Letter from the President
Kirk Walker, Ph.D.
Over the past year, I had the privilege of visiting dozens of our member schools. In addition to receiving a tour of the campus and learning about the program, I had the pleasure of meeting many of the individuals who are making a critical difference in our schools.
I was impressed by the wide variety and range of schools in the SAIS family: from schools with 50 students to ones with thousands; from schools with budgets under $600,000 to those with budgets well over $30 million; from schools housed in a small building to others with campuses and facilities that rival those of many colleges; and from schools serving the developmentally delayed to schools offering programs designed to challenge the most gifted students. SAIS is a very big tent.
But what impressed me even more were the schools' similarities. Apart from the obvious differences of locations, demographics, and resources, it was apparent that all of them share certain key characteristics:
- Their missions guide them.
- The well-being of students is a central focus.
- Emphasis is placed on both academic and character development.
- Best practices serve as a benchmark.
- Continual improvement is a priority.
Beyond these common characteristics, all of them are actively pursuing ways to adjust their programs to the shifting desires of the marketplace, while still remaining true to their core missions. And all of them recognize the critical importance that thoughtful planning plays in the sustainability and health of an institution.
Wherever a school might be in this process, SAIS stands ready to assist. While our current accreditation process and our various programs have been designed to meet the immediate and emerging needs of our membership, we realize that new challenges require new approaches. Just as our current offerings have been enhanced and refined by the ongoing feedback of our members, we will continue to rely on your suggestions as we develop the next generation of programs.
Together we grow.
SAIS Conference Speaker Profile: Dr. Donna Hicks
By Christina Mimms, SAIS
Educators keep long lists of what they want for their students: a strong curriculum, extracurricular opportunities, service programs, and something less tangible - solid moral character. With that, a discussion about the concept of dignity fits right in. At this year's SAIS Annual Conference, Dr. Donna Hicks, author of Dignity: Its Essential Role in Resolving Conflict, will offer insights about how this concept can be applied in a school environment, both for employees and students. >>Read more.
Dignity: Its Essential Role in Resolving Conflict
By Dr. Donna Hicks
Reviewed by Lee Hark, Associate Head of School, Durham Academy, Durham, NC
When I was in college and for many years after, I worked for the Virginia Beach Leadership Workshop, a program run by the city school system in Virginia Beach, VA. It's a camp, basically; in addition to leadership training, it has all the trappings of a regular sleep-away camp: decades of history, traditional songs, athletic competition, nightly skits, summer love (some years), intense longing (every year), and moments of epiphany. >>Read more.
SAIS Board of Trustees: 2017 Nominees
The SAIS Board of Trustees proposes the following slate of new trustees for service beginning January 1, 2017:
Head of Advent Episcopal School
Head of Randolph School
Stephanie "Penny" Townsend
Head of Ransom Everglades School
Coconut Grove, FL
The membership will have the opportunity to vote on these trustees at the annual business meeting, which takes place during the SAIS Annual Conference, on Sunday, October 23, at 12:00 PM. Register for the conference at www.sais.org/AC
SAIS Bylaws Update
The SAIS Board of Trustees recently hired a law firm to review the bylaws and to recommend changes. The board felt that such a review was appropriate given the growth of the organization. Additionally, they wanted to ensure that the association's bylaws reflected current best practices. The bulk of the recommended changes involve clarifications of terminology and re-ordering of sections. Beyond those changes, additional provisions have been included to address resignation and removal of trustees and officers, re-election of trustees, and guidelines for establishing quorum.
The board recommends that these revised bylaws
be approved by the membership at the annual business meeting, which takes place during the SAIS Annual Conference, on Sunday, October 23, at 12:00 PM. Register for the conference at www.sais.org/AC
SAIS Athletic Directors Conference - Call for Proposals
SAIS is currently accepting proposals for the 2nd Annual Athletic Directors Conference to be held January 12-13, 2017
at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia in Atlanta. We are looking for sessions about leadership, gender equity, parent-coach relationships, event management, and more! Proposals are due by September 15, 2016. Submit your proposal here.
2016 SAIS Board/Head Retreat and Annual Conference
SAIS offers a variety of affordable, accessible, and relevant professional development programs for independent school leaders. Two events remain for the 2016 year.
The Board/Head Retreat
, which will be led by John Littleford
, will cover topics including:
- Developing Healthy Boards: The Key Role of the Committee on Trustees
- Trends & Patterns in Independent & International Schools, from a Global Perspective
- The Board/Head Partnership: Guiding & Empowering Each Other
- The Chair/Head Partnership: Focusing on Honesty and Mutual Support
- The Longevity of Heads & the Effectiveness of Schools
Join us October 22 at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia in Atlanta.
Registration is OPEN
for the SAIS 2016 Annual Conference
, October 22-24 at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia in Atlanta. Featuring keynote speakers Donna Hicks and John Zogby, the conference includes an impressive variety of speakers and breakout sessions, such as crisis management, hiring and developing leaders, and cell phone addiction.
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
Technical Assistance Services:
Benchmarking and Bylaws
Now is the time to enter NAIS DASL data. This powerful tool is open to NAIS and non NAIS members. Do you need benchmark salary information? SAIS can help and can teach you how to use this powerful tool.
Do your bylaws need a refresh? We have read quite a number and are happy to read yours and will provide suggestions on aligning your bylaws with your aspirations of being and remaining a strategically effective board. Contact Damian Kavanagh at SAIS, (404) 918-8850 or [email protected].
Your School's Logo
SAIS Featured School
Sumner Academy, founded in 1973 in Gallatin, TN, serves families with students in grades pre-kindergarten through eight. Our mission is to discover and cultivate each child's unique abilities.
Would you like to be an SAIS Featured School? Contact [email protected]
David Cutler, journalism and history teacher at Brimmer and May School in Chesnut Hill, MA, eases his students' angst.
Peggy Hendrix, director of admission at The Schenck School in Atlanta, writes about adult dyslexia.
Donna Lamberti, upper school history teacher at UMS-Wright Preparatory School in Mobile, AL, offers advice for a political year.
Kate McElvaney, director of educational advancement at High Meadows School in Roswell, GA, shares a unique tradition for the start of school.
Convocations, back to school night, and SAIS campus visits.
Retiring in 2017?
If you are a head of school who will be retiring at the end of the 2016-17 school year, please let us know so we can induct you into the SAIS Legacy Club, a group of retired heads of school who gather annually. Please complete our Legacy Club bio form.