Professional Development > Conferences and Workshops

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


2017 Annual Conference: Blazing a Trail to Learning

November 9 - 10, 2017

Marriot Marquis Chicago
Chicago, IL

Registration is now closed for the ISACS Annual Conference. ISACS can provide you with a late/onsite registration form, which can be completed and returned to the ISACS office by Wednesday, October 25. The registration fee for members is now $200 for one-day attendance and $300 for two-day attendance. Please call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190 to request the
form or if you have any questions. 

As of November 1, there are no changes to your session selections or lunch attendance. If you pre-selected TL-2 and FL-3 (no lunch attendance) please do not plan to attend the lunch. For sessions, please attend only sessions that are not full (the full sessions are listed below and also on the Thursday and Friday onsite schedules).

*** Registration Update


Thursday, November 9:

10:30 - 11:45 am

  • T-30 What a Word is Worth: 5 Lessons on Language with Susan Dickman

Friday, November 10

10:30 - 11:45 am

  • F-41: Python Power: Unlocking Mathematical Mysteries Using Coding with Adrian Pumphrey - Please attend another session. Thank you.


Friday, November 10

10:30 - 11:45 am

  • F-54A Saying Hard Things with Ken Rogers
    This session will provide strategies for effectively and compassionately saying the things that are necessary but hard to receive. Factors such as self-awareness, word choice, location, time, and room arrangement all contribute to making sure difficult things aren’t just said but are heard. All are welcome.
  • F-54B View a Screening of the Film: Screenagers
    View the award-winning Screenagers film, which probes the vulnerable corners of family life and depicts messy struggles over social media, video games, academics, and Internet addiction. Through surprising insights from authors and brain scientists, solutions emerge on how we can empower kids to best navigate the digital world. This session is for all.

The following sessions have reached capacity, please select a different session to attend during these times:

Thursday, November 9:

1:30 - 2:45 pm

  • T-47 Mindfulness: The Science & Practice with Blythe Jamieson . 

3:00 -4:15 pm

  • T-61 Mindfulness: The Science & Practice with Blythe Jamieson . 

Friday, November 10:

9:00 - 10;15 am

  • F-2 Understanding the Brain with Dan St. Romain
  • F-6 The Self-Regulation Classroom: Early Childhood, Lower & Middle School with Bob Sornson
  • F-8 EQ, School Culture & the Transgender Movement with Alex Scott (Please note this session if offered at 1:30 pm, F-65 and space in that session is still available)
  • F-12 Creating a Culture of Teacher Growth & Renewal with Jana Smith & Paula Apostolou
  • F-17 Adding Neuroplasticity to Students' Vernacular - Seriously, Sarah Flotten & Sky Fauver
  • F-18 Student-led Conference & Social Emotional Learning Connections with Nancy Watson & Andy Sperling
  • F-19 Educational Games & Activities in the Math Classroom, Jennifer Cox
  • F-20 Fail Safe: Creating a Culture that Accepts Risk, Bridget York

10:30 - 11:45 am

  • F-34 I'm Bored: Engaging the Disengaged with Dan St. Romain (Please note this session is being offered at 3:00 pm, T-51 on Thursday and space in that session is still available)
  • F- 35 Improving Motor Skills to Enhance Learning: Early Childhood & Lower School with Bob Sornson
  • F-37 Being Consciously Inclusive: Beyond Unconscious Bias, Gloria Woods
  • F-40 Invite the World into Your Classroom with Angela McAteer
  • F-43 Make Choices, Make Meaning, Make Stuff, Brita Willis
  • F-44 Design Math Instruction Around Student Interest & Experience with Julia Almaguer & Ellen Valentine
  • F-46 iPads? Yes, Please! Using iPads to Enhance Student Learning with Rosanne Zabloudil
  • F-49 Writing as Thinking Across the Curriculum with Mark Childs & Jake Eaton
  • F-50 Empower Students: Change the World Through Critical Literacy with Susan Prater
  • F-52 Promoting Holistic Wellness in Schools with Jennifer Henery & Holly Hughes Stoner
  • F-54 They're Here... & They're Having a Significant Impact, Chris Everett & Lisa Hendrickson

