2022 Workshops

Below you will find a listing of all general workshops and three-hour workshops. Please note that three-hour workshops, offered only on Wednesday, March 2, require pre-registration and cost $30 for members and $45 for non-members.


With your conference registration, you have access to ALL general conference workshops. They do not require additional registration. 


This page will be updated with general workshop times soon!


Click or tap on a workshop to get expanded details, including the workshop summary, presenters, and learning objectives.

Conference Tracks:
  • Communications and Advancement: Designed for heads and trustees as well as communication and advancement practitioners, these workshops address what it takes to ensure effective communication to – and relations with – all key constituencies.
  • Governance: Designed for trustees and heads of schools in their role as liaisons with the board, these workshops focus on all aspects of board governance.
  • Leadership Development: Designed for heads and all academic and administrative leaders, these workshops focus on effective school leadership and professional development.
  • Management: Designed primarily for heads, business officers, financial aid directors, division heads, and deans, these workshops focus on the day-to-day management of people, programs, finance, enrollment, the market, and operations.
  • The Classroom Experience: Designed for all educators and academic leaders, these workshops focus on design and implementation of academic programs. These workshops may be of special interest to teachers. 
  • The Student Experience: 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.These workshops may be of special interest to teachers. 
Title Block Time (ET) Summary Track
Our PK-12 Teaching and Learning Center: Innovative, Meaningful, and Personalized PD in Person and Online -
  • Summary: Have you found it challenging to find the time and resources to provide faculty with personalized professional development that meets the needs of your community, even during a pandemic? Are you interested in offering your teachers, staff, families, and students a vibrant, joyful place to learn from and with one another? If so, an in-house teaching learning center is what you need. Learn how you can easily create and run a teaching learning center and explore its many benefits. Join us to envision how a teaching learning center can work for your school.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Discover the many possible benefits of creating an in-house teaching and learning center.
    • Learn best practices for creating and running an in-house teaching and learning center, whether running it online or in person.
    • Interact with participants to envision specific ideas for how to make a teaching and learning center work at your school.
  • Presenters: Ruth Aichenbaum and David Brightbill, William Penn Charter School (PA)
Leadership Development
A Different Seat at the Table: Practical Tools for Developing Interdependent Leadership Cultures and Teams -
  • Summary: Interdependent teamwork—a leadership culture or mindset based on the collaboration of otherwise independent groups in schools—happens when resources, expertise, and learning are shared across departments, divisions, and programs. Teams demonstrating curiosity, using appreciative inquiry skills, and cultivating and sharing beliefs and practices with an emphasis on inclusive learning are hallmarks of interdependent leadership in action. This workshop offers members in school leadership positions and those aspiring to leadership positions an opportunity to learn how moving from dependent to a more interdependent culture of leadership development can be mission consistent, positively impact learning, and promote an inclusive learning community.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Learn at least two cultures/frameworks of leadership development.
    • Engage in one experiential activity designed to model curiosity and relevant facilitation skills.
    • Discuss relevant case studies to apply the information, ideas, and tools.
  • Presenters: Susan Perry, Westover School (CT)
Leadership Development
Establishing and Sustaining a White Anti-Racist Leadership Affinity Group in Your Region -
  • Summary: In July 2020, a group of heads in California formed a white anti-racist leadership affinity group. We meet monthly to reflect on our own racial identity, deepen our understanding of the political significance of institutional racism, hone leadership capacity as white or white-identified anti-racist school leaders, and build community with other heads of schools rooted in anti-racism. Our experience offers as a possible anti-racist affinity model that other school leaders can customize to form white anti-racist affinity groups in your regional associations, cities, or school communities. Engage in discussions, hands-on activities, and opportunities for self-reflection.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Learn the context, content, process, arc, and impact of white anti-racist school leaders’ affinity group experience.
    • Deepen your understanding of the political significance of racism in independent schools through research and story.
    • Get inspired to and collect the tools and resources to form your own regional affinity group.
  • Presenters: Melinda Tsapatsaris, Westland School (CA); Andrew David, Mount Tamalpais School (CA); Mitch Bostian, The Berkeley School (CA); Shelly Luke Wille, Children’s Day School (CA); Laura Konigsberg, Turning Point School (CA)
Leadership Development
Exit Signs: Why Faculty of Color Leave Their Schools -
  • Summary: Despite expressed desires to diversify faculty and administration, racial diversity remains elusive within many independent schools. Examine responses from faculty of color on why and how they ultimately chose to leave their independent school. Explore what school leaders can do to better support and retain faculty of color in independent schools. Pay particular attention to the head of school/DEI practitioner relationship.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Learn more about why faculty of color leave independent schools.
    • Learn more about how school leaders can support faculty of color.
    • Learn more about how school leaders can support DEI practitioners and DEI efforts more broadly.
  • Presenters: James Greenwood, Western Reserve Academy (OH)
Leadership Development
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as a Performance Expectation -
  • Summary: When schools implement diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, they often seek to re-educate employees on their awareness of such issues as implicit bias and white privilege. With this work comes the challenge of addressing and correcting employee behavior that, while not necessarily legally actionable discrimination, nonetheless erodes the sense of inclusivity that a school may be trying to foster. Discuss some of the common challenges faced when presented with corrective employee conduct as well as potential response strategies. Review the potential legal issues that schools can face in their performance management approach.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Understand the importance of treating DEI work as a performance expectation.
    • Learn strategies for supporting employees in working to meet the school’s performance expectations.
    • Examine the legal issues to consider in developing an employee performance management plan.
  • Presenters: Grace Lee, Venable, LLP; Rodney Glasgow, Sandy Spring Friends School (MD); Lisa Waller, Berkeley Carroll School (NY)
Management
The Political Nature of School Leadership -
  • Summary: Independent schools are coalitions of stakeholder groups who come together for a common mission. Like a government in which several political parties join ranks behind a common platform or leader, the school coalition works while the stakeholder groups stay together. Join two heads, selected because of their different stories, and three consultants, each of whom is a veteran independent school trustee, for candid inside stories of leadership that blend with a broad perspective on organizational politics to raise awareness of the inherently political nature of school leadership and how senior leaders can assess, build, and use their capital.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Understand the political nature of school leadership.
    • Learn how to navigate along the inevitable political fault lines in your school.
    • Know how to build the political capital necessary to effect change.
  • Presenters: Marc Frankel, Judith Schechtman, and Abigail DeLessio, Triangle Associates; Phil Kassen, LREI (NY); Lori Strauss, Field School (DC)
Leadership Development
Say What?! Navigating the Intersection of Employee Speech and Inclusive Values in Independent Schools -
  • Summary: As independent schools make efforts to increase and improve diversity, equity, and inclusion, issues of controversial employee speech continue to arise in classrooms, on campuses, and on social media. The viewpoints of students, parents, and employees put independent schools in challenging positions to respond to issues of the day in a manner consistent with school mission, values, and culture but within the legal framework applicable to independent schools. Get the perspective of a DEI practitioner at the forefront of these complex issues and legal guidance from a school attorney, including tips for school leaders to navigate polarizing issues.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Review applicable law for independent schools concerning employee speech.
    • Explore boundaries independent schools set regarding employee speech and disciplinary action schools may take against employees for violating such boundaries.
    • Delve into appropriate responses to complex issues (politics/social justice) as they arise and trends concerning DEI strategy, employee speech, student/family feedback, and school response.
  • Presenters: Leila Gary, Thompson & Horton LLP; Marcus Ingram, Greenhill School (TX)
Management
Big Projects, Big Progress: Strategies and Frameworks for Success -
  • Summary: Are you an administrator who has been tasked with executing a massive initiative and thought, “Where do I start?” You are not alone. Born from conversations during this pandemic between administrators at neighboring schools, focus on the persistent challenges of implementation and how to overcome them. As challenges facing schools become increasingly complex, finding ways to make them manageable and measurable is imperative. Gain strategies and frameworks that are applicable across contexts; share personal reflections on what has and hasn’t worked; and take time to practice actionable takeaways through a case study.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Use specific strategies and frameworks to complete complex and/or stalled projects.
    • Reflect on concrete examples from two different independent schools.
    • Network with other participants to collaborate on a case study.
  • Presenters: Juna McDaid, The Potomac School (VA); Sarah Beck, The Langley School (VA)
Leadership Development
Design an Equitable and Inclusive Hiring Process -
  • Summary: Join a DEIJ expert practitioner and head of school for an exploration of how to successfully center equity and inclusion in your school’s hiring process. Investigate how job descriptions, interview questions, and candidate evaluations provide opportunities to build more bias-aware and inclusive hiring processes. Join this interactive workshop to gain concrete steps and strategies for anyone who plans to be a part of a hiring committee at their school.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Learn how to identify, address, and reduce bias in all engagements with candidates.
    • Develop new processes for a more equitable outcome.
    • Leave with a few specific takeaways and strategies to immediately utilize with hiring committees.
  • Presenters: Ashley Marshall, The Pike School (MA); Liza Talusan, LT Coaching and Consulting
Leadership Development
Creating an Evaluation Process for a Head of School: The First Year and Beyond -
  • Summary: Attend this interactive workshop to hear about the journey of The Philadelphia School (TPS) to create a formal head of school evaluation process. In anticipation of the arrival of a new head of school, TPS spent a year creating a process focused on the support, growth, and development of a new head. Learn how the Board Governance Committee led the work in creating this evaluation process that includes: creation of a Head of School Support and Evaluation Committee, interviews of direct reports, use of the NAIS Head of School Assessment, and the head of school self-reflection.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Learn how to create a successful support system for a new head of school.
    • Discover how to create a formal evaluation process for a head of school.
    • Explore how to include the head of school in the evaluative process.
  • Presenters: Lisa Sun and Zachary Klehr, The Philadelphia School (PA)
Governance
Curricular Tools to Enhance Coherence and Encourage Innovation -
  • Summary: Independent schools pride themselves on autonomy and flexibility. This autonomy often leads to an innovative curriculum responsive to the needs of our students. We also have to attend to the promise we make to our students to help them develop the skills and mindsets within and across disciplines. How can we meet both of these goals: to develop competent, lifelong, joyful learners skilled across disciplines, while offering autonomy to our teachers? Join this session to learn a curriculum strategy that allows the freedom teachers seek and the structure necessary to ensure we are delivering what we promised.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Review tools/strategies for developing a comprehensive curriculum focusing on transferable learning while providing coherence across all grades/disciplines.
