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One-Hour Workshops: Management Track

Designed primarily for business officers, financial aid directors, division heads, deans, and heads, these workshops focus on the day-to-day management of people, programs, and operations.​​​​​​​​​​​​

  • Block 1 (Thursday, February 25, 8:00 - 9:00 AM)
    • Making Sense of Technology in Independent Schools and Selecting the Right One for You

      2011

      SIS, LMS, PLP...What? If you're not entirely clear about technology terms and applications, this is the session for you. This session will provide you and your staff with a consistent understanding of ed tech. You'll leave this session feeling confident when evaluating different technologies for your school or classroom that you've selected the best fit technology for your needs.
      Presented ByKawai Lai, NAIS
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      LevelIntroductory
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      Explore How do I make sense of technology in my school? How do I make decisions on what technologies my school needs? What technologies are other schools using? What works? What doesn't?
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    • Strategic Engagement in Online Learning - Five Case Studies

      2020

      This workshop will present and discuss five case studies of schools that are strategically engaged in online learning. Commonalities among these schools will emerge, including that they: have leaders who put online learning on the table as a solution to challenges around time, space, or staffing; and eventually move to a mindset of leveraging online resources to propel teaching and learning forward within the school.
      Presented ByBradford Rathgeber, Online School for Girls (MD)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      Explore How do schools start to engage in online learning? What pathways do schools take as the embed online learning into the curriculum of the school? What commonalities exist between strategically engaged schools?
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    • What's the POINT? Learn How to Translate the Stories of Your School from One Group to Another

      3018

      By learning to act as a POINT person, or "Point Of Information Transfer," the administrator will reframe his or her role as a translator of stories that resonate with the school mission, rather than simply a problem solver. This will empower community members to solve their own problems.
      Presented ByBenedict Chant, Margaret Metz, The Mandell School (NY)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      ExploreWhy do the good people I work with not understand each other? How can I sustain my workload and commitment when I am being pulled in all directions? How can I best serve the mission of the school?
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  • Block 2 (Thursday, February 25, 12:00 - 1:00 PM)
    • Admissions, Attendance and Accommodations: New Perspectives on the ADA

      3024

      The obligation to provide reasonable accommodations for students under the ADA continues to expand.  Recent enforcement activity from the U.S. Department of Justice highlights the need to track emerging issues under the ADA - ranging from service animals to mental health issues.  The presenters will discuss compliance efforts, the impact on schools and strategies to reasonably accommodate students from admissions through graduation.
      Presented ByBruce Chudwick, Julie Fay, and Leander Dolphin, Shipman & Goodwin LLP and Douglas Lyons, Connecticut Association of Independent Schools
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      LevelIntermediate
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      ExploreWhat are the recent changes to the ADA and how will the increased enforcement activity at the federal and local level impact independent schools? How does a school determine what is a reasonable accommodation when determining whether to grant an accommodation request? What are best practices for schools in complying with the ADA from the application process through graduation?
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    • Broadening Boarders: Should Your Day School Dabble?

      2003

      Opening the doors to a burgeoning new market can change a school’s dynamics.  With so many academic, financial and cultural considerations, determining the right approach and process can be challenging.  Hampton Roads Academy outlines their establishment of a successful international residency program amid the myriad options available to independent day schools.
      Presented ByRebecca Bresee and James Gandolfo, Hampton Roads Academy (VA)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      Explore What is right for my school’s goals and mission – homestay or residential? Size? What are the ramifications (positive and negative) of this new program to my school community and who are the stakeholders? What needs to be done to implement this new initiative?  Maintain it?
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    • Concussions and the Student Athlete - A Medical Perspective

      2004

      The management of concussions for our student athletes is complicated. Independent schools need to partner with sports medicine doctors, administrators, and teachers as they support students recovering from a concussion. Protocols for concussions, key findings from research and from practice, as well as new diagnostic tests relevant  in the field of concussion research will be discussed.
      Presented ByMindy Hong, TASIS American School in England (UK) and Eugene Hong, Drexel University
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      LevelIntermediate
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      Explore How to manage student athlete concussions in the independent school setting? What are the key findings about concussions for the student athlete? How to manage academic workload for students recovering from concussions?
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    • Now what? Moving from Data to Action Using Benchmarking Reports

