Workshops

General workshops are included in conference registration, and all times listed are Central Time. Location information is available to conference attendees in the conference app. General workshops will be offered in the following 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. 
NOTE: Workshops denoted as "Fellowship Workshops" are being presented by members of the 2023-2024 NAIS Fellowship for Aspiring School Heads cohort.
 
Title Time
Walking the Walk: Infusing Social Justice into Our Academic Program 1 Thursday, February 29,
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
The Classroom Experience
  • Summary: While many schools make a commitment to social justice education for their students, in practice it’s often relegated to one-off workshops or assemblies. Hear an overview of our process for creating a systemic approach to meeting mission-aligned social justice objectives that reach every student. Get a road map for developing objectives and guiding principles, customized for your school, and relevant across grades and disciplines. Gain tips for setting up the program for success—like building buy-in among educators and staying true to a bottom-up approach. Then take advantage of time for reflection.
  • Block: 1 (Thursday, February 29, 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM)
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Presenters: Roni Ben-David, Camilo Jaramillo, and Michael Brody, Jewish Community High School of the Bay (CA)
Family Individualized Tuition: How a PreK-8 School Reimagined Financial Aid 1 Thursday, February 29,
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Management
  • Summary: Hear about our exact road map for how Glen Urquhart School reimagined tuition to better align with our school's mission and values by launching Family Individualized Tuition.
  • Block: 1 (Thursday, February 29, 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM)
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Presenters: Katie Chhu, Glen Urquhart School (MA)
Queerness in Predominantly Straight Institutions 1 Thursday, February 29,
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
The Student Experience
  • Summary: Given that LGBTQ+ identities are often considered controversial in school communities and political spheres, it is essential to prioritize, support, and ally with LGBTQ+ educators and students. Join this interactive session to discuss policies and practices that both enable and discourage a sense of belonging for LGBTQ+ community members. Utilize collective problem-solving to identify lasting ways to affirm queer educators and build communities of support for educators and students alike. People of all identities are welcome to attend.
  • Block: 1 (Thursday, February 29, 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM)
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Presenters: Vanessa Cohen Gibbons and Matthew Cobb-Ferrara, Milton Academy (MA)
A Game-Changing DEI Program Engaging Families in Critical Conversations & Developing Accomplices 1 Thursday, February 29,
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Leadership Development
  • Summary: How do I get parents who need diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training most to join in with parents who always attend the DEI events? Get details of the STA Families Program we developed to do just that. Our program has reached both families who have felt marginalized and those who live with privilege. Utilizing the power of personal story, we invited families into deeper relationships with one another to mitigate bias and lay the groundwork for engagement with challenging topics. Discuss strategies we used, mistakes we made, lessons we learned, and the results we are proud of.
  • Block: 1 (Thursday, February 29, 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM)
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Presenters: Kristin Elliott and Tate Cantrell, St. Albans School (DC)
Avoiding Racial Equity Detours 1 Thursday, February 29,
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
The Student Experience
  • Summary: When schools pace anti-racist efforts to comfort the people who are least interested in racial justice, we call it the “pacing for privilege detour.” Join us to explore “pacing for privilege” and other common racial equity detours: things schools do in the name of anti-racism that create the illusion of change but that ensure little or no change. Then pivot to discuss key institutional commitments that help us avoid these detours and institute meaningful anti-racist change.
  • Block: 1 (Thursday, February 29, 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM)
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Presenters: Paul Gorski, Equity Literacy Institute
A Real-World Teaching and Learning Model 1 Thursday, February 29,
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
The Classroom Experience
  • Summary: Offering students real-world, innovative curriculum allows for greater and deeper problem-solving, teamwork, deductive reasoning, and presentation skills. Learn about Friends Academy’s Innovative Programming strands, including entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and medicine. Team taught by Friends Academy faculty of all disciplines as well as real-world professional experts in their field, students engage in authentic opportunities and complex problems and leave with earlier exposure to real-world solutions. Highlighting specific courses in medicine team-taught by actual doctors, this workshop is for any educator interested in developing more innovative problem-based learning for the real world.
