Value Narrative
A Note from SAIS President Dr. Steve Robinson


Increasingly, I have been talking to schools about a key to retaining current families and attracting new ones. The value narrative is the overarching, living story of a school, that which is at the core of what makes it valuable to families and students. One school's value narrative might stress character development, long tradition, and academic achievement; another's stresses innovation, creativity, and personal expression. One campus is small, another large; one is urban, one rural. But each school has its own unique value narrative that speaks to current or prospective families.  >>Read more HERE.

The Board:  
God on a Good Day
Part 2 of 5 | Succession Planning Series


One of the primary obligations of the board is to hire and evaluate the head of school. That individual, regardless of the individual institution, must possess curriculum and pedagogical knowledge, political and community acumen, and organizational and management skills. Nevertheless, each school undergoing a search for a new head must identify its organization's present and future challenges in order to consider the characteristics and experiences a potential candidate should possess to meet those challenges and guide the school to continued success. This process rests wholly in the hands of the board. 


This is Part 2 of the five-part series on "Transitions and Succession Planning," which was a project undertaken by SAIS to capture the thoughts and insights of novice, experienced, retiring, retired, and interim heads. The focus of Part 2 is on the board: its role in hiring, the temptation to assert more authority in times of transition, the 21st century board, and the balance between culture and strategy. Note that the project will be released in its entirety at the 2013 SAIS Annual Conference, October 27-29.

>>Read more HERE.

A Tale of 
Three Schools


In Augusta, GA, three independent schools are greater than one. Innovation, collaboration, trust, service, goodwill, community: ideals often pursued, but arduous to realize . . . "At the heart of Independent Schools of Augusta (ISA) is goodwill among three headmasters who care deeply about their individual schools and the collective independent school movement in Augusta. We want more people to have access to our schools, and more kids to have greater opportunities."  >>Read more HERE.

association business
Board of Trustee Nominations

The SAIS Board of Trustees proposes the following slate 

of new trustees for service beginning January 1, 2014

  • Fred Asaaf | Pace Academy, Atlanta GA
  • Ian Craig | Harding Academy, Nashville TN
  • Rachel Deems | Spartanburg Day School, Spartanburg SC
  • Bill McGee | Hill Country Christian School, Austin TX

The membership will have the opportunity to elect trustees at the SAIS Annual Business Meeting, which takes place during the Annual Conference, on Sunday, October 27, at 12:00 PM.

Officers Elected

The SAIS Board of Trustees elected the following slate 

of officers for service beginning January 1, 2014:

  • CHAIR: Barbara Daush | St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School, Memphis TN
  • TREASURER: Dennis Manning | Norfolk Academy, Norfolk VA
  • SECRETARY: Marvin Lishman | Magnolia Heights School, Magnolia Heights MS
Bylaws Change
The SAIS Board of Trustees recommends a bylaws change amending the fiscal year-end from June 30 to December 31. The membership will be asked to vote on this amendment at the SAIS Annual Business Meeting on Sunday, October 27, as follows (new text in red):



The fiscal year of corporation, for tax and financial accounting purposes shall be the 12-month period ending on the last day of each December. All budgets must be approved by the Board of Trustees. The dues of the Association will be determined by the Board of Trustees and are to be paid annually by a date set by the Board of Trustees. Financial policies for the association shall be determined from time-to-time by a committee of the board, subject to the board's directives.  
Review the current bylaws at
Catching Up With Fretta Reitzes


SAIS caught up with Fretta Reitzes, Director of the WonderPlay Initiative and the Goldman Center for Youth & Family at the 92Y in New York City. We asked her about parenting in the modern age ("trust yourself ... and get off the internet") and about the upcoming SAIS-92Y Parenting Conference ("[hear] the latest research on how children's brains develop and how they learn"). >>Read more HERE.

opportunities for your school community
SAIS-92Y Parenting Conference


September 30 | 10AM-4PM | Atlanta, GA 


Join us to hear the latest research on childhood development from the experts. This conference is designed for both independent school administrators and parents with children of all ages. Schools are invited to send teams of parents and administrators to learn together.


Featured Speakers & Sessions:

  • Keys to Confident Parenting in an Age of Anxiety, Dr. Ron Taffel 
  • The Fantastic Elastic Brain: The Most Updated Information About Brain Development in Children, Dr. JoAnn Deak 
  • Eight Things Parents Cannot Do for Their Children (But Wish They Could), Dr. Michael Thompson 
  • Raising Children in a Digitized, Commercialized World: Challenges for Parents and Teachers -- and How to Meet Them, Dr. Susan Linn 
  • The Words We Use: Linking Language, Learning, and Literacy, Dr. Lydia H. Soifer

>>Register at | Parents $195 | Administrators $95

Charting a Direction 
for Online Learning 

October 2013-April 2014


This blended course will take administrators and teachers on a deep-dive into online learning, covering both the strategic decisions that schools face and the practical implications for implementation.  Particular focus will be spent on pedagogical and financial implications for schools.  Participants will be exposed to national leaders and experts in online learning.

