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Conferences and Workshops
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2010 Heads of School Conference

Thursday, January 28, 2010 10:00 am - Friday, January 29, 2010 4:00 pm

The Swissôtel
323 East Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL

Online registration for the 2010 Heads Conference is now closed. If you have any questions, please call the ISACS office at 312-255-1244.

“Staying Connected in Challenging Times”
Click here to view the conference brochure. See below for more details.

The heads conference will begin at 10:00 am (Registration at 9:30 am) on Thursday, January 28th and conclude at 4:00 pm on Friday, January 29th.

ISACS will also be offering an opportunity for heads and their spouses/partners to join other ISACS colleagues on Saturday morning January 30th for a docent led tour of the Art Institute of Chicago.

  • Rob Evans, Human Relations Service
  • Sarah Daignault, National Business Officers Association
  • James (Jim) Bonney and Kathy Betz, Educators Collaborative
  • Sophie Haroutunian-Gordon, Northwestern University
  • Sacha Litman, Measuring Success
  • Ellen Moceri, Head of School, Ransom Everglades
Click here to view featured speaker bios.

Click here to view the conference's schedule of events.

On Thursday morning, Rob Evans will kick-off the conference and introduce his new book “Seven Secrets of A Savvy School Leader” as well as give his impressions of what is going on around the country.

After lunch, ISACS will bring back the conclaves where heads of similar schools can “stay connected” and learn from each other about topics of interest generated by the group.

Following the conclaves, participants can select from one of three concurrent workshops – one by Rob Evans, one on Pedagogy with Sophie Haroutunian-Gordon and one with consultants Kathy Betz and Jim Bonney. Sophie is the director of the Master of Science in Education program and professor, School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. Her new book ‘Learning To Teach Through Discussion: The Art of Turning the Soul” will present her thoughts on how to lead interpretive discussions, which should give us new insights into what to look for in observing class discussions, helping out teachers lead better discussions and leading such discussions ourselves.

To conclude the day on Thursday, special sessions for Progressive Schools, AIMS and LMAIS will be offered.

On Friday morning start your day in one of two Visiting Team Leader workshops – one for beginners and one for experienced Visiting Team Leaders. Keith Shahan will also host a breakfast for New Heads.

We will all gather for a presentation by Sarah Daignault, Executive Director of National Business Officers Association on “Dealing with the Economic Crisis: Lessons Learned.” She will also be joined by a panel of ISACS heads of school – John Cooper, Elgin Academy, Mark Murphy, Prairie School and Lisa Lyle, MICDS, on the same topic.

Following Friday’s lunch, we will provide two sets of concurrent workshops, repeated so you have more opportunities to hear from our presenters. One session will feature a Back to School discussion with Sophie Haroutunian-Gordon, which will provide an opportunity to discuss Whitehead’s theory on the relationship between interest and education. Sophie will use her interpretive discussion technique to lead this session. Registrants who sign up for this discussion will be sent a 14-page article to read in preparation.

Sacha Litman, will present “Data Driven Decision-Making”. He is a pioneer in developing new tools to benchmark schools so they can use data to make better decisions. Sacha has worked with some of our schools and his timely presentation will lead to better understanding of what motivates prospective parents to come and current parents to stay.

Ellen Moceri, head of school at Ransom Everglades in Florida will join us to address the topic “How do you keep your board active without being intrusive?” She will be joined by two of our own heads – John Farber, Old Trail School and Ann Klotz, Laurel School.

All registrants and spouses/partners are invited to attend the official conference dinner at the Mid-America Club, (on the 80th Floor of the Aon Center), 200 East Randolph Drive, Chicago, just a few blocks from the Swissôtel. The Mid-America Club, provides a 360-degree panoramic view of the city's distinctive skyline and unparalleled vistas of Lake Michigan and Millennium Park. The reception and dinner will be an opportunity to enjoy Chicago while mingling with your peers in a social setting. The reception begins at 6:15 pm with dinner following at 7:00 pm. Pre-registration is required for this dinner event for yourself and your guest.

This year, dinner is INCLUDED in your registration fee; pre-registration is required during the online registration process. If you are bringing a guest, an additional fee of $75 is required. Please call the ISACS office to register your guest for the dinner.

There is no onsite registration for the dinner.

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 any of the meal functions please call the ISACS office at 312-255-1244.

Consider staying over on Friday evening to enjoy the city on Saturday. ISACS has organized a docent led tour of the Art Institute of Chicago’s new modern wing (opened, May 2009) on Saturday morning at 10:00 am.

Registration is required and there will be a $28 per person fee to cover the cost of the tickets for entry to the museum and for the docent tour. Click here to register for the Art Institute tour.

The conference will take place at the Swissôtel, 323 E. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL.

The Swissôtel
323 East Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL

The conference will take place at The Swissôtel, designed by Harry Weiss, the Swissôtel is a triangular glass building – one of the distinctive features of the city skyline along the Chicago River. The hotel is 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.

ISACS has secured special discounted room rates at the Swissôtel:
  • $129/night for standard king single or double occupancy.
  • $159/night for single or double occupancy plus access to executive lounge cache which serves breakfast each morning (6:30 am – 10:00 am) and evening hors d’oeuvres (5:30 pm – 9:00 pm) with soft drinks and water plus access to computer and internet/printer, newspapers and flat screen tv’s.
  • The room rates above include complimentary access to the health club.

Please call the hotel directly to make a reservation at 312-565-0565 reserve a room and use the group code “Independent Schools Association". This rate has been extended and is still available.

Please note that any reservation cancelled within 48 hours of arrival date will be charged one nigth room and tax.

Click here for directions and parking information for the Swissôtel.

Special daily parking at the Swissôtel is $16 per day for the ISACS Heads of School Conference. Special overnight parking rates are $42 per night.

  • $600 Members
  • $700 Non Member
  • Registration fee includes Thursday evening dinner at the Mid-America Club, 2 lunches and 1 continental breakfast.

Registration deadline is Friday January 15, 2010.

Cancellations must be received in writing to ISACS, 1165 North Clark Street, Suite 311, Chicago, IL 60610 or, ten 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: $600     Non-member Cost: $700


55 West Wacker, Suite 701 · Chicago, IL 60601 · Telephone (312) 750-1190 · Fax (312) 750-1193
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