Three-Hour Workshops

These deep-dive, engaging pre-conference workshops are offered only on Wednesday, February 22, from 1:00-4:00 PM Pacific Time. They require pre-registration and cost $95.

Klingenstein Seminar

Klingenstein Seminar: Critical and Emergent Leadership Literacies

Presenter: Jessica Flaxman; Rye Country Day School (NY) 

The leadership terrain has gotten both more fertile and less familiar since 2020—more fertile in that more aspiring leaders from diverse backgrounds and experiences have emerged to lead independent schools, and less familiar in that the rigors of leadership have changed within recent social, cultural, and educational crucibles. Learn with Dr. Jessica Flaxman and collaborators about her Emergent Leadership Framework developed from research conducted during 2020-2021. Explore and practice listening, storytelling, and rallying literacies, and more. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in small group conversation, professional goal-setting, and individual artifact design.

Special Event: Three-Hour Workshop + School Visit

WS11SV. Partnerships, Programming, and Personnel: A Three-Tier Approach to Supporting Student Mental Wellness Needs

NOTE: This session includes a visit to The Alexander Dawson School. It will take place from 10:30 AM-4:00 PM PT on Wednesday, February 22, and includes lunch and travel to and from the school. The cost for this event is now $50, and there is a maximum of 40 attendees.

Presenters: Roxanne Stansbury, The Alexander Dawson School (NV); Denise Pope, Stanford University/Challenge Success

Mental wellness has been declared a national emergency for both children and adolescents. Responding to this declaration requires schools to adopt a wellness lens as they develop innovative partnerships, design intentional programming, and hire designated personnel. Stanford’s Challenge Success program provides the roadmap for this work. A campus visit to the Alexander Dawson School in Summerlin will offer an up-close look at how the powerful partnership between an independent school and university can result in student empowerment and school change.

Three-Hour Workshops

WS01. Advancement Essentials for Small Schools and Small Shops

​Presenters: Starr Snead, Advancement Connections; Shelley Reese, Nashoba Learning Group

In small schools, advancement priorities 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. Get your head better wrapped around post-pandemic strategies to lead your school in developing cutting-edge but scalable advancement initiatives. Confidently nurture and protect your vision and your program as you navigate the hazardous shoals of too-much-to-do-and-not-enough-time. New heads of school without development experience will find this especially relevant.

WS02. Be True to What You Said on Paper: Shifting School Culture from Statements to Action

Presenters: Tunette Powell, Daniel Vorenberg, Stephanie Leung, and Cynthia Carrasco, Mirman School (CA)

Share our continuous diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) journey with a focus on the past few years of serious and sustained efforts against the backdrop of summer 2020—a powerful time of social unrest followed by students turning to social media to expose racism and other injustices in independent schools. School leaders, including heads of school, trustees, and administrators, join us to outline specific dynamics of power that are challenged when the work focuses on shifting an entire school culture versus implementing specific DEIJ initiatives. 

WS03. Becoming a Credible Leader and How That Impacts Your Ability to Build Community

Presenters: Gregory Dale, Duke University; Mark Thomas, Northview High School (MI)

The challenging times we live in cry out for credible, caring leaders who understand how to successfully build community. Times have changed, as have the leadership styles required to adapt successfully to those changes. Gain an understanding of the difference between community and teamwork as we unwrap the ingredients of building a successful community. Find out what being a "credible" leader means for the role of a leader charged with building community in their school.

WS04. Bridging Ideological Divides: Building a True Sense of Community Among Diverse Individuals

Presenters: Koury Cook and Julia Getty, International Institute for Restorative Practices; Kate Shapero, The Miquon School (PA)

Attend this highly interactive workshop to explore the complexities influencing the multidimensional web of relationships at your school and the impact that relational harm stemming from ideological conflict can exert on a community. Gain foundations of both proactive and responsive restorative practices that you can use to build trust and social capital among diverse community members and equitably repair harm that occurs when worldviews collide. School leaders and influencers, learn how to apply a distributive leadership model to your organization so that students, staff, and families all feel an increase in voice, agency, and belonging.

WS05. Coaching Toward Culturally Responsive Practice: Using Authentic Engagement as a Pathway to Start the Conversation

Presenters: Laura S. Yee, Radical Becoming; J.Todd White, PhocuseD on Learning, LLC

Necessary conversations regarding culturally responsive teaching and learning often prove challenging. They require courage to question existing beliefs and practices as well as to be vulnerable in an already deeply personal profession. Administrators, department heads, and instructional coaches, join us to get conversation structures, sentence frames, and tangible communication tools for opening these dialogues. Specifically, learn to use types of engagement to coach toward more culturally responsive teaching. Share and apply practical ideas based on your personal experiences while engaging in small group conversations and video analysis of teaching.

WS06. Design for Belonging

Presenters: Daniel Love, Sant Bani School (NH); Jessica Davis, Riffa Views International School (Bahrain)

Students of all ages feel the important need to belong. Understanding and fostering a sense of belonging for independent school students is crucial for institutions that wish to support access and equity for all groups of students. Join us to combine the research on belonging with the fast-paced design and Future Search processes to identify a tangible next step for  making your school a place where students feel a sense of belonging.

WS07. Developing Experiential Knowledge for Creating Safe Spaces to Facilitate Challenging Conversations

Presenter: Chiaki Uchiyama, Portland Waldorf School (OR)

Most schools are actively working on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Many use shared agreements and norms to create a “safe space” or a “brave space” for holding “difficult” conversations. At the same time, people often find themselves in a space where everyone is walking on eggshells. Join us to experiment with various social spaces and how they are affected by room settings and methods of facilitation, using concrete examples and exercises. The ultimate goal is to create a culture of true listening and enhanced interest, so the whole community will find unity and liberation through effective changes.

