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One-Hour Workshops: The Student Experience Track

​Designed for all educators and academic leaders, these workshops focus on the student experience, including equity and justice issues, bullying, student wellness, families, and character development. 

  • Block 1 (Thursday, March 2, 8:00 - 9:00 AM)
    • Embedding an International Student Program into the Fabric of Your School Culture

      341

      NAIS Virtual Pass Audio

      International student programs are becoming increasingly popular, but all too often these programs become a school within a school. This session will explore effective ways to successfully integrate international learners into your community so these students can deepen the learning experience for everyone. Come ready to learn, reflect, and develop plans to take back to your school.
      Presented ByBrenda Vishanoff and Kori Hocket, Wheaton Academy (IL)
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      Explore Why do international students cling together in groups rather than make broader friendships with domestic students? What structures can be developed by teachers and administrators to help these international learners integrate more deeply? What are the rewards of a deeply integrated international student population within your overall school community?
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    • Empowering Faculty, Learning from Students, and Redefining the Diversity Coordinator Role

      303

      Seeking to build upon internal strengths, a Baltimore school engaged all constituent groups and a consultant to create a student-centered, faculty-implemented, and administratively led inclusion program. Come learn about a framework for school self-assessment and program implementation. You'll find out how to maximize the role of diversity coordinator and put responsibility for diversity conversations on the desks of all members of the school community.
      Presented ByJen Cort, Jen Cort Educational Consulting; Aisha Mason and Penny Evins, St. Paul's School for Girls (MD)
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      ExploreHow can my school examine its policies, practices and staffing to ensure we are consistent with our mission in our diversity and inclusion work? How can my school engage all constituent groups and ask the right questions to develop a plan for a sustainable, visible, and student-centered program? How do I begin to identify which staffing, curricular intersections, and professional development may be necessary for my school?
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    • Evolving Expectations of School Responses to Student-on-Student Sexual Assaults

      336

      NAIS Virtual Pass Audio

      Expectations about how to prevent and respond to sexual assault on college campuses have had a trickle-down effect at independent schools. Using an interactive case student format, learn how schools are responding by developing new policies and procedures, training top administrators and responders, and educating students about rights, responsibilities, and ramifications of their behavior.
      Presented ByLinda Johnson, McLane Middleton Professional Association; Maureen Ferris, Phillips Academy (MA); Eric Seaborg, United Educators Insurance Risk Retention Group; Sandy Lish, The Castle Group
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      Explore What policies and procedures should schools have on hand when cases of student-on-student sexual assault arise? What preventive measures and training programs should a school implement regarding student-on-student sexual assault? What responsive actions should a school undertake, including such issues as conducting the investigation, hiring an independent investigator, coordinating the school's investigation with the police, disciplinary response, accommodations needed by the student, medical and counseling needs  of the student, insurance issues, and communications?
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    • Struggling to Launch: Rethinking the College Search to Find Success in Tomorrow's Job Market

      347/348

      High school students devote much time, effort, and money to the college search, but little time focused on how they will spend their undergraduate years. This session’s presenter is the author of There Is Life After College. The book is based on a national survey of 20-somethings about the experiences from high school on that shaped their lives. Explore his findings about the decisions that start the moment young people secure their spot on campus — decisions that play a much larger role in life after graduation than where they go to college.
      Presented ByJeffrey Selingo, The Washington Post
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      ExploreHow does the college decision shape what happens to students after college? What are the fundamental experiences in and out of school that equal success in the job market today? What are the skills that prove most helpful in today's job market?
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  • Block 2 (Thursday, March 2, 11:15 AM - 12:15 PM)
    • Beyond the Binary: Supporting Transgender and Gender-Expansive Students in Our Schools

      303

      The number of children who come out as transgender or gender expansive has been increasing, and schools are not always prepared to support them and their families. This workshop is an opportunity to engage with a school administrator, a student who came out as transgender during middle school, and the student's family. You'll emerge with a clearer understanding of their partnership and perspectives on how to best support individuals like them.
      Presented ByRachel Kane, Sidwell Friends School (DC); Valerie Stone, Jeff Stone, and Chester Stone, Abington Friends School (PA)
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      Explore What type of education does a whole community need to best support students who may be transgender or gender expansive? How can schools and families work together effectively as a student is coming out as transgender or gender expansive? What can we learn from the personal experiences of transgender students and families that can inform best practices in supporting those individuals in our school communities?
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    • Engaging in Honest Conversations on Race Through Storytelling

