SAIS Headlines
March 2013

Understanding Common Core
The Potential Impact on Independent Schools


"The future of American education hinges on whether Common Core State Standards can be made to work."  Those words expressed by E. D. Hirsch, American educator and Chairman of the Core Knowledge Foundation, may seem to be hyperbolic and to strike a tone of doom and gloom.  After all, our nation has embarked on two previous educational reform movements in the past thirty years: policy generated by the 1983 federal report A Nation at Risk and the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).  Neither served as the silver bullet. So why should policymakers, educators, parents, or students think that the implementation of Common Core will provide the cure for the daunting societal ill of a broken educational system?  Well, this time, advocates contend, things are different.  MORE ... 


8 Things Every Head Should Know About Fundraising

April 16 | Atlanta, GA


Facilitated by veteran development expert LINDA McNAY, this interactive day-long workshop will take a deep dive into the basic tenets of fundraising from the perspective of the head of school.  Info & registration at

Time on Task 

Time on task, which is counted among the most important factors affecting student learning and achievement, can be defined as the amount of time a class spends in quality instruction.  In this FastStats on curriculum and learning, an often overlooked factor called time on task is presented as a critical reason why college preparatory independent schools, like SAIS member schools, excel academically. MORE ... 

Institute for Experienced Heads 

Sonesta Hilton Head Resort

Hilton Head Island, SC

June 25-28  


Register Now 


MICHAEL THOMPSON and ROB EVANS lead this institute for heads and spouses, offering thoughtful dialogue and engagement with colleagues on key issues facing school heads.  Spouses who attend are included in all programs. 


Registration now open at  

What It Means to Prepare Students for Their Futures 

by Byron Hulsey, Randolph School


Several times over the last few weeks parents have asked me about a shift away from traditional assessments like multiple choice tests and fill-in-the-blank quizzes and toward what I would call deeper learning opportunities and alternative ways of assessing what students know and how they can apply what they've learned.  This is a great question, and gets to the heart of how we understand education in the Information Age and how we work to prepare students for success in a world markedly different than the one in which most of us adults grew up.  

MORE ... 

Pedagogical Master Planning: Five Questions for Bo Adams


In preparation for the Lunch & Learn on April 19, Bo Adams, Director of Educational Innovation at Unboundary, answered a few questions about pedagogical master planning.  MORE ...  Register for the Lunch & Learn at  

Administrative Leadership Institute

June 19-21 | Atlanta, GA


MICHAEL THOMPSON and ROB EVANS lead this enriching opportunity on relational leadership for administrators who supervise adults, evaluate teachers, and/or work with parents.  Registration and details at

Institute for Senior Administrators

June 24-26 | Atlanta, GA


KEITH EVANS and DAVID MAHLER will examine the nature of strategic leadership and pathways to continual growth, focusing on new leadership demands in a VUCA world (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous).  Registration opening in March at 

Check Out These Blogs ...
 View blogs and tweets online


The Online Education Revolution: "Gradually, and Then Suddenly"

Mark Hale, Head of Greensboro Day School (NC), ponders the future effects of online learning for the independent school world.


Spend Now, Save Later

Jack Hall, Head of The Walker School (GA), examines the investment value of an independent school education in reducing the costs of college. 


There is Properly No History, Only Biography

Ravenscroft (NC) Head of Upper School Bill Pruden reflects on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and growing up in the midst of the civil rights movement.


How to UserVoice 

Second Baptist School (TX) Director of Technology, Bill Skidmore, explains how the school uses a feedback forum software, UserVoice, for the community to submit ideas, concerns, and opinions.


Lisa Lopez, Lower School Spanish Teacher at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School (GA), shares the lessons learned from the magical silence of the introverted.

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MISBO New Business Officer Intensive 
June 9-11, 2013
Woodward Academy, Atlanta, GA

MISBO is presenting a new program this year, the New Business Officer Intensive.  It is designed for business officers with less than 5 years of experience and the content will be delivered by MISBO board members. One of the goals of the program is to ensure that each participant leaves with a group of people they can connect with in the future to help them with any issues they face at their schools.  Details and registration available at  Questions?  Contact Marc Levinson at [email protected] or (404) 921-3811.
MISBO Electronic Resources 

Did you know that MISBO offers savings to its members via a wide variety of electronic resources?  Librarians, Curriculum Directors, Department Chairs, Technology Directors, or anyone directly involved in decisions driving curriculum content might be interested in these options.  MISBO negotiates discount group pricing with the electronic resource providers. Every spring, trial site information and pricing is announced on the password-protected pages of the MISBO website. Schools should submit their orders to the MISBO office in May.  Details and info available here.  Questions?  Contact Dianne Sagaas at [email protected] or at 404-921-3812.

Understanding Common Core
Heads and Fundraising
Fast Stats
Preparing Students
Pedagogical Master Planning
Blogs of Note
Delegation to Russia
Data-Informed Decisions
Quick Links

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lunch&learn v1
Pedagogical Master Planning 
Lunch & Learn
with Bo Adams 
April 19
BO ADAMS, educational blogger and thinker, will discuss the need for Pedagogical Master Planning, and the processes, tools, and facilitation schools need to develop shared understanding, unified direction, and adaptive progress. 
Visit to register. 
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
to Russia
April 23-May 2
SAIS President STEVE ROBINSON and NAIS Senior Director of Global Initiatives PAUL MILLER will lead an exciting international travel opportunity of development, learning, and connecting that is specially designed for independent school leaders.  Info & registration at
Data-Informed School Webinars

Are you a data informed decision maker?  Join us for a 30-minute webinar on using data to help make decisions.  We will demonstrate the SAIS and MISBO benchmarking tool and will specifically look at key ratios and salary information. Dates & registration here.

Institute for 
New Heads 
June 17-19
Atlanta, GA
BILLY PEEBLES and SCOTT WILSON lead this program designed for heads new to headship (entering the first through third year) or just new to SAIS.  Details and info at
2013 SAIS Member Needs Survey

The SAIS Member Needs Survey is now open.  Please take 5 minutes to give feedback on what services SAIS can provide to help you fulfill your school's mission.


2013 SAIS Member  

Needs Survey 

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Institute for 
New Teachers 
Charlotte, NC | July 15-17
Memphis, TN | July 22-24
Atlanta, GA | July 29-31 
Atlanta, GA | August 1-3
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 in March at
Accreditation Portal

The SAIS Accreditation Portal, an online tool to help your school experience accreditation digitally, has launched! Training is now available at SAIStalks here.