    • See possibilities in these curriculum examples that might work well in your context.
    • Apply key tenets of Schooling by Design and Understanding by Design to your curriculum development strategy.
  • Presenters: Elizabeth Rossini, The Nueva School (CA)
The Classroom Experience
Beyond the Crisis: Remaining Steady, Celebrating Strength, and Finding Solace -
  • Summary: 2020 was a year like no other, where schools had to make difficult decisions with much input from the government, health officials, parents, and more. Whether your independent school operated in person, virtually, or in hybrid for most of the 2020-2021 academic school year, how did the pandemics (COVID-19 and the reckoning of systemic racism) transform our educational institutions? Join this facilitated discussion and consider guiding questions to explore how we proceed beyond the crisis: remaining steady, celebrating strength, and finding solace.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Identify routine practices that allow you to remain calm while constantly pivoting.
    • Identify and celebrate strengths (leadership, pedagogical, personal, team, etc.) that have been amplified during the pandemic.
    • Discover where and/or how to find solace in the midst and recovery of chaos.
  • Presenters: Stacia McFadden, The Lovett School (GA); Jason Novak, Brooklyn Friends School (NY)
Leadership Development
The 2022 Crisis Communication Trend Report -
  • Summary: Examine the crises of 2021, including COVID-19, anti-racism, DEI, critical race theory, the increase of mental health issues at all levels in the school, parent demands, social media, anonymous communications, and more. Learn best practices and successful strategic communications for all levels of school leadership, communications directors, and members of the school crisis team. Share your own experience in managing a crisis. Discuss the Importance of having a crisis plan and crisis training.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Cover first steps in a crisis: what to do and not do when crisis strikes.
    • Gain an understanding of why certain communications strategies are critical.
    • Explore how to manage the media when crisis strikes: first steps.
  • Presenters: Jim Hulbert, The Jane Group; Myra McGovern, NAIS
Communications and Advancement
Disability: The Realities and Promise of Inclusion -
  • Summary: NAIS schools are becoming more inclusive of people with disabilities, but they still have a long way to go. Share research about leading schools and what they have done to become more welcoming and supportive. Look at ways to expand our school communities to include more mission-appropriate students and teachers with disabilities who represent the best of what our schools can be. Discuss how this issue of diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and belonging must be part of broader institutional efforts to recognize once-marginalized voices.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Examine best practices around schools making their campuses and classrooms more accessible for people with disabilities.
    • Discover new possibilities of inclusion and belonging for the disabled, a traditionally marginalized and under-represented group in our schools.
    • Explore lessons we have learned from COVID-19 about accessibility and adaptability in our schools.
  • Presenters: John Sharon, The Fenn School (MA); David Liebmann, Kingsley Montessori School (MA)
Management
Effecting Strategic Change: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Work at the Board Level -
  • Summary: Introducing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into the board of trustees' work and culture can seem daunting. Hear school leaders from The Evergreen School discuss how they have helped enhance this work and culture while also creating a partnership between the director of diversity and the board. If you are working to build DEI into the way your board of trustees works as well as the deliverables they produce, this workshop is for you.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • See how The Evergreen School sought to include DEI in the board of trustees’ methodology and output.
    • Hear the lessons learned from The Evergreen School’s partnership between the director of diversity and board of trustees.
    • Learn about alternate examples of DEI work at the board level at other schools through small-group discussions.
  • Presenters: Lakaya Renfrow and Kathryn Schwarz, The Evergreen School (WA)
Governance
How Can I Help? Enrollment Management Basics for the Non-Enrollment Professional -
  • Summary: Teachers, administrators, and staff all understand they contribute to making their school an amazing place. But often they don't know too much about admission! Demystify admission to help everyone in the school community better understand the important role they play in the long-term health of the school. Come away with three important facts about independent schools, five questions you should always ask the enrollment office (and the one to avoid), and three key factors you have direct control over that can revolutionize your school's admission.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Learn three key facts about independent school management.
    • Understand five ways you can help the admission office (and one way you can't).
    • Learn three important classroom factors that affect admission.
  • Presenters: Hans Mundahl, The Enrollment Management Association
Leadership Development
Performing Under Pressure: Leading Your School Today to Become More Desirable, Feasible, and Sustainable Tomorrow -
  • Summary: How can school leaders strategize today for a more sustainable future? The Children's School, a progressive age three through eighth grade school in Atlanta, has viewed the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to proactively reexamine our school's enrollment demand, affordability, and perceived value in the market. Join this interactive session to share our lessons learned and readily available frameworks, metrics, benchmarks, and tools you can use to uncover what target families actually want, what your school is truly good at, and the right size and price that enables your school to thrive now and in the future.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Understand how you can help your school make strategic choices and tackle challenging business realities proactively.
    • Learn how to align on an overarching strategic question with an action plan including clear goals, milestones, roles, and timing.
    • Share frameworks, metrics, tools, and resources and learn from the experience and expertise of audience members.
  • Presenters: Roslyn Benjamin, Allen Broyles, and Erika Ellison, The Children's School (GA)
Management
Strategies for Teaching Students with Learning Differences That Actually Help All Students -
  • Summary: The traditional content-based approach to preparing students for their next step has contributed to increasing student stress and anxiety, exacerbated by the pandemic. Students with learning differences feel left behind and even traditional learners feel stressed about how to cope with all the material they must master in school. Similarly, colleges are reporting high levels of stress and anxiety among their students. Join us to learn how a multisensory approach to learning makes learning much more accessible both for students with learning differences and for all learners, leaving students happier, more engaged and confident, and more adept at mastering material.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Understand multisensory teaching techniques that are essential for students with learning differences and also work well for traditional learners.
    • Learn creative teaching techniques that help students learn while supporting student wellness and well-being.
    • Share with colleagues approaches to teaching that help students achieve mastery while feeling engaged and supported.
  • Presenters: Clay Kaufman, The Cedar School (CT); Dave Sylvestro, The Southport School (CT)
The Classroom Experience
Abuse Prevention at Your School: An Effective Roadmap -
  • Summary: Establishing boundary guidelines in educational settings can be difficult. In an era of increasing scrutiny on these issues, how can schools use boundaries as a tool to both protect students and identify grooming and “red flag behavior”? Walk through an innovative way to think about abuse prevention and get a roadmap to navigate physical, emotional, behavioral, social media, and electronic communication boundaries and keep everyone in your school safe.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Understand boundaries: physical and emotional between students and faculty and how effective boundaries are your best tool for abuse prevention.
    • Learn how to empower your faculty to cultivate bonds with students while still keeping everyone safe.
    • Learn how storytelling helps convey the “why” behind boundaries and ensure your school community is empowered to prevent abuse.
  • Presenters: Rahel Bayar, The Bayar Group LLC
Leadership Development
All-in: An Action Plan for Crisis Communication Using School Values and an Endurance Mindset -
  • Summary: Every head knows that communication during a crisis is mission critical. Important information delivered fast is paramount. It is also crucial to build trust. At Synapse School, what started off as an urgent communication strategy during the pandemic, transformed into a vehicle to showcase why we make decisions through our values and how to endure. Using weekly townhalls, "Just in Time Emails," and Friday video updates, Synapse built a level of community trust that enabled the school to open early and safely, and made us a model of how to hold a school together and prevail in a crisis.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Learn the importance of transparent communications by reviewing examples from Synapse and why they work.
    • Discover how to maintain continuity in communication by discussing pain points with leadership staff.
    • Understand what realistic optimism is and how to portray it through values lens with an endurance playbook.
  • Presenters: Jim Eagen and Deanna Mayer, Synapse School (CA)
Communications and Advancement
Just Do It: Anti-Racist Tools for Any Occasion -
  • Summary: White supremacy is not new and independent schools have been reckoning in new ways with their complicity in and reinforcement of oppressive systems. Performative calls for equity and justice often fallen short, failing to substantially improve our education about and redress of white supremacist, hetero-patriarchal, and ableist power structures. Even as schools hesitate to take action, many educators are committed to learning and practicing anti-racist teaching. Join us for tools for crafting anti-racist curriculums and implementing anti-racist pedagogies. Move beyond a self-focused mindset of guilt and fear into a student-centered cycle of action, reflection, and more action.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Learn tools and strategies for crafting anti-racist curriculums and for implementing anti-racist pedagogies, regardless of content.
    • Practice using reflective practices as the linchpin for moving beyond fear and guilt and engaging each student.
    • Apply a strategy to a lesson or unit from your current curriculum.
  • Presenters: Candace Crawford and Ella Taranto, St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School (VA)
The Student Experience
Managing Through a Leadership Transition -
  • Summary: Transition is hard. Transition at the senior leadership level is *dang* hard. But what if there were a better way to move the transition forward at a faster pace and build more trusting partnerships with your senior admin team? St. Anne’s-Belfield Head of School Autumn A. Graves and Karen Whitaker of respected search firm Carney Sandoe & Associates may have unlocked the formula. Learn about the innovative group coaching model they applied at St. Anne’s during Autumn’s first year—including the pathways they forged to help navigate difficult moments and what missteps they made that you can avoid.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Learn to implement a coaching model that builds trust and increases overall proficiency of their senior team.
    • Leave with ideas on how to leverage consulting relationships in new ways.
    • Better understand the critical role of supporting and investing in the entire leadership team during a head of school transition.
  • Presenters: Autumn Graves, St. Anne’s-Belfield (VA); Karen Whitaker, Carney Sandoe & Associates
Leadership Development
Scorecards and Business Cases: Tools for Data-Driven Board Decision Making -
  • Summary: Learn about practical tools one school's head and board use regularly to improve collaboration, consensus building, decision making, financial sustainability, and data-driven assessment. Join us to get examples and templates that heads and trustees can begin to utilize immediately.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Understand a new model for governance decision making.
    • Learn a tool for measuring progress for many board processes.
    • Develop understanding through learning examples.
