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


2017 Balancing the Essential Roles of the Administrative Assistant
Jennifer Abrams & Dana Fattore Crumley

Tuesday, August 1, 2017 9:30 am - Wednesday, August 2, 2017 12:00 pm

ISACS Classroom
Chicago, IL

** Registration Update as of 6/30/17:  Thank you for your interest. This workshop has reached capacity. Please select the waitlist button to be added to the wait list. ISACS will contact you if a spot becomes available. Please call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190 if you have any questions. 

Join Administrative Assistants from the ISACS region for a one and half day workshop dedicated to supporting you in the unique and pivotal role you play at your school.

The workshop will begin at 9:30 am on Tuesday, August 1 and will end at 12 pm on Wednesday, August 2. 

Day One: 9:30 am - 3:30 pm
Day Two: 8:00 am - Noon

Day One: Increasing Your Ability to Be Influential, Productive & Successful In Your Workplace with Jennifer Abrams

Today’s successful administrative assistants must be seemingly 'all things to all people.'  Parents, colleagues and supervisors are all counting on AAs to move initiatives forward, keep things afloat, and create a welcoming culture for all.  One's ability to understand all stakeholders and influence others is a critical capacity. This workshop will provide learnings, tools and resources on what it takes to work in such a complex environment.

Participants will:

  • Learn to recognize influence and persuasion behaviors in themselves and others.
  • Learn language skills that influential people use effectively on a daily basis.
  • Learn more about resistance and the triggers that threaten people in all roles and how to help people move past those triggers.
  • Have time to work on personal case studies and learn specific strategies to increase your influence in your own organization.

Jennifer Abrams, a former English teacher and new teacher coach, is currently a communications consultant who works with educators and others in schools and hospitals on new employee support, being generationally savvy, effective collaboration skills and having hard conversations. Jennifer’s publications include Having Hard Conversations, The Multigenerational Workplace: Communicate, Collaborate & Create Community and Hard Conversations Unpacked - the Whos, Whens and What Ifs. More about her work can be found at or on Twitter @jenniferabrams.

Day Two: Best Practices in the School Office: Legal Guidelines for Administrative Assistants with Dana Fattore Crumley

As the “right hand” to the person in charge and often the first point of contact for problems, school administrative assistants are a critical link between the school’s leadership and the larger community of parents, staff, students. In this session, we will review best practices for recordkeeping, confidentiality, and managing the day-to-day problems that are often first identified in that initial “call to the office.”

Dana Fattore Crumley, Partner, Franczek Radelet P.C.­ speaks on education law topics, including teacher employment and dismissal, special education, student records and confidentiality, and student discipline. She has taught school law classes at Loyola University’s Graduate School of Education, the University of Illinois at Chicago and Roosevelt University. Prior to joining the firm, Crumley was a public school teacher. She served as a school board member and school board president of the Winnetka Public Schools District 36 Board of Education. She is a member of the National and Illinois’ Councils of School Attorneys, and is a founding member of the Women’s Network of School Administrators, an organization devoted to promoting educational leadership opportunities for women and supporting emerging educational leaders as they strive to foster equity in all aspects of public education.

There will also be an opportunity for sharing, networking and learning from each other.  It is our hope that each participant will leave with more tools and resources to manage an increasingly complex job at the school.

Location of Workshop
The workshop will take place at the ISACS classroom at 55 West Wacker Drive, Suite 702, Chicago, IL. 

Directions, Parking & Public Transportation
The location is located in the heart of Chicago, with easy access to public transportation.

Click here for directions to the ISACS classroom including driving, parking and public transportation directions. Parking is available at several area garages. To secure discounted rates prior to your arrival in Chicago, visit If possible, we suggest taking public transportation.

Air Travel
Both Midway and O'Hare airports are easily accessible to the ISACS classroom. Fly into Midway (on Southwest Airlines) or into O'Hare and take the "L" (Chicago's public transportation) and be at the ISACS classroom in less than an hour.  

‚ÄčGO Airport Express (Share-a-Ride) Shuttle Service
ISACS has negotiated a special rate with GO Airport Express for ISACS members – 15% off the 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. Parties of two more reserving at the same time receive a discount. Please visit their website for more information.  

Hotel Accommodations
Virgin Hotels Chicago, situated in the heart of downtown Chicago and just three blocks to the ISACS classroom, is offering a special group rate for ISACS guests. To receive this rate please call 1 (855) 946-6600 and ask for the “ISACS – Independent Schools Association of the Central States” rate of $199.00 per night excluding tax or click here to utilize the easy and convenient booking link that will automatically provide the group rate.

Virgin Hotels Chicago offers two-chamber room concepts (yes, two), is complete with an ergonomic bed for optimal lounging, reading and relaxing; dressing area and closet space separated by a set of sliding privacy doors. Your rate includes complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, complimentary cocktail hour from 7-8 pm daily, complimentary 24-hour fitness center access, rooftop access for hotel guests, no room-service delivery fees/no hidden fees and street level pricing on minibar & videos on demand.

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

Registration Fee

  • $250 member fee 
  • $350 non-member fee 
  • The first person pays the full fee, each additional registrant receives a $20 discount
  • Workshop includes coffee/tea, light breakfast, lunch and refreshment on Tuesday and coffee/tea, breakfast and refreshments on Wednesday.
  • Please review the Registration Confirmation information below

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

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. 

Questions? Please call 312-750-1190.


Member Cost: $250     Non-member Cost: $350


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