      2020

      Drowning in data?  Wondering how to make best use of the benchmarking reports you create every year? This session will discuss select findings from a year-long study of benchmarking best practices and how schools are using benchmark data to evaluate performance, inform decision-making, and enhance strategic planning.
      Presented ByJonathan Martin, JonathanEMartin Ed. Services; Lisa Pullman, Independent School Data Exchange - INDEX; Steve Bellis, Pembroke Hill School (MO); and Thomas Locke, The Episcopal Academy (PA)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      ExploreHow to create a process in your school to study, review, and glean insight for action from benchmarking reports? What are corporate and not-for-profit best practices for use of benchmarking data?  What are some examples of school success stories in the use of benchmarking data?
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    • The High Rise Urban School: Planning & Design for Community & Connectivity

      3022

      Learn how a dense urban location and high rise construction influenced the planning of GEMS World Academy Chicago’s campus, how community partnerships were used to supplement offerings, how design was used to support GEMS educational and marketing objectives, and how state-of-the art technology facilitates collaboration between classrooms around the world.
      Presented ByLynne Sorkin, bKL Architecture LLC; Arthur Weir, RMC International; Fritz Morris, Mary Beth Wilson, and Kim Wargo, GEMS World Academy-Chicago; John Lupinos, Arcadis US, Inc.
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      LevelIntermediate
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      ExploreHow does a dense urban site with numerous constraints and the need for multi-story construction create opportunities and challenges that influence the programming and design of a new campus? How can design support educational goals and pedagog, promote an IB curriculum by raising global awareness, and support marketing objectives? How does integration of technology and the development of community partnerships facilitate local interaction with the GEMS global network of classrooms?
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    • What’s New with DASL and What’s Next?

      2024

      DASL (Data and Analysis for School Leadership) continues to grow as a collaboration of associations serving independent schools. Join the NAIS DASL team, along with a panel of independent school association leaders, to learn how the system serves your school as a data system for benchmarking and analyzing your school’s trends. See how we’ve integrated constituent surveys and demographic data into the system.  And learn about the future of data collection and use from associations at the national, regional, and state levels.
      Presented ByHilary LaMonte and Joy Bodycomb, NAIS; Representatives from several relevant associations
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      LevelIntroductory
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      ExploreHow can I use DASL to support the mission of my school? What are the new features available in DASL? How can I expect to use this data in the future?
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  • Block 3 (Thursday, February 25, 2:45 - 3:45 PM)
    • Developing a Data-Driven Strategy for School Improvement

      2006

      How do you incorporate parent, student, and faculty feedback to improve school programs, retention, and reputation? Sorting among different anecdotes and perceptions can be challenging. Market research techniques that identify what matters most can help schools focus on improvement conversations and invest limited resources for the greatest impact.
      Presented ByMonique DeVane, The College Preparatory School (CA); Beruria Novich, The Pacific Consulting Group; and Sabina McMahon, The Thacher School (CA)
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      LevelIntroductory
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      ExploreHow do leading edge market research techniques provide value compared to traditional parent/student satisfaction surveys or stakeholder discussions?   What are some examples of how research findings have informed changes in school program or practices?   What are some of the longitudinal benefits of sustained market research work over time?
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    • Independence at Independent Schools: Thinking About Organizational Structure

      2018

      How can an independent school maintain its independent spirit while ensuring accountability and excellence across the board?  How do schools manage the tensions between teacher autonomy and teacher independence?  In this session, two school administrators will discuss how to encourage distributed leadership, stronger supervising, and greater accountability in order to improve teaching and learning.
      Presented ByBlake Spraggins, Marjo Talbott, and Nicholas Michalopoulos, Maret School (DC)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      ExploreWhat should schools think about when considering organizational structure?  How can schools distribute leadership effectively?  How can schools increase accountability while still allowing teacher independence?
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    • Marketing Research: Why It Matters for Today's Independent Schools

