2016 Global Forum - Breakout Sessions

[B] The 2051 Project – Academic vs. Business Innovation

DATE/TIME: Sunday, February 7, 4:40 PM-5:30 PM

PRESENTERS: Anne-Marie Kee, Executive Director | Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (Canada)

Internationally, independent schools face dual, interconnected challenges: ensuring that we continuously improve our academic program while at the same time maintaining strong, sustainable business plans to preserve our long-term heath and viability. In 1948 author George Orwell penned 1984, which imagined the world in the relatively distant future. When searching for a title for his futuristic novel, he decided to simply reverse the final two numbers. As CAIS began to focus leaders from our academic and business communities on the future challenges of independent schools, we decided to invoke Orwell. After a year of research and planning, leaders gathered in the summer of 2015 to look at which schools are actually implementing the kind of change that we know is needed. This session will share the key findings and report on the progress of schools in the midst of change.

[B] Becoming a Great Girls' School: Discovering School Culture, Diagnosing Critical Issues, and Setting Direction for Your Preferred Future

DATE/TIME: Sunday, February 7, 4:40 PM-5:30 PM

PRESENTERS: Phil Cummins, Founder and Managing Director | CIRCLE (Centre for Innovation, Research, Creativity and Leadership in Education) (Australia)

We all aspire to be great girls' schools, but how do we make this reality? In this workshop, Dr. Phil Cummins invites participants to engage with a rigorous process to create a coherent vision for girls' education and to generate an outcomes-driven, data-rich program that can be measured and evaluated. The process involves a comprehensive cultural audit, including surveys, interviews and focus groups, to create authentic engagement across the school community. While affirming what is successful in the current practices operations and ethos of a girls' school, the process unearths and challenges hidden assumptions and ways of doing things, and maps out innovative and creative programming towards a rigorously framed strategic vision. The concrete goal setting and action planning that follow provide alignment and accountability. The workshop concludes with a discussion of the capabilities required of school leaders to enact this ambitious endeavour. In drawing upon the examples of schools around the globe, Dr. Cummins will highlight the case study of one school, Waikato Diocesan School for Girls in New Zealand, which has recently complete this process. During the workshop, participants will have opportunities to check in with another and to reflect on their own school’s readiness for change.

[B] Building an Empowered Student Technology Corps

DATE/TIME: Sunday, February 7, 4:40 PM-5:30 PM

PRESENTERS: Andrea Chaves, Technology and Spanish Teacher/Technology Coordinator; Brittany Greve, TYWLSA TechCew Project Manager; and Noran Omar, Youth Media Journalist | The Young Women's Leadership School of Astoria

Tech Crew is a self-directed class comprised of student web and graphic designers, coders, filmmakers, and project managers who are passionate about pursuing careers in STEAM fields. Students are leaders in their own education, searching for real-world projects to pursue, and gaining recognition from M.I.T, Apple, and many other large corporations. Tech Crew members work to raise awareness on the gender gap in STEAM by becoming mentors to other young women at our school. In this workshop, you will learn how to create a space to engage students in real-world endeavors that involve using technology creatively for change.

[B] Character Assessment and Education in the 21st Century

DATE/TIME: Sunday, February 7, 4:40 PM-5:30 PM

PRESENTERS: Heather Hoerle, Executive Director | The Secondary School Admission Test Board (SSATB) and Lisa Pullman, Executive Director | INDEX

Character skills and development are increasingly becoming part of the conversation around student success. A suite of character assessment tools that can provide schools a more comprehensive student profile and the bigger picture on student outcomes could be the answer. Led by Heather Hoerle, SSATB and Lisa Pullman, Executive Director, Index Group., this presentation will explore various assessment tools in development meant to identify student character skills in applicant pools -- and those specific to female candidates -- and to showcase a student's potential success in a particular school's environment, as well as how schools are addressing character education as it relates to their promise on delivering a school's mission. In addition, attendees will learn ways that leading-edge independent schools are building programs in order to develop and highlight specific character traits -- for girls, boys, and the student body as a whole.

[B] Doors Wide Open: A High School's Partnership Strategy

DATE/TIME: Sunday, February 7, 4:40 PM-5:30 PM

PRESENTERS: Jane Healy, Deputy Head Strategy & Communications | St Albans High School for Girls (United Kingdom)

Three words define our ambitions for our students: scholarship, adventure and integrity. We want teachers and learners to be adventurous, to look outwards, and to learn with and from richly diverse others. Key to realising these ambitions is collaboration. We are developing partnerships locally, nationally and internationally sure in the belief that meaningful connections will endue our students with a firm sense of their roles within and responsibilities to communities beyond the school gates. We want to be a truly porous school. This presentation will set out our strategy and report on its progress to date.

[B] Forensic Instruction Brought to You by the Letters C.S.I.

DATE/TIME: Sunday, February 7, 4:40 PM-5:30 PM

PRESENTERS: Cheryl Horton, Assistant Principal; Jennifer Oliver, Principal; Maura Ayres, Dean of Instruction; and Emily Camarena, Dean of Instruction | Young Women's Leadership Academy at Arnold

The Young Women’s Leadership Academy in Grand Prairie, TX, has developed a partnership with local police and crime scene unit investigators. Together we are providing our students with a realistic, hands-on experience in the field of forensics using a mock crime scene. Teachers and CSI investigators have created curriculum for the project based learning that exposes students to different math and sciences including physics, biotechnology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology. Audience members will be provided an introduction to forensics, a guide to establishing their own project based crime scene investigation, and invited to explore the tools used by CSI experts.

