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Conferences and Workshops
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2009 Heads of School Conference

January 22 - 23, 2009

The Palmer House Hilton
17 East Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60603

Registration for the Heads of School Conference is now closed. If you have any questions, please call the ISACS office at 312-255-1244.

The conference will start at 10:00 am on Thursday, January 22nd and end at 2:30 pm on Friday, January 23rd. Click here to view the schedule of events. Click here to view the session descriptions.

In these parlous times, stepping back from the exigencies of the moment to attend a conference may seem incongruous. It is, however, one of the most productive means of re-charging and finding ways to think more clearly and creatively.

This conference, with an outstanding group of presenters, offers the opportunity to hear new ideas on governance, teaching, and leadership, and, most importantly, the time to share and discuss these ideas with peers. It is our time, the one time in the year, to come together with heads from around the ISACS region, and acknowledge that we enhance our schools and our leadership by sharing quality time with one another in an environment of challenging ideas and thought provoking presentations.

Again this year at the heads conference, we will spend much of our time together as a group, hearing about and discussing ideas that should stimulate new thinking and also provide opportunities to reflect on what we hear, discuss ideas and reactions, and share some social time together.

Thursday’s main session will be with Bill Fulton, executive director of The Civic Canopy (a Denver based organization), an inclusive network of partners working together to build stronger neighborhoods, healthier communities, and a more civil society. He will address how schools can better set and maintain strategic direction in difficult times.

Late Thursday afternoon there will be a session on Preparing to Lead a Visiting Team, a gathering of the ISACS Progressive Schools Group and a meeting of Michigan School Heads.

There is an optional dinner for heads, spouses and guests at The Gage Restaurant.

Friday morning, Douglas Duncan, Ph.D, Director of Astronomical Laboratories, University of Colorado, will address the improvement in classroom engagement and learning via the use of wireless response systems and recent research that supports this application of technology.

We will also be joined by Ron Goldblatt, executive director of the Association of Independent Maryland Schools (AIMS), who will share his thoughts on the millennial generation.

Bernie Dunlap, president of Wofford College will close the conference with remarks on the art of making connections in teaching and learning.

For bios on featured speakers, click here.

You are invited to bring a trustee of your school to join us for the Thursday conference session at no charge. Please call the ISACS office at 312-255-1244 with the name and email address of your school’s trustee attending.

All registrants and spouses/partners are invited to attend the official conference dinner at The Gage Restaurant, 24 South Michigan Avenue, which is within walking distance (just a few blocks) from the Palmer House Hilton.

It will be an opportunity to enjoy Chicago while mingling with your peers in a social setting. The reception begins at 5:30 pm with dinner following at 6:30 pm. Pre-registration is required for this dinner event for yourself and your guest. We anticipate reaching capacity for the dinner, to register click here.

We invite Heads of School to bring along their spouse/partner to Chicago. Spouses and partners are welcome to attend any session and lunch at no charge. If your spouse/partner plans to join ISACS at lunch on either Thursday or Friday please call the ISACS office at 312-255-1244.

Palmer House Hilton
17 East Monroe
Chicago, IL

The conference will take place at The Palmer House Hilton. A modern Chicago grand hotel, the Palmer House is a lively destination within walking distance of the best attractions the city of Chicago has to offer like Millennium Park, Grant Park, the Art Institute of Chicago, the theater district, and the Magnificent Mile. Click here for directions to the hotel.

ISACS has secured a special discounted room rate at the Palmer House Hilton:

  • $139 for standard king single or double occupancy.
  • $164 for Tower King (executive level) room single or double occupancy.

Please call 1-877-865-5321 to reserve a room and use the group code "ISA". This rate has been extended and is available until Monday, January 12, 2009.

For online booking, go to

Parking at the Palmer House Hilton is as follows. Overnight Valet is $45 and self parking is $35. Daily valet for 6 -10 hours is $36 and for 12-18 hours is $45. Daily self parking (55 East Monroe Garage)for 2-9 hours is $26 and 9-24 hours is $35.

  • $525 Members
  • $575 Non Member
  • Registration fee includes 2 lunches and 1 continental breakfast.
  • A trustee from your school is invited to attend the Thursday session at no charge. Please call the ISACS office at 312-255-1244 with the name of the trustee and their email address. Please provide this information by Monday January 12, 2009.

Registration deadline is Monday January 12, 2009.

Cancellations must be received in writing to ISACS, 1165 North Clark Street, Suite 311, Chicago, IL 60610 or 10 business days prior to the Heads Conference to receive a 50% refund. Cancellations received less than 10 days before the event will not receive a refund.

Questions? Please call 312-255-1244.

Member Cost: $525     Non-member Cost: $575
Registration Deadline:  January 16, 2009


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