1:30 - 2:45 pm

  • F-57 The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness with Ned Hallowell
  • F-66 Being Consciously Inclusive: Beyond Unconscious Bias, Gloria Woods
  • F-69 Perception & Reality: Healthy Conflict for Educational Growth, Scott Sowinski
  • F-71 Easy Maker Ideas to Support Design Thinking in Literacy: K-3, Tracey Joyce & Ann Marie Zeimetz
  • F-74 Meaningful Movement in the Classroom with Angela Conway & Sara Carrico
  • F-76 Creating an Adventure Curriculum in an ECC, Sarah Abella & Melanie Weber
  • F-77 Information Literacy: The New Skill We Need to Practice, Matthew Troutman
  • F-78 Building Community in Middle School with Kimberly Ditty & Vincent Maite
  • F-79 Creating Experiential Science & Math Learning Opportunities, Anna Delia & Kimberly Brandt

3:00 - 4:15 pm

  • F-82 The Impact of the Loss of Free, Undirected Play in Childhood, Michael Thompson
    F-83 Unwrapping the Gifts of ADHD with Ned Hallowell 
  • F-98 Service Learning: Inquiry-based, Collaborative & Multi-Aged, Stephanie Gehrig & Lisa Kampwirth
  • F-101A A Project-based Approach in the Humanities Classroom with Angela Guldin

Friday Luncheon

  • The FL-2 Luncheon "Igniting every Child's Full Potential: What Science Tells Us About How to Excel" with Ned Hallowell has reached capacity. If you plan to attend lunch on Friday, please select FL-1 "Disrupting Schools: Challenges & Opportunities of Innovation in Independent Schools" with Michael Horn during online registration. Dr. Hallowell will be presenting two afternoon breakout sessions, F-57 and F83.

Conference Theme
Blazing a Trail to Learning

Dates & Times
Thursday, November 9: 9:00 am - 4:15 pm
Friday, November 10: 9:00 am - 4:15 pm

Conference Location
The conference will take place at the new Marriott Marquis Chicago, 2121 S. Prairie Ave, Chicago, IL 60616. 

Click below for quick access to the following sections

Conference Brochure
Click here for the Annual Conference Brochure. Brochures will be sent to ISACS member schools in August.
Click here for the Annual Conference Flip Book Brochure.

Keynote Presenters

  • Amy Blankson 
  • Michael Horn 
  • Edward "Ned" Hallowell 

Featured Presenters
Sam Chaltiain, Dana Fattore CrumleyCris Cullinan,  David Jakes, Tim Jordan, Grace Lee, Lisa Miller, Lauren Porosoff, Ken Rogers,Sara Schwartz, Alex Scott,Dan St. Romain, Homa Tavangar, Michael Thompson, Lisa Van Gemert, Jonathan Weinstein, and Gloria Woods.

Click here for speaker bios.

Speaker Recommended Pre-Conference Reading
Pre-conference readings written by and/or suggested by speakers are available for viewing as noted below. Additional resources will be forthcoming.

Sam Chaltain 

Ned Hallowell 

Lisa Miller 

Lauren Porosoff & Jonathan Weinstein

Bob Sornson

Dan St. Romain

Social Media
Folllow us on Twitter at the conference @ISACSNews using the hashtag #ISACSCon to join the conversation.

ISACS Annual Conference App
The ISACS Annual Conference Mobile App will be launched a week prior to the conference with enhanced features, a new design, and better functionality! Available for download from your App Store for iOS and Android. You will be able to log in and access your personal session schedule, post and interact through social media, explore conference maps, learn about speakers through their bios, & much more.If you have any questions, please contact Jacob Isaac,, and he will be more than happy to assist you.

Site Visits to Chicago area schools on Wednesday, November 8
As a courtesy to ISACS members and to encourage sharing among schools, we have compiled a list of Chicago area schools interested in hosting colleagues traveling to Chicago for the ISACS Annual Conference. Click here and contact the school directly to schedule your site visit.

Trustee Day: Thursday, November 9
ISACS will be hosting a workshop designed specifically for trustees in ISACS schools on Thursday, November 9 at the Marriott Marquis. For more information and to register, visit the Trustee Day webpage. 

If you plan to attend the Trustee Day on Thursday and also register to attend the Friday portion of the Annual Conference, please contact the ISACS office to receive a coupon code for registration. You will need to register separately for both Trustee Day and the Annual Conference.  

Special thanks to our 2017 Annual Conference Sponsors to date:

Chancellor's Club 
The following has provided financial support of $5,000 for the ISACS Annual Conference

  • Resource Group 175, LLC (for support of Trustee Day)
  • Skilling and Andrews Foundation (for support of Trustee Day)

President's Club
The following has provided financial support of $2,500 for the ISACS Annual Conference

Head's Club
The following has provided financial support of $1,000 for the ISACS Annual Conference:

Seminary Co-Op Book Store will be onsite selling books by authored presenters and books of educational interests. Book signings will be announced at the conference. 

Exhibiting/Sponsorship Opportunities
ISACS is unable to offer exhibiting opportunities at the 2017 Annual Conference but we will be offering exhibiting opportunities again next year at the 2018 Annual Conference in Detroit, MI on November 8 and 9.

2017 Annual Conference Sponsorship
This year’s Annual Conference Sponsorship program has been enhanced and offers the opportunity to have company information displayed in Annual Conference printed and on-site materials distributed to over 1,600 participants. A variety of sponsorship levels to choose from provides your company with opportunities to underwrite a speaker or host a reception, have your logo scrolling during the lunch, appear on the ISACS Annual Conference App, etc. 

2017-18 Corporate Sponsorship
If you are unable to join us at the Annual Conference in Chicago, consider a Corporate Sponsorship at a cost of $500 for the 2017-18 school year. Click here to view the Corporate Sponsorship Fact Sheet

Click here to review the 2017 ISACS Sponsorship Packet
Click here to complete the 2017-18 ISACS Online Sponsorship Application

Hotel Accommodations
Marriott Marquis Chicago
2121 S. Prairie Avenue
Chicago, IL 
(312) 824-0500

ISACS has secured discounted rooms at the Marriott Marquis Chicago at $205/night plus tax for single or double occupancy. To make a reservation, please call 1-877-303-0104, and use the Group Code 2017 ISACS Annual Conference to receive the discounted rate. To make reservations online, click here and click the “make a reservation” button. This rate has been extended until Wednesday, October 18, 2017 or until the room block reaches capacity. Individual reservations must be cancelled by 3:00 pm, 48 hours before date of arrival. We highly recommend making your hotel reservations early. 

There is an additional fee for Wi-Fi in the sleeping rooms, but if you are (or become) a member of the Marriott Rewards program, you will receive complimentary Wi-Fi in your sleeping room. It’s free to join the Marriott rewards program and guests can apply for the Marriott Rewards program at any time before or during the check-in process by visiting

Air Travel
Both Midway and O'Hare airports are easily accessible to the Marriott Marquis Chicago. Please note that Midway is slightly closer to the hotel if Midway (Southwest Airlines) is an option for you. The hotel is accessible by public “L” transportation) and would take 30 minutes – 1 hour.  

Ground Transportation to/from the Airports

  • Midway Airport: Taxi service takes about 25-35 minutes and costs approximately $35 each way based on light traffic.
  • O'Hare International Airport: Taxi service takes about 45-60 minutes and costs approximately $60 each way based on light traffic.
  • Shared Taxi Program: There is a Shared Ride Program available for those flying into O'Hare and Midway and taking a cab from one of these airports to either McCormick Place or downtown.
  • GO 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.  

