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2020 Calendar of Events
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Academic Support Conference
January 26-28, 2020
Crowne Plaza Ravinia, Atlanta, GA

This professional development opportunity is designed for those who offer academic support in an independent school. Classroom teachers, learning specialists, and directors of academic support are all invited to learn together about the latest research, curriculum, instructional strategies, and best practices for supporting all learners in an independent school. Network with others in the field to discover practical solutions and strategies to foster student success.

Athletic Directors Conference
January 26-28, 2020
Crowne Plaza Ravinia, Atlanta, GA

A professional development opportunity for new and experienced athletic directors from across the region. Learn alongside colleagues as you discuss leadership, communications, and best practices unique to the culture of an independent school athletic department. Take advantage of this focused workshop to discover solutions to current issues and stay informed on the latest trends.

MISBO-SAIS Academy: Operational Leadership
January 26-28, 2020
Crowne Plaza Ravinia, Atlanta, GA

An inside look at the what and the how of the business of leading schools. These informative and engaging sessions will provide opportunities to discuss and reflect as you make sense of the business and operational aspects of a school’s lifecycle. Designed for senior administrators and emerging leaders from both the academic and operational sides of the school. This program is offered in partnership with MISBO.

NAIS Reception
February 27, 2020
Philadelphia, PA

Stop by and say hi at our reception on Thursday night and also exhibit booth #1423 on the show floor.

Leadership Retreat
April 20-21, 2020
Westin, Chattanooga, TN

Different from the whirlwind of conference sessions, this program offers administrative leaders time to focus on current issues and leadership abilities surrounded by colleagues who face similar hurdles and aspire to reach common goals. This year’s program will be geared specifically toward the working relationship between school leaders and the board of trustees. Whether you are a seasoned veteran or an aspiring head of school, this workshop will offer insights from recent research, trends to watch, and current issues in governance. We’ll explore factors that can contribute to a breakdown between the head and the board and discuss practices, policies, and approaches for preventing these challenges.


Independent School Counselors Conference
June 14-16, 2020
SpringHill Suites Greenville Downtown, Greenville, SC

Join school counselors from across the region for this informational and inspirational opportunity. Grow your professional network and make contacts to call on for support throughout the year. Discuss the latest research and learn new ideas to implement at your school. Trending topic presentations and roundtable conversations will offer practical tips, best practices, and proven strategies you can immediately put into practice.


Institute for New Heads
June 17-19, 2020
SpringHill Suites Greenville Downtown, Greenville, SC

An informative program for a successful transition to new headship that offers an opportunity to build a supportive network and gain valuable leadership skills. Learn from experienced heads as you acquire the tools needed to be an effective leader including: best practices for working with the board, personnel, and parents; developing a strategic plan; issues related to budgeting, finance, and fundraising; and managing the media.


Institute for Strategic Leadership
June 17-19, 2020
SpringHill Suites Greenville Downtown, Greenville, SC

Examine the nature of strategic leadership and explore a path for continual growth. Open to heads and administrators. Particularly helpful to those considering headship in the future. Especially useful for leadership teams to attend together.


Institute for New Teachers: Public to Private 
June 17-19, 2020
SpringHill Suites Greenville Downtown, Greenville, SC

This program is designed for experienced public school teachers who are making the move to an independent school. Participants should have at least three years of teaching experience in a public school setting. Topics include the unique culture of an independent school, working and communicating within the school community, navigating HR/legal issues, and balancing new responsibilities with a healthy home life.

This program is being offered in conjunction with PAIS.


Institute for Heads
June 23-26, 2020
The Inn at Serenbe, Chatt Hills, GA

This energizing and nurturing retreat offers an opportunity for thoughtful dialogue and engagement with other heads on key issues facing heads of school and their spouses. The number of participants is limited to foster connections and allow for contributions from all attendees. Featuring Rob Evans and Michael Thompson.


Administrative Leadership Institute 
June 29-July 1, 2020
Emory Conference Center Hotel, Atlanta, GA

This workshop helps develop your leadership style and expand your management skills. Gain a new perspective on what it means to be a leader in an independent school with practical techniques and real-life solutions. Featuring Rob Evans and Michael Thompson.


Dean of Students Symposium
June 29-July 1, 2020
Emory Conference Center Hotel, Atlanta, GA

Develop a network of peers, discuss best practices on current issues, and gather practical ideas from colleagues. Learn from experienced deans and work with focused groups to share specific challenges and solutions for middle and upper school students.


