Professional Development > Conferences and Workshops

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


NBOA Business Office NOW: For Independent School Business Officers & Business Operations Staff
Jeff Shields and Other Experts

Thursday, October 23, 2014
9:30 am - 3:00 pm

ISACS Office Conference Room
55 West Wacker Drive, Suite 702
Chicago, IL 60601

Registration Update as of 9/30
Registration for this workshop has reached capacity. To be added to the waitlist, please click on the waitlist button above and complete the requested information. ISACS staff will contact you if a space becomes available. If you have any questions, please call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190.

The role of the business manager has become increasingly complex.  ISACS has assembled an exceptional team of experts to help guide practices, raise questions and consider new approaches to long-term financial sustainability.  We hope you will make plans to benefit from the wisdom of this all-star team by registering for NBOA Business Officer NOW. As we expect to reach capacity, we encourage all interested participants to register early!

This workshop is for business officers, business operations and human resource staff.

Long-Range Financial Modeling
Presented by: Genevieve Madigan, Director, Research and Member Resources, NBOA
It’s much easier to avoid a future financial problem when it is forecast five to seven years from now than it is to prevent it from occurring next year.  A business officer must understand what lies ahead financially at their independent school.  Learn how to use NBOA’s 10-Year Financial Model for Day Schools to customize a ten-year budget forecast for your independent school.  Created as an Excel spreadsheet, the tool generates charts and graphs that can easily be dropped into dashboards or other presentations for a school’s leadership team or Board of Trustees. It also creates real-time forecasts for tuition, enrollment, FTEs, plant replacement and more.  This model is a must-have for any independent school’s business office.

The Business Case for Online Education and Blended Learning 
Presented by: Brad Rathgeber, Executive Director, Online School for Girls (and Boys)
Online education is a game changer for independent schools and the students they serve.  What do business officers need to know about this evolving field, and how can online education and blended learning play a key role for your school as it grapples with its long-term financial health?  Hear current trends in online education and blended learning based on examples from other independent schools.  Gain a greater understanding of the economics of online learning that may help your school financially, as well as provide greater support for your school’s mission and the students and families you serve.

Maximizing Facilities ROI 
Presented by: Nick Mirisis, Director, Marketing and Business Development, SchoolDude
Educational institutions are experiencing exponential growth in events, which translates into increased operating costs for utilities, staff overtime, and wear and tear on your facilities.  But did you know the best-performing schools are recovering more than $60 per student, per event, when they rent their facilities?  Review data from more than 1,000 educational institutions that summarizes the advice and best practices for cost recovery and hear why it’s important to document costs (personnel, utilities, security, auxiliary services, custodial, wear and tear) to understand the total impact of renting your facilities.  You will walk away with 10 valuable tips you can implement tomorrow to improve your facilities scheduling process and increase your return on investment from your facilities.

Legal Issues in Human Resources for Independent Schools
Presenter to be determined
You have a multitude of roles, including a major one when it comes to Human Resources. Many legal issues that schools encounter are often perplexing and counterintuitive. Dealing with the appropriate classification of employees, preparing enforceable contracts, overseeing volunteers, tracking protected leaves, as well as employee presence in social media spaces and participating in performance evaluations, may all feel like daunting tasks, but this program will help you get on top of what you need to know as a business officer or a human resources professional at an independent school.

Benchmarking Your School’s IT Budgeting, Staffing and Support 
Presented by: Genevieve Madigan, Director, Research and Member Resources and Nick Mirisis, Director, Marketing and Business Development, SchoolDude
Get results from the 2014 NBOA IT Survey, a first-of-its-kind research effort, designed to help independent schools nationwide benchmark their information technology program.  NBOA conducted this research in partnership with SchoolDude based on a similar study with public schools.  The information from the survey is customized for independent schools and provides actionable data for your school to assess the financial resources dedicated to IT, how schools are staffing and supporting this function, and what schools like yours are doing from computer carts, to BYOD, to 1:1.  Everything a business officer needs to stay informed and to help lead schools through critical IT discussions will be shared and discussed.

Financial Sustainability:  Past, Present and Future 
Presented by: Jeffrey Shields, President and CEO, NBOA
What has changed for independent schools since the 2009 economic downturn?  What hasn’t?  Get a strategic overview of independent school financial sustainability to inform discussions with your school’s leadership to identify a path forward that supports your mission and maintains your school’s financial health for the long-term.  Learn various frameworks for thinking about financial sustainability, and how to evolve the conversation about “high tuition” into a conversation about delivering high-quality independent education in the 21st century. 

The workshop will take place at the new ISACS office conference room at 55 West Wacker Drive, Suite 702, Chicago, IL. 

The location is located in the heart of Chicago, with easy access to public transportation.
Click here for directions to the ISACS office including driving, parking and public transportation directions. Parking is available at several area garages and you can use to find discounted parking in the area prior to your arrival in downtown Chicago. If possible, we suggest you take public transportation.

Hotel Accommodations
ISACS has secured hotel accommodations at Club Quarters at Wacker and Michigan with a rate of $174 a night. In order to take advantage of the rate, you must book by September 22, 2014. Below is information on Club Quarters and how to make a reservation.

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: IS1024. Credit cards are required to book all room reservations.

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 their second location in the Central Loop. 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.

If you have any issues booking a room at the Club Quarters, please contact the ISACS office at 312-750-1190.

Click here for directions and parking information.

Registration Fee

  • $150 member fee
  • $150 non-member Fee 
  • There is no discount for additional participants from the same school for this workshop.
  • Workshop includes lunch
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 workshop for insufficient enrollment. In this case, participants will be notified and given a full refund. 

Member Cost: $150     Non-member Cost: $150


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