Registration and sessions are located on the 6th floor of the Westin Sarasota.
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Speaker: Joanne Andruscavage, Director of Accreditation, SAIS
Room: Estuary (5th floor)
SAIS relies on the expertise of heads and senior administrators to serve as accreditation visiting team chairs. Typically, those who attend chair training have served on several teams and been recommended by a visiting team chair. There is no workshop fee for chair training, but new chair registrations will be reviewed before being accepted. Separate registration required (register here).
12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Registration / Exhibits Open | 6th FLOOR
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
If you’re a first-time administrator or in your first two years of school leadership, you are invited to join a roundtable.
RSVP on the registration form or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Speaker: Zakaria Sherbiny, Founder and Principal Coach, First Rodeo Coaching
Room: Lagoon (5th floor)
This group coaching workshop offers the opportunity to learn alongside your peers who are going through a similar professional transition. Facilitated by a certified executive coach, this Mastermind Group focuses on the critical, though often overlooked, importance of awareness in leadership development.
Beginning with the simple question “What do you notice?” the workshop is designed to ignite organic conversation among participants as you embark on the next phase of your professional journey. By increasing awareness of yourself, your circumstances, and your relationship to your circumstances, you will bring your thoughts, emotions, and values to the forefront, learning how to translate insight into action.
The session also includes more structured components that invite leaders to individualize their workshop experience by relating to leadership concepts, such as “Hopes and Fears” and “Places We Go When Things Are Uncertain or Too Much.”
Abiding by a mutual expectation of confidentiality, participants will contribute to and benefit from an environment outside of their school where they can cultivate awareness, openly discuss their thoughts, and network with professional counterparts.
Participants will learn to:
2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Speaker: Michael Tennant, CEO, Curiosity Lab
Division Level: All
Room: Triton Ballroom
Join the opening keynote for an immersive deep dive into empathy as a tool for personal well-being, resilience, and effectiveness; as well as a tool for community awareness, compassion, and long-term positive impact. This workshop will use play to strengthen your emotional awareness while teaching new team-building skills and exercises for facilitating tense situations.
Participants will learn:
3:30 PM – 4:00 PM
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Room: Coral Bay
Passion, purpose, impact! Join this session for a discussion on the connection between empathy and purpose. While not mandatory, you may visit this page to explore your values and purpose prior to the conversation.
Participants will gain:
Speaker: Allison Oakes, Head of School, Hillel Academy
As the nationwide teacher shortage grows and colleges of education are reporting their lowest enrollments in history, retaining and recruiting quality, high-performing educators will become increasingly more difficult. Discover the process Hillel Academy followed to create a master schedule that values our teachers and their time. See the schedule that was made that permits teachers to facilitate teaching and learning in their classrooms with their students four days a week and self-direct their schedule one day a week where they can work from anywhere in the world, take a mental health day, attend appointments, and more. Perhaps we cannot compensate our teachers with the dollars they are truly worth; but, maybe, we can value them and their work with another commodity: time.
Speaker: Meera Shah, Executive Director, Trey Education
Room: Sea Star
Amid the current hand-wringing about teacher shortages, faculty turnover, and budget shortfalls, independent schools have a strategic opportunity (perhaps an imperative) to invest meaningfully in early-career teachers. Schools that attend to the significant prospects and specific responsibilities that come with attracting, nourishing, and retaining early-career educators are at an advantage. By focusing on unique support for faculty new to teaching (in general) and our schools (in particular), leaders can stem the costs and challenges of teacher turnover, improve student experience, make progress on strategic school priorities, and enhance efforts to elevate and professionalize the work of teaching for all faculty.
Participants in this interactive session will understand broad trends in teacher tenure; hear about specific strengths, needs, and perspectives of early-career educators; and explore ideas to build programs, practices, and cultures that cultivate teacher thriving.
Speaker: Jill Weinstein, Clinical Director/Co-Founder, Ignite at Berman Center
Division Level: Middle & Upper
How do we create spaces in our schools where students feel a connection? Why connection? Connection is the opposite of depression. With today’s mental health crisis, schools play a crucial role in promoting the mental health of their students.
In this interactive workshop, you will learn specific skills to promote community and connection, and to help students learn how to reduce stress, build resilience, and feel confident and connected. Some of these skills will include check-ins, grounding techniques, and stress management.
6:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Join us for a sunset cruise honoring outgoing SAIS President Debra Wilson!
