Three-Hour Workshops

Please note that three-hour workshops are offered only on Wednesday, March 7, require registration and cost $95.

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

Title Block Time Summary Track
W15. “What You Permit, You Promote”: Shaping Culture, One Fractal at a Time Three-Hour Workshop Wednesday, March 7,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: Explicitly and implicitly, leaders give permission for behaviors and actions that either undermine or contribute to living their organization’s authentic mission. In this workshop, three experienced heads will help you understand what this means for your school. They’ll discuss the cultures they inherited, what they sought to preserve, and the ways they contributed to shaping culture through times of transition, crisis, and stability. The session will demonstrate "Freed's Systems Lens on Leadership", applying "fractals" as case studies, emphasizing clarity, alignment and accountability between what you say and what you do!
  • Block: Three-Hour Workshop (Wednesday, March 7, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Recognize the fact that “what you permit, you promote,” and gain support regarding how this principle manifests itself at your school.
    • Get help practicing what you preach by creating and living shared attitudes, norms, communication, processes, and structures.
    • Emphasize alignment and accountability between what you say and what you do.
  • Presenters: Debbie Freed, Debbie Freed and Associates; Landis Green, Wildwood School (CA); Clair Ward, Shore Country Day School (PA); Kathleen McNamara; Seven Hills School (CA)
Leadership Development
W1. Assessing Student Leadership: Taking the Guesswork Out of Teaching and Assessing Leadership Three-Hour Workshop Wednesday, March 7,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: Discover ways to encourage student leadership as you find out how the E.E. Ford Foundation can support your school’s efforts to meet its mission more effectively. This case-study-based workshop takes you on an odyssey from vision to implementation. It’s led by veteran educators from Castilleja School and John Gulla, executive director of the E.E. Ford Foundation. Learn about submitting a proposal to the foundation and growing community and faculty support for your proposal goals. Then explore and offer feedback on the artifacts of Castilleja’s leadership development and assessment program.
  • Block: Three-Hour Workshop (Wednesday, March 7, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Envision what leadership development looks like and where it happens at your school.
    • Explore examples of student work that demonstrate leadership skills, and engage with tools to assess those skills.
    • Learn about the framework and resources to apply concepts, processes, and tools to your own school context.
  • Presenters: Karen Strobel, Nanci Kauffman, and Stacey Kertsman, Castilleja School (CA); John Gulla, E.E. Ford Foundation
The Classroom Experience
W2. Create Your School's Future With Customer Insights and Mission/Business Model Mapping Three-Hour Workshop Wednesday, March 7,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: To stay relevant, independent schools must build on core strengths to advance programs while monitoring costs, seeking new revenue, and expanding markets. Stakeholders vary in their understanding of external context, and conflicting priorities make it difficult to challenge the status quo. One answer is to bring diverse groups of leaders together to focus on mission- and business-driven imperatives and co-develop ideas. In this design thinking workshop, learn processes to unite faculty, administrators, and trustees in thinking about your context, challenges, and future; understanding customer and stakeholder needs; and developing ideas with mission and business model mapping.
  • Block: Three-Hour Workshop (Wednesday, March 7, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Discover how one school is bridging programmatic and business model innovation to ensure its long-term financial sustainability.
    • Experiment with a process to bring faculty, administrators, and trustees together to develop and apply customer insights.
    • Learn to use mission and business model mapping to expose or critique your business model and prototype, and to test new ideas.
  • Presenters: Maura Farrell, Winchester Thurston School (PA)
Management
W3. Diversity in Governance: Opportunities, Responsibilities, and Effective Practices Three-Hour Workshop Wednesday, March 7,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: Although there’s abundant professional development to support teachers’ responsibilities for diversity in the classroom, much less is available for trustees. This workshop offers a governance framework for diversity that’s useful for both trustees and heads of school. You will identify the business case, develop a working vocabulary, learn about effective practices for boards, and explore your board’s responsibilities and opportunities to cultivate diversity and create accountability for equity in education. You will emerge with language, effective practices, and a network of colleagues from other independent schools—all of which can help further your board’s mission-vital diversity work.