  • Block: 1 (Thursday, February 29, 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM)
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Presenters: Jen Halliday, Friends Academy (NY); Neil Smith, Cleveland Clinic
Navigating Change: What Game Theory & Organizational Politics Can Tell Us About Getting Things Done 1 Thursday, February 29,
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Leadership Development
  • Summary: Independent school leaders are asked to be innovative, forward thinking, and adaptable. However, schools have "sticky" bureaucracies that can make implementing change—even welcome change—challenging in unpredictable ways. It’s easy to describe these responses as reflective of school culture, individual personalities, or a need for more communications, but organizational politics and game theory provide different and valuable insights into the contexts in which our policies succeed or fail. Join us to gain new tools for analyzing your institutional landscape using organizational politics and game theory to design more effective implementation strategies for your school.
  • Block: 1 (Thursday, February 29, 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM)
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Presenters: Christina Hultholm, Grace Church School (NY)
Are You AI Ready? A People-Centered Systems Thinking Approach 1 Thursday, February 29,
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Leadership Development
  • Summary: Education professionals and leaders seeking a plan of action for emerging and accelerating artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, join us to explore key definitions, identify themes, uncover implications, and provide next steps when navigating the complexities of AI in your organization. Get a framework for understanding AI’s impact on your learning organization’s people, plans for protection, proposals for putting AI into practice, and programmatic offerings. Identifying the implications for people, protection, practice, and programs helps you shape your organization’s position. Come see how our 5P's Framework can help you get AI ready!
  • Block: 1 (Thursday, February 29, 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM)
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Presenters: Brett Jacobsen, The Mount Vernon School (GA); Josh Clark, Landmark School (MA)
Just Be: Mindful Practice in Nature Can Guide Relationships with Students, Colleagues, and Ourselves 1 Thursday, February 29,
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
The Student Experience
  • Summary: Breathe and belong! Do less and understand more! Two of Laurel School’s place-based educators are ready to circle up and share resources. Please join us if you seek more calm in your day and want to help your students understand their classmates and feel more understood by them. Getting empowered to create intentional blocks of time in the school schedule to teach adventure and awareness empowers you to take time for YOU during your day! Don’t bring your technology; prepare to relax and restore your energy. Leave the workshop ready to enjoy your students and love yourself!
  • Block: 1 (Thursday, February 29, 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM)
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Presenters: Margaret Juergens and Shannon Lukz, Laurel School (OH)
Balanced Excellence—Embracing the Tension 1 Thursday, February 29,
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Leadership Development
  • Summary: How can we advance a tradition of excellence without compromising student well-being and enjoyment of school? Pembroke Hill School (PHS), in partnership with Challenge Success, has been working diligently to answer this question alongside its broader school community for the past several years. Join this interactive session as leaders from PHS share our community’s journey toward a balanced vision of excellence, including changing to a modified block schedule, supporting concurrent shifts in instruction and assessment, and communicating with families to build shared ownership and buy-in for a balanced vision of excellence.
  • Block: 1 (Thursday, February 29, 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM)
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Presenters: Tiffany Kelley, Pembroke Hill School (MO); David Burke, Pembroke Hill School (MO); Drew Schrader, Challenge Success
Let's Build a Generation of Creative and Successful Problem Solvers with Generative Instruction 1 Thursday, February 29,
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
The Classroom Experience
  • Summary: Educators cannot possibly teach students everything they need to learn to be effective, independent adults. Schools must prepare children to be successful lifelong learners. Morningside Academy has developed an evidence- and research-based teaching and learning model designed to build generative learners: students who can engage in a variety of new academic performances without specific instruction. In a single school year, Morningside students are guaranteed two years’ growth in their skill of greatest need or their tuition is refunded. Over the past 40 years, less than 1% of tuition has been returned. Learn the five features that drive these student outcomes.
  • Block: 1 (Thursday, February 29, 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM)
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Presenters: Andrew Kieta and Kent Johnson, Morningside Academy (WA); Andrew Bulla, Georgia Southern University, Armstrong
Thanks for the Feedback! 1 Thursday, February 29,
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Management
  • Summary: Join us for a transformative workshop on feedback and evaluation. Discover the power of constructive feedback and targeted praise in supporting teacher professional development and improving student outcomes. Gain insights into designing a comprehensive evaluation process that maintains standards of excellence while also allowing for growth. Walk away with practical and actionable techniques to cultivate a positive culture of continuous improvement. This workshop seeks to empower administrators, heads of departments, and other stakeholders to engage in courageous conversations to enhance the educational experience for all.
