Monday, May 4 - Thursday, May 7

This year, as we practice physical distancing, there is still much to learn and be gained by coming together as educators and administrators to explore topics at the heart of nurturing health and wellness within our school communities.

To this end, AISNE is proud to virtually present this year's Health & Wellness conference, over four days!

Each day will feature a Sunrise, Midday and Afternoon session. Join us live for as many sessions as you like! Receive full recordings and materials for all sessions.

PLUS! Enjoy specially-crafted, on-demand self-care sessions, just for you!

Virtual Pricing is $199/attendee, and it's $149/attendee when you register as a group of 3+ colleagues -- a 30% savings from our in-person rates. If you registered prior to our transition to virtual, your school will receive refund for the difference between these two rate programs.

Please contact Betsy O'Brien with any questions.

Advance the Thinking You Bring to Your School

  • Four Days of Important Topics and Powerful Dialogues
  • Insights from Industry Experts and Peer Practitioners
  • Full Access to Live, On-Demand, and Recorded Materials

Register Here

Program Details

Each day features three 60-minute sessions:

  • Sunrise: 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.
  • Midday: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
  • Afternoon: 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Experience each session live, using Zoom, or catch any and all sessions at your convenience, on-demand. Live Zoom sessions will be actively facilitated to create warm and engaging experiences using Zoom breakout rooms, chats and more.

As a participant, you will receive full access to all of the available presentations, materials and recordings from this conference, via a dedicated webpage provided following the event!

Monday, May 4

Breaking Through Stigma: The Highs and Lows of Mental Health

Hakeem Rahim

Hakeem will share his personal story of mental illness, recovery and wellness. Be inspired by his resilient journey and take away his message of embracing awareness for mental illness and reducing the stigmas surrounding it.

Youth Mental Health First Aid: The Numbers, The Need, The Movement

Kacey Morris, Mental Health First Aid

According to the National Alliance for Mental Illness, one in five teens and young adults live with a mental health condition, with half developing the condition by age 14. 64.1% of youth with major depression do not receive any mental health treatment. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people age 15-24. Learn the elements of the 8-hour Youth Mental Health First Aid training program, be introduced to the 5-step action plan and engage in a case scenario. Elevate mental health conversations within your school.


YES+ (Youth Educators for Sex Positivity): Peer-to-Peer Sexual Health Education

Flavia Vidal, Director of Brace Center for Gender Studies
Susan Etsy, Director of Wellness Education

Phillips Academy

Recent studies, including a data analysis performed by SHIFT, the Sexual Health Initiative to Foster Transformation at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, suggest strong, inclusive, ongoing sexual education in middle and high school correlates with lower rates of sexual assault in first-year college students. Given the higher rates of students of color and LGBTQ+ students experiencing sexual assault in college, a strong and inclusive, intersectional sexual-education program may be seen as a social-justice mandate for all schools. Learn about the work of YES+ at Andover, including the group’s selection and training processes, and the techniques and ideas they have used to make forward progress in integrating race, class, gender and sexuality into Andover’s overall curriculum.

Tuesday, May 5

Creating Mindful Spaces FOR YOUR School Community

Wendy Gustavel, Librarian
Traci Fairchild, Director of Counseling and Wellness

Rocky Hill Country Day School

Hear experiences in designing and designating physical spaces devoted to mindfulness. Wendy and Traci will share specific examples from Rocky Hill Country Day School, covering how the spaces were determined and established, and how these spaces are positively impacting their school community. Be inspired!

Understanding the Impacts of Adverse Childhood Events (ACE)

Nicole Christian-Brathwaite

Traumatic events impact children's behavior, development and ability to learn and function in the classroom. Learn behaviors that may be expected from children who have experienced traumatic events, how to support these students, and how to create a more trauma-informed school community.

Support Community Members Who've Lost Loved Ones

Jennifer Borislow, Borislow Insurance

The passing of a loved one can bring about a tidal wave of emotion and unanticipated challenges. Gain smart approaches for establishing your school as a leader in grief support, employee education and advisory services.

Wednesday, May 6

Frequent Health Services Visitors: Signs and Strategies

Adria Pavletic, Director of Health Services, St. Mark's School

Do you have students who are in Health Services quite a bit? Gain insights for unearthing the sometimes unspoken needs behind frequent visits. Hear approaches for strengthening relationships and support systems, and achieving improved classroom attendance. Consider when referrals or interventions may be most appropriate, and learn from anonymous student case success stories.