Public Transportation
In addition, you can also take public transportation (Chicago Transit Authority or the "L" service to/from Midway or O'Hare to the hotel. The Marriott Marques Chicago is conveniently located just a few blocks from the Cermak-Chinatown Red Line Station as well as the Cermak-McCormick Green Line Station. You can also take the CTA to downtown to enjoy Chicago’s attractions and restaurants outside of conference sessions.  For more information, visit      

The CTA "L" trains provide service to Downtown Chicago and McCormick Place from both international airports for $2.25 each way (additional charges for O’Hare).

  • From O'Hare International Airport: The CTA "Blue" line provides service to and from the airport. Take the Blue Line from O’Hare and transfer to a south-bound Green Line train at Clark and Lake. Note, in the Loop the Blue Line is a Subway Train and the Green Line is an elevated train, a free transfer is available at Clark and Lake. ($5.00 to/from O'Hare)
  • From Midway Airport: The CTA "Orange" line provides service to and from the airport. Take the train to the Roosevelt Street Station (Subway) and transfer to the elevated Green Line. Continue on the southbound Green Line train for 1-stop to the Cermak-McCormick Place station.
  • The Cermark-McCormick Place Station is 2 block (0.15 miles) walk from Marriott Marquis Chicago.
  • Metra Train and CTA Bus Map

Valet Parking at the Marriott Marquis Chicago 
Overnight valet parking for ISACS attendees is $51/night for overnight parking for hotel guests (which will be billed directly to your hotel room bill) with in and out privileges. Please note that the hotel has limited valet parking and you may need to park at the overnight self-parking garage across the street from the hotel. Details are listed below.

There is no valet daily parking option at the Marriott Marquis.

Daily and Overnight Self-Parking
Daily and overnight self-parking is located at McCormick Place’s Parking Lot A, 2301 South Prairie Avenue, which is located across the street from the Marriott Marquis. Parking rates are $23 for up to 16 hours and $36 for 16-24 hours. Prices are subject to change.

For directions and a map to Parking Lot A click here. Please note the Marriott Marquis is located in the beige area between Prairie and Calumet avenues, From Parking Lot A the hotel can be accessed from Prairie Avenue or via a sky bridge.

Chicago Visitor Information
For information on Chicago, visit

Registration Fees
Registration fees are as follows:

  • $160 per person (ISACS member) for 1-day registration
  • $250 per person (ISACS member) for 2-day registration
  • $225 per person (non-member) for 1-day registration
  • $350 per person (non-member) for 2-day registration

Registration includes a banquet lunch. Register online and select sessions and lunch. 

Registration will open in August 2017 when you can register online and select sessions and lunch attendance. You must register before Wednesday, October 18, 2017. There is no on-site registration.

Registration Confirmation

  • Once registered, an automatic email will be sent to the contact person identified during on-line registration.
  • By October 1, ISACS will send a confirmation email to each registrant, which will include conference details and a list of pre-registered sessions.
  • Approximately one week prior to the Annual Conference, ISACS will send a FINAL email confirmation with pre-registered sessions.
  • If you do not receive a confirmation email, please contact the ISACS office at 312-750-1190 as we may have an incorrect email address in our system.

Hard Copy Forms

Annual Conference Frequently Asked Questions
Click here to answers to FAQs regarding the 2017 Annual Conference.

Tips to Extend the Annual Conference Experience
Click here to access Annual Conference Tips

Nursing Mother's Room
ISACS is working with the Marriott Marquis Chicago to identify a Nursing Mother's Room. If you will be needing access to a private room, please contact the ISACS office at 312-750-1190 or email

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations for the Annual Conference must be received in writing to ISACS by emailing by Wednesday, October 18 to receive a refund. ISACS will determine the refund amount, if any, that can be refunded at the conclusion of the Annual Conference. Cancellations received after Wednesday, October 18 will not receive a refund. At any time, registration may be transferred to another member from the same school.

To contact ISACS, please email or 312-750-1190. 

Member Cost: $250     Non-member Cost: $350
Registration Deadline:  October 18, 2017


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