Explore this year’s sessions. There’s something for everyone!

Academic Administration

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Health & Wellness

Admission, Financial Aid & Enrollment

Financial Management & Sustainability

Marketing & Communication

Development & Advancement

Heads & Senior Management

Residential & Student Life



(CANCELLED) Developing a Community-Wide Goal-Setting and Reflection Experience

How do you build purposeful reflection throughout a school community? How do you find time for more activities? We will describe one school’s journey to create programming that creates time for reflection, goal-setting, and modeling from the adults leading the process. You will receive access to templates and other resources to help start a similar program at their own school.Matt Troutman, Head of School, Thomas Jefferson School, MO


Moving to Mastery

How do you move from traditional grades and teaching practices to a more equitable and meaningful mastery learning model? This presentation will outline how our school has examined and adjusted our structures and practices to enact significant institutional changes. Join us to learn about the path we have taken and to hear about our next steps as we move towards implementation of a Mastery Transcript for 2027.

Nelle Andrews, Dean of Curriculum & Instruction, Miss Porter’s School, CT
Elizabeth Simison, Academic Dean and English Faculty, Miss Porter’s School, CT


Measuring Excellence: Rethinking how we Measure the Academic Success of our Students and Schools

We will explore different models for measuring the academic success of our students and schools, along with strengths and weaknesses of each approach. How have we implicitly defined success? Should we stick with traditional grades? Would a mastery transcript work for us? What about portfolios? You will leave with some models in hand and a more nuanced understanding of the challenges and opportunities that exist when we attempt to measure ‘success.’Michael Lomuscio, Dean of Studies, ‘Iolani School, HI


Retrofitting the Traditional Boarding School for Mastery Learning

Many schools embracing the mastery model are start-ups who have baked it into their pedagogy and practices from their inception. A challenge for many “mastery-curious” TABS schools is how to upend a paradigm of assessment, grading, and transcripting that has been in place for decades without alienating key constituents. Learn how Pomfret and Mercersburg have made significant strides toward a competency-based approach while remaining true to their schools’ history, values, and culture.Gwyneth Connell, Director of the Grauer Institute, Pomfret School, CT
John David Bennett, Dean of Curricular Innovation, Mercersburg Academy, PA


Admission, FINANCIAL Aid, & Enrollment MANAGEMENT

Collaboration is Key – A Conversation Among Friends

In the spring of 2020, we teamed up to virtually promote boarding school, reaching well over 1000 prospective families. More importantly, we learned to lean on each other when we had questions but no answers. We scrimmaged social justice and the state of our world, enrollment challenges, work/life balance, and everything in between. Let’s discuss how we encourage more collaboration within our industry!

Dana Anselmi, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, St. Paul’s School, NH
Sarah Quinn, Director of Admission, Miss Porter’s School, CT
Meghan Grover, Director of Admission, Millbrook School, NY
Sean Atkins, Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, Suffield Academy, CT
Shanique Garcia, Director of Multicultural Recruitment, The Taft School, CT
Will Richardson, Founder, Richardson Advisory Group

Admission, FINANCIAL Aid, & Enrollment MANAGEMENT

A Master Class for Boarding Schools: Driving Engagement & Revenue For Your School

A school’s bottom line is dependent on engagement. If a family isn’t connected with your mission, values, and message, they might not even inquire. From inquiry and before to graduation and beyond, how are you working with internal teams to drive external engagement? The most successful schools focus on four main pillars: Branding, Content, Operations, and Retention. Join us as we highlight four schools that have mastered skills to support each of those four pillars. They’ll share how they implemented some best practices to grow their reach, solidify their brands, and operate seamlessly.

Kate Auger-Campbell, Enrollment Solutions Consultant, Finalsite, CT
Jill Hutchins, Associate Head of School for Enrollment, Dublin School, NH
Rob DiMartino, Co-Founder/Chief Evangelist, Finalsite, CT
Alison Cady, Chief Communications Officer, Choate Rosemary Hall, CT
Jason Warnick, Head of School, Wayland Academy, WI

Admission, FINANCIAL Aid, & Enrollment MANAGEMENT

FEATURED SESSION Marketing 101: Optimize Your Outreach by Understanding Your Channels

A well-defined, multi-channel marketing strategy is key to achieving maximum results and greatly increases your chances of reaching your boarding school prospects. Join us as we review different channels available, pros and cons of each, and how your boarding school can get the most out of them.

Jillian Pompa, Team Lead-Account Management K12, Community Brands

Admission, FINANCIAL Aid, & Enrollment MANAGEMENT

FEATURED SESSION A Conversation about working with agents

More so right now than in the past decade, schools are working with agents or considering doing so as part of their strategic enrollment objectives, and for good reason. Broad geographic diversity within an international student population helps reduce over-reliance on any one country, and creates a more diverse and global student body. While there are myriad ways to achieve this, one of the most effective is through developing and maintaining a strong agent network.

Join us for a conversation about how these partnerships can look, and hear from schools at various stages of working with agents. With 30 years of experience of vetting and screening our agent recruiters, ICEF will offer some best practices from their view about this process of international recruitment. Successful partnerships are built on engaging the right people and then keeping them engaged. We aim to hear perspectives from a school who actively and successfully works with agents, one who is developing their strategy, as well as an agent’s point of view on partnering with schools.

Brittany Goodman, Associate Director Americas, ICEF

Vanessa Goulding, Business Development Manager, ICEF

Eric Swanson-Dexel, Director of Boarding Monte Vista Christian School CA
Andrew Garlinski, Director of Admissions, Shattuck-St. Mary’s School MN
Edwin Nunez, Director of Enrollment Management, The Pingry School NJ
Joshua Labove, Dean of Enrollment and Financial Aid, Wayland Academy WI

Admission, FINANCIAL Aid, & Enrollment MANAGEMENT

Admissions Landscape Changes

When COVID first hit in 2019, schools were forced to make accommodations and provide solutions to minimize the impact of the pandemic on their student body. As we approach our third year into the pandemic, schools can see the impacts of their choices, and as responsible educators, they must reflect on whether such accommodations and solutions have made the impacts they wished to see. In this panel, we bring together admissions officers to discuss how they initially approached the pandemic’s limitations, what changes they made to their recruitment and admissions policies, and what steps they must take moving forward in order to ensure they continue to form their desired communities of learning and growth.

Patrick Lawson, Director of Student Activities, McCallie School, TN
Leo Marshall, Vericant Partnership Representative, Vericant, CA
Sarah Quinn, Director of Admissions, Miss Porter’s School, CT

Admission, FINANCIAL Aid, & Enrollment MANAGEMENT

Widening the Funnel: St. George’s Test-Optional Approach

For decades, St. George’s, like other independent schools in the country, required applicants to include an SSAT score to be considered for admission. We became concerned by our over-reliance on a single high-stakes test score. Our shift to a test-optional policy followed a two-year pilot program that reviewed student academic performance relative to their SSAT score. The review was conducted in conjunction with our Merck Center for Teaching.

The policy change was also informed by research showing that standardized assessments such as the SSAT can be significantly impacted by student socioeconomic status, parents’ level of education, quality of available schooling and access to educational resources. Ultimately, the shift sought to widen, and not winnow, opportunities for talented students to receive a St. George’s education. After adopting a test-optional admission policy, we continued to assess applicants’ academic performance, intellectual curiosity, and growth potential.

Ryan Mulhern, Director of Admission, St. George’s School, RI
Justin Cerenzia, Dean of Teaching and Learning, St. George’s School, RI


Development & Advancement

Forecasting Your Annual Fund: The Updated Research on Annual Giving

We will look at recent research from CASE to review annual giving across the US and Canada. With a specific look at boarding schools, we will convey relevant trends and make observations to help advancement teams exceed their goals and help CFOs and Heads make strategic decisions with philanthropy in mind.

Ann Snyder, Director of Schools, Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), DC

Development & Advancement

Admissions + Development = Advancement

Learn how we’ve combined our Admissions and Development offices to create an Advancement Department that has increased the efficiency, performance, and revenue generation of both areas through technology, creativity, and the empowerment of talented and enthusiastic people.Tripp Billingsley, Director of Advancement, Fork Union Military Academy, VA

Jackie Montero-Sharpe, Director of Enrollment Management, Fork Union Military Academy, VA

Development & Advancement

Raising Endowment in a Comprehensive Campaign: How to Make the Case

There is often the perception that endowment dollars are much harder to raise than capital dollars in a campaign because they lack the tangible aspects that come with a new gymnasium, library, or dormitory. Through discussion, this session will explore how you — with the right messaging and recognition opportunities — can successfully secure endowment gifts while balancing other fundraising priorities.Robert Rice, Principal & Managing Director, CCS Fundraising, District of Columbia
Brent Bell, Head of School, Darlington School, GA

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Inclusivity: This Means Literature, Too

