8:30 AM               Networking & Continental Breakfast
9:00 AM               Welcome & Opening Activity
9:15 AM               Let’s Discuss Discussion: A Strategic, Skills-Based Approach to Our Conversation Crisis |                                     Liza Garonzik
Discussion is at the heart of everything: democracy, workplaces, relationships -- and all great schools. Yet, for today's students, teachers, and school leaders, real discussion can be hard and scary. The roots of this challenge are myriad and debatable -- blame COVID! social media! politics! parents! -- but it's clear that students and adults are struggling to communicate – and that schools need a mission-aligned strategy for supporting kids in developing discussion skills for success in school and life. Designed to be part retreat, part grad school seminar, and part idea volcano, this three-hour, in-person PD experience will give Academic Leaders from across North Carolina a moment to step back and think deeply, together, about why and how our schools prepare students (and teachers!) to engage in discussion: one of the most fundamental activities that take place daily on our campuses. We’ll encourage sharing of discussion philosophies, frameworks, and challenges across schools. We promise to stoke the conversation with well-curated materials, thoughtful people, and the kinds of questions you love digging into but get deprioritized amidst the daily grind. 
12:15 PM            Lunch 
1:00 PM              Creating School Cultures of Discourse and Collegiality | Mike Gwaltney, Independent School Management 

As the level of civil discourse in the United States has sunken and become ever more divisive, independent schools have experienced their own challenges with students, families, and teachers caught up in conversations about politics that lead to hardened hearts and minds. What can a school do to create a culture in which people can disagree respectfully, and with civility? Is it possible to create at school a culture of conversation and tolerance like we want to see in the nation at large? In this workshop, join experienced school leader, and ISM Consultant, Mike Gwaltney, in understanding what the policies, protocols, and behaviors are that research from private-independent schools shows leads to healthy school cultures. Workshop participants will learn how to assess their school culture, and plan and prepare for discussions of meaningful topics that matter in our society. Academic leaders will leave this session with an action plan for building a culture of civility and understanding at their school.

3:30 PM              Adjourn