2023 - 2024 Professional Development

NJAIS offers many different Professional Development opportunities for faculty, administrators, and Trustees.  We aim to be relevant and responsive, and welcome your ideas and participation in these workshops and conferences.

 

NJAIS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOPS AND CONFERENCES

EVENT CALENDAR for 2023 - 2024

We will be adding to and updating these offerings frequently.  Please check back for the latest professional growth offerings.

Contact Rachel Folan, rfolan@njais.org, with any questions, suggestions, or partnership ideas.

 

These workshops have been developed for the use of NJAIS members only and are not to be downloaded, copied, used, or distributed without permission.

 


Friday, March 1, 2024; 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
EARLY CAREER TEACHER COHORT LUNCH AND LEARN ~ How Students Learn

Meeting on the first Friday of every month during a virtual luncheon, the cohort will engage in discussion based on the month’s asynchronous learning experience.

**This is part of a year-long cohort experience. **

 

Tuesday, March 5 2024; 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
SURPRISES HAPPEN! CRITICAL COMMUNICATION FOR CRISIS MANAGEMENT

The session includes tools for identifying a crisis and managing the victim dimension of that crisis, keys to good crisis and reputation management. We will discuss the Buy-Time Statement, as well as how it can be modified for a variety of audiences. We also discuss common mistakes organizations make in a crisis: failing to identify with the victim dimension, failing to communicate, avoiding audiences, saying “no comment” and wishing the crisis away. The session also includes a discussion on Agenda Setting. A clear and relevant agenda is critical to achieving success with the important audiences as well as the media. We conclude with tools for anticipating the public’s response to a crisis and the order in which many audiences will process your crisis until resolution is achieved.

For: Independent School Trustees, Heads of School, and School Leadership Teams
Virtual Experience

Learn more and register here

 

Wednesday, March 6, 2024; 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
IT COULDN’T HAVE BEEN AN EMAIL: EXCITING AND STREAMLINED BOARD AGENDAS

This session will offer frameworks and guiding thoughts for building purposeful, mission-centric Board meeting experiences.

For: Independent School Trustees, Heads of School, and School Leadership Teams
Virtual Experience

Learn more and register here

 

Thursday, March 7, 2024; 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 
LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE
BUILDING BLOCK III: REFLECT

This session of the 2023 - 2024 Leadership Institute will continue the examination of leadership pathways and lessons in leadership.

**This is part of a year-long cohort experience. **

 

Friday, April 5, 2024;12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

EARLY CAREER TEACHER COHORT LUNCH AND LEARN ~ Why??

Meeting on the first Friday of every month during a virtual luncheon, the cohort will engage in discussion based on the month’s asynchronous learning experience.

**This is part of a year-long cohort experience. **


 

Tuesday, April 9, 2024; 4:30 - 6:00 p.m.
Training Your Board to Think Like Futurists

This session will highlight tools and frameworks needed to anticipate and adapt to an ever-changing world. Participants will engage with key global trends, from technology to social issues, while deciphering the signals that forecast future scenarios. The session will inspire Boards to embrace a futurist mindset in order to make more strategic decisions, to better understand the implications of emerging trends, and to prepare for the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead throughout the independent school landscape.

For: Independent School Trustees, Heads of School, and School Leadership Teams
Virtual Experience

Learn more and register here

 

Tuesday, April 16, 2024; 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE
BUILDING BLOCK V: LEAD

This final gathering of the 2023 - 2024 Leadership Institute will reflect on the year’s experience, featuring a keynote presentation and opportunities to connect and create action plans with cohort colleagues.

**This is part of a year-long cohort experience. **

At: The Peck School

 

Thursday and Friday, May 2 - 3, 2024
HEAD OF SCHOOL CONFERENCE 

This experience serves to support professional learning and camaraderie for the Heads of School in our schools.
For: Heads of School

At: Nassau Inn

MORE INFORMATION PENDING

 

Friday, May 3, 2024; 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
EARLY CAREER TEACHER COHORT LUNCH AND LEARN ~ Curriculum (Re)Design

Meeting on the first Friday of every month during a virtual luncheon, the cohort will engage in discussion based on the month’s asynchronous learning experience.

**This is part of a year-long cohort experience. **


 

Monday and Tuesday, May 6 - 7, 2024
FINANCE OFFICERS CONFERENCE 

This experience serves to support professional learning and camaraderie for the Finance Professionals in our schools.
For: CFOs, COOs, Business Managers, HR, and all other Finance Professionals

At: Nassau Inn

MORE INFORMATION PENDING

 

Tuesday and Wednesday, May 7 - 8, 2024
ADMISSIONS OFFICERS CONFERENCE 

This experience serves to support professional learning and camaraderie for the Admissions Professionals in our schools.
For: All Admissions Professionals

At: Nassau Inn

MORE INFORMATION PENDING

 

Friday, June 7, 2024; 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

EARLY CAREER TEACHER COHORT LUNCH AND LEARN

Meeting on the first Friday of every month during a virtual luncheon, the cohort will engage in discussion based on the month’s asynchronous learning experience.

**This is part of a year-long cohort experience. **

 

 

COMPLETED PROGRAMS

Thursday, February 15, 2024; 5:15 - 6:45 p.m.
BOARD COMMITTEES: YOU MEAN WE CAN GET MORE DONE AND DO IT EFFECTIVELY?

An effective Board will be organized to generate strategic thinking; oversee critical functions; make informed decisions; identify, recruit, elect, orient/train Trustees; and assess the Board and Head of School’s performance. An effective board is organized to carry out these responsibilities through itS committees and task forces – all of this while being mindful of Trustees’ precious time. This session will focus on: the fundamentals of board organization; Task Forces and other Ad Hoc Committees; Advisory Committees; Committees that should be disbanded; Committee Chairs/Members role and responsibilities. There will be ample time for questions and comments will be welcomed.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024; 4:30 - 6:00 p.m.
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS

To better understand the nuances of the myriad, interrelated issues independent schools are currently facing, the National Association of Independent Schools surveyed heads of school about their own experiences. Though the challenges (and triumphs) they shared were as diverse and varied as independent schools themselves, five main themes emerged. Join this program to hear NAIS researchers highlight their findings, offer key questions to help schools navigate the challenges, and provide valuable resources for our leaders.

Tuesday, February 6, 2024; 4:30 - 6:00 p.m.
REