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2018 Division Heads Conference | June 27-29
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Designed for those that lead from the middle, the new Division Head Conference offers networking, skill building, and resources for division heads and assistant division heads at all grade levels and years of experience. Learn together in small groups, discover new strategies, and celebrate successes around topics such as curriculum, assessment, scheduling, working with faculty, and communicating with parents.

Session preview:

  • The Future of Social Media Education, Laura Tierney & Sean KellyHow to proactively empower students through a positive, sustainable approach, based on proven work with independent schools.
  • Design Thinking Projects, Sheri Burkeen: Learn more about your colleagues as you work together using design thinking models to redesign a schedule, report card, professional development day, or teacher evaluation process. 
  • Independent School Finance, Palmer Ball: From divisional to school wide, creating and monitoring budgets, understanding how enrollment projections, financial aid, and operating expenses affect the overall school budget.
  • Implementing Restorative Discipline - Triumphs & Trials, Lanny Witt: Based on principles from conflict management and restorative justice in the court system, restorative discipline emphasizes working with students and parents rather than doing things for students or to students. The primary purpose is to emphasize relationship building, teaching, and learning over punitive practices. Restorative discipline does not replace a code of conduct but works alongside it. This session will share both the triumphs and trails of the implementation.
  • Thick Skin-Soft Skills, Ken Rogers: Real life communication strategies for division heads. How to balance being firm and  decisive with being empathetic and nurturing.
  • Adventure with a Purpose: Beyond the Beach Trip, Sandy Boyd: Schools are actively challenging students to be flexible thinkers, team players, and develop grit. Goal-directed adventure experiences are innovative and effective methodologies to meeting school mission. Adventure comes in many forms from baking cupcakes to climbing a mountain. What is the real value of adventure experiences? With limited time and resources, delivering real value by achieving meaningful goals is critical. Learn about a successful model of goal-directed adventure education that delivers real outcomes at school and in life, and see a framework that allows students to build individual and collective success and meaningful growth through adventure.
  • Keep the Change: Supporting Change & Shaping Culture, Hunter Chadwick: How can a division head help lead others to embrace change? What opportunities are there to build a better school environment for students and faculty? What are the key elements to gather during a change in leadership? As a division head we are often faced with how to support a change in leadership. Supporting the mission and vision of the school while helping guide those we serve to embrace a change in culture and new directions can be complicated but well worth the effort for the school community. This session will discuss the practical ways to help lead and support change.
  • Balancing Flexibility, Simplicity, and Social-Emotional Support in Scheduling, Clay Elliott: Demands to provide the highest level of support and challenge for each child can clash with the increasing need for meaningful social/emotional programming that encourages community and empathetic students. School schedules must be flexible to accommodate various needs and pressures, as well as give children a reasonable pace and space to reduce anxiety and become independent adults. Often lost in scheduling conversations is the importance of keeping schedules simple enough so that students and faculty can settle into a routine. In this session, we will discuss options and approaches that help schools build simple, elegant schedules that remain flexible despite changing demands, and take a look at recent trends in scheduling and their applicability for independent schools.
  • Social Media and MissionHow does your social media policy support the mission of your school? Working with small groups to develop a mission driven approach.
  • Roundtables on a variety of topics including handbooks and policies, dress code, course sequence, math curriculum, reading curriculum, classroom accommodations, and faculty responsibilities.


Need to justify your attendance? Craft the perfect proposal using these key points.


Wednesday-Friday, June 27-29, 2018

  • Wednesday will start with registration from 1:00-2:00 PM and end with a reception from 6:00-7:00 PM.
  • Thursday will start with breakfast at 8:00 AM and end with a reception from 6:00-7:00 PM.
  • Friday will start with breakfast at 8:00 AM and we will conclude by 2:00 PM.


Renaissance Asheville Hotel | 31 Woodfin Street | Asheville, NC
Meeting Room: Salon B


 SAIS Member School 
 Non-Member School 
Through May 1
 $695  $799
May 2 - June 12
 $785  $889
After June 12
 $885  $919



Craft the perfect proposal using these key points.


The host hotel (Renaissance Asheville Hotel) is currently sold out.



  • AIRPORT: Asheville Regional Airport (AVL)
  • GROUND  TRANSPORTATION: The Renaissance Asheville Hotel is located 15 minutes from the Asheville airport (AVL).
  • MAPS & DIRECTIONS: If you are driving, please see the hotel's  maps & directions page.
  • PARKING: Complimentary on-site parking is available.


Your registration fee includes breakfast and lunch on Thursday and Friday as well as receptions with hors d’oeuvres on Wednesday and Thursday. Dinners are on your own. Take a look at some of the OpenTable recommended local restaurants.


  • TWITTER: Tweet us @SAISnews! The official Twitter hashtag for the conference is #saisDHC. Please tag us when tweeting about the conference.
  • FACEBOOK: Be sure to like the SAIS Facebook page!
  • INSTAGRAM: Follow us on Instagram @SAISnews.


Business casual (erring on the side of casual) is always safe with us. We want you to be comfortable. Be sure to bring a jacket or sweater in case you find the meeting room chilly. We tend to skew cooler rather than warmer.


If you require any special accommodations, please contact


Please contact or (404) 561-5841 with any questions about this event.


Payment: Payment is required by credit card at the time of registration.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations received in writing to 21 days prior to the event will be refunded less a 20% processing fee. After that date no refunds are available, but replacement registrants are welcomed.

Consent to Use of Photo / Video / Audio:  Registration, attendance at, or participation in SAIS meetings and other activities constitutes an agreement by the registrant to SAIS’s use and distribution (both now and in the future) of the registrant or attendee’s image or voice in photographs, videos, electronic reproductions, and audio of such events and activities.

Target Audience: SAIS professional development events are designed for those in the K-12 independent school community. Topics such as working with parents and the board are presented and discussed through the lens of the independent school culture. As such, registration is limited to those from independent schools that are either already members of SAIS or from non-member schools that meet the membership candidacy criteria.

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