Five NAIS Conference Sessions We Can't Wait to Attend

Will you be at the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) annual conference in Long Beach? We will!

Eric Hudson, Bonnie Lathram, and Michael Nachbar from GOA are attending. As we review the list of workshops and speakers and start planning what sessions to visit, we’re seeing a number of trends emerge as important to independent schools:

  • Professional Learning that is Teacher-driven and Research-backed
  • Engaging in Conversations about Equity and Public/Private Partnerships
  • Changing the Culture of Assessments
  • Integrating Social Emotional Learning (SEL)
  • Broadening the idea of “independent school” to focus on innovation, nimbleness, and sustainability

Below, we’ve identified five can’t-miss workshops.

From 'A' to Mastery: Leading School-Wide Change in the Mastery Revolution

Thursday, February 28, 8:00 AM-9:00 AM

Examine how three schools, in three different stages, are leading strategic change in mastery-based learning. Explore Nueva's development of a working prototype for the Mastery Transcript Consortium, Wildwood's emphasis on student health and wellness, as well as mastery learning outside of the traditional classroom, and White Mountain School's change leadership from research and articulation of essential skills and habits to formally and explicitly assessing them. Then find out how Global Online Academy supports and assists change initiatives focused on mastery learning. Conclude with a moderated panel exploring change leadership focused on mastery learning.

Independent School at Half the Price? Open a Micro-School and Better Serve Your Community at the Same Time

Thursday, February 28, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Two heads of school in Seattle describe the process that led to Lakeside School opening its first micro-school in September 2018. Discuss why Lakeside decided to open a micro-school, the issues they faced in getting the school up and running, and their hopes for the future. If you are considering alternative ways to offer your education to more students in your area and return your tuition to what a family paid in 1965—when tuition was the price of a Ford, not a Porsche—then join us to learn more.

The City as Your Campus: A How-To Guide

Friday, March 1, 8:00 AM-9:00 AM

In today's interconnected world, schools are one part of a learning ecosystem that includes many other organizations and places. Winchester Thurston School puts our students at the center of Pittsburgh's learning ecosystem through our nationally recognized City as Our Campus program. Established in 2003 and integral to our core academic curriculum, the program helps students engage, utilize, and study the community. Explore the impact of community-based learning and consider effective methods of engaging the community. Take home a toolkit of resources discovered during a recent research study conducted by University of Pittsburgh.

Driving School Change Through Faculty Committees: Two Case Studies

Friday, March 1, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Most school leaders understand that effective and sustainable school reform relies on faculty leadership and buy-in. Empowering faculty committees to devise and lead school change efforts can generate positive outcomes and a democratic school culture. Hear how one K-12 school leveraged faculty committees for school change. Discover the committee's process of problem-framing and solution options. Discuss committee composition, the committee charge, and how to create time for committees to meet. Hear about obstacles to progress and share your stories. Leave with tangible examples of faculty committee success, a network of faculty leaders, and energy.

An Approach to Student Wellness Where Students Thrive and Rigor Deepens

Friday, March 1, 1:30 PM-2:30 PM

With mounting evidence that our students are managing greater stress, anxiety, and mental health challenges, we all seek solutions to improve student wellness in our schools. With a tendency in schools to assume there is a fixed choice between rigor and wellness, we propose a different way of looking at a solution 'one where 'smart rigor' can deepen and students can thrive. Learn from research-based findings that broaden the definition of student success from Stanford's Challenge Success and a case study from an independent school exploring how student wellness can be enhanced within a rigorous school setting.

What are you excited to see? Want to connect with us while you’re there? Let us know on Twitter or email us:

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