We are what we read, and we are what we do not read. In the creation of an inclusive school community, what we read is also fundamental. The literary canon is changing, has changed, and it is all for the good. Voices from the page are no longer limited This presentation includes the how and why–and what–of digging deeper to find works that foster a global, inclusive world perspective. It’s all about books. Great books!Janette Gould-Martin, AP Lit Instructor, Writing Center Director, AP National Exam Reader, Shattuck-St. Mary’s School, MN

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

How to Start & Where to Go: Restructuring for Systemic Gender Inclusivity

Our faculty members have created a working group led by members of our Community and Equity team to audit, research, and restructure practices related to supporting gender diversity for our community. We’ll outline how to create your own Gender Equity Task Force, introduce necessary steps to facilitate gender equity, and explore the materials and policies we created to assist in the systematic restructuring of gender inclusivity in private institutions.Alexa Holmes, Community + Equity Team Member; Wilcox Fellow for Health and Wellness, Concord Academy, MA
Grant Hightower, Director of Community and Equity, Concord Academy, MA

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Taking Steps to be an Anti-Racist Institution

Our Board of Directors established anti-racist goals for the 2020-21 academic year. As we confronted the dueling pandemics of systemic racism and COVID-19, our senior leadership team worked closely with our Board committees to execute anti-racist goals. We surveyed our key business partners and our 20 largest endowment managers to understand their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Our outreach sparked conversations and opportunities to share best practices and made our commitment to being an anti-racist institution clear. Join us as we share our communication with our community, outreach to our key partners and survey, initial lessons learned and next steps. Becoming an anti-racist institution requires the full commitment of school leadership and taking the first step is extremely challenging. We will share our approach and hope to inspire others to move forward as anti-racist institutions by giving them tools and confidence to take the first step.

Katherine Windsor, Head of School, Miss Porter’s School, CT
Michael Bergin, CFO/COO, Miss Porter’s School, CT

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

So We Have International Students Committed for Next Year. Now What?

Student support generally begins during the application process and continues long after graduation. However, support for the additional needs of international students often mainly consists of orientation programming, a handful of celebratory events, and some reactive support throughout the year. These students need more comprehensive support beyond these short, contained moments. We will present ideas for more comprehensive year-round programming with examples and scenarios to initiate this important and meaningful conversation.

LeeAnn Brash, Mathematics Department Chair, Milton Academy, MA

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Black Families, Boarding Schools and Educational Aspirations

Many prospective Black families see boarding school as the foundation and pathway for their child to get admitted to an elite university. Demonstrating that your school is aware of cultural differences and has the resources to support the unique needs of Black families is paramount. As early as the information session and tour, curiosities and concerns should be directly addressed.

How can the admissions and college counseling offices work in tandem to be transparent to ensure the needs of Black students and families are acknowledged? How can colleges that may be historically unfamiliar to Black families be promoted and encouraged?

Shereem Herndon-Brown, Founder and CEO (Chief Education Officer), Strategic Admissions Advice

Timothy Fields, Senior Associate Dean of Undergraduate Admission, Emory University

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Amplifying DEI Goals with Technology: A Framework to Operationalize DEI

From better data to faculty/staff professional development to enhanced classroom experiences, technology can be the key to unleashing your school’s DEI initiatives. Understanding how to design and implement technology solutions to address complex DEI priorities will allow schools to reach their instructional and operational goals and foster inclusive cultures. Boarding school leaders interested in the intersectionality of technology and DEI must have a clear understanding of what’s possible and insights into innovative strategies being deployed at schools around the country. Attendees will receive access to a DEI framework that provides a roadmap for the technology puzzle pieces your school might be missing for a complete DEI strategy.

Christina Lewellen, Executive Director, Association of Technology Leaders in Independent Schools, NC

Lawrence Alexander, Independent Consultant

Financial management & Sustainability

financial management & sustainability

Creating an Actionable Climate Action Plan

Given programmatic shifts and an increasing emphasis on sustainability, St. Paul’s School is moving towards climate neutrality. In partnership with the Stone House Group, we developed a Climate Action Plan using WRI and the Science-Based Target Initiative’s recommended framework. We created a plan to align our facilities with our mission by examining energy efficiency, campus infrastructure, carbon emissions, and operations optimization.