WS08. Double Binds, Glass Ceilings, and Concrete Walls: Women Navigating the Education Leadership Pipeline

Presenters: Sarah Odell, The Hewitt School (NY); Julie Kallio, Breck School (MN); Loris Adams, National Cathedral School (DC); Jennie Weiner, The University of Connecticut Neag School of Education; Barbara Chase, Carney, Sandoe & Associates
Women’s leadership programs for aspiring independent school administrators abound, yet they tend to focus on a monolithic form of women’s leadership. The robust research on identity and leadership can enable individuals to understand the relationship between individual agency and systemic barriers—a key understanding that is often not made clear to women ascending to leadership. Join us as we enable aspiring leaders and those who hire them to understand how the pipeline works and how to navigate it in a way that creates greater access to a more diverse set of leaders.

WS09. Getting on the Same Side: How to Optimize the Parent-School Partnership

Presenters: Olaf Jorgenson, Almaden Country Day School (CA); Sheri Glucoft Wong, Consultant

Children, families, and educators thrive when a parent-school partnership exists. Such collaboration becomes elusive when parents feel anxious, confused about roles, or as if school staff are not on their side. Educators need the know-how to apply clarity, compassion, and communication skills when addressing parent concerns. Few educators have such training. Join us to hear a family therapist/school consultant and school head team up to provide it, sharing proven approaches, including a “communication toolbox” to optimize parent partnerships. For more insight into supporting parents, receive a complimentary copy of the presenters’ new book, Raising Kids: Your Essential Guide to Everyday Parenting.

WS10. Grit and Resilience: The Interplay Between Systems and Self

Presenters: Danielle Scorrano and Jonathan Rosenshine, The Windward School (NY)

Grit and resilience are universal human traits that we employ to fulfill goals and manage challenges. These traits have received attention in the popular and scientific communities, especially in a world reckoning with uncertainty and grave inequities in our societies and systems. Integrating the breadth and depth of current research and foundational systems frameworks, examine grit and resilience as they impact individuals’ personal strengths and skills within the context of systems, culture, and community. Learn practical strategies to support your students in authentically and healthfully promoting grit and resilience in all areas of life.

WS12. Responding to Student Behavior: Preparing for the School Year

Presenters: Jon Halpern, The Blake School (MN); Jeff Fink, Hamline University
Schools everywhere are discovering that they must address the losses in student development during the pandemic, including self-regulation skills. Additionally, managing behavior may be the most challenging dilemma facing schools today. Research shows that the average teacher loses 50% of their teaching time responding to student behavior. Often, ineffective teacher responses can escalate disruptions into conflicts that could have been avoided. Discover a four-level system for responding to student behavior issues. Easily implemented, this proven, research-based program dramatically decreases classroom disruptions. Join us for this unique and engaging format that includes instructor dramatizations of classroom situations.

WS14. So, Tell Me What You Want

Presenter: Hannah Nelson, The Watershed School (CO)

What does good professional learning look like? All schools have time that they set aside for staff meetings, but how well do we use that time? Join us to explore the timing of meetings, content of meetings, task and maintenance rituals/consistencies, balancing long- and short-term needs, collaboration, and seeking feedback. Practice activities together in this hands-on workshop and leave with a plan for how to implement more productive, mission- and vision-aligned professional learning experiences for your staff.

WS15. The Story of Self, the Story of Us, the Story of Now

Presenters: Aaron Griffin, The Epstein School (GA); Kynan Robinson, EnRusk

Get introduced to a human-centered approach to leading teams. In this approach, teams have a clear vision, are deeply empathetic, understand the needs and wants of the community they serve, and can find and solve problems themselves. They have the skills and processes to design, prototype, and launch innovative solutions; think strategically; self-organize; and contribute meaningfully to the greater school’s forward direction.

WS17. Using Auxiliary Programs to Cultivate Community: 10 Areas of Critical Capacities

Presenters: Karen McCann McClelland, Sidwell Friends School (DC); Dan O’Neil, Congressional School (VA); Bob Rojee, St. Mark's School (MA); Nat Saltonstall, Summer Programs Auxiliary Revenue Collaborative (SPARC) 

Auxiliary programs can strategically enhance independent school operations in a variety of ways. Programs can provide alternative revenue streams, admissions leads, opportunities for curriculum innovation, and community engagement and employment. Join us to focus on 10 critical-capacity areas that help your program run efficiently and successfully. Areas include defining your mission and goals; program design and implementation; budgeting; human resources; marketing operations and administrative structure; admissions; managing facilities; security program evaluation and analysis; rentals, school stores, music lessons, tutoring; and partnerships. Build your capacity in each area and explore best practices and current trends in independent schools.

WS18. Walking the Talk: Foundational Practices to Integrate and Apply SEL and DEI in Schools

Presenter: Jennifer Dirga, The Chestnut Hill School (MA) 

Effective social and emotional learning (SEL) implementation requires a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) lens. Join us to explore SEL as a tool to teach social-emotional skills and competencies, as well as engage students and teachers in building safe and identity-affirming communities. Participate in activities that allow for building community while supporting meaningful conversations around race and social justice. Examine the intersection of effective SEL and DEI practices and implementation through a lens of community and belonging. Review current neuroscience and its link to SEL and DEI on learning and the developing brain.