      2000

      Many NAIS schools are experiencing enrollment challenges and must have a strong understanding of how they are perceived in the market. We will explore the value of marketing research and the key issues that a head should consider before starting the process. What is your school’s reputation with prospective families and how do you design an effective study?
      Presented ByNeil Mufson, The Country School (MD), Jonathan Oleisky, Kalix Communications, LLC, and Jeff Henn, Consultant
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      LevelIntroductory
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      ExploreWhat's the value of market research to a comprehensive re-branding campaign? How do you design an effective marketing research study for an independent school? How does third party objectivity play an important role in this process?
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    • Use of Participant Agreements - Releases and Related Issues

      3022

      As a school, do you have parents and/or students sign an agreement containing a description of the activities students will undertake, both on and off campus, whether in the US or internationally? Does this agreement endeavor to include certain legal protections for the school?  This workshop will cover legal and practical issues associated with use of written participation agreements with school families and highlight the value in using these documents as informational, risk management and legal tools.  We will identify key agreement components and provide examples of current case law to discuss specific issues affecting schools and other organizations that undertake active programming. Significant issues include: dealing with minors, releases, acknowledgment and assumption of risks, the inter-relationship of various school agreements; e-signatures; and unique state laws and legal doctrines.
      Presented ByCatherine Hansen-Stamp, Attorney
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      LevelIntroductory
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      ExploreWhy it is important to work with informed legal counsel to develop (or revise) your participant agreement, consistent with existing school agreements and information, and consistent with applicable state law and other relevant considerations? Why it is important to understand issues associated with crafting a participant agreement that involves minor participants? Why it is important to consider (with informed legal counsel) the use and implementation of electronic forms and associated compliance with e-sign laws, if the school is planning to have participants electronically sign the participant agreement?
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  • Block 4 (Friday, February 26, 8:00 - 9:00 AM)
    • Independent School Business Officer Transitions: Succession Planning, Timing, and Search

      2008

      This session will present the finding of research about independent school business officer transitions. The focus will be on three key areas: timing of the change, opportunity for succession planning, and the search process itself. Through a series of case studies, the presenter will provide guidance and best practice to attendees which will lead to a successful hire of a new business officer at their school.
      Presented ByMarc Levinson, Mid-South Independent School Business Officers
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      LevelIntermediate
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      Explore What is the optimal timing for a new business officer to start at an independent school? Can school leadership create effective succession planning for the business officer position?
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    • Risk Management, Legal and Practical Challenges for Off-Campus Programming

      2012

      Independent schools understand and value the enrichment that off-campus experiential learning can offer to students.  Standard field trips are common, but increasingly, schools do so much more - both in the U.S. and internationally.  Activities and trips include hiking, camping, rafting, homestays and rock climbing, to name a few. How are schools assessing and managing risks in this programming – risks to both the student and to the school? How does this programming differ from, but intersect with, a school’s traditional trips and activities? What are the associated legal and practical issues? Come join the conversation to gain perspective on a manageable approach to these issues.
      Presented ByCatherine Hansen-Stamp, Attorney; Debra Wilson, NAIS
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      LevelIntroductory
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      ExploreWhy it is important to assess and consider the intersection between this off campus experiential programming and existing school trips and activities? Why it is important for a school to assess and manage risks to the student as well as to the school? Why it is important to consider the role that teachers play in experiential off campus programming, whether or not the school has hired an independent contractor or third party provider to conduct all or part of a program?  
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    • The Compelling Case for Instructional Coaching

      3002

      What is the central mission of every school? Teaching and learning. Yet how much rigorous conversation takes place every day and in a variety of ways about teaching and learning? How can schools become environments where observation, feedback, and ongoing conversations about teaching and learning are commonplace - part of the air breathed? Hire an inspired and inspiring instructional coach.
      Presented ByMatthew Horvat, Brenda Leaks, Gerald Buhaly, and Jessica Hanson, The Overlake School (WA)
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      LevelIntroductory
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      ExploreHow can schools create a culture where observation, feedback, and dialogue about teaching and learning occur regularly? How can schools implement an instructional coaching model? Will hiring an instructional coach signal to the parent community that your faculty is not strong?
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    • Triple Threat: Crisis Management, Reputational Risk, and Business Continuity