  • Presenters: Bradley Weaver and Scott Schadlich, Sonoma Country Day School (CA)
Governance
Social Justice Communication Philosophy and Strategy -
  • Summary: Accept this challenge to think about the philosophical and mission-based considerations necessary to create your school's approach to handling social-justice-oriented communications in a way that is authentic, timely, equitable, and just. School administrators, communications directors, and DEI directors may all have a role to play in creating community-wide messaging around social justice issues, events, and crises. Rather than react to each circumstance in a crisis-like mode, approaching these moments with a clear plan of action is a must. Learn how to create a plan that is authentic to your school and rooted in your mission.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Examine how your school handles communications related to social justice and human rights.
    • Understand the relevant players and philosophies involved when creating such communications.
    • Create a plan of action to address your school's response to social justice and human rights issues and current events.
  • Presenters: Dorothy Kowal and Lily Thompson, Sonoma Academy (CA)
Communications and Advancement
Reflections from New Heads in an Age of COVID-19 -
  • Summary: We took the job, received the agenda of transition events, toured the school, and the world shut down. A few Zoom and phone calls later, we moved our families and accepted the keys to a school in the midst of a global pandemic. No, this is not a hypothetical case study; it is July 1, 2020, and we just landed our first headship. Join three first-year heads from across the county as we reflect on this unprecedented year shaped by our experiences, the lessons we learned, and how both will impact our work in the future.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Gain a unique perspective to establishing leadership in a crisis, from decisive decision making to confidence in new skills.
    • Learn lessons of leveraging the moment of change, by using COVID-19 to create deep and meaningful movement in a school.
    • Discover how to have a start-up mentality to chart new ways for independent leaders to operate schools post-pandemic.
  • Presenters: Lauren Miller, Sea Crest School (CA); Jennifer Warren, Woodland School (CA); Roslyn Benjamin, The Children's School (GA)
Leadership Development
Gender Inclusivity in Independent Schools: Turning Legal Obligations into Practical Policy to Support the Community -
  • Summary: Independent schools need to understand their obligations to protect a student’s gender identity and expression so that they don’t discriminate against transgender, nonbinary, or genderfluid students in violation of the law, of their own policies, or—just as important—the mission of their schools. Review a school’s legal obligations to transgender, nonbinary, and genderfluid students—including federal regulations and guidance, court rulings and precedents, and state and local law that may apply to independent schools—using relatable case studies to parse through practical approaches that work for individual school communities.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Get the background of evolving legal obligations (regulations, court cases, state and local laws).
    • Explore the practical application of such obligations in a school community through case studies.
    • Examine best practices for drafting a gender inclusivity policy that will protect and support the school’s mission.
  • Presenters: Kathryn Murphy, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP
The Student Experience
Leadership and Governance During COVID-19 -
  • Summary: In partnership with NAIS, researchers at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of Education conducted a study to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted leadership and governance structures in independent schools. This research identified challenges, opportunities for growth, and recommendations for leadership practices that heads of school and board chairs may consider in promoting effective governance structures, leadership competencies, and sustained crisis management protocols. Get recommendations aimed toward sustaining leadership and governance professional partnerships, crisis management protocols, and head of school professional well-being.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Identify and discuss how governance systems and leadership roles have been informed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Identify and discuss recommendations aimed toward sustaining leadership and governance professional partnerships.
    • Identify and discuss issues of isolation and burnout experienced by heads of school and offer recommendations for well-being.
  • Presenters: Elizabeth Stockdale, Saint Mary’s Hall (TX); Jamie Griffin, Episcopal Collegiate School (AK); Carson Smith, Rumson Country Day School (NJ)
Leadership Development
Using Mindfulness Practices to Prevent Burnout in School Leaders -
  • Summary: The complexity of the principalship is well documented in research and professional literature. Even before COVID-19, principals around the world reported feeling chronic stress and emotional exhaustion related to the challenges of their leadership positions. The negative effects of burnout in school leaders directly impacts our school culture and student learning. Join this interactive workshop to learn how to practice and develop mindful leadership practices to thrive as a school leader. Unpack the constructs of mindful leadership, including awareness, being fully present, compassion, empathy, and nonreactivity, among others (Wells, 2015), in journal writing and discussion.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Learn about the three facets of burnout, explore coping skill strategies, and engage in mindfulness meditation.
    • Learn about and reflect on mindful (leadership) constructs (Wells, 2015) in our own leadership practices.
    • Understand the role of self-compassion in mindful school leadership.
  • Presenters: Francesca Mulazzi, Saint George’s School (WA)
Leadership Development
From Compliance to Culture: Building a Partnership Around Student Safety and Wellness at Punahou -
  • Summary: All schools face pressing challenges around student safety and well-being, but no school needs to go it alone. Through partnerships with local health providers, parents, and alumni, schools can bring together the types of resources and expertise to meet these challenges with confidence. Learn how Punahou School is leveraging its partnerships with the Sex Abuse Treatment Center of Hawaii, its Parent Faculty Association, and its alumni Advisory Council for Student Safety to build a comprehensive and integrated approach to student safety.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Learn how to engage key stakeholders in the creation of a broad and durable culture of safety.
    • Learn how to engage parents and families in safety education.
    • Learn the key considerations when building a culture of safety across a school community.
  • Presenters: Mike Latham, Connie Lau, and James Kakos, Punahou School (HI); Llasmin Chaine, Sex Abuse Treatment Center of Hawaii; Shandis Ching, Punahou School Parent Faculty Association (HI); Douglas Kwock, Hawaii Pacific Health
The Student Experience
Navigating a DEI Crisis Under Intense Public Scrutiny: Regaining Trust, Healing, and Strengthening Communities -
  • Summary: In this current climate of a national racial reckoning and sociopolitical polarization, many independent schools find themselves navigating this terrain under intense public and media scrutiny. Hear a panel composed of educators, a crisis manager, and a DEI consultant discuss how they collectively and collaboratively worked to regain a community’s trust through healing and the lessons they learned from a DEI crisis that had erupted in the national media.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Learn the importance of having an existing foundation for DEI practice.
    • Learn the importance of effectively communicating with all constituents during a crisis: board, faculty/staff, parents, students, alumni, and community partners.
    • Learn to successfully utilize internal and external resources and partnerships.
  • Presenters: Michael Magno, Providence Day School (NC); Nadia Johnson, Castilleja School (CA); Tekakwitha Pernambuco-Wise, The Wyndcroft School (PA); Katherine Giscombe, Women’s Intercultural Exchange and Giscombe and Associates
Leadership Development
Caveman Brains in a Digital World: Disrupting Implicit Association in the Classroom -
  • Summary: Calling all educators with the courage to expose and examine their own vulnerabilities! In today's charged political climate, we must recognize and neutralize implicit associations: unconscious, automatic assumptions. These snap judgments date back to our time as cave-dwellers when we needed them to survive, and yet they've stayed with us into the digital age, fueled by cultural norms and media-driven perceptions. Join this session and learn to collaborate in safe, equitable learning environments where stakeholders are empowered to spot, analyze, and disrupt the impact of unconscious bias. Get demonstrations of classroom-ready activities and free digital tools.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Identify and analyze common implicit associations and their cultural presence in everyday life.
    • Design and conduct short experiments using digital tools in order to analyze current cultural and media-based implicit associations.
    • Brainstorm effective ideas to identify and neutralize implicit associations in the classroom and beyond.
  • Presenters: Danielle Filas, Presbyterian School of Houston (TX)
The Student Experience
Maintaining the Movement: Confronting Opposition to DEI Work -
  • Summary: When it comes to the difficult, important work of DEI, the 2020-2021 school year was a time of commendable progress. Countless independent schools found new ways of engaging with historically marginalized members of their community. They listened with intention and open-mindedness. They instituted action plans. Many repaired harm. Many even transformed their cultures. Join Pollyanna Founder, Casper Caldarola, Program Designer Facilitator Jay Golon, and a panel of school leaders for a discussion about staying true to your DEI goals in the face of opposition. Reflect on the challenges encountered and suggest strategies for moving forward.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Identify different types of DEI opposition.
    • Gain strategies for managing DEI opposition.
    • Create opportunities and action plans.
  • Presenters: Casper Caldarola, Pollyanna Inc.; Jim Best, Dalton School (NY); Jacqueline Nelson, St. Luke's School (CT); Jan Abernathy, The Browning School (NY); Veronica Savage, City and Country School (NY); Gina Parker Collins, Riverdale Country School (NY)
Leadership Development
Feedback in Practice: An Accessible Research-Backed Resource for Teachers -
  • Summary: How can we ensure that the many hours we spend giving feedback on student work actually advances their learning? To address this question, two classroom teachers read current research about feedback and then distilled the central ideas into a practical handbook for teachers to help them give more effective feedback through the lenses of identity, equity, and the science of learning. Join us for a presentation and discussion of these ideas, with an opportunity for everyone to reflect on your own feedback-giving practices. Leave with a short, digestible document of best approaches to giving feedback.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Learn research-based principles to improve the crucial but often unexamined practice of feedback.
    • Practice discussing scenarios to apply feedback principles to teaching situations.
    • Receive a quality resource so you can spread new knowledge about feedback to others.
  • Presenters: Andrew Housiaux, Phillips Academy (MA); Bowman Dickson, St. Albans School (DC)
The Classroom Experience
A New Model for Academic Leadership Development -
  • Summary: Leadership development and hiring practices should focus on competencies rather than on skills and prior experience. Academic leadership roles at all levels, from chief academic officer to department chair, require competencies that may differ significantly from those that led to success in earlier teaching roles. In order to leverage a competency-based approach, leaders must rethink the classic job description and instead focus on the competencies needed to achieve the objectives of the role. Join us to share competencies we’ve developed for academic leaders that we believe are essential for schools to thrive and meet institutional goals for key initiatives.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Understand the difference between skills and competencies for academic leadership roles.
    • Explore the potential benefits of a competency-based approach to hiring and leadership development.
    • Practice defining competencies for a key position on campus.
