Professional Development > Conferences and Workshops

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


New Heads Network - A Year Long Program 2014-15
Tom Hoerr and Claudia Daggett

Monday, September 22, 2014
9:30 am - 3:30 pm

ISACS Office Conference Room
55 West Wacker Drive, Suite 702
Chicago, IL

Registration for the 2014-15 New Heads Network is open. Brochures will be sent to new heads at ISACS schools in early July. Click here for the New Heads Network brochure.

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

  • Monday, September 22, 2014 in Chicago, IL
  • Wednesday, January 28, 2015 in Chicago, IL
  • Monday, June 15 - Tuesday, June 16, 2015 in St. Louis, MO

Who Should Attend: Heads of school in their first two years of headship at an ISACS school. Experienced heads new to an ISACS school have participated and found the program beneficial.

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
  • be fun! We will laugh with and enjoy one another!
This program is meant to supplement the NAIS Institute for New Heads, not to replace it.
New Heads Network Faculty
Thomas Hoerr, Thomas Hoerr, PhD is head of New City School in St. Louis. He has led schools for 37 years, and has written extensively on leadership, faculty collegiality, and multiple intelligences. He initiated and taught in the Non-Profit Management Program at Washington University in St. Louis. Tom is the author of four books, School Leadership For The Future (published by NAIS), The Art of School LeadershipBecoming A Multiple Intelligences School, and Fostering Grit: How do I prepare my students for the real world? (all published by ASCD). Tom writes a monthly column for Educational Leadership, “The Principal Connection,” has authored more than 100 articles, and has presented at conferences around the world. Tom says that all these years of running schools have provided him with lots of mistakes from which to learn!
Claudia Daggett, MSEd is the new ISACS president. Claudia began her independent school career as a teacher at The Prairie School and has served in a variety of leadership roles, including 11 years as head of school at Friends Academy in Massachusetts. Following headship, she served as executive director of the Elementary School Heads Association and independent consultant with Gregory Floyd & Associates. Claudia looks forward to visiting schools and getting to know ISACS heads, a process she is chronicling in her blog, “Stopping By,” at
Claudia and Tom will provide experienced advice throughout the year while the group provides the beginnings of the peer network important to every head.
Other faculty will be added.
Benefits to the School
New heads face common problems, such as building relationships with administrative teams, the board, faculty, parents and students. Meeting with each other three times during the year—under the guidance of two experienced heads—can help avoid pitfalls and enhance the chances of a strong first year and beyond.
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.
Monday September 22, 2014
ISACS Office Conference Room, 55 West Wacker Drive • Chicago, IL
  • How to survive your first year
  • Working with your board
  • Introduction to ISACS accreditation
Wednesday January 28, 2015
Swissôtel Chicago • Chicago, IL
Time: 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
  • Reception and dinner with mentors on the eve of the start of the heads conference—Wednesday, January 28
  • Sessions included in the heads conference program particularly useful for new heads
Monday, June 15 - Tuesday, June 16, 2015
New City School • St. Louis, MO
Time: 9:30 am start on June 15 & 1:00 pm end on June 16
  • Sharing of first year experiences among the group
  • Sessions on the headship, business office, development and board relations
  • Planning for the future

Hotel Accommodations Information

Attendees must make their own hotel accommodations
September hotel accommodations
ISACS has secured two options for your hotel accommodations needs - the Hotel Monaco or Club Quarters - both within walking distance to the ISACS office.  Below is information on the two options, select the one that best meets your needs.

Hotel Monaco: ISACS has secured a discount off the standard room rates at the Hotel Monaco, 225 N. Wabash, Chicago, IL. The hotel is located less than three blocks from the new ISACS office/conference room. To view rates and reserve your room, please call 1-800-KIMPTON and request the ISACS rate. Click here to book your room online.  Rates and availability vary based on time of year.

The Monaco Chicago, a Kimpton Hotel is an award winning boutique hotel offering a stylish window onto the Windy City. Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, the Hotel Monaco is in the Loop business district and just steps from North Michigan Avenue shopping and the popular Millennium Park. A former hat factory on the banks of the Chicago River, the transformed Hotel Monaco draws guests in and surrounds them with all manner of stimulations once inside. Complimentary highlights of the Hotel Monaco include: a 24-hour fitness center, pet friendly policies, and complimentary coffee and tea and evening wine reception in the living room. Join the Kimpton InTouch loyalty program and receive complimentary wireless internet access, personalized amenities and a whole lot more. For more details on the Monaco Chicago, visit

Click here for directions and parking information at the Hotel Monaco with walking directions to the ISACS Office.


Club Quarters at Wacker and Michigan: The Independent Schools Association of the Central States is now a member of Club Quarters, full service business hotels for member organizations.  The entire ISACS community has access to low member rates at Club Quarters, Wacker at Michigan and 15 additional locations in the United States and London. Club Quarters, Wacker at Michigan is located less than three blocks from the new ISACS office/conference room. When you stay at Club Quarters, Wacker at Michigan, you are just steps from the Magnificent Mile, famous for shopping, fine dining and museums, and Grant Park.  Member guests enjoy automatic Gold Status benefits including subsidized weekend and holiday rates from as low as $65/night, complimentary onsite benefits including WiFi, exercise facilities, chilled, purified bottled water and access to the Club Living Room with snacks and refreshments and Gold Rewards, the richest guest rewards program.

For additional information or to make a reservation, please contact Member Services at 203.905.2100 anytime between Mon.-Fri. 7am-11pm, Sat. 9am-5pm and Sun. 10am-6pm (EST). Make sure to identify yourself as a member of ISACS - Independent Schools Association of the Central States and provide them with the Group Code: Ind Schl Assoc Central Sta. Credit cards are required to book all room reservations.

While Club Quarters is getting ready to launch their new website sometime in the summer, we ask that if you wish to make a reservation online that you visit their website at and login with the ISACS Member Password: ISACS. 

Click here for directions and parking information at the Club Quarters with walking directions to the ISACS Office.

January hotel accommodations
Swissôtel Chicago  
323 East Wacker Drive • Chicago, IL

ISACS has secured a discounted rate of $152/night. 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: “ISACS 2015 Heads of School Conference” by Wednesday, January 7.
Click here for directions to the Swissôtel.
June hotel accommodations
The Chase Park Plaza - Saint Louis
212 N. Kingshighway Blvd. • St. Louis, MO
ISACS will obtain a block of rooms and provide participants with reservation information at a later date.
Click here for directions to Chase Park Plaza Hotel.
Click here for directions to New City School from the Chase Park Plaza Hotel.
$1,500 for September, January and June meetings.
The fee includes:
  • programming on 9/22, 1/28 and 6/15-16;
  • continental breakfast and lunch – 9/22;
  • reception and dinner –1/28; and
  • two breakfasts/two lunches/one dinner – 6/15-16.
As part of the NHN, ISACS strongly encourages new heads to attend the ISACS annual heads of school conference in Chicago, January 29 and January 30, 2015. New heads enrolled in the New Heads Network will pay a $300 registration fee instead of the $600 fee for the heads conference. (New heads must register for the heads conference separately). Registration for the 2015 Heads Conference will open in the fall and you will receive an email when registration opens along with a coupon code to receive the discounted registration fee.
Financial assistance available for small schools. Please contact the ISACS office at ISACS, (312) 750-1190
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.
Questions? Call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190.

Member Cost: $1500     Non-member Cost: $1750


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