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Breakfast Buffet | TRITON BALLROOM
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Exhibits Open | PREFUNCTION
9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Speaker: Devorah Heitner, Author, Screenwise and Growing Up in Public
School leaders are dealing with more issues related to kids’ public sharing. What does it mean to be “famous” these days? How can we prepare all students (and staff) for the realities of having a searchable digital reputation? What can we do when explicit or hateful images and videos circulate in school communities?
10:30 AM – 11:00 AM
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Speaker: Erin Beacham, ACTivator/Founder, ACT Consulting
This interactive session will invite participants to reflect on their relationships with the biased messaging they’ve learned by identifying experiences of our early socialization. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on early messages they received, where they came from, and how they currently impact them as members of the K-12 independent school community. We will also brainstorm ways to break the cycle of biased messages and create concrete steps toward being an ACTivator.
This session will:
Speaker: Micah Whitley, Advisory Coordinator, Palmer Trinity School
Much has been said about building great advisory programs. Meaningful and sustainable advisory success isn’t found in fancy strategies or trendy approaches. Instead, it is rooted in the program’s alignment with a school’s mission and vision. In this session, we’ll examine the up-and-down (and ultimately successful) journey of one school to reimagine their advisory program. Along the way, we’ll pause to reflect on key insights and discuss what they might mean for our own contexts. We aim to uncover why this alignment is invaluable yet elusive as well as understand how to ensure advisory is no longer the weakest link at our schools.
Participants will be able to:
Speaker: Greg Chalfin, Head of Middle School, The Walker School
When a crisis hits, the worst case scenario can often flood our minds. However, with guidance and process, a crisis situation can catalyze innovation and provide opportunity to try anew and think through a different approach. In this session, attendees will examine a case study of how the pandemic crisis catalyzed innovation and allowed for a novel approach to teaching and learning to take hold. We’ll be utilizing a combination of design thinking principles, small group discussions, and mapping of dream innovations to implement within our schools.
School leaders are dealing with more and more SEL issues with kids, tweens, and teens related to social media and gaming. Issues like social media conflict, boundaries, sexting, and more. The ages of “first time” in the cloud, on Discord, and getting a phone drifted younger during recent years. Understanding these milestones will help educators take a proactive rather than reactive approach (when possible). This will help schools move towards character-based conversations and away from threats when students mess up online.
Participants will learn how to:
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Lunch Buffet | TRITON BALLROOM
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Speaker: Amy Tomblinson, Head of Preschool & Lower School, Episcopal Day School
Division Level: Lower & Middle
Supporting all students through differentiated instruction requires educators to meet students where they are academically, accommodate students with appropriate challenges, and recognize the humanity of our students beyond their individual success or lack thereof.
Attendees can expect to learn the difference between bright and gifted learners, how to deliver curricula that is meaningful to all students, and facilitate connections between subject areas through over-arching themes and essential questions.
Speaker: Jen Whitt, Dean of Students, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School
Is your school attempting to blend traditional discipline models with Restorative Justice approaches? Is your school in the midst of transitioning from traditional to progressive discipline approaches? Either way, tensions can result. This session will help you proactively define what Restorative Justice looks like in the day-to-day for your school, alleviating faculty concerns and building student/parent support. Topics will include practical ways to create clear, fair, and transparent consequences for students including how to write handbook policy, how to organize proactive education, and how to create a consequence ladder. The session will also share how to run peer restorative circles. All of these tools can aid in the most important part in any school discipline system: helping students build back trust in the community. You will leave with tools to adapt a Restorative Justice approach into your school’s culture and mission.
Speaker: Susanne Carpenter, Principal, Carpenter Leadership Consulting
As schools face ongoing hiring challenges, it’s becoming increasingly important to invest in the growth and development of our internal leaders. But what if you could focus your school on creating its own pipeline of leadership? This session is designed to support and offer tactical ways for schools to grow and retain aspiring leaders within their ranks.
Discover practical strategies to identify and develop high-potential individuals, foster a culture of continuous learning and growth, and build leadership skills and competencies. You will gain insights and actionable steps to create a pipeline of leadership in your own school community.
Speaker: Tamara Hamilton, Director of Cliff Valley Institute & School Counselor, Cliff Valley School
As the saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water…,” yet many times that process of leading can be challenging. Through the craft and skills of motivational interviewing (MI), we can have a more strategic and effective approach for leading and guiding people through changes. Motivational interviewing is an evidence-based approach to help people meet the challenge of change.