      342

      NAIS Virtual Pass Audio

      After discovering that personal stories within the school community are an untapped treasure, Cambridge School has developed an effective venue for families to share their own life journeys pertaining to racial identity. Hear about Cambridge's experience with storytelling, including how it was developed and implemented, its impact upon ongoing conversations about race, and its potential in other school settings.
      Presented ByJohn Blumenstein and Kaliq Hunter Simms, Cambridge School (MD)
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      Explore What do we already know about the value of storytelling for shaping the imaginations of children in school communities? How, practically speaking, can the life journeys of families in school communities be told in a way that celebrates the racial diversity and differences that might already exist in school communities? What is the potential for such storytelling as a medium for learning how to talk about race and related issues of social justice and equity?
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    • Kids in Conflict: Solving Problems in a Digital Era Without the Delete Button

      327

      Learn how to facilitate conflict resolution between students by practicing proven, hands-on strategies. Implement strategies that provide a structure for students to identify a conflict, self-advocate, and work to solve problems. This session includes a brief history of one school's program as well as small break-out sessions in which you will role-play various scenarios.
      Presented ByAlissa Abelson and Sara Jo Wayne; Friends School of Minnesota (MN)
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      Explore How can I foster students’ social development and self confidence amidst conflict? How can I encourage meaningful, authentic, face-to-face verbal communication when conflict arises? How can I create a learning environment where students can resolve conflicts?
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  • Block 3 (Thursday, March 2, 1:15 - 2:15 PM)
    • Change 101: A Narrative for Creating Systemic Equity and Justice Programming

      339

      NAIS Virtual Pass Audio

      Many faculty and administrators struggle to develop a collaborative and cohesive approach to implementing systemic equity and justice programming for multiple stakeholders within their schools. You will be able to use this shared experience to brainstorm ways to create systemic equity and justice programming in you school community.
      Presented ByJason Novak and Michelle Belton, Lowell School (DC); Malikkah Rollins, The Barrie School (MD)
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      Explore How do I bring quality diversity and inclusion programming to my school with a limited budget? How can faculty effectively sequence diversity and inclusion curriculum throughout a program? How and why do we continuously communicate and engage our diversity and inclusion work in our larger school community?
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    • Normal Social Conflict or True Bullying? How to Differentiate and Respond Effectively to Each

      330

      Parents and students are quick to label all unkind behaviors as bullying. In truth, there is a big difference between normal social conflict and actual peer bullying, and the way adults should respond to each is vastly different. Join an expert on bullying dynamics and learn to quickly assess a painful situation using several criteria. If it’s normal social conflict, you’ll find ways for kids to resolve their problems in a healthy manner without having adults “fix it.” If it’s bullying, you’ll gain effective responses that don’t blame the victim but do emphasize positive school climate.
      Presented ByCarrie Goldman, author
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      Explore What is the clear difference between normal social conflict and true bullying, and how do we quickly assess a situation between students? If a situation meets the criteria for normal social conflict, how can we teach students emotionally intelligent strategies for healthy conflict resolution? If a situation meets the criteria for bullying, how can we effectively respond in a pro-social way from the point of view of all parties, including the target, the aggressors, the bystanders and the school administrators?
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  • Block 4 (Friday, March 3, 8:00 - 9:00 AM)
    • Building Effective Resource Teams to Help Students Reach Their Goals

      303

      Independent schools face an urgent need to support the increasing number of students with complex health, social, emotional, academic, and familial challenges. Using a case study approach, you will work in small groups to come away from this session with specific protocols, strategies, and practices. You'll learn to either build a resource team from scratch or to take an existing team's practices to the next level.
      Presented ByJon Cassie; Tarbut V'Torah Community Day School (CA); Shannon Mulholland, and Ken Goleski, Sewickley Academy (PA)
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      Explore How do independent schools build effective teams in each division to support students with complex health, social, emotional, academic, and familial challenges? What specific strategies, resources, protocols, and practices can independent schools use to provide targeted, effective support for all students? Following case study examination, what should I reflect on to build more effective support systems for students when I get back to my own school?
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    • Elevating the Black Male: Creating Culturally Competent Schools

      319/320

      Examine the societal perceptions of young black males that perpetuate racial disparities in education. Then build the cultural competence to develop a learning environment that fosters academic success for these students. When you gain the required cultural competence to reach young black males, you’ll develop the competencies you need to reach all students.
      Presented ByOmekongo Dibinga, Upstander International
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      Explore How do awareness, knowledge, and understanding of one’s own culture promote effective teaching and learning? How do awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the cultures of students promote effective teaching and learning? How can educators establish culturally sensitive learning environments and modify instruction to be culturally reflective?
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    • Gender and Sexuality Diversity in Pre-K-12: Exploring Mission, Frameworks, and Values