  • Block: 1 (Thursday, February 29, 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM)
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Presenters: Claudia McGuigan, The Hotchkiss School (CT)
What's Going on with Boys?! 1 Thursday, February 29,
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
The Student Experience
  • Summary: Learn about what the latest trends and data are showing in terms of how boys are doing in education and in their mental health. Spoiler alert: It's probably worse than you think. Spend time reflecting on how boys are doing in your school. What data might you gather to answer this important question? Discuss what research has shown works best for teaching, supporting, and connecting with boys. Then focus on what you can do to implement some of these best practices.
  • Block: 1 (Thursday, February 29, 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM)
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Presenters: David Panush, Edmund Burke School (DC)
Tragically Prepared: Using Your Core Values to Lead Your Community Through Loss to Recovery 1 Thursday, February 29,
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Communications and Advancement
  • Summary: Over the last two years, St. Mary’s Episcopal School has experienced unimaginable loss, including the death of two students and two teachers. Join us to focus on practical things we learned during this season in leading our faculty, staff, families, and students. Share resources and best practices using our experiences as a case study. This session is designed for school administrators, especially division heads, heads of school, and communication professionals.
  • Block: 1 (Thursday, February 29, 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM)
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Presenters: Jennifer Parris and Albert Throckmorton, St. Mary's Episcopal School (TN)
Healthy Relationships 5 Years Later: Addressing Student Sexual Misconduct Through Education & Policy 1 Thursday, February 29,
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
The Student Experience
  • Summary: At the 2019 NAIS Annual Conference, we shared a proactive approach to addressing student sexual misconduct through educational programming and a clear and transparent policy at Princeton Day School (PDS). Five years after implementation, we reflect on the impact of healthy relationship education and the PDS sexual misconduct policy on student culture. Through case review and citing past administrative, faculty, and student observations, learn where we feel we have been successful and where we still need improvement. We hope you can share your policies, concerns, and issues so we can all learn from each other.
  • Block: 1 (Thursday, February 29, 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM)
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Presenters: Maritoni Shah and Lisa Surace, Princeton Day School (NJ)
“Pick Up the Phone!” & Other Simple Yet Transformational Tools to Build Community & Manage Crises 1 Thursday, February 29,
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Communications and Advancement
  • Summary: Building a thriving community has never been more complicated. In a moment in which the world feels chaotic, communication channels overwhelm us, and people show up angry or indifferent, we need to rethink how we are working to build trust and create communities where all families feel a full sense of belonging. Discuss how our school—in concert with its communication partner AKCG—rethought its approach to family partnerships. Join us to review communication principles, learn how the school has applied these, and think through sticky situations and challenges from your own school.
  • Block: 1 (Thursday, February 29, 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM)
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Presenters: Mark Silver, Hillbrook School (CA); Chris Lukach, AKCG Public Relations; Colleen Schilly, Hillbrook School (CA)
Solicitation Savvy = Fearless Fundraising 1 Thursday, February 29,
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Communications and Advancement
  • Summary: Help your volunteers and staff learn the positive language and mindset for enjoyable, effective gift solicitation. Join us to design a successful solicitation strategy, identify tips and techniques for training volunteer fundraisers, learn how to address donor objections, and work through a case study that provides an opportunity to put theory into practice.
  • Block: 1 (Thursday, February 29, 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM)
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Presenters: Starr Snead, Advancement Connections; Shelley Reese, Nashoba Learning Group
How Mattering Aligns with Our Schools' Missions to Keep Kids & School Communities Healthy 1 Thursday, February 29,
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
The Student Experience
  • Summary: Hear keynote speaker Jennifer B. Wallace, psychologist Sarah McMillan, and education leader Sarah Bennison unpack the grounding of mattering in the neurocognitive science of healthy identity development, making a holistic approach to the student experience of being heard, seen, and valued accessible for all schools. Join fellow attendees to explore and share ways to enhance existing or apply new practices aimed at mattering in all facets of school life, including making parents partners in this all-important work that helps keep kids and school communities healthy and thriving.
  • Block: 1 (Thursday, February 29, 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM)
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Presenters: Jennifer Wallace, Author and Speaker; Sarah McMillan, McMillan Education; Sarah Bennison, Mattering Movement
Active and Passive SEL Programs: Start Your Year with Equity, Empathy, and Allyship 1 Thursday, February 29,
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
The Student Experience
  • Summary: Join us for an immersive workshop on building a transformative middle school orientation program, using The Hun School of Princeton as a case study. Explore proactive responses to dehumanization incidents through our comprehensive approach in cultural competency, positive psychology, and team-building. Develop tools to foster student connection, growth, and academic achievement. Discover strategies for building an authentic community, empowering individuality, and promoting connectivity. Propel your school toward success and make a lasting impact on your school culture. Join us to learn about a six-day program that cultivates student well-being and prepares them for a new school year.
