Breakout Sessions: Baltimore

Advancing the Mission of Girls Schools: The Faculty and Staff’s Role in Storytelling and Stewarding

Faculty and staff members often wonder what role they play in building the brand, and in marketing, advancing, promoting, and selling their school. What they do not realize is that they — each one of them– is THE key to marketing, advancing, promoting, and selling the school. This session will (1) present a case study on how to empower faculty to play that role, and (2) provide steps and suggestions on working with your faculty and staff.

PRESENTERS: Connie Mitchell, Director of Marketing and Communications, and Melissa Prather, Director of Institutional Advancement | Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart


AthLEADs: Harnessing the Power of Sport to Build Transferrable Leadership Skills

A global EY and espnW survey of senior executives found that 96% of women in the C-Suite played a sport, 52% played at the college/university level, and 74% said a background in sport can accelerate a woman’s career. Armed with this information, The Agnes Irwin School’s Center for the Advancement of Girls and Athletic Department sought to harness the power of girls’ athletic experience to strengthen their leadership. Our efforts resulted in a seminar series for student-athletes called AthLEADs, which teaches girls how leadership skills cultivated through athletics can be transferred to leadership success in the classroom and beyond.

PRESENTERS: Alison Monzo, Program Manager | Center for the Advancement of Girls at The Agnes Irwin School, and Courtney Lubbe, Athletic Director, and Lauren Wray, Assistant Athletic Director | The Agnes Irwin School


Bringing New Faculty on Board: Mentoring and Retaining New Faculty

In girls’ schools, our goal is to attract, hire, and retain the best teachers possible. We seek passionate, thoughtful, and invested individuals who want to spend their time teaching, advising, coaching, and nurturing young people. However, each school has its own unique culture and set of expectations. In order for new teachers to thrive and be successful, it is essential that we put structures in place to mentor and support them. In this session, we will discuss strategies for bringing new faculty on board, providing mentorship, and making sure they meet their full potential, beginning in Year 1.

PRESENTERS: Sara Rollfinke, Dean of Faculty, and Kim Hoffman, History Department Head | Roland Park Country School


Budget Meets Mission

Budgets should reflect how a school’s resources are allocated to deliver on its mission. So how do girls’ school leaders help fulfill a school’s mission by pulling the appropriate strategic financial levers? That’s the key question we’ll explore in this session for administrators of all levels. In this session, we will help participants: (1) Gain a clearer understanding of the independent school business model in use by a majority of girls’ schools; (2) Learn the most important revenue and expense streams that determine a school’s financial sustainability; (3) Explore the variety of financial levers schools may consider to ensure long-term financial health; and (4) Explore collaborative opportunities among departments in working towards financial sustainability.

PRESENTERS: James Palmieri, Senior Vice President | National Business Officers Association (NBOA), and Brad Rathgeber, Head of School & CEO | One Schoolhouse


Building a Student-Driven K-12 Computer Science Program

Even with an increased focus on closing the gender gap within the fields of technology, recent data has shown that the gender gap is still widening. Furthermore, the fundamental concepts of Computer Science: computational thinking, algorithmic design, and computer programming, have applications for students in all disciplines and are future core competencies for our students. In this session, participants will learn elements to prioritize when building a K-12 Computer Science program, how to create a course sequence, potential roadblocks, and how to leverage partners and strategies for student adoption in a traditionally elective based environment. There will be opportunities for structured brainstorming within a small group setting to discuss what is working at other schools and implementation strategies for new programming at each participant’s school.

PRESENTERS: Justin Curtis, Senior Director of Academic and Strategic Initiatives | The Bryn Mawr School, and Jackie Blizzard-Caron, Director of Campus Education, and Emily Heist Moss, Director of Student Recruitment, Girls Who Code Campus | Girls Who Code


Building Communities Beyond Service: Developing Student Voice and Risk-taking through Academic Public-Private Partnership

Schools today are looking to provide students with opportunities for real-world experience, the ability to work with people from different backgrounds, and chances to strive through adversity. The Bryn Mawr School and the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women created an innovative academic partnership in which students from the two schools study the legacy of racial segregation in Baltimore. Through this work, students are given the opportunity to work collaboratively through difference, to take risks and negotiate conflict, and to engage with the broader Baltimore community. Presenters will address the potential of such private-public academic partnerships and the challenges involved.