[B] From Head to Heart: Social-emotional Learning for Girls Through a School-wide Initiative

DATE/TIME: Sunday, February 7, 4:40 PM-5:30 PM

PRESENTERS: Jennifer Peck-Nolte, M.A., Lower School Counselor; Kate Norton, Lower School Grade 2 Teacher; Gabriella Vovsi, M.A., Lower School Grade 3 Teacher; and Christina Kosyla, M.A., Lower School Theology and Drama Teacher | Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart

In a culture where competition is valued and leadership is expected, we endeavor to provide girls with opportunities to improve their social and emotional skills, transcending a stressful environment. Educators from an all-girls school in Princeton, NJ, will share their journey from head to heart, through a lower-school commitment to addressing relational needs. The seminar will focus on practices and strategies implemented in a comprehensive way across school departments, including in classroom and specialty settings. This workshop is both informative and experiential: participants will engage in hands-on activities and are provided with sample lessons to utilize in their own settings.

[B] Lidera+: A Program of Ethical Leadership Training to Become Agents of Change, Today at School and Tomorrow out in the World

DATE/TIME: Sunday, February 7, 4:40 PM-5:30 PM

PRESENTERS: Teresa Martinez Tomás, Head | La Vall School (Spain) and Ana Moreno Salvo, Head of Educational Programs | Institucio Familiar (Spain)

"Lidera+" is a personal development program for girls from 13 to 16 years old, which strives to attain the educational excellence of the students through their formation as ethical leaders. Each person is unique and has their own talents, which if developed, can transform the person into a leader who follows their own mission. Leadership of a few can change a class, a school, a community, and the whole society. The mission for the girls participating in "Lidera+" is titled, “We all have many talents to discover and use in service to others in order to build a better world together.” “Lidera+” is performed in three steps: access to becoming a leader, leadership training, and "more participation towards higher commitment." The last one allows the student to practice leadership as a member of the leaders’ team of their class for a school year. The program has one common framework with 60 aims which involve the five dimensions of the person: physical, emotional, rational, social and transcendental.

[B] Maker Spaces: The Head to Toe Design Process

DATE/TIME: Sunday, February 7, 4:40 PM-5:30 PM

PRESENTERS: Baird Dixon, Principal | Street Dixon Rick Architecture; Molly Rumsey, Director of Library and Imformation Services | The Harpeth Hall School; and Ann Klotz, Head of School/English Teacher and Karen Galloway, Director of Design Initiatives | Laurel School

Helpful Hints? What have we learned? What would we do differently?  A panel of representatives from Laurel School, Harpeth Hall School ,and Street Dixon Rick Architecture will discuss their individual experiences creating maker programs and the spaces that support them. Laurel School’s maker lab serves girls ages K-12 in an existing, retrofitted space while planning for the future growth of the school’s maker program. Harpeth Hall re-used a former computer lab in the lower level of their library to create their Design Den for girls ages 5th-12th grades. Street Dixon Rick has worked alongside both schools as the designer for their respective maker spaces.

[B] Social Pain and the Brain: Do Social Factors Influence Empathy?

DATE/TIME: Sunday, February 7, 4:40 PM-5:30 PM

PRESENTERS: Laura Martocci, Author and Consultant

MRI research has shown that social pain is identical to physical pain. This means that bullying creates the same cognitive disruptions as tissue damage, including 1) interference with self-regulatory capacities 2) interference with information-processing and problem-solving abilities, and 3) interference with a capacity to empathize. The pain matrix of the brain also houses "mirror neurons" linked to a capacity for empathy. Since bystanders rarely intervene, we must ask whether admonishing victims to be stoic and bystanders to "mind their own business" has influenced brain firing / their ability to respond.

[B] Students as Co-Researchers: The Intersection of Institutional Research and Student Agency

DATE/TIME: Sunday, February 7, 4:40 PM-5:30 PM

PRESENTERS: Jessica Watkin, Academic Dean; Gentry L., 12th Grade Student; and Imani M., 12th Grade Student | Miss Porter's School

Over the last several years, Miss Porter’s School has profoundly changed the ways in which we gather data from and with our students. The increase in opportunities for student voice to drive school practices and for students to become co-researchers with administrators has coincided with a period of exceptionally low attrition. In this session, we’ll discuss three examples of our commitment to this work: our Research Methods class, through which our students carry out Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR); our Community Life Team, in which students and administrators work side by side to collect and analyze student data on what helps our community thrive; and our recent self-study process for our NEASC re-accreditation, during which a student team was handed complete control over the research and writing of the report on Standard 5: The Experience of the Students.

[B] Walking the Talk: Female Leadership in All Girls’ Schools

DATE/TIME: Sunday, February 7, 4:40 PM-5:30 PM

PRESENTERS: Monica Gillespie, Head of School | Saint Mary's School; Jeannie Norris, Retired Head of School, Miss Hall's School and Interim Director of Development | Saint Mary's School; Ayanna Hill-Gill, Head of School | Atlanta Girls' School; and Lynne Thomson, Principal | St. Mary's Anglican Girls' School (AUS)

Join this interactive panel discussion with four experienced heads of school about leading all girls’ schools. Together with participants, we will explore topics including the interplay between cultivating young women leaders and being role models for them; aspiring leaders; and, lessons learned as female leaders. Participants will leave with strategies, ideas, and questions to explore about leadership to bring back to their schools as well as to reflect upon in their own professional journey.