January 13-15, 2021


Wednesday, January 13, 2021 | Audience: Heads and Trustees

1:30 pm     Welcome | Linda Nelson                     

Leading and Lessons Learned in the Pandemic| Karl Sherrill 
There is a choice to be made in times like these. Retreat and hide or embrace and move forward. Moving forward requires us to honestly assess the situation and then press onward. Disruptions to our normal routines can provide great opportunities to learn. This session will share insights around work/life balance, networks, virtual strategies, positive thinking, and accountability.                 

The Shifting Ground: Policy Vs. Management During Covid 19 | John Littleford
The Pandemic has caused a major shift in how boards are responding to parent, faculty and alumni pressures. Heads are feeling the heat as anxious parents and stressed teachers reach out to board members with the expectation that they might be able to influence decision making more to their liking. Some Board members, especially those who are current parents and feeling the pressure of remote learning as well, want to be sympathetic and empathic and they are conflicted about their appropriate governing role. Is this a temporary trend or will we see a true shift in board behavior and board/stakeholder engagement? This session will explore best practice, current realities and how to meet new governance challenges with wisdom and courage.

4:30 pm     Virtual Social: Live Music with NC folkband, Folklure

Thursday, January 14, 2021 | Audience: Heads, Trustees, and CFOs

8:00am     President’s Welcome | Kerin Hughes

Covid Effects For The Long Term: What Have We Learned | John Littleford

Our schools’ response to the Coronavirus has demanded more of heads, administrators and faculty than ever before, but in many instances we have seen more creative teaching and more nimble and flexible reactions to unforeseen circumstances. Have we fundamentally changed our approach to student learning, student wellness and the use of technology? Have we permanently raised the bar for the performance of our heads of school, administrators and faculty? If so, how do we reward and retain them? Have we entered into a new partnership with parents who will expect more involvement in the daily life of the school going forward?  Has the student body mix changed and can we expect to retain any new families we gained during this crisis? This session will explore what we have learned  and how boards and heads will need to continue to adapt going forward.

9:15 am     Brain Break

9:30 am     Intentional Innovation | Mike Cobb

To prepare students for a future that is hard to imagine, we must be ready and able to innovate. In a world that has demanded more adaptability and agility in recent months schools must not lose sight of the opportunities to renew and improve. Having rapidly—and frugally— transformed spaces across his Tyler, Texas, campus, Mike Cobb will share insight into leveraging resources to create authentic learning, increase student agency, and empower innovation at your school. Every campus has valuable resources in time, talent, and space that can be leveraged for innovative learning with intentional planning. He will help attendees formulate the requisite questions that can lead to transformational change and a more meaningful student experience.

10:45 am     Break

11:00 am     Breakout Sessions:    

The Risks And Opportunities Of Strategic Planning Now | John Littleford
Strategic planning is both an opportunity and a risk. It can be as dangerous as it can be healthy, depending on the approach and timing chosen. Some heads and boards are feeling that their plates are full and that long-term planning should be postponed. Others are moving ahead in order to capture the opportunities that have emerged but are wondering who should be involved in the process? Parents, teachers, and alumni have a lot of opinions these days including more attention to DEI. School leaders need to look past the current obstacles, think "big" and proceed optimistically but with caution.

Trustees are from Mars, School Heads are from Venus: A Practical Guide for Understanding the Personality Differences between  Corporate and Independent School Leaders | Jamie Estes, Southern Teachers
The Southern Teachers Leadership Study analyzed personality data from 247 sitting heads of school and found what we all assumed: heads of school are different from corporate leaders. In our presentation, we will talk about how personality affects motivation, communication, and problem-solving and how the fundamental differences between the personality of corporate leaders and heads of school suggest that they see the world differently. We hope that by understanding these personality differences, trustees and heads will understand each other a bit better and forge better relationships for the benefit of our schools.

Thinking Differently About Healthcare in 2021: A Panel Discussion. Moderated by Patrick Long, CEO of Hero Health Plans. Panelists: Dave Chase, Author and Co-Founder of Health Rosetta; Vinay Patel, PharmD, Founder MakoRx; Dr. Hayes Woollen, Primary Care Physician and ex-Chief Strategy Officer, Novant Health
Learn how schools like yours can save money while delivering better health outcomes. While North Carolina Independent schools are burdened by ever-increasing healthcare costs, this panel session is designed to provide NCAIS schools with practical, forward-thinking strategies for reducing costs and taking great care of their people.
12:30 pm    Lunch
Heads of School: NCAIS Business Meeting and Update from Legislative Liaisons, Josh Grant and Dave Horn

Trustees and Business Officers: Break

1:45 pm     The Changing Educational Landscape & Future Needs of Schools | Mike Cobb
There are seismic shifts taking place in education as new questions are being raised about how schools should prepare students for the future. The needs and expectations for schools have changed dramatically, especially in the last six months, as we see increased focus on personalization and measurable skills for students. The emphasis on relevance and advocacy for students to thrive in our communities as they prepare for the workforce of the future is palpable. In this session we will focus on ways to embrace the Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (V.U.C.A.) landscape we find ourselves leading through and find the opportunities in the major shifts that are occurring in our communities.

3:00 pm     Break

3:15 pm     Breakout Sessions:
Demystifying an Internal Investigation: When To Start One and What To Expect | Shana Fulton, Brooks Pierce
Unfortunately, there are times when a school faces an unexpected crisis due to allegations of student misconduct, employee misconduct, wrongful injury, or even criminal misconduct. An internal investigation conducted by lawyers is a helpful tool to discover what actually happened and help navigate a school through the crisis based on that knowledge. This session explains how an internal investigation works in an educational setting and the legal and practical issues that arise and should be considered during a time of crisis.

Why Your Enrollment Manager Needs A Seat At The Table | Courtney Haindel, FACTS
Courtney Haindel, Product Manager for FACTS SIS and former Admissions/Enrollment Director, will give insight into why it is important that you include your Enrollment Manager at the Leadership Table and how this will help grow your enrollment.  You will leave this session with 10 good reasons to rethink your relationship.

It's Not Just About Lawsuits: Why You Need A Lawyer Who Understands Schools | Elizabeth Troutman, Brooks Pierce, and Kim Freedman, Head at New Garden Friends School
Why do you need a lawyer when you haven’t been sued? What are the common legal pitfalls that arise when school leaders do not seek legal counsel? And how can a school use legal services in a way that reduces, not increases, expenses? This session addresses some of these questions by providing some real-life advice from a school head and a school lawyer with a great working relationship.

4:45 pm     Wine & Wisdoms: Female Heads of School Virtual Social

5:45 pm     Heads’ Virtual Social  

Friday, January 15, 2021 | Audience: Heads of School only

9:00 am     Retention Strategies: Engaging Parents as Advocates | John Littleford
Enrollment health and growth are key to the financial health of the vast majority of independent schools, especially those with modest or no endowments. We have always regarded parents as consumers of the school "product". However, parents are invested emotionally in the independent school experience far more passionately than we acknowledge. That investment in their children makes parents potentially powerful advocates for the school. How does a school tap into that potential, organize it, launch it and maintain it to ensure strong enrollment demand and retention? Any uptick in enrollment due to the influx of new families who may have been dissatisfied with the public schools’ response to remote learning should not be taken for granted.

10:30 am    Break

10:45 am    Retention Strategies, continued | John Littleford

12:00 pm    Conference Adjourns

 

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