Nick Babladelis, Director of Environmental Stewardship, St. Paul’s School, NH
Larry Eighmy, Managing Principal, The Stone House Group, PA
James Hayes, Associate Principal, The Stone House Group, PA


Planning and the Facilities Life Cycle: No Building Left Behind

The Facilities Life Cycle begins with the school’s strategic plan and campus master plan. It is further informed by a facilities assessment, operating budget, and PPRRSM fund. Planning and executing the facilities priorities that arise out of these five key documents is often a balancing act that is most successfully performed with coaching, information systems, and strategically minded leadership at senior administrative and facilities levels.

Dennis Palmer, SVP/COO, Building Solutions, TX

Heads & Senior management

Heads & Senior management

Change The Way You Change

Learn how we worked to clarify our vision and values, and engage leaders throughout the school to enact a change process that led to programmatic evolution and a historic name change. In doing so, we re-envisioned our attitude towards risk and challenged historic norms within the broader boarding school industry. While strategic planning was a part of this process, it alone is not enough to create lasting, authentic, and transformational change.

Peter Becker, Head of School, The Frederick Gunn School, CT
Seth Low, Associate Head of School, The Frederick Gunn School, CT
Emily Gum, Assistant Head for Teaching & Learning, The Frederick Gunn School, CT
Tony Daloisio, Partner, Charter Oak Consulting, CT

Heads & Senior management

Supporting and Hiring Young Female Leaders

The landscape of senior staff at boarding and day schools is changing! More than ever before, we want our staff diversified and our administration and leadership teams, as well. Whether it is defining the span of ages, gender, and backgrounds, you’ll hear from two early 30’s senior team leaders and how to support your senior staff in many ways. From having a diverse senior staff, making sure they get along as a team, attracting more varied candidates so that your administration can have a cacophony of approaches to problem-solving, and finally, supporting your team by embracing the phrase, “Yes, and.” Get motivated to think outside the box!Catherine Stines, Dean of Faculty, Forman School, CT
Allie Maxwell, Assistant Head of School for Internal Affairs, Forman School, CT

Heads & Senior management

What Every Head of School Needs to Know About Enrollment Management

Most independent schools rely on tuition for 70% or more of their annual operating revenue, yet too often information about this critical school function is siloed within the admission office. We’ll outline an actionable seven-part framework which will help heads of school and other senior administrators more effectively create a sustainable enrollment model for their schools. Schools are already leveraging this approach and we’ll provide a free audit tool that heads can use to consider areas of opportunity at your own schools.

Hans Mundahl, Senior Director of Enrollment Management, The Enrollment Management Association, NJ

Heads & Senior management

Diving Deep Into Current Issues in Crisis Management

After a brief discussion of crisis guidelines and messaging, we will identify current challenging crises and run through real case studies from start to finish — where to begin as information is coming in while at the same time the community wants answers. Working in “crisis teams,” participants will develop a strategy, plan and key messages. Each team will have a different issue and determine how and when to communicate. This is an interactive session.

Jim Hulbert, CEO, The Jane Group, MA
Kim Newsome, Senior Consultant (Ret. Dean of Students), The Jane Group (ret. Madeira), MA
Jane Hulbert, Founder, The Jane Group, IL

Heads & Senior management

The Bold Decision to Reduce Tuition: Is it A Viable Strategy for Your School?

While most schools raise tuition annually, at a rate that far exceeds average family incomes, CPI, and inflation, an independent school education becomes increasingly out of reach for a shrinking market of prospective students. At the same time, the cost of operation increases and remains much higher than income generated through tuition and fees. How can schools ensure accessibility, build greater diversity, and continue innovation when the financial model isn’t sustainable? Resetting tuitions may be one strategy that works.

Ken Mason, Chief Marketing Officer, Cheshire Academy, CT
Julie Anderson, Head of School, Cheshire Academy, CT
Nathan Wright, Director of Institutional Research and Strategic Initiatives, Cheshire Academy, CT

Heads & Senior management

Exercising Proper Oversight of Sexual Misconduct Investigations

We’ll address senior administrators’ obligation to oversee investigations of alleged sexual misconduct against students. The goal is to minimize your school’s legal and reputational risk. Topics will include:

• Deciding what constitutes “notice” that triggers your school’s duty to investigate

• Understanding and explaining your investigation process
• Determining an investigation’s scope, including jurisdiction over off-campus conduct
• Selecting external vs. internal investigators
• Monitoring investigations
• Handling relationships with police, child protective services, and the media”

Hillary Pettegrew, Senior Risk Management Counsel, United Educators, MD
David Wolowitz, Senior Director, Education Law Group, McLane Middleton, NH

Heads & Senior management

Student Medical Leaves: Offering Support and Setting Limits

Boarding schools are in the business of supporting students 24/7, but there are times when a medical or mental health issue may necessitate that a student separate from campus in order to heal. Join independent school attorney Susan Schorr and Brewster Academy CFO Susan Harrington for a discussion on how to ensure that policies and documentation practices support both students and the school community in such situations.

