SAIS Headlines
January 2013

Tuition Banding
by Cobb Atkinson, Westchester Country Day School


Over the past several years, I have heard the following account from my Director of Admissions more times than I can count.  We are discussing prospective families for early childhood tours-PK, K, and first-and a great lead will have backed away from the process.  Our call to them results in the following explanation:  "We would love to bring Amanda to Westchester and we can afford to do it this year, but we don't want to enroll her, have her fall in love with the school, and then break her heart when we have to pull her in a couple of years because we can't afford it any more."  MORE ... 

Why Does Randolph Have Financial Aid?
by Byron Hulsey, Randolph School


Parents occasionally ask me why Randolph invests in financial aid, the resource that the Board of Trustees sets aside in every annual budget to fund the school's efforts to recruit and retain the best students from the most supportive families, regardless of their capacity to pay full tuition.  This is a good question, and one that is important to answer, especially in the midst of an uncertain economy that has families, businesses, schools and universities understandably anxious about long-term financial sustainability.  MORE ...

Admissions Funnels in SAIS Schools 
In this Fast Stats we will take a look at the two key sets of enrollment data in any independent school. The first is often called the admissions funnel: the proportion of inquiries to applications, applications to acceptances and acceptances to enrollees. Admissions funnel data is especially useful for not only assessing raw numbers throughout the funnel but also in comparing a particular school's numbers on any element in the funnel with norms for independent schools. For example, if a school has a relatively normal inquiries total but applications are well below the average then a school might want to investigate how it responds to inquiries.  MORE ...

SAIS Finance Institute: Learn to Speak Your CFO's Language

January 28-29 | Atlanta, GA


The 2013 SAIS Finance Institute will be led by veteran school business officer Barb Egan (CFO, Woodward Academy, Atlanta, GA), and Dale Cermak Mullarkey, who has over 19 years of experience in the education and employee benefits fields.


The curriculum will cover a variety of aspects of day-to-day business operations and is an excellent view into school finance and the worries of the business manager's office. It helps those who are primarily from an academic background better comprehend the complexities of school life and just how many moving parts there really are.


Get all the details and register here

-book review-
Brain Rules by John Medina


When American classrooms were designed over a hundred years ago, we knew little about how our brains work or the optimal conditions for our brains to learn.  The goal then was efficiency: straight rows with the teacher at the front seemed the best manner to deliver information.  Today, however, experimental psychologists, cognitive neuroscientists, and evolutionary biologists can teach us quite a bit more about how brain science affects student achievement and improves learning.  What we now know is that the human brain was designed to solve problems related to survival in outdoor settings in unstable meteorological conditions under constant motion.  In short, our brains have been evolutionarily adapted to learn in a setting antithetical to the traditional American classroom.  So what should we do with this new knowledge?  How should we modify the schoolhouse or our behavior as educators to maximize student learning now that we understand how students' brains operate?  MORE ...

SAIS President Dr. Steve Robinson:
5 Articles on Aspects of Admission


Dr. Steve Robinson, President of SAIS, has spoken and written extensively on admissions and enrollment management.  Here is a collection of five of his articles on the subject:

Check Out These Blogs ... view online here


Charity Should Not Be a Competition, But When It Is ...

Director of Fugees Academy (GA) Luma Mufleh reflects on her school's quest to win $1 million dollars from Chase American Giving Awards.


Season 1: Learn Faster, Lead Further

Mount Vernon Presbyterian (GA) Head of School Brett Jacobsen unveils "season 1" of series of podcast interviews with leaders and thinkers in design thinking.


Everyone is Served by Service Projects

Susan Cobbs, Randolph's (AL) Director of Lower School Curriculum and Student Life, shares what young children learn from helping others.


The Right People on the Bus

Walker School (GA) Pre-School Principal Gail Doss emphasizes the value of great teachers as the essential key to any school's success.


We Read to Know That We Are Not Alone

Suzanna Jemsby, Galloway (GA) Head of School, loves the opportunities young adult literature offers to create shared experiences.


Tigger: Classic ADHD personality, especially when he almost bounces clear outta the book!

Lisa Goldin, Director of Darlington School's (GA) Teaching and Learning Center, helps us understand the symptoms of ADHD through the characters in the Winnie the Pooh series.


Do you blog?  Send a note to [email protected] so we can follow you!

Charting a Direction for Online Learning:
What are the Opportunities and Challenges of Online Learning at Your School?

Join us for a blended course that will help administrators do a "deep-dive" into online learning, and the opportunities and challenges that online learning presents for independent schools.  It will cover both the strategic decisions that schools face and the practical issues for implementation of online learning within a school.  Particular focus will be spent on pedagogical and financial implications for schools.  During the course, participants will be exposed to national leaders and experts in online learning, including experts within the independent school community.


This course will consist of both online assignments and interactions plus two in-person, day-long workshops held at The Lovett School in Atlanta, GA. Participants should expect assignments to take approximately 4-6 hours to complete (about every three weeks).  The in-person workshops will begin at 9:00 AM and end at 2:30 PM on February 19 and June 10. Schools are encouraged to send teams of 3-5 people.  The cost is $1,250 per person and registration opens on Monday, December 17.  The course is limited to 30 participants; register early to ensure your spot.


Additional information and registration here.

Tuition Banding
Financial Aid
Admissions Funnels
Finance Institute
Book Review
Blogs of Note
Online Learning Course
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Lunch & Learn
with Allen Broyles 
January 25
Neuroscience, Learning Differences, and the Students You Might be Missing Out On ...

Allen Broyles, Assistant Head of School and Middle School Principal at The Howard School in Atlanta, will lead participants through the research and describe why the current "sit still" model of classrooms works against the brain's evolution. There are really bright kids who mainstream schools often don't support, but most colleges do (i.e. students that mainstream schools might consider differently in the admissions process). 
Visit to register and also be sure to check out Allen's video "Brains, Brains, Brains" at 
Education With 
a Global Focus
The spring forum series is designed to provide a thoughtful and informed discussion on why global education is important, what global education includes, and how schools can start or continue meaningful global education programs.

We hope you'll plan to attend one of the forums in your area. There is no cost to attend, however, it is important for you to pre-register to assist us with space planning.

Who is the target audience?
The forums are designed for all school staff who have an interest in global education, including heads, administrators, and faculty.

More info and online registration available at
Institute for Experienced Heads
This unique residential program for heads (and spouses), led by Michael Thompson and Rob Evans, will take place June 25-28 in Hilton Head, SC.
Contact Lori Spear at [email protected] to pre-register.
Accreditation Research Survey

Select schools that meet specific criteria may be asked to participate in a university research study examining perceptions surrounding accreditation.  If you are selected (via email), please participate. 

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Institute for 
New Teachers 
Summer 2013
Atlanta, GA
Memphis, TN
Charlotte, NC
The Institute for New Teachers is an innovative and experiential must-attend workshop for every teacher new to teaching - or just new to the world of independent schools.  This hands-on institute covers many topics related to teaching in an independent school environment 

Registration opening spring 2013.
SAIS-MISBO Benchmarking Survey Results

The SAIS-MISBO benchmarking survey results are now available.  


An executive summary is available at and participants have access to full survey results and benchmarking capabilities.  


Contact Damian Kavanagh ([email protected]) if you have questions or need help with benchmarking. 

SAIS Accreditation Portal Launched

The new SAIS Accreditation Portal, an online tool to help your school experience accreditation digitally, has launched!  See SAIS Accreditation Portal screenshots here