PRESENTERS: Irina Spector-Marks, History Teacher | The Bryn Mawr School, and Shardae Shipman, English Teacher and New Teacher Mentor, and Cristina Easton, Upper School Principal | Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women


Confidence Counts: An Intentionally Designed Program for Middle School Girls Focusing on Building and Maintaining Confidence

Presenters Nicole Johnston and Jennifer Landis will discuss Oak Knoll’s successful new signature program, Confidence Counts. The program focuses on empowering middle school-aged girls to risk, fail, and recover using hands-on lessons and activities. Students explore healthy risk-taking, positive role modeling, communication skillsm and conflict resolution; building confidence along the way. Daily challenges and team-building activities round out this dynamic, interactive program. The book The Confidence Code for Girls is used as a resource throughout the program. Parent sessions focus on related topics, including tips for how parents can be sources of support as their daughters build and maintain confidence.

PRESENTERS: Nicole Johnston, Upper School History Teacher, and Jennifer Landis, Upper School Division Head | Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child


Creative Leaders: Using Theatre Arts Curriculum to Facilitate Student Empowerment

Creating leaders often means getting out of the way of our students’ visions and allowing them to lead the process of their own work while learning both from their own ideas and the process itself. In a collaborative session lead by the Middle School and Upper School Theatre Teachers of St. Paul’s School for Girls, we will discuss a variety of ways to empower students to create their own visions; from writing original plays to directing. In each example, emphasis will be placed on connecting student-centered learning to professional practice. Teachers taking this workshop will learn about an overall class structure that makes such student-centered work successful, as well as specific lesson content and possible applications to other subject areas.

PRESENTERS: Katie Keddell, Middle School Theatre Teacher, and Chris Kemmerer, Upper School Theatre Teacher | St. Paul’s School for Girls

 


Cultivating Courageous Student Leaders

Presenting a leadership course for middle school students, which equips them with critical tools and skills to lead courageous dialogues related to equity, diversity, and social justice. Throughout the year, students learn about social identifiers, the historical and social construction of race, and different kinds of oppression and discrimination. They use this knowledge to understand their identities, develop tools for social justice dialogue, and practice applying these in real life situations. During this presentation, we deliver an overview of the 10-session curriculum, including lessons and hands-on activities, which equip middle school students to become more effective leaders in their schools.

PRESENTERS: Jessica North Macie, English Teacher and Dean of Students, and Priscilla Siu, English Teacher | National Cathedral School


A Dialogue on Leading in Today’s Interconnected World

What are the competencies that research shows our students and our school leaders need in today’s world? How do we make sense of this research for our schools? How do we design learning with these competencies in mind? How can we leverage existing programs? How do we determine if and when it’s working? Beginning with a brief overview on current research in global competencies – what students need to lead in today’s world – the dialogue will then open for participants to share perspectives, challenges, successes, questions and practical advice. Facilitators will create a conversation that highlights useful examples from many different schools.

PRESENTERS: Clare Sisisky, Executive Director | The Global Education Benchmark Group (GEBG), and Melissa Brown, Director of Diversity, Wellbeing, and Global Education | Holton-Arms School


Empowerment Through Financial Literacy: Invest in Girls

Knowledgeable financial decision-making empowers young women and allows them to overcome adversity. This session will share the highlights of a long-standing partnership between Bryn Mawr and Invest in Girls. Our shared mission to advance women’s leadership and wellbeing by teaching important financial skills will be demonstrated through a case study of the work we do together, the impact we have seen it have on life and career choices, and reflections from IIG volunteers about the importance of this work in educating young women.