      3022

      One of the greatest issues facing independent schools today is the issue of crisis management and the threat to reputational risk and business continuity for the school.  This session will use case studies and actual claims to help identify best practices and strategic models for schools to follow.
      Presented ByRonald Wanglin and Cheryl McDowell, Bolton & Company; Constance Neary, United Educators Insurance Risk Retention Group; and Lisa Turchan, The Buckley School (CA)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      ExploreHow can one address crisis management in and independent school  environment? How can one address and manage reputational risk? How can one establish a business continuity plan for the school?
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    • Using Branding as a Catalyst for Thriving Auxillary Programs

      2009

      An interactive session on how branding can be a catalyst to creating successful programs.  When is it important for your camp and school to share branding, and when is it important for you to brand in unique ways and what options exist in the middle? Do your summer camp goals match up with your school's mission? Examine current branding trends from Fortune 500 companies and how we can apply them to our programs.
      Presented ByDan ONeil, The Congressional Schools of Virginia (VA) and Karen McCann McClelland, Sidwell Friends School (VA)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      ExploreHow can you take a team approach in developing your auxiliary/summer/co-curricular program goals to match your branding strategy (e.g. involving development, communication, admissions, HR, etc.)? What lessons can we apply to schools from Fortune 500 companies co-branding successes and failures? What effect does your branding strategy for auxiliary programs have on enrollment?
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    • What's Google Got to Do with It? Independent School Enrollment in the Internet Era

      3018

      The new generation of parents has countless resources at its fingertips to answer nearly any question. But, when it comes to deciding to enroll a child in an independent school, Google doesn’t have the answer, and parents feel stuck. This session will address how independent schools can strategically communicate with young parents who are data driven, juggling two full-time jobs, and expect a guaranteed return on their investment.
      Presented ByJennifer Elkin, Angela Brown, and Kate Moran, The Pike School (MA)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      Explore The ROI Parent: How do you quantify the intangible benefits of an independent school education? Constant Q&A: How do you satiate the thirst for an overabundance of information from prospective parents? Beyond the Open House: What are alternative methods for reaching prospective families?
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  • Block 5 (Friday, February 26, 11:15 AM - 12:15 PM)
    • A Head, Two Board Chairs, and an Advancement Director Walk Into A Bar…

      3018

      Four school leaders offer their analysis of the changing and challenging topic of school sustainability.  Using data analysis, they will pull back the lens to examine trends in consumer spending and anxiety, enrollment, fundraising, and finances.  Participants will better understand these trends and take away recommendations for actions for their own schools.
      Presented ByJohn Huber, Emerson School (MI); Jenny Chiang, National Cathedral School (DC); Julie Klingenstein, The Andrew & Julie Klingenstein Family Fund; Andy Klingenstein, The Esther A. & Joseph Klingenstein Fund, Inc.
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      LevelIntermediate
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      Explore What emerging issues are facing independent schools? What are the trends in our independent schools over the past five years? What might schools do to remain financially viable in response to emerging issues?
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    • It's a Trans New World: Legal Issues and Creating a Safe Space For Transgender School Members

      2010

      This session will review the wide range of both legal and non-legal issues associated with creating a safe space in the school for transgender students, employees and other members of the community.  We will review the creation of policies and procedures and the issues that need to be considered to ensure a safe and welcoming environment in a manner consistent and responsive to school culture and philosophy.
      Presented ByCaryn Pass, Venable LLP and Megan Murphy, National Coalition of Girls Schools (MA)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      ExploreWhat are the legal issues associated with creating a safe space for transgender members of the community? What policies and procedures are helpful? How can one respond and address the culture of the school when creating these procedures?
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    • Making a Substantive Change to Your Institution – Adding a Grade