  • Block: 1 (Thursday, February 29, 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM)
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Presenters: Ken Weinstein, Chantille Kennedy, and Sean Hildreth, The Hun School of Princeton (NJ)
Education for the Age of Artificial Intelligence 1 Thursday, February 29,
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
The Classroom Experience
  • Summary: AI is upending the world, and opening both opportunities and challenges for educators. In this session, you will hear a sober, un-hyped and realistic assessment of AI’s fascinating new capabilities and their future evolution, and the consequences on: WHAT we teach: the modernization of existing disciplines (Math, History, etc.), and the necessity for modern disciplines (Engineering, Social sciences, etc.) and HOW we teach: the need to teach via concepts and competencies (4C’s/SEL) not just content, to develop both expertise and transfer. AI-based tools at the teacher level (curriculum & lesson planning, formative assessments) and student level (Intelligent Tutoring Systems) will be discussed as well.
  • Block: 1 (Thursday, February 29, 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM)
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Presenters: Charles Fadel, Center for Curriculum Redesign
Empowering Leaders: Creating an Equitable Culture by Giving Supervisors the Skills They Need 2 Thursday, February 29,
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Leadership Development
  • Summary: Schools often promote from within or hire from other independent schools; in either scenario, supervisors rarely have explicit training. The result is inequitable, inadequate supervision that can result in high turnover, especially of employees of color. We created a program that identifies people in supervisory roles and teaches them to run equitable meetings; give feedback and have difficult conversations across race, gender, and tenure; and write equitable evaluations. Combining outside consultants and internal expertise, we help department chairs and other supervisors see themselves as leaders in the school and give them the skills they need to do their jobs well.
  • Block: 2 (Thursday, February 29, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM)
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Presenters: Jason Asbury and Melissa Kantor, Saint Ann's School (NY)
Enrollment Management: What I Wish My Head of School (and Others) Knew 2 Thursday, February 29,
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Management
  • Summary: Designed for heads of school and other community members, this session highlights enrollment management strategies that inform sustainability conversations.
  • Block: 2 (Thursday, February 29, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM)
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Presenters: Christine Baker, Carney, Sandoe & Associates; Scott Looney, Hawken School (OH); Monique Devane, College Prepartory School (CA)
Optimizing Architecture: How to Design and Execute a Campus Master Plan 2 Thursday, February 29,
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Governance
  • Summary: Join us to gain information useful to any school approaching a master plan process or looking for ways to have the architecture of a learning space embody the mission of the school. Trustees, school leaders, and advancement professionals may find this workshop helpful when approaching their own optimization plans.
  • Block: 2 (Thursday, February 29, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM)
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Presenters: Fran Bisselle, Hathaway Brown School (OH); Christine Verbitzki and David Zenk, Gund Partnership
From Near-Death Experience to Vitality—Seven Steps to School Turnaround Success 2 Thursday, February 29,
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Management
  • Summary: An alarming number of schools find themselves facing challenges, whether governance, finance, enrollment, program strength, fundraising, or identity. But what if you must confront all of these challenges at the same time? And on top of that, you are a brand-new, first-time head of school? How do you begin to turn your school around? Hear from a head of school and board chair (formerly of Roycemore School) who forged a strong partnership to collaborate with their community to address each of these issues step by step and transform a school that was on life support into a thriving institution.
  • Block: 2 (Thursday, February 29, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM)
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Presenters: Adrianne Finley Odell, Moravian Academy (PA); Thomas J. Ellis, Nolan Law Group
Balancing the Scales: Navigating Student Misconduct, Investigations, and Discipline 2 Thursday, February 29,
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
The Student Experience
  • Summary: Increasingly, independent schools have seen a shift in the nature and intensity of student misconduct, which has been coupled with growing parental involvement in both reporting the allegation and demanding the school's involvement. Gain strategies and insights for schools to determine when and how to get involved; how to conduct an internal or external investigation; how to manage parent emotions and expectations; and how to assess the various types of actions the school can take to minimize the impact on the school community and individual students involved, as well as mitigate liability.
  • Block: 2 (Thursday, February 29, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM)
  • Category: General Workshop
  • Presenters: Janice Gregerson and Grace Lee, Venable LLP; Mick Gee, Rowland Hall (UT)