Letter from the President
Steve Robinson, Ph.D. 


Hello from SAIS! I hope you had a productive January, celebrating many great events such as the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., Black History Month, and the 100-day anniversary of school. These holidays and seasons add an important pause to our everyday schedules, when we can help our students consider lessons from our history, while charting a brighter and more equitable future.

Speaking of the future, I'm sure many of you have heard that Google is taking Google Glass off the market. The futuristic headset failed to catch on with the public either due to its cost, concerns about privacy, or lack of relevant applications. However, Microsoft has recently released a new augmented reality technology that could be an incredible learning tool of the future. Called Hololens, the new headset creates a mixed reality allowing the user to work with holographic images while still seeing their real environment. The user can direct the headset with eye movements, voice commands, or hand gestures. While the technology is being developed for businesses and the gaming industry, the possibilities for education are obvious and far-reaching. It's a technology that truly brings to mind the Karl Fisch quote about "preparing our students for jobs and technologies that don't yet exist." Learn more about the device here

Lastly, the NAIS Annual Conference is quickly approaching and we would love to see you there. Please stop by booth #1138 in the exhibit hall or RSVP for the SAIS reception on Thursday, February 26, from 6:00-8:00 PM at the Sheraton Boston in Fairfax A (3rd floor).



Dr. Steve Robinson

The Public School Advantage, Take 2
by Christopher A. Lubienski & Sarah Theule Lubienski 
Reviewed by Peter Gow, Executive Director, Independent Curriculum Group, Dedham, MA

Editor's Note: The Lubienski's book has been the subject of numerous reviews. In November 2013, SAIS published an interview by David Cutler of SpinEDU with Chris Lubienski about his findings and his methodology. Read the interview here. What follows is a look back at the reception of the book over the last year.

In late 2013, the independent school community awoke to The Public School Advantage: Why Public Schools Outperform Private Schools. The book's title alone felt like a poke in the eye to that which many believe to be true about independent schools: that we "outperform" public schools, hands down. I'm betting that a fair number of independent school folks never read beyond the title itself in their consideration of The Public School Advantage. Yet we still find ourselves discussing it, and sometimes fear that our futures may be darkened by the shadow cast by its title. >>Read More

Coming to Boston for the 2015 NAIS Annual Conference? Stop by and say hi! SAIS will be in the exhibit hall at booth #1138 and you're also invited to our reception on Thursday, February 26, from 6:00-8:00 PM at the Sheraton Boston in Fairfax A (3rd floor). >>RSVP here. 

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon?Why China Has the Best (and Worst) Education System in the World  
by Yong Zhao
Reviewed by Michael Ulku-Steiner, Head of School, Durham Academy, Durham, NC

For three weeks this winter, Durham Academy partnered with Duke University's Talent Identification Program (TIP) and the North Carolina School of Science and Math to host 25 students from the Experimental High School attached to Beijing Normal University. In April, a colleague and I will visit that school and a number of others in Beijing and Shanghai. I can't wait to peek inside the schools that have piqued the interest of journalists and educators worldwide. Gold medals in global academic competitions and top rankings on the PISA tests suggest that we have much to learn from Chinese schools, such as the organization of their curricula, the rigor of their teachers, the grit of their students. At least that's what I thought until I read Yong Zhao's Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon? >>Read More. 

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. 

Benchmarking Data Collection

Benchmark reports and statistical tables with 2014-15 data are now available from NAIS DASL. Additionally, NAIS members can update 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, check out a webinar 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.
The word Events in cut out magazine letters pinned to a cork notice board. Events may refer to news
2015 Calendar of Events
SAIS offers a variety of affordable, accessible, and relevant professional development programs for independent school leaders.

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

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 [email protected].
Letter from the President
Public Schools - Take 2
Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon?
SAIS Collaboration Booklet
Benchmarking Data Collection
2015 Calendar of Events
Survey Center
Registration now open for the
2015 SAIS Heads Leadership Retreat
featuring Al Calarco from the Center for Creative Leadership.

Blogs of Note

Varghese Alexander, a teacher and Director of Academic Technology at Asheville School in Asheville, NC, shares how a recent speaker and comedian helped the school unpack issues related to race and diversity.

A Trip to Jacob's Ladder
Sarah Stewart, Content and Member Engagement Manager for SAIS, reflects on a day spent volunteering at Jacob's Ladder Neurodevelopmental School and Therapy Center in Roswell, GA.


Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy in Melboure, FL, describes how its students are using their 3D printers to participate in the charity E-nabling the Future, which creates prosthetic limbs for children in need. 

Rebecca Moore, Communications Director at Randolph School in Huntsville, AL, reflects on the differences and similarities in civil protest during the 1960s versus today.


Tweets of Note
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.