Professional Development > Conferences and Workshops

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


2018 Annual Conference: Blazing a Trail to Learning 2

November 8 - 9, 2018

Cobo Center
1 Washington Boulevard
Detroit, MI

Online Registration is Now Closed for the ISACS Annual Conference.

ISACS can provide you with a late/onsite registration form, which must be completed and returned to the ISACS office by Wednesday, October 24. The registration fee for members is now $200 for one-day attendance and $300 for two-day attendance. Please call the ISACS office if you have any questions or to request the late/onsite registration form at (312) 750-1190.

As of November 1, there are no changes to your session selections or lunch attendance.
If you pre-selected TL-2 and FL-2 (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 marked on the Thursday and Friday onsite schedules).

*** Hotel Update as of 10/11 ****
Discounted rooms at the main conference hotel, the Westin Book Cadillac and the overflow hotel, the Holiday Inn Express are at capacity. Please book a room in Detroit using your preferred travel website. Please call the ISACS office at (312) 750-1190 with any questions.

Dates & Times
Thursday, November 8: 9:00 am - 4:15 pm
Friday, November 9: 9:00 am - 4:15 pm

Conference Location
The conference will take place at Cobo Center, 1 Washington Blvd, Detroit, Michigan

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

Thursday, November 8:

10:30 - 11:45 am:

  • T-31 The Innovative ADHD Classroom with Leslie Dilley & Shari Wolfe
  • T-36: Downtown Detroit Art & Architecture Walking Tour with Kevin Fogarty & Senghor Reid

3:00 - 4:15 pm:

  • T-63 The Power of Project Based Learning with Alicia Sorenson & Sam Dry
  • T-64: A Journey into Mindfulness with Julie Demchak & Carla Whitton

Friday, November 9:

9:00 - 10:15 am

  • F-7: Surviving a Bear Attack: Strategies for Difficult Confrontations with Ken Rogers (also being offered at 3:00 pm)
  • F-11: Avoiding Pitfalls When Cultivating a Growth Mindset with Darrah Parsons & Becky Kline

10:30 - 11:45 am:

  • F-33 Strategies to Support Students with ADHD & Dyslexia with Penelope Hewer & Jamie Gannon 
  • F-35: Diversity & Empowerment: When Student Interactions Go Wrong wtih Nadine Hill & Kelli Williams
  • ​F-38: Authentic Intersections of Academics & Social Justice with Susannah Nichols & Reanne Young

1:30 - 2:45 pm:

  • F-54: Digital Citizenship: Education Students in a Digital Age with Liz Repking


Thursday, November 8:

10:30 - 11:45 am:

  • T-20: Designing School: A New Era Requires New Metaphors with Sam Chaltain (please attend another session at this time)

1:30 - 2:45 pm:

  • T-41: Designing School: A New Era Requires New Metaphors with Sam Chaltain (please attend another session at this time)
  • T-48 Global Education: An Exploration of the World & Its People with Michelle Lerner and Shelli Drumm (please attend another session at this time)

Friday, November 9:

9:00 - 10:15 am

  • F-3 Understanding Privilege wtih Rodney Glasgow (please attend another session at this time; Rodney will be presenting this session at 1:30 pm)

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

Beverly Daniel Tatum
Author and Former president of
Spelman College

Ron Clark
Author and founder of
The Ron Clark Academy

  • Beverly Daniel Tatum Former president of Spelman College, author of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria and Other Conversations About Race, and Can We Talk about Race? and Other Conversations in an Era of School Resegregation
  • Ron Clark Disney American Teacher of the Year, a two-time New York Times Bestselling author of the Essential 55 and The End of Molasses Classes as well as Move Your Bus: An Extraordinary New Approach to Accelerating Success in Work and Life, the subject of a television movie, and the founder of The Ron Clark Academy

Highlighted Presenters
Sam Chaltain, Rodney Glasgow, Carrie Goldman, James P. Honan, Connie Liu, Sylvia Martinez, Dave Mochel, Caryn Pass, Ken Rogers, John Schumacher (AKA Mr. Schu), Dan St. Romain, Homa Tavangar, Lisa Van Gemert, Timothy D. Walker, Jill Walsh, and Rosalind Wiseman.

