Letter from the President
Steve Robinson, Ph.D. 

I hope you had a relaxing Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. As the first semester comes to an end, the pace on campus quickens. Final exams and projects are pending, and faculty and administrators are busy with the many events that accompany December. While the month is inherently more hectic, I encourage you to consider the important role you play in the lives of your students and families. Whether it is Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanza, the meaning and joy of these holidays can easily be obscured by the stress of the season or its increased commercialization. As educators, we understand the magic that happens in simple moments and traditions celebrated in our schools. These events add meaning to the lives of our school's families, allowing them to appreciate each other and the season. They bring the school together as a community, which is the greatest blessing.

  

On a more somber note, I'm sure you have followed the difficult situation in Ferguson, MO. I would like to commend those educators across the country who have been helping their students process the uncomfortable questions and feelings brought by these events. I was struck also by the power of social media for sharing information, whether it was breaking news, discussing its aftermath, or sharing resources. Many educators have contributed to #FergusonSyllabus on Twitter where they have shared articles, worksheets, blogs, and curriculum for use in the classroom. While the event is tragic, the ability to respond and collaborate to help students heal is hopeful. We can also be thankful for the many people willing to participate in a national conversation, which is the essence of learning, growth, exploration, and discovery. For our country and our children, it is also the beginning of change and the hope for their future. 

  

Sincerely,

Dr. Steve Robinson

Developing Entrepreneurs 
 

Launched in 2013, the I.C.E. Initiative, which stands for innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship, is a program at Miami Country Day School where K3-12 students can develop a personal entrepreneurial project. The school provides a staff member to help students create and develop their plan, and then connects them with resources and experts to help them execute their plan. Karen Davis is Director of the I.C.E. Initiative and works in the school's Franco Center for Learning, which includes a broadcasting studio, a maker space, and a lab. The program also connects its students with a growing network of parents, alumni, faculty, and community members who act as mentors and help students turn their dreams into reality. >>Read more. 

How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens
by Benedict Carey 
Reviewed by David Skeen, Middle School Director, Canterbury
School, Greensboro, NC
 
If you are looking for a relatively concise compilation of major research on the brain, memory, forgetting, and learning then How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens by Benedict Carey is an excellent resource. The author is a New York Times science reporter who claims the artifice of education often ignores all the ways the brain actually learns. He offers concrete strategies to capitalize on the first million years of brain development, which made us hyper-aware of our surroundings, intent on finishing a project because of the need to accomplish a goal, and able to perceive multiple factors at once in order to inform our next move. Carey accomplishes this by offering up a plethora of meta-research, experiments, personal anecdotes, and even puzzles to bring his points home. >>Read More.
Five Reasons for Teaching Entrepreneurship in Schools
by Nathan Barber, Upper School Head, Second Baptist School, Houston, TX

Something vital is missing from our schools. If we really want to prepare students to be successful in a 21st century global economy, we need to be teaching them entrepreneurship. Courses on entrepreneurship have been available in higher education for years, and recently have appeared in more high schools. As with teaching language, if we want this skill to become part of the DNA of our students, we must introduce it at the youngest possible age. We need to teach entrepreneurship as early as kindergarten. Here are five reasons why these skills are critical for the future success of today's students. >>Read more. 
Benchmarking Data Collection

UPDATE:  Starting on December 11, benchmark reports and statistical tables with 2014-15 data will be available. Additionally, NAIS members can update DASL dashboard charts to include new data. Didn't get your data in? No problem. Also starting on December 11, you'll be able to use the "Update Past Survey" tool to enter data you missed and/or to correct data incorrectly entered. Once you enter the data, you can run reports in those data categories. Also, keep an eye out for a new schedule of webinars on how to use the data reporting tools in DASL, which continue to grow and develop based on user input.
Please visit http://dasl.nais.org.
SAIS Collaboration Booklet Now Available Online 

This booklet highlights some of the many collaborations taking place in and among SAIS schools. Strategic collaborations will be a game changer for schools in the coming years. Understanding what your school has to offer and seeking like-minded partners can help your school expand its reach and impact. What existing and new collaborations might benefit your school and your community?  >>Read more. 

Stephen P. Robinson Collaboration Grants Deadline 12/31/2014
 
SAIS is now accepting applications for the Stephen P. Robinson Collaboration Grants. A total of $25,000 in grants will be awarded to SAIS member schools who propose unique collaborations with other schools, institutions of higher education, businesses, and/or non-profits. Proposals will be accepted until December 31, 2014, and funds disbursed by February 1, 2015.  >>Read more or apply for a grant.
The word Events in cut out magazine letters pinned to a cork notice board. Events may refer to news
2015 Calendar of Events
Mark your calendars now for 2015!  SAIS offers a variety of affordable, accessible, and relevant professional development programs for independent school leaders each summer. Pre-registration is now open with no money due until spring.  Reserve your seat today!

See the full SAIS calendar of events at www.sais.org/events.

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WANTED:  Your School's Photos!
Got any great photos of your campus, students, or a special occasion at your school?  Would you be willing to let SAIS use them on our website, in marketing materials, and in publications such as this?  If so, please send them to anna@sais.org.
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
Developing Entrepreneurs
How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens
Five Reasons for Teaching Entrepreneurship in Schools
Benchmarking Data Collection
SAIS Collaboration Booklet
Collaboration Grants
Planning Ahead: 2015 Calendar of Events
Blogs
Survey Center
QUICK LINKS
Blogs of Note

Dr. Byron Hulsey, Head of Woodberry Forrest School in Woodberry Forrest, VA, reflects on his first months as the school's new Head, and shares stories of what his students and parents are proud of and thankful for.

 

Failing Forward
Stan Beiner, Head of The Epstein School in Atlanta, GA, discusses the many lessons failure can teach students and people, and how schools should encourage students to process their failures, and understand that they are part of the process of learning and realizing their dreams

  

Laura Shockley, Assistant Head of Lower School at Randolph School in Huntsville, AL, shares how the school has been incorporating visible thinking routines into its lessons and meetings.


Chris Thinnes, veteran independent school leader, author, fellow at the Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence, and founding executive director of the Center for the Future of Education & Democracy (CFED) offers sample questions that educators can use to drive discussion about the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO.

 


Tweets of Note
Thanksgiving,  
Being Thankful,  
and Processing Ferguson in the Classroom. 
 
SAIS Survey Center
Visit www.sais.org/surveys to see the stakeholder surveys available to your school community. SAIS has created a series of highly reliable and valid stakeholder surveys for 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, sample questions, timelines, and sample reports.