      328

      Does your school commit to working with the whole child? Is your community based on respect for all individuals? Are you preparing students for citizenship in an increasingly complex, interconnected world? Examining gender and sexuality diversity through the lens of school mission clarifies the educational imperative for engaging these issues in the Pre-K-12 setting. Take part in this interactive session by bringing your mission statement and exploring your values and pedagogy.
      Presented ByJennifer Bryan, Team Finch Consultants
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      Explore How does your school mission inform your thinking about and engagement with gender and sexuality diversity? What conceptual framework will help you organize your thinking about gender and sexuality as educational issues in Pre-K-12 schools? How can schools best prepare to address gender and sexuality diversity in a manner that supports their school mission?
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    • Mission and the Modern Family

      336

      NAIS Virtual Pass Audio

      The structure and function of the family have changed in the last two decades. Anxiety has crept into the fiber of the American psyche, promoting an insatiable pursuit of certainty and happiness. Characteristics of the modern family and its evolving needs will be shared. While considering schools' traditions and values, we will discuss how to adapt to contemporary demands and more effectively connect families to our schools' missions.
      Presented ByArmond Lawson, Gilman School (MD)
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      Explore What has changed most about families and why? Which changes most impact independent schools? How do schools direct energy to create stronger bonds with family and decrease anxiety and tension?
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    • Parents Who Insist Their Child Is Being Bullied (Even Though the School Doesn’t See It)

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      When parents see their child as a victim of bullying and the child's teachers do not, the alliance between school and parent can quickly break down. This interactive workshop will provide practice in managing the disconnect between parents pushing a bullying agenda and schools earnestly working to help them understand that providing a “safe” school is not the same as creating an environment where nothing socially challenging, difficult, or negative ever happens to a child.
      Presented ByDaisy Pellant, Breck School (MN); Michael Thompson, Psychologist
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      Explore How do schools help parents step back from attacking and labeling their child as victim, and see that their “support” is actually undermining important social learning opportunities? How can schools support faculty to effectively work with parents through a healthy social-emotional developmental process that will include some bumps in the road? How can a case-study approach to professional development boost the confidence and efficacy of faculty in these difficult situations?
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    • Roots and Wings: Preparing Students for the New College Campus Reality

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      How does your school prepare students to choose where they go to college when academic fit alone is no longer sufficient to ensure a happy and successful matriculation? How do you ensure that today’s independent school graduates are equipped with the skills to proactively demonstrate their cultural competency in the midst of new peer groups, new political landscapes, and new economic realities? Learn from your peers' experience about what is not only possible, but increasingly necessary.
      Presented ByRyan Dahlem, Roland Allen and Jeneen Graham, St. Margaret's Episcopal School (CA); Robert Greene, Jones & Associates Consulting, Inc.
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      ExploreWhat has been happening on college campuses in the past year and a half and how do we make sense of it? What skills and perspectives are required of 21st century students as they move into college communities, whether from diverse backgrounds, privileged backgrounds, or combinations thereof? How can we prepare our students to be effective leaders in a multicultural landscape where the stakes are significant and the anxieties are high?
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    • Speak Up, Not Over: Helping White Allies Move Beyond "White Fragility" to Real Solidarity

      Hilton: Billie Holiday 5

      By framing the anti-racist struggle in ways that place their own experiences in the foreground, white allies often miss important opportunities to use their position and privilege to amplify the voices of the marginalized. This workshop will explore the role of allyship in anti-racist work. You will be encouraged to break down barriers, build relationships, and create institutional climates that seek an end to racism in our schools — and in ourselves.
      Presented ByCandice Powell, Newark Academy (NJ)
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      Explore In what ways does white fragility compromise the effectiveness of white allyship in our schools? How can would-be white allies more critically examine and engage their privilege to become full participants in interracial dialogues and multiracial communities? What are some of the self-reflective practices that white independent school educators can employ to dismantle the racism in our schools and, ultimately, become effective anti-racist allies and resources to people of color?
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    • The Power of Stories: Creating an Inclusive Curriculum Through Student Voices

