Special Events


In addition to the regular conference programming, you can take advantage of the following events, many of which require pre-registration.
 
Title Description Time Location Activity Type Price Registration
School Visits Choose a local school to visit and see what makes them unique! Transportation will be provided from the convention center. Meet in the Broad Street Atrium at 8:30 AM for pickup.

The Philadelphia School
This prek-8 school of 475 students has multiage classrooms that are all team-taught. This is a project-based school that uses the city and a country classroom to engage students in citizenship and environmental stewardship. 

Community Partnership School
Established in 2006 to provide children in low-income communities with an education that puts them on a path to lifelong well-being and success, this school creates conditions that support healthy and happy children who are well-positioned to make good on their dreams and aspirations.

Friends Select School
The only prek-12 Quaker School in Center City Philadelphia, Friends Select believes that education can be fascinating. In addition to seeing the school's innovative curriculum and campus in action (including a rooftop turf field and STEAM lab), this visit will include a walking tour of Philadelphia landmarks between the Convention Center and the school.

William Penn Charter School
As one of the oldest Friends schools in the world (founded in 1689), Penn Charter has a long history of educating students in the city of Philadelphia. Things you might see include the work the school is doing in the Center for Public Purpose (there may even be an opportunity for our guests to engage in some work directly), our Teaching and Learning Center, and our Upper School Certificate Program.
Wednesday, February 26,
8:30 AM-12:00 PM
PCC, Broad Street Atrium School Visits Required
The Amazing Philly Race: Creating a Legacy of Humanity at Your School Join us for the the Amazing Philly Race, an engaging all-day experience. We’ll use elements of games, competitions, scavenger hunts, and design thinking as we “think, do, and apply.” We will explore student and teacher engagement in new ways, learn new tools for collaboration, and reflect on our culture of rewards. What effect do extrinsic motivations have on social emotional learning (SEL), mental health and wellness, and overall learning outcomes in our schools? Is there a good solution to the "winner take all" vs. "participation trophies" debate for everyone? We will address these questions and more as we think about our legacies in schools, specifically the legacies of awards, rewards, points, and other motivations. The overall day will be a team scavenger hunt format. Will we eat lunch at Reading Market, interview others, and see some wonderful downtown Philly sites. Yes, there will be prizes! Come alone or with a team from your school.

Presenters: Matt Nink, Erin English, and Roxanne Kruger, GYLI
Wednesday, February 26,
9:00 AM-3:00 PM
Meet at PCC, Broad Street Atrium Local Event $150 Required
Creating Momentum in Your School In collaborating with more than 150 schools over the last three years, the NAIS Strategy Lab team has noted a common thread among the most innovative schools: that is, the capacity to create and sustain momentum. This momentum does not come from a single person or initiative; it is the result of designed innovation. In this workshop your leadership team will explore tools and frameworks that will help you understand and accelerate momentum in your school. You’ll focus on the concept of the “flywheel,” as described in Good to Great by Jim Collins, as a tool for strategic progress. Join this workshop if you and your team are interested in creating your own flywheel and building momentum for your innovation work moving forward. Participants will be required to read Turning the Flywheel: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great as pre-work for this workshop.

**This is for administrative teams of 2-4 people from the same school.
Wednesday, February 26,
9:00 AM-3:00 PM
Workshop $150 Required
Reflect, Refine, and Renew: Cultivating Resiliency as a Mid-Career Head If you are a head of school with 5-15 years of experience, join us for an interactive opportunity to reflect on your practice and examine research-informed perspectives on educational leadership. You will explore your own leadership strengths in relation to the three prominent frameworks of leadership: transformational, instructional, and distributive. Further, you will build on your talents and create a professional growth plan to cultivate your resiliency as a leader and recommit to your leadership vision. Wednesday, February 26,
9:00 AM-12:00 PM
Workshop $95 Required
Klingenstein Seminar Series Data Use as a Window and Mirror: The Call for Data-Driven, Evidence-Based Leadership in Independent Schools

Leaders and teachers in independent schools are often tasked with the incredible responsibility of cultivating schools that are both excellent and equitable. While this can be a rewarding feat, the work of instructional improvement can also feel haphazard, inconsequential, and just plain difficult to plan, implement, and sustain year after year. Recently, educators have embraced data-driven and evidence-based leadership as a window and mirror to help them understand what works in their schools. In this hands-on seminar, you will explore the principles of data-driven leadership and participate in a hands-on simulation of an evidence-based, data-informed improvement process in structured leadership teams. You will also consider the ethical implications of data use in schools and reflect on how data-informed leadership can also serve as a window and mirror in how independent school leaders interrogate and challenge inequality in elite spaces. Don’t worry—no math or statistics are required!

