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Conferences and Workshops
(Click here for the 2019-2020 Professional Development Series PDF)


Academy for Division Heads
Jennifer Abrams and Rosetta Lee

Thursday, February 6, 2014 9:00 am - Friday, February 7, 2014 2:45 pm

Hotel Palomar
Chicago, IL

Registration is now open for the Academy for Division Heads!

The Academy will begin at 9:00 am on Thursday, February 6 and will end at 2:45 pm on Friday, February 7. Click here to view an agenda. 

The role of division head is both rewarding and challenging and ISACS is committed to supporting division heads serving in this essential leadership role.  Please make plans to gather with other division heads for two days of conversation with experts who will extend your thinking while expanding your leadership skills.  

Wednesday February 5 - Optional Division Head Forum
On Wednesday evening February 5 from 6:30-8:00 pm, ISACS will host an optional discussion for division heads at the Hotel Palomar.

You are invited to participate in a spirited conversation for new and veteran division heads who are looking to make connections with others in the same role.  Members of the Administrative Service Committee will facilitate the discussion. There is no charge for participation but we ask that you register so we may plan for the appropriate group size.  Facilitators include: Sylvie Anglin (University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, IL), Cory Barnes (Culver Academies, IN), John Carpenter (MICDS, MO), Ted Graf (Latin School of Chicago, IL) and Everett McKinney (Prairie School, WI),

There is no additional fee for this optional discussion. If you plan to attend the panel discussion, please select it during the online registration process. Pre-registration is required.

Thursday, February 6, 2014
On day one, Academy participants will welcome back Jennifer Abrams, author of Being Generationally Savvy, who will address the following questions:  Have you noticed your newer teachers feel and look and act differently than novice teachers you remember? Are you hearing of communication challenges between colleagues of different ages? Are you becoming aware more employees want a life-work balance vs. a work-life balance? Generational factors might be coming into play. Who are the four generations in our schools? What are their strengths and needs? What structures and communication protocols should we design to work well with them all? And, what knowledge do we need to help every group thrive? Jennifer will provide tools, resources and food for thought on this increasingly intriguing topic for division heads who must manage across generations.  This session will focus on the following learning outcomes:

  • Understanding of each generation’s motivations and needs in the workplace
  • Preparing tools and structures that will translate into better more effective collaboration for generationally diverse teams
  • Preparing to become more skilled at creating a climate of inclusion for all generations
  • Composing your language skills to communicate effectively with different generations

Following Jennifer’s session, all participants will have the opportunity to hear from George Wu, Professor of Behavioral Science, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago.  Professor Wu will share his compelling research on the psychology of individual, managerial, and organizational decision making; decision analysis; and cognitive biases in bargaining and negotiation and how this may affect your life as a school leader.

Day one of the Academy will also provide time to step away from the hectic pace of school and have some time to refresh and recharge.  A group dinner (included in your registration fee) will provide opportunities to connect and relax among your peers. Detailed information on the dinner can found below.

Friday, February 7, 2014
Day two of the Academy begins with a presentation by Sian Beilock.  Sian L. Beilock is a professor in the Department of Psychology at The University of Chicago and is the author of "Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveals About Getting It Right When You Have To“. Professor Beilock will present her research on the following topic: Many students want to perform well in school, but they just can’t seem to put their best foot forward – especially on important tests. Why do poor performances occur in those very situations where students are set on doing their best? Beilock will discuss the newest psychological research aimed at understanding how stress and anxiety impact learning and performance. She will also discuss how current research in psychology and neuroscience can be used to improve learning and performance in school – especially for students who are habitually anxious about taking tests.

The day will then continue with Rosetta Lee who will guide participants in a spirited conversation on What I Said and What I Meant: Improving Cross Cultural Communication.  Rosetta Lee serves Seattle Girls' School in dual roles. As a faculty member, Rosetta teaches subjects such as science, math, technology, art, ethics, model building, and more. As a professional outreach specialist, she designs and delivers trainings for all constituencies of the school community, as well as the local and national educational and nonprofit sectors. Humans communicate on many levels: spoken language, tone, body language, style and personality. The fact that we have complex cultural identities and a host of differing past experiences increases the probability of cross-cultural miscommunications. Rosetta will present major cross-cultural communication theories, ways that cultural values, power, privilege and differences affect the way we communicate, tools for questioning assumptions, and ways to improve cross-cultural communications skills.

We invite all division heads to attend for the first time, or to return to the Academy among friends serving in similar roles. 

Featured Presenters

  • Jennifer Abrams
  • Rosetta Lee

Highlighted Presenters

  • Sian Beilock
  • George Wu

Click here for presenter bios.

Pre-Conference Resources

Thursday Evening Activity – February 6
All registrants are invited to attend a dinner at Osteria Via Stato. It will be an opportunity to enjoy Chicago while mingling with your peers in a social setting.

  • Dinner: 6:30 pm at Osteria Via Stato
  • Osteria Via Stato is just a few blocks from the Hotel Palomar at 620 North State Street. ISACS will provide walking directions/maps at the Academy.

The cost is included in your registration fee for the Academy for Division Heads. If you plan to register a spouse/guest, please call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190 as there will be an additional charge.

The Academy for Division Heads will take place at the Hotel Palomar, 505 North State Street in Chicago. Located in the River North area of Chicago, the Hotel Palomar is located near the Chicago River and North Michigan Avenue. Complimentary highlights of the Hotel Palomar include: a 24-hour fitness center, indoor pool, pet friendly policies, and complimentary coffee and tea and evening wine reception in the living room. Guests must join the Kimpton InTouch program (which is free of charge) to receive wireless internet access in guest rooms and common areas.

For more details on the Hotel Palomar, visit

Valet parking at the Hotel Palomar is $18 for daily event parking (not overnight).

Valet overnight parking is $58/night for hotel guests with full in-and-out privileges.  Typically, overnight parking guests must leave by 2:00 pm to avoid additional fees at the garage. However, ISACS guests are able to park their cars with the valet until 4:00 pm without additional fees.

Note: Hybrid vehicles receive a 25% discount. There are other parking garages in the area that may offer less expensive rates.

Click here for directions and parking information for the Hotel Palomar.

Hotel Reservations
Attendees must make their own hotel reservations. ISACS has secured special discounted room rates at the Hotel Palomar: $155/night plus tax (single or double occupancy) for the nights of February 5 – February 6. To make a reservation call 1-800-KIMPTON and use Group Code: "ISACS Academy for Division Heads."  The discounted rate has been available and extended until Friday January 17, 2014. To reserve a room online, click here.

If you need any assistance making your hotel reservations, please call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190.

Registration Fee

  • $550 Member
  • $650 Non Member
  • First registrant pays full fee, each additional registrant receives a $50 discount.
  • Registration fee includes 2 continental breakfasts, 2 lunches and dinner on Thursday, February 6th.

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations must be received in writing to ISACS by emailing 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. Registration may be transferred to another member from the same school. ISACS reserves the right to cancel the Academy for insufficient enrollment. In this case, participants will be notified and given a full refund.

Questions? Please call 312-750-1190.

Member Cost: $550     Non-member Cost: $650


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