Fostering Healthy Body Image in a Body-Shaming World
Caryn Bello, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Community Educator and Public Speaker

The constant presence of diet recommendations, health food fads, Instagram fitness posts, and pressures to be perfect bombard adolescents with messages and images that shape their beliefs about health, beauty and personal worth. Research demonstrates that 40% of elementary school girls wish to be thinner, with this number rising in middle and high school years. Negative body images are linked to mood disorders, anxiety disorders, low self-esteem and eating disorders. Gain tools and resources for helping students develop resiliency within our image-focused, body-shaming culture. Take away specific approaches for talking with adolescents and techniques for fostering healthy relationships with food and our bodies.

Empathy in Promotion of Health and Wellness

Carlos Hoyt, Director of Equity and Inclusion, Belmont Day School

Empathy improves connections across social identity differences, reduces stress through self-awareness and perspective-taking, and facilitates critical thinking and good decision-making, all of which are essential not only to optimal health and wellness but also to strengthened social-emotional and anti-bias competencies. Focus in on deep understanding of empathy, and how it is distinct from sympathy, compassion and altruism. Take away a step-by-step process for applying empathy in all forms of human interaction: with students, colleagues, parents, and in one's personal life. Participants are encouraged to read this paper in advance.

Thursday, May 7

See You in September: Rebuilding a School While the Aftershocks Continue

Michael Thompson, Author and International Speaker
Rick Melvoin, Consultant and former head of Belmont Hill School

Think about how to close an incomplete year and plan for an uncertain one ahead. Focus on the questions all schools will need to consider both from a health, wellness and psychological perspective, and from the running your school and management perspectives. Bring your reflections from this experience, your questions about next year, and an openness to learn and discuss how best to serve your school's community during this unique time for all people.

Got Consent? Got “Protection”? Then OK!... Why Young People Settle for So Little and How to Help Them Want More

Deborah M. Roffman, MS, CSE, Author, Speaker, Master Teacher

Many young people today express the opinion that as long as protection is used and there's mutual consent, having sex is "fine." How are they defining words like "protection" and "having sex," and why do they set such low expectations for themselves and their potential partners? Explore how traditional approaches to sexuality education may contribute to limited ways of thinking, and how an in depth focus on powerful concepts like human intimacy can help change the paradigm.

All-Attendee Closing Activity

Becky Biggs, Director of Professional Development, AISNE

Come together with your peers from independent schools across New England for an interactive and engaging hour, reflecting on this conference, and also on health and wellness during this very unique time in all of our lives. Share action plans and identify peer partners and working groups to continue forward from this experience.

Bonus, On-Demand Self-Care

  • Yoga
  • Mindful Meditation
  • Stress Busters

Check back for details, coming soon!

Participating Schools

  • Bancroft School
  • Belmont Day School
  • Belmont Hill School
  • Berkshire School
  • Berwick Academy
  • Brooks School
  • The Cambridge School of Weston
  • Chapel Hill - Chauncy Hall School
  • Charles River School
  • Community Preparatory School
  • Dana Hall School
  • Dedham Country Day School
  • The Derryfield School
  • Dexter Southfield School
  • Dublin School
  • The Fessenden School
  • Fontbonne The Early College of Boston
  • Groton School
  • Holderness School
  • Jackson Walnut Park Schools
  • Kents Hill School
  • Kingsley Montessori School
  • Middlesex School
  • Moses Brown School
  • Montessori School of Northampton
  • Nashoba Brooks School
  • Nativity School of Worcester
  • Noble and Greenough School
  • The Park School
  • Phillips Academy
  • Phillips Exeter Academy
  • The Pike School
  • Pingree School
  • Portsmouth Abbey School
  • The Putney School
  • The Rashi School
  • Riverview School
  • Rocky Hill Country Day School
  • The Roxbury Latin School
  • Shady Hill School
  • St. Paul's School
  • St. Mark's School
  • Tower School
  • Walnut Hill School for the Arts
  • The Winsor School
  • Worcester Academy

Contributing to Organizations Doing Great Work to Support Health and Wellness in our Community

AISNE is donating a portion of every Health & Wellness Week 2020 ticket sale to three organizations doing important work to support our community:

Health & Wellness Week 2020 is generously supported by:

We appreciate your confidence in us.

We are excited to learn together.