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


2019 Academy for Division Heads
Homa Tavangar & Dave Mochel

February 7 - 8, 2019

Hotel Palomar
Chicago, IL

Registration is now open!

Join your ISACS division head colleagues for two powerful days with presentations from engaging and thought-stretching presenters.

The role of division head is both rewarding and challenging and ISACS is committed to supporting division heads serving in this essential leadership role. Please make plans to gather with other leaders for two days of conversation and interaction with experts who will extend your thinking while expanding your own leadership skills.  

The 2019 Academy will begin at 9:00 am on Thursday, February 7 and will end at 2:30 pm on Friday, February 8.

Click here for the agenda.

Day One – Thursday, February 7, 2019 - A Day with Homa Tavangar

Adding Cultural Competence, Courage & Compassion to the 4 C’s of 21st Century Learning

At the turn of the millennium, educational leaders identified the “4 C’s”: creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration as essential learning skills for the 21st Century. While these remain vital for helping us break out of an antiquated education model, we have learned that even these are not enough for preparing students for current demands. We need a more human-centered education – so that today’s students can thrive under extremely challenging conditions. The “new C’s” include the development of cultural competence; the demonstration of courage and putting compassion at the heart of purpose-driven learning. In this best-practice, current, multi-media, hands-on day, participants will be challenged and inspired with tools to begin to:

  • Recognize bias and diverse perspectives for engaging in challenging conversations
  • Practice courage to engage in challenging conversations, including conversations with staff, through role-playing and story-telling.
  • Learn tools of deep listening, mindfulness and cultural competence – and apply these in various scenarios.
  • Understand and make a case for putting the “7 C’s” at the forefront of their school’s culture and learning.
  • Connect relevant research targeted to companies like Google for building a global and innovative mindset for K-12 students.  
  • Explore how empathy and other characteristics of social-emotional learning tie in to 21st Century learning and building racial and global competence.
Homa Tavangar is the author of the Growing Up Global: Raising Children to Be At Home in the World, The Global Education Toolkit for Elementary Learners, co-author of the three book Take-Action Guide to World Class Learners series with Yong Zhao, and co-founder of the Oneness Lab. She is series consultant for NBC Sprout Channel’s animated children’s program, Nina’s World, has served as adviser to Quiet Revolution, Disney Channel, the Pulitzer Center, and a consortium of international schools. Tavangar has been a contributor to EdutopiaNational Geographic EduHuffington Post, PBS, and EducationWeek among others. A graduate of UCLA and Princeton University, she was born in Iran, raised in the Midwest, and has lived on four continents. Her heritage includes four world religions. For more information, visit and

Day Two – Friday, February 8, 2019 - ​A Day with Dave Mochel

Coaching for Performance

One of the most important, and often neglected, roles of a leader is coaching others to build skills and enhance performance. We will look at the context and skills for effective coaching. Participants will learn how to listen for the values of the coachee, how to communicate clear expectations for performance, and how to set concrete plans for growth and practice.

Dave Mochel has taught courses in well-being, leadership, neuroscience, and physics in independent schools for the past 20 years. He founded Applied Attention Coaching and consulting to help individuals, teams, and organizations focus their attention and energy where it will make the greatest positive difference. Using principles drawn from modern research and enduring wisdom, Mochel offers practices that foster peaceful and powerful lives, relationships, and cultures. He has degrees in biology and geology from Williams College, a master’s in humanistic and multicultural education from SUNY New Paltz, and a clinical internship in mindfulness based stress reduction at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.

Other Important Activities & Information

Pre-Conference Informal Conversations: Wednesday, February 6, 6:30 pm - 7:45 pm 
On Thursday evening, February 6 from 6:30-7:45 pm, ISACS will host an optional conversation for division heads at the Hotel Palomar

If you arrive on Wednesday 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.

Conversation with Current Heads of School – For Divisional Leaders: Thursday, February 7, 4:15 – 5:15 pm
As a part of the Academy for Division Heads, a team of successful Heads of School will form a panel to share the challenges and rewards of headship.  This session will also provide the opportunity to ask questions about all aspects of work and life as a Head of School.  Participants of the Academy for Division Heads are invited to participate in this optional session which will begin immediately following the formal program on Thursday, February 7 at the Hotel Palomar from 4:15-5:15 pm.  Whether you are an aspiring Head of School or are just interested in knowing more about headship, we invite you to join us for this spirited and informative panel discussion.

Thursday Evening Networking and Happy Hour: Thursday, February 7, 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Participants gather in the Hotel Palomar lobby at 5:25 pm for a short 5 minute walk to Osteria Via Stato, 620 N. State Street. 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.

Academy Location & Hotel Accommodations
The Academy will take place at the Hotel Palomar, 505 N. State Street, Chicago.

Attendees must make their own hotel reservations. ISACS has secured special discounted room rates at the Hotel Palomar at the rate of $129/night plus tax (single or double occupancy) for the nights of February 6 – February 8. To make a reservation call 1-800-546-7866 and use group code: C1F for the ISACS Academy for Division Heads.  The discounted rate is available until 5:00 pm CST on Wednesday, January 16, 2019. If availability allows, the hotel will honor extended reservations three days before and three days after the Academy.

To make your reservations online, click on the following link: ISACS Academy of Division Heads.

If you need any assistance making your hotel reservations, please call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190

Hotel Palomar is located in the River North area of Chicago near the Chicago River and North Michigan Avenue. Complimentary highlights of the Hotel Palomar include: a 24-hour fitness center, indoor pool, pet friendly policies, and complimentary coffee and tea and evening wine reception in the living room from 5:00 – 6:00 pm. ISACS overnight guests will receive complimentary Wi-Fi in your guest room. To become a member of the IHG Rewards Club, click here. For more details on the Hotel Palomar, visit

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 in the past that our conference 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. These third-party companies create websites and/or use email and phone solicitations offering special discounted hotel rooms. Often, these discounted rooms do not exist. If you have any doubt about the information that you are receiving regarding any ISACS room blocks, please email or call us at or (312) 750-1190.

Valet parking at the Hotel Palomar is $20 for daily event parking (not overnight).

Current valet overnight parking is $62/night for hotel guests with full in-and-out privileges, rates are subject to change. Typically, overnight parking guests must leave by 2:00 pm to avoid additional fees at the garage. However, ISACS' overnight guests are able to park their cars with the valet until 4:00 pm without additional fees.

Note: Hybrid vehicles receive a 25% discount. There are other parking garages in the area that may offer less expensive rates. Parking fees are subject to change.

Click here for directions, public transportation, and parking information for the Hotel Palomar.

​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 the website for more information.

Registration Fee

  • $550 member
  • $650 non-member
  • First registrant pays full fee, each additional registrant receives a $50 discount
  • Registration fee includes 2 continental breakfasts, 2 lunches and Thursday evening networking/happy hour
  • Please review the registration confirmation information below

Registration Confirmation Communications from ISACS
Once registration for the Academy has been completed the following communications will be sent from ISACS:

  • 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 the Academy, 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 Academy to receive a refund. ISACS will determine the refund amount, if any. Refunds amounts may be determined at the Academy’s conclusion. At any time, registration may be transferred to another member from the same school.

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

Member Cost: $550     Non-member Cost: $650


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