  • Presenters: Sarah Hanawald and Brad Rathgeber, One Schoolhouse
Leadership Development
Best Practices for Employee Supervision -
  • Summary: Being a manager is about more than supervising personnel, but effective supervision is essential to the success of your department and your school. A good manager understands the basics of supervision and knows how to mitigate risk related to performance management, employee leave, hiring, and communications. A great manager also understands the most effective ways to train and motivate personnel. Join us to learn about what you need to know to reduce your school’s employment liability and foster resourcefulness and motivation in your department.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Discover best practices for performance management and techniques to effectively communicate expectations.
    • Learn about employee motivation and ways to encourage cooperation, resilience, and resourcefulness.
    • Learn about legal compliance related to supervision and employee leave.
  • Presenters: Amber Stockham, National Business Officers Association; Whitney Walters-Sachs, Pine Crest School (FL)
Management
Reimagining Tuition: Examples from the Field -
  • Summary: Hear from the NAIS Strategy Lab team as they highlight schools that attended our brand new workshop around reimagining tuition. School leaders share the concrete ways they used Strategy Lab frameworks to explore creative pathways that impact the willingness or ability of more parents to pay their tuition, ultimately strengthening their resolve to enroll or re-enroll in their school. This session is great for heads of school, business officers, trustees, enrollment and admissions directions, and marketing/communications staff.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Get introduced to NAIS reimagine tuition frameworks.
    • Understand various strategies implemented by schools to reimagine their tuition.
    • Learn which innovative tuition strategies work in various school contexts.
  • Presenters: Jacqueline Wolking, Mark Mitchell, and Tim Fish, NAIS
Management
Vision and Strategy: Telling the Story of the Future of Your School -
  • Summary: Hear from the NAIS Strategy Lab team as they highlight schools that attended our brand new workshop around early-stage visioning and strategizing. School leaders share the concrete ways they used Strategy Lab frameworks to explore their future and come to consensus on a bold, new direction forward.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Get introduced to NAIS vision and strategy frameworks.
    • Understand various strategies implemented by schools to set a vision and strategic priorities.
    • Learn about the concept of the personal pitch and how this drives bold ideas and consensus building.
  • Presenters: Jacqueline Wolking, Mark Mitchell, and Tim Fish, NAIS
Leadership Development
The Future of International Student Programs -
  • Summary: Forecasting is generally more art than science, especially when it comes to projecting international student market trends. Nonetheless, there are numerous factors that will have a significant impact on independent school international student programs post COVID-19. Boards, heads, admission and business officers, and others should be aware of the changing landscape and plan strategically for a more competitive and challenging recruitment and retention environment. Join us to examine both current and projected international student mobility, assess the health of top-sending markets, and propose ideas for a “both/and” international program future.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Understand both the current and projected international student market.
    • Frame strategic questions for board, head, and staff.
    • Consider new approaches to international student programs.
  • Presenters: Jefferson Burnett and Ioana Wheeler, NAIS
Management
DASL Data Pods: Work on Data with Schools Like Yours -
  • Summary: DASL Data Pods are micro-communities of similar independent schools around the country, learning together and supporting each other to use data effectively in their school. From DASL data entry and scrubbing to analyzing and sharing data in critical leadership retreats and meetings, pods are a space for exchanging best practices and gaining valuable resources and guidance from NAIS staff and other experts. Join this session to learn how you can join a pod for 2021-2022.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Learn how DASL Data Pods support schools in using data throughout the year.
    • Learn how to join a data pod for the year ahead.
    • Meet data-focused leaders from other schools and discuss high-priority needs.
  • Presenters: Hilary LaMonte, NAIS
Management
NAIS and NBOA Data Partnership -
  • Summary: Join teams from NAIS and NBOA to learn the latest developments in the data partnership begun in 2021. Focus in particular on how business officers, heads of school, leadership teams, and boards of trustees can use data from DASL and BIIS to align their conversations and target needed improvements.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Learn that data in DASL and BIIS are designed to facilitate school leadership conversations.
    • Learn about promising practices in leading for financial sustainability at independent schools.
    • Gain practical tips for working with data across the leadership of your school.
  • Presenters: Hilary LaMonte, NAIS; James Palmieri, NBOA
Management
A Case Study: How to Develop a Brand That Inspires Families to Choose Your School -
  • Summary: If we learned anything in the 2020-2021 school year, it’s that a worthy mission is no longer enough for an independent school to assert its reason for being. In a post-pandemic world, families will be listening very closely for the ways your school brand pivots—and the ways you do not—to articulate how your values guided you this past year and how they come to life in your program. Join us for an exciting case study and learn how to create a values-based brand that will inspire families to choose your school enthusiastically and for the right reasons.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Learn how to articulate the values your school brand leans on to set up your students for success in 2021-22.
    • Learn how to elevate the benefit your school offers to students and families so you can communicate uniqueness more effectively.
    • Explore what the concept of brand really means in today’s new world order and why it's critical for your school’s stability.
  • Presenters: Romayne Levee, Mission Minded; Doug Lagarde, Severn School (MD)
Communications and Advancement
Taking Steps to Be an Anti-Racist Institution -
  • Summary: The Miss Porter’s School Board established anti-racist goals for the 2020-21 academic year. We confronted the rise of systemic racism by working collaboratively to execute anti-racist goals. We surveyed key business partners and our largest endowment managers to understand their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our outreach made our commitment to becoming anti-racist clear and sparked insightful conversations. Becoming an anti-racist institution requires the full commitment of school leadership and taking the first step is extremely challenging. We hope to inspire others to move forward as anti-racist institutions by giving them tools and confidence to take the first step.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Empower NAIS schools to take the first step to become anti-racist institutions.
    • Get tactics and strategies for becoming an anti-racist institution.
    • Collaborate and learn from each other.
  • Presenters: Katherine Windsor and Michael Bergin, Miss Porter's School (CT)
Governance
Crossing the Line: When Independent School Collaboration Sparks Antitrust Exposure -
  • Summary: Despite the desire and need for independent schools to collaborate and share information among peers—particularly during a pandemic—doing so can trigger laws designed to enhance competition. This has led to increasing government oversight of schools’ actions, including a recent U.S. Department of Justice investigation into DC-area schools’ decision to end AP courses. Join this lively, interactive session as experienced education counsel explore the grey areas of when friendly interschool collaboration can create unanticipated legal exposure. Independent school leaders, get concrete tips and steps to empower your school to engage in healthy and legal collaboration with peer institutions.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Understand the legal framework of antitrust laws and how they apply to independent schools.
    • Identify what types of action and behavior may trigger antitrust laws.
    • Explore actions and practices that enhance interschool collaboration while mitigating legal exposure.
  • Presenters: Brian Garrett and Linda Johnson, McLane Middleton; Debra Wilson, Southern Association of Independent Schools
Management
Creativity and Innovation: Designing 21st Century Skill-Based Programs -
  • Summary: Are you feeling like school curricula and programs are becoming antiquated? Realizing education needs to shift to better address our future? Join us to learn how to design 21st century skill-based programs and incorporate more creativity and innovation into your curriculum. As designers of our own unique project-based learning program, we understand the overwhelming feelings and roadblocks that come from attempting swift change. In addition to facilitated discussions about our current educational model, join us to share our ideas for transforming education and get equipped with practical strategies to take the first step toward innovation in your own classroom.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Leave with an understanding of 21st century skills and lessons from the pandemic.
    • Leave with specific methods, strategies, ideas, and inspiration for incorporating creativity and innovation into the classroom.
    • Leave with a plan to address building blocks, timeframe, and the politics of building a collaborative and innovative program.
  • Presenters: Jennifer Smith and Denise Wolf, McDonogh School (MD)
The Classroom Experience
Capacity, Constituencies, and Culture: Developing the Wave for a Successful DEI Program -
  • Summary: Too often, DEI work can “live” with one person in an independent school, thereby alleviating responsibility from the rest of the faculty and staff. We believe that DEI work is most successful when it comes from the bottom up, including as many voices as possible in the leadership. Join us to learn about the structures and systems we put into place during the 2020-2021 school year to best prepare our school for our new DEI director. These structures both support this transition and remain viable as a system to support a school without a DEI director.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Reflect on where your school is on your DEI journey.
    • Learn ways to spread DEI leadership and ownership throughout the staff.
    • Learn structures and tools to deepen your school’s DEI practices and culture.
  • Presenters: Karlyn Adler and Katherine Dinh, Marin Country Day School (CA); Mark Boswell, The Crescendo Education Group
Leadership Development
How a Head of School Navigates Legal Risk to Authentically Lead -
  • Summary: Get a framework heads of school can use to make decisions on tricky legal issues. Identify the key inputs that a head of school needs to obtain from the school’s legal counsel and board to navigate risk and make decisions that are in the best interests of the school. Hear practical guidance on working with legal counsel and handling risky issues to minimize liability and maximize operational effectiveness.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Learn how a head of school works with legal counsel to navigate risks to the school.
    • Learn key decision-making principles for a head of school to act in a manner consistent with the school’s mission.
    • Learn the balancing act necessary among a school’s head, legal counsel and board chair to navigate risks.
  • Presenters: Brian P. Walter, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore; Patricia Merz, Sage Hill School (CA)
Governance
From Talking Heads to Coaching Heads: Engaging Leaders in Reflection and Capacity Building -
  • Summary: School leaders, as learners, are always looking for ways to gain perspective, consider possibilities, and reflect. Executive coaching is an approach that opens pathways to professional and personal growth, and in doing so, overcomes the often isolating nature of leadership. Through active and attentive inquiry, an executive coach helps leaders engage in generative thinking, make visible the possibilities bubbling within, and chart pathways forward for both their organizations and themselves. Hear from both coaches and people being coached about how this highly individualized approach to building professional capacity is increasingly being used by educational leaders.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Understand the elements of executive coaching: Learn how a session is structured.
    • Learn how executive coaching can support your direct reports.
    • Understand how coaching differs from mentorship and sponsorship, as well as learn about different philosophies of coaching.
  • Presenters: Eric Temple, Lick-Wilmerding High School (CA); Mike Hanas, San Francisco Friends School (CA); Michael Walker, San Francisco Day School (CA)
Leadership Development
Toward a Comprehensive and Identity-Based Wellness Program -
  • Summary: Use developing a comprehensive wellness program centering identity development at Lakeside School in Seattle as a case study others can follow. Explore how the Personal Development Wellness department was formed for grades 5-12, including the creating professional development for faculty/staff and programming for the parent and guardian community. Examine critical issues, including student buy-in, engaging stakeholders, and interdisciplinary collaboration. Discuss examples of how diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice are both pedagogy and content for this department. Finally, discuss future directions for growth, such as student leadership, curriculum co-creation, and program assessment.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Examine a case study of a comprehensive wellness program for middle and high school students, faculty/staff, and families.
