NCGS Annual Conference 2013 - Sessions

Admissions Practices: Making the Right Choices From A Legal Perspective

PRESENTERS: Sarah Fay, Attorney | Schwartz Hannum PC (MA)

In this lively and interactive program, experienced school counsel will explore legal mandates, best practices, and practical guidance about the increasingly complex world of girls' schools’ admissions policies and practices. Through real-world scenarios, the session will review best practices for admissions policies (such as inclusive LGBT policies and practices), interacting with students and applicants who may be disabled, how to manage risks associated with interviews and on-campus visits, and delivering the good (or bad) news.

Borders, Boundaries, and Edges: Crossing Disciplines with Peer Faculty

PRESENTERS: Lydia Barovero, Upper School Spanish & Women's Studie; Lisa Cohen, Upper School English; Rose Chaffee-Cohen, Upper School Science; and Chris Mango, Upper School Math | Kent Place School (NJ)

Challenge: How do we build more interdisciplinary connections for faculty and students? Opportunity: Our school's new schedule allows for a one-hour "Professional Learning Community" (PLC) block. Six faculty members, representing History, Science, World Languages, English, Math, and Art, have meet once a month throughout the year to share our perspectives on the topic of "Borders, Boundaries, and Edges." This PLC models multi-disciplined scholarship for the community and seeks ways for collaborative problem-solving and authentic engagement in big issues. Our next step is to share our experience as learners in order to create more occasions for interdisciplinary work.

Changemakers Club: The POWER of Social Entrepreneurship

PRESENTERS: Kristi Hemmer, Founder/President and Madi Lommen, Student Advisor | AWEinc. (Academy for Women's Empowerment) (MN)

Come away with us and learn how social entrepreneurship inspires and ignites not only passions but potential in teen girls. Hear how Changemaker Madi started her own business, took a gap year in Ecuador, and attends college in Singapore because of the POWER of social enterprise. Then, Social Entrepreneur Kristi will share the Changemaker curriculum and how it’s creating a MOXIEmovement for girls and young women by raising confidence, activating agency, and igniting passions that empowers them to choose their future (not be chosen). Next, apply the top things Kristi learned about social entrepreneurship into your school! Walk away inspired, activated, and with more MOXIE than you came with.

Community from Day 1: Where Incoming Student Support Meets Institutional Advancement

PRESENTERS: Talia Titus, Director of Global Programs & Diversity | The Bryn Mawr School (MD) and Eliza LaJoie, Mentorships Lead | Shearwater International (MA)

New students at NCGS members bring a rich array of backgrounds, perspectives, and languages, reflecting our globalizing and increasingly diverse world. Their journey, however, is not without difficulties, from pre-arrival anxieties to adjusting to a new academic system. We’ll discuss practical implementations of “support from day one”, the impact of engaging new students with young alumni, and how these ideas can be relevant for diverse student groups. Come explore what’s next in new student support, and leave with a blueprint to create a mentorship community unique to your school and its values. 

A Competency Framework for the 21st Century for Girls’ Schools

PRESENTERS: Phil Cummins, Managing Director and Brad Adams, Director - Education | CIRCLE - The Centre for Innovation, Research, Creativity and Leadership in Schools (AUS)

In this session, participants will explore how “21st century competencies” can propel the design of innovative schools for girls. We will begin with the global research on the competencies required for wellbeing, success and citizenship with an emphasis on the OECD’s current Education 2030 Project. Drawing on CIRCLE’s work with schools world-wide, we will sketch a framework for core competencies, including critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration and character. Participants will test how this scaffolding might transform the learning environment for girls, and discuss what it would take to turn vision into reality.

Creating a Culture for Innovation in a Highly Competitive Collegiate World: Giving Girls a Voice for STEAM

PRESENTERS: Lauren Lek, Head of School; Jessica Hooper, Assistant Head of School; Diane Lehman, Visual & Performing Arts Teacher; and Johnathan Chittuluru, Computer Science Department Chair | Academy of Our Lady of Peace (CA)

Over the past three years, OLP has strategically invested in opportunities to provide students direct access to STEAM activities and learning. The result has been a significant increase in students choosing STEM majors (40% of last year’s graduating class). From the annual Women’s Symposium, new STEAM coursework, STEM graduation certificate, internships, and the launch of zSpace Virtual learning, to participation in the executive Athena women’s networking group, students have increased exposure to STEM careers and are now pursuing them. Learn from key leadership at OLP who will share methods of how to strategically increase your students' choices to pursue STEAM.

Curriculum Innovation : A Journey Guided by Student Voice

PRESENTERS: Meagan Enticknap, Director of Curriculum, and James Whitehouse, Deputy Head of Middle/Senior School and Senior School History Teacher | Elmwood School (CAN)

Elmwood School’s journey of innovation began with a seemingly simple question: “Is our curriculum meeting the needs of our students?”. Through seeking out the girls’ voices, consulting multiple data points, and harnessing teachers’ collaborative passions, the whole school community became involved in re-designing curriculum with a focus on supporting the needs of today’s students as well as considering needs for students in the future. Elmwood’s innovative process and creative use of design thinking will be examined. End results and "what’s next" questions will be shared, leaving participants with a model that can be applied in their own contexts.

Curriculum Innovation Case Study: American Studies at The Webb Schools

PRESENTERS: Tracy Miller, Dean of Faculty and Jessica Fisher, History and Humanities Department Chair | The Webb Schools (CA)

Using The Webb Schools’ American Studies program as a model, this session will explore the process of envisioning, prototyping and refining radical curriculum innovation. Participants will engage with the dilemmas inherent in shaking up entrenched curriculum: do disciplinary boundaries make sense? What habits of mind do we need to cultivate in the age of Google? How do we capitalize on girls’ interests and expertise while challenging them with materials and methods of inquiry that demand risk-taking and resilience? We will outline Webb’s process of innovation and provide participants with a template and tools to take back to their schools.

Developing a Faculty-Focused Professional Development and Evaluation Process

PRESENTERS: Jill Muti, Head of School; Alison Adams, Classics Teacher; and Betsy Quirin, Early Childhood Teacher | Ashley Hall (SC)

Presenters will review the process by which a select committee of faculty members designed a Professional Development and Evaluation process that focused on fostering true professional development linked to both individual teachers’ needs and the institutional goals for continuous curriculum development and instructional excellence.

Empowering and Inspiring Girls in STEM through Robotics

PRESENTERS: Theresa Richards, FIRST Robotics Program Coordinator; Arushi B., Girls of Steel Student, 12th Grade | Pine Richland High School (PA); Maansi D., Girls of Steel Student, 11th Grade | North Allegheny Senior High School (PA); Corinne H., Girls of Steel Student, 11th Grade | The Ellis School (PA); and Anna N., Girls of Steel Student, 8th Grade | The Falk School (PA)

Girls of Steel Robotics’ mission: Empowering women and girls in the pursuit of STEM by exemplifying female success in robotics. Through robotics teams, presentations, and summer camps, girls serve as role models, inspiring peers and younger students. Students will exhibit multiple robots -- competition robots and a robot chassis kit created by a member of the team. The updated chassis building kit, used several times a year at workshops, introduces students to robotics in 2-3 hour sessions. These workshops are just one part of the Girls of Steel pipeline ( where girls are encouraged to explore STEM at a young age.

Empowering Young Women as Leaders in the Fight Against Child Sexual Exploitation

PRESENTERS: Nishima Chudasama, Director of Programs and Libby Spears, Executive Director | Nest Foundation (CA); and Jill DiCuffa, Teacher, and Cloa G., STARS Student, Class of 2019 | Ann Richards School For Young Women Leaders (TX)

Girls from all backgrounds are affected by the alarming rise in child sexual exploitation, sexual assault, and trafficking, and the advent of the internet has resulted in an explosion of access to personal information and images of children. In this session, we’ll share how our high school curriculum, based on the film PLAYGROUND: The Child Sex Trade in America and other original content, empowers girls to be smart and savvy as they navigate uncharted territory, both online and offline, and enables them to rise as leaders in the fight against an issue that affects them the most.

EPICS Engineering Inspires Girls' Creative Problem Solving for Service Learning

PRESENTERS: Maria Evans, STEM Department Chair; Cathy McGehee, Head of School; Lilly S., Alumna, Class of 2016; and Guen G., Alumna, Class of 2017 | Foxcroft School (VA)

Over the past six years, Foxcroft School has used Purdue University’s EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service) curriculum to develop a robust Engineering course that expands our students’ community perspective while enhancing critical thinking. The design cycle includes identifying a community partner, specifications for a project, design, prototype, test, redesign, and then construction. At the end of each semester, projects are delivered to community partners for use in their facilities. Come learn how to create a sustainable and successful service-learning engineering programs for girls that inspires them to see new potential in themselves.

Evolution of Innovation: The Bryn Mawr School’s Innovation Lab Development

PRESENTERS: Eric Elton, STEM Director and Justin Curtis, Director of Technology | The Bryn Mawr School (MD); and Casey Smith, Senior Associate | Hord Coplan Macht (MD)

The Bryn Mawr School (BMS) believes that the creation of a cross-disciplinary Innovation Lab supports the recognition that students learn as much from hands-on experience and real-world challenges as from textbooks or computers. These experiences will help achieve equity and full participation for women in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. Attendees will learn how BMS started its “first generation” initiative with $500 and an existing classroom; how it evolved into a “second generation” dedicated all-in-one Innovation Lab with volunteer staff; and then into a “third generation” design-build-critique suite of rooms with full-time dedicated staff.

Experimenting with an Interdisciplinary Approach to Literature and Scientific Discovery

PRESENTERS: Mary Edmonds, English Department Head; Amy Davis, Biology and Chemistry Teacher; and Abbi P., Student, Class of 2017 | Chatham Hall (VA)

How might an English department head and a Science teacher initiate and collaborate upon an organic, stimulating, cross-disciplinary project for students simultaneously taking classes in biology and American literature? How might a student's dream to study and read the actual scientific theories she had only heard about in physics, chemistry, and biology result in a joint teacher-student proposal for a 2016 fall-semester senior English elective? Hosted by an English teacher, a biology teacher, and a 12th grade budding scientist-mathematician, this session will narrate (1) our successful joint English III/Biology Thoreau nature journal project for 11th graders composed on Book Creator, and (2) our student-driven English IV Elective: Scientific Theory and Literature featuring Kepler, Dalton, Darwin, and Einstein, each paired with a literary work that uses or refers to their theories. Come hear how both project and class empowered our girls to demonstrate imagination, creativity, critical analysis, and empathy for the natural world as well as for the lives of dedicated writers and scientists. Hear how the students ultimately learned to see themselves as observers, thinkers, and discoverers capable of making connections and solving problems.