      Hilton: Billie Holiday 2

      Each of us has a story to tell. Each of us has a desire to be known, heard, and understood. When we're creating an inclusive curriculum, stories can play a powerful role. They have the capacity to bring us together as well as the potential to divide. You will leave this workshop with a new lens for teaching and learning. You'll find out how to use stories to better understand students, to build community, and to examine history and current media.
      Presented ByCaroline Varner and Nicole Robinson, The Phillips Brooks School (CA); Kelly Hoy, Katherine Delmar Burke School (CA)
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      Explore Why are personal stories important and powerful? What does examining history and current events teach us? How do teachers use stories to create inclusive classrooms?
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  • Block 5 (Friday, March 3, 11:15 AM - 12:15 PM)
    • Be Resilient! How to Teach Resilience Within a Low-Resource, High-Impact Context

      329

      “Resilience” is the new “R” in education. Discover how a middle school administrator and school psychologist created a health education class to teach concepts and practice skills involved in resilience. Learn a practical framework of research-based principles and tools to foster emotional strength and empower students, and see how using their real-life, day-to-day stressors creates the lab for relevant learning.
      Presented ByJessica Stewart and Jared Schott, Moses Brown School (RI)
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      Explore How can a pragmatic approach to teaching resilience have an immediate and lasting impact on students? How can any school incorporate a similar program using existing resources with virtually no additional costs? How can a school counselor and administrator model curriculum development for teachers?
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    • Failure 2.0: Creating a Failure-Friendly School Community

      322/323

      This workshop goes beyond accepting failure and challenges as necessary components of healthy student development. You will learn about specific programs and ideas to best create a failure-friendly school community. This workshop is geared to professionals who embrace the need for failure in the lives of those in their charge. The goal is to look at ways to create an environment for students to best build needed skills in resilience.
      Presented ByMike Donegan, Loomis Chaffee School (CT)
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      Explore How can you best build a failure-friendly school culture and community? What specifically can you do to "walk the walk" and show students that the adults in their lives support them as they gain confidence in testing the waters and attempt to move beyond their own comfort zone? How can school personnel best evaluate when a student who is working through a difficulty or disappointment may need more formalized support?
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    • Global Citizenship at Home: Leveraging the Local as Global

      327

      Providing students with the chance to become global citizens is the responsibility of your entire school community. Limiting opportunities to a handful of school experiences will not lead students to an authentic appreciation of the world. Hear how two schools in the middle of the Pacific Ocean use their community’s strengths to leverage local assets as global assets. Find out how they devote curricular and non-curricular elements to their efforts to make sure their students are introduced to and able to practice global citizenship.
      Presented ByChai Reddy and James K. Scott, Punahou School (HI); Sophie Halliday and Ruth R. Fletcher, The St. Andrew's Schools (HI)
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      Explore How do local community values enrich or enhance characteristics of good global citizenship, making global citizenship more relevant and place-based for your students? What are the entry points to promoting global citizenship through the leveraging of local assets? How do you engage your role within your school administrative structure or classroom to institutionalize global citizenship practices in all grades and classrooms?
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    • Sexting, Digital Dating Abuse, and Other Relationship Issues

      328

      If you're facing problems at the intersection of teens, technology, and romantic relationships, know that best practices are evolving to help you with both prevention and response. Should you teach abstinence or "safe sexting"? How can you discuss inappropriate dating relationships marked by power and control? How can you connect safely with students on social media? Identify how best to navigate these and related issues.
      Presented BySameer Hinduja, Florida Atlantic University; Chad Green, Shady Side Academy (PA)
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      Explore Should we teach abstinence or "safe sexting"?  How do we discuss inappropriate dating relationships that are marked by control, power, and abuse online?  How can we get youth to understand digital permanence, even on apps like Snapchat or while using iCloud, without using scare tactics and fear-based messaging?
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    • Shaping Leadership Identity in Young Girls

      Hilton: Billie Holiday 6

      Find out what one pre-K-12 girls’ school has discovered about what leadership looks like in the very young, how its development can be fostered, and whether everyone has the potential to lead. Through participatory action research, teachers and administrators designed L3: Living Leadership in the Lower School, now fully integrated into the division.
      Presented ByMariandl Hufford and Donna Lindner, The Agnes Irwin School (PA)
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      Explore What does a successful leadership development program for elementary school students look like? Does everyone have the potential to lead? How do students learn to identify themselves as leaders? How can one create programmatic change that generates overwhelming teacher buy-in in a school?
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  • Block 6 (Friday, March 3, 1:15 - 2:15 PM)
    • De-Entitlement: The Art of Healthy Student Humbling