    • Learn about the unique features of an identity-based well-being program.
    • Explore the opportunities and challenges facing a school community embarking on a focus of well-being.
  • Presenters: Julie Lutton and Felicia Wilks, Lakeside School (WA)
The Student Experience
Beyond Service Learning: Achieving Deeper Impact in the Broader Community Through Public/Private Partnerships -
  • Summary: Today, independent schools must be cognizant of our civic purpose and be more intentional about it than ever before. Explore what NAIS schools can do to address education inequities in the post-pandemic era and get examples of collaborations that build stronger communities while also making our schools more diverse and inclusive. Hear from school heads about authentic and thriving partnerships that are connecting their schools with the broader community and engage in small-group discussion to address individual questions about sustainability, planning, and implementation.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Develop a shared understanding of the need to engage with the broader community, considering impact and sustainability.
    • Explore the role public/private partnerships and working with community-based organizations can play in creating authentic, sustainable, and transformative impact.
    • Recognize the benefits to your immediate school community of making a commitment to long-term partnerships in the broader community.
  • Presenters: Lorna Smith, Horizons National Student Enrichment Program; Kevin Glass, Atlanta International School (GA); Mike Davis, Colorado Academy (CO); Marjo Talbot, Maret School (DC); Penny Townsend, Ransom Everglades School (FL)
Leadership Development
Operationalizing an Ethic of Care in Student Life and School-Keeping Practices -
  • Summary: We all care, but are we centering care in our work? Should we be? What is an ethic of care? How does it impact how a teacher or administrator approaches interacting with a student? We answer these questions by looking at the work of Virginina Held and Nel Noddings and how this intersects with restorative justice and DEIJB+ practices. Your input is essential. Through role-plays, scenario unpacking, and brave dialogue we come together to examine, complicate, and maybe even challenge our own practices. Where are we hitting the mark? What could we change to better center care?
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Demonstrate an understanding of care ethics and how it can be applied to decision making in pastoral care or school-keeping.
    • Differentiate between justice and care to identify ways that both can/should be at play in an educator’s decision making.
    • Assess current (personal/educational) practices in service of designing new responses that can make use of integrated justice/care responses.
  • Presenters: Allen Babcock, Hebron Academy (ME)
The Student Experience
How to Build a Mastery School -
  • Summary: The ubiquitous paradigm of “school”—all students learning the same things, at the same time, with the same deadlines—no longer makes sense. Mastery learning is not new, but it is a movement. But how do you move toward mastery learning? What began as the thought exercise “What would the ideal high school look like if we started from scratch?” is becoming a reality with the launch of the Mastery School of Hawken. Heads, division heads, and curriculum leaders may appreciate learning about the partnership between Hawken School, the Korda Institute, and the Mastery Transcript Consortium to build a mastery-based high school.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Examine a concrete example of how an existing, established school launched a completely new model.
    • Learn about the elements of a mastery-based high school.
    • Learn how the elements of a mastery-based high school work to create a personalized journey for students.
  • Presenters: Julia Griffin and Scott Looney, Hawken School (OH); Doris Korda, Korda Institute for Teaching (OH)
Leadership Development
Culture and Compensation: How to Empower Your Faculty -
  • Summary: Over the past year, schools embraced change out of necessity and learned how flexibility and adaptability were key to succeeding in an uncertain environment. Now, as schools look toward the horizon, most hope to sustain those attributes to propel other necessary innovations. Examine how creative compensation systems can lead to a collaborative and purposeful faculty culture. While reviewing Graland Country Day School's shift away from a scaled salary structure, discover how that process ultimately resulted in a model that supports teachers financially and inspires them to take on a clear trajectory of professional growth.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Enhance knowledge of compensation systems and illuminate the potential of innovative models to enhance faculty culture.
    • Increase understanding of change management by discussing how we iterated this compensation innovation based on community feedback.
    • Foster learning of the governance, financial, and advancement efforts to make a compensation change.
  • Presenters: Joshua Cobb, Juan Botello, Jessica Goski, and Karyn Huberman, Graland Country Day School (CO)
Management
Bridging the Strategic Gap: Empowering Middle and Aspiring Leaders to Drive Visions for the Future -
  • Summary: The term “middle leader” is an apt one. Educators in positions like department chair, division director, director of DEI or technology, etc. often find themselves bridging the gap between the strategic vision of senior leadership and the lived experience and daily needs of students and teachers. Join us to elevate their unique experience. Based on our 2020-2021 work with nearly 200 middle leaders from schools around the world, we've identified five core competencies. Share key insights, resources, and sample activities aligned to those skills. Most importantly, share the voices of leaders themselves.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Understand the critical, evolving role of the middle leader in independent schools.
    • Identify five core competencies middle leaders need to lead schools into a post-pandemic future.
    • Discuss and practice foundational professional learning strategies that will help you invest in middle leadership at your school.
  • Presenters: Eric Hudson, Global Online Academy; Kawai Lai, VizLit
Leadership Development
From Innovation to Strategy: Integrated Approaches to Program Success -
  • Summary: Innovation is defined as "a new method, idea, product, etc." whereas strategy is "a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim." While schools must do both, it's an important distinction to make as we undergo cyclical conversations and efforts that often don't distinguish between the two. More than ever, schools need to set clear strategic priorities. Hear from school and association leaders about how they're implementing strategies that dive below the surface of innovating to effect ongoing strategic change.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Understand the difference between innovation and strategy.
    • Identify which is your school's priority: innovation or strategy, as they relate to student programs.
    • Learn from school and organization leaders some of the ways schools are strategically implementing online programs at their schools.
  • Presenters: Michael Nachbar, Global Online Academy; Ronnie Codrington-Cazeau, University Prep School (WA); Debra Wilson, Southern Association of Independent Schools; Tom Sheppard, St. Andrew’s (MS)
Leadership Development
Making Sense of Meaningful, Disruption-Driven Change: A New Framework for Independent School Leaders -
  • Summary: Join a group of eight educators and Independent Sector Inquiry Project Fellows (from a partnership between Penn and NAIS) as they discuss recent findings from a practitioner research study focused on the following overarching questions: What are the conditions that need to exist in an independent school in order for “disruption” to lead to significant and meaningful change to maximize student learning and growth? What are the leadership qualities that support significant and meaningful change (through which relationships and morale are maintained or strengthened/improved) during disruption of the status quo?
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Learn how to conduct practitioner research within or across school communities.
    • Learn the themes that emerged from this shared inquiry and research.
    • Learn about implications for practice and policy related to the relationship between disruption and meaningful change within and across schools.
  • Presenters: Cara Henderson, Georgetown Day School (DC); David Weiner, University of Pennsylvania and Barrie School (MD); Sara Johnson, University of Pennsylvania and Renaissance School (VA); Clare Sisisky, University of Pennsylvania and Global Education Benchmark Group; Nima Rouhanifard, University of Pennsylvania and Miami Country Day School (FL)
Leadership Development
Equitable Grading: Mastery- and Competency-Based Grading Through New Modes of Learning -
  • Summary: The recent disruption of COVID-19 created a catalyst to reassess your school’s processes—now is the time to accelerate a shift in classroom practice toward equity in assessment and grading. Learn the pitfalls of traditional grading practices and how they perpetuate and reinforce inequality. Examine case studies of classrooms implementing competency- and mastery-based grading for tangible and actionable processes. Utilize flipped, blended, and online teaching to manage differentiated student paths. Discuss and share the challenges you have encountered in your own practice, planning your own path to use new approaches.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Identify pitfalls of traditional grading practices and complete a self-assessment on your current approaches.
    • Apply specific examples of and guidance for equitable grading practices to your own practice.
    • Utilize varied modes of learning (flipped, blended, and online) to design mastery- and competency-based grading.
  • Presenters: Hassan Wilson, Friends Seminary (NY)
The Classroom Experience
Soft Landings and Successful Launches: Effective Leadership Transitions in Turbulent Times -
  • Summary: Leadership transitions have always come with challenges, but the importance of effective transitions has never been greater. Join this interactive workshop, presented by a head of school and her founding director of teaching and learning, to learn strategies about three major aspects of effective leadership transitions for senior all-school or division-level leaders: defining and structuring both new and existing roles; identifying key players in the community and building individual and organizational trust; and understanding the culture(s) and ways of working of the institution and individual players. Reflect and plan in job-alike groups.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Develop action pathways, for transitioning into a new role or as the supervisor, to define and structure a leadership role.
    • Identify key players in your community and gain tools for building individual and organizational trust.
    • Understand the culture(s) and ways of working of your institution and the individual players.
  • Presenters: Julie Strong and Melinda Binh, French American International School (CA)
Leadership Development
School Stress on Teens: Emotional Intelligence, Positive Psychology, and a Strengths Mindset = Improving Academic Confidence -
  • Summary: Student stress was on the rise and labeled an epidemic, even before the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. In the last year, students have endured new unprecedented stressors; such as remote school, isolation from peers, and dealing with "the new normal." These new factors combined with the research documented prior to 2020 should have us as educators seeking out innovative ways to help our schools support the social-emotional needs of our students. Share and discuss the research on how changing the way teens perceive themselves can have a positive outcome in their academic confidence.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Understand the stressors teens face, the data confirming it, and how it impacts teens and school.
    • Discuss research on positive psychology, knowing your personal strengths, and the data that showed statistically significant outcomes on academic confidence.
    • Examine new stressors teens are facing and what can be applied from the study to create a culture of hope/resilience.