Foundation for Innovation

PRESENTERS: Danielle Heard, Head of School; Jason Robart, President, Board of Trustees; Kerry Stevens, Teacher and Director of External Programs; and Hank Bryant, Instructional Technologist | Nashoba Brooks School (MA)

When Nashoba Brooks School identified innovation as one of the three pillars of its strategic directions, the School made a commitment to helping the entire community think differently. This placed Innovation at the core of what happens at the School every day and at every level. Everything from strategic planning to board structure, campaign planning, and curriculum development are designed to support the School’s commitment to innovation. Join a panel of trustees, teachers, and administrators to discuss the essential questions and key initiatives that have helped Nashoba Brooks School build a foundation for innovation school-wide.

The Genesis Journey: A Curriculum of Connectivity

PRESENTERS: Jen Halliday, President

Through collaborative work in redesigning the overall educational journey of our upper school women, Magnificat High School continues to learn important lessons about the connections between rigorous academic work and meaningful experiences rooted in relationships and service to others. This presentation will offer the unique lens of real-time process, opportunities, and obstacles related to innovation at the organizational level. By purposefully connecting and expanding academic courses with service learning, immersion experiences, global travel, and internships, we can provide our students with the skills and mindsets to lead with confidence, compassion and courage as women of the 21st century.

Heads and Tales: Stories of Big Asks, Big Strategy, and Big Support for Your Institution

PRESENTERS: Elizabeth Zeigler, President & CEO | Graham-Pelton Consulting (NJ) and Julia Heaton, Head of School, and Diane Wortis, Director of Development and Alumnae Relations | Miss Hall's School

The ability for senior administrators and the Head of School to work collaboratively and effectively is paramount to innovation, especially when it comes to fundraising. In this session, we will illustrate the do’s and don'ts “from the field” and will outline six major principles to maximize impact and innovation through collaborative effort. Designed with a point of view that respects and empathizes with both the school leader and the development team, Elizabeth and Julia will use personal anecdotes to share stories – both greatest hits and near misses – focused upon the cornerstone principles of responsibility, access, protocol, prospects, expectations, and training.

How to Globalize Your Classroom

PRESENTERS: Jessica Buckley, High School Technology Teacher | Ursuline Academy of New Orleans (LA) and Abdullah Syed, Vice President, Brand Marketing | Level Up Village (CT)

How do we get students ready for what they will face in the future when the future is unknown? As teachers, we innovate because we have to in order to provide the experiences necessary for students to become successful, contributing members of society. This session will follow the circle of innovation to illuminate how global connections can work in your school to help students develop as global citizens. From initial apprehensions to cross curricular, real world connections, teachers and administrators will learn first hand both the barriers and benefits of globalizing their classrooms by implementing Level Up Village courses. 

Innovate or Perish: Developing a Creative and Agile Mindset to Develop 21st Century Skills in our Girls

PRESENTERS: Karen Spiller, Principal | St Aidan's Anglican Girls School (AUS); Ros Curtis, Principal | St. Margaret's Anglican Girls School (AUS); and Toni Williams, Director of Business and Operations | The Society of the Sacred Advent (SSA)

The Principals and Business Manager of two schools share the journey which reimagined their business structures, developed a culture of innovation, and encouraged entrepreneurial and creative skills. This odyssey commenced with a high degree of caution from staff and both school boards and six years later, the relationship between the schools has grown to one of productive and exciting collaboration. An outline of the evolution of curriculum and classroom design, pedagogical practices, business operation, mindset, and resource allocation, and the leadership required to ensure all innovations enriched the educational opportunities and outcomes for girls and young women, will be provided. 

Innovation and Research: Implementing a Positive Wellbeing Program into our School

PRESENTERS: Karon Graham, Dean of Students | Somerville House (AUS)

Somerville House, a 116-year-old girls’ school of 1,350 K-12 students in Brisbane, Australia, is a leader of innovation with outstanding academic, cultural and sporting achievements. In such a competitive environment, girls have a tendency to become overwhelmed, with increasing levels of self-doubt, anxiety and stress. We will share our journey of introducing an innovative pastoral model based on Seligman’s work and show how we focused on implementing strategies and activities that increase girls’ resilience and flourishing while reducing negative emotions. We will share our innovative student survey to ascertain wellbeing and subsequent results and ask, "where to next?".

Iterate to Innovate: Jenga & the Art of Program Design at Annie Wright Schools

PRESENTERS: Sandra Forero Bush, Girls’ Business and Entrepreneurship Program Director and Joe Romano, Innovative Projects Coordinator | Annie Wright Schools (WA)

AWS Signature Programs were created to enhance the school’s ability to support student passions in areas where women are traditionally under-represented, while helping attract and retain students. The Girls’ Business and Entrepreneurship Program launched as a pilot within weeks of the “go” decision, necessitating flexibility, inventiveness and willingness to iterate. Innovation, however, must fight for programmatic real estate with daily realities and pragmatic approaches to program development. We invite participants into the process of balancing, modeling, risk-taking and design-thinking while adapting to constraints of school life. Break out the Jenga to spark discussion about how constraints dovetail with innovative decision-making.

Leadership across Cultures

PRESENTERS: Emily Brennan, Math Teacher; Asiyah B., Student, Class of 2020; Emily K., Student, Class of 2019; Leann L., Student, Class of 2020; Shreya M., Student, Class of 2020; and Katie M., Student, Class of 2019 | The Agnes Irwin School (PA)

In the winter and spring of 2017, six girls from the Agnes Irwin School in Pennsylvania and six girls from the SEGA School for Girls in Tanzania explored their understanding and experiences of leadership. In both school communities girls are groomed to be leaders, but it looks very different in practice. In our work together we furthered our cultural competency and developed next steps for a collaborative project. The project is to create “leadership toolkits” and activities that help girls more fully develop the qualities that good leaders should embody. In our session, we will present the process we went through to get ready for the work together, how we developed relationships, and what we've learned along the way. We will also share our next steps.

Mad, Bad and Dangerous: The New Public Purpose of Private Education

PRESENTERS: Autumn Graves, Head of School and Bilda Small, Director of Strategic Marketing and Communications | Girls Preparatory School (TN); and Allison Reedy , Chief Operations Officer | Co.Lab

In an effort to shift from deficit-filling to civic engagement in Chattanooga, TN, Girls Preparatory School launched a two-day entrepreneurship symposium that sparked a cultural revolution. The program has evolved like the start-ups that GPS wants girls and women to create. Over 500 men, women and girls from public and private schools, the start-up community and traditional businesses come together to support girls pushing the boundaries of the innovation economy and building partnerships across communities. Programs have expanded, retracted, and refocused. Brainstorm ways to monetize this program that is accessible to schools and community organizations while building brand identity.

Making Learning Public: Developing a Professional Digital Footprint

PRESENTERS: Margaret Ann Minihan, Director of Technology; Carolyn Tapp, Teacher, US Government; and Catherine Cresson, US Science Teacher | Louise S. McGehee School (LA)

Students know how to use social media socially, but we teach them to use it professionally, to demonstrate their learning to the world. On Twitter, students connect to community leaders and social advocacy groups. They use this platform to share research and ask questions, just as they’ll need to do as adult learners. Our students create digital portfolio websites, where they share their learning, and LinkedIn profiles, which they use to interact with colleges and future employers. This kind of ongoing project requires that administrators and faculty communicate constantly. We’ve learned a lot and we’re excited to share our experience.

MYTERN -- Travelling Roads; Building Resilience

PRESENTERS: Polly Flanagan, Principal; Jules Aldous, Vice Principal; and Tania Whitehead, Head of Junior School | Shelford Girls' Grammar (AUS)

This session will explore the introduction and development of the MYTERN strategy at Shelford Girls' Grammar, a K-12 girls' school in Melbourne, Australia. Shelford was the first school to pilot MYTERN (Take Emotional Responsibility Now) which is a skill or strategy designed to assist students to change emotional habits by taking responsibility for their emotions and thoughts. MYTERN is a simple and innovative approach designed to increase students' achievement, sense of wellbeing and resilience. It was created in response to the rising prevalence of mental health problems and provides students, teachers and parents with a common language to use when speaking about emotions and feelings.

An Odyssey through the Internet: Using Portals to Foster Global Citizenship

PRESENTERS: Kristen Erickson, Upper School History and Art History Teacher, Director of the Luchsinger Gallery | Greenwich Academy (CT) and Lewis Lee, Milwaukee Portal Curator and Outreach Coordinator for Amani 53206 Neighborhood | COA Youth and Family Centers, Milwaukee (WI)

Learn how an independent school in Connecticut, a refugee camp in Iraq, and a community center in Milwaukee became unlikely partners in a global education phenomenon called Portals. Through a network of gold shipping containers repurposed as immersive environments, Portals connect individuals in far-flung locations for face-to-face conversations. At Greenwich Academy, an emphasis on global citizenship led us to embrace the Portal, an innovative space for storytelling, poetry reading, dancing, and painting. In Milwaukee, the Portal provided a lifeline for a neighborhood plagued by violence. The partnership between Greenwich and Milwaukee was an unexpected, treasured outcome of the Portal project.

Re-designing Learning Spaces for 21st Century Girls

PRESENTERS: Ellen Duff, Design Associate | Fielding Nair International (MI) and Renata Rafferty, Head of School | Saint Gertrude High School (VA)

Want to cultivate a culture of risk taking, collaboration, and other 21st century learning skills in your school? This hands-on workshop will explore how playful architectural design and innovative pedagogical strategies can transform your traditional school environment into a 21st century learning community. We'll delve into case studies that draw on research around girls’ education, while highlighting features of physical space that support a positive sense of well being and student centered learning. Through interactive group discussion, participants will be inspired to transform learning spaces within their own communities that encourage intellectual and emotional growth for both students and staff.

Re-imagining and Exploring the Possibilities for your Admission Process

PRESENTERS: Molly Rumsey, Director of Information Services and Wellesley Wilson, Director of Admission and Financial Aid | Harpeth Hall School (TN)

Armed with market research and a greater understanding of the expectations of prospective families, Harpeth Hall saw an opportunity to innovate its admissions process. The admission and information services departments partnered together to successfully implement a new online admission portal in six months -- the first of its kind in Nashville. Attendees will learn step-by-step what it takes to transition from a paper to an online admission process, what to expect in the transition, questions to ask, and how to successfully navigate issues that arise while still delivering on your school’s mission.

Rethinking Grading to Promote Love of Learning

PRESENTERS: Tonya Walker, Middle School English Teacher, English Department Chair and Susan Crook, Middle School English Teacher | St. Catherine's School (VA); and Jessica Junker, Upper School Latin Teacher | Epicopal High School (VA)

Daily, smart girls put forth tremendous efforts that do not materialize in As. When they receive their grades they are disheartened. Today's current grading systems disengage students from their own learning. So, how do we best assess? How do we inspire our girls to long to be assessed? We answered these questions through game-like diagnostics, Hogwarts-like houses, grad school-like discussions and popsicle sticks. Then we decided to ask our girls for help. They told us what worked and didn't. Our Innovation Odyssey will share their thoughts. You will be surprised. We were.

Saint Joseph Academy Health Science Honors Program

PRESENTERS: Jeff Sutliff, Principal and Cory Otto, Health Science Honors Program Coordinator | Saint Joseph Academy (OH)

The Saint Joseph Academy Health Science Honors Program prepares young women for a life of compassionate leadership and service in the health professions through an academic program rooted in empathy, a rigorous course of study and meaningful experiential learning. Developed through a process involving extensive stakeholder input, the program leverages community resources including world class hospitals, parents and alumnae, social service agencies and local colleges. With two pathways, the inclusive program provides opportunities for a student to explore and make choices that best fit her individual career goals.

School Milestones: Smart, Savvy, and Strategic Ways to Celebrate

PRESENTERS: Cheryl Boughton, Head of School | Elmwood School (CAN); Terrie Hale Scheckelhoff, Ph.D., Head of School | St. Catherine’s School (VA); and Nancy Sweer, Head of School | The Study (CAN)

Learn how three schools celebrated milestone events, including Centennial and Quasquicentennial celebrations, using these opportunities for innovative events that celebrated the past and embraced the future. Presenters will share highlights and strategies for school advancement, volunteer engagement, financial dynamics, and alignment with ongoing school missions and work. Panelists also will review other opportunities and challenges, including managing the diplomatic/political landscape.

A Space to Innovate: Creating a Student-Led Makerspace

PRESENTERS: Alex Northrup, Directory of Educational Technology; Amara B., Student, Class of 2019; and Mackenzie G., Student, Class of 2020 | Foxcroft School (VA)

A group of students led the “Space to Innovate Project,” which researched, prototyped, presented, and ultimately built a new makerspace at Foxcroft School. The student executive committee of this group will tell the story of their journey through this process, with emphasis on lessons learned and recommendations for other schools looking to embark on a similar adventure.

Spatial Skills: The Untapped Means to Opening STEAM Potential of Girls

PRESENTERS: Hollis Wood, Form VI Math Teacher; Julie Biswas, Form VI Science Teacher; and Linda Swarlis, Director of Information Services and Libraries | Columbus School for Girls (OH)

What do Pokémon Go, Blokus, and Minecraft have in common? Each game develops mental rotation and spatial visualization skills that apply to every area of learning. Found in the national standards in math, science, social studies, and English Language Arts, spatial visualization is an important skill for STEAM fields. We needed to look deep into our curriculum and find ways to teach these skills. Girls are often underrepresented in these fields, but we have searched and implemented practical ways to tap into their unique spatial visualization potential. We will show you how mental rotation can make a difference. Get ready to sketch, build, and rotate!

STRATA: Connecting Art, Science, and Indigenous Culture

PRESENTERS: Rebecca Kamen, Artist in Residence / Professor Emeritus | Northern Virginia Community College (VA); and Sally Marks, Art Teacher; Billie W., Student, Year 10; Charlotte S., Student, Year 10; and Eleni C., Student, Year 10 | MLC School (AUS)

STRATA, a project inspired by the Aboriginal concept of Songlines, provided MLC students in Sydney, Australia, with an opportunity to create new connections between art and science, as well as connecting students to their country’s rich, indigenous culture. Working with artist-in-residence Rebecca Kamen, students experienced first hand how collaboration and cross-disciplinary investigation have the power to transform research into dynamic, expressive form. This session will explore the development, implementation, and outcome of this exciting project through the perspective of the artist, the collaborating art teacher, and several participating students. Actual artwork produced will also be shown.

Surveys, Dashboards, Information Overload: Now What?

PRESENTERS: Dana Nelson-Isaacs, Founder | DNI Consulting (CA); and Michele Williams, Head of School and Sheika Luc, Director of Admission | Katherine Delmar Burke School (CA)

Data is the rage across administrative departments, including enrollment management. Dashboards, surveys, projections… we all want it. But what questions are we really trying to answer? And how can those answers inform enrollment strategy? At Burke’s, we wanted to know details about families at all points in our admission funnel. By surveying families, and by combining the qualitative with the quantitative information we gathered, we were able to develop a deeper understanding of the experience of prospective families. Learn how using data “behind the scenes” can inform substantive changes in the process to attract mission-appropriate families to your school.

Survivor Challenge: Middle School Experiential Learning

PRESENTERS: Ryan Barnes, Middle School DREAM Lab® Coordinator; Matthew Bunn, History Teacher; Bridget Doherty, History Teacher; Margaret Epstein, Science Teacher; and Kelly Zemaitis, English Teacher | The Baldwin School (PA)

In this session, we will explain the whys and hows of creating a school-wide learning experience. Over two and a half days, students participated in four challenges: Robot Rescue, Model FEMA, Shelter Building, and Solar House Construction. These activities required students to work together to solve real problems, applying knowledge from a variety of disciplines. Successfully completing challenges earned students materials for constructing a raft to compete in the final challenge: racing their rafts across the pool. We will share what we have learned from this kind of experiential learning and how we hope to expand it.

Teaching Resiliency through Mentors

PRESENTERS: Liz Hicks, Principal, and Emilie Hill, Science Department Chair | Girls Academic Leadership Academy (CA); and Linda Calhoun, Founder/Executive Producer | Career Girls (CA)

The Girls Academic Leadership Academy (GALA), Los Angeles’ first all-girls public school, partnered with Career Girls, an on-line platform with interviews of over 300 women, mostly women of color in STEM fields. GALA teachers use Career Girls videos within advisory periods to teach lessons that build resiliency in students. The academic counselor uses the videos as reference when leading circles and in one-on-one discussions. Parents are provided mentor guides designed by Career Girls, and dinnertime conversation guides in the weekly parent newsletter. The Principal provides support and leadership, helping to coordinate the work between teachers and Career Girls.

The Urban Classroom: Taking Advantage of Everything a City has to Offer

PRESENTERS: Christianne Loupelle, Science Department Head / Teacher and Adriana Ruffini, Math Teacher | Trafalgar School For Girls (CAN)

Trafalgar School For Girls is a small school in the heart of Montreal, Canada. In an effort to deliver curriculum that parallels our school’s mission, we’ve formed partnerships with organizations and businesses within our community. Constrained by our limited school space, gathering and storing equipment and materials for our growing maker mindset proved to be impossible. Our solution: rather than purchasing new equipment or reimagining existing school space, we formed partnerships with established organizations within the community to deliver the curriculum we wanted; our students also get to explore and know more of their city in the process.

Walking Together: Taking Mindful Action in a Complex World

PRESENTERS: Erin Hawk, Executive Director | World Leadership School (CO); Anita Thompson, Head of Visual Arts/Global Citizenship Advisor | Lincoln School (RI); and Melissa Brown, Director of Diversity and Global Education/Spanish Instructor N.B.C.T. | Holton-Arms School (MD)

It is time to move from the traditional idea of "service learning" to a model that allows for authentic exchange and provides young women with opportunities to take responsible and meaningful action. In partnership with World Leadership School, Lincoln School and Holton-Arms School have developed unique travel programs that allow students to walk with community leaders in Peru, Cuba and India and learn from them as a way to prepare young women to make a difference in a complex and changing world.

What We Learned: Two Years Teaching Anti-Bias, Empathy, Respect in the Classroom

PRESENTERS: Diana O'Connor, Teacher Librarian | Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School/ Young Women's Preparatory Network (TX) and Karla Stack, Chief Programming Officer | Young Women's Preparatory Network (TX)

Respect Starts Here: Listen, Learn and Act, a curriculum designed to imbed discussions about bias and discrimination into every aspect of teaching and learning, is now in Year 2 at our school. Let our experience guide you: how to train faculty to tackle tough conversations about race, sexual identity, gender and religion; how to cultivate the acceptance of privilege as the basis for creating empathic understanding; how to foster safe spaces for difficult conversations in the classroom; and how to incorporate the new brain-based mindfulness strategies into stressful discussions -- all practical lessons to teach young women to be fearless, reflective, and empathetic!

Who Owns the Learning? We Do! Students as Global Leaders, Collaborators and Conference Planners

PRESENTERS: Eric Walters, Director of STEM Education, and Marie O’Brien, English Teacher| Marymount School of New York (NY)

Transformative, innovative learning happens when students toss away their textbooks and take on learning in which they feel “autonomous, masterful, and purposeful.” Join Marymount students and faculty as we discuss the planning and implementation of our first Women in Our World Summit, held at our 5th Avenue Campus and the virtual Student STEM + Entrepreneurship Conference. We’ll discuss the new role of the student as a conference planner; mechanisms for promotion through social media; and the development of the conference mission statement and strands. Come learn how you and your students can be involved.

Why Moving Beyond Advanced Placement Advances the Independent School Mission

PRESENTERS: Suzanne Fogarty, Head of School; Peter Brooks, Head of Upper School; and Beth Ellis, Director of College Counseling | Lincoln School (RI)

This session will discuss how discontinuing Advanced Placement allows independent schools to return to their mission of leading educational innovation in a rapidly changing world. Suzanne Fogarty, Head of Lincoln School, an all girls Quaker school in Rhode Island will be joined by colleagues, US Head Peter Brooks and Director of College Counseling Beth Ellis, to discuss Lincoln’s decision to discontinue AP in Fall 2017. Fogarty will also compare and contrast this same decision at Berkeley Carroll in 2011. Topics will include research leading up to this change, communication to the community and a timeline for implementation of innovative curriculum.

Women in the Global Economy: Girls’ Schools Leading the Way!

PRESENTERS: Suzanne Fogarty, Head of School | Lincoln School (RI); Marney Cummings McCabe, Vice President, Global Securities Lending Investors Services | Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. (MA); and Megan Murray Craigen, Equity Analyst | Putnam Investments (MA)

At Lincoln School, an all-girls Quaker school in Providence, Rhode Island, students may take “Women in the Global Economy”, a course designed to prepare young women for the financial opportunities and challenges in the global economy. Suzanne Fogarty, Head of School, will be joined by Shannon Lambert, US Math Chair and alumnae, Marney Cummings McCabe '90 of Brown, Brothers Harriman and Megan Murray Craigen '93 of Putnam Investments. Topics will include practical and aspirational ways to empower young women to self-advocate and navigate industries where women are underrepresented.

Bringing Out of School Techniques to In-School Science Settings

PRESENTERS: Meeta Sharma-Holt, Vice President, Programs and Strategic Partnerships | Techbridge Girls (DC)

Techbridge Girls inspires girls of color from underserved communities to STEM careers. We have scaled to four U.S. cities because of our programmatic impact and a grant from the National Science Foundation. The lessons learned along the way will be shared in this this session and participants will use hands-on science activities to practice youth development principals, and encourage growth mindset and inquiry – all hallmarks of high quality STEM education in the informal space. Now school professionals will understand how to bring these techniques and approaches into their classroom, to achieve higher results from in-school science instruction.

Bringing Past Communities to the Present

PRESENTERS: Kim Green, Third Grade Teacher and Karen Yusko, Third Grade Teacher | Laurel School (OH)

During our local community unit, we study the Shakers, the group of people who settled in the city in which our school is located. We were challenged to create a more immersive experience using our school’s second campus. In collaboration with specialist teachers, we created authentic Shaker experiences. Girls experienced sewing, candle making, cooking, woodworking, and tinsmithing in order to better understand life as a Shaker. Through this intensive study, girls developed a greater understanding, not only of this community, but of perseverance and resilience in the face of new challenges.

Building Sisterhood: Practices in Developing Intentional Relationships

PRESENTERS: Lauren Rogers, Dean of Students | Salem Academy (NC)

Eager to diminish tensions between grade-levels? Do you want to affirm healthy group identities to build a more dynamic and inclusive community on campus? Join us to discuss ways to develop meaningful relationships on and off campus.

Creating a Culture of Confidence Through Entrepreneurial Thinking

PRESENTERS: Leslie Coles, Program Manager and Laura Lopez, Communications and Community Manger | VentureLab (TX)

Beyond providing engaging and high-quality curriculum, girls’ learning and success requires us to actively reframe societal cues and break patterns that discourage girls. Session participants will discuss and brainstorm school-wide strategies for overcoming confidence barriers so many girls face. We will share examples of how incorporating an entrepreneurial mindset (e.g promoting failure as an opportunity for learning) into a school culture can build girls’ confidence, creativity, and self-efficacy. An interactive activity will help participants understand the entrepreneurial mindset from a student’s perspective and its potential for increasing girls’ confidence.

The Creative Use of Sports as a Vehicle for Science Learning

PRESENTERS: Penny Hammrich, Professor; Leona Donaldson, PhD Student; and Jonan Donaldson, PhD Student | Drexel University (PA)

This session will describe the sport science program designed for middle school girls. This program demonstrates that through the vehicle of sports, girls are not only learning the underlying principles of science embedded in performing the sport, but they are also learning the scientific principles in an atmosphere that embraces the psycho-socio-creative-emotional connection to learning. The program responds to the call for creating innovative programs that provide access to cutting-edge strategies in promoting science literacy. The specific goal is to engage girls in a culture of creative science learning through the vehicle of sports. Takeaways include ideas and sample lessons.

Creativity in Community Partnerships Creates Innovation for Schools

PRESENTERS: Catherine O'Sullivan, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Pathways & Partnerships | Bond University (AUS)

The classroom should be an umbrella that extends beyond the school to integrate the community, business, cultural groups, the arts, sport and other learning places. The age-old strategies of the past do not work anymore. Preparing students for the world of "now" means providing them with the new basics – the skills that they will need to work in the jobs of the future. They will need to be creative problem solvers, critical thinkers and entrepreneurs with the skills to work in teams and communicate effectively, and be digitally literate, financially savvy, adaptable and innovative. They need to be engaged in learning through experience and immersion, through links with the real world. Schools are challenged to create these links and partnerships that will give real world learning experiences. Catherine will talk about the role of schools and universities in community capacity building and, in particular, programs that she has identified through domestic and international school engagement that are providing learning experiences under a broad classroom umbrella.

Every Girl an Innovator

PRESENTERS: John Ball, Teacher| Emma Willard School (NY)

Successful innovators build prototypes, test them carefully, and then modify their designs based on what they learn. Thus, “teaching innovation” really means teaching how to experiment purposefully. With this in mind, we revised out 9th grade science program to provide 50 different lab experiences so our girls become confident and skillful experimenters. In our session, we will discuss both the thinking behind our program as well as well as how to make such an ambitious program run in your school.  Let’s explore how to make every girl an innovator!

Four Year High School Academic Planning: A Connection to Your Future Success

PRESENTERS: Erin Chamberlain, School Counselor| Lauralton Hall (CT)

The Four Year Academic Planning freshman seminar addresses the need for students to engage in the college process in a developmentally appropriate manner beginning in 9th grade. This presentation will mirror some of the interactive activities of the seminar highlighting the reduction of stress and fear of the unknown for students engaging in the college and career process. It will show that using tools such as games and role-play help students make important connections between their academics and course selections, and their future college and career goals. Five lesson plans will be reviewed and opportunities for differentiation will be demonstrated.

Girl-Centered Innovation: A Latin Story

PRESENTERS: Ralph Covino, Class Dean| Girls Preparatory School (TN)

Directives to innovate, to renew and refresh curricula in light of new research findings or technology, abound. We are often asked to make lessons more meaningful, more relevant, and -- especially in the all-girl environment -- to make them more girl-centered. But what if there is little to nothing in the literature to act as guide? This session examines one teacher’s departure from approaches to teaching and learning rooted in the most masculine of pedagogical traditions (Latin!) through to the adoption of a more girl-centered style whose methodology is more firmly planted in the literature about how girls learn today.

Girls Solving Real Social Issues

PRESENTERS: Catherine O'Kane, Principal | All Hallows' School (AUS)

In response to social issues increasingly faced by our young women, including social media issues, the impact of pornography on relationships, rising rates of mental health issues, family violence and the impact of drugs and alcohol, we have developed a Student Social Issues team who will work with senior and middle leadership staff to design, implement and evaluate initiatives within our school to address these complex issues. This innovation, which uses student voice to inform the design and delivery of both curricular and co-curricular learning experiences, seeks to empower our young women to lead change in the messages we give to our girls and also to lead change in wider society in the place of women. Examples provided will include the running of an "Say no to violence" forum, our student's response to our being named in an online pornography ring ( and ongoing leadership projects in which our senior students present to middle school students regarding online communication.

Global Links -- Raising Globally Competent Girls

PRESENTERS: Karyn Murray, Head of Global Links Program| Strathcona BGGS (AUS)

This session will explore the innovative thinking and programming behind the new Strathcona Global Links program which has seen a move away from a traditional "trips' program for only a relative few students to an all-inclusive, immersive, multi-dimensional program to ensure that all students are globally competent, connected and culturally aware. Whilst tours and exchanges still occur, they are not the "one-size-fits-all" tours of the past, but carefully considered learning journeys for the participants.

Global Science: Where Culture, Geography, and Life Science Intersect in 6th Grade

PRESENTERS: Trish King, History & Social Science Teacher and Kipton Tugman, Science Teacher | Girls Preparatory School (TN)

Investigation, Reflection, and Cooperation are only some of the words that can describe this fusion of separate science and social studies courses. Using the medium of several interdisciplinary experiences, we will share our progress and achievements using visible thinking, project-based learning, inquiry, and Human-Centered Design – while meeting our departmental and grade level skills and content goals. This presentation will include protocols and essential questions for teacher planning as well as classroom activities for learners. Additionally, we will also share the kick-off activity which brought all the stakeholders at Girls Preparatory School together to introduce our girls to the history and culture of their school.

Harnessing the Power of Pop Culture & Social Media to Build Creative Skill Sets

PRESENTERS: Kimberly Wolf, Chief Education Officer | Girlmentum Media (TX)

Today’s girls are true digital natives. While the volume and nature of the content they consume can be concerning, it also provides us with endless opportunities to engage them. In this session, participants will learn how themes from pop culture – including celebrity, fashion, and marketing – can be applied in academic contexts to increase media literacy, enhance creative skills, encourage social connection, and heighten awareness of related career options. Participants will also leave with strategies for staying on top of media trends and incorporating students’ favorite topics into programming.

Igniting 21st-Century Learning Through Viral Rumors

PRESENTERS: Darragh Worland, Vice President for Digital Media | The News Literacy Project (MD) and Sasha Grinshpun, Teacher Volunteer | The Girls' Middle School (CA)

The growth of viral rumors and fake news in today’s rapidly evolving information ecosystem presents adults and young people with an enormous challenge in identifying what to believe. Educators are grappling with how to tackle the subject with students head-on. In this session, led by the News Literacy Project (NLP), educators will learn how to use real-world examples of viral rumors to transform this challenge into an opportunity to unleash civic learning and engagement in the classroom. NLP is an innovative education non-profit that equips students with essential critical-thinking skills to determine what information to believe, share and act on.

Inspiring Creativity Through Game Design & Coding

PRESENTERS: Idit Harel, CEO| Globaloria (NY) and Morgan Markbreiter, Lead Educator | Jefferson Middle School (DC)

Creating games using an engineering design process not only changes the way students approach learning but it also puts them in touch with their own creative power. This is especially important for girls as they develop ideas about their identity as learners and leaders. Taking an idea from concept to a working digital product requires creativity, problem solving and persistence. Explore hands-on models to empower middle and high school girls as game developers from educators in Washington, DC, and NYC. Hear how girls are engaging with their own creative potential and seeing themselves as entrepreneurs, designers and computer scientists.

The Making of a District-wide Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Plan

PRESENTERS: Courtney Portlock, Head of Upper School | Stuart Country Day School (NJ) and John Steele, Founding Member and Senior Associate | The Diversity Quotient, LLC (NJ)

Coalition building around diversity, equity, and inclusion is difficult. Emotions, politics, ignorance, opinion, and inertia combine into a perfect storm that can leave even the most passionate advocates at a loss for how to proceed. In this workshop, we outline what steps to follow to build momentum in this task, from assessment of community values to goal setting to strategy implementation. We also discuss some of the real-world successes and challenges that both public and independent schools have faced when pursuing these goals.

The Moral Imperative of School Partnership and Community Engagement Programs in our Schools

PRESENTERS: Blake Kohn, Executive Director| National Network of Schools in Partnership (DC)

Service to the community can be found in all shapes and sizes at different schools. Those that are authentic and meaningful are programs that not only reflect the mission of the school but provide real-life learning opportunities for their students. Changes in the college application process, the student transcript as well as the increasing divide in our country create a moral imperative for schools to transform their community service programs to ones of community engagement based on reciprocal, sustainable and institutionally driven relationships. Hear from Blake Kohn, Executive Director of the National Network of Schools in Partnership, on examples of best practices of this work from across the country, strategies to make these programs curricular rather than co-curricular, and ideas how to begin to transform the programs of your school to ensure you are providing your students with the skills necessary to succeed in college and in life.

One Front Door: From Summer Camp to Applicant

PRESENTERS: Julie Clancy, Director of Admissions| Emma Willard School (NY)

Emma Willard School's signature summer camp, GirlSummer, is a two- and four- week day and boarding camp offering girls the opportunity to explore, play, and learn in a distinctive, deeply personalized environment. Perhaps most interesting is that GirlSummer is directed by Emma's Director of Admissions. Indeed, we have one front door to admission at Emma. In this presentation, the Director of Admissions, will discuss the benefits, opportunities, projections, and lessons learned in growing this model.

Promoting Health and Wellness through Peer Educators

PRESENTERS: Kathleen Goodman, Director of Learning Services| Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart (WA)

As educators in girls’ schools, we know the importance of teaching about balance and wellness. In the past, that programming has come from the adults. We invite participants to hear how the role of peer educators is transforming the culture of health and wellness by having the girls take the lead. With training and support from faculty sponsors, peer educators are promoting the education and awareness of critical issues to their peers in ways that are creative, empathetic, and empowering.

The Real World Relevance of Math and Science

PRESENTERS: Jessica Baker, Director of Curriculum and Instruction and Kaitlyn Delatte, Math Teacher | Ursuline Academy of New Orleans (LA)

This session will outline the development and implementation of a cross curricular project focused on the development, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer utilizing biology I and algebra II content standards. The presentation will highlight ways to frame traditional content knowledge in ways that help students make connections between various disciplines, while also investigating topics that have relevance to their real life experiences. Examples of student work, assessments, and project reflections will be provided.

Realizing We Need to Educate "The Person" to Face Her and Her Society's Challenges

PRESENTERS: Lucia Calvo, Head of School| Colegio Los Tilos (Spain)

It is a fact that families, teachers and actual schools are educating the women of tomorrow with today's tools. A “tomorrow” with unknown -- and most certainly unbelievable -- challenges which each one of our students will have to face and overcome with knowledge; with intelligence (however multiple it may be); through collaborative work; with independence of thought; with resilience; and different other attitudes all related to personal development. The specific step-by-step program of Colegio Los Tilos has been developed to help each girl to grow in their own personality and to achieve self-assertiveness, maturity, and “know how”. In our approach the involvement of the family is essential. Home and school must walk side by side for the good of the daughter/student. We will explain our “circle of innovation” of how we educate our students as people who will have to face and overcome unknown future challenges and those who will have the betterment of the world in their hands.

The Sacred Beltway: Religious Studies From The Ground Up

PRESENTERS: Justin Maaia, Religious Studies Teacher| National Cathedral School (DC)

Through our capstone project, “The Sacred Beltway,” students learn about religious communities by doing firsthand fieldwork while also gaining widely applicable real-world skills and confidence in the process. After doing some bibliographical research, each student engages in a phenomenological site visit, constructs a photographic portfolio with detailed captions, and conducts interviews with two members of their chosen community. This research is then uploaded to a website where students can experiment with form as well as content. Websites are then linked to a Google Map representing all of the religious communities in the Greater Washington Area, creating a resource for anyone wishing to learn more about religions from the people who practice them.


PRESENTERS: Jacqueline Magurren, Deputy Principal Pastoral Care and Nicole Christensen, Principal | Monte Sant' Angelo Mercy College (AUS)

SELF GROWTH is an acronym which stands for Social Emotional Learning Framework – Goals, Relationships, Organization, Wellness, Transition, Humanity. This program is designed to firstly target staff and their professional development and understanding of a persons wellbeing. Then, how this understanding can translate, impact and support a student in their classroom learning and growth mindset.  It is a holistic program touching on the six key pillars of GROWTH for each group of students, age and stage specific, with an overarching framework of social emotional learning for all.

The Sharing Economy and School -- Are Schools Businesses?

PRESENTERS: Urvi Morrison, CEO | Strategic EdTech (SET) (MD)

“In what is called collaborative consumption, the sharing economy or the peer economy, owners rent out something they are not using, such as a car, house or bike to a stranger using these peer-to-peer services.” Companies such as Uber and Airbnb demonstrate that the sharing economy has great benefits to both owners and renters. This begs the question: can schools join the sharing economy? Educational organizations have three large components that they can utilize that propel them to be both good for their students and effective businesses through the tenets of the sharing economy. Find out how your school can maximize its potential through unique and innovative service offerings that benefit students, parents, and the greater community beyond the classroom.

Teaching at the Intersection: How students are Experiencing Contemporary Art through Social Media and Popular Culture

PRESENTERS: Tim Lewis, Art Teacher/Department Chair of Visual and Performing Arts| Alverno Heights Academy (CA)

To innovate is to transform, a phenomenon that marks a distinct generational shift in the way my students are discovering and experiencing art. While teaching art in an all-girls secondary setting for nearly two decades, a striking pattern has emerged at the intersection of contemporary art, social media, and popular culture. This presentation will center on the changing ways our students are experiencing art in this cultural shift. Attendees will engage in this conversation and leave with applicable classroom strategies that attempt to unpack the “popular” in art, all while investigating the boundaries between contemporary art and its new audience.


PRESENTERS: Joan Paster, Upper School Dean, Teacher of History and Nicole Johnston, Upper School History Teacher | Oak Knoll School (NJ)

Engage your students fully in United States history. Hear how students take ownership of their own learning without a textbook. Researching the web enables students to be exposed to different types of sources, different points of view and different quality of sources. Discussions are thus lively, analytical, and engaging. Learn about our thematic, student inquiry course which approaches each theme with investigation of the present, then goes back in time to construct its evolution. Share in our enthusiasm for the heightened student engagement this course has generated. Students, parents, even college admissions officials applaud this combination of skills development with independent inquiry.

Using an Innovation Panel to Build Cross Curricular and Cross Division Growth

PRESENTERS: Mimi Odem, Admissions Director, Curriculum Coordinator| Louise S. McGehee School (LA)

In this session we will explain how we created an innovation panel, using our technology and admissions teams to share all the innovative practices going on in our PK through 12th grade classrooms. The goal with this practice is to build awareness, bridges and collaboration across curriculum and age levels -- and to spread innovative ideas!

Visionaria for Schools: Engaging and Monitoring Girls' Growth as Social Innovators

PRESENTERS: Paul Spurzem, Executive Director | Visionaria Network (CA, Peru)

Visionaria Network’s programming for public and private schools in Peru includes: (1) classroom curriculum that builds personal agency, and (2) real-world social innovation projects to tackle sustainable development issues in collaboration with local experts and authorities. The session will explore and inspire discussion around: (1) the Visionaria model and history (why and how to engage girls as social innovators) and (2) M&E tools and priorities for students, teachers, and administrators.

Walk of Awareness: Building Capacity for Social Responsibility

PRESENTERS: Katherine Jackson, Director of Student Life and Leadership Programs and Jennifer Rundles, Associate Dean of Students/Science Instructor | Saint Mary's School (NC)

In a selfie generation, explore how we can position youth to lead from the "we,'" not "me" perspective. In this interactive workshop, we will highlight how we modified the collegiate model of Tunnel of Oppression to become the Walk of Awareness to fit the developmental level of sophomore students. Learn how to leverage local organizations and universities to tackle relevant social issues in partnership with your school. Students will develop skills to engage their school and outside community in the discussion of social responsibility.

Create, Collaborate, Innovate: A STEAM/Maker Education Course

PRESENTERS: Amy Banks, Lower School Science Coordinator and Karen Roberts, Lower School Technology Integration Coordinator | The Hockaday School (TX)

Attendees will learn about Create, Collaborate, Innovate—a course developed and team-taught by a Hockaday School science teacher, technology teacher, and art teacher. This STEAM/Making course provides our girls with opportunities to imagine, design, and create solutions to personally-meaningful problems. The students participate in “skill-building” projects, including woodworking, textiles, electronics, and 3D CAD design and printing. They then apply these skills as they develop and present a proposal for and execute an original project. Students document their process, collaborate with peers, participate in peer- and self-review, and build resiliency and problem-solving skills as they experience the process of iteration.

Engaging All School Stakeholders to Inspire Innovative Initiatives

PRESENTERS: Rebecca Clarke, Principal | Walford Anglican School for Girls (AUS)

This session is designed for School leaders and administrators. It will aim to show how all stakeholders (students, parents, staff, alumni) were engaged in the strategic planning process at Walford Anglican School for Girls (Adelaide, South Australia) and how this grass roots consultation process grew a range of innovations and initiatives in our School. A number of initiatives will be showcased during the presentation, including but not limited to: Walford Grands -- an exclusive "club" for grandparents which offers learning sessions and opportunities for grandparents to engage with grand daughters; Walford Women's Collective -- a women's networking platform designed to link women including alumni across our community, Parenting Seminars for Early Learning parents, The Walford Festival of Ideas -- a student entrepreneurial festival which forms part of the work we are doing with Professor Yong Zhao.

