2015 NCGS Conference - INSPIRE! Sessions: I

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INSPIRE! Sessions are 25-minute long discussions conducted in an intimate, roundtable-style format. They are currently scheduled to be held at 11:30 AM on Tuesday, June 23, and at 11:15 AM on Wednesday, June 24.

[I] Bringing Out of School Techniques to In-School Science Settings

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 9:30 AM-10:30 AM

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.

[I] Bringing Past Communities to the Present

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 9:30 AM-10:30 AM

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.

[I] Building Sisterhood: Practices in Developing Intentional Relationships

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 9:30 AM-10:30 AM

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.

[I] Creating a Culture of Confidence Through Entrepreneurial Thinking

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 9:30 AM-10:30 AM

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.

[I] The Creative Use of Sports as a Vehicle for Science Learning

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 9:30 AM-10:30 AM

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.

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

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 9:30 AM-10:30 AM

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.

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

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 9:30 AM-10:30 AM

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.

[I] Igniting 21st-Century Learning Through Viral Rumors

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 9:30 AM-10:30 AM

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.

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

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 9:30 AM-10:30 AM

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.

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

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 9:30 AM-10:30 AM

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.

[I] One Front Door: From Summer Camp to Applicant

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 9:30 AM-10:30 AM

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.

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

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 9:30 AM-10:30 AM

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.


DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 9:30 AM-10:30 AM

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.

[I] Thistory

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 9:30 AM-10:30 AM

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.

[I] Using an Innovation Panel to Build Cross Curricular and Cross Division Growth

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 9:30 AM-10:30 AM

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!

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

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 9:30 AM-10:30 AM

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.

[I] Empowering Savvy Digital Citizens

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 9:30 AM-10:30 AM

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.

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

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 9:30 AM-10:30 AM

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.

[I] Critical Friends: School Leader Intervisitations and PD

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 9:30 AM-10:30 AM

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.