2:00 PM – 2:30 PM
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Speakers: Jared Colley, Head of Learning & Innovation & CBE Specialist, The Mount Vernon School, and Matt Scully, Director of Digital Integration & Innovation, Providence Day School
For good reason, there’s a lot of anxiety and excitement around AI and its place in schools. This session will work in three stages:
Speakers: Mike Hanas, Founder: Coach/Consultant, Furthering Leadership, & Renee Prillaman, Coach & Consultant, Renee Prillaman Coaching & Consulting
Participants will (1) engage with a feedback framework that emphasizes context, including setting the stage and ensuring that feedback flows both ways; (2) apply framework principles to their own experiences that worked and didn’t; and (3) learn new tools to practice immediately or (soon!) put to use. Content introduced will include use of a user manual, case study, feedback journal, picture-in-a-picture, feedforward, and collaborative teacher-driven evaluation.
Speaker: Sarah Miles, Director of Research, Challenge Success
The recent CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey report makes it clear that too many youth are struggling with threats to their health and well-being and that many of these trends have worsened over the last decade. At Challenge Success, we have seen similar trends in our surveys of more than 250,000 students over the past decade. In this interactive presentation, we will take a look at the youth health and wellness trends over the past several years, talk about what you see at your schools, and discuss the ways you and your schools can use data that may already exist at your site or can easily obtain to better understand how your students are doing. You will leave with some useful and easy ways to take the pulse of your student well-being as well as ways to share the information with all stakeholders including parents, students, and school staff so that everyone is operating from the same information around student well-being.
Small Group Discussions
Table topics include:
Facilitators: Mike Hanas, Founder: Coach/Consultant, Furthering Leadership, & Renee Prillaman, Coach & Consultant, Renee Prillaman Coaching & Consulting
This discussion will demonstrate what a group coaching experience is like. It is open to all conference attendees, not only those who attended their earlier breakout session on this topic.
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Reception | EVOQ TERRACE (Lobby Level)
8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Speaker: Jared Horvath, Director, LME Global
How does the brain work to make sense of reality and what impact does this have on teaching & learning? During this engaging and interactive session, we will explore the often counter-intuitive foundations of thinking, the power of stories to drive perception, the role errors play in comprehension, and consider how these three concepts tie together to drive student learning.
Speaker: Quinton Walker, Head of High School, University School of Nashville
As we think about cultures in schools, one of the most important cultures to consider is that of a leadership team. How well does the team function? How well does the team take risks? Support one another? Challenge one another? Respond to setbacks? Striving to ensure that a team’s culture is healthy, safe, and engaging can help with all of those questions.
This session will look at ways to build psychological safety, trust, risk-taking, and collective efficacy among a leadership team.
Speakers: Amy Harriton, High School Assistant Principal, and Cliff Hutto, Science Department Chair & DAC Member, Fellowship Christian School
Consider a new paradigm for discipline that takes the guesswork out of consequences, presents a unified front to faculty and parents about the enforcement of consequences, clarifies expectations for students, and creates common language among faculty and staff enforcing the expectations.
Attendees will walk away with a collaborative disciplinary model that invites faculty to partner with admin in maintaining school culture, as well as verbiage for common communication about staff and faculty regarding student infractions, and an easily implementable framework that helps parents to understand the school behavior expectations.
Speakers: Ira Dawson, Head of Upper Elementary Division, & Sheree Du Preez, Head of Early Elementary Division, Trinity School
This session will provide a sneak peek into how two new, experienced administrators encouraged frustrated faculty and implemented new programs during a time in which the teaching profession is under scrutiny and schools are recovering from stresses and changes resulting from the pandemic.
Participants will engage in conversations on how to establish meaningful connections with faculty and staff and implement new programs during times of uncertainty without losing essential support from the school community.
School leaders attending this session will be encouraged and challenged to collaborate with other leaders and explore new ways to improve teacher satisfaction and engagement resulting in increased student learning and well-being.
School leaders will also be encouraged to develop partnerships with other leaders that will provide authentic feedback and support as they lead their schools through challenging times.
Participants will be able to begin the process of:
Stress – sometimes it can make us laser-focused, and other times it leaves us floundering. During this session, we will start by differentiating between good stress and bad stress and explore the impact each has on learning. From there, we will explore several concrete techniques we can employ to help both our students and ourselves respond to daily stressors (with a special focus on the 7 keys to relationship building within the classroom). Finally, we will take a look at modern technology, explore what impact this has on student stress and learning, then explore several concrete tips we can employ to mitigate the negative impacts of technology.