Integrating the Arts with Humanities

PRESENTERS: Ellen Phillips, Theater Teacher/Play Director and Alyssa Morreale, English Teacher | Trinity Hall (NJ)

During this session, attendees will explore a variety of theater techniques and games that help broaden student's presentation skills in the Humanities classroom. The games may also be used to help review content in a fun and engaging format. Attendees will learn the specific descriptions and rules of games such as party quirks, the alphabet game and others and how to utilize them in classes such as World Languages, History and English.

ME, Inc. -- Creating Your Very Own Dream Job as a Financial Planner

PRESENTERS: Eleanore Blayney, Consumer Advocate and Special Diversity Advisor | Certified Financial Planning Board of Standards (DC); Kate Holmes, CFP® Professional, Founder, CEO | Belmore Financial, LLC (CO); Shannah Game, CFP® Professional, Chief Millennial Financial Strategist | Your Millennial Money (CA); Zaneilia Harris, CFP® Professional, Author, Founder | Harris & Harris Wealth Management (MD); and Marguerita Chang, CFP® Professional, CEO | Blue Ocean Global Wealth (MD)

Few girls aspire to become financial planners, never having heard about the career or assuming it’s dull and heavy with numbers. But imagine if girls discovered that the field is open to creative and compassionate females who design their own careers, work when, how, and where they wish, helping people they care about. This session features four extraordinarily creative women CFP® professionals, successfully doing “their own thing” and loving every working day of their life. A major session objective is to introduce participants to the art and joy of financial planning via creative visioning they can share with their girls. Each participant will tell her story in a SNAP! format:

  • "A Girl, Her Laptop, & the World" - Kate Holmes
  • "Coloring Outside the Lines" - Shannah Compton Game
  • "The Beauty of Personal Finance" - Rita Cheng
  • "Financial Style Matters: My Story of Finance 'n Stillettos" - Zaneilia Harris

No Holds Bard: Putting the Play Back in Shakespeare

PRESENTERS: Jenny Watkins, Department Chair | Saint Gertrude High School (VA) and Molly McAleer, English Faculty | St. Catherine's School (VA)

We’re all familiar with the collective student groan when Shakespeare appears on the syllabus. So how do you combat “Shakespeare Fear” and engage students of all levels? Our contemporary take on teaching combines synthesizing the texts with modern media, connecting with mainstream music, playing with production, and classical analysis. Our goal is to marry two concepts when approaching Shakespeare: a sense of play and seeing the work as a living, constantly evolving text.

Renewable Resources in an Age of Change

PRESENTERS: Janeth Eby, Sixth Grade Science Teacher and Lydia Fields, Sixth Grade Language Arts Teacher | Holton-Arms School (MD)

This sixth grade interdisciplinary language arts and science unit introduces students to the issue of meeting the world's energy needs in a sustainable way. In their language arts class, students read "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind", the true story of a boy in Malawi who builds a wind turbine from scrap and saves his family farm. Simultaneously, in science the students design, test, modify and retest blades for a model wind turbine, practicing the engineering cycle. The unit ends with a mock town hall meeting where students play the parts of stakeholders debating the installation of a nearby wind farm. This project may inspire others to use interdisciplinary collaboration as a way to build empathy and to think both critically and creatively about global issues.

Students Creating Change

PRESENTERS: Laura Day, Director of Service Learning | The Hockaday School (TX)

In this session, we will describe how we worked with students' passions to help them create change and work with local organizations. One student who is a jewelry maker did an independent study with a local non-profit doing social entrepreneurship with low-income women. Another student developed relationships with a local community center and on her own created a sustainable summer camp for 50 students in a low-income neighborhood. We will offer these stories and more examples of students taking a real interest in partnering with public organizations to make their community better.

Tinkering and Tesla: Inspiring the Next Generation of Female Scientists

PRESENTERS: Mary Ann Domanska, 2nd Grade Teacher - Girls | Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (PA)

Creative stories are the perfect window for students to become risk-takers, imagine themselves in different roles, and explore new topics. In Emic Rizzle, Tinkerer, girls are exposed to a young female protagonist who is empowered in roles that are viewed as stereotypically male. This curriculum will motivate students and teachers to celebrate tinkering as a vital vehicle for testing theories, learning the concepts of trial and error, stretching creative muscles, and believing that girls can be Makers, too! I want to empower each of my students to know they have the capacity to affect the world for good.

Using Pop Culture to Teach Histology (or Zombie Anatomy)

PRESENTERS: Susan Cavar, Science Department Chair | Lauralton Hall (CT)

Histology and rote memorization usually go hand in hand. In classic Anatomy, students must be able to identify and describe tissue samples and list their myriad functions. The complex interplay of these tissue types is often missed due to the deluge of strange vocabulary and seemingly obscure facts. While brainstorming ideas to present this information, I noticed everyone’s fascination with zombies. What better way to illustrate the importance of each tissue type than to describe the effects of its degradation on the aggressiveness and health of zombies? – or to show the interdependence of all of the tissues?

Zoo Animal Enrichment: An Engineering Design Challenge for New Makers

PRESENTERS: Simon Mangiaracina, STEM Teacher | Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders (TX)

Experience one middle school's challenge to introduce its youngest students to the new MakerSpace. By partnering with a local rescue zoo, the Ann Richards School in Austin, TX, created a service-learning project their 6th graders wouldn't soon forget. The school helped empower their girls to be confident and resilient in the act of making, while making a difference. Students researched an animal species for whom they would design and build puzzle feeders, activity panels or foraging boxes. At the zoo, students completed behavioral analyses of the animals interacting with student-made enrichment devices. Discover the challenges and opportunities that come with a MakerSpace. Learn how to successfully train students on complex tools and create a system that encourages safety and responsibility. Most importantly, learn how to apply those skills to authentic project-based learning experiences.

Pop-Up Learning: Developing an Experimental Mindset in Schools

PRESENTERS: Carla Silver, Executive Director and Erin Cohn, Senior Partner | Leadership+Design

Much of the work we do in schools requires us to think and adjust on the fly, yet so often we feel as though we can’t roll out new curricular approaches, programs, or solutions to big problems until they are fully formed. This three-hour session will give participants a chance to learn and practice an experimental mindset as they imagine ways to try out and test new ideas in their classrooms and schools. We will engage in a group challenge to design a “pop-up” learning experience, where teachers, students and school leaders can experiment with creative ideas in a low-stakes, impermanent setting. Some questions we will explore include: How might we resist the urge to keep our ideas and work hidden until we feel that it’s “perfect”? How might we gain feedback on new ideas early, and often, and what effect would this approach have on our school community? This hands-on session will leave participants with experimental skills and mindsets that will be immediately applicable in their work, whether they are classroom teachers, administrators, or school staff.

When Ostriches Fly: New Solutions to Existing Fundraising Challenges

PRESENTERS: Kathleen Loehr, Consultant | Kathleen Loehr & Associates, LLC (VA); Susan Moll, Director of Advancement | The Harpeth Hall School (TN); Andrea Pactor, Associate Director | Women’s Philanthropy Institute, IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy (IN); and Elizabeth Zeigler, President & CEO | Graham-Pelton Consulting

As fundraisers and leaders committed to the sustainability of our schools, the climate, timing, and environment are right for bold, innovative action to secure our future.  Ostriches may not fly, but they have adapted to their environment.  In light of the tremendous energy around women’s philanthropy today, how can girls’ schools adapt their fundraising strategies, help put women in the driver’s seat, and ensure that their legacy – both the schools’ and the donors’ – will continue to live on for decades to come? Come join an experienced panel of fundraising and investment professionals for an exciting conversation and leave with concrete strategies to help you and your colleagues adapt and succeed!

The Place for Girls’ Schools in a Non-Binary Gender World: A Human-Centered Design Approach

PRESENTERS: Jemma Giddings, Assistant Head of School | Westridge School for Girls (CA); Joanne Glusman, MSW, LSW, President | Main Line Youth Alliance, Main Line Health Diversity, Respect & Inclusion Steering & Education, Faculty | Bryn Mawr Family Practice Residency, Faculty | Philadelphia University Physician Assistant Program (PA); Mariandl Hufford, ssistant Head of School and Director of the Center for the Advancement of Girls | The Agnes Irwin School (PA); and Alex Scott, Consultant, Alex Scott Consulting (DC)

For the past 5-10 years, conversations about gender have become increasingly complex. Long-held views about what defines a “girl” or a “boy” have been challenged and debated on a national - and international - stage. Transgender and non-binary gender people are raising their voices and asking to be heard. Girls’ schools find themselves in a complex position - how can they continue to fulfill their mission when the very idea of what makes someone a “girl” is in question? Join us for an engaging, thought-provoking, and informative session about how your school can approach this topic using human-centered design in a mission-appropriate, empathetic, and proactive way that will strengthen your entire community.

Expanding Your Educational Innovations through Social Enterprise

PRESENTERS: Nell Derick Debevoise, Founder and CEO | Inspiring Capital (NY)

We know that NCGS member schools have developed impactful education programs and products that create great value for their students. We also know that many of these offerings might have value for other people, which could create a valuable source of revenue, brand building, and impact on young women and other students beyond their immediate school communities. Inspiring Capital provides mission-driven business consulting to help not-for-profit and social venture organizations (including schools and other education-sector groups) expand their impact, while also becoming more financially sustainable. The Inspiring Capital team will present an NCGS-specific case study of how they've helped organizations like your school to identify and grow a new source of revenue to increase your impact and financial sustainability.

Fostering Girl Advocates in a New Political Climate

PRESENTERS: Bailey Leuschen, Girl Up Campaign Officer | United Nations Foundation (DC) and Ellie Y., Class of 2018, Girl Up Teen Advisor | Holton-Arms School

This January, girls throughout the United States and across the world saw the departure of a President who publicly declared himself a feminist; many are now grappling with proposed policies and views that appear to be taking a step backwards for girls and women globally. What tools are needed in the current political climate to support and encourage girls to know they have a voice? How can we help girls thrive as leaders and active citizens in their communities? From call-in days to advocacy boot camps, learn about the resources and trainings Girl Up employs to develop girls’ confidence as advocates and deepen their sense of solidarity with girls around the world through political advocacy. Now and always, it’s essential for girls to discover their voice and know that it matters!