  • Block: Three-Hour Workshop (Wednesday, March 7, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Understand the business case for diversity from the trustee’s perspective.
    • Gain greater fluency in the lexicon of diversity.
    • Acquire a framework for institutional responsibilities for diversity, equity, and inclusion, including the board's role.
  • Presenters: Alison Park, Blink Consulting; Barre Fong, Lick-Wilmerding High School (CA); Alex Wong, Town School for Boys (CA)
Governance
W4. Ethnographic Research as a Tool for Strategic Leadership and School Management Three-Hour Workshop Wednesday, March 7,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: Have you ever wondered why a specific family has chosen your school over your competitor's—or vice versa? Have you tried to understand how best to improve your consumer experience? Properly performed qualitative ethnographic research can help you get at what matters most and understand the real reason people are making decisions. This knowledge will allow your school to focus on activities that will have predictive efficacy, saving the staff time and the school money. After an overview and practice with prerecorded research, you will use your new skills with live respondents to uncover insights and develop a plan for effective initiatives.
  • Block: Three-Hour Workshop (Wednesday, March 7, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Understand the process and benefits of properly performed qualitative ethnographic research as it relates to independent schools.
    • Practice first-hand the process of properly performed qualitative ethnographic research.
    • Assess uncovered insights and convert them into actionable and effective initiatives.
  • Presenters: Matthew Abbondanzio, Dan Lenzen, and Brian Murphy; La Jolla Country Day School (CA)
Leadership Development
W5. Foundations of Risk Management: Rising Above Uncertainty Three-Hour Workshop Wednesday, March 7,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: Independent school leaders often see the value of proactively managing risk but struggle to achieve it. Although significant barriers exist to building risk management programs, United Educators and NAIS have conducted a joint research project that identifies several common practices that independent schools are using successfully. This workshop will introduce you to risk management and provide practical guidance for committing to a sustained process. It will also cover the important role your school leadership and board members play in effective risk management.
  • Block: Three-Hour Workshop (Wednesday, March 7, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Identify and analyze urgent risks at your school.
    • Learn practices, tools, and techniques to advance risk management.
    • Engage your community in risk management.
  • Presenters: Eric Seaborg and Constance Neary, United Educators; Debra Wilson, NAIS
Management
W6. Implementing Your Strategic Plan: How Boards and Leaders Maximize the Odds of Success Three-Hour Workshop Wednesday, March 7,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: Explore how to make leadership transitions—from strategic planning to executing the plan—in ways that ensure a continuous and dynamic approach to learning, assessment, and adaptation of strategy. Through stories and guided exercises, you’ll explore strategic design and implementation, including the critical roles of leadership and the board in this work. Then you’ll develop a game plan for what you want to do next so you can lead this conversation once you’re back at school. Expect to design and critique solutions with your workshop colleagues. It’s your chance to build your own learning community so you can share insights while moving forward.
  • Block: Three-Hour Workshop (Wednesday, March 7, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Explore how leaders and trustees create conditions to successfully execute a strategic plan.
    • Build your school’s execution capacity; learn how to inspire, lead, and measure what matters.
    • Assess progress, learn quickly, and adapt strategy in the face of change and unanticipated challenges.
  • Presenters: Stephanie Rogen, Greenwich Leadership Partners; and Randall Dunn, Kirk Greer, and Charlie Gofen, Latin School of Chicago (IL)
Governance
W8. NAIS Innovation Kitchen: Mini-Hack Three-Hour Workshop Wednesday, March 7,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: Come experience one of the NAIS Innovation Kitchen’s “recipes for innovation”: the Magnetic Mountain (MM). The MM is a framework for how you can think about your school’s innovation journey, and the Summit Backpack toolkit will help you imagine and implement a differentiated “summit” idea. Learn how to bring this framework and toolkit back to your school. This workshop is for NAIS members only.
  • Block: Three-Hour Workshop (Wednesday, March 7, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Leave with a fluency of the Magnetic Mountain framework and how it can be applied at your school.
    • Understand the imperatives for change and begin to articulate your own imperative.
