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One-Hour Workshops: Governance Track

Designed for boards of trustees and heads of schools in their role as liaisons with the board, these workshops focus on all aspects of board governance.​​​​​​

  • Block 1 (Thursday, February 25, 8:00 - 9:00 AM)
    • One School, Two Campuses: Opening and Operating a Second Campus Overseas

      2016

      What would you do if you had the opportunity to open a second campus halfway around the globe? In 2010, Chadwick School said "Yes!" to just such an invitation. Since then, Chadwick International School Songdo (South Korea) has grown to 1100 students PK - G12; our first class will graduate in June 2016. In this session, we will outline key benefits and successes as well as issues of admissions, personnel, school culture, curriculum, and finance.
      Presented ByTed Hill, Chadwick School (CA); Shelly Luke Wille, Chadwick International School (KOREA)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      ExploreWhy would a school consider opening and operating a second campus in another country? What are the key issues or criteria to consider in evaluating such opportunities? What are critical do's and don't's if a school does decide to take on such an undertaking?
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    • Supporting Heads – Sustaining a Flourishing Leadership Partnership

      3003

      Sustaining a flourishing head–board partnership is crucial for the stability of a school. Boards can best support heads by understanding what their needs are to sustain them in the position long-term. Based on a survey of more than 250 heads and trustees, this session examines how trustees can best support their heads to form and nurture mutually beneficial relationships.
      Presented ByTekakwitha Pernambuco-Wise and Amy Ramsey, Sea Crest School (CA)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      ExploreWhat types of support do Heads most value from their Trustees? Do heads who lead different types of schools (K-8, 9-12, boarding, young, etc.) and at different stages in their headship need different types of support? Does the concept of head “support” have the same implications for heads as it does for trustees?
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    • Trailblazing a New Model for School Finance: One School's Journey Toward Net Revenue

      3001

      Hear the story of one school's journey toward developing a net revenue financial model. Hear from the head of school and trustees about lessons learned along the way, how they have changed their thinking on financial aid, and how they have experimented with alternative revenue sources to supplement income.
      Presented ByBradley Weaver and Katie Murphy, Sonoma Country Day School (CA)
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      LevelIntroductory
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      ExploreWhat is net revenue budgeting? How does financial aid work within a net revenue model? What are unique opportunities for alternative revenue sources within participants' schools?
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    • Trustees and Heads Working for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity

      3024

      Diversity, inclusion, and equity are governance responsibilities. In this working conversation, participants will learn about a grass-roots collaborative of diversity-committed trustees and heads, identify governance responsibilities for inclusion and equity, discuss cultural competency needs within boards, and explore effective practices for school leadership.
      Presented ByAlison Park, Blink Consulting, Alex Wong, Town School for Boys (CA), and Barre Fong, Katherine Delmar Burke School (CA)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      Explore What responsibility and role do boards have in their schools’ commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity? What are effective practices at the board level? What do boards and heads need in order to be leaders in diversity, inclusion, and equity?
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  • Block 3 (Thursday, February 25, 2:45 - 3:45 PM)
    • Board Governance: Scandals, Crises, and Other Serious Issues – What’s the Board’s Role?

      2024

      There is no question an effective board is an essential factor of any successful independent school, and that the board must work in tandem with the school’s administration on various matters. What is the board’s role in crises and other serious issues?  Where are the lines drawn?  How does the board square fiduciary responsibility with overstepping into operational matters?  Have the lines changed over the years?  Should they?
      Presented BySuzanne Bogdan, Fisher & Phillips, LLP, Debra Wilson, National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), and Steven Piltch, The Shipley School (PA)
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      LevelAdvanced
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      ExploreWhen is it proper for the board to become involved in school affairs and to what extent? What are the steps in making a case for change regarding the board's involvement? What proactive steps can heads take in crisis management to keep control?
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    • Board Structure as a Catalyst for Innovation

      2003

      With Berwick Academy's financial planning, oversight mechanisms, and head of school functioning at a high level, the board undertook a detailed review and subsequent overhaul of its traditional committee structures.  This has been a catalyst for significant progress on the school’s long range plan that focuses on building an innovative educational institution for the 21st century and beyond.
      Presented ByAmy Smucker, Gregory Schneider, and Matthew Friel, Berwick Academy (ME)
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      LevelAdvanced
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      Explore How can a board chair lead fundamental change to traditional governance structures?   How can a board truly be a catalyst for institutional evolution beyond writing checks? What are the costs and challenges in making structural changes to both board oversight as well as administrative structures?
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    • Head of School Employment Contracts: Analysis and Examples

      2014

      This workshop aims to explain the key parts of a head of school employment agreement..  Topics will cover: examples of  key contract provisions, how to do the research on what to expect from your school, strategy, the role of the school's search consultant, and how to keep the negotiations in perspective with your family.  Questions and participation welcomed.
      Presented ByTerrence Briggs, Bowditch & Dewey, LLP, and Ronald Cino, Worcester Academy (MA)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      ExploreDoes every Head employment contract look alike? Do they all have the same general terms and benefits? If I get offered one thing and it is not something that I want or need, can I switch it for something else? How do I pick out the important parts of a contract that may be a dozen pages long?
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      Related Documents
      2016-Briggs (PDF, 489 KB)
  • Block 4 (Friday, February 26, 8:00 - 9:00 AM)
    • Before and After a Search for a Head of School: How to Maximize Successful Outcomes!