From STEM to STEAM to DREAMS: Building a Culture of Innovation in a Girls’ School

PRESENTERS: Jimmy Lapuz, Teacher, and Alfred Sanchez, Teacher | Miriam College (Philippines)

“So, you’re turning 90 – what’s new?” This question had to be answered by Miriam College as one of few remaining schools for girls in the Philippines. Alarmed by issues of quality, relevance, and sustainability, it articulated innovation as its newest capital and buzz word for institutional growth. Thus, through this session, the goal of building a culture of innovation upon tradition shall be explored. More specifically it will allow participants to examine the meaningfulness of the innovative transition from a culture of STEM to STEAM and now to DREAMS (design, robotics, engineering/entrepreneurship, arts, mathematics and social responsibility).

Learning Service: Flipping Service Learning on Its Head

PRESENTERS: Katherine Jackson, Director of Student Life and Leadership Programs | Saint Mary's School (NC); Richard Weber, CEO | Tours Trips Treks & Travel (Domincan Republic); and Julie Fratarcangeli, Director, International Program Development, and Tricia Holda, International Program Consultant | American Council for International Studies (MA)

This session will explore how a shift in approach to traditional service learning is needed to ensure that service projects become an exchange of learning, rooted in the philosophy of global sharing and advocacy—where we solve problems with local communities rather than for them. We’ll draw on our experience of developing a series of innovative young women’s leadership programs, which aim to make sure initiatives like these have a lasting, meaningful impact. These overseas programs provide an opportunity for local leader workshops, youth group exchanges and community projects to help students develop the skills needed to become the next generation of globally-minded leaders. This session, which will include interactive discussion, will also provide attendees with one activity from a newly-developed leadership curriculum that they can take away to use in their classrooms.

School Wellness: How to Be More Without Doing More?

PRESENTERS: Lorri Palko, Founder | Love Money Purpose, LLC and Jemma Giddings, Assistant Head of School | Westridge School for Girls (CA)

Girls’ schools are increasingly focused on how to create wellness and mindfulness programs. We want girls to know that they are enough, they have enough, and they do enough. YET, do we know that as a girls’ school? Join executive coach Lorri Palko and Jemma Giddings, Assistant Head of the Westridge School for Girls, as they lead an exploration on how schools can embrace organizational concepts of a growth mindset - challenges, obstacles, effort, criticism, and success of others. The session will provide school leaders a lens to examine opportunities to more fully stand in the power of a girls’ school mission.

Songs of Evidence and Experience: Building a Solid Base for Innovation

PRESENTERS: Kevin Stannard, Director, Innovation & Learning | Girls' Day School Trust (UK)

This session will look at ways of drawing on research and reflection as a basis for designing effective innovation. The Girls' Day School Trust (a group of 26 schools in the UK) collaborated on a research project with Cambridge University on what works in girls’ learning, and we followed this up with a student survey that elicited 12,000 responses on what makes great teaching. The results have led to innovation in curriculum, teacher professional development (including a MOOC), and a range of practical pedagogical initiatives in our schools. We also want to hear from delegates about their own research-based initiatives.

Empowering Savvy Digital Citizens

PRESENTERS: Shauna Callaghan, Associate Director of Academic Technology | Marlborough School (CA)

Experience Marlborough School's Digital Citizenship Project as a middle school student. Participants will immerse themselves in resources that empower students to become savvy digital citizens and to create a positive digital presence. Engaging with FlipGrid video reflections, Common Sense Media's Digital Compass Game, social media literacy activities, and mindful technology practices will give participants tools that can be adapted to support diverse curricula. The session will also showcase student work that demonstrates how this innovative, exploratory, project-based curriculum cultivates leadership, communication, and collaboration skills in our digital landscape.

Middle School Electives: Inspiring Curiosity and Engagement

PRESENTERS: Whitney Price, Director of Strategic Initiatives & Assistant Middle School Head, and Montanna Wilson, Middle School Head | St. Paul's School for Girls (SPSG)

Providing middle school students with choice in their education has proven to be effective in increasing engagement, encouraging positive risk taking, identifying interests and pursuing passions. By integrating interdisciplinary electives such as Social Justice, Urban Planning, Local Gardening and Global Agriculture, and Woodworking, students and faculty are stretched to think beyond traditional offerings and teaching methods. Join us to hear about buy-in, challenges, and successes in the implementation and growth of the program, which involves mixed-grade classes, non-graded work, and real world application.

Senior Projects - Making Them a Tool for Legacy, Change, and Innovation

PRESENTERS: Christopher Lynch, Upper School Division Director | The Holton-Arms School (MD)

How can schools use their senior projects and their students' good thinking to help make new and innovative programs for the community? The session will show how Holton-Arms allows students (seniors) the power to help create new programs, such as retreats, leadership seminars, and classes in a wide range of areas. In addition, it will provide a framework for how Holton-Arms provides opportunities for students to leave their legacy while implementing meaningful programs aimed at the school's strategic plan.

Reshaping Curriculum to Foster Global Competence

PRESENTERS: Melissa Brown, Director of Diversity and Global Education; Rachel Herlein, Academic Dean; and Mary Dobroth, Director of Academic Technology | Holton-Arms School (MD)

Every year, Holton-Arms increasingly integrates opportunities to develop global competence throughout the curriculum, lending greater context and relevance to content. Discover how we have created the space, time, and opportunities for teachers to more effectively cultivate students’ understanding of diverse perspectives, knowledge of the world, communication skills, and ability to think critically and take action inside and outside of the classroom. We will provide concrete examples of interdisciplinary offerings across all divisions and share how we support teachers in these endeavors.

Inspiring Girls to Commit to a Lifelong Journey of Personal Growth… Online!

PRESENTERS: Mary Ellis, Curriculum Developer/Teacher | Think with Heart (VA) and Ace Ellis, CFO | Woodberry Forest School (VA)

In this session, presenters will share what they’ve learned through piloting an online curriculum for 9th-11th grade girls focused on strengthening “non-IQ skills.” With well-being at the core, the 3-course program is designed to enhance human connections, self-awareness, and resilience. Attendees will explore the unique advantages the online venue offers for facilitating social and emotional learning through a reflection-oriented, peer-to-peer, discussion-based design.

Fostering a Culture of Kindness: The ThinkGive Challenge

PRESENTERS: Susan Lewis, 6th/7th Grade Science Teacher and Advisor | Nashoba Brooks School (MA)

Finding time to build character education into school curriculum can be a challenge. The ThinkGive Challenge is an easy to implement program that develops prosocial skills such as empathy, compassion, awareness of others, gratitude and kindness. Through the program, children in grades 4 to 8 are asked to give of themselves—with their time, a kind word, or their help—and experience what it means to impact others. Susan Lewis of Nashoba Brooks School has used the program the last three years and will demonstrate the web-based portion of the Challenge, review best practices, and discuss how the program impacted her students.

Embrace the Edcamp Movement! Explore the Power of Free PD, for and by Teachers

PRESENTERS: Sarah Edson, Dean of Academic Technology and Innovation | The Ethel Walker School (CT)

Explore the transformative power of educators sitting in the driver’s seat of their own professional learning. Learn about the global phenomenon of the Edcamp movement and how it benefits teachers and students. The Ethel Walker School, an all-girls school (grades 6-12) in Simsbury, CT, has hosted an annual summer edcamp since 2011. Educators gather on campus to discuss topics that feel relevant to them. The day is free; the connections are invaluable. The models of leadership and initiative are what we want our girls to emulate. Come learn how to take part in or host an edcamp yourself.

Bridging Two Worlds on the Way to Leadership: A Case Study of a Successful Public/Private Partnership between the Nightingale Bamford School and The Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem.

PRESENTERS: Laura Rebell Gross, Managing Director of Girls' Education, and Amanda Rosenblum, Girls' Education Associate Director, Programs and Partnerships | Young Women's Leadership Network (NY); and Paul Burke, Head of School, and Damaris Maclean, Director of Community Engagement | The Nightingale-Bamford School (NY)

TYWLS of East Harlem and The Nightingale-Bamford School are just 15 blocks and one zip code apart, yet world’s away in terms of student population and cultural experience. For many years, we have wanted to build a bridge between the two schools that would enable our students to create meaningful connections and do work together that could have real-world impact behind the walls of their separate schools. Through partnering with local non-profits to co-design programs, we have been able to launch programming that brings our middle school and high school students together to build their leadership and service collectively and empower themselves and each other. We will share the goals of our programs and the challenges we’ve encountered over the last three years. We have also expanded our model to bring in more public/private schools and can share early learnings from this process. There is so much power in bringing our schools together as we prepare students for college and beyond.

Critical Friends: School Leader Intervisitations and PD

PRESENTERS: Sarah Boldin, National Director of Professional Development | Young Women's Leadership Network (NY)

We will share with the group the hallmark initiative of our TYWLS School Leadership Program: Regular school intervisitations and administrator-led PD with the direct purpose of sharing resources and expertise from other school leaders of girls' schools to address challenges the school is currently facing. Other goals include: connecting administrators with one another online (through a pilot technology platform) and offline to establish a greater sense of trust and collegiality among school leaders; celebrating areas of strength, accomplishment, and innovation in each school- directly related to the work of the school administrators; expanding our definitions of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes it takes to be a leader of an all-girls' school and witnessing first-hand what those many forms of leadership can look like. Throughout the intervisitation program, each school leader gets to alternatively be the host and the expert, switching roles throughout the year, which allows for honest and open sharing and conversation.

A Case Study in Gender Identity

PRESENTERS: Amanda Rosenblum, Girls' Education Associate Director, Programs and Partnerships | Young Women's Leadership Network (NY)

As students explore their gender identity at all-girls' schools, specific questions and challenges arise that involve students, teachers, parents, administrators, and school/district policies. Even with a clear vision around supporting trans and gender nonconforming students, it can be difficult to navigate the way forward with each scenario that can come up. Together, we will review two comprehensive case studies of situations that have happened at all-girls middle and high schools. While there is no one right solution, we will help each other figure out what could work in our school communities should similar scenarios arise, which will hopefully inform some proactive approaches we can engage with immediately following the conference.



