NAIS Inclusive Schools Network Institute (ISNI)

Due to COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the NAIS ISNI in 2020. 


On a daily basis, we see more and more independent schools seeking effective ways to address the increasing gender diversity across the K–12 experience. Administrators and teachers are being called on to respond when students are harassed or bullied for their gender; to support staff who are uncertain about gender terms or pronouns; to intervene when gender-expansive students appear depressed or self-harming; to answer parent questions about gender inclusive practices at school. And for some, these questions are just the tip of the iceberg.
NAIS is partnering with Gender Spectrum, a national leader in creating gender sensitive and positively responsive environments for all children and teens, for the NAIS Inclusive Schools Network Institute. This three-day institute, customized for the unique needs of independent schools, students, families, and communities, will be the gateway to Gender Spectrum’s community of practice and yearlong professional-development program for educational professionals committed to creating more gender-inclusive learning environments with the support of their institutions. The institute also will help build and strengthen a network of support and ongoing capacity building among independent schools as they address the instructional, institutional, and social-emotional challenges of gender inclusive practice.

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Managing diversity and leveraging difference to create communities where all students are included and know they belong requires a systemic approach. This institute is open to any educator interested in creating more gender inclusivity in their schools and has institutional support to do so, including but not limited to:
  • Heads of School
  • Division-level Administrators             
  • Counselors/Psychologists
  • Diversity & Equity Professionals
  • K–12 Classroom Teachers
  • Athletic Directors/Coaches/Physical Education Teachers
  • Early Childhood Educators
  • Student Services Staff
  • Residence Life Staff
  • Visual & Performing Arts Teachers
  • Paraprofessional Educators
  • Professional-Development Leaders/ Coaches
  • Librarians/Media Specialists
  • School Nurses
  • Curriculum Specialists

Topics Covered

The NAIS Inclusive Schools Network Institute will meet every participant where they are on their journey and practice of gender inclusivity, without judgment. Our partners at Gender Spectrum are recognized for helping educators understand the value of gender inclusive learning environments for all students. The institute also recognizes the nature of gender and its intersections with other identities.
During the institute, participants will explore:
  • Dimensions of gender, key terminology, and the spectrum framework for gender;
  • Climate assessment and making a case for gender education in schools;
  • Moving from perspective to practice and pragmatics of creating gender-inclusive schools;
  • A train-the-trainer curriculum to support institutional development and change;
  • Best practices for supporting transgender and other gender-expansive students; and
  • Ongoing professional and leadership development as part of the Inclusive Schools Network.