Susan Schorr, Attorney, McLane Middleton, Professional Association, MA
Susan Harrington, Chief Financial Officer, Brewster Academy, NH

Heads & Senior management

Head to Head Partnership, Part Three – Finding Balance

Part three of this series will focus on how heads find balance in a job that constantly feels unbalanced. Whether you are in your initial years of headship or a veteran head, come ready to share how you find balance and leave with new ideas, routines or practices that could help you manage the many stresses of this lifestyle. Outlets, self-care and collegiality are critical, and we will offer a range of healthy and mindful activities before the conference sessions begin to promote this balance.

Peter Curran, Head of School, Blair Academy, NJ
Jeff Leahy, Head of School, Colorado Rocky Mountain School, CO
Suzanne Walker Buck, Head of School, Western Reserve Academy, OH
David Perfield, Assistant Head of School, New Hampton School, NH

Heads & Senior management

Managing Boundary Crossing Transgressions Short of Termination

Not every boundary crossing by an employee warrants termination. We will provide practical guidelines on how to respond to situations when an employee has crossed appropriate boundaries with students such as acting more like a peer than an adult role model, sharing too much personal information, and other poor judgments in interactions with students. Hear how focused one-to-one professional development sessions can help an employee understand expectations and contribute to a healthy school environment.

Linda Johnson, Attorney , McLane Middleton Professional Association, NH
Kate Saunders, Head of School, Tilton School, NH

Heads & Senior management

The Landscape of Institutional Research in Boarding Schools

Institutional Researchers are, to date, a rare breed in the boarding school space, and many schools are looking for professional guidance as they seek to initiate this function. Schools have taken different approaches to staffing the IR role, with only a few schools employing a full time Director of Institutional Research. Attendees will learn about organizational structures, research practices, challenges, and opportunities.

Sarah Enterline, Director of Institutional Research, St. Mark’s School, MA
Kelsey Naughton, Director of Institutional Research, Deerfield Academy, MA
Angela Yang-Handy, Assistant Head of School, Hebron Academy, ME

Heads & Senior management

Hot Topics in Student Mental Health in Boarding Schools

Experienced education and employment lawyer Sara Schwartz will explore the various ways that student mental health issues are manifesting in boarding schools, including: the scope of a school’s duty to protect students from self-harm, how schools should respond when students have expressed suicidal ideation or other mental health issues, protocols for responding to requests for service and emotional support animals on campus, and responding to threats of violence. Sara will highlight recommended policies and protocols and offer practical solutions for risk management in this complex and quickly-evolving area.

Sara Schwartz, President and Founder, Schwartz Hannum, PC

Heads & Senior management

A Framework for Creating Data-Informed Decision Making for Boarding School Leaders

Often in schools, we make decisions and evaluate change based on gut instinct and anecdotal information. While we don’t want to get trapped solely by numbers, we do want to be informed by the power contained in qualitative and quantitative data.

Join us for a session focused on real world examples and practical applications of cultivating mission-driven, data-informed change for boarding school leaders. The session will include one school’s three-year lived experience visualizing data into dashboards. After a few false starts (including partnering with a company developing data dashboards for Fortune 500 companies), find out how this school successfully visualizes data across all leadership levels and uses it to accelerate and evaluate change. Learn how these efforts inform priority initiatives and how to quantify key values and indicators that feel unquantifiable.

Ari Betof, Co-Founder and Partner, Mission & Data
Jason Kern, Senior Innovation Strategist, Mission & Data



Supporting Wellness by Challenging Achievement Culture: Lessons from the Westover Resiliency Project

Even before the arrival of COVID-19, boarding schools were experiencing a pandemic of student stress, driven by mounting academic pressure and perfectionism. Learn how Westover School’s Resiliency Project—a multi-year, grant-funded effort—has been developing and piloting strategies to foster individual resilience and build collective resistance to toxic achievement culture. You will walk away with specific strategies and approaches to implement in the classroom, advisory, and student life.Beth Benjamin, Director, Girls’ Leadership Programming, Westover School, CT
Allison Hildebrand, Art History Instructor, Westover School, CT


When Clinical Licensure Meets School Policy

Many boarding schools are moving towards providing clinical counseling in the school setting. This session will discuss how to implement informed consent, and policy around the balance of adhering to licensing laws while working within school policy and communicating with administration. This session will also cover the “how to” setup for Counselors wanting to start clinical services in the school setting from assessment, drop-in services, crisis management, and clinical documentation. We will cover best practice as the two worlds of clinical services and boarding schools merge.

