Innovation Sessions

Innovation is vital to the work of independent schools and is an important part of anyone’s leadership journey. The NAIS Annual Conference offers several ways to flex your innovation muscles. Take part in any or all of these three opportunities! 


NAIS Innovation Kitchen: Mini-hack (preregistration required)

Wednesday, March 7, 1:00-4:00 PM
Location: Room B311
Come experience one of the NAIS Innovation Kitchen’s “recipes for innovation”: the Magnetic Mountain (MM). The MM is a framework for how you can think about your school’s innovation journey, and the Summit Backpack toolkit will help you imagine and implement a differentiated “summit” idea. Learn how to bring this framework and toolkit back to your school through new blended, online, and face-to-face resources. This workshop is for NAIS members only.
Learning objectives:
  • Leave with a fluency in the Magnetic Mountain framework and how it can be applied at your school.
  • Understand the imperatives for change and begin to articulate your own imperative.
  • Be armed with a set of tools to create a culture of innovation and manage change at your school.

Speed Innovating

Thursday, March 8 11:15 AM-12:15 PM
Location: GWCC, Andrew Young International Boulevard Entrance

Following a “speed dating” format, spend an hour hearing from some of the most innovative
independent schools across the country. These intimate, 15-minute mini-sessions focus on
the schools’ innovation journeys, why they embarked on their journeys, and some of the
lessons learned so far. Participation is first come, first served, so please be sure to show up early and get ready to mingle!. No tickets required. Come hear about the following topics: 

Advancing Equity and Impact Through Community Engagement and Entrepreneurship
Presenters: Nishant Mehta, Allen Broyles, and Melissa Scott, The Children's School (GA)

Atlanta’s Civically-Engaged, Design-Minded Semester School
Presenter: Laura Deisley, Lab Atlanta (GA)

Students Living Balanced and Meaningful Lives
Presenters: Yvonne Faisal and Brian Schlaak, Woodside Priory School (CA)

Flipping the Grad School Model
Presenters: Melissa Chittenden and David Garrick Dean, University Child Development School (WA)

Becoming a Transformational School
Presenters: Julia Russell Eells and Nasif Iskander, San Francisco University High School (CA)

Reaching More Students: Expanding an Affordable and Accessible Winchendon-Style Education
Presenters: John Kerney and Jerry Larson, Winchendon School (MA)

Reaching Beyond Classroom and Campus
Presenters: Mark Silver and Ilsa Dohmen, Hillbrook School (CA)

A Purposeful Partner for an Equitable Pittsburgh
Presenter: Adam Nye, Winchester Thurston School (PA)

Innovating Private-Public Partnerships
Presenters: Michael Magno and Ryan Welsh, Providence Day School (NC)

Real World Learning
Greg Bamford, Watershed School (CO)

NAIS Innovation Kitchen

Thursday, March 8, 11:00 AM-6:00 PM
Friday, March 9, 7:00 AM-3:15 PM
Location: The NAIS Expo
The NAIS Innovation Kitchen fosters and incubates ideas to solve your school’s most pressing challenges while bringing schools together to better serve all children. Come to the Innovation Kitchen for:
  • An NAIS recipe for innovation—in particular, the Magnetic Mountain framework
  • Stories of innovation journeys from other schools
  • An opportunity for you and your team to tell your own innovation story
  • Inspiring conversations with future-wise schools and thought leaders