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Conferences and Workshops
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2016 Heads of School Conference: New Paradigms in Leading & Learning

January 28 - 29, 2016

Chicago, IL

Thursday, January 28 and Friday, January 29, 2016 at the Swissotel, Chicago.

Online registration is now closed. If you would like to attend the ISACS Heads of School Conference please call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190.

Dear Heads of School,

In addition to the opportunity to connect with colleagues, this year’s Heads of School Conference offers a particularly full and stimulating program. You’ll find keynotes that will stir your thinking, an increase in the number of presentations, and a return of the conclaves. Don’t miss it!

Claudia Daggett
ISACS President

New Paradigms in Leading & Learning

Conference Brochure
A conference brochure will be sent to each of head of school in mid-November. To view the brochure, click here.

Dates and Time
The conference will begin at 9:30 am (registration at 8:30 am) on Thursday, January 28 and will conclude at 2:45 pm on Friday, January 29, 2015, with bonus sessions ending at 4:15 pm for those who can stay.

Keynote Speakers

  • Greg Bamford, Watershed School
  • Tim Calkins, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management
  • Eboo Patel, Interfaith Youth Core

Featured Speakers

  • Jennifer Abrams, Author and Educational Consultant
  • Rick Ackerly, GeniusInChildren
  • Hadley Ferguson, EdCamp
  • John Gulla, E.E. Ford Foundation
  • Joy Bodycomb, Data Analysis for School Leadership (DASL), NAIS
  • Marc Levinson, MISBO
  • Devereaux McClatchey & Ada McElroy, Carney Sandoe & Associates
  • Caryn Pass, Venable, LLP
  • Lou Salza, Lawrence School (OH), Charles Baldecchi, The Lexington School (KY) & Liz Hofreuter-Landini, Wheeling Country Day School (WV)
  • Anne Stavney & Anne Graybeal, Blake School (MN)

Click here for keynote and featured speaker bios.

Schedule & Session Descriptions
Click here to view the conference schedule.
Click here for session descriptions.

Conference Location
The conference will take place at the Swissôtel, 323 E. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL. 

Hotel Accommodations
The Swissôtel
323 East Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 

The conference will take place at The Swissôtel. Designed by Harry Weiss, the Swissôtel is a triangular glass building – one of the distinctive features of the city skyline along the Chicago River. The hotel is within walking distance of the best attractions the city of Chicago has to offer like Millennium Park, Grant Park, the Art Institute of Chicago, the theater district, and the Magnificent Mile. 

ISACS has secured special discounted room rates at the Swissôtel:

  • $157/night for standard king single or double occupancy.
  • ‚ÄčThe room rates above include complimentary Internet in the sleeping rooms and complimentary access to the health club.
  • Please note that any reservation cancelled within 48 hours of arrival date will be charged one night room and tax. 

Please call the hotel directly to make a reservation at 312-565-0565 to reserve a room and use the group code "ISACS 2016 Heads of School Conference." The discounted rooms are available and have been extended until Monday, January 11, 2016. If you prefer to make your reservation online, please do so by clicking here.

If you are having problems booking a hotel room at the discounted rate, please call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190 and the ISACS staff will assist you.

Please note that any reservation cancelled within 48 hours of arrival date will be charged one night room and tax. 

Reception & Dinner: Thursday, January 28, 2016
All registrants and spouses/partners are invited to attend the conference reception and dinner. The reception (from 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm) will be at the ISACS office at 55 West Wacker, Suite 702 followed by a dinner at Sunda, 110 West Illinois Street. The reception and dinner will be an opportunity to enjoy Chicago while mingling with your peers in a social setting. Transportation will be provided. Reception/dinner is included in your registration fee; pre-registration is required during online registration. You can select from reception only, dinner only or reception/dinner. If you are bringing a guest, an additional fee of $75 is required. Please call the ISACS office to register your guest. There is no onsite registration for the dinner.

Thank you to Epstein, sponsor of the Thursday keynote presentation.

“Epstein is a multi-disciplinary design and construction company focused on serving our clients, empowering our employee-owners and enhancing our communities.  Epstein’s K-12 school design specialists can help you create or transform your school facility to unlock its educational power.”

Thank you to ERB, sponsor of the Thursday luncheon.

“ERB is a global not-for-profit educational membership organization providing admission, achievement and instructional services for PK-Grade 12. For over 85 years, ERB has provided quality services to over 2,000 member schools.”

Thank you to Flik Independent School Dining, sponsor of the Thursday reception at the ISACS office.

“Flik is a diverse family of food and nutrition specialists dedicated to providing the academic community with fun, healthy on-site dining options. As the only dining services company specializing exclusively in private and independent school education, Flik understands your community's needs and what it takes to meet them. Flik’s chefs use fresh local ingredients and world-class culinary techniques to provide students with innovative, diverse menus. From expansive, colorful salad bars to soups made from scratch, Flik works closely with each client to transform their school's dining hall into a source of pride and values.”

Thank you to Voya Financial, sponsor of the Friday keynote presentation.

“Voya Financial helps Americans plan, invest and protect their savings – to get ready to retire better.”

Thank you to Oswald Companies/Independent Schools Benefits Consortium sponsor of the Friday luncheon.

Oswald Companies is a national insurance brokerage and consulting firm that specializes in employee benefit solutions for niche markets, and specifically for independent schools.

Thank you to Assurance Agency, sponsor of the Thursday night dinner at Sunda.

“Assurance is among the largest and most awarded independent insurance brokerages in the U.S. Assurance creates value by minimizing risk and maximizing health for 6,000 businesses and individuals across the country. Assurance’s Education Practice is focused on meeting the changing needs of educational institutions across the nation by addressing emerging risk management issues and developing competitive and comprehensive insurance solutions to reduce overall cost of risk.”

Directions and Parking

  • Click here for directions, taxi rates, public transportation and parking information for the Swissôtel.
  • Special daily parking at the Swissôtel is $25 per day for the ISACS Heads of School Conference (Please obtain a voucher from the ISACS registration area to receive the daily discounted parking rate. Special overnight parking rates are $54 per night. If you drive a hybrid car, the Swissotel provides a discount.

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 eligible for the discounted rate, standard rates apply. Parties of two or more reserving at the same time receive a discount. Please visit their website for more information. 

Registration Fee

  • $600 Head of member school
  • $700 Head of non member school
  • 50% discount for those new heads registered for the ISACS year-long New Heads Network program. If you are enrolled in the New Heads Network, please call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190 to receive a coupon code before registering for the Heads of School Conference. 
  • Registration fee includes Thursday evening dinner, two lunches and two continental breakfasts.
  • Please review the Registration Confirmation information below

Registration Confirmation Communications from ISACS
Once registration for the Heads Conference has been completed the following communications will be sent from ISACS:

  • Once registration is complete, an email will automatically be sent to the contact person on the registration confirming that registration has been completed.
  • Approximately three weeks prior to the Heads Conference, ISACS will send a confirmation email to the registrant with details for the conference.
  • Approximately one week prior to the Heads Conference, ISACS will send a final confirmation email to the registrant with details for the conference.

If you do not receive these emails prior to arriving at a workshop, please call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190. It is possible your email address was entered incorrectly OR your registration was not completed.

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations must be received in writing to 10 business days prior to the Heads of School Conference to receive a 50% refund.

Questions, call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190.

Member Cost: $600     Non-member Cost: $700
Registration Deadline:  January 19, 2016


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