      2000

      A head of school search ushers in change and transition.  A search is both daunting and exciting, and affects the entire school community. Learn how preparing for a search before beginning the process, and how supporting the new head after the “search” is concluded maximizes positive, long term outcomes.
      Presented ByDouglas Cummings and Jayne Geiger, Educators' Collaborative, LLC
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      LevelIntermediate
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      Explore What steps should be taken by the board before the search begins to maximize a successful search? How can a school create a transition that maximizes the new head’s adjustment and success? What are the roles and responsibilities of the board, the senior leadership, and the community before and after search?
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    • Families First Workshop: Stories About the Power of Diversity from Diverse Heads and their Spouses: Part 1

      Alcove 2A

      ​In the first session of this tw-part workshop, three diverse heads of school and their spouses will tell their stories about rising to first-family positions. They will discuss the issues they considered before deciding to lead their schools, the characteristics they looked for in their boards, the roles their spouses play at their institutions, and the rewards of being a diverse leader.
      Presented ByDarryl Ford, William Penn Charter School (PA); Gail Sullivan, Monica M. Gillespie, and John K. Gillespie, Saint Mary's School (NC); Ronni McCaffrey, Graland Country Day School (CO); Barbara Frank
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      LevelIntroductory
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    • Qualities Most Desired and Needed in the Board Chair

      2011

      This session is for heads and board members aspiring to board leadership. They will hear about 15 qualities of successful board chairs and the research and anecdotal evidence that support why these qualities are critical. The goals are for heads and trustees to learn how to spot and vet talented chair candidates and for trustees to broaden their leadership skill set.
      Presented ByJohn Littleford, Littleford & Associates
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      LevelIntroductory
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      ExploreWhy are these 15 traits so important in a board chair candidate and what do they have in common? What is the head’s role in the selection of the board chair? What is the role of the committee on trustees?
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    • Strategic Plan Accountability: Evaluating the Old to Prepare for the New

      2018

      Strategic planning must be more than goal-setting and action steps; it needs to become a core component of institutional accountability, both setting the agenda and clarifying the responsibilities for school leadership.  Learn how one school added an innovative process to formally evaluate the achievements of its current plan before launching its next planning cycle.
      Presented ByCarrie Snyder and Christian Talbot, Malvern Preparatory School (PA) and Jonathan Martin, Consultant
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      LevelIntermediate
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      Explore How can strategic planning become a better process for enhancing institutional and leadership accountability and results? How can schools better prepare for the next round of strategic planning by thoroughly and formally evaluating the status and completion of its previous plan? How can schools use outside expertise for formal program evaluation that lends insight into the future direction of the school?
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  • Block 5 (Friday, February 26, 11:15 AM - 12:15 PM)
    • Building Schools to Believe In

      2000

      Schools who try to compete on price alone will struggle to survive.  The most successful schools are opportunity factories -- building things that have never existed before.  They promote purpose and create energy.   This session will employ a case study approach to examine the characteristics of these schools to uncover research-based lessons that can be applied to any school, in any market.
      Presented ByTim Fish, McDonogh School (MD)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      Explore What are the characteristics of schools that thrive in challenging markets? How can investments in innovation create energy and support enrollment goals? What can marketing and consumer research help us understand about the independent school market?
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    • Chairs, Boards, and Committees: Assembling and Training a Successful Campaign Team

      2001

      Successful campaigns hinge on effective volunteer leaders.  This interactive session will show participants how to identify and assemble a strong steering committee, engage a board, and pick the right campaign chair or chairs.  Jon and Laurie have trained board members and committees to be effective fundraisers.  Participants will learn how to maximize their own success.
      Presented ByJonathan Sturdevant, The Woodstock Academy (CT) and Laurie Hurd, Independent Schools Association of Northern New England
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      LevelAdvanced
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      ExploreWhat is the best way to identify and recruit effective board members and trustees? How does a school encourage and train board members and trustees to be active participants in fundraising for an independent school? What are the common qualities of successful board members?
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    • Designing Interim Leadership