Lisa Roethling, Director of Counseling, The Hill School, PA


How Social Media Fuels Student Health, Happiness and Success

Social media can lead to expulsions, drama, and lawsuits — all while schools play whack-a-mole and worry about the next negative trend among students. What if, instead of being reactive, your school proactively empowered students to use social media positively? What if you could empower and equip students, rather than scare and restrict them? More than ever, students are using social media to follow positive role models, land internships, & raise awareness about issues they care about.Laura Tierney, Founder & CEO, The Social Institute, NC
Jon Bloom, Dean of Students and Residential Life, The Webb School, TN


Finding Time: Prioritizing Student and Faculty Well-Being in a New Daily Schedule

For many schools, COVID radically changed the daily schedule to emphasize safety and minimize viral spread. As we begin to transition away from pandemic learning, we’ll share our experiences redesigning our schedules to align with best teaching practices and better accommodate student wellbeing. We will reflect on our schedule redesign processes and share insight into how schools can engage in this important work.

Jennifer Smith, Dean of Academics, Mercersburg Academy, PA
Megan Labbate, Science Instructor, Emma Willard School, NY
Leslie Coffey, English Instructor, Scheduler, Emma Willard School, NY
Sarah Bozzi, Math Instructor, New Hampton School, NH


International Student Health and Well-Being: How an Intentional Yet Subtle Approach is Critical

There is a need for attention and refocus on the overall health and well-being of students in secondary school programs. But now with student and program success being undeniably tied to students’ mental health how are programs responding to and providing resources for their entire student body? International students, often depending on their native culture, can be a particular challenge. Learn how several schools are leading with innovation.

Jacqui Yamada, Consultant, ISM, Independent School Management, DE


Hot Topics in Student Mental Health in Boarding Schools

Experienced education and employment lawyer Sara Schwartz will explore the various ways that student mental health issues are manifesting in boarding schools, including: the scope of a school’s duty to protect students from self-harm, how schools should respond when students have expressed suicidal ideation or other mental health issues, protocols for responding to requests for service and emotional support animals on campus, and responding to threats of violence. Sara will highlight recommended policies and protocols and offer practical solutions for risk management in this complex and quickly-evolving area.

Sara Schwartz, President and Founder, Schwartz Hannum, PC

Marketing & Communication


marketing & communication

How to use LinkedIn for Admissions and Development

LinkedIn provides a platform for schools to connect meaningfully with donors, educators and parents, in order to build brand and achieve an array of marketing goals. From fundraising and admissions event marketing, to fostering a community for alumni, there are a numbers of ways schools are leveraging LinkedIn today. We’ll dive into the top things schools need to be doing (and not doing!) on LinkedIn, review LinkedIn Ads capabilities, share case studies, and have a robust Q&A. Bring your LinkedIn questions and laptops for a hands-on look at what’s happening on the world’s largest professional social media network!Angie Ward, Founder, Enroll Media Group, MA


Storytelling Scaffolding: 5 Content Themes to Steal from Higher Ed

Is your content feeling stagnant? According to our 2021 PK-12 Website and Digital Marketing Benchmarks, overall website traffic, and traffic from social media have declined for schools across segments, and after three years of educating students in a pandemic, marketing and admissions teams are feeling stuck when it comes to keeping their digital storytelling fresh. We’ll share five effective content themes from the higher education industry that you can steal to breathe new life into sharing your school’s unique value proposition online.