PRESENTERS: Betsy Kelder, Executive Director | Invest in Girls, and Sue Sadler, Head of School | The Bryn Mawr School


Examining Our History: Building Strategic Partnerships with Students, the Development Office, and Alumnae through a Living History Exhibit

This session explores a collaborative project by the Women’s History elective and the Development Office at St. Paul’s School for Girls where students conducted thorough archival research and built a Living History Exhibit on SPSG’s history. Students gained valuable skills in research, design, collaboration and problem solving, and fostered strong connections to the school and its history. The exhibit, along with oral history podcasts with SPSG alumnae during reunion weekend, highlighted the extensive and generative possibilities of these partnerships. Learn how students designed this project and how to implement similar initiatives to engage with your students, alumnae, and school’s history.

PRESENTERS: Eliza McGehee, Upper School History Teacher | The Steward School,  and Kimberly Parks, Director of Development; Tania Ghandour, Student; and Meghan Young, Student | St. Paul’s School for Girls


Foster a Growth-Focused Faculty Culture and Empower Teacher Leadership

How do we ensure we have an outstanding, growth-focused faculty to deliver our mission with excellence and model the competencies girls need to thrive? Many schools try traditional teacher evaluation systems to accomplish this goal, but these often have the opposite effect of inhibiting risk-taking and creativity by placing emphasis on judging instead of empowering. Mount Saint Dominic Academy and Independent School Management partner to share research and a practical, proven approach to fostering a flourishing culture that encourages teacher growth, innovation, and leadership, personalizes professional development to meet teachers’ diverse needs, and ensures teacher excellence.

PRESENTERS: Marissa Muoio, Dean of Academics | Mount St. Dominic Academy, and Barbara Beachley, Director of Advisory Services | Independent School Management, Inc.


From Dreams to Beams: Transforming Priorities into Projects

The Bryn Mawr School’s strategic plan “The Bryn Mawr Way: A Contemporary Vision for What Girls Need to Thrive,” approved in 2016, builds upon the school’s powerful academic reputation and strengths, while ensuring that the school nurtures girls in every aspect of their lives. The plan supports experiences including wellness practices, leadership and scholarship opportunities, collaborative and experiential learning experiences, and a community that values and supports them. To bring the plan to life, Bryn Mawr renovated existing facilities to create inspirational spaces that encourage wellness and creativity, and that add to the daily experience for each Bryn Mawr student.

PRESENTERS: Sue Sadler, Head of School | The Bryn Mawr School; Casey Smith, Principal | Hord Coplan Macht; and Irene Knott, Vice President | The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company


Hidden Figures Brought To Light

The film “Hidden Figures” recognized the achievements of three unsung African-American women who were significant to the success of NASA’s launch of John Glenn in to orbit. These women – Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson – were the brains behind the success of this endeavor. In a similar way, teachers have the opportunity to trumpet the achievements of women and highlight their brilliance, resilience and determination in overcoming obstacles. Todd Twining and Katie Walsh will present how they apply this in their classrooms, sharing valuable tools for any discipline.

PRESENTERS: Todd Twining, Music Teacher, and Katie Walsh, English Teacher | The Bryn Mawr School


Leadership in Academic Context: Building Learning, Literacy, and Life Skills in a Project-Based STEM Classroom

Explore a high school design course that reinforces leadership skills in an academic environment. Engineer Your World builds critical 21st century skills while inspiring young women to embrace a creative, analytical approach to problem solving. With a focus on team-based, human-centered design, the program teaches learning and literacy skills (e.g., critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration) as well as critical life skills such as flexibility, initiative, leadership, and persistence. See authentic student artifacts and hear from teacher Kelly Wilson (Severn School) about how this course has helped girls at her school develop leadership abilities and learn to take intellectual risks.

PRESENTERS: Cheryl Farmer, Director of Precollege Engineering Education Initiatives | The University of Texas at Austin, and Kelly Wilson, Director of Studies | Severn School


Navigating Differences through Dialogue

How do we expand our students’ capacity to deeply and actively listen? How do we create opportunities for them to grow in self-knowledge and self-confidence in the face of difference? How do we build community rooted in compassion, reciprocity, authenticity, and hope? In response to the increasingly complex times we find ourselves in, the Network of Sacred Heart Schools has made training students and educators in dialogue a priority. Come learn about our most effective training tools, how we’ve built brave spaces for difficult conversations, and the biggest lessons we’ve learned along the way.

