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 The Bottom Line, Cultivating Communities of Belonging, and our monthly and quarterly cohort virtual meetings, which 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

If you are having difficulty registering for a conference or finding your invoice, please reach out to Rebecca Slay in the NCAIS office. She can be reached at 704-461-1812 or [email protected] 

NCAIS COVID Event Policy 
NCAIS strongly encourages independent school personnel to be vaccinated unless your physician advises against it due to a serious medical issue.  At NCAIS in-person events, we will enforce masking for all attendees, regardless of vaccine status.  NCAIS will confirm any additional 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. This policy will be in effect until further notice. NCAIS will continue to monitor metrics and guidance by NCDHHS and the CDC and make adjustments as needed.   If conditions warrant, NCAIS in-person events may shift to a hybrid or fully virtual model.  No full or partial refunds will be issued provided sessions and content remain consistent.


 Conferences      |      Virtual Meetings      |      Webinars 


2021-2022 Professional Development


Available On-Demand until December 31, 2021 | 2021 Educators Conference: Middle School Matters

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.

Keynotes from Phyllis Fagell, author of Middle School Matters and Michelle Icard, author of Middle School Makeover and Fourteen Talks by Age Fourteen are included with more than 20 blocks of additional presentations recorded for this event.     


November 30, 2021 | ISM Scheduling Workshop | Virtual Event with Part 2: February 1 and 2 by School Division

Does your schedule reflect your mission, values, and program? Do you wish you had more time for community building, additional programming, or teacher planning? Join Independent School Management consultant Shannan Schuster as we explore best practices in school schedules.  All participants will learn together on November 30.  For Part 2, February 1 is for Lower School and February 2 is for Middle and Upper School.


December 8, 2021 | Children's Literature Symposium | Virtual Event
This event provides an opportunity for educators to engage in 3 breakout sessions with highly acclaimed children's and middle grades authors. In addition, participants will receive 25 different brief video lessons on writing created by the authors designed to be shared with students. Lastly, a teacher's guide (PDF) that includes a summary of the authors, their videos, and 75 different lesson suggestions will be given to participating educators. Language Arts teachers (k-8) will walk away thrilled with all the lessons on writing they receive, and general enthusiasts of children literature will gain insight into the newest works being published in the field.

January 12-14, 2022 Heads, Trustees, & CFO's Conference | Pinehurst Resort 
This year’s Heads, Trustees, & CFO's Retreat, Framing the Future Together, led by the team at Mission & Data, will challenge participants to rethink how they engage in leadership and governance to remain mission-aligned and support the long-term viability of their schools. Emerging from a period of economic disruption, political polarization, and racial tension, the independent school landscape has shifted dramatically over the last 18 months. How school leaders and trustees partner around complex issues has never been more important. 

January 26, 2022 | Non-profit and Employment Law Basics for Independent Schools Webinar | Zoom, 2pm
As a supplement to our newly launched Legal Library, Lisa Gordon Stella will walk attendees through basic regulations and requirements for both Federal and State compliance, answer questions, and collect requests for additional resources to be added to our Legal Library.

Part II of this conversation will take place at the Business Office Conference on March 10th. Individuals registering for the Business Office Conference may attend the December 2nd webinar at no cost. Click Here to Register for the Business Office Conference and Bonus Webinar! Click here to register for the Webinar only.

January 28, 2022 Diversity and Inclusion Conference | Bennett College, Greensboro | Upper School Students, All School Faculty, Staff, Administrators, and Trustees are invited to attend
To be agile and able to pivot, schools need a culture based in trust and collaboration. These environments are where the best ideas emerge. Inclusive colleagues foster compassion, kindness, and curiosity throughout their school community. Join us as we explore ways to work together, encourage people to listen more to each other, and to be more aware of how each person’s perspective adds value to the collective conversation.

The morning will include breakout sessions geared towards upper school students and those geared towards school leaders, administrators, and faculty members. In the afternoon, we will all come together for an interactive workshop: Same, Same But Different, led by Two Roads Education.


February 3-4, 2022 Women in Leadership Conference | Saint Mary's School, Raleigh 
Embracing the Gifts of Imperfection
In the spirit of Brené Brown’s breakthrough book, The Gifts of Imperfection, we invite NCAIS women of all ages and roles to join us for the 2022 Women in Leadership Conference, February 3-4 in Raleigh for a deep dive into finding and embracing our authentic selves. We’ll experiment with what it feels like to let go of perfectionism and explore wholeheartedness. We’ll learn from and support one another.  We’ll be brave and courageous.  We’ll laugh, play, and maybe even shed a tear or two as we let go of who we think we should be and open ourselves up to the wonderfully imperfect women we are. Don’t miss this awesome opportunity to come together with women from across the NCAIS spectrum for a reconnecting and refocusing journey that will reinvent the way you look at yourself!

February 18, 2022 Early Childhood Conference | Gaston Day School 
Readiness: it is a word we throw around a lot when talking to parents of young children. But what is readiness and how do we know when it happens? And more importantly, how do we articulate it to the nervous parents of our littlest friends?
Readiness isn’t about knowing their ABCs or how to count as much as being emotionally, physically, and cognitively equipped for school. Join us for an engaging conversation with a variety of early childhood experts, including a pediatric psychologist, occupational therapist, child development specialist and a cadre of educators as we explore the latest brain research, best practices, and ah-ha moments.  

Spring 2022 | Advancement Conference | Cannon School 
March 4, 2022 | School Safety Summit | Zoom 
March 10-11, 2022 Business Office Conference | Cary Academy
Make the World Stop...I Want to Get Off!!
Whew, what a rollercoaster of a ride we've been on.  So much has changed since March 2020... business offices have been bombarded with COVID logistics, mitigation, CARES Act and other Federal programs, new legal questions, the need for additional policies, and new risk management strategies...for starters.  The good news is that our schools have survived and thrived, due in a large part to the tireless efforts, resourcefulness, and stability of school business offices.  YOU have been the unsung heroes of the last 2 years! 
As we dare to begin to think of post-pandemic life, how do we assess the impact that this once-in-a-lifetime crisis has had on us and our schools?   What prior strategies and ways of doing things will resume? What COVID measures will remain? And what unintended consequences and outcomes may forever change the way we do business?   Join fellow business office professionals from NCAIS schools across the state as we reconnect, revamp, renew, and rethink in person March 10-11 at Cary Academy.

March 2022 | Neurodiversity Conference | Zoom 
June 20-22, 2022 | Summer Heads Retreat | Wild Dunes Resort, Isle of Palms, SC

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.