On Friday, November 18, before the WEC Annual Awards Dinner, the Center for Health & Wellness at Princeton University and our partners at Isles will be hosting a first-of-its-kind conference, “The Impact of Lead Exposure on our Students: What Schools And Parents Can Do To Help” on the Princeton University campus.

The keynote speaker of the conference will be Dr. Ralph Spezio from Rochester NY, a Ted Talk presenter, speaking about his experience with high lead levels in his students.  The morning panel will include neuroscientist Dr. Jay Schneider, who will review how even low levels of lead, far below the CDC reference level of 5ug/dL, adversely affects a child’s developing brain; Dr. Ted Lidsky who has assessed over 1000 children for lead in our region; and Dr. Janet Currie of Princeton who will report on her latest research about the relationship of lead levels to student test scores.

The next panel will feature Mary Jean Brown, the recently retired chief of the Lead Division at CDC, and author of the CDC report Education Interventions for Children Affected by Lead;  and Dr. Vicki Sudhalter, clinical psychologist who specializes in working with children and families affected by lead.

Flint pediatrician Dr. Mona Hanna Attisha will participate in the conference (via Skype) and share what programs have been put into place for Flint children who were exposed to lead due to the water crisis there.

The last panel will feature a discussion about both federal and state policies and the legal environment for providing special education services for children affected by lead.  What policies and services are in place? Are revisions needed?  This panel discussion is particularly timely in light of a law suit filed last week in Flint by the ACLU and Education Law Center that alleges the Michigan Department of Education and Flint schools have failed to provide adequate health and education services for children affected by lead.  Panelists will include: David Sciarra of the NJ Education Law Center, Jennifer Valverde of the Rutgers Education and Health Law Clinic and Peter Chen of Advocates for Children of NJ.

The conference is free, but registration is required.  Please join us!