      2011

      To address an ever-changing and increasingly competitive marketplace, The Williams School added a 6th grade to our grade 7-12 institution. A substantive change to Williams created the need to develop a robust middle school program to support our enrollment and programmatic strategic plan.
      Presented ByMark Fader, Kathy Trammell, Macy Kleinfelder, and Jane Hannon, The Williams School (CT)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      ExploreWhat are the key factors to consider when adding a grade? How do you budget for enrollment and program? How do you prepare your community (current students, parents, staff) for the addition of a grade?
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    • Now What? Current and Coming Legal Issues for Independent Schools

      2014

      Independent schools face many challenges, and the legal ones can be surprising. What has been happening over the last year and what can we see on the horizon? Are the overtime regulations going to go into effect? Are there more ADA and technology issues? Student mental health challenges? Teachers in rebellion? Unpredictable parents? Student data privacy? Come join this interactive legal session with NAIS's general counsel so that you can prepare for the legal conundrums ahead!
      Presented ByDebra Wilson, National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      Explore What major legal issues have presented themselves in the last year? What major legal issues may come to be in the future? What steps can I take to prepare?
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    • The Trailblazer in You: How Your School's Story Can Become Your Catalyst for Change

      3001

      Using Castilleja’s Partnership for 21st Century Assessment as a model, participants will develop a roadmap to innovate, pilot, launch, and ultimately sustain a new program. These new programs will address new challenges while also supporting the school's mission. This workshop will also give participants an opportunity to consider a fund-raising plan to support their newest ideas.
      Presented ByNanci Kauffman, Jose Band, and Karen Strobel, Castilleja School (CA)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      Explore How do you take a single challenge at your school and turn it into a compelling story that justifies a new program?   How do you build an infrastructure to pilot, fund, and sustain your new program? How do you assess the impact of your new program and successfully tie it to your existing programs?
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  • Block 6 (Friday, February 26, 1:30 - 2:30 PM)
    • A Big Audacious Goal: How to Become Carbon Neutral and Save Money in the Process

      3020

      At a time when so many independent schools seek ways to reduce their carbon footprint and increase financial sustainability, discover how becoming a green school may also improve the bottom line. Learn how a combination of efficiencies, onsite energy production, and carbon allowances can add up to carbon neutrality, without increasing your budget.
      Presented BySteve Harrington, Katherine Dinh, and Paul Chapman, Prospect Sierra School (CA); Raphael Rosen, Carbon Lighthouse
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      LevelIntermediate
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      ExploreWhy must schools lead the way in combining environmental and financial sustainability? How can one use a combination of efficiencies, onsite energy production, and carbon allowances to achieve carbon neutrality? How can one achieve carbon neutrality, with no upfront costs and potential short and long-term savings?
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    • Faculty Stories: Reframing the Narrative, Editing the Outcome

      2001

      Building and retaining a strong faculty is critical. Helping teachers reframe their narratives by telling their stories differently can reengage veterans and improve neophytes. Find out how to use the techniques of editing to enrich and enliven faculty by considering perspective, characters, and alternate endings.
      Presented ByDebora Phipps, Moses Brown School (RI) and Launa Schweizer, Brooklyn Heights Montessori School (NY)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      Explore How can I help teachers retire gracefully and without bitterness when they are burned out? How can I best help a new teacher whose high standards for herself mean she cannot enjoy her work? How, as an administrator, can I improve the morale of teachers who tell themselves they are overworked and unappreciated?
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    • Recruiting Chinese Applicants: Understanding Mindset, Challenges, and Engagement

      2024

      As the number of Chinese applicants increases, admissions offices must develop new strategies and tactics to manage this cohort effectively. Explore differences between the Chinese and U.S. education systems, discuss the mindset of Chinese parents and applicants, examine challenges families and schools face, and share best admissions office practices for developing engagement and increasing yield.
      Presented ByNicki Fung, Vericant; Jennifer Welch, Thayer Academy (MA)
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      LevelIntroductory
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      ExploreHow to effectively engage and yield Chinese applicants?  What are some of the market dynamics and parental mindsets driving Chinese applicants to study abroad?  What are the underlying issues leading to fraud in Chinese applicant materials?
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