Angela Brown, Senior Enrollment Insights Leader, K-12, Niche, PA

marketing & communication

Techniques for Strategically Managing A Small Marketing Team

Communications options, tactics, and opportunities keep expanding. Demands and expectations of marketing teams continue to increase in scope, quantity, and importance. For the team of one or a few, regardless of school size, best practices and effective tools and techniques are essential to managing priorities, the chaos, and your workload. We will review and share helpful resources and discuss ways in which you (newbie or veteran) can become more effective. And maintain your sanity.Ken Mason, Chief Marketing Officer, Cheshire Academy, CT


Increasing Digital Marketing Effectiveness

At the end of the Summer of 2020, we made the decision to take a fresh approach to our digital marketing efforts. Many schools treat social media and Google advertising like traditional print advertising: set it and forget it. But digital marketing is a platform designed for companies (and schools) to push the boundaries of their brand in order to increase customer engagement. We’ll cover: how to allocate budgets, how to test brand tone and messages, how to integrate successful digital efforts with a strategic drip campaign, and what challenges you should expect.Emily Hajjar, Creative Director, Creosote Affects, MD
Garry Dow, Director of Strategic Marketing and Communications, Pomfret School, CT

residential & student life

residential & student life

Leading Transformational Change

Why do only 30% of change initiatives end in success? We’ll uncover strategies to help successfully navigate change through sharing a journey of a Residential Life program that underwent transformational change. Significant changes included an entire reorganization, rewriting job descriptions, (re)hiring for positions, revamping protocols and procedures, and starting on a new path. This journey of moving from stagnation to innovation is not an easy road, but one worth taking when navigated well.Laura Perales, Principal of Residential Life, Kamehameha Schools, HI
Tyler Pau, Vice Principal of Residential Life, Kamehameha Schools, HI

residential & student life

Decision Education: Character is Not Enough

Most boarding schools emphasize character education. A “moral compass” can orient us in a general direction, but is less helpful in making decisions among reasonable alternatives in a complex environment with uncertain outcomes. As our students grow into a noisy world where they’ll face planetary problems with little margin for error on a short timeline, “decision education” feels urgent. We’ll explores what decision education is and how it can add value to our schools’ programming.Jennifer Cerny, Humanities Instructor, Culver Academies, IN
Ivory Hills, Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs & Strategy, Deerfield Academy, MA

residential & student life

Getting Students to Understand “Why” They Do What They Do

Often students are told what to do, but are lacking the opportunity to expand their thinking to really understanding why they behave in certain ways. Part of helping to link students to their “why” is through infusing your school’s culture and values into teaching interactions with the students. We will provide participants with practical tools that can be used in a Residential Life setting to guide students toward living out values and culture. We’ll also introduce a teaching matrix tool, character map, and values explorer exercise that can be used to develop student behavior and practices that aligns to the core values of the school.

Keialohi Punua, Residential Life Coordinator, Kamehameha Schools, Hi
Kellie Kekua, Counselor, Kamehameha Schools, HI 

residential & student life

The Strategic Value of A Student Life Operations Assessment

Engaging in a Student Life Operations Assessment can have far reaching implications within a boarding school, from staffing models and program development to student safety and retention. We will share our experience of partnering on a SLOA before inviting you to discuss your internal process for reviewing your student life programs. We’ll also share strategies for increasing your school’s allocated resources for Student Life Programming.

Jacquelin O’Rourke, President , Outermost Education Services, MA
Laura Mason, Director of Boarding and Health Services, Pickering College, ON

residential & student life

Herding Cats: Supervising Teenagers in the Residential Setting

Everyday is a new adventure at boarding school. Living with adolescents is a gift and a challenge. We have the opportunity to grow with them along the way. Let’s share what we have learned from our victories and failures supervising teenagers in a residential setting. Make your short list and be prepared to share with your fellow boarding school comrades.Jill Babb, Associate Director of Resident Life and Dorm Parent, The Linsly School, WV
Kim Bell, Head of House, Darlington School, GA

residential & student life

Preparing Students for Life Beyond Our Campus: Development of a Comprehensive Life Skills Curricula

Learn about the development and implementation of an expansive health, wellness, and human relationships curricula that spans our entire student body. Created in alignment with our School’s mission and values, key tenets of the program include age-appropriate content and topics, consistent faculty engagement, and the integration of the student voice and experience. We’ll share successes, challenges, and opportunities of the Blues CORE program to date and its ongoing evolution.Mary Elizabeth Martin, Teacher / Department Chair-Blues CORE, Asheville School, NC
Innes Boland, Special Assistant to the Head of School for Strategic Planning, Asheville School, NC

residential & student life

Parental Pressure: From Harmful to Healthy

Nearly 20% of college students say they have contemplated suicide because of grade-based pressure from their parents. Pressure to perform athletically or musically, beginning at a young age, can also be terrifyingly pernicious. However, not all pressure is harmful, nor does applying healthy pressure require lowering standards. Participants in this unforgettable session will learn how to apply healthy pressure by modifying how they lead students to be their best, not the best.