      2002

      A rich history of interim leadership exists, often informally, and too often involving a tragic rather than an epic hero. Trustees, school heads, and senior administrators can design an effective interim term by mindfully engineering roles and authority.  Every school culture confronts interim needs, and many heads are eager to take on a term of interim leadership.  Prepare for success based upon experience and intentional design.
      Presented ByTimothy McIntire, Carney, Sandoe & Associates; and Sean Murphy, St. Andrew's Episcopal School (TX)
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      LevelAdvanced
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      Explore How do you design effective and accountable leadership for your school during an interim period? How can an interim prepare in substance and style to lead within a new culture and move forward strategic initiatives? On whom does the onus of succession planning fall, what is expeditionary leadership, and how does a management letter assure effective teaming, understanding and communicating up, out, and down?
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    • Families First Workshop: Stories About the Power of Diversity from Diverse Heads and their Spouses: Part 2

      Alcove 2A

      ​In the second part of this workshop, a moderator will ask the couples about the benefits and challenges they have faced in their leadership positions, how they balance work and family life, the roles their spouses play, advice for rising diverse leaders and their families, and what they look for in a board.
      Presented ByDarryl Ford, William Penn Charter School (PA); Gail Sullivan, Monica M. Gillespie, and John K. Gillespie, Saint Mary's School (NC); Ronni McCaffrey, Graland Country Day School (CO); Barbara Frank
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      LevelIntroductory
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  • Block 6 (Friday, February 26, 1:30 - 2:30 PM)
    • Head of School Succession: Good Boards and Good Plans Aid Transition

      2014

      A generation of long-serving school heads is nearing retirement. Schools can mitigate the disruption that comes with leadership succession with a strong strategic plan and the proper board role in oversight. Gain strategies to ensure a smooth transition buttressed by best practices in nonprofit governance and planning.
      Presented ByAdam Gaynor, Plan A Advisors; Douglas Lyons, Connecticut Association of Independent Schools; Bryan Nixon, Whitby School (CT); and Carole Everett, New Jersey Association of Independent Schools
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      LevelIntermediate
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      ExploreAt a point of succession, whose responsibility is it to chart a school’s vision and how can the process engender broad buy-in in a school community? What characteristics of high-functioning boards make it more likely that a newly-hired head of school will succeed in their role? Given the high failure rate of new heads-of-school, what are best practices and pitfalls involved in the selection process, and in on-boarding to make them more likely to succeed?
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    • Independent School Leadership: Heads, Boards, and Strategic Thinking

      2003

      How can we design boards of trustees that are well-positioned to think strategically about the long-term best interests of the schools they serve? Examine survey data, statistical analysis, and case study themes from doctoral research at Vanderbilt's Peabody College of Education. Get recommendations to spur generative thinking and strategic action.
      Presented ByDavid Ostroff, All Saints' Episcopal School of Fort Worth (TX); Stephen Campbell, Lausanne Collegiate School (TN); and Troy Baker, Pace Academy (GA)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      ExploreHow might school heads and board chairs design boards of trustees that are well-positioned to think strategically about the long-term best interests of the schools they serve? How might independent school leaders assess the effectiveness of their boards? To what extent do board characteristics, structures and activities influence both strategic effectiveness and institutional performance?
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    • Turning That Ship of a School to a New and Challenging Course!

      3000

      Schools have focused on what it takes to prepare students to be 21st century learners, but have we asked what it takes to be a 21st century school? Traditional strategic plans look ahead five years; in today's changing global environment does that still work? Discover how to become nimble, react to change, and implement new programs quickly and effectively.
      Presented ByRobert Vitalo, Brandon Clarke, and Lydia Denworth, Berkeley Carroll School (NY)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      Explore How does a board of trustees support and promote innovation? Why is it important to speed up the cycle of change in our schools? Who needs their hands on the wheel when an entire school needs, or wants, to change course?
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  • Three-Hour Workshops (Wednesday, Feburary 24, 1:00 - 4:00 PM)
    • W15. Let's Talk: Experts Discuss Head of School Employment Agreements in the Real World

      2012

      Optional Three-Hour Workshop

      Head of school employment contracts are complicated. Examine key terms as current heads weigh in on how these seemingly arcane contract provisions can play out in the real world. Knowledge is power. The more you understand about the contract, the stronger your negotiating position. Explore negotiation strategies in a lively and informative session.
      Presented ByTerrence Briggs, Bowditch & Dewey, LLP; Ronald Cino, Worcester Academy (MA); Arch McIntosh, Charlotte Latin School (NC); Elizabeth Miller, consultant; Rebekah Jordan, Indian Mountain School (CT); and Kirk Duncan, Carolina Day School (NC)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      ExploreCan I negotiate about pay, benefits, and working conditions, or do I have to take the offer as it comes? And if the answer is yes, how do I know if I have gone too far or asked for too much? If we can’t come to terms that are acceptable to both the school and me, will it hurt my chances for another headship if I walk away? Am I better off with a simple employment letter than a full-blown contract of many pages and why?
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      Related Documents
      2016-Briggs (PDF, 489 KB)
 

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