Thursday, November 7, 2019
Four Points by Sheraton, Norwood, MA
8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Assemble your team and join our annual day devoted to all things critical to great independent school governance, enhanced with more diverse and robust interaction opportunities than ever before!

This is a day for heads, senior administrators, board chairs and trustees to come together with each other outside of your own school's board room, and alongside your peers from independent schools across New England, to advance your own connectivity as stewards of your school and your personal and collective thinking.

Featured Speakers:

Ruha Benjamin and Grant Lichtman

Register Your Group

Traveling far, or simply interested in immersing more in this experience? Reserve overnight rooms on-site at Four Points by Sheraton, using AISNE's preferred rates. Call 781-769-7900 and say you're with AISNE.

Agenda Preview

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Arrive, Register, Enjoy Networking Over Breakfast
8:00 - 8:45 a.m.

Claire Leheny
, Executive Director, AISNE
8:45 a.m.

Opening Keynote
Beyond Buzzwords: Innovation, Imagination, and Inequity in the 21st Century
Ruha Benjamin
8:45 - 9:45 a.m.

Dr. Benjamin studies the social dimensions of science, technology and and medicine. She writes, teaches and speaks widely about the relationships between knowledge and power, race and citizenship, health and justice. She helps leaders and decision makers understand how emerging technologies deepen social inequities and even reinforce white supremacy.

Dr. Benjamin will speak about the relationship between innovation and equity, and work we may all consider towards harnessing science and technology for greater equality.

Together with Dr. Benjamin, we will look at the historical intersections of racial injustice and technology, and where these topics inform possible solutions for the future.

"Remember to imagine and craft the worlds you cannot live without, just as you dismantle the worlds you cannot live within." — Ruha Benjamin

9:45 - 10:00 a.m.

Talk I: Governance Fundamentals and Updates
10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

  • The Role of Governing Boards in Advancing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Schools: Beth Chandler and Bianca Robinson | Board chairs, trustees, and school administrators will explore the role of Governing Boards and the DE&I decisions that are made organizationally. Participants will identify actionable strategies for building inclusivity and advancing equity within their organizations.

  • Best Practices for Head of School Contracts: Tips and Traps: John Rich Jr. | The session will cover the process of negotiating and drafting contracts with Heads of Schools. Key contract provisions for both initial and renewal contracts will be discussed along with the legal requirements for Boards to approve contracts. The session will also review common supplemental benefits that are provided to Heads.

  • The Role of the Board in Enrollment Management: Attraction, Cultivation and Retention in a Competitive Market: Jesse Roberts | Focus on strategies, key performance indicators, and a framework for success. School leadership needs every arrow in the quiver to be effective, especially when every tuition dollar matters. We will look at metrics, unique dashboards for tracking success and the future of funnel management.
  • Legal Updates for Independent Schools: Greg Manousos | Immerse yourself in a practical and informative overview of recent developments in employment law that are of particular concern to independent schools. Look at the best strategies for implementing the new Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave law. Engage in a discussion about the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act and what schools should be doing to become – and stay – compliant in order to avoid legal exposure. Receive a review of recent court decisions, legislation, and regulations that are of particular interest and relevance to independent schools.
  • The Value of Accreditation: Commitment to Continuous Improvement: Sara Wilson | How does AISNE accreditation inform and support school improvement initiatives at your school? And, what is the Board's role in AISNE accreditation? In this session, Sara Wilson, AISNE's Director of Accreditation will provide an overview of the AISNE accreditation process and will discuss how this process of reflection, affirmation, transformation, and accountability strengthens your school internally and with your wider market.
  • Governance Fundamentals: What Every Trustee Needs to Know: Claire Leheny | No one is born a good trustee. It takes time and practice. Learn, or be reminded of, the fundamental practices effective boards use to support school leaders, steward their missions and strengthen their communities. Consider the three levels of governance of high functioning boards: fiduciary, strategic and generative, and how they underpin the work of mission-driven governance.

Talk II: Trends, Applications and Innovations
11:10 a.m. - 12:10 p.m.

  • Defining How a Board Meeting Can Include More Strategic Discussions and Fewer Dog and Pony Shows: Roger Brown and Susan Whitehead | Learn from Berklee's President and Board Chair about ways to include more strategic discussions at board meetings. Explore the power of their partnership at Berklee College of Music during times of change and innovation.
  • Centering Mission, Centering Self: the Essential Work of the Trustee: Lynn Bowman and Noni Thomas López, Gordon School; Kimberly Ridley, Fayerweather Street School | Given their strategic position, trustees play an essential role in ensuring their schools prioritize, support and invest in the creation of a diverse, equitable and inclusive learning environment. This work is mission critical and deeply personal. This workshop will emphasize how identity, socialization and positionality impact how we inhabit our leadership roles and will invite participants to examine how their personal stories and experiences intersect with their role as school fiduciary.