PRESENTERS: Claire Lorentzen, Director of Mission Engagement, Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ, Head | Conference of Sacred Heart Education, and Amanda Codina, Dean of Students | Convent of the Sacred Heart (NY)


A Parliament of Owls: A Middle School Advisory Model

The Agnes Irwin School recently implemented a new model of advisory in Middle School which was designed to intentionally teach the Middle School Values Statement while meeting the Strategic Plan goal to “help each girl develop a positive sense of self.” The model, known as Parliament (for that is how Owls gather), was designed to meet specific needs at AIS, but the method of developing it is useful for anyone looking to re-imagine their own school’s advisory system. The implementation plan, system, resources, discoveries from year one, and revisions for year two will be shared with participants.

PRESENTERS: Cintra Horn, Middle School Director, and Char Pomeroy, Math Teacher, Parliamentor | The Agnes Irwin School


Parents as Partners to Enhance Girls Learning and Development

Does your school deliver an exceptional Parent Experience? There is much evidence that the school and family partnership is essential to help each student reach her greatest potential. I will share first hand information about the value of the home and school relationship to strengthen girls’ confidence and success in school, as well as meet the needs of parents as learners in their daughter’s school experience. This workshop will introduce the stages of development of parents, types and roles of parents, and will share ways that every school can take a new look at the unique dual relationship of the Student Experience and the Parent Experience. Participants will be able to review the design of their school programs and determine if they are delivering on these expectations. Come discuss and see how partnerships with parents can enhance retention and enrollment, student success, build strong school communities and strengthen parent commitment.

PRESENTER: Renee DuChainey-Farkes, Head of School | The Woodward School for Girls


Preparing Girls for Global Citizenship

Requiring our girls to read world literature is only the first step in cultivating their capacity for global citizenship. Ensuring that they gain the curiosity and competence for leadership on the world stage is one of the most formidable challenges in schools today. This interactive presentation will equip participants with strategies for facilitating student skills and practice in this arena. Participants will receive resources including online platforms for dialogue with other classrooms around the world, Model United Nations and Model Arab League starter kits, a list of guest speakers vetted by top-tier universities, and reading lists.

PRESENTER: Dr. Rabiah Khalil, Upper School English Teacher | Roland Park Country School


The Real Deal about Being Head of School: Leading Schools in This Day and Age

Whether you are an aspiring Head of School, now in the role, or want to grow your leadership profile in your current position, come join the conversation about the skills and mindset needed to be an effective leader in today’s girls’ schools.

PRESENTERS: Trisha Medeiros, President | Ursuline Academy; Sue Bosland, Interim Head of School | National Cathedral School; Marisa Porges, Head of School | The Baldwin School; and Sue Sadler, Head of School | The Bryn Mawr School


Redefining Classroom Boundaries: The Potential of Service-learning in Value-driven Education

In 2016, Notre Dame Preparatory School established a service-learning program to complement its service requirement for graduation. Consistent with NDP’s mission to educate young women who transform the world, the service-learning pedagogy promotes connection to course content by integrating justice experiences in the curriculum. In redefining the boundaries of the classroom, students are better equipped to answer why their education matters. Service-learning engages critical thinking skills, amplifies the student voice, and encourages a lifestyle of service. With NDP’s AP Studio Art as an example, the pedagogy will be detailed for application in the high-school setting, and compared to traditional service programs.

PRESENTERS: Steven Pomplon, Director of Social Service, and Anne Walker, Chairperson, Art Department | Notre Dame Preparatory School


Regarding Icebergs: Culture Change through Schedule Change

This session describes both challenges and lessons learned through the ongoing implementation of a new schedule at The Bryn Mawr School for the 2019-20 school year. The new schedule was created to foster innovative programs that build students’ independence, collaboration, and self-advocacy through experiential learning opportunities and enhanced capacity for external community engagement. We will also draw on our reading of John Kotter’s helpful work on organizational change, “Our Iceberg is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Circumstances.” Join us and others in a conversation about a real life work in progress.

