Three-Hour Workshops

Please note that three-hour workshops are offered only on Wednesday, February 27, require registration, and cost $95.

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 Summary Track
W3. Essential Considerations for Transforming Educational Learning Spaces Three-Hour workshop Wednesday, February 27,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: How can school leaders embrace design thinking to help guide school initiatives that will transform learning environments? Schools are scrambling to modernize their buildings in light of new knowledge about teaching and learning in the 21st century. As educators think about essential skills for future success, they realize that skills in reading, writing, and arithmetic should be coupled with contemporary skills such as collaboration, creativity, and problem-solving. Learning space transformation can support relevant student engagement to achieve these skills. Explore how edtech and academic leaders can become key catalysts and collaborators when they think beyond technology, makerspaces, and student worksheets.
  • Block: Three-Hour workshop (Wednesday, February 27, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Study three different case studies for designing educational spaces.
    • Understand the essential considerations and lessons learned when planning space transformations.
    • Work through a design challenge and a thinking flowchart process to apply takeaways to your school.
  • Presenters: Connie White, Woodward Academy (GA); Geoff De Santis and Howard Levin, Convent & Stuart Hall Schools of the Sacred Heart (CA); Chelle Wabrek, The Episcopal School of Dallas (TX)
Classroom Experience
W4. Foundations of Risk Management: Rise Above Uncertainty Three-Hour workshop Wednesday, February 27,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: In this era of increased uncertainty, independent school leaders see the value of proactively managing risk, but they often struggle to do so. This workshop will introduce participants to a recommended risk management approach for independent schools. It will provide practical guidance for committing to a sustained risk management process, demonstration and practice with available resources, tips for keeping your process manageable, strategies for proactively identifying and prioritizing the risks that keep you up at night, and methods of engaging stakeholders to build a risk-intelligent school culture.
  • Block: Three-Hour workshop (Wednesday, February 27, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Be able to describe the four-step risk management process.
    • Review tools and techniques to advance risk management.
    • Identify next steps to engage your community in risk management
  • Presenters: Laura Wright, Liza Kabanova, and Melanie Bennett, United Educators Insurance Risk Retention Group
Management
W9. The Beautiful Partnership: A Shared Leadership Framework for Boards and Heads of School Three-Hour workshop Wednesday, February 27,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: Management is hard, but governance is harder. Governance in an independent or international school context is harder still. The perpetual issues faced by board members and heads of school are exacerbated today by changing demographics and an increasingly fragmented educational field. To address these complex issues, a framework for shared leadership that maximizes this relationship’s positive impact on the school is essential. Through case studies and large- and small-group discussions, participants will understand and develop the leadership framework that ensures that their organization will derive the maximum benefits from a “beautiful partnership” between the board and the head of school.
  • Block: Three-Hour workshop (Wednesday, February 27, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Understand the principal-agent problem, the perpetual issues faced by school leaders, and the current factors impacting education and school governance.
    • Explore the concept of shared leadership and why it is critically important for long-term sustainability.
    • Review the elements of the shared leadership framework, and learn how to develop and implement them.
  • Presenters: Abigail DeLessio and Marc Frankel, Triangle Associates; Joel Brand and Landis Green, Wildwood School (CA)
Governance
W13. The Why and How of Well-Being: Cultivating a Connected Community Three-Hour workshop Wednesday, February 27,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: Using PERMA—Martin Seligman’s positive psychology recipe for how to flourish through positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishments—we will learn, practice, and explore ways to improve our own well-being and that of our students. Designed in part to combat the lack of connection and increased anxiety and depression in our adolescents, this interactive workshop will introduce you to research and practice that will aid you in promoting well-being in your community.
  • Block: Three-Hour workshop (Wednesday, February 27, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Practice PERMA to increase your own well-being.
    • Create a plan to introduce PERMA to your school to increase community connection and overall well-being.
    • Effect positive change in American culture to combat mental health issues.
  • Presenters: Erin Noviski, The Wellington School (OH)
Classroom Experience
W2. Cultural Competency Training for Faculty, Staff, and Administrators: Starting Courageous Conversations at Your School Three-Hour workshop Wednesday, February 27,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: Workshop leaders will take participants through the planning and implementation of voluntary “Courageous Conversation” lunches at an independent school. This workshop will showcase how to help faculty practice their skills around discussing concepts such as implicit bias, privilege, and microaggressions. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of what works in facilitating these difficult conversations and where challenges might arise. They will view samples of the curriculum and have the opportunity to engage in different activities that occur in Courageous Conversations.
  • Block: Three-Hour workshop (Wednesday, February 27, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Understand what professional development opportunities centering on equity and justice look like at an independent school.
    • Explore how conversations about difficult topics can change a school’s culture as it pertains to equity and justice.
    • Brainstorm topics that might be discussed in Courageous Conversations at your own school.
  • Presenters: Diana Artis and Eva Ostrowsky, The Pingry School (NJ)
Student Experience
W11. The Inclusion Dashboard Consortium Three-Hour workshop Wednesday, February 27,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: This workshop will help participants understand the strategic benefits of measuring inclusion. They will explore the process to create a dashboard for inclusion at their own school and will learn to identify the measurable themes to survey in order to inform those dashboards.
  • Block: Three-Hour workshop (Wednesday, February 27, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Build an understanding of inclusion dashboards and their programmatic and mission-centered value.
    • Design a process for creating your school’s dashboard for inclusion.
    • Identify the themes needed to measure inclusion at your school.
  • Presenters: Kalyan Balaven, The Athenian School (CA); Dori King, Oregon Episcopal School (OR); Anthony Witte, Children’s Day School (CA); Rochelle Reodica, Marin Horizon School (CA); Britta Pells, Chinese American International School (CA)
Management
W15. Yes You Can! Reimagining Sexuality Education K-6 Three-Hour workshop Wednesday, February 27,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: Engaging young children in conversations about sex, gender, and reproduction significantly impacts the course of healthy sexual development. It is vital, therefore, that families and schools proactively establish themselves in children’s lives as the primary reference points around these topics. This interactive workshop provides what teachers and administrators need to confidently integrate human sexuality education into their pre-K/LS curriculum. Participants will audit their current programs, identify obstacles to change, and gain resources for implementing developmentally appropriate programming across pre-K-6. One school will share its process for reimagining health and sexuality education, including ongoing work with faculty and parents.
  • Block: Three-Hour workshop (Wednesday, February 27, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Know, understand, and communicate the rationale for teaching human sexuality in elementary schools.
    • Evaluate the current status of sexuality education in your school, and identify obstacles to moving forward.
    • Work in collaborative groups to prepare a plan for next steps to take back to your school.
  • Presenters: Deborah Roffman, The Park School of Baltimore (MD); Jill Romans and Holly Fidler, St. Paul Academy and Summit School (MN)
Student Experience
W1. Advancement Strategies and Solutions for Small Schools Three-Hour workshop Wednesday, February 27,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: Nurture your inner advancement pro. In a small school, advancement priorities, roles, and resources can get tangled faster than fishing-line on a gusty day. Thoughtful review, evaluation, and planning can quickly be preempted by any combination of the immediate concerns that too often monopolize our time, energy, and talent. Use this workshop to get your head 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, February 27, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Identify issues that form the core of successful small school advancement practice.
    • Outline optimal approaches to establishing and evaluating advancement goals that ensure acceptance of and support for advancement priorities.
    • Keep your head focused on “the important stuff” when things seem crazy!
  • Presenters: Starr Snead, Advancement Connections; Shelley Reese, Esperanza Academy (MA)
Communications and Advancement
W6. Leveraging Mind, Brain, and Education Science to Reimagine Learning at Your School Three-Hour workshop Wednesday, February 27,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: Schools are beginning to understand the importance of applying Mind, Brain, and Education (MBE) science to classroom practice. In MBE-aligned schools, the goal is for every student to understand the brain, learning, and himself or herself as a learner. When students partner with us in their learning, they are empowered to use their brains well, knowing that they drive structural and functional changes. During this interactive workshop, we will explore MBE, discuss a scope and sequence to teach about learning and the brain, and support you in developing a plan for MBE-aligned professional development to transform learning in your school.
  • Block: Three-Hour workshop (Wednesday, February 27, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Understand MBE and how it can improve learning outcomes for students.
    • Explore the importance of critical consumption of MBE research.
    • Begin to develop a plan for MBE-aligned professional development for your school.
  • Presenters: Daisy Pellant and Sarah Flotten, Breck School (MN)
Classroom Experience
W14. Women and Leadership: Patterns, Strategies, and Tools for Navigating Your Leadership Journey Three-Hour workshop Wednesday, February 27,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: Learn the four patterns that affect women at work across sectors and that impact their leadership trajectories. Discuss how you’ve seen those patterns play out in your own career. Then, lay the groundwork for your own development as a school leader by reflecting on the latest research on core strengths and weaknesses, purpose, networking, and mentorship versus sponsorship. This workshop is appropriate for current and aspiring school leaders of all genders who are interested in intentionally navigating their leadership journeys, leveraging the strengths and talents of all their colleagues, and ensuring a robust pipeline of aspiring school leaders.
  • Block: Three-Hour workshop (Wednesday, February 27, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Understand the four patterns of women at work and how the patterns play out at your own school.
    • Learn the definitions of core strengths, core weaknesses, and purpose, and apply them as you imagine your career trajectory.
    • Review the basics of networking, mentorship, and sponsorship, and create a personal board of directors.