  • Presenters: Cindy Thornton, Franklin Road Academy (TN)
The Student Experience
Creating a Culture of Collaboration: Strategies and Activities from the Building Blocks of Transformational Teamwork -
  • Summary: Collaboration among faculty and staff is a key driver for increasing teacher growth, supporting morale, and improving teaching and learning in our schools. For the past several years, with support from the McDonogh School and the E.E. Ford Foundation, a design team of educators led by the Folio Collaborative investigated how to foster collaboration, conducting fact-finding visits to a set of highly collaborative schools, nonprofits, and for-profit companies. Synthesis of this research yielded a framework and white paper to help schools become more collaborative workplaces. Engage with strategies and activities to explore how you might apply our findings at your school.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Engage in interactive activities where you experience collaboration and reflect on the value of it.
    • Apply research on effective ways to initiate, sustain, and promote a professional culture of collaboration and growth.
    • Receive resources to support teachers and employees as you take risks, collaborate, and learn in your own schools.
  • Presenters: Meredith Ford, Folio Collaborative; Garet Libby, Hawken School (OH); Kevin Costa, McDonogh School (MD); Derek Krein, Tabor Academy (MA); Sarah Wolf, Polytechnic School (CA)
Leadership Development
Claims on the Horizon—Is Your School at Risk in the Changing Legal Landscape? -
  • Summary: Over the last year schools have faced unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19. While schools typically deal with matters related to leave and accommodations requests or discrimination claims, there are timely issues that schools are now facing, whether as a result of the pandemic or recent changes in the legal landscape, such as gender identity issues and unique mental health concerns. Join us to explore potential claims and get an action plan to reduce the risk for liability. Navigate employee morale and community relations issues that arise from these scenarios.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Gain knowledge on the trending legal matters that schools encounter on a day-to-day basis.
    • Acquire strategies on how your school can be prepared to proactively address potential legal challenges.
    • Obtain an understanding of the responsibilities and duties for schools faced with these specific situations.
  • Presenters: Jennifer Carroll and Ilanit Fischler, Fisher Phillips, LLP; Dennis Chapman, The Village School of Naples (FL)
Management
Winning the Minds and Hearts of Tomorrow’s Families -
  • Summary: Family expectations have changed—never before has the bar been set higher. The ways independent schools recruit, enroll, and retain students have shifted—forever. How can your school adapt to outperform the competition and respond to the changing needs of your families? Share principles that will help your teams better meet the needs of your current students, prospective families, and future generations of alumni using digital marketing tools like your website and mobile app.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Learn the renewed importance of digital engagement to build trust in your school and brand.
    • Learn proven strategies for successfully engaging families at every stage of the funnel.
    • Learn tools to educate and empower your teams to meet rising expectations of your community.
  • Presenters: Jonathan Moser, Finalsite; Pat Bassett, retired past president of NAIS
Communications and Advancement
The Lived Experience of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice (DEIJ) Practitioner at Independent Schools -
  • Summary: Review findings from a report released by EXPLO Elevate, Making the Hidden Visible: The Lived Experience of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) Practitioner at Independent Schools. Drawing on semi-structured interviews with more than 25 DEIJ practitioners, EXPLO Elevate and panelists from two independent schools who participated in the study share key themes from the research. Through a better understanding of the lived experience of the DEIJ practitioner, there is an opportunity for independent schools to consider how to best support not only their practitioners but also the DEIJ work within our schools.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Understand the experiences of DEIJ practitioners.
    • Use an improved understanding of DEIJ practitioners to better support them and the work across the school.
    • Consider ways to better prepare as a school community before hiring a DEIJ practitioner.
  • Presenters: Sudipti Kumar, EXPLO Elevate; Mia Burton, Flint Hill School (VA); Flora Mugambi-Mutunga, Town School for Boys (CA)
Leadership Development
Time for Change: The Impact of DEI Practitioners on Independent School Campuses -
  • Summary: Join us to focus on research that explores the impact of DEI practitioners on independent campuses, specifically in terms of adult culture and professional development opportunities. The correlation is strong between the presence of a practitioner and a positive experience for all faculty and staff members.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Understand the importance of giving DEI practitioners time and space to do their work.
    • Understand the impact DEI practitioners have on adult culture.
    • Understand the connection between DEI professional development sessions and adult culture.
  • Presenters: Mike Brown, EdRevolution; Seth Swihart, Bellevue Middle School (TN)
Leadership Development
Innovation: A Disposition, Not a Destination -
  • Summary: Innovation in schools is a continuously moving target.The research presented here aims to determine the qualities and dispositions of school cultures that consistently foster innovative practices and mindsets. Our findings suggest that there is a strong relationship between school cultures rooted in flexibility, trust, and congeniality and a school's ability to innovate and adapt. As a result of these findings and a deep dive in the literature on innovations in schools and workplaces, we have designed a set of recommendations that aim to assist both NAIS and school leaders in your pursuit of innovative practices and positive school cultures.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Identify three key cultural norms of innovative schools.
    • Compare the roles of teachers and administrators in promoting innovation.
    • Identify strategies that you can use in your own school to promote innovation.
  • Presenters: Regan Humphrey, Currey Ingram Academy (TN); Lauren Huddleston, Hutchinson School (TN); Caroline Carlin, Our Lady of Perpetual Help School (TN)
Leadership Development
Centering Students in the School-Change Process: Crescent Students Weigh In -
  • Summary: Too often educators make classroom and school-wide decisions designed to help students without deeply listening to the students themselves. This can result in policies and practices that don’t effectively address the needs of the very students they target. Join us to explore a research-based approach that leverages the voices of students to make school changes that are impactful and sustainable. Hear directly from Crescent School students and educators about how this approach has benefited the students and community alike.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Learn the research-based benefits of including student voices in the school reform process.
    • Experience a process for student inclusion and reflection that educators can use with their own school communities.
    • Glean practical strategies for improving student agency, belonging, and buy-in that will positively affect overall school culture.
  • Presenters: Nick Kovacs, Crescent School (Canada); Denise Pope and Jon Kleinman, Challenge Success
The Student Experience
The Head Search Database: Your New Tool for Understanding Head Search and Transition -
  • Summary: Learn about SAIS's new national database about head search and transition! Do you wonder about head search data—like head and consultant placements, tenure, or how to establish your peer group? Find your answers here. Funded by the Edward E. Ford Foundation, the brand-new Head Search Database (HSDB) demystifies search by aggregating public information into a single, convenient space and providing visual reports to school heads, consultants, trustees, and search committees. Find key information to aid your search, build your cohort, understand your school in context, and make sense of the complicated world of head search.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Learn about a dynamic new tool (HSDB) available to understand independent school leadership trends.
    • Demystify data about the head search and transition.
    • Explore and envision the database's potential impact through questions about its content, its visualizations, and its impact.
  • Presenters: Vince Watchorn, Community Preparatory School (GA); Debra Wilson and Clay Gibney, Southern Association of Independent Schools
Governance
Building Effective Relationships with Difficult Parents Through Positive, Proactive Communication -
  • Summary: Do you have challenging parents at your school? Do you want to learn how to turn them from adversaries into partners? Of course you do! Learn proven strategies that can help you build positive relationships with even your most difficult parents. Learn how to break down the “wall of mutual distrust,” remember the “child in the chair.” apply "the 4 Cs," turn listening into your superpower, and learn how to use "surprise and delight." Learn and apply these principles and you will transform your relationships with the parents at your school!
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Identify the two reasons why some independent school parents act the way that they do.
    • Learn how to break down the "wall of mutual distrust" and how to turn listening into your very own superpower.
    • Apply the Four C's of Effective Communication and use the Nordstrom/Zappos model of "surprise and delight" in parent communications.
  • Presenters: Mark Minkus, Community Day School (PA)
The Classroom Experience
Getting Schools the Leaders They Need and Deserve -
  • Summary: The state of independent school leadership is under intense scrutiny. Research done by NAIS has shown that there is high turnover and shorter tenures. Fewer educators are expressing interest in securing headships.The pressures from parents, boards, and students make the job less attractive. Thankfully, capable, committed, and qualified people are still being called to take up these challenges. While that is encouraging, schools are also being pressed to diversify their hiring. Schools would be better served by greatly increasing the number of women and people of color as school leaders.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Learn why schools need to invest in developing more diverse leaders.
    • Learn from search consultants, who are often the gatekeepers, how to promote new leaders and aid schools in the hiring process.
    • Candidates, see how best to package your skills and qualifications to get the job.
  • Presenters: Robert Vitalo, Carney Sandoe & Associates; Tekakwitha Pernambuco-Wise, The Wyndcroft School (PA); Christopher Seeley, Saint Thomas Choir School (NY)
Leadership Development
Starting an Academic Innovation Coaching Program at Your School -
  • Summary: Coaching is a well-established, research-based strategy for improving teaching and learning. Join us as we detail how the Breck School has successfully implemented an innovation coaching program. Get resources for designing coaching protocols, role-playing common scenarios, insights for implementation, and measures for impact. Innovation coaching at Breck has now become integrated into systems for improvement and innovation across the school and we think it can transform teaching and learning at your school, too!
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Describe innovation coaching and its impact on teaching and learning.
    • Identify key innovation coaching program features.
    • Role-play conversations, discuss coaching strategies and protocols for supporting coaching.
  • Presenters: Julie Kallio and Ben Friesen, The Breck School (MN)
Leadership Development
From Idea to Implementation: A Case Study in Conducting an Inclusive Curricular Audit -
  • Summary: With the aftermath of the summer of 2020 came a calling to reconsider curriculum. With that brought many questions: What does a curriculum look like that centers students’ backgrounds and cultures? What principles guide our work? Who are our essential stakeholders? And perhaps most importantly, what does this process look like and how do we approach this process equitably? Explore one school’s process as we embarked on an academic curriculum audit. Hear about our approach to this process, resources we needed, stakeholders we partnered with, and what we learned as we entered seemingly uncharted territory.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Understand from a tactical perspective how to create a DEIB curricular audit, centering your school’s values.
    • Understand how to achieve strong faculty and school leadership buy-in throughout the audit process.
    • Understand how and when to engage consulting support for the audit.
  • Presenters: Amanda Lucas and Nathan Molteni, Blair Academy (NJ); Anita Ricketts, DiversityInc
Leadership Development
Attending to Community Well-Being: An Innovative School’s Experience Prioritizing Mental Health -
  • Summary: Creating an evidence-based wellness program has never been more important, as rates of mental health struggles are on the rise among educators and students alike. Learn about the most recent research on mental health in independent schools, understand the most important, modifiable aspects of school life that can be used to foster resilience, and learn how to promote best practices within your own community. Hear Mark McKee, head of school at Viewpoint School, share how the school was able to improve community well-being by taking a data-driven approach to guide initiatives and build stakeholder buy-in.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Discover which aspects of school life have proven to be most related to student and staff well-being.