PRESENTERS: Nicole Hood, Director of Upper School; Jason George, Academic Dean; Jeanette Budzik, Director of Leadership Programming/9th Grade Dean; and Eric Elton, Director of Community Engagement | The Bryn Mawr School


Rethinking Professional Development: A Focus on the School’s Internal Community

The greatest resources for professional development are often found within the school’s internal community. This session looks at best practices to increase “teachers teaching teachers” and attempts to redefine faculty evaluation as a positive opportunity for an educator’s growth and reflection. Participants in this session should come prepared for active learning— there will be time to share ideas, ask questions, and consider new strategies to implement at your school.

PRESENTER: Joe Doherty, Director of Academics and Programmatic Affairs | Oldfields School


Seminar at Saint Mary’s: Empowering Students for Life

In the 2018-2019 school year, Saint Mary’s piloted our Seminar program, a program which offers grade-level specific learning that uses a competency-based approach to prepare our students for life beyond college. Empowering students through competencies rather than grades aligns them with both the types of jobs likely to be available in the future and with the desired qualities companies seek in their hires. This program was the result of several years of research and continues to be iterated as we work to train our faculty to teach new content and as we respond to student feedback.

PRESENTER: Heather Ramee, Seminar Program Lead | Saint Mary’s School


Social Entrepreneurship and Ethical Leadership

“The community you deserve is the community you help build.” Entrepreneur Allen Murabayashi’s tenet is at the core of our hands-on workshop that is modeled after a “mini bootcamp” approach. In this interactive session participants will learn how to creatively problem-solve within an ethical framework. The session is designed for educators to help their students cultivate meaningful projects, real-life experiences, and a greater sense of collaboration. Our end goal is to investigate how we think, how we question, and how students approach complexities in the burgeoning fields of social entrepreneurship and ethical leadership.

PRESENTERS: Naa-Adei Kotey, Academic Dean; Paige North, SPIRITUS Scholars Coordinator & MS History Teacher; and Emily Ziegler, Director of Instructional Technology | St. Paul’s School for Girls


Social Media Wellness in Girls

A recent survey at Roland Park Country School (RPCS) found that 52 percent of the fourth and fifth graders and 72 percent of high schoolers feel that social media, messaging, and gaming make their work longer to finish or harder to complete. In this workshop, we will take a closer look at the survey questions and results and share details about a new program created by the faculty at RPCS and Lillie May Carroll Jackson Charter School using Ana Homayoun’s book, Social Media Wellness: Helping Teens and Tweens Thrive in an Unbalanced Digital World, to help students make better choices around social media and technology use to improve their resilience, confidence, and overall wellness.

PRESENTERS: Carolyn Parker, Director of Counseling | Roland Park Country School; Ana Homayoun, Author, Speaker, Counselor, and School Consultant; and Amanda Eby, Director of Scholar Development, and Shar Hollingsworth, Student Support Coordinator | Lillie May Carroll Jackson Charter School


ST(R)EAM Creative Advocacy

The addition of an “R” in “STREAM” indicates the necessary research and writing skills that support STEAM curriculum. Sixth graders at the Bryn Mawr School read “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” in English, study the Chesapeake Bay in Science, and independently research organizations devoted to water pollution issues as part of a creative advocacy project incorporating website design, rhetoric, visual representation, problem identification and solving, and experiential learning in service of a regional environmental issue. Students also engage in days of service for our own school community through collaboration in an on-campus rain garden and active cleaning of our surrounding natural environment.

PRESENTERS: Lora Peters, 6th Grade Science Teacher / Director of Community Service Learning; Natalie Stevei, 6th Grade English Teacher; Mary Mullaj, Middle and Lower School Art Teacher; and Claire Sargo, Middle School Computer Science Teacher | The Bryn Mawr School


Strategic Marketing: Today’s Best Practices to Market Girls’ Schools Successfully

Marketing a girls’ school presents unique challenges and opportunities, particularly with Millennial parents for whom single-sex education may not have the cache it did with previous generations. Garrison Forest School, part of Baltimore’s competitive independent school market, has embraced a new strategic approach to its enrollment needs. In this panel discussion, the GFS leadership team will address four questions that every girls’ school must answer: What does the prospective family value? How to address the changing priorities of Millennial parents? What types of marketing efforts are possible with limited resources? How to address the all-girls advantage in relevant ways?

