Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Hilton Hotel, Woburn, MA
8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m

See which schools will be there

Today's schools are places children and young adults come together to discover who they are, and to be supported and nurtured as they navigate their way in today's multidimensional world. Come together with educators from fellow independent schools across New England and beyond, to reflect on your work, the needs of today's students, and the growth and innovation opportunities within your school's community.


Arrival, Registration & Networking Breakfast
8:00 - 8:45 a.m.

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

Opening Keynote Address
John Hunter, Musician, Teacher, Filmmaker and Game Designer
8:50 - 10:00 a.m.

John's World Peace Game inspires educators to develop new approaches to teaching methods and learning design. Dedicated to helping children of all ages reach their full potential, be invigorated by John's experiences and perspectives during this morning talk to kick off our full-day conference.

Refresh Break
10:00 - 10:15 a.m.

Breakout Session I: Select One
10:15 - 11:15 a.m.

Learning Support:
At What Cost: Defending Adolescent Development in Fiercely Competitive Schools
Dr. David Gleason, Developmental Empathy, LLC

Anxiety, disillusionment and depression emerge, sometimes with devastating outcomes, as conflicts between school expectations and students’ abilities persist. Unprecedented insights from human brain research now reveal that environment not only affects adolescent identity, but shapes the brain itself. For all our students, striking the right balance has crucial lifelong implications.

Curriculum Design:
Teaching Peace through Game Play: A Guide for Mid-Elementary Teachers
John Hunter, opening keynote speaker

John will seek to highlight how the intrinsic nature of mid-elementary schoolers combined with experiences like the World Peace Game organically help students discover the ideal of peace, cooperation and compassion quite naturally, rather than being “taught” these concepts.

Instructional Techniques:
The Intersection Between Ambitious Instruction, Equity and Access
Lynne Godfrey, Boston Plan for Excellence

Teaching ambitiously means teaching all students to see themselves as competent sense makers, contributors to academic discourse and problem solvers. Ambitious teachers engage students in rigorous content and challenge inequities. In this session, we will examine the principles and practices of ambitious instruction and engage in an instructional activity that serves as a vehicle for teachers to routinely engage all students in cognitively demanding mathematical activities.

Faculty Supervision & Evaluation:
Establishing and Fostering Sustained Leadership Growth Among Your Faculty and Staff
Dr. Marisa Porges, Dr. Laura Blankenship, and Dr. Sherry Forste-Grupp, The Baldwin School, Bryn Mawr, PA

Faculty leadership capacity is a crucial component of a school's mission and success. Many schools have limited pathways for faculty leadership opportunities. A few years ago, we began thinking about leadership more broadly and considering the ways in which we can provide both formal and informal opportunities for faculty to be leaders in our community. In our minds, everyone has leadership potential and we often need everyone to be leaders in different moments. We will share our philosophy behind this idea and how it connects to our mission. We will also share the very practical steps we've taken to establish leadership as part of our faculty and staff culture and the benefits we've seen to our faculty and our school as a whole.

Creativity and Innovation:
Intentionally and Creatively Using Instructional Technology
Megan Haddadi, The Park School and Kate Reardon, Dedham Country Day School

Come join academic technologists Megan Haddadi and Kate Reardon as they introduce the “Design Thinking Meets the Classroom” strand. Explore how design thinking helps our students build the skills they need in the 21st century. Learn how educational technology can support design thinking in the classroom, and examine some technology tools that can facilitate the design thinking process.

Spaces & Environments:
Designing with Both Teaching & Learning in Mind

Two Case Studies:

Refresh Break
11:15 - 11:30 a.m.

Breakout Session II: Select One
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Learning Support:
A New Conversation About Students Who Struggle
Laura Vantine, The Winsor School

What if we could we could change how we think and talk about students who struggle in school? This workshop will describe an approach to academic support that emphasizes collaboration, problem solving, teacher support and learner independence. By empowering students to take ownership of the learning experience in partnership with their teachers, and changing the language we use to talk about typical challenges in the learning process, we have reduced the demand for testing and accommodations and improved the learning experience for students.

Curriculum Design:
Building Student Interest and Engagement Into Strong Curricula
John Hunter, opening keynote speaker

Building on the timeless work of his esteemed mentors, John will illustrate the very necessity of successful teaching being based upon consistently connecting the curriculum to each student’s personal passion. The respect shown each child’s “love” inspires students to more fully engage with the learning because they now feel that they have a personal stake in whatever happens in the classroom.

Instructional Techniques:
Learning to See / Seeing to Learn: Recognizing & Applying Low Inference Notes
Lynne Godfrey, Boston Plan for Excellence

When educators make their practice public and collaborate to identify problems of practice we move toward building more engaging, intellectual learning communities for all students. In this session we will strengthen our observation muscles to collect judgement free descriptions of the learning environment, teacher and student interactions, and tasks. Through the Instructional Rounds process we will examine data, look for patterns and pose questions that provide forward moving, evidence based feedback to improve teaching and learning.

(Instructional Rounds in Education: A Network Approach to Improving Teaching and Learning, City, Elmore, Fiarman and Teitel)

Faculty Supervision & Evaluation:
New Methods and Approaches to Supervision and Evaluation
Dr. Marisa Porges, Dr. Laura Blankenship, and Dr. Sherry Forste-Grupp, The Baldwin School, Bryn Mawr, PA

Doing faculty evaluation well is hard. In this session, we will describe our journey from a system that didn't really work for faculty or the school to one that continues to evolve and shift but which better supports faculty and school success. Our approach requires a substantial investment of time and effort from our faculty, department chairs and division directors. The core of our process has two main components. First, faculty are provided regular and timely feedback after each classroom observation. Second, the faculty establish goals for professional and/or pedagogic growth at the beginning of the year and these are reflectively discussed with the faculty and his/her supervisors at the end of the year. From both the administrative side and the faculty side, we'll explain the nuts and bolts of our evaluation process and the impact it has had on our program. We'll also share some of the remaining tension points and our ideas for continuing to shift the process to alleviate those.

Creativity and Innovation:
Going Beyond the Lecture - Strategies for Content Instruction in STEM
Sarah Goldin, Greenwich Leadership Partners

STEM educators are confronted with the need to maximize student engagement and learning through inquiry while simultaneously ensuring deep learning around rich and technically complex content. This workshop offers strategies for learning design and assessment that engage students with deep content and vocabulary in a student-directed, collaborative manner that makes thinking and learning visible through dialogue and presentation.

Spaces & Environments:
Environmental Literacy Meets Design
Case Study: Hitchcock Center in partnership with designLAB architects
Colleen Kelley, Hitchcock Center and Kelly Haigh and Sam Batchelor, designLAB architects

The process of designing the center, and the choices and decision contained therein, drove small but significant changes in their curriculum that highlighted the role of design in pursuit of making sustainable choices in our lives and communities. A joint presentation of the Hitchcock Center and designLAB architects who designed the project, this session will highlight the cyclical nature of how our values can shape design, which can in turn shape our values. Lessons-learned provide valuable insights into our opportunities to leverage place-based design toward large-scale impact on students, faculty, and community.

Networking Lunch
12:30 - 1:15 p.m.

Breakout Session III: Select One
1:30 - 2:30 p.m.

Learning Support:
From Disorder to Trait: Getting the Best Out of ADHD
Dr. Ned Hallowell, The Hallowell Center for Cognitive and Emotional Health

There is no easy solution for the management of ADHD in the classroom, or at home for that matter. After all is said and done, the effectiveness of any treatment for this disorder at school depends upon the knowledge and the persistence of the school and the individual teacher. Dr. Hallowell will provide effective tips on teaching children with ADHD and discuss how these kids can transform over the school year and change from being your most frustrating students to your most rewarding. With the persistent and consistent application of the techniques contained in these tips, and with the cooperation of the rest of the school faculty, the parents, and the student, you can see frustration evolve, step by step, into mastery and success. Join Dr. Hallowell as he invites you into his world of ADHD and shows you how to get the best out of ADHD by using his strength-based approach.