  • Enrollment Depends on Brand Strength: How to Create A Brand That Drives Enrollment Growth: Maria LaTour Kadison | Your school can be doing everything right and still have weak enrollment because of a weak brand. In this session, we will discuss the top five drivers of brand strength that are specifically tied to enrollment growth and what questions trustees should ask to ensure they are being addressed.

  • Preventing and Managing Litigation: Sara Goldsmith Schwartz and Jim Shay | Experienced school counsel, Sara Goldsmith Schwartz, and long-term Fay School Board President, Jim Shay, will facilitate a lively and interactive session about the lessons learned from successfully prevailing in a multiple-year federal court litigation involving a family’s allegations related to a student’s alleged “Wi-Fi allergy.” Utilizing a case study approach, Sara and Jim will engage the audience in a collaborative discussion about strategies for preventing litigation (and prevailing in litigation) – whether the litigation is based on a challenging student and family complaint, an alleged environmental hazard, a demand for ADA accommodations based on the school as a place of public accommodation, assertions of violations of the Student Handbook, or other hot topics. Sara and Jim will share tips and traps for fostering a collaborative approach among the Board, Head of School and counsel to engage in effective risk management for the institution.
  • Cultivating Courageous Leadership: Ruha Benjamin | James Baldwin cautioned that, “A civilization is not destroyed by wicked people; it is not necessary that people be wicked, but only that they be spineless.” In this workshop, participants will explore courage as a vital capacity of educational leaders. Together, we will take stock of our fears, reflect on areas of our work that require us to take risks, and discuss how to prepare and support one another to cultivate courage as a foundation for learning and growth.
  • Ignite Institutional Effectiveness: Effective Partnerships Between Board Chairs and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Leaders: Meerie Joung and Michael Eatman | The Pike School Chair of Board of Trustees and Director for Community Life will share how partnerships and committee structures have allowed their school to be more intentional in creating a more diverse and inclusive community. Learn about the role of DEI committee within their governing board and the intentional decisions they made as part of the school community.

Networking Lunch
Gather with Peers, Exchange Insights, Experiences and Aspirations
12:15 - 1:15 p.m.

Afternoon Speaker and Facilitator
Grant Lichtman
1:30 - 3:00 p.m.

Grant Lichtman works with forward-leaning educators to face three really big questions imperative to maintaining relevancy for their schools.

  • Why should schools change? For many, that train has left the station, but some school communities still need to make the case.
  • What will that change look like? For many, it is a transformed, student-centered “deeper learning” system that replaces a very outdated, Industrial Age, teacher-centric system.
  • How will we make the change? We know how good organizations make successful transformation. We have to adapt this knowledge and culture for the unique real-world conditions of schools.

Grant Lichtman will provide a clear paradigm for transforming outmoded schools into schools that will help children to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

Be inspired by Grant while also hearing case study examples directly from your peers.

Wrap-Up and Farewell
Becky Biggs, Director, Professional Development, AISNE
3:00 p.m.

Join These Schools

  • The Advent School
  • Andover School of Montessori
  • Applewild School
  • Atrium School
  • Austin Preparatory School
  • Bancroft School
  • Bard College at Simon's Rock
  • Bay Farm Montessori Academy
  • Beacon Hill Nursery School
  • Belmont Day School
  • Berkshire School
  • The Cambridge School of Weston
  • Chapel Hill - Chauncy Hall School
  • The Chestnut Hill School
  • The Common School
  • Dana Hall School
  • Dedham Coutry Day School
  • Derby Academy
  • The Derryfield School
  • Esperanza Academy
  • Falmouth Academy
  • Fay School
  • Fayerweather Street School
  • The Fenn School
  • Friends Academy
  • German International School of Boston
  • Gordon School
  • Inly School
  • Kingsley Montessori School
  • The Learning Project Elementary School
  • Lexington Montessori School
  • The Meadowbrook School of Weston
  • Moorestown Friends School
  • Nashoba Brooks School
  • Oak Meadow School
  • Phillips Exeter Academy
  • The Pike School
  • Pingree School
  • Riverbend School
  • The Sage School
  • School One
  • Shady Hill School
  • Summit Montessori School
  • Tenacre Country Day School
  • Thayer Academy
  • Tower School
  • Waldorf School of Lexington
  • Wellan Montessori School
  • The Wheeler School

Governance 2019 is generously sponsored by: