A Note from SAIS President 
Dr. Steve Robinson
In this issue, we address the complex topic of diversity in independent schools. It is hard to talk about because not everyone understands the nuances of diversity in the same way. Creating a safe, diverse, and inclusive school culture is critical for the success of independent schools in the 21st century. Based on surveys from NAIS, more than half of Americans view independent schools as less diverse than public schools. I think this is an misleading statistic as it ignores independent school efforts to promote inclusivity. The demographics of public schools are random; some are diverse and some are not. Socioeconomic factors and geographic attendance zones largely determine the makeup of a public school. Independent schools intentionally create diverse environments and teach students by immersion, direct instruction, and by example what it means to live in a multi-faceted society - molding future generations. Respect for different people begins with the friendships students make at our schools. 
Also in this issue is an interview with Ian Symmonds, facilitator of the Heads Leadership Retreat.  I encourage you to review the details at www.sais.org/HLR.  Ian will lead us in discussing past, present, and emerging models of leadership and how to choose the right leadership strategies for your school. I hope to see you in Charleston on April 6-7.
We also hope to see many of you at NAIS in Orlando later this month. SAIS will be in booth #111 in the exhibit hall, so please stop and say hello. You're also invited to the SAIS reception on Thursday, February 27, from 6:00-8:00 PM in Swan 5.  RSVP at www.sais.org/nais.



Dr. Steve Robinson

FastStats: Diversity in Independent Schools
by Jeff Mitchell, Head of Tuscaloosa Academy


Increasing diversity has been an explicit priority for independent schools for a number of years and, as evidenced by this issue, there have been tremendous programmatic and personnel advances in this area. What, however, does the data tell us about the specific diversity trends over the past 10 years for students, teachers, and administrators in SAIS and NAIS schools?  >>Read more HERE

Independent School Leadership
Q&A with Ian Symmonds
SAIS looks forward to welcoming Ian Symmonds as the facilitator of the Heads Leadership Retreat on April 6-7 in Charleston, SC.  In preparation for the retreat, Ian addressed six leadership questions.
1.  What are independent school leaders today doing right; what are they doing wrong?
More independent schools are focusing on distributive and collaborative forms of leadership, which is essential since the work of the school requires leadership throughout the organization. The challenge is that too many schools still fall into the "head-centric" model, a very vertically aligned model, and that tends to stifle leadership development across the organization. And, since the role of head has emerged into a fundraising, enrollment management, and CEO model, more collaborative decision-making and leadership are necessary for today's modern school ...

2.  What are some of the most common complaints you hear when consulting with independent school leaders? 
Many independent school heads tell us that they have too many masters, and it is increasingly difficult to lead in an environment where there are competing and natural tensions. We also hear that managing positive change among faculty and parent groups in the changing classroom is very difficult ...

Diversity Book Round-Up
We've rounded up five great reads on the topic of diversity in our culture and in our schools. From groundbreaking works to newer trends and topics, these are five of the more talked about worktoday.  >>Read more HERE

Diversity and Inclusivity

Koree Hood knew from an early age that he wanted to change the world.  A native of Phoenix, AZ, he set his sights early on attending Atlanta's prestigious, historically black, all male Morehouse College, alma mater of Martin Luther King, Jr. Growing up in a poor neighborhood, Hood needed a full scholarship. For two years, he attended a local community college, repeatedly applying to Morehouse for assistance. In 2009, he secured financial aid just days before school started.   >>Read more HERE

Visit SAIStv for interviews with school leaders, recaps of conference and workshop speakers, and previews of upcoming events: www.sais.org/tv
Ian Symmonds Q&A
Diversity Book Round-Up
Diversity & Inclusivity

Newsletter Archive 

President's Page 

Contact SAIS Staff 


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Feb 26-28 - registration open! 
Orlando, FL
Stop by the SAIS booth (#111) in the exhibit hall and/or our reception from 6-8 PM on Thurs, Feb 27, in Swan 5. RSVP below.
March 27-28 - registration open!

Finance Institute 
Atlanta, GA
For heads & administrators who don't have a background in business or finance - learn to speak your CFO's language!  Facilitated by Barb Egan and Marifred Cilella.
April 6-7 - registration open!
Heads Leadership Retreat 
Francis Marion Hotel - Charleston
Growing Leaders in Your School
featuring Ian Symmonds


June 15-17 - registration open!
Institute for Senior Administrators 
Emory Conference Center - Atlanta
featuring Keith Evans & David Mahler
June 18-20 - registration open!
Administrative Leadership Institute 
Emory Conference Center - Atlanta
featuring Rob Evans & Michael Thompson
June 24-27 - registration open!
Institute for Heads
Grove Park Inn - Asheville, NC
featuring Rob Evans & Michael Thompson

June 29-July 2 - registration open!
Institute for New Heads 
Atlanta, GA
featuring Jack Hall (Walker School), Billy Peebles (The Lovett School) & Scott Wilson (Baylor School)
Institute for New Teachers 
June 24-26 | Atlanta
July 16-18| Charlotte
July 22-24 | Memphis
July 28-30 | Atlanta

October 18-20
Annual Conference 
Atlanta, GA - Crowne Plaza Ravinia

Blogs of Note 

Jay Underwood, Head of High Meadows School in Roswell, GA, shares an encounter with a kindergartner, which reminds him that many questions have multiple answers.   


Jennifer Carey, Director of Educational Technology at Ransom Everglades School in Miami, FL, discusses the benefits of building a positive digital footprint. 


Donna Siebenthaler, Director of Curriculum at Trinity Presbyterian School in Montgomery, AL, discusses the value of reading and what types of materials are best to inspire critical thinking. 

Understanding Anxiety

Jean Bonnyman, Upper School Learning Specialist at Darlington School in Rome, GA, discusses the science of anxiety and how teachers and parents can help students cope.

2014 SAIS Annual Conference 
Breakout Session Proposals
Breakout session proposals for the 2014 SAIS Annual Conference are being accepted through April 11.  The conference will take place October 18-20 at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia in Atlanta.  >>Submit proposals HERE
SAIS Stakeholder Survey Center
  • Visit www.sais.org/surveys to see the 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, the sample questions, the timelines, and the sample reports.