Curriculum Design:
Curriculum Redesign for the Age of Artificial Intelligence
Charles Fadel, Center for Curriculum Redesign

To educate a “whole child for a whole world”, education systems must curate their curricula and focus on what is most important in an age of algorithms, for success in life and work. You will learn about emergent and future needs, and how to address the imperative to develop the four dimensions of a 21st century learner:

  • Knowledge (essential content and core concepts; modern disciplines)
  • Skills (“21st century Skills” or “4 C’s”)
  • Character (Social-Emotional Learning)
  • Meta-Learning (“learn how to learn” and growth mindset)

Instructional Techniques:
Utilizing Feedback in the Service of Professional Growth and Development
Kim Ridley, Head of School, Fayerweather School and Angela Garcia, Assistant Head of School, Fessenden School

The teacher evaluation process should be thought of as a teaching and learning system that creates a set of coherent, well-grounded supports for strong teaching that will connect to positive student learning outcomes, as well as teacher growth and development. Our workshop will focus on the importance of teacher awareness of self, and awareness of teaching practice. We will also focus our workshop on how to receive and utilize formal and informal feedback to elevate learning and continued professional growth. Participants will reflect on questions, practice listening skills and strategies to have critical and courageous conversations.

Faculty Supervision & Evaluation:
Curiosity, Care, and Courage: Keystone Habits in Faculty Feedback and Evaluation Systems
Geoff Wagg, Lydia Maier, and Tim Hebda, Waynflete School

How do you nurture collegiality and a crucial sense of belonging amongst faculty and simultaneously promote a culture of continuous and authentic feedback? The key lies in professional growth and evaluation systems that are relational. Infrequent feedback from supervisors or colleagues where trust has not been developed has little value and will rarely be applied in the classroom. Giving teachers space, time and leadership training to engage in ongoing dialogue about their pedagogy goals with a small group of colleagues (Family Groups) over the year, unlocks potential to radically shift perceptions of feedback as negative and instead invites curiosity and investment in colleagues sharing and observing each other's teaching goals. Learn how one school is transforming vulnerability into an asset by putting teachers at the center of their own professional growth while still advancing shared institutional goals and priorities.

Creativity and Innovation:
Innovation Nation: Empowering Students to Be Design Thinkers
Allison Butler, Bryant University

Design thinking is a human-centered model for innovative problem solving that enlists and promotes 21 st century skills, such as collaboration, prototyping, and iteration. In this session, participants will learn the benefits of teaching students to be design thinkers and will experience elements of the process through a sampler of hands-on activities. Different models for bringing design thinking into the classroom will be shared. Innovation Nation, a partnership between Lincoln School and Bryant University, in which middle school students apply design thinking to solve real-world problems, will be featured.

Spaces & Environments:
From Surviving to Thriving in Your Schedule Change Process
Bea Garcia, Northfield Mount Hermon School and Jamie Baker, Lawrence Academy

Join this session for a facilitated discussion of the schedule change process as conducted by two AISNE member schools. Bea Garcia, Dean of Faculty from Northfield Mount Hermon, and Jamie Baker, Assistant Head of School from Lawrence Academy, will share their experiences with the various stages of developing a new academic schedule, the myriad of ways to seek and incorporate input and suggestions, challenges that surface, and the process of communicating a new and different schedule to the school community. Though the specific schedules shared in this session are upper school schedules, many of the processes and challenges are applicable to a variety of school types and grade ranges.

Closing Keynote Address
John Palfrey and Linda Carter Griffith, Phillips Academy, Andover
2:45 - 3:30 p.m.

Free expression can serve everyone―even those pursuing hate speech. Diversity is about self-expression, learning from one another, and working together across differences. It can encompass academic freedom without condoning hate speech.

John and Linda discuss how the essential democratic values of diversity and free expression can, and should, coexist on campus, through the creation of safe spaces and brave spaces.

In safe spaces, students may explore ideas and express themselves with without feeling marginalized. In brave spaces―classrooms, lecture halls, public forums―the search for knowledge is paramount, even if some discussions may make certain students uncomfortable. The strength of our democracy depends on a commitment to upholding both diversity and free expression, especially when it is hardest to do so.

Take away John and Linda's powerful message and application techniques, to close out a full and thought provoking day together with your colleagues and peers.

View breakout options by tracks.