    • Learn how one school has used data to foster resilience within the community.
    • Explore best practices and strategies to identify and prioritize well-being programs in your own community.
  • Presenters: Suniya Luthar and Nina Kumar, Authentic Connections; Mark McKee, Viewpoint School (CA)
The Student Experience
Collaborating to Combat Enrollment Decline: 200 Schools and the National Enrollment Action Roundtable (NEAR) -
  • Summary: Nearly half of NAIS member schools struggle with declining enrollment. NEAR is a grassroots coalition of 200 schools united to combat their enrollment challenges. NEAR is 100% free; members convene monthly to discuss critical issues, exchange resources, share ideas, and join in a network of support. NEAR’s premise is that we have within our own schools the expertise necessary to address our enrollment challenges. If we unite and collaborate, we propagate best practices and help one another thrive. Hear panelist testimonials, review NEAR’s strategies for building the coalition, and learn about convening relevant, efficient, and meaningful roundtable forums.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Learn how NEAR supports member schools and provides relevant, actionable takeaways at each roundtable forum.
    • Learn how NEAR built a purposeful 200-school coalition—a model that can be replicated for other needs and challenges.
    • Learn how the NEAR roundtable forum draws high participation and ensures participant engagement.
  • Presenters: Ole Jorgenson, Almaden Country Day School (CA); Mary Menacho, Independent Schools Association of the Central States; Roslyn Benjamin, The Children's School (GA); Tekakwitha Pernambuco-Wise, The Wyndcroft School (PA); Zachary Roberts, Gateway School (CA)
Leadership Development
Solicitation Savvy = Fearless Fundraising -
  • Summary: It doesn’t take a lot to learn how to approach “The Ask” with unfailing confidence, realistic expectations, and thorough preparation. Get tips, techniques, and case studies from this session to inform your solicitation strategies, help you prepare better to deal with donor reluctance, and strengthen your volunteer recruitment and training.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • What are some common key elements and techniques in fundraising strategy?
    • What are proven strategies to reduce the discomfort people often experience when asking for financial support for schools?
    • What attitudes and beliefs shape resistance to financial decisions, and how can staff and volunteers effectively recognize and address them?
  • Presenters: Starr Snead, Advancement Connections; Shelley Reese, Park Street School (MA)
Communications and Advancement
Thinking Strategically: A Guide for Board Members -
  • Summary: Many boards struggle to engage in conversations and make decisions that are truly strategic and that result in measurable outcomes. We present the Four by Four Model of Strategic Thinking that provides a research-informed guide for board members to apply to any issue they need to consider or decision they need to make. We provide case studies of how this model has been implemented by independent school boards and share areas where boards can and should be strategizing on a regular basis.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Understand the context in which strategic thinking is used by independent school boards.
    • Understand the elements of strategic thinking and how to use them.
    • Understand what they think strategically about as an independent school board.
  • Presenters: Brooke Carroll, Acies Strategies
Governance
Onboarding for Belonging and Connection -
  • Summary: When teachers are well-prepared, strategically mentored, and feel a sense of belonging, the chances that they will thrive in a new working environment are high. Join us to explore ways to redesign the onboarding process that emphasize care and belonging. Engage in a series of small-group discussions and activities and walk away with practical tips and strategies to reinvigorate ways new faculty and staff members enter a school’s community.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Identify the pivotal role relationships, belonging, and purpose serve for thriving school cultures.
    • Examine a relational program for supporting new faculty and staff as a vital component of school culture.
    • Reflect on the connection between one's experience, identity, and purpose for education.
  • Presenters: Regan Galvan and Angelica Adams, Vistamar School (CA)
Management
O Mentor, My Mentor: The Art of Growing Teachers and Leaders -
  • Summary: Supporting teachers and leaders new in their role has never been more important. With a commitment to supporting the people who support the people—avoiding the sink or swim approach—the task of mentoring requires empathy, patience, and skill. As future leaders learn to mentor well, they too will pass this on to others. Join a panel of educators and board members who share their mentoring experiences and best practices.
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Learn the process and skill of mentoring well.
    • Learn the short- and long-term impact of mentoring.
    • Learn the mechanisms to build a program in mentoring at your school.
  • Presenters: Elizabeth Cleary, George McConnel, and Tiffany Taylor-Smith, The Miami Valley School (OH); Andrew Jones and Michaela Pembroke, Greens Farms Academy (CT)
Leadership Development
Going the Extra (S)mile PechaKucha -
  • Summary: Be prepared to make quick and quality connections with your students to help set them on a path of emotional, social, and academic success.
  • Category: PechaKucha
  • Type: PechaKucha
  • Presenters: Allison Holmes, Elmwood School (Canada)
From Knowing to Learning: Embracing Curiosity and Creating a Culture of Coaching PechaKucha -
  • Summary: Coaching can bring a new dimension to teacher pedagogy as well as deeply impact school culture. How might coaching create spaces of growth and empowerment?
  • Category: PechaKucha
  • Type: PechaKucha
  • Presenters: Sarah Morrison, Appleby College (Canada)
Anger Womanagement: Reclaiming Feminine Anger for Healing, Empowerment, and Justice PechaKucha -
  • Summary: Reclaim the right to feel anger so women can use its healing, energizing power in schools and organizations.
  • Category: PechaKucha
  • Type: PechaKucha
  • Presenters: Jessica Harding, Culver Academies (IN)
We'll Figure it Out: Leadership Lessons from Starting a School in a Pandemic PechaKucha -
  • Summary: Start a school in a pandemic? Sure, I said, we'll figure it out. I did, and I figured out a lot more along the way.
  • Category: PechaKucha
  • Type: PechaKucha
  • Presenters: Laura Blankenship, San Francisco Girls' School (CA)
Story of a Parent Band: Music Brings a School Community Together in a Parking Lot PechaKucha -
  • Summary: How did an email blast calling for parent musicians lead to a wine store parking lot performance that built community? Come find out!
  • Category: PechaKucha
  • Type: PechaKucha
  • Presenters: Basil Kolani, Ridgefield Academy (CT)
Intentional Spaces: How Prolific Shifts Support Black Educator Growth, Well-Being, and Connection in Independent Schools PechaKucha -
  • Summary: To experience growth, expansion, agency, and connection in independent schools, Black educators need intentional spaces that are geared toward supporting us holistically.
  • Category: PechaKucha
  • Type: PechaKucha
  • Presenters: Janae Peters, Hawken School (OH)
Joy as a Form of Resistance PechaKucha -
  • Summary: Struggles for justice are often also struggles for the acknowledgement of an oppressed group’s full humanity. Joy is a sign of vibrant life, of thriving.
  • Category: PechaKucha
  • Type: PechaKucha
  • Presenters: Lora McManus-Graham, Blake School (MN)
Students Deserve More: One School's Bold, Systemic Approach to Building a PK-12 Human Sexuality Program Three-Hour Workshop Wednesday, March 2,
1:30 PM-4:30 PM
  • Summary: Amid the raging COVID-19 pandemic and societal upheaval during the summer of 2020, Philadelphia's William Penn Charter School was reminded that it is not immune, as students and alumni shared critical views regarding the school's programs and practices around race, gender equity, and sexual consent. Determined to grow from these revelations, community members launched an ongoing, school-wide examination of underlying issues and blind spots and have designed a process for building a comprehensive PK-12 Human Sexuality Curriculum. Join us to get a roadmap to begin your own exploratory process and help your school address this unique moment.
  • Block: Three-Hour Workshop (Wednesday, March 2, 1:30 PM-4:30 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Interact with presenters to envision a mission-driven, multilevel approach for genuine, comprehensive curriculum change.
    • Explore engaging and inclusive approaches for gathering meaningful community input to build buy-in and momentum for an initiative.
    • Learn about best practices and essential elements in designing a comprehensive, school-wide, human sexuality curriculum.
  • Presenters: David Brightbill, John Estok, Alyson Goodner, and Emma Cohen Westbrooke, William Penn Charter School (PA); Deborah Roffman, The Park School of Baltimore (MD)
The Classroom Experience
Your Female Leadership Journey in Independent Schools: Find Mentors and Sponsors Three-Hour Workshop Wednesday, March 2,
1:30 PM-4:30 PM
  • Summary: The legacy of women in independent schools is still being written. There are many opportunities to be a student of leadership at every level in your school. Come for honest conversation about ways women lead, cultivate a leadership style, and build teams. Hear four female administrators at different ages and stages in their careers share insights regarding what keeps us from our seat at the table, where to look for mentors and sponsors, and how to model female leadership for our students. Come and enjoy the camaraderie and kinship of the work we do!
  • Block: Three-Hour Workshop (Wednesday, March 2, 1:30 PM-4:30 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Identify your opportunities to mentor and sponsor or be mentored or sponsored by local leaders in your area.
    • Identify the ways that women learn to lead by constituent group: faculty and staff, peer administrators, parents, trustees, students.
    • Identify your leadership strengths and what skills you might need to grow for a future leadership role.
  • Presenters: Kathleen McNamara, The Seven Hills School (CA); Ruth Bissell, San Francisco Day School (CA); Stephanie Leung, Mirman School (CA); Colleen Schilly, Hillbrook School (CA)
Leadership Development
Practicing Together: Navigating Conversations About Anti-Racism with Students and Adults Three-Hour Workshop Wednesday, March 2,
1:30 PM-4:30 PM
  • Summary: Educators, school administrators, or parents engaged in social justice conversations with young people, join us to get a social justice toolkit, an experience through film, and the invaluable wisdom that comes through the experiential practice of vulnerability in difficult conversations. As author Brené Brown reflects, we must be brave, awkward, and kind. Take this opportunity to be brave, awkward, kind, and more. Leave with new insights into talking about race with children and adults, strategies to use in any challenging conversation, and an electronic publication with resources to use back at school.
