Stretch your potential. Share your expertise.
SAIS relies on member volunteers to assist in providing engaging programs and a beneficial accreditation process. Volunteers help programs run smoothly and allow members to take on leadership roles within the association.
The following opportunities are available to support and facilitate SAIS programs. Please consider the information and requirements described below to identify where you might best contribute your skills and experience.
We truly appreciate your time and willingness to serve.
Serving on an accreditation team is excellent professional development that offers the opportunity to grow as a leader in the independent school community. Team members are often asked to serve based on areas of expertise. We typically ask heads of school, assistant/associate heads, division heads, CFOs, academic deans, experienced academic department heads, and directors of technology, service learning, global education, admissions, etc. to serve as team members. Teams are formed months in advance, and members should expect to spend three days on an out-of-town visit. Travel and lodging expenses are covered by the school.
Conference advisory groups assist the SAIS director of professional learning in identifying speakers and trending topics for conferences. In the months leading up to a conference, the group meets virtually to share input and suggestions. On-site at the conference, advisory group members are asked to welcome attendees, facilitate group discussions, introduce speakers, and moderate sessions. Group members are expected to attend the event and will receive a discount on their registration fee.
The power of our association resides in the willingness to share resources and knowledge. Both members and non-members are encouraged to propose sessions. This form collects ongoing session proposals for all SAIS programs. You will be notified if your proposal is accepted. While we are unable to respond to all those not chosen, proposals stay on file for possible future selection. Please note these are not vendor presentations. We welcome proposals on all topics of interest to independent school leaders. Most breakout sessions are 60-75 minutes. Presenters receive a discount on their conference registration fee.
For larger conferences, SAIS assigns a host for each breakout session. This person acts as an on-site liaison between the speaker and SAIS. The host is responsible for alerting SAIS to any tech needs, ensuring the room is comfortable (A/C, seating, etc.), prompting the on-time start and end of the session, and introducing the speaker with the supplied bio. Every effort is made to assign session hosts to sessions they would normally choose to attend.
SAIS publishes a monthly electronic newsletter, HeadLines, during the school year. This curated publication reaches thousands of independent school leaders and friends of SAIS. We welcome submissions from both schools and individuals. Schools are invited to share innovative programs, special celebrations, and other accomplishments. Individuals are encouraged to submit relevant research, book reviews, or leadership lessons.
The SAIS Board of Trustees is responsible for the supervision, control, and direction of the association. The nominations process takes place each spring with nominations open until June 30. The trustee term, which begins on January 1 of the year following election, is three years. The board meets four times a year, twice virtually and twice in person. Trustees are expected to participate in all meetings. You may nominate yourself or someone else for board service.
SAIS hosts virtual roundtables four times a year for the following groups: academic support, administrative assistants, admissions, advancement, athletic directors, counselors, DEI practitioners, division directors, edtech, and small schools. Roundtable facilitators present a topic, trend, or program for a 30-minute group discussion. Roundtables are hosted by SAIS staff and invitations to attend are sent through the applicable group’s community on SAIS Connect.
SAIS is developing future opportunities to match new school leaders with experienced mentors. If you have significant independent school experience in your role and would be interested in serving as a mentor, please indicate your interest on the volunteer application.
SAIS often receives requests from members for like schools with expertise in a specific area. This might be a certain curricular approach, method, or program. It could be a school-wide endeavor involving something like scheduling, auxiliary programming, or student wellness. It might be a philosophy on assessment, inclusion, or outdoor education. It could be an established program like International Baccalaureate or Responsive Classroom. Expertise might also be more individual in nature like faculty coaching or curriculum design. If your school has expertise or an experience that you would be willing to share, please indicate your interest on the volunteer application.