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


2018 Heads Conference: An Annual Exploration of School Leadership

Thursday, January 25, 2018 9:30 am - Friday, January 26, 2018 2:45 pm

Chicago, IL

Registration is now open!

Update as of 1/9 on hotel accommodations: Please contact Karen at or call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190 to assist you with your hotel reservations at the Swissotel. Rooms are limited, particularly on Wednesday, January 24. 

Conference Brochure
Click here to view the digital brochure

Dates and Time
The conference will begin at 9:30 am (registration at 8:30 am) on Thursday, January 25 and will conclude at 2:45 pm on Friday, January 26, 2018.

Keynote Speakers

Harry Kraemer,
Northwestern University’s
Kellogg School of Management 

Maureen Costello,
Teaching Tolerance,
Southern Poverty‚Äč Law Center

Donna Orem,
National Association
of Independent Schools (NAIS)  

Featured Speakers

  • Mark Brossman, Schulte Roth & Zabel
  • Liz Hofreuter, Wheeling Country Day School & Luke Felker, The Bay School
  • Peter Hoskow & Doug Adolph, CCS Fundraising, Audrey Perrott, Near North Montessori & Bryn Roberts, St. Paul Academy and Summit School
  • Peter Hoskow & Doug Adolph, CCS Fundraising & Bob Weston, St. George's School
  • Aimee Gruber, The Enrollment Management Association
  • Tom Hudnut & Doreen Oleson, Resource Group 175
  • D. Scott Looney, Hawken School
  • Gloria Woods, The Kaleidoscope Group

Click here for keynote and featured speaker bios.

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

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.

Pre-Conference Readings
Harry Kraemer

Conference Location & Hotel Accommodations
The conference will take place at the Swissôtel, 323 E. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL. Click here for a map of the event center at the Swissôtel. 

Update as of 1/9 on hotel accommodations: Please contact Karen at or call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190 to assist you with your hotel reservations at the Swissotel. Rooms are limited, particularly on Wednesday, January 24. 

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 call 1-888-737-9477 and use the group code "ISACS 2018 Heads Conference." The discounted rooms have been extended are available until 5:00 pm Central Time, Friday, January 12, 2018. Click here to book your hotel reservation online. 

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.

Reception & Dinner at Spiaggia: Thursday, January 25, 2018
All registrants and spouses/partners are invited to attend the conference reception and dinner at Spiaggia, a Michelin Star awarded restaurant with James Beard winner, Chef Tony Mantuano. The reception will be held in the private event space on the third floor overlooking Lake Michigan from 6:00-7:00 p.m. with dinner to follow until 9:00 p.m. Transportation will be provided. Reception/dinner is included in your registration fee; pre-registration is required during online registration. You can select to attend reception only, dinner only, or reception/dinner. If you are bringing a spouse/partner, there is an additional fee of $100. Please call the ISACS office to register and pay for your guest. There is no on-site registration for the dinner.

Thank you to our 2018 Heads Conference sponsors:

Magnus Health - Thursday keynote
Magnus Health is the most innovative way for independent schools to collect, track and manage student health information on one online platform. It’s technology helps schools save time and money by streamlining communication with parents, reducing liability for school health professionals, and keeping schools prepared in the event of an emergency.

Nightlock Lockdown/Taylor Brothers Door Lock - Thursday luncheon
Nightlock Lockdown created a classroom door barricade device that helps teachers protect students during emergency lockdown events. Barricades the classroom against active shooter entry. Fast and Easy.

Flik Independent School Dining - Thursday reception/dinner at Spiaggia
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.

TIAA - Thursday reception/dinner at Spiaggia
TIAA, a leading provider of financial services to nonprofits, offers investing, banking, advice and guidance, and retirement services.

Wye River Group, Inc. - Friday keynote
Wye River is the nation's leading independent financial advisory firm to private schools, specializing in project financial planning and financing.

Oswald Companies - Independent Schools Benefits Consortium (ISBC) - Friday luncheon
Oswald Companies is one of the largest independently owned brokerage and consulting firms in the U.S. specializing in niche market programs like the Independent Schools Benefit Consortium (ISBC). The ISBC is an employee benefit solution that brings flexibility, transparency, and cost saving over the long term.

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 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 Conference. 
  • Registration fee includes Thursday evening dinner, two lunches and two continental breakfasts.

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

  • An email will be sent automatically 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.

If you do not receive these emails prior to arriving at the Heads Conference, please call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190.

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

If you have any questions, please call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190..

Member Cost: $600     Non-member Cost: $700
Registration Deadline:  January 24, 2018


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