This course will offer a combination of online assignments and interactions (4-5 hours every three weeks) plus two in-person workshops, which will take place in Atlanta on October 2, 2013, and April 9, 2014.  Participants should expect to actively participate in discussions and work in both the online and in-person portions of this course.


>>More info here CDOL registration & course description 

from the blogosphere
Blogs of Note
Amy Wilkes, Math Teacher and Head of 7th Grade at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School in Atlanta, discusses the value of irresolution and persistent query in the learning process.
Jay Watts, Assistant Director of Athletics at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, highlights the importance of risk management, fight plans, and emergency protocols at schools.


Lee Burns, Head of Presbyterian Day School in Memphis, shares guidelines on how to encourage children in athletics from Dr. Tim Elmore's What Parents Should Say As Their Children Perform.  


Mary Jacob Rankin, a 1st Grade Teacher at Trinity School in Atlanta, shares how her own struggles give her greater empathy for her students, improving her teaching.  


Sean Corcoran, Head of Brainerd Baptist School in Chattanooga, discusses the longevity of the video game Minecraft, and what it can teach children. 


>>Read blogs & tweets online here.
Part 2 of 5: Succession Planning
A Tale of Three Schools
Interview: Fretta Reitzes
Parenting Conference (Sept 30)
Annual Conference (Oct 27-29)
SAIS Benchmarking Survey

Newsletter Archive 

President's Page 

Contact SAIS Staff 


Do you have a colleague who would benefit from this eNL? They can subscribe here.


The Global Future: Preparing Students and Shaping Schools

October 27-29

Atlanta, GA

For those who register by Oct 4, full conference registration is $325. Register online at


10:00 AM - Ian Symmonds
"The Global Flattening of Education"
2:00 PM - Jan Pullen
"Global Education, Emotional Intelligence, and Empathy"

-Nishant N. Mehta, Head of The Children's School
-Jay Bonner, Associate Head of The Asheville School
-Chris Harth, Director of Global Studies at St. Andrew's Episcopal School
"Personal Journey and the Imperative for Global Education"

10:15 AM - Dr. Yong Zhao
"Educating Creative & Entrepreneurial Students"
2:00 PM - Janice Abraham
"International Risk Management"

8:15 AM - Dr. Yong Zhao, Dean, College of Education, University of Oregon:
"What Defines a World-Class Education"
3:00 PM - Pierre Ferrari, CEO, Heifer International:
"The World as an Opportunity 
to Serve"

To reserve a room at the Marriott Buckhead ($165+tax) please call (888) 855-7741 or use this link. The group code is IASIASA and the cut-off date is Oct 4.  **Please note that SAIS is not using a housing bureau -- please contact the hotel directly to make your reservation.**

-SAIS and MISBO are hosting overlapping conferences in 2013 so that all school leaders can benefit from the entire program.  
-Registration allows you attend all sessions, Sunday through Tuesday.  
-Sunday sessions are designed for SAIS, Monday sessions are designed for everyone, and Tuesday sessions are designed for MISBO.  
-The conference schedule offers a variety of learning opportunities for independent school leaders, including these and other sessions:
  • Legal Concerns When Enrolling International Students (Caryn Pass & Heather Broadwater)
  • Developing Global Citizens in Our Youngest Students
    (Frances Lonergan & Julie Scherrer)
  • Flat, Flexible, Focused: 21st Century Models of School Transformation (Brett Jacobsen & Nishant N. Mehta)
  • Mental and Emotional Health: The Forgotten Risk Area (Ann McCollum)
  • Implementing, Sustaining, and Maintaining a 1-to-1 Global Program (Matt Scully, Eric Hedinger & Derrick Willard)
  • Using Dashboards to Consolidate All Your Important School Data (Jeffrey Mitchell, Barry Peterson & Mary Crawford)
  • Strategies for 21st Century Leaders (William Taylor & Key Kay)
Your Photos
Please share photos from your school that SAIS may use on the website and in videos and other marketing materials.  
Retiring this year?
Are you a head of school who is retiring at the end of this school year?  If so, please let us know!  
Email [email protected] so we can update your information and invite you to the dinner for retiring heads on Saturday, October 26, immediately prior to the 2013 SAIS Annual Conference.

2013 SAIS Benchmarking

The 2013 SAIS 

Benchmarking Survey 

is now OPEN! 


For the second year, SAIS is teaming up with MISBO to produce a benchmarking survey.  It is incredibly valuable -- check out these tip-of-the-iceberg of facts and figures available to you.  YOU MUST PARTICIPATE TO HAVE FULL ACCESS.  Heads of School and Business Managers were emailed access to the survey last week.  


Please check your inbox or spam filters for a message from "idpsupport".  Contact Damian Kavanagh if you have questions or need assistance - [email protected] or (404) 918-8850. 

SAIS Stakeholder Survey Center Now Open!


  • Visit to see the new stakeholder surveys available to you and your school community.
  • SAIS has created a series of highly reliable and valid stakeholder surveys for you to use either in conjunction with a strategic visioning process or just to take the pulse of your community.  
  • Be sure to check out the video explanation, sample questions, timelines, and sample reports.