Upper School Directors

2020-2021 Schedule and Topics

Headways for Upper School Directors will be facilitated by Laura Hotchkiss, NCGS Trustee & Associate Head of Academics and Director of Upper School, at Marlborough School. All meetings will occur at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Please note that the curriculum is subject to change, as NCGS is mindful of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and will ensure that discussion topics are timely and relevant.

Headways for Upper School Directors is open to those in positions including but not limited to Assistant Principal, Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs, Associate Head of School/Head of Upper School, Director of Upper School, Head of Upper School, Head of Senior School, etc.

October 8, 2020: Starting the School Year

Topics to consider: onboarding new employees, goal setting and evaluation, initiatives and priorities, work-life balance, messaging to parents and students, senior year – college, role models, traditions

November 5, 2020: Program Development, Curricular and Co-Curricular

Topics to consider: curricular – AP Program, Capstone/Research, STEM/STEAM; Co-Curricular – Advisory programs, Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Athletics, Arts, Technology integration, Online behavior;

Questions to consider: schedule and structure, desired goals/outcomes, key topics, suggested materials/resources/speakers, curriculum development, opportunities for teachers and students, desired goals/outcomes, and how to measure “success”

January 7, 2021: Grading and Assessment

Topics to consider: high school expectations, project-based and collaborative work, effects of assessment on health and wellness, rubrics and alternative forms of assessment, peer-to-peer assessment, student-led conferences, portfolios

February 18, 2021: Tapping into Talent –Faculty Recruitment and Retention

Topics to consider: structure and organization of hiring process, interviews on campus, sample lessons, role of department head and department members, orientations, professional growth, evaluation, leadership pathways

April 22, 2021: Preparing for Next Steps – College and Careers

Topics to consider: college prep programs and pressures, internship and shadow day programs, balancing academics and extracurricular responsibilities, parent education, finishing strong for seniors, launching young alumnae


Available exclusively to NCGS member schools, each cohort includes five conversation topics. A registration fee of $250 is required by each participant. Space is limited with preference given to new, first-time participants who can commit to joining every session within a cohort.

Advance-registration for the 2020-2021 Headways program is now open! Join the list to receive information ahead of the general registration period in late August.