator until she passed away.