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.

Kim Cameron

  • Kim Cameron (2012) Positive Leadership. Revised Edition. San Francisco: Berrett Koehler.
  • Kim S. Cameron (2013) Practicing Positive Leadership. San Francisco: Berrett Koehler.

Sam Chaltain 

Rodney Glasgow

  • Click here for NAIS On-Difficult-Conversations PDF
  • Click here for White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism PDF

Carrie Godlman

  • Click here for Why Schools Should Take a Restorative Approach to Discipline Issues article

Connie Liu

Sylvia Martinez

Matt Nink

John Schumacher

Homa Tavangar

Timothy Walker

Jill Walsh

  • Website link forthcoming in September.

Social Media
Follow 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. 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 Detroit area schools on Wednesday, November 7
As a courtesy to ISACS members and to encourage sharing among schools, ISACS will compile a list of Detroit area schools interested in hosting colleagues traveling to Detroit for the ISACS Annual Conference. Click here for a list of participating schools. Please contact the school directly to schedule your site visit.

Trustee Day: Thursday, November 8
ISACS will be hosting Trustee Day designed specifically for trustees in ISACS schools on Thursday, November 8 at the Cobo Center. For more information and to register, visit the Trustee Day webpage. 

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

ISACS offers sponsor and exhibitor opportunities at the Annual Conference. We have enhanced our offerings and hope you will consider joining us. Please review the NEW 2018-19 Sponsorships & Exhibitor Opportunities PDF and then complete the 2018-19 Sponsorships & Exhibitors Application (hosted by Survey Monkey). If you have any questions, please contact ISACS at (312) 750-1190 or

Exhibitors and Sponsors at the conference will have access to educators from more than 235 schools in our 13-state region. ISACS expects more than 1,800 faculty, administrators and trustees to pass through the exhibit area. The exhibitor area will be open from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm on Thursday, November 8 and 8:30 am to 3:00 pm on Friday, November 9 (with appropriate lunch breaks). Call the ISACS office for more information or to be placed on next year's notification list at (312) 750-1190!

Sponsors and Exhibitors 
Special thanks to our 2018 Annual Conference Sponsors to date:

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

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

​Click here for a linked listing of the 35 current 2018 ISACS Annual Conference Exhibitors.

Hotel Accommodations
As of 10/11, Discounted rooms at the main conference hotel, the Westin Book Cadillac and the overflow hotel, the Holiday Inn Express are at capacity. Please book a room in Detroit using your preferred travel website. Please call the ISACS office at (312) 750-1190 with any questions.

Westin Book Cadillac
1114 Washington Blvd
Detroit, MI

ISACS has secured discounted rooms at the Westin Book Cadillac at $165/night plus tax for single or double occupancy. To make a reservation, please call (888) 627-7150 and use the group code “Independent Schools Association of the Central States” to receive the discounted rate. To make your hotel reservation online, click here. The rate is available until 5:00 pm, Wednesday, October 17, 2018. We recommend making your hotel reservations early. Individual reservations must be cancelled 48 hours before date of arrival. The ISACS rate includes complimentary Wi-Fi in sleeping rooms and complimentary access to fitness center and indoor pool.

Overflow Hotel - Holiday Inn Express & Suites Downtown
ISACS has arranged for overflow hotel accommodations at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Downtown Detroit (1020 Washington Boulevard), across the street from the Westin at a rate of $119/night plus tax. The rate includes breakfast. To make a reservation at the Holiday Inn Express, please call 313-887-7000, select 3 and request the ISACS rate. For online reservations click here. The rate will be valid until Wednesday, October 17 or until the room block reaches capacity. Individual reservations must be cancelled 48 hours before date of arrival.