PRESENTERS: Jonathan Oleisky, President | Kalix Marketing, and Chris Hughes, Head of School; Catie Gibbons, Director of Admission; and Shelly Placek, Director of Communications | Garrison Forrest School


Strengthening Organizational Definitions of Leadership: Re-imagining the Building Blocks for Girls’ Education

Leadership initiatives require review of the administration’s current vision and practice to align the new approach to the organization. Horizons at The Ethel Walker School (HEWS), the first all-girls program, seeks to create the conditions, connections, and community that enable every student to realize her leadership potential. Years later, HEWS has embarked on strengthening the intersection between valuing girls individually and instilling the values of our collective fate as women. This session will provide reflective tools to assess practices for determining purpose, impact, and outcome. Initiatives that center girls should reinforce collaboration towards a common purpose, engendering leadership that will effect change.

PRESENTERS: Isabel Ceballos, Executive Director; Nishette Isaac, Faculty Member; and Brigitte Leschhorn, Program Committee Member | Horizons at The Ethel Walker School


Teaching, Loving, and Believing in Black Girls: Making Room for their Voices

Being a Black girl is joyful, magical, and yet, sometimes complicated and difficult. Research has shown that Black girls are viewed by their teachers as more aggressive and less innocent, and are more likely to be punished than their White counterparts. This session will offer a brief overview of the research surrounding Black girls in classroom settings as well as a few strategies that can be implemented in the classroom to center Black girls’ voices. We will also discuss ways that teachers can work to counteract their biases in regard to Black girls, and will look at a few student reflections about what they wish their teachers knew/understood about being a Black girl. This session is great for teachers of grades K-12.

PRESENTER: Akailah Jenkins McIntyre, Director of Diversity and Inclusion | Roland Park Country School


Turning Leadership Inside Out: Moving Towards Authentic, Values-Based Leadership

Research on human flourishing and best practices for girls teach us that girls need to feel known and valued, to experience purposeful engagement, and to master essential skills and content. Through our inter-departmental collaboration – from STEM, English, Art, and Wellness to the maintenance department, business office and advancement team – our students live out our core values, develop essential skills, and make an impact. In this workshop, we will share our strategies for taking a school-wide approach to developing a values-based leadership curriculum that connects girls with their community inside and out.

PRESENTERS: Emily Johns, Assistant Head of Student Life; Josie Ross, Assistant Dean of Residential Life; and Courtney Ulmer, Assistant Head of School for Academics | Foxcroft School


Voice and Vision: Creation for an Authentic Audience

Eighth graders are more powerful than we often imagine. Come learn about a year-long, capstone seminar at Bryn Mawr in which students “create something real for someone real”. Through a human-centered design journey, students use a personal interest or skill to design a real product, service, or work of art for a real audience. This seminar has surprised our community with its ability to engage and connect students, alumnae, and parents. As simply one example of personalized, purpose-driven learning, we hope our short presentation will be a jumping off point for sharing and discussion of other examples within NCGS.

PRESENTERS: Amanda Macomber, Middle School Director; Becky Morris, Assistant Director of Middle School; and Adrienne Knight, Middle School Drama Coordinator | The Bryn Mawr School


Women Philanthropists of the Future: Prepare Now To Engage Them

Women’s wealth is rising quickly — as is their influence in both family philanthropic decisions and their own individual giving. Are you preparing for this next decade when women will become even more powerful philanthropists in our society, but giving in ways that are different than men? We will discuss strategies to maximize engagement from women based on research that: 1) women often give collectively, 2) today’s young women have dramatically greater influence in giving than previous generations, and 3) women want to help transform missions they care about. Participants will leave the session with at least two strategies they can implement now to harness these economic and demographic shifts and grow resources for their school.

PRESENTER: Kathleen Loehr, Senior Consultant | Aspen Leadership Group