    • Be armed with a set of tools to create a culture of innovation and manage change at your school.
  • Presenters: Tim Fish, Kawai Lai, and Jefferson Burnett NAIS
Leadership Development
W10. School and Leadership in an Age of Acceleration, Augmentation, and The Singularity Three-Hour Workshop Wednesday, March 7,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: How can your school and its leaders prepare for an age of acceleration, augmentation, and intelligent machines? To adapt and respond to these new times, you will need a futurist mindset, an optimistic spirit, and an improvisor’s posture. In this hands-on, interactive session, you will think like a futurist by imagining the next decade. Then you’ll consider the possibilities and ponder the big questions that will shape your work. The workshop is your chance to explore and practice the leadership skills that will be necessary to thrive in this new world.
  • Block: Three-Hour Workshop (Wednesday, March 7, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Manage the rapid rate of acceleration and build human capacity to keep pace with change.
    • Identify and practice leaders’ qualities, habits, and mindsets in this new age.
    • Consider the implications of this new age on schools and on how you approach student learning and professional development.
  • Presenters: Carla Silver, Leadership+Design; Christian Long, Sam Chaltain, Wonder by Design; Christian Talbot, Basecamp School (NJ)
Leadership Development
W11. Schools as Laboratories for Leadership Change Three-Hour Workshop Wednesday, March 7,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: The teacher-leader model is key to broadening the decision-making platform as well as program evolution in independent schools. In this interactive workshop, you'll explore how to engage a more diverse community of teacher-leaders. You’ll also discover how this model can establish trusting relationships and new creative pathways within your school's shared leadership team and between the core academic team and various departments and curricular teams.
  • Block: Three-Hour Workshop (Wednesday, March 7, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Explore ways to engage a more diverse community of teacher-leaders in your schools.
    • Consider how you might transition from simple connections to trusting relationships.
    • Find out how to establish creative new teacher-leader pathways.
  • Presenters: Eric Walters, Marymount School of New York (NY); Don Buckley, Tools at Schools
Leadership Development
W12. Schoolwide Innovation: A 12-month Framework Three-Hour Workshop Wednesday, March 7,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: Students, pedagogical methods, and technology are changing rapidly. Schools that adapt will thrive. The d3 Framework is designed to be a 12- to 18-month program through which schoolwide innovation and paradigm shifts occur. Come to this workshop to learn about one school's journey. You'll leave with an understanding of how to institute a schoolwide evaluation and make your own plans to implement the d3 Framework for a strategic plan refresh for your school.
  • Block: Three-Hour Workshop (Wednesday, March 7, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Discover clarifying questions and deep dive processes that will serve as the impetus for change.
    • Design student strength-based paradigm shifts that are a catalyst for programmatic disruptive thinking.
    • Deliver a strategic plan refresh by using the d3 Framework.
  • Presenters: Timothy Viands, Grand River Academy (OH); Marc Frankel, Triangle Associates; Rich Odell, Heads Up Educational Consulting 
Management
W13. Supporting Transgender Students Supports All Students: Performing a Full Gender Audit at Your School Three-Hour Workshop Wednesday, March 7,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: How can your school support transgender and gender-expansive students and staff? After establishing a common language and understanding of gender-expansive identities, this workshop will walk you through the basics of performing a gender audit at your school. You will cover all areas of school life and share best practices. Then, after an overview of what a gender audit entails, you will take a deep dive into your school’s policies and documents. You can ask specific questions of the presenters, who represent a range of school experience and gender identities. Please bring access to any handbooks or policies you’d like to critically examine.
  • Block: Three-Hour Workshop (Wednesday, March 7, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Understand the unique needs of transgender and gender-expansive students and adults on your campus.
    • Learn how to conduct a gender audit that is specific to your institution.
    • Take away three best practices that will help you and your school better serve all students.