  • Presenters: Amada Torres, NAIS; Liz Duffy, International Schools Services
Leadership Development
W7. NAIS Strategy Lab | Insights-to-Action Workshop Three-Hour workshop Wednesday, February 27,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: Are you interested in building insights to find clarity within your mission and market? Do you desire new thinking and frameworks to better align your board and key stakeholders around a future-focused strategy to serve your community? Check out the NAIS Strategy Lab’s Insights-to-Action experience, which will cover new “Jobs to Be Done” parent research and a systems thinking framework. Leave the session with concrete data, tools, and processes to foster strategic innovation planning on your campus.
  • Block: Three-Hour workshop (Wednesday, February 27, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Understand NAIS’s ”Jobs to Be Done” parent research, and strategically discuss your school’s specific parent population and market reality.
    • Use a systems thinking framework to analyze forces inside and outside your school’s control, and brainstorm creative inputs that can lead to new and innovative outputs
    • Synthesize your insights on whom you serve and what you offer and how that fits into your school’s dynamic environment to build alignment and buy-in among key stakeholders.
  • Presenters: Jackie Wolking and Claire Wescott, NAIS
Leadership Development
W12. The Signals Are Talking. Are We Listening? Three-Hour workshop Wednesday, February 27,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: “The future doesn’t simply arrive fully formed overnight, it emerges step by step.”—Amy Webb, The Signals Are Talking. How prepared are schools for our VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) world? As the pace of change accelerates, how are schools leaders adapting and responding? While schools like to plan in five-year cycles, they often lack the skill to interpret signals, trends, habits, and technologies. In this workshop, we will explore the “signals” of our exponentially changing world. Participants will build artifacts of the future, learn forecasting strategies, and dialogue about the role and structure of the schools of the future.
  • Block: Three-Hour workshop (Wednesday, February 27, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Develop the skills and mindsets of futurists.
    • Identify and analyze the signals of today’s world that will impact the world of tomorrow.
    • Brainstorm ideas about the school of the future.
  • Presenters: Carla Silver, Leadership+Design; Christian Talbot, Basecamp School (NJ)
Leadership Development
W10. The Culture That Got You Here Will Not Get You There Three-Hour workshop Wednesday, February 27,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: While our dynamic operating environment has taught school trustees and leaders the necessity of strategically addressing demographics, affordability, value propositions, and modern learning practices, they often fail to think strategically about the culture of their school. In leading comprehensive change in schools, we have developed valuable insights into the significant differences between school cultures that are change-ready versus those that are change-capable. This workshop will share a culture framework, benchmarking tools, and culture development strategies. Participants will leave with a new strategic understanding of culture and its role, a gap analysis process for assessing culture, and tools for continuing strategic culture development back at their schools.
  • Block: Three-Hour workshop (Wednesday, February 27, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Explore the centrality of culture to the success of school strategic initiatives.
    • Understand and apply the concept of “change-ready.”
    • Understand and apply the concept of “change-capable.”
  • Presenters: Jamie Feild Baker, Lawrence Academy (MA); Matt Ruby, Ruby Consulting
Leadership Development
W8. Radical Rethinking of the Leadership Pipeline in Independent Education: Rethinking and Redesigning the Model Three-Hour workshop Wednesday, February 27,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: There may be no more urgent need in independent schools than the development of a next generation of school leaders prepared to deal with a world that is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA). In this highly interactive workshop, a dream team of leadership change agents will share both challenges and newly evolving practices through which independent schools can develop a new generation of school leaders with the skills to balance critical traditions and disruptive innovation—from the boardroom to the head’s office, divisional offices, and the classroom.
  • Block: Three-Hour workshop (Wednesday, February 27, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Understand how to empower and support all adults in your school to see themselves as “leaders.”
    • Learn how to deepen and strengthen your school’s pipeline of future divisional and all-school leaders.
    • Explore how to build leadership development into your school as a key element of culture.
  • Presenters: Grant Lichtman, The Future of K-12 Education; John Gulla, Edward E. Ford Foundation; Doreen Kelly, Ravenscroft School (NC); David Monaco, Parish Episcopal School (TX)
Leadership Development
W5. Leading With and Leveraging Polarities: A Both/And Approach to Flourishing Schools Three-Hour workshop Wednesday, February 27,
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Summary: Take a deep dive into the mechanics of polarity thinking so that you can bring this strategic process back to your school. Polarities are pairs of values, competencies, or strategic objectives that seem to oppose one another but are actually interdependent. Common independent school polarities are Academic Achievement and Whole Person Education; Mission and Margin; and Continuity and Transformation. Participants will learn to identify their school’s most strategic polarities. They will brainstorm action steps that will ensure that their school leverages its polarities and achieves desired results. Finally, they will be able to cascade polarity thinking across all school domains.
  • Block: Three-Hour workshop (Wednesday, February 27, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM)
  • Category: Three-Hour Workshop
  • Learning objectives:
    • Learn to identify the most strategic polarities at your school.
    • Identify those action steps and early warnings that will ensure that your school leverages its polarities to achieve desired results.
    • Develop a capacity to cascade polarity thinking across all school domains.
  • Presenters: John Yeager, Culver Academies (IN)
Management