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


2018 Academy for Division Heads

Friday, February 2, 2018 9:30 am - Saturday, February 3, 2018 2:15 pm

Chicago, IL


The Academy will begin at 9:30 am on Friday, February 2 and will end at 2:15 pm on Saturday, February 3. 

Who Should Attend
Division heads, associate/assistant heads, diversity practitioners and allies

Each year, ISACS division heads gather at the Academy for Division Heads in order to: step away from the many responsibilities, gain new perspectives, build new skills and benefit from the support and expertise of others in the same pivotal role.  For the 2018 Academy for Division Heads, ISACS has revised the Academy model to allow division heads to bring partners in the diversity/equity conversation happening in so many of our schools. Leaders in each of these pivotal roles will have opportunities to meet together, and will also have time to meet separately for dedicated conversations among those sharing similar responsibilities.

An Overview of the Academy for Division Heads Agenda (with the exception of opening and closing times, agenda times are approximate)

Day One - Friday, February 2

  • 8;30 am:    Registration and continental breakfast
  • 9:30 am – Noon:  All division heads and their colleagues in diversity/equity roles meet with Eboo Patel: American Promise: Identity and Diversity in the 21st Century 

What types of identity and diversity issues will leaders need to navigate in the decades ahead? What kinds of knowledge and skills will professionals require to succeed in their work? How can schools prepare citizens to live meaningful, productive lives and strengthen our diverse democracy? These are some of the central questions facing educators in this era, and some of the subjects Eboo Patel will address in this talk

  • Noon – 12:45 pm: Lunch for all
  • 1:00 – 3:30 pm: Rodney Glasgow meets with all division heads: What is it like to be a division head in these times and in this climate? What do you need as a division leader?
  • 1:00 – 3:30 pm: Rosetta Lee meets with all diversity practitioners and allies: What is it like to do this work right now?  What do you want folks to know?  What do you need as a diversity/equity practitioners or ally?
  • 3:30 – 4:00 pm: Closing comments and reflections from the day
  • 5:00  - 6:30 pm: Networking Happy Hour at Lizzie McNeill's ​​

Day Two - Saturday, February 3

  • 7:30 am: Continental Breakfast
  • 8:00 – 9:30 am: Caroline Blackwell shares current NAIS research and trends with division heads and diversity/equity practitioners and allies
  • 9:45 am –  Noon: Rodney and Rosetta meet with both groups to review challenging and enlightening case studies
  • Noon – 12:45 pm: Lunch for all
  • 12:45 – 2:00 pm: Time for action planning: What is an issue facing my own school?  How can I maximize the power of partnership to address this issue?
  • 2:00 – 2:15 pm: Closing comments and end of the Academy

Presenters (listed in order of appearance)

Eboo Patel is the founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a nonprofit working to make interfaith cooperation a social norm. He is the author of Acts of Faith, Sacred Ground and Interfaith Leadership. Named by US News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009, Patel served on President Obama’s Inaugural Faith Council. He is a contributor to the public conversation around religion in America and a speaker on religious pluralism. He holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship. For over 15 years, Patel has worked with governments, social sector organizations, and college and university campuses to help realize a future where religion is a bridge of cooperation rather than a barrier of division.

Rodney Glasgow is a facilitator in the areas of diversity, equity, and social justice. He is one of the founding members and now chair of the National Association of Independent School’s (NAIS) Annual Student Diversity Leadership Conference, while also having served as a member of Call-to-Action, the advisory board to the vice president of equity and justice for NAIS. A graduate of Harvard University with a joint degree in Afro-American studies and psychology, and holding a master of arts in organization and leadership from Columbia University, he is also an independent school alum, having graduated from Gilman School. He founded the National Diversity Practitioners Institute, an intensive professional development program for diversity practitioners in independent schools. Glasgow has been the diversity coordinator at Graland Country Day School, assistant head of upper school ad director of diversity for Worcester Academy, and is currently the head of middle school and chief diversity officer at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Maryland. For more information, visit

Rosetta Lee serves Seattle Girls’ School as a faculty member and a professional outreach specialist. Since 2004, Lee has been a diversity speaker and trainer on a variety of issues, including cross cultural communication, identity development, prejudice reduction and coalition building, gender and sexuality diversity, facilitation skills, bullying in schools, and gender bias in the classroom. She has presented at the White Privilege Conference, Junior League, and City Year and has worked with over 175 K-12 schools throughout the country. She has served several years on the faculty of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Diversity Leadership Institute, as well as NAIS' diversity think-tank cadre, Call to Action. She is a graduate of Harvard University. 

