Letter from the President
Kirk Walker, Ph.D.

For those of us in education, the new year starts in August and not in January. Now is the time of our new beginnings. Now is the time that we make our resolutions. Now is the time filled with expectation and excitement. Now is the time when all things are possible (at least until the first grading period). As in past years, we offer our guidance and encouragement to incoming students and cautiously hope for their enthusiastic response. That uncertainty is the challenge of change.

Late summer is our January, and our god Janus looks backward and forward too. Reflecting on the year past, the joys and the sadness, the dreams fulfilled and unfulfilled, we look forward to the promise of a new year and to the opportunity to equip the next generation for the future - and what an interesting future it will be.

For me it is a sobering thought that no student currently in an independent school has ever lived in a world without cell phones, social networking, search engines, and online shopping. For them, Google has always been a verb. For them, watching pictures of Pluto sent from a small satellite millions of miles away is just another item in today's news. The pace of change is staggering.

And we are also agents of that change. We want our students not only to adapt to change but also to understand, anticipate, manage, and shape the inevitable change that swirls around them. As educators, that is our gift to their future; that is our resolution for their new year.

It is also a time of change at SAIS. During my first week as president, the board began the development of a five-year strategic plan which you will be hearing about soon. Like you, I am excited about the year ahead and the challenges and opportunities that await.

To the work all of us are called to do, welcome back.

Dr. Kirk Walker
Summer of Leadership at SAIS

What do 85 heads of school, 78 school administrators, 87 new teachers, and 61 assistants have in common? They spent time this summer in one of the 10 SAIS summer programs. >>Read more.

The Road to Character
by David Brooks
Reviewed by Dr. Byron Hulsey, Head of School, Woodberry Forest School, Woodberry Forest, VA

One of the foremost pundits of our time, David Brooks of The New York Times has published a crackling critique of postmodern American society, a wayward culture full of befuddled careerists searching aimlessly for happiness by goosing up our achievements at the expense of a deeper life of meaning. In The Road to Character, Brooks draws a line between "Adam I" and "Adam II," the former who pour their energy into the "resume virtues" of career accomplishment and the latter who stay focused on the "eulogy virtues" that stand the test of time and create a legacy for others to follow for generations to come (p. xvi).

Brooks' prose is lucid and engaging, and his research is sound and penetrating. In short, it's a book we should all read, because he's pegged us so accurately and completely. >>Read more.
2015 SAIS Annual Conference 
October 17-19
Crowne Plaza Ravinia | 4355 Ashford-Dunwoody Rd | Atlanta, GA 30346

Saturday, October 17
  • 10:00-4:00 PM - Board/Head Retreat (separate registration required at sais.org/bhr)
  • 1:00-5:00 PM - Chair Training Workshop
  • 4:00-7:00 PM - Registration Desk Open
  • 5:30-7:00 PM - Opening Reception - sponsored by FLIK
Sunday, October 18
  • 9:00-10:00 AM - Breakfast Buffet + Exhibit Booths Open
  • 10:00-11:30 AM - Breakout Sessions
    • FEATURED TRACK: #EduTrendingNow - sponsored by SCHOOL ADMIN
    • The Amazing Minds You're Missing Out On: A Crash Course in Differentiation, Neuroscience, & Cerebrodiversity
    • Using Your Employee Handbook Revision as an Internal Audit
    • Leadership & the Uses of Market Research
    • Leveraging New Media Trends to Engage Constituents
    • Highlights from the SAIS Steve Robinson Collaboration Grants
  • 11:30-12:00 PM - Break + Exhibit Booths Open
  • 12:00-1:45 PM - Lunch + Annual Business Meeting
  • 2:00-3:30 PM - Breakout Sessions
    • FEATURED TRACK: #EduTrendingNow - sponsored by SCHOOL ADMIN
    • Leadership Team Development & the Birkman Method
    • Six Game Changers for Your Marketing Strategy
    • The Broader Systemic Implications of the 21st Century School
    • Innovation's Strategic Convergence: Planning, Program, Messaging
    • A Crash Course in Major Gift Fundraising
  • 3:30-4:00 PM - Break + Exhibit Booths Open - sponsored by MARKEL
  • 4:00-5:30 PM - General Session - John Chubb - sponsored by CARNEY, SANDOE & ASSOCIATES
  • 5:30-7:00 PM - Reception + Exhibit Booths Open
Monday, October 19
  • 7:30-9:00 AM - Breakfast Buffet + Exhibit Booths Open
  • 7:45-8:45 AM - Breakout Sessions "Meet & Eat"
    • Lost in Connection: The Impact of Technology on Childhood, Family Life, & Education
    • Collaborative & Innovative Learning Spaces
    • Legal Issues in Independent Schools
    • Boosting Enrollment Through Inbound Marketing
    • Brand Diaries: The Making of a Mount Vernon Mom
    • Hot Legal Topics
    • Building an Ethical Community in Your School
    • Roundtable - Middle School Heads
  • 9:00-10:30 AM - General Session - Rick Wormeli - sponsored by TADS
  • 10:30-11:00 AM - Break + Exhibit Booths Open
  • 11:00-12:00 PM - Breakout Sessions
    • Mary Had a Little iPad: Rebooting K-8 Education in the Digital Age
    • SSATB Research Trends & Highlights
    • Legal Issues in Independent Schools
    • Governance & School Sustainability
    • Schools Must Think & Act Like a Brand
    • Independent Schools in the New Economy: Re-Imagining Sustainability
    • Leading with Trust
    • Deep Dive with Rick Wormeli
    • Hot Legal Topics
  • 12:00-12:45 PM - Lunch + Exhibit Booths Open
  • 1:00-1:45 PM - Breakout Sessions
    • The Big Disconnect: Your Students in Class & Your Students Online (Grades 9-12)
    • SSATB Research Trends & Highlights
    • Smartphones, Tablets, & Laptops, Oh My!
    • The Advancement Team - Self Knowledge & Team Building
    • The Technology Director on the Academic Team?!
    • Take Action & Create Positive Change
    • Roundtable - Small Schools
    • Can You Be a Successful Head of School?
  • 1:45-2:00 PM - Break
  • 2:00-2:45 PM - Breakout Sessions
    • Got Grit: The Call to Educate Smart, Savvy, & Socially Intelligent Students in the Digital Age (all ages)
    • Using Google Apps for Education to Create a Collaborative School Culture
    • The Independent Schools' Survival Guide for Building Programs
    • What to do When Your School is Thrust in a Scandal
    • Roundtable - Special Needs Schools
    • Roundtable - Lower School Heads
    • Roundtable - Upper School Heads
  • 3:00 PM - Conference Adjourns 
Featured speakers include:
Rick Wormeli, John Chubb, Ian Symmonds, Catherine Steiner-Adair
                Rick Wormeli                         Catherine Steiner-Adair                     Ian Symmonds
             Monday Keynote                       Monday Featured Track              Sunday Featured Track

 $425 (until September 25)

The registration fee includes all sessions plus these meals:

Saturday reception / Sunday breakfast, lunch, reception / Monday breakfast & lunch

Don't forget to reserve your hotel room at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia online or by phone at (800) 554-0055.  The SAIS rate is $129 and the cut-off date is September 25We expect the block to sell out, so please make your reservation as early as possible.  Please note that SAIS does not use a housing bureau; you should make your reservation directly with the hotel.

Sponsors & Exhibitors:

Letter from the President
Summer of Leadership at SAIS
Book Review
2015 SAIS Annual Conference
Board/Head Retreat
On-site Board Workshops
Tweets of Note
WANTED: Your School's Logo
2015 SAIS
 Board/Head Retreat

This retreat offers an excellent opportunity to strengthen the communication and partnership between the head and the board. 

It will take place at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia on October 17 from 10:00 AM-4:00 PM immediately prior to the 2015 SAIS Annual Conference.  Participation is limited to heads of school and board members.
The retreat will be led by Pat Bassett, President of Heads Up Educational ConsultingHe is a former teacher, college professor, head of school, and president of two independent school associations. He received his B.A. in English from Williams College and his M.A. in film studies from Northwestern University. He is a Kellogg National Leadership Fellow and has served on numerous boards.
More information at  

On-site Board Workshops

SAIS President Dr. Kirk Walker and Vice President Damian Kavanagh are available to visit your campus and conduct on-site governance workshops. 

Trusteeship for Independent Schools

New Trustee Orientation

Becoming an Outstanding Board

The Changing Landscape of Independent School Governance

Tweets of Note

A Mathematical Perspective, Formative & Qualitative Assessments, & Blood-borne Pathogens

Your School's Logo

Please send us your school's logo for use in our online member directory.