CHECK OUT a sampling of tabs conference sessions!


Proficiency Ed Update: The Death of Measuring Seat-Time

The Covid-19 crisis added to the many reasons why schools must switch from time-based industrial-models to proficiency-based models, where students master each step before moving on. Public schools are currently leading the movement. Learn about what public and private days schools are doing and how boarding schools can transition to this increasingly favored, student-centered model.

Mark Siegel

Asst Headmaster, Delphian School, OR


Change Management in the Competency Movement

As schools fight to stay relevant and search for ways to engage students in meaningful learning experiences, many are looking to competency education. How might you transition your teaching model? How might you create assessment systems that are mission-driven? In this session, two schools leading in this work—The Nueva School and The White Mountain School— will share stories and roadmaps.

Mike Peller

Assistant Head for Teaching and Learning, The White Mountain School, NH



With boards and school leadership keeping a close eye on enrollment, admissions and enrollment teams must develop pipelines that support capacity-planning and budget-forecasting for 2021 and beyond. In this session, Kelly Gereski (Taft) and Keith Krass (Veracross) will lead a discussion around five questions every school should be able to answer with data.

Kelly Gereski

Admissions Database Manager, Taft School, CT


A Student in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush: Retention Initiatives that Deliver

It’s 10x more expensive and time-consuming to recruit a new student than keep a current one, yet retention can sometimes get lost in the admission world. In this session, we’ll present ways to bring retention to the forefront and share how you can use surveys, metrics, and marketing, to ensure you stop filling a leaky funnel – and keep your best students (and their parents) happy and enrolled.

Elyn Roberts

Vice President of Strategy and Innovation, SchoolAdmin, TX


Passing the Baton: Fundraising Success During Transition

Transitions in fundraising staff and school leadership are inevitable; therefore, it’s imperative that we ensure the sustainability of our fundraising programs during times of change. In this session, the Graham-Pelton firm and The Hun School of Princeton will show how success during transition is possible! Both the newly-retired Assistant Headmaster for Advancement and his successor, will join participants, demonstrating how to navigate and thrive during leadership transitions.

Andy Hamlin

Former Assistant Headmaster of Advancement, The Hun School of Princeton, NJ


Advancing the Mission Through Turbulent Times Building a culture of philanthropy during crisis: A case study with Peddie School

This session will discuss Advancement best practices while navigating individual, regional, and global crises. We will share a case study with Peddie School during the Coronavirus and economic challenges: how the school adapted strategies, pressed forward with fundraising, and strengthened the community all during a campaign. CCS will share lessons learned in crises like 9/11, the Great Recession, and the Coronavirus.

Karyn Vella

Assistant Head for Development, Peddie School, NJ


What we've learned from COVID-19: Six Months in Review

Drawing on deep experience with a large network of schools, Ann Snyder, Director of Independent Schools at the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) will present research and anecdotal information about the status of the advancement space in the wake of COVID-19.

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


Past Meets Present: Indigenous Land Acknowledgements

If you watched the Academy Awards, you heard Taika Waititi's land acknowledgement for the Tongva, Tataviam, and Chumash. At Brooks School, we live and learn on land once inhabited by the Pennacook people and we acknowledge their enduring presence. We believe land acknowledgement keeps schools in touch with the past and committed to thoughtful, ongoing stewardship for the future. Join this session to learn how your school can research, write, and integrate an acknowledgement of first peoples.

Susanna Waters

Academic Dean, Brooks School, MA

financial management

Resetting Tuition

Last fall, Kiski announced a “tuition reset” which lowered our tuition from $61,300 to $48,500 for the 2020-21 school year. In this session, we’ll examine the financial analysis and modeling that informed our decision, how the reset was messaged to our constituents, and how it was marketed to new families. Plus, we’ll share the results of one admissions cycle and next steps for sustaining this new model.

Christopher Brueningsen

Headmaster, The Kiski School, PA


Updating Your Enrollment Contract In The Time Of Coronavirus

When did your school last update its enrollment agreement? Did your enrollment agreement protect your school during the COVID-19 outbreak? In this lively and interactive session, experienced education attorney, Brian B. Garrett, will explore the key elements of creating a legally enforceable agreement, drawing on lessons learned from the coronavirus pandemic and known traps to avoid when drafting and enforcing enrollment agreements.