Caroline Blackwell is the vice president for Equity and Justice, at the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) where she leads the creation and implementation of products and services that support NAIS’s commitment to develop and sustain inclusive independent school communities. Prior to joining NAIS, she served as the executive director of the Metro Human Relations Commission in Nashville, Tennessee. Before that, she worked as director of multicultural affairs for the University School of Nashville. Blackwell earned a BS from the University of Maryland, College Park, and an MSW from Boston University. She also holds certifications in mediation, conflict resolution, and facilitation. She is the lead facilitator for the Diversity Leadership Institute and has been a previous chair of NAIS’s People of Color Conference. She’s also a contributor to NAIS publications.

Academy Location and Hotel Accommodations
The conference will take place at the Swissôtel, 323 E. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL. 312-565-0565

ISACS has secured special discounted room rates at the Swissôtel:

  • $119/night for standard king single or double occupancy.
  • ​The room rates above include complimentary Internet in the sleeping rooms and complimentary access to the health club.
  • Overnight guests will receive one complimentary drink voucher for Amuse (the hotel's lobby bar) at check-in.
  • 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 call 1-888-737-9477 and use the group code "ISACS February Program." The discounted rooms are available and have been extended until 5:00 pm Central Time, Tuesday, January 16, 2018. Click here to book your 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.

Additional Networking and Learning Opportunities

Informal Conversations for Division Heads: Thursday, February 1, 6:30 pm – 7:45 pm 
On Thursday evening, February 1 from 6:30-7:45 pm, ISACS will host an optional conversation for division heads at the Swissotel.

If you arrive on Thursday evening, please join us for engaging conversations 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 making connections with others in the same role. Members of the Administrative Service Committee will facilitate the discussion and there is no charge for participation. Participants may choose to continue conversations over dinner at the restaurants of their choice.

Friday Networking and Happy Hour For ALL: Friday, February 2, 5:00 – 6:30 pm
Participants gather in the Swissotel lobby at 4:45 pm to walk to a Happy Hour at Lizzie McNeill’s, 400 N. McClurg Court, just five minutes from the hotel. Network with your ISACS colleagues and enjoy drinks and light appetizers.

Although participation is included in registration fee, pre-registration for the happy hour 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 $20. Please call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190 to register your guest.

Directions & 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 Academy for Division Heads Please obtain a voucher from the ISACS registration area to receive the daily discounted parking rate.
  • Special overnight parking rates are $54 per night, which will be billed directly to your room bill. If you drive a hybrid car, the Swissotel provides a deeper 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 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

  • $450 member
  • $550 non-member
  • First registrant pays full fee, each additional registrant receives a $50 discount. The ISACS registration system will automatically provide the discount for multiple registrants from the same school regardless of when you register.
  • Registration fee includes 2 continental breakfasts, 2 lunches, Friday evening Happy Hour, and refreshment breaks daily. 
  • Please review the Registration Confirmation information below.
  • Please note that Rodney Glasgow is presenting a one-day workshop at the Hotel Allegro in Chicago on Thursday, February 1. For more information on the workshop and to register, visit the event page - Leading Students in Unpredictable Times: A Workshop for Educators & Administrators

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 for the Academy must be received in writing to ISACS by emailing 10 business days prior to the event to receive a refund. ISACS will determine the refund amount, if any. Refunds amounts may be determined at the event’s conclusion. At any time, registration may be transferred to another member from the same school.

Questions? Please call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190.

Member Cost: $450     Non-member Cost: $550
Registration Deadline:  February 1, 2018


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