If the Holiday Inn Express reaches capacity, please book a room in Detroit using your preferred travel website. Please call the ISACS office at (312) 750-1190 with any questions.

ALERT - Hotel Accommodations Scam
ISACS does not reach out to attendees and exhibitors directly to book hotel rooms. To book a room at the ISACS group rate, only use the discounted group rates posted above or communicated with you via emails from If you receive calls or emails from third-party companies, we strongly advise that you do not provide these solicitors any personal information. Large conferences are targets for companies seeking to take advantage of attendees. We have received reports that our attendees have been contacted by third-party companies with offers to provide hotel accommodations at a lower rate than the ISACS group rate. These solicitations are an attempt to confirm your email address and obtain your credit card information. Please do not provide any information to these third-party companies. If you have any doubt about the information that you are receiving regarding the ISACS Annual Conference room block, please email or call us at or (312) 750-1190.

Directions from the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel to Cobo Center
The hotel is five blocks from Cobo Center. ISACS will provide limited bus transportation between the Westin Book Cadillac and Cobo Center at specific morning and afternoon times. The walk is approximately 10 minutes and the People Mover is also an easy and efficient option. ISACS will provide additional bus details as the conference approaches and will be included in registration confirmation emails prior to your arrival.

Air Travel
Air travel to Detroit can be accessed via Detroit Metro Airport (DTW).

Ground Transportation to/from the Airports
Taxi service from Detroit Metro Airport to the hotel costs approximately $50 one-way and takes approximately 30 minutes during non-rush hour and 50 minutes during rush hour.

SKOOT Detroit is the preferred shuttle service to/from Detroit Metro Airport to downtown Detroit between 5:30 am – 8:30 pm. ISACS has secured a $2.50 discount off the regular one-way fee of $25. To make your shuttle reservation, please call (855) 937-5668 or (313) 230-2331 or book online at To secure the discount, please use the group code ISACS2018. Walkups available, however reservations are highly recommended. Cash and credit cards are accepted. Schedule and pricing are not determined by ISACS and are subject to change at any time without prior notice. Please call SKOOT for more information on group rates; ISACS discount available on group rates.

Valet Parking at the Westin Book Cadillac 
Overnight valet parking for ISACS attendees is discountedat a rate of $20/night for hotel guests (which will be billed directly to your hotel room bill) with in and out privileges.

Daily Self-Parking
Daily parking at Cobo Center is $15/day. We recommend using the roof top parking (Lot 1). Please consult the Cobo Center parking map for more information.

For more information on Cobo Center parking click here.  

Bus Drop off and Pick Up at Cobo Center
If your school is using a bus to transport faculty & staff, please notify ISACS at (312) 750-1190.

Detroit Visitor Information
For information on Detroit, visit

The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI has provided ISACS with a coupon for admission. Click here for more information and to obtain your coupon.

Conference Registration Fees

  • $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.

Registration will open in August 2018 when you can register online and select sessions and lunch attendance. You must register before Wednesday, October 17, 2018. 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.

On-site Book Sellers
ISACS will have Pages Book Shop onsite selling books by authored presenters and books of educational interest.

Scholastic will be onsite selling children's books.

Hard Copy Forms

Annual Conference Frequently Asked Questions
Click here to answers to FAQs regarding the 2018 Annual Conference.

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

Nursing Mother's Room
Cobo Center offers a Mamava for use by nursing mothers. The pod is on a first come/first serve basis. Please visit the Cobo Center Information Desk located on the 2nd level near the Joe Lewis statue to receive a code to enter the pod. You will be asked to leave a photo identification.

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations for the Annual Conference must be received in writing to ISACS by emailing by Wednesday, October 17 to receive a refund. ISACS will determine the refund amount, if any, that can be refunded after the Annual Conference. Cancellations received after Wednesday, October 17 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, 2018


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