Innovation Odyssey

Similar to breakout sessions, these 60-minute sessions allow schools share their “circle of innovation” as they explored how to solve a particular challenge and/or improve upon an existing program, process, or organizational culture.

Changemakers Club: The POWER of Social Entrepreneurship

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 3:40 PM-4:40 PM

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.

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

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 3:40 PM-4:40 PM

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.

Experimenting with an Interdisciplinary Approach to Literature and Scientific Discovery

DATE/TIME: Sunday, June 25, 4:45 PM-5:45 PM

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.

The Genesis Journey: A Curriculum of Connectivity

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 3:40 PM-4:40 PM

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

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 3:40 PM-4:40 PM

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

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 3:40 PM-4:40 PM

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.

Making Learning Public: Developing a Professional Digital Footprint

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 3:40 PM-4:40 PM

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

DATE/TIME: Sunday, June 25, 2:45 PM-3:45 PM

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.

Rethinking Grading to Promote Love of Learning

DATE/TIME: Sunday, June 25, 4:45 PM-5:45 PM

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.

A Space to Innovate: Creating a Student-Led Makerspace

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 3:40 PM-4:40 PM

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.

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

DATE/TIME: Sunday, June 25, 4:45 PM-5:45 PM

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.

Why Moving Beyond Advanced Placement Advances the Independent School Mission

DATE/TIME: Sunday, June 25, 4:45 PM-5:45 PM

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.

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

DATE/TIME: Sunday, June 25, 2:45 PM-3:45 PM

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

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 3:40 PM-4:40 PM

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.

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

DATE/TIME: Sunday, June 25, 2:45 PM-3:45 PM

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.

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

DATE/TIME: Sunday, June 25, 2:45 PM-3:45 PM

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.

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.

DATE/TIME: Sunday, June 25, 2:45 PM-3:45 PM

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.

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

DATE/TIME: Sunday, June 25, 2:45 PM-3:45 PM

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

DATE/TIME: Sunday, June 25, 2:45 PM-3:45 PM

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.

STRATA: Connecting Art, Science, and Indigenous Culture

DATE/TIME: Sunday, June 25, 4:45 PM-5:45 PM

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.

Leadership across Cultures

DATE/TIME: Sunday, June 25, 2:45 PM-3:45 PM

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

DATE/TIME: Sunday, June 25, 2:45 PM-3:45 PM

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.

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

DATE/TIME: Sunday, June 25, 2:45 PM-3:45 PM

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

DATE/TIME: Sunday, June 25, 4:45 PM-5:45 PM

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.

Foundation for Innovation

DATE/TIME: Sunday, June 25, 2:45 PM-3:45 PM

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.

EPICS Engineering Inspires Girls’ Creative Problem Solving for Service Learning

DATE/TIME: Sunday, June 25, 4:45 PM-5:45 PM

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.

Curriculum Innovation : A Journey Guided by Student Voice

DATE/TIME: Sunday, June 25, 4:45 PM-5:45 PM

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

DATE/TIME: Sunday, June 25, 2:45 PM-3:45 PM

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

DATE/TIME: Sunday, June 25, 2:45 PM-3:45 PM

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.

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

DATE/TIME: Sunday, June 25, 4:45 PM-5:45 PM

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.

Admissions Practices: Making the Right Choices From A Legal Perspective

DATE/TIME: Sunday, June 25, 4:45 PM-5:45 PM

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.

Empowering and Inspiring Girls in STEM through Robotics

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 1:50 PM-2:50 PM

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

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 1:50 PM-2:50 PM

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.

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

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 1:50 PM-2:50 PM

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.

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

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 1:50 PM-2:50 PM

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.

Surveys, Dashboards, Information Overload: Now What?

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 1:50 PM-2:50 PM

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

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 1:50 PM-2:50 PM

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

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 1:50 PM-2:50 PM

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.

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

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 1:50 PM-2:50 PM

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.

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

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 1:50 PM-2:50 PM

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.

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

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 1:50 PM-2:50 PM

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.

School Wellness: How to Be More Without Doing More?

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 1:50 PM-2:50 PM

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.

Fostering Girl Advocates in a New Political Climate

DATE/TIME: Monday, June 26, 1:50 PM-2:50 PM

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!

Inspiring Creativity Through Game Design & Coding

DATE/TIME: Tuesday, June 27, 9:45 AM-10:45 AM

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.

Expanding Your Educational Innovations through Social Enterprise

DATE/TIME: Tuesday, June 27, 9:45 AM-10:45 AM

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.

Walking Together: Taking Mindful Action in a Complex World

DATE/TIME: Tuesday, June 27, 9:45 AM-10:45 AM

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.

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

DATE/TIME: Tuesday, June 27, 9:45 AM-10:45 AM

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!

Re-imagining and Exploring the Possibilities for your Admission Process

DATE/TIME: Tuesday, June 27, 9:45 AM-10:45 AM

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.

Saint Joseph Academy Health Science Honors Program

DATE/TIME: Tuesday, June 27, 9:45 AM-10:45 AM

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.

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

DATE/TIME: Tuesday, June 27, 9:45 AM-10:45 AM

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?”.

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

DATE/TIME: Tuesday, June 27, 9:45 AM-10:45 AM

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.

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

DATE/TIME: Tuesday, June 27, 9:45 AM-10:45 AM

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.