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SAIS Summer Institutes = Inspiration

Wednesday, August 9, 2017  
Posted by: Christina Mimms
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Bring school leaders from across the SAIS community together and anything can happen: new ideas start flowing, acquaintances become friends, entire visions can change. People leave an SAIS program feeling refreshed, energized, and, as one attendee said, "empowered."

Over the summer, SAIS welcomed nearly 300 school leaders and teachers to events including the Institute for Heads, the Institute for Strategic Leadership, the Institute for the Head's Assistant, the Administrative Leadership Institute, the Institute for New Heads, Institutes for New Teachers in three different cities, and the first-ever Dean of Students Symposium.

The deans' group discussed everything from bullying to campus safety to character education to issues associated with adolescents, while the heads’ assistants enjoyed helpful and at time, humorous discussions of their various job responsibilities, their relationship with their boss, communications strategies, and tips for dealing with challenging people.

At the Institute for Strategic Leadership, attendees enjoyed the opportunity to examine their leadership capacity and reflect strategically on their schools. The Administrative Leadership Institute looked at change management, middle management in a school, and relationships with parents and colleagues. "People need to hear the 'why' behind the change," said speaker Rob Evans. "Your support makes it easier for them to try something new."

The Institute for New Heads welcomed several individuals new to the role of school head. Reflecting on mission, leadership style, hiring techniques, crisis management, media skills, strategic planning, and more, leaders learned from SAIS President Dr. Kirk Walker as well as several current school heads or presidents.

The Institutes for New Teachers prepared first-time teachers by offering the opportunity for peer-led critiques along with practical tips regarding culture, legal issues, parent relations, and other issues unique to working in independent schools. For the first time, SAIS hosted an Institute for New Teachers: Public to Private aimed specifically at experienced teachers transitioning from public schools into the independent school world.

"I think it's important for educators to come together and share common ideas and experiences," Walker said. "People came not just for the camaraderie, but to find inspiration and ideas for ways to get better at what they do. There was so much positive energy this week."

For more information about upcoming SAIS professional development programs, including the upcoming SAIS Annual Conference, October 22-24, in Atlanta, visit


Calendar more
Institute for New Teachers
July 24-26, 2018 | Nashville, TN
Designed to equip new teachers with the skills to guide and support their first years in the classroom.

Board/Head Retreat
October 14, 2018 | Charleston, SC
Designed to strengthen the communication and partnership between the head of school and members of the board.

All Events

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