Brian Garrett

Partner, Schwartz Hannum PC, MA

Sarah Fay

Attorney, Schwartz Hannum PC, MA

financial management

Better Together – Building an Effective Partnership between Admissions and the Business Office

With tuition supporting more than 70% of the operating budget at most boarding schools, enrollment managers and business officers need to have an effective partnership to ensure institutional stability and success. Pomfret's Director of Enrollment Management and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will share their secrets to a successful partnership and give attendees practical "how-to" tips to strengthen communication, knowledge and understanding between the admissions and the business office.

Amy Graham

Director of Enrollment Management, Pomfret School, CT


Head to Head Partnership

Being a head of school can be very isolating…how many school leaders have educators on their board? There is great value in having someone who truly understand what keeps you up at night – who lives and breathes a 24/7 commitment to school leadership; who is a thought-partner; who adds informed perspective, knowledge and strategic thinking. In this interactive workshop, participants will learn how two institutions structured their board to include educators—come ready to share ideas and connect!

David Perfield

Head of School, Oldfields School, MD


Why Net Tuition Revenue Is Not “The Only Number That Matters”

Join a panel of 2 heads of school, 2 board/finance chairs, and a management consultant in institutional economics, to discuss the challenges and opportunities of crafting a sustainable economic model for boarding schools. Session includes an extended Q&A and financial sustainability analytics from 175 boarding schools. Topics covered include • Program Revenue: fair-market price, full-pay seats and value proposition • Program Expense: SG&A expense and labor productivity • Grants: Need, merit, remission and socioeconomic diversity • Philanthropy Net: Advancement, endowment and asset conservation • Physical Plant: Capital maintenance and space utilization.

William Kummel

Principal, Rational Partners, NY


Crisis Prevention and Response

This session will provide advice and insight into training and oversight designed to avoid crises to the greatest extent possible; plus, advice from an experienced attorney and crisis communications professional about responding to crises and communicating effectively with constituencies, including board, alums, students, parents, future parents and staff.

Morgan Paul Rueckert

Attorney, Shipman & Goodwin LLP, CT


What Can We Do? Pathways to Understanding Youth Suicide

This workshop will offer pathways to understanding youth suicide, with a focus on the ability of educators to connect the disconnected, and foster hope. The discussion will include: various interventions and the landscape of prevention programming and support; current research on trends, including the neurobiological perspective of suicide; and ways that educators can take action, both personally and professionally, to feel empowered in the fight to save young lives.

Hannah Mariotti

Educational Consultant, BEACON Coaching & Consulting, NH


Authentic Storytelling: How Video Can Promote Connection and Reflection

Woodberry Forest School maintains a robust YouTube channel: WoodberryTV. Video helps our students show the world what life at school is really like. It gives students a venue to tell their stories and the school’s story. In this session, we’ll look at how the medium offer students a way to reflect and react to their school experience, strengthen their understanding of self, and build their storytelling skills.

Jacob Geiger

Director of Strategic Communications, Woodberry Forest School, VA


How Do You Deliver an Immersive Marketing Experience?

Do you deliver a cookie-cutter education? NO, you don't! Explore how to craft an immersive, personalized, end-to-end experience - from the moment a family first discovers your school, throughout their academic years on campus, to their lifelong journey as Alumni. Prepare to be WOWed.

Simon Noakes

Founder & CEO, Interactive Schools, Bucks


Curbing HR Headaches in Residential Life

From faculty spouses plugging in their electric cars or running a sales business out of their homes, to medical marijuana usage, sleepovers and restraining orders, we’ve all learned to expect the unexpected in faculty housing. In a rapidly changing world, it can feel like your policies are always behind the curve. Learn about current issues and ways to tweak your handbook and policies so you’ll be steps ahead of potential surprises.

Amber Stockham

SPHR, Director, Human Resources Programs, National Business Officers Association, DC