Division Heads Conference
June 29-July 1, 2020
Emory Conference Center Hotel, Atlanta, GA

Designed for those who lead from the middle, this event offers networking, skill building, and resources for 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.


Institute for Administrative Assistants 
June 29-July 1, 2020
Emory Conference Center Hotel, Atlanta, GA

This program provides resources and tips for the varied tasks included in the role of the assistant to the head of school, division head, or other school leader. Learn practical strategies for handling the types of issues related to supporting a school administrator. Network with other assistants to share time-saving tricks and proven solutions.


Institute for New Teachers
Atlanta, GA | July 14-16, 2020
Charlotte, NC | July 21-23, 2020
Nashville, TN | July 28-30, 2020

This interactive experience will equip new teachers with the skills and understanding to guide and support their early years. Participants will present two sample lessons to a small peer group. Guided by an experienced educator, lessons will be recorded and reviewed in the small group setting. Discussion will focus on strengths and opportunities observed during the lesson. New teachers will learn best practices for lesson development, parent communication, and classroom management. They will address anticipated challenges and difficult conversations through real-life scenarios and role play.


Board/Head Retreat
October 18, 2020 | Nashville, TN                                                         

Designed to strengthen the communication and partnership between the head of school and members of the board, this program offers the opportunity to collaborate on current challenges and identify common goals for the success of the school. Participants will examine tensions inherent in the board/head relationship and explore current issues and pressures that complicate the independent school environment. To navigate these difficult waters successfully, the head and board must communicate effectively with one another as well as the wider community.


Annual Conference
October 18-20, 2020
Franklin Marriott Cool Springs, Nashville, TN

An informative, innovative, and comprehensive opportunity for independent school leaders to gather and discover proven strategies and emerging trends. Join us and over 300 colleagues from across the Southeast as we delve into hot topics and relevant issues. Attend sessions that fill in gaps in your experience, converse with leaders from schools with a similar size and budget, and learn from top-notch speakers.

Also, mark your calendar for our future conferences:

  • October 17-19, 2021 | Crowne Plaza Ravinia | Atlanta, GA


Session Proposals

The power of our association network resides in the willingness to share resources and knowledge. Both members and non-members are encouraged to propose sessions. This form collects ongoing session proposals for all SAIS programs. You will be notified if your proposal is accepted. While we are unable to respond to those that are not chosen, proposals stay on file for possible future selection. Please note that these are not vendor presentations. While presenting provides visibility to your organization, it must be appropriate for both clients and non-clients, be based on a body of evidence, and highlight your expertise rather than your product.


Accreditation Workshops & Chair Training

Other Events / Virtual Bulletin Board

Check out our virtual bulletin board for info about events of interest to the independent school community not hosted by SAIS.



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

County/state funds are accepted if submitted at least 45 days prior to the event start date, but seats are not reserved based on a PO. In order to guarantee a seat, please register with a credit card and we will refund the credit card payment when the county/state monies are received. Please send POs to Julia Grantham, Director of Administration,

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. Please complete this form to notify us of your cancellation and request a refund: 

In accordance with our privacy policy, we cannot share attendee email addresses. 

SAIS desires for participants to receive quality professional development in a conducive learning environment. If there is a concern regarding any aspect of a workshop, participants are invited to address it with Lori Spear, executive vice president, via verbal and/or written documentation aimed at achieving a satisfactory resolution for the participant. To assure fair treatment for all participants and attempts to anticipate problems, the program’s advisory group may be included in the process.

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.

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.

SAIS provides certificates of attendance that include clock hours for the number of instructional hours offered during each professional development opportunity. SAIS does not offer official continuing education credits through a university or state agency.

As to state and/or licensing requirements, those will vary from state to state and with the level or type of certification. Please consult with your supervisor or head of school for further clarification.

Per the SAIS Accreditation Guidebook, a set number of CEUs is not required for SAIS accreditation:

  • Q:Are schools required to count the number of professional development hours?
  • A: SAIS requires a program of continuous professional development for all faculty and staff that is meaningful and related to the school’s mission, culture, and goals for the future. The school determines the specifications. The school must also comply with any state regulations that apply

Calendar more
Virtual Summer Conference
June 29 - July 1 | Virtual
Administrative Leadership Institute
July 16 | Virtual

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