  • Block: Three-Hour Workshop (Wednesday, March 2, 1:30 PM-4:30 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Practice the framework for having conversations that promote anti-racism with children and adults.
    • Practice how to manage your own blindspots and experiences when engaged in anti-racism.
    • Gain the skills and confidence to continue the work beyond the workshop.
  • Presenters: Carol Swainson, San Francisco Schoolhouse (CA); Jen Cort, Jen Cort Consulting
The Student Experience
Building Teams, Breaking Paradigms: Human-Centered Approaches for Implementing Mastery Learning Three-Hour Workshop Wednesday, March 2,
1:30 PM-4:30 PM
  • Summary: Are you an educational leader either looking to get started or full steam ahead on the mastery journey? Are you interested in student learning that is grounded in equity, belonging, relevancy, agency, and transferability? Do you seek a team to support your change-management initiatives needed for a mastery-based future? Even though mastery provides schools with a clear system and pathway directed at purposeful, equitable learning, shifting from the current factory-model educational system and breaking an entrenched paradigm requires vigilance. Join our session to build communal efficacy and a cultural stamina for embracing a systemic mastery (r)evolution.
  • Block: Three-Hour Workshop (Wednesday, March 2, 1:30 PM-4:30 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Where is your school in the mastery transition/implementation and what are your next steps for moving your community forward?
    • What strategies for paradigm-shifting and team-building may be most effective given your school, culture, context and role?
    • How does challenged-based/mastery learning implementation intersect with and bolster your school's emphasis on equity?
  • Presenters: Julia Griffin, Hawken School (OH); Regan Galvan, Vista Mar School (CA); Mike Peller, White Mountain School (NH); Derek Kanarek, Catlin Gabel School (OR); Zac Carr, Nueva School (CA)
Leadership Development
Building a Pedagogy of Belonging Three-Hour Workshop Wednesday, March 2,
1:30 PM-4:30 PM
  • Summary: Belonging is the fact and feeling of being seen, heard, affirmed, respected, appreciated, and supported within a community. Teachers of all subjects and grade levels, join us to learn tools to design personally and culturally affirming learning experiences. Then, learn to create lessons that use four structural elements that foster belonging: (1) eliciting meaningful contributions from every learner, (2) ensuring all learners share their ideas knowing they'll be listened to, (3) fostering learners’ appreciation for themselves and one another, and (4) facilitating the use of the learning for values-consistent action.
  • Block: Three-Hour Workshop (Wednesday, March 2, 1:30 PM-4:30 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Judge whether learning resources will have personal and cultural relevance in students' lives.
    • Use deictic questions to help students connect the content to sources of meaning in their lives.
    • Use protocols to create structural belonging in the classroom.
  • Presenters: Lauren Porosoff, EMPOWER Forwards
The Classroom Experience
Systemic Racial Equity, Not Rhetoric: Examining Strategies for, and Consequences of, Hiring with Cultural Competence Three-Hour Workshop Wednesday, March 2,
1:30 PM-4:30 PM
  • Summary: Focus on ways to restructure hiring processes to actually build anti-racist equity and retain and reward those working for social justice within the school community. This work is urgent if we intend to teach our students to be ethical leaders. Any façade of “diversity” rhetoric must give way to effective systemic change for racial equity or risk reinforcing a racist climate. Join us for opportunities to identify practices for attracting, hiring, and supporting the best culturally competent candidates for all positions, reinforcing anti-racist equity as both an ongoing institutional imperative and a collective responsibility.
  • Block: Three-Hour Workshop (Wednesday, March 2, 1:30 PM-4:30 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Examine and practice methods to identify relevant culturally competent knowledge and skill sets for a given position.
    • Examine and discuss ways to attract the best culturally competent candidates and to build application rubrics to evaluate these skills.
    • Identify effective questions for providing comparable candidate data on relevant culturally competent knowledge and skills, and methods for response evaluation.
  • Presenters: Cris Cullinan, Actual Leadership in Vital Equity (ALIVE); Amani Reed, The School at Columbia University (NY); Kalyan Balaven, The Dunn School (CA); Emma Coddington, Willamette University; Ruth Jurgensen, Prep for Prep
Leadership Development
The Long Walk: Lasting Change in an Insta Culture Three-Hour Workshop Wednesday, March 2,
1:30 PM-4:30 PM
  • Summary: Join this hands-on opportunity to engage closely with a series of case studies that highlight contemporary controversies in efforts toward justice in independent schools. Through challenging interactivity with these materials, collaboratively explore the hard and vulnerable work of the long walk to freedom. The case studies offer an array of understandings to stimulate multimodal discussions of curriculum that grows over time, conversations that enact change, the ways we can all rise together, and how we confront alternative truths and advantageous fabrications.
  • Block: Three-Hour Workshop (Wednesday, March 2, 1:30 PM-4:30 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Closely examine a series of issues and work collaboratively to present possible solutions.
    • Reflect on your collaboration to better understand change and the micro-goals necessary to make lasting impact.
    • Walk away with clear, pragmatic interventions for your community and classroom developed in the workshop.
  • Presenters: Clare Hammoor and Heather Mock, Compositive Primary (CO)
The Classroom Experience
A Design Team Approach: Facilitating Systems Change from Within Our Schools Three-Hour Workshop Wednesday, March 2,
1:30 PM-4:30 PM
  • Summary: A design team approach can help you tackle big school challenges and increase buy-in, create leadership opportunities, and grow relational trust. Join this high-energy workshop as the innovation team from The Breck School shares how a design team approach can transform change in schools and how you can use this in your own context. Learn the key features of a co-design process, gain practical strategies for leading design from within, and connect with people, ideas, and resources to grow your professional network for systems change.
  • Block: Three-Hour Workshop (Wednesday, March 2, 1:30 PM-4:30 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Understand the theoretical and practical foundations of a co-design process.
    • Learn practical strategies for leading co-design from within the system.
    • Connect with other attendees, new ideas, and co-design resources to build capacity for systems change.
  • Presenters: Julie Kallio, Mark Garrison, Ben Friesen, A.J. Colianni, and Sarah Flotten, The Breck School (MN)
Leadership Development
Nine Big Questions Schools Must Answer to Avoid Going Back to "Normal" Three-Hour Workshop Wednesday, March 2,
1:30 PM-4:30 PM
  • Summary: After pandemic disruption, the pull to go "back to normal" has been intense. But "normal" is what caused many of the challenges that we face today, like racial disparities and climate change. To go forward to create schools that are more relevant, equitable, and just for all children requires a deep interrogation of the fundamentals. Join this highly interactive and engaging workshop that offers you frameworks to inquire courageously, audit empathetically and honestly, and gain capacities to look forward with radical candor and hope.
  • Block: Three-Hour Workshop (Wednesday, March 2, 1:30 PM-4:30 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Understand how the "normals" we have accepted in schools no longer serve students or the wider world.
    • Deeply inquire as individuals, institutions, and communities through a framework of the new 3 Rs: Reflect, Reset, Reinvent.
    • Lead with "fearless inquiry" and gain tools for your school community to engage with the nine big questions
  • Presenters: Homa Tavangar, Growing Up Global Advisory Services; Will Richardson, Big Questions Institute
Leadership Development
Advancement Strategies and Solutions for Small Schools and Small Shops Three-Hour Workshop Wednesday, March 2,
1:30 PM-4:30 PM
  • Summary: In small schools, advancement priorities and resources can get tangled faster than fishing lines on a gusty day. Thoughtful review, evaluation, and planning can quickly get preempted by any combination of the immediate concerns that too often monopolize our time, energy, and talent. Use this workshop to get your head better wrapped around strategies to lead your school in developing cutting-edge but scalable advancement initiatives and in confidently nurturing and protecting your vision and your program as you navigate the hazardous shoals of too-much-to-do-and-not-enough-time.
  • Block: Three-Hour Workshop (Wednesday, March 2, 1:30 PM-4:30 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Identify practices that form the core of successful small school advancement programs.
    • Outline optimal approaches for establishing and evaluating advancement goals, ensuring acceptance of and support for advancement priorities.
    • Keep your head focused on "the important stuff" when all this seems overwhelming!
  • Presenters: Starr Snead, Advancement Connections; Shelley Reese, Park Street School (MA)
Communications and Advancement
Klingenstein Seminar: Listening for Data: [email protected] Instagram Text Mining and Evidence-Informed DEI Work in Independent Schools Klingenstein Seminar Three-Hour Workshop Wednesday, March 2,
1:30 PM-4:30 PM
  • Summary: In the summer of 2020, the Klingenstein Center launched a research initiative focused on text-mining public [email protected] Instagram accounts. We wondered: How might these stories–across schools, within and across regions–allow us to make more informed decisions about how we approach diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging work in schools? How can we know that what we do in our schools works–and for whom? In this seminar, we will share how we designed and approached this original research initiative, our findings from analyzing over 250 Instagram accounts, and resources to help expand your capacity for evidence-informed leadership.
  • Block: Three-Hour Workshop (Wednesday, March 2, 1:30 PM-4:30 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Type: Klingenstein Seminar
  • Presenters: Nicole Furlonge and Kenny Graves, Klingenstein Center, Teachers College, Columbia University (NY)
Leadership Development
Grading for Equity Three-Hour Workshop Wednesday, March 2,
1:30 PM-4:30 PM
  • Summary: Despite schools' deepest commitment to effective pedagogy and equity, many current grading practices actually undermine effective teaching and perpetuate achievement disparities. This interactive presentation, led by Joe Feldman, author of Grading for Equity, and Mark Boswell, former teacher and assistant head at Marin Country Day School (CA), will introduce the history and impact of our traditional grading practices, the framework of equitable grading, and the effect of more equitable grading on teachers and students. The content draws upon educational history, culturally sustaining pedagogy, and psychology, as well as work with hundreds of teachers and thousands of students.
  • Block: Three-Hour Workshop (Wednesday, March 2, 1:30 PM-4:30 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Learn key concepts embedded in century-old grading practices and the impact of continuing to use those inherited practices.
    • Become familiar with more equitable grading pillars and learn about some example practices.
    • Recognize the challenges and possibilities of improving grading to be more equitable.
  • Presenters: Joe Feldman and Mark Boswell, Crescendo Education Group
The Classroom Experience