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Conferences and Workshops
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New Heads Network - A Year-Long Program 2011-2012

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Chicago, IL and St. Louis, MO, IL

Registration for the 2011-12 New Heads Network is now open. Download the program brochure.

This is a year-long opportunity and support system for new heads of school. Events will take place:

  • Thursday, September 22, 2011 in Chicago, IL
  • Wednesday, January 25, 2012 in Chicago, IL
  • Monday, June 18 - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 in St. Louis, MO

Who Should Attend: Heads of school in their first two years of headship at an ISACS school.

Why Attend: Being a head of school is never easy, and it's particularly challenging at the start of one's career. The New Heads Network (NHN) will provide content, skills and perspective on the headship as the first (or second) year unfolds. A mentor will be assigned and there will be opportunities to learn from colleagues and to build relationships with other heads. The NHN will seek to:


  • assist new heads in practicing and learning the craft of heading a school;
  • provide a cohort group so new heads can learn with and from one another;
  • introduce heads to the ISACS accreditation system and other programs; and
  • offer fun! We will laugh with and enjoy one another!

2010-11 New Heads Network participant's testimonial: I thought the timing of this was perfect. We've been in place just long enough to have some relevant questions but not so long as to have thoroughly messed something up yet!

This program is meant to supplement the NAIS Institute for New Heads, not to replace it.

NHN Faculty
Thomas Hoerr, PhD is head of New City School in St. Louis, MO. He has led schools for 30 years, and has written extensively on leadership, faculty collegiality, and multiple intelligences. Tom is the author of School Leadership For The Future, The Art of School Leadership and Becoming A Multiple Intelligences School. Tom writes a bi-monthly column for Educational Leadership, "The Principal Connection," has authored more than 60 articles, and has presented at conferences around the world.

Keith Shahan, EdD is President of ISACS and past head of John Burroughs School in St. Louis for 23 years. Keith visited every ISACS school by the end of the 2010-11 school year and plans to visit all ISACS new heads in the fall of their first year. Prior to his Burroughs headship, Keith held posts in international and public education. He writes to ISACS heads throughout the year to update them about happenings around the region, ISACS, and education in general.

Other faculty will be added.

The Benefits to the School
Leadership opportunities are exciting growth opportunities, but transitioning can be rife with complexities and potholes. Participation in the NHN can help avoid and minimize these, benefitting both the school and heads.

Mentoring Component
Each new head will be paired with an experienced ISACS head. Mentoring opportunities will be provided during the year through telephone calls, emails, and in-person opportunities at the January annual heads conference in Chicago.

Program Outline
The program will span the course of one year and have three opportunities for new heads to come together from September through June.

Thursday September 22, 2011
Hilton Garden Inn, Chicago, IL
Time: 9:30 am - 4:30 pm

  • How to survive your first year
  • Working with your board
  • Introduction to ISACS accreditation

Wednesday January 25, 2012Swissotel Chicago, Chicago, IL
Time: 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm

  • Reception and dinner on the eve of the start of the heads conference
  • Sessions included in the heads conference program specifically for new heads 

Monday June 18 - Tuesday June 19, 2012
New City School, St. Louis, MO
Time: Starts 9:30 am on June 18 and ends 3:00 pm on June 19 

  • Sharing of first year experiences among the group
  • Sessions led by experienced heads, board members and other administrators
  • Planning for the future

Hotel Accommodations Information
Attendees must make their own hotel reservations.

September hotel accommodations
Hilton Garden Inn/Midway Airport
6530 South Cicero Avenue
Bedford Park, IL 60638

To reserve a room, please call the Hilton Garden Inn at (708) 496-2700. ISACS has not secured a block of rooms for this hotel. The timing should allow many to fly in and out the same day.

January hotel accommodations
Swissotel Chicago
323 East Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601

ISACS has secured a discounted rate of $139/night as part of the Heads Conference. To reserve a room, please do so for at least two nights and stay for the heads conference, call (312) 565-0565 and request the group code "ISAC0112" by Friday, January 6.

June hotel accommodations
The Chase Park Plaza - Saint Louis
212 N. Kingshighway Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63108

ISACS has secured a discounted rate of $145/night for the nights of Sunday, June 17 and Monday, June 18. To reserve a room, please call (314) 633-3000 and request the ISACS group code, " 10K113" or "ISACS" by Monday, May 28.

Hotel Directions and Parking
Hilton Garden Inn/Midway Airport
Click here for directions and parking, and for information on the free shuttle from Midway airport to the hotel.

Swissotel Chicago
Click here for directions and parking information for the Swissotel.

New City School
Click here for directions to New City School from the Chase Park Plaza hotel.

Chase Park Plaza
Click here for directions and parking information from the St. Louis Airport to the Chase Park Plaza.

Registration Fee
$1,500 for September, January and June meetings.

Fee includes:



  • programming on September 22, January 25 and June 18-19;
  • continental breakfast and lunch on September 22;
  • reception and dinner on January 25; and
  • two breakfasts/two lunches/one dinner on June 18-19. 

As part of the NHN, ISACS strongly encourages new heads to attend the ISACS Annual Heads of School Conference in Chicago, January 26-27, 2012. New heads enrolled in NHN will pay a $300 registration fee instead of the $600 fee for the Heads Conference. Click here for information on the 2012 Heads of School Conference.

Financial assistance available for small schools. Please contact ISACS at (312) 255-1244.

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations must be received in writing to ISACS by emailing programinfo@isacs.org 10 business days prior to the event to receive a 50% refund. Cancellations received within 10 days of the event will not receive a refund.

Questions? Call 312.255.1244



Cost: $1500

   






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