Professional Development > Conferences and Workshops

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


2015 New Teacher Institute
Jill Webb, Ken Rogers and Mark Wagner

July 20 - 23, 2015

Wolcott School
Chicago, IL

***Wondering about the value of NTI? Take a moment to watch this video message from ISACS Director of Professional Development Jill Webb.***

Registration for the New Teacher Institute is now open! 

Date and Time
The New Teacher Institute will be Monday, July 20 - Thursday, July 23. Participants should make plans to attend the Institute in its entirety.

New Teacher Institute Brochure
Click here for the 2015 New Teacher Institute Brochure

Who Should Attend
***Independent school educators in their first two years of teaching experience.

Why Attend
This energizing Institute will provide new teachers with the strategies essential for a successful start to their teaching careers. The Institute will also allow participants to begin building the foundation for a long and successful career in independent schools. Interactive experiences reflective of best practices will aid in the development of skills and understanding in the following areas:

  • Understanding the culture of independent schools
  • Communicating effectively with parents, students, colleagues, administration and the broader school community
  • Maintaining professionalism
  • Managing classrooms effectively
  • Designing a curriculum through a backward design process
  • Dealing with stress and change: anticipating challenges
  • Building healthy relationships with colleagues
  • Dealing with conflict
  • Partnering with parents
  • Developing leadership skills
  • Networking with others new to independent schools
  • Finding and using mentors
  • Balancing responsibilities and managing time
  • Building a foundation for excellence

Participants will engage in active and experiential approaches to understanding best practice for highly effective teaching. Presentations, conversations, role-playing, simulations, video analysis, collaborative work, professional readings, and personal testimonials will all be presented with research-based modeling of best practice, combined with humor, music, and the enduring commitment of experienced professionals.

Benefits to the School
School communities expect and require new teachers to be highly effective on the first day of school. Often, there is more information than can be processed effectively without overloading the new teacher. Participants will learn best practices at a manageable pace in a supportive atmosphere.

Jill Webb brings years of independent school experience to the Institute. She currently serves as the director of professional development for ISACS and head of lower school at The Wellington School (OH). Jill brings the experience gained from training hundreds of new teachers and mentors nationally, and has been a frequent presenter on the topic of teacher development and leadership.

Mark Wagner has been a teacher and upper school division head in several independent schools before becoming the head of school at St. Andrew's United Methodist Day School (MD). He brings extensive independent school experience and has been a presenter in the areas of teacher leadership, curriculum and professional development. His engaging style and creative vision make him a wonderful member of the New Teacher Institute faculty. 

Ken Rogers, a trained counselor, is a former faculty member of The Association of Independent Maryland Schools Fellows Program for New Teachers. With independent school experience as a teacher, dean, and head of middle school, Ken is a frequent ISACS presenter and consultant to independent schools. Ken is the middle school principal at Charlotte Christian School (NC).

Registration Fee

  • Registration will open in the Spring 2015
  • $850 for ISACS Members
  • $950 for non-ISACS Members
  • First registrant pays full fee, each additional registrant receives a $100 discount
  • The registration fee includes all materials, three continental breakfasts, three lunches, two dinners and daily refreshment breaks

Schedule (Dates are firm, times may change)

Monday, July 20 

  • 9:30 am Registration
  • 10:00 am - 7:30 pm (Includes dinner)

Tuesday, July 21

  • 8:30 - 7:30 pm (Includes dinner)

Wednesday, July 22

  • 8:30 - 5:30 pm (Dinner on your own)

Thursday, July 23

  • 9:00 - 12:00 noon

What to Bring
School's Mission Statement Standards from one subject you are teaching

What to Wear
Dress is casual.

The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher by Harry K. Wong and Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemov are very useful resources for new teachers.

Institute Location
The New Teacher Institute will take place at the Wolcott School, 524 N. Wolcott Ave., Chicago, IL 60622. The Institute is held in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood and is conveniently accessible by public transportation and taxis. Click here for directions and parking information for the Wolcott School.

ISACS will provide group transportation to and from the conference hotel and the Wolcott School each day.  For those with cars, there is ample, free street parking at the school.  

Hotel Accommodations
Attendees must make their own hotel reservations. **We recommend you reserve your hotel accommodations early!** ISACS has secured a limited number of rooms at discounted rates at the following hotel.

ALOFT Hotel – Chicago City Center 
515 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60654

To make a reservation, call 1-877-GO-ALOFT or the hotel directly at 312-661-1000 and request the ISACS discounted rate of $169 per night plus tax (standard king room or a double queen room). Rates are valid for the nights of Sunday, July 19– Wednesday, July 22 and must be booked by the cutoff date, Monday, June 29, 2015. Please use the group code "ISACS New Teacher Institute" when making reservations. Click here to make your reservation online. 

If you are having trouble making a hotel reservation, please call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190.  Please cancel reservations 24 hours in advance of check in to avoid a one night stay

Directions and Parking
The parking rates at the ALOFT Hotel are $49 for self-parking and $62 for valet. For discounted parking, try the following websites: or Spot Hero - both of which should be booked in advance of your arrival.

For directions and public transportation options, click here.

GO Airport Express (Share-a-Ride) Shuttle Service
ISACS has negotiated a special rate with GO Airport Express for ISACS members – 15% off standard rates. Reservations MUST be made in advance and online to receive the discounted rate.  The standard rate per person to/from O’Hare is approximately $28 one-way; $49 round-trip. The standard rate per person to/from Midway is approximately $24 one-way; $40 round-trip. To receive the 15% discount off the standard rates, please click here for the Go Airport Express website to make a reservation in advance. A credit card is required and charged at the time of reservation. Airport walk-ups are not be eligible for the discounted rate, standard rates apply. Parties of two or more reserving at the same time receive a discount.  Please visit the website for more information.

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: $850     Non-member Cost: $950


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