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      The vast majority of students arrive on campus eager to learn, grow, and embrace all that is offered. Unfortunately, a select few bring with them the belief that the universe revolves around them. We will review current research on aspects of adolescent brain development that contribute to the narcissism of the contemporary teen. We will then explore ways to help students de-center and become more humble in their interactions with others.
      Presented ByMike Donegan, Loomis Chaffee School (CT)
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      Explore Is this generation more susceptible than past generations to have narcissistic tendencies? How can you encourage a student’s voice without feeding their egos in an inappropriate way? Where is the line between self-confidence and narcissism and how can you best help students see the line themselves?
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    • Fifty Shades of Pluralism: Uncovering the Genius in Every Child in All School Settings

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      As educators, we can develop lifelong learners by creating learning communities that respect and embrace individual differences. A worthwhile goal is to support both independent and public schools in uncovering the genius in every student. In this workshop, experienced presenters will show how you can join a movement for change — as individuals and as independent schools — in service to all children.
      Presented ByWendy Horng Brawer, Prospect Sierra School (CA); Joel Pelcyger, PS1 Pluralistic School (CA)
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      Explore What does the independent school community have to offer in terms of teacher training, curriculum, pedagogical practices, leadership training, mentoring programs, and more? What channels of engaging public school teachers and administrators would be the most effective? What would success look like?
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    • Honoring Parentless Students: Addressing Equity Through Family and Non-Family Programming

      338

      NAIS Virtual Pass Audio

      The landscape of families is changing, and “Muffins with Mom,” “Dad’s Day,” and Parent/Teacher Associations are no longer relevant to all students. This workshop will focus on a change in how we think and speak about parents, guardians, and families. You will come away with a shift in how you think about students' family status and new ideas for addressing your campus's traditions and programs that lead with a bias lens.
      Presented ByMichael Goodman, University of Maryland
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      Explore How do I better include students who have a "non-traditional" family or parenting structure? What does this look like on my campus, how does language play into how we include/exclude, and "what could possibly go wrong?" When we talk about identity development for students, are we considering students who are developing their identity within walls of exclusion that are preset by the institution itself (specifically re: campus programming)?
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    • Issues of Race, Class, and Gender: A Framework for Teaching and Inspiring Social Justice

      326

      Your students live in a world where they need to be able to understand and confront the complex issues of race, gender, and class. Learn how to create a create a community of learners who can engage in difficult conversations, become allies, and take on the work of social justice all while striving to make your school community a more inclusive one for all.
      Presented ByLaura Robertson, Jon Shoup, and Antxon Iturbe, St. Anne's-Belfield School (VA)
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      Explore How do teachers create a community of learners able to have difficult conversations about the complex issues of race, gender, and class inherent to modern life? How can teachers and students work together to do the meaningful work of social justice and to make the school community a more equitable and inclusive place for all? What materials and skills do teachers need in order to foster a dynamic classroom experience that allows for the creation of a tight-knit community of learners who are committed to using the benefits of their experiences to make the world more equitable and just?
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    • Moving Forward Together Into a Brave New World

      318

      What is the relationship between empathy, intimacy, and technology? How might schools respond to the opportunities and challenges in a way that is mission-driven and forward-focused? This workshop reviews the findings from a national symposium in which thought leaders and educators tackled these questions and produced a set of recommendations designed to meet the challenges of the wired world and the paradox of human dis-connectedness.
      Presented ByMichael Spencer and Theresa Ferns, St. Paul's School (NH); Chad Green, Shady Side Academy (PA); Monica Gillespie, St. Mary's School (NC)
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      Explore Given what we have learned and what we already know, what are the opportunities and challenges that we face in our own particular school contexts? How does the relationship of empathy, intimacy, and technology impact school life broadly speaking, and specifically impact more discrete realms of school life that we are charged with stewarding and leading? What are the potential outcomes of the intersection of empathy, intimacy, and technology and what are the concrete steps that schools need to take in order to shape and/or leverage these outcomes in order to better meet their missions?
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    • Soft Skills and Hard Data: Validating the Character Traits That Matter Most

      Hilton: Billie Holiday 4

      In the future, the most important competencies may be more social-emotional than technical. Today robots are evolving to replicate many human capabilities; however, they falter when given tasks that require inter- and intrapersonal intelligence. This workshop will detail how to validate emotional intelligence and also demonstrate that it is at the foundation of strong character.
      Presented ByJosh Cobb and Ben DeVoss, Graland Country Day School (CO)
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      Explore How can you spread a focus on emotional intelligence across the curriculum? How can you educate your entire community on the importance of social-emotional learning? How can you measure your students’ progress on the character skills related to emotional intelligence?
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