Christopher Thurber, Phillips Exeter Academy, NH

residential & student life

Beyond the Binary: A Discussion of All Gender Housing

Join us to hear about the opening of our All Gender Housing on campus, and how that guided the alteration of our visitation policy to be more equitable and inclusive. There were lots of challenges and some notable successes, and still, we continue to reflect and change. We will share our experience and open the discussion for what more is possible.

Jessica Matzkin, Dean of Student Life and Wellness, Loomis Chaffee, CT
Elliott Dial, Dean of Students, Loomis Chaffee, CT
Courtney Jackson, Associate Director of Diversity Equity and Inclusion, Loomis Chaffee, CT

residential & student life

Developing a Restorative Practices Curriculum

When implemented effectively, a restorative-practices curriculum fosters strong relationships and helps to cultivate a healthy boarding school community. We’ll focus on introducing a restorative practices program to a boarding community, aligning the program with the mission of the school, and developing a strategy for implementation.

Will Gilyard, Form Dean, Choate Rosemary Hall, CT
Katie Jewett, Form Dean, Choate Rosemary Hall, CT
Mike Velez, Dean of Students, Choate Rosemary Hall, CT

residential & student life

Keeping our Boarding Schools Out of Court: Managing Risk in a Modern Boarding World

Assessing the risk to keep an issue out of court is critical in boarding schools today — ensuring leave arrangements and approvals are in place, knowing where boarders are at all times, having enough staff to ensure an appropriate staff/boarder ratio, ensuring staff are ‘active’ when on duty rather than sitting in their home hoping the boarders are safe, ensuring staff are all appropriately trained in their boarding work. These are all examples of how boarding schools can best manage risk. We’ll discuss our collective challenges, look at new ways of managing risk, and see how risk is viewed Internationally.

Richard Stokes, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Boarding Schools Association
Jared Daunt, Director of Member Experience, Australian Boarding School Association

residential & student life

Technology and Campus Life: An Oxymoron

We all know the impact that technology use can have on student and faculty mental health, yet most schools use technology widely while professing a commitment to our student’s mental and physical health.We want kids to sleep well, yet laptops are open until late in the night. We want kids to socialize and connect with each other and the adults, yet the cell phone is present on many campuses. Parents want healthy technology use, but also want constant contact with their kids. We want the phones down, yet everything we ask kids to do with technology can be done with a phone, campus security, communicating quickly, signing in/signing out. We’ll openly ask questions of our own school’s commitment to student and teacher mental health.

Christopher Button, Associate Head of School, Virginia Episcopal School, VA
Caroline Blaum, Associate Head of School, Oldfields School, MD
Ryan Pagotto, Associate Head of School, Blair Academy, NJ

residential & student life

Praise worth giving

If all you can think of is “Good job!,” you’ll likely want to keep your mouth closed, because vapid praise is impotent. What teachers, coaches, and boarding staff want are techniques for delivering positive feedback that actually stimulate students’ learning and spawn more of the behaviors you desire. This interactive workshop includes fresh thinking and practical guidance that will immediately improve how you lead discussions, grade assignments, hone athletic and artistic skills, and promote kindness in residential settings. Flip the discipline coin and discover what’s on the other side.

Christopher Thurber, Phillips Exeter Academy, NH

residential & student life

Anticipating and Preparing For Student Crises in Boarding Schools

Leading a boarding school is increasingly more challenging, and the student crises are increasingly complex. In this lively and interactive program, Sara Schwartz will outline the challenges we see in 2023, including: defining in loco parentis and the scope of a school’s legal duty to protect students from risks, such as self-harm, sexual assault and sexual abuse. Sara will offer strategies for anticipating, preventing and responding to student crises; supporting communities in the wake of a crisis; institutional accountability; and transparency and communication approaches.

Sara Schwartz, Founder & President, Schwartz Hannum PC, MA

residential & student life

Establishing a Professional Learning Community of Boarding and ResLife Staff—and Leveraging TABS’ Support Along the Way

Join two Heads of House from Ridley College and the TABS Member Engagement team to learn how a cohort of Canadian residential life leaders launched a professional learning community of residential life staff–and explore how you might partner with TABS to host a residential life gathering in your area. The Ridley team will provide a framework for establishing a local network, stress the significance of collegiality among like-minded boarding schools, and partner with TABS to promote the professionalization of the residential-life positions.

Jessica Roud, Head of House, Ridley College, ON

Andrew McNiven, Head of House, Ridley College, ON

Emily Breite, Senior Vice President for Member Learning and Engagement, TABS, NC