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


2017 Academy for Division Heads
Dave Mochel & Tish Jennings

February 2 - 3, 2017

Hotel Palomar
Chicago, IL

Join your ISACS Division Head colleagues for two powerful days with presentations from engaging and thought-stretching presenters.

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 leaders for two days of conversation and interaction with experts who will extend your thinking while expanding your own leadership skills.  

The Academy will begin at 9:00 am on Thursday, February 2 and will end at 2:45 pm on Friday, February 3.   Click here for the agenda.

Featured Presenters

  • Dave Mochel
  • Patricia "Tish" Jenning

Day One – Thursday, February 2, 2017 - A Day with Dave Mochel

Mindfulness: Focus First on the Adults

How do we solve problems and build community in the face of resistance, discomfort, and uncertainty? Division Heads will explore the elements of awareness-based leadership and design thinking and their applications to adult communities in schools. Applying research from modern neuroscience and organizational development, we will discuss personal practices as well as practices and language that can be integrated across organizations.

No matter how carefully we plan, there are always uncontrollable variables in life. Extraordinary organizations are those that respond without losing focus on what matters most. The culture of an organization is not what is written on the mission statement — it is what people practice daily.

Imagine if every member of your faculty and staff:

  • Consistently refocused on what is most important
  • Took responsibility what is under their control
  • Communicated quickly and effectively about challenging issues
  • Could turn any problem into an opportunity

Dave Mochel is the founder of Applied Attention Consulting, a mindfulness consulting company that partners with businesses, schools, and individuals to bridge the gap between what matters most and how time and energy are used. The goal is to teach people how to consistently refocus on what is present, what is important, and what is effective. Refocusing in this way is fundamental to optimal well-being and performance. This simple and powerful practice builds the fundamental skills necessary to embrace challenge, learn from others, and thrive in any circumstance. The result for individuals is greater engagement, flexibility, and resilience. Within teams and organizations, this practice creates powerfully positive and purposeful cultures. Mochel is incredibly grateful to spend his time teaching this practice and observing the positive impact it has upon people’s lives, relationships, and communities. For more information, visit

Day Two – Friday, February 3, 2017 - ​A Day with Patricia (Tish) Jennings

Mindful Teaching: Transforming Practices to Focus on the Students

At its core, teaching is an emotional practice. The social and emotional dynamics of the classroom play a key role in promoting student learning and fostering prosocial behavior. Drawing upon basic and applied research in the fields of neuroscience, psychology and education, participants will gain valuable information about how mindfulness- and compassion-based approaches can help teachers manage the stressful demands of the classroom, cultivate an exceptional learning environment, and revitalize teaching and learning. Participants will learn simple mindful awareness and compassion practices for managing stress and promoting wellbeing in the classroom.

Learning Outcomes

The participants will hear:

  • How stress affects the brain and learning
  • How to define mindfulness
  • How to describe compassion
  • The effects of mindfulness and compassion practices on brain functioning and emotion regulation
  • Several simple mindfulness- and compassion-based practices
  • How these practices help teachers manage stress
  • How these practices help teachers provide social and emotional support to their students
  • How to introduce these practices to students to help them calm their bodies and focus their minds
  • How to integrate these practices into the curriculum
  • The results of mindfulness research conducted with both teachers and students
  • How we can apply mindful awareness and compassion practices to transform our educational practices

Patricia (Tish) Jennings, MEd, PhD is an Associate Professor of Education at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. She is an internationally recognized leader in the fields of social and emotional learning and mindfulness in education with a specific emphasis on teacher stress and how it impacts the social and emotional context of the classroom. Jennings led the team that developed CARE for Teachers, a mindfulness-based professional development program shown to significantly improve teacher well-being, emotional supportiveness and sensitivity and classroom productivity in the largest randomized controlled trial of a mindfulness-based intervention designed specifically to address teacher occupational stress. She is leading the development of the Compassionate Schools Project curriculum, an integrated health education program designed to align with state and national health and physical education standards. She is Co-Principal Investigator on a large randomized controlled trial being conducted in Louisville, KY to evaluate the curriculum’s efficacy. Earlier in her career, Jennings spent over 22 years as a classroom teacher. She is the author of Mindfulness for Teachers: Simple Skills for Peace and Productivity in the Classroom part of the Norton Series on the Social Neuroscience of Education.

Thursday Evening Activity: Thursday, February 2 - 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Participants gather in the Hotel Palomar lobby at 5:45 pm for transportation to the architecturally spectacular Game Room at the Chicago Athletic Association. The evening will include games, drinks and heavy appetizers. Transportation back to the Hotel Palomar will be provided at 8:00 pm.

Although participation is included in registration fee, pre-registration for the evening activity is required. During online registration you will be prompted to indicate if you are planning to attend. 

Spouses/partners are invited to attend at an additional cost of $60. Please call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190 to register your guest.

Pre-Conference Informal Conversations: Wednesday, February 1, 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm 
On Wednesday evening February 3 from 6:30-7:30 pm, ISACS will host an optional discussion for division heads at the Hotel Palomar.

If you arrive on Wednesday evening, please join us for engaging conversation among division heads.  This is a great opportunity to connect new and experienced division heads to ask questions, share resources, and discuss challenges and successes while make connections with others in the same role. Members of the Administrative Service Committee will facilitate the discussion. There is no charge for participation.  Participants may choose to continue the conversations over dinner at the restaurants of their choice.

Location & Hotel Accommodations
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

Attendees must make their own hotel reservations. ISACS has secured special discounted room rates at the Hotel Palomar: $149/night plus tax (single or double occupancy) for the nights of February 1 – February 3. To make a reservation call 877-731-0505 and use Group Code: "ISACS Academy for Division Heads."  The discounted rate is available until Monday, January 16, 2017. If availability allows, the hotel will honor extended reservations three days before and three days after the Academy.

Click here to reserve your hotel room for the ISACS Academy for Division Heads. 

If you need any assistance making your hotel reservations, please call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190. If you have missed the deadline for making reservations at hotel at the discounted rate, please call the ISACS office and we can help arrange a reservation for you at the discounted rate.

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

Current valet overnight parking is $58/night for hotel guests with full in-and-out privileges, rates are subject to change.  Typically, overnight parking guests must leave by 2:00 pm to avoid additional fees at the garage. However, ISACS' overnight 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.

Parking fees are subject to change.

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

​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.

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 Thursday evening activity 
  • Please review the Registration Confirmation information below

Registration Confirmation Communications from ISACS
Once registration for the Academy 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 Academy, ISACS will send a confirmation email to the registrant with details for the Academy.
  • Approximately one week prior to the Academy, ISACS will send a final confirmation email to the registrant with details for the Academy.

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 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. 

If you have any questions, please contact the ISACS office at 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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