A core commitment of NCAIS is to offer relevant and intentional professional development opportunities to NCAIS constituents. We have a variety of single-day workshops and multi-day conferences, listed below. In addition, we have ongoing professional development opportunities, including monthly cohort virtual meetings, our Teacher-to-Teacher program, and our Women in Leadership collaboration. They can be found here:

Ongoing Professional Development Opportunities

Because of the strong support of our sponsors and exhibitors, we are able to offer affordable professional development opportunities to our schools. We encourage you to review our Sponsor Directory and support those organizations as they have supported our community. For those representing organizations with services and products that would benefit our schools, we encourage you to visit the link below: 

Sponsor and Exhibitor Opportunities


NCAIS COVID Event Policy 
NCAIS strongly encourages independent school personnel to be vaccinated but understands that this is a personal health decision and that there are many factors to consider. At NCAIS “in-person” events, we will enforce current NC distancing and masking guidelines and those recommended by the CDC. NCAIS will confirm any venue restrictions and registrants will receive final protocol as a part of pre-event communications. Attendees refusing to comply with guidelines as published will be asked to leave the conference and will forfeit the conference registration fee.

 Conferences      |      Virtual Meetings      |      Webinars 

June 21-23, 2021 | Summer Heads Retreat |  Wild Dunes Resort, Isle of Palms, SC

Imagine a warm, breezy beach locale where you are surrounded (in-person) by family and colleagues!  We have to believe that those days will return and we’re betting on June 2021!

Please join us as we gather together at Wild Dunes Resort, Isle of Palms, SC with NCAIS families and South Carolina and Tennessee independent school colleagues.  By then, you will have endured one of the most challenging years of your career; a pandemic, historic presidential election, turbulent social unrest, and gross overuse of the words unprecedented, pivot, and new normal.  The only thing that might make this retreat more appealing is to include legendary speaker, Rob Evans, which we have done!  Please plan to join Rob for reflection, relaxation, re-invigoration, and a bit of counseling as we celebrate the end to a historic year and look forward to the future. Bring your family and enjoy golf, tennis, local low-country cuisine, and the company of colleagues.

2021-2022 Professional Development

August 7, 2021 & September 15, 2021Essential Coaching Skills for Senior Leaders (2-part series) |Greensboro & Virtual
How often do you find yourself in the position of needing to “coach” an employee? Do you ever feel like you are working harder than your employee for their success? How effective are you really when it comes to inspiring action and accountability? Coaching and accountability skills for leaders course will equip you with the essential coaching skills you need to have the impact you desire. Learn the skills of presence, inquiry, discovery and accountability to action that executive coaches leverage for success. This course is led by executive coach and consultant, Michelle Bostian. A national speaker with experience in education and healthcare, Michelle is known for her warm presence and powerful coaching questions. Michelle is a licensed clinical social worker, board certified coach, international certified coach and she is certified in change management, neuro-linguistic programming and confidence coaching.

Begins September 8, 2021Positive Leadership Project | 21-day virtual program

Everyone is a leader, whether leading in a classroom, a group of your peers, or leading yourself. After a challenging year and a half, this program will help you rekindle your joy for teaching, increase your impact on your school community, and empower you to problem-solve proactively.  The Positive Leadership Project is a program delivered to your smartphone via an app as well as three group sessions via Zoom. The 21-day program is designed to take 10-15 minutes per weekday with brief content on the weekends. 

Participants can expect that by the end of the 21 days they will be:
  • Able to deal with daily challenges intentionally.
  • Able to see more good in each situation and in others.
  • Become more aware of their own needs and meet them.
  • Gain perspective.
  • Embrace a positive mindset and feel the benefits.
  • Focus on their goals and values.
  • Lead a more intentional life.

October 9, 2021, January 8 & March 5, 2022 | Resilient Leadership Institute for Emerging and Established Leaders | Greensboro & Virtual

The Resilient Leadership Institute will facilitate discovery of your natural strengths and opportunities, creating a clear path for navigating priorities with resilience as you lead through these times. Selected leaders will participate in a school-year-long experience that includes research-based best practices in leadership development as well as individual work with an executive coach, enabling leaders to navigate barriers and achieve meaningful success, all with a cohort of other leaders on the same journey. This intensive course is designed for those looking for the next step in their careers as well as those looking to develop skills.

Over the course of the year, participants will:
  • Complete a research-based personality tool.
  • Attend three full-day in-person workshops with Michelle Bostian, Bostian Coaching and Consulting. Michelle is an international and board-certified coach, certified confidence coach, and change management professional. Workshops will be held on Saturdays to minimize time away from campus (October 9 | January 8 | March 5).
  • Engage in two hour-long one-on-one coaching sessions.
  • Participate in two virtual workshops with guest speakers.
  • Select and attend an additional NCAIS leadership opportunity during the 2021-2022 school year (Heads and Trustees, Women in Leadership, or Academic Leadership).

 July 29, 2021 | New Heads Orientation | Burlington Day School 

 August 3, 2021 | Trustee Workshop | Virtual 

 October 12, 19, 26, & November 2, 2021 | Developing an Effective Human Resources Practice (4-part series) | Virtual 

October 15, 2021Educators Conference for Middle School | High Point University 
For the first time ever, the annual NCAIS Educators Conference is going to focus exclusively on Middle School education! Being “in the middle” whether in a family unit or in a school setting, can be confusing and challenging but also presents unique opportunities. Middle school educators know the joys of spending time with students as they transition from children to adolescents; you also shepherd these students through the struggles of changing bodies, developing brains, shifting friend groups, and increased exposure to online experiences. Middle school can be a launchpad for student independence, exploration, and growth or a painful and scarring black hole that takes years to crawl out of. Middle school educators are pivotal, and at their best, transformational figures in the lives of students during these vulnerable years. We invite you to join with middle school colleagues from across NCAIS as we explore “Middle” ground. Keynote speakers Phyllis Fagell (Middle School Matters) and Michelle Icard (Middle School Makeover and Fourteen Talks by Age Fourteen) will bookend the day, with dozens of breakout session options filling the day.

October 15, 2021Academic Leadership Conference | High Point University

November 18, 2021 | College Counselors' Workshop | High Point University

NCAIS Board Approved Cancellation Policy:
All attendees receive a full refund if they cancel at least two weeks before an in-person event, and a 50% refund if they cancel one week before the event; no refunds thereafter. All refunds are subject to a 15% administrative fee. No refunds for virtual events that are recorded for later viewing.

Financial Assistance:
NCAIS has a modest amount of financial assistance available. Please do not hesitate to ask if that would be helpful.