  • Presenters: Mb Duckett Ireland, Choate Rosemary Hall (CT); Alex Myers and Joanne Lembo, Philips Exeter Academy (NH)
Management
W7. The Mentorship Journey: Essential Lessons for the Protégé and Mentor Three-Hour Workshop Wednesday, March 7,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: Why is effective mentoring noticeably absent at our schools’ leadership levels? What can we do to spur mentoring for school leaders? What does effective mentoring look like for both the mentor and the protégé? These questions loom large for school leaders and those interested in addressing the growing dearth of qualified leaders, particularly among women and people of color. Three school heads who span three generations and have enjoyed mentoring roles with each other will reflect on the value of having and being a mentor. They will draw on their own experience, case studies, and the writings of others.
  • Block: Three-Hour Workshop (Wednesday, March 7, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Acknowledge the importance of mentorship in leadership development, both for the mentor and the protégé.
    • Provide a framework for establishing and sustaining an effective mentorship relationship on both sides.
    • Inspire other leaders to embrace mentorship by providing support and a pathway for prospective heads of school.
  • Presenters: Marifred Cilella, The Howard School (GA); Bob Shirley, Consultant; Kyle Pietrantonio, Holy Spirit Preparatory School (GA); Angela Robertson, Swift School (GA)
Leadership Development
W9. The Professionalization of School Sports: New Challenges, New Strategies Three-Hour Workshop Wednesday, March 7,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: School sports grow increasingly complicated. Families are investing in out-of-school athletics. Their children play on club teams and work with special coaches at ever-earlier ages. Parents see athletics as key to college admission. Families are aggressive fans and advocates for their children. As a result, schools feel pressured to hire outside coaches and recruit talented athletes. All this is changing the home-school relationship and threatening the core values of many schools. How can you respond? A school head, a vice principal for athletics, and two psychologists will use case studies, discussion, and role-playing exercises to outline ways to cope.
  • Block: Three-Hour Workshop (Wednesday, March 7, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Get help with macro-level coping, including how to set policies and expectations regarding the role of athletics.
    • Learn how to enlist parents as partners.
    • Get help with micro-level coping, including concrete ways to manage (and help coaches manage) difficult conversations and situations with parents and student athletes.
  • Presenters: Rob Evans, psychologist; Michael Thompson, psychologist; Rick Melvoin, Belmont Hill School (MA); James Kakos, Punahou School (HI)
The Student Experience
W14. Unsafe or Uncomfortable? Encouraging Dialogues Across Differences Three-Hour Workshop Wednesday, March 7,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: You have just been on the wrong end of an offensive comment. Or a colleague reports overhearing an insensitive comment about race or sexual orientation. Or you unintentionally say something and notice a colleague's strong, negative reaction. What do you do in the moment? This workshop takes you through the steps to embrace tricky, and potentially uncomfortable, moments in schools through productive, and sometimes difficult, conversation. Join us to take an abbreviated version of Middlesex School's Dialogues Across Differences course.
  • Block: Three-Hour Workshop (Wednesday, March 7, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Understand personal bias and cultivate openness to the values and stories of others.
    • Embrace and work through discomfort during contentious moments and conversations.
    • Explore pathways to empathy.
  • Presenters: Robert Munro and Pascale Musto, Middlesex School (MA)
The Student Experience
W16. Wild Leadership: Tending Rituals, Setting the Stage, Embodying Play Three-Hour Workshop Wednesday, March 7,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: Leadership is a wild ride. It can be invigorating and exciting, or, on occasion, it can feel downright out of control—wild in the most challenging sense. But “wild” is also defined as going beyond the conventional and indicative of strong passion, suggesting ways of leading that push boundaries and do so with inspiration and heart. Explore what it means to lead wildly—from designing great meetings to tending the schoolhouse rituals to making play central to your leadership practice. Leave with a toolkit you can expand throughout the conference.
  • Block: Three-Hour Workshop (Wednesday, March 7, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Reconnect with the larger purpose and passion of your work as a leader.
    • Develop your capacity to tend school culture through assessment of rituals, compelling meeting design, and a playful mindset.
    • Begin your Wild Leadership toolkit, which you can expand throughout the conference.
  • Presenters: Sheryl Chard, Sofia Center for Professional Development at Bosque School (NM); Tamisha Williams, Lick-Wilmerding High School (CA); Elsa Menendez, National Hispanic Cultural Center
Leadership Development