Presenter: Kenneth E. Graves
Wednesday, February 26,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
Klingenstein Seminar $25 Required
Beyond the Bell Tours Beyond the Bell is pleased to offer NAIS attendees a discounted rate on these one-of-a-kind walking tours. Get acquainted with Philly as you learn about the people and places that are sometimes left out of the history books.

Choose from one of two 2-hour walking tours of downtown Philadelphia. Each tour is approximately 2 miles long.

The Philly Classic: Hit all the main sites in historic Old City and Independence Park, but hear it all from the perspectives often left out of mainstream tourism. ​This tour includes the Controversy of the President’s House; the Legend of the Penn Treaty Elm; Chief Tamanend: the Affable and Cool Colonial Women. ​

PHL 101: History of Activism Tour: Get the lowdown on Philly mayors, activists, artists and more. Hear about the conflicts and conundrums that have formed the city to this day. This tour includes Philly's most controversial mayor, Frank Rizzo; Octavius Catto, a not-so-well remembered activist; the MOVE Bombing; Controversies of the Gayborhood; and Rittenhouse Square, one of Philadelphia's central public spaces.
Wednesday, February 26,
1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Meet at PCC, Broad Street Atrium Local Event $40 Required
Ensuring the Future: How Trustees Contribute to School Success If you serve on a school board (as trustee or board chair), join us for this interactive workshop. We will examine current trends in good governance and ways boards can become learning organizations to better serve their schools’ mission. In addition, we will explore how board culture informs strategic planning, the impact of change management on goal-setting, and the importance of self-assessment. You will also receive a list of NAIS trustee resources. Following the workshop, you’ll have a chance to network and talk informally with other school trustees at a reception.
Note: This event is intended for people currently serving on boards.
 
Wednesday, February 26,
1:00 PM-5:30 PM
$95 Required
First-Time Attendee Welcome Reception Join fellow first-time Annual Conference attendees at a casual reception. Get to know each other and forge new connections as you begin your conference experience. Wednesday, February 26,
5:00 PM-6:00 PM
Marriott, Grand Ballroom Salon H Receptions Free Required
Dine-Arounds Join in on a Philly dining experience! In this Dine-Around, you’ll be placed in a small group with other NAIS Annual Conference attendees for dinner at a restaurant in central Philadelphia. This is a great way to meet new friends and take part in the flourishing Philly food scene. Wednesday, February 26,
6:30 PM-11:00 PM
Local Event Cost of your meal Required
Thursday Wellness Activities Mental and physical wellness are important aspects of everyday life. The 2020 NAIS Annual Conference will give you the opportunity to participate in early morning yoga or a fun run/walk/roll.

Run | Meet at Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Lobby
Yoga | Marriott, 409
Thursday, February 27,
6:00 AM-7:00 AM
Marriott Wellness Not required
President’s Breakfast and Annual Meeting Join other heads of school and leadership team members for breakfast and a presentation by NAIS President Donna Orem and the NAIS Board of Trustees. The Annual Meeting for Members immediately follows the breakfast. Thursday, February 27,
7:30 AM-9:00 AM
PCC, 119A/B President's Breakfast and Annual Meeting $30 Required
Speed Innovating: Schoolwide Edition Following a “speed dating” format, spend an hour hearing from some of the most innovative independent schools across the country in intimate, 15-minute mini-sessions. Thursday will focus on school transformations and will be geared towards heads of school, school leadership teams, and trustees.Participation is firstcome, first-served, so please be sure to show up early to snag a seat. No tickets required.

Increase Enrollment by Eliminating Your AP Program
Presenters: Matt Byrnes and Chris Pannone, Wooster School (CT) 

“Put It in the Box”—How Systems Thinking Can Make Your Meetings Effective and Efficient
Presenters: Laura Konigsburg and Courtney Baker, Turning Point School (CA)

Racial Autobiographies: How Unpacking for Clarity Helped Us Have a Courageous Conversation With Faculty
Presenters: Jennifer Liu and Corbett Simons, Town School for Boys (CA)

Revisiting School Uniforms: A Template for Deep Student Engagement in Strategic Decisions
Presenter: Heather Avery, Lakefield College (Canada) 

Using Systems Thinking to Reimagine Student Support Programs
Presenters: Ben Ketchum and Jan Reeder, Riverside Presbyterian Day School (FL)

What's in a Grade? A Lesson in Supply-Side Thinking
Presenters: Ryan Kelly and Sara Rubinstein, Carrollwood Day School (FL)
Thursday, February 27,
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
PCC, Arch Street Foyer Speed Innovating Not required
Master Class With Jonathan Haidt Educators in the Crossfire: Investigating Conflict and Creating a Culture of Resilience
In this two-hour master class, we will dig deeper into the ideas from Haidt’s earlier keynote. The session will be aimed at administrators and teachers who sit in the crossfire of many stakeholders who make conflicting demands, many of which are impossible to satisfy. We will cover topics including identifying your purpose and crafting a moral narrative about your school that can anchor your policies and your responses to conflicts and challenges; identifying the various “moral matrices” and sacred values of various stakeholders; making “antifragility” a guiding principle of policies and pedagogy; understanding the causes of the epidemic of teen anxiety and depression, investigating social media’s role in exacerbating issues, and inviting your Gen Z students to draft policies with you.  

Lunch will be provided. 
Thursday, February 27,
11:30 AM-1:30 PM
PCC, 126A Master Class $95 Required
NAIS AC Powered by PechaKucha NAIS has adapted the exciting, rapid-fire format of popular PechaKucha presentations to the NAIS Annual Conference stage. All presenters must adhere to the 20 x 20 rule: They’re limited to 20 slides that advance automatically at 20 seconds per slide. Whether funny, sad, informative, or inspirational, all presentations are concise and visual.  Thursday, February 27,
1:30 PM-2:30 PM
PechaKucha Not required
President’s Welcome Reception All attendees are welcome to join us for a casual and fun reception. Food, drinks, and entertainment will be provided. Meet new friends or connect with current or former colleagues in this inviting space.  Thursday, February 27,
5:30 PM-7:00 PM
Receptions Not required
Friday Wellness Activities Mental and physical wellness are important aspects of everyday life. The 2020 NAIS Annual Conference will give you the opportunity to participate in early morning yoga or a fun run/walk/roll.

Run | Meet at Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Lobby
Yoga | Marriott, 409
Friday, February 28,
6:00 AM-7:00 AM
Marriott Wellness Not required
Speed Innovating: Teachers’ Edition Following a “speed dating” format, spend an hour hearing from some of the most innovative independent schools across the country in intimate, 15-minute mini-sessions. Friday will be Speed Innovating: Teacher's Edition and will focus on specific curricular innovations. Participation is firstcome, first-served, so please be sure to show up early to snag a seat. 

10 Steps to Becoming Reading Culture Influencers: How the English Department Spearheads a Love of Reading
Presenter: Diane Senior, The Baldwin School (PA)

A Class on Class: Facilitating Conversations About Class and Money in Independent Schools
Presenter: Andrea Pien, The Bay School of San Francisco (CA)

Decolonizing Education: An Interdivisional Approach to Developing Global Competence, Critical Literacy, and Relevant Curriculum
Presenters: Shaakira Raheem and Georgia Warner, Sidwell Friends School (DC)

Ecological Art and Activist Artists
Presenter: Marie Huard, Greene Street Friends School (PA)

The Importance of Risky Play for Our Children: Inspiring Leadership in Elementary Grades
Presenter: Jay Parker, Calvert School (MD)

Learning and Memory Strategies—How to Embed Study Skills in Our Teaching
Presenter: Cloey Talotta, Princeton Day School (NJ)

No Desks? No Kidding. Using Open Space and Questioning to Increase Student Talk Time
Presenter: Bertina Hsu-Miller, Germantown Academy (PA)

Politics Is NOT a Dirty Word: Promoting Civic Engagement Through Interdisciplinary Team Teaching
Presenter: Joe Croker, Harpeth Hall School (TN)

“There’s Never Time for Anything Fun!” Alternative Math Classroom Activities
Presenter: Josh Singer, The Madeira School (VA)

Why Teach Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning in School?
Presenter: Don Buckley, Teachers College, Columbia University
Friday, February 28,
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
PCC, Arch Street Foyer Speed Innovating Not required
Master Class With Michele Mattoon Techniques for Building Belonging in the Classroom
Research shows that students who feel a strong sense of belonging among their peers and feel valued by their teachers are able to engage more fully in learning. However, a recent study indicates that one out of every five students report that they have a problem fitting in at school, and only half the students surveyed enjoy being at school. This master class will help you foster a belonging mindset and learn more about the impact belonging has on students’ academic achievement and general level of happiness. You will leave with immediately usable activities and protocols specifically created for this purpose.
This master class is for teachers only. 
 
Lunch will be provided. 
Friday, February 28,
12:00 PM-3:15 PM
Location: PCC, 126A Master Class $95 Required
NAIS AC Powered by PechaKucha NAIS has adapted the exciting, rapid-fire format of popular PechaKucha presentations to the NAIS Annual Conference stage. All presenters must adhere to the 20 x 20 rule: They’re limited to 20 slides that advance automatically at 20 seconds per slide. Whether funny, sad, informative, or inspirational, all presentations are concise and visual. Friday, February 28,
1:30 PM-2:30 PM
PechaKucha Not required