Establishin Healthy Boundaries and Relationships


One Movement, One Love: How the One Love Foundation’s Innovative Approach is Ending Relationship Violence

PRESENTERS: Zoë Skinner, Regional Coordinator and Jordyn Cohen, Regional Coordinator, Maryland | One Love Foundation and Nicolette G., Student | Roland Park Country School

Founded in 2010 to honor the memory of Yeardley Love, One Love’s mission is to end relationship violence by utilizing the peer-to-peer facilitation model both educating students on the difference between healthy and unhealthy behaviors and empowering them to be leaders driving change in their communities. In this session, you will view One Love’s award-winning film, Escalation, hear from One Love student leaders from local NCGS schools about how they are leading the charge in their community and have an opportunity to strategize how you can bring our tools back to your school. Join us!!  *Trigger Warning: Escalation shows the stark reality of relationship abuse, including emotional, sexual and physical violence. This film can be triggering especially for those who have experience relationship abuse. We will have resource sheets available.

Managing a Sexual Abuse Allegation: Proactive Strategies for Addressing Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Students, Past and Present

PRESENTERS: Caryn Pass, Chair, Education Practice | Venable LLP; Mike Gross, APR, COO & Senior Vice President | Anne Klein Communications Group; and Elaine Stone, Partner | Covington & Burling

The response of independent schools to reports of past abuse of students by faculty have received intense scrutiny by the news media, social media, survivors, victim’s lawyers as well as alumni/ae. The attitudes and expectations related to addressing sexual abuse of students, without regard to when it occurred or whether the abuser was an adult or another student have has quickly evolved. Failure to respond quickly can cause substantial reputational damage and a political nightmare. Participants will hear from practitioners with extensive experience in working with schools on allegations of abuse. They will discuss the role of legal counsel, crisis communications, and independent investigation; and how the three areas work together and interconnect. Participants will learn best practices and strategies for managing these complex issues, and how schools can implement proactive strategies and stay abreast with the ever-evolving standard of care.

Create a Maker Space Culture not just a Maker Space

PRESENTERS: Lorri Palko, Executive Coach | Love Money Purpose LLC (GA); Elizabeth English, Head of School; Gretchen Warner, Upper School Director; and Karen Pavliscak, Middle School Director | The Archer School for Girls (CA)

Innovation in a school emanates from a particular cultural disposition, one that elevates mission above outcomes and where reciprocity -- providing educators with the capacity to innovate -- is the guiding principle among school leadership. Join executive coach Lorri Palko of Love, Money, Purpose, and Elizabeth English, Gretchen Warner, and Karen Pavliscak of the Archer School for Girls as they lead workshop participants through an interactive examination of the strategic, financial, structural, and operational conditions that give rise to a culture of purposeful innovation in a school. This workshop will build in time to reflect on current practices, discuss ideas with colleagues, and develop practical applications for your school community.

Creating an iTeam: Shifting Your Culture & Pedagogy towards Innovative Practice

PRESENTERS: Julie Diana, Director of Libraries and Humanities Innovation; Margaret Powers, Middle and Upper School Director of STEAM Innovation; and Kimberly Walker, Director of Lower School Technology Integration & Innovation | The Agnes Irwin School (PA)

Building a culture of creativity is a daunting task; shifting to a mindset of innovation is even harder. Find out how Agnes Irwin has taken a unique, collaborative, and joyful approach to distributed leadership in innovation. We have reimagined existing roles and carved out time, space, and resources to turn teachers’ ideas into action. After sharing our experiences digging into design thinking, coaching, and research-based approaches to innovation, we invite you to join us on a journey to reimagine how to support innovation at your school. Attendees leave with a digital toolbox to design their own team for innovation.

DIY Learning: A Deep Dive for Both Students and Faculty through Modulation and Design Thinking

PRESENTERS: Stephany Fontanone, Upper School Dean of Students / English Teacher and Corinne Fogg, Director of Curriculum and Professional Development | Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart (MD)

What will be the next format for student and adult learning heading through the 21st century? How do we make school more meaningful for girls? Personalize -- and make autonomy and onus the impetus for learning. Can this same platform translate to enriching the professional lives of faculty? Yes -- we call it DIY Learning! In this interactive session, participants will learn how to utilize Design Thinking for process and modulated formative assessments to ensure authentic learning outcomes. The same model used to diversify pedagogy in the classroom can be applied to student life activities as well as for Professional Development.

Establishing Common Ground Between Heads of School and Technology Leaders

PRESENTERS: Sarah Hanawald, Executive Director | Association of Technology Leaders in Independent Schools (ATLIS) (CA)

Technology's role looms large as a driver of innovation, yet conversations about technology among campus leaders are sometimes frustrating rather than fruitful. For the promise of technology to be fulfilled, heads of school and technology leaders must understand each other’s goals and establish common ground. We’ll lead participants through an examination of technology "must knows," examine several case studies, explore common pitfalls in communication, and we will delve into the complexities and misconceptions that surround some of today's innovation initiatives, such as blended learning, making and BYOD.

Got Political Ambitions? We’ve Got Your Back @IGNITE

PRESENTERS: Rini Sampath, Board Member, and Margo McClinton, Texas State Director | IGNITE; Diana O'Connor, Teacher Librarian, and Valerie Gutierrez, Student, Class of 2020 | Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School/ Young Women's Preparatory Network (TX); and Jheanelle Wilkins, Member | Maryland House of Delegates, District 20

Girls’ schools are an ideal setting to build the next generation of political leaders. Learn how IGNITE, the national expert on training young women's political leadership, can provide your school with the tools to make it happen. Hear from an elected official, IGNITE leaders, NCGS school partners & students on how to build a movement of young women who are eager to run for office and ready to own their political power!

Praise, Perfection, and Other Inhibitors to Girls' Confidence: How One School Is Changing Its Culture

PRESENTERS: Armistead Lemon, Upper School English Department Chair; Jess Hill, Upper School Director; Buffy Baker, Wellness Instructor, Varsity Tennis Coach; Jenny Jervis, Upper School French Teacher; and Adam Wilsman, Upper School Social Science Teacher | Harpeth Hall School (TN)

Research indicates that girls who succeed in the classroom paradoxically struggle with confidence once they enter the workplace. As we confront this confidence gap, we will share strategies for how we are changing the culture of our school to address five primary inhibitors to girls’ confidence: perfectionism, fear of failure, sensitivity to criticism, the language of self-doubt, and comparison. In addition to providing an overview of our work with students, faculty, and our parent community, we will explore two case studies and brainstorm about the greatest challenges to and opportunities for this important work.

Race-Based Differences in Students’ Perceptions of Teacher Feedback

PRESENTERS: Jessica Watkin, Academic Dean; Annie B., Student, Class of 2017; and Maddy S., Student, Class of 2017 | Miss Porter's School (CT)

What are the implications when student research into teacher feedback exposes race-based differences in students’ experiences and perceptions? Using student research to inform school practice was already an innovative approach, but what happens when our girls’ work reveals something we didn’t expect or welcome? In this session, student researchers and their faculty advisor will walk attendees through the cycle of innovation that started with trusting students to conduct rigorous qualitative research. Attendees will walk away with tools for launching a student research program and ideas for new ways to discuss teacher feedback, “comfortability” in the classroom, and race at school.

STEM for Sale

PRESENTERS: Annie Kapetanis, Director of Lower School; Ann Hamilton-Dixon, Lower School Instructional Technology Specialist/Coordinator; and Christy Irving, Lower School Librarian | St. Catherine's School (CA)

Presenters will share their journey launching the Fourth Grade Capstone Design Project piloted last year, which focused on STEM skills crucial to business development. An authentic, cross-curricular learning experience where students were active participants in entrepreneurship, self-directed learning, research, computer coding and 3D design and printing, the Project was inspired by, designed for, and molded by the contributions and efforts of students. Presenters hope to spark an exchange of ideas with what others are doing in their schools. Attendees will explore the online resources used in the project and will receive a comprehensive bibliography of sources.

Sugar and Spice to Glass Ceiling Smasher: The Revolution in Marketing Education for Girls' Schools

PRESENTERS: Carol Cheney, President | Cheney & Company (CT); Myra McGovern, Vice President, Media | NAIS (DC); and Lauren Castagnola, Executive Assistant to the Head | Westover School (CT)

Many girls’ schools were founded to educate young ladies to mind their manners and get good husbands. Now, girls’ schools are empowering future engineers, ambassadors, and nonprofit CEOs. This has meant seismic changes in how girls' schools market themselves in an era of growing gender equality. How are the most successful schools telling their stories about the value of single-gender education to parents -- and daughters? Three experts combine archival images, contemporary examples, and practical advice to help you evaluate your marketing approaches. Learn new strategies for harnessing the power of technology, messaging, and imagery for enrollment and fundraising growth.

Transformed Futures

PRESENTERS: Catherine Misson, Principal and Nikki Kirkup, Director of Senior Years | Melbourne Girls Grammar School (AUS)

A remodel of the Middle Years Program was the inception of change and innovation that led to the new health and wellbeing facility, the Artemis Centre. Artemis provides a transformative program that enables our girls, now and in the future, to develop the confidence, competencies, and habits to proactively monitor and manage their health and wellbeing. Supporting this paradigm is the Centre for Educational Enterprise (CEE), a platform that advances entrepreneurial thinking for our staff and our students, shaping our practices and learning experiences, and serving as a beacon for leading change in the future of education.

When the White Dress Doesn’t Fit: How are Other Girls' Schools Supporting Transgender Students

PRESENTERS: Julie Mencher, LGBT Diversity Consultant/Psychotherapist/Trainer; Paul Burke, Head of School | The Nightingale-Bamford School (NY); and Julie Faulstich, Head of School | Westover School (CT)

Educators are left scratching our heads as the intrinsically binary mindset of girls' schools collides with a 21st century gender revolution which replaces categories of female and male with a spectrum of multiple gender identities. Understandably, many schools are concerned that including transgender students may challenge the very mission of single-sex schools, disrupt school culture and traditions, and obscure the definition of what IS a girl. Using the results of nationwide research on girls’ schools and two panelists’ descriptions of their own schools' processes, we’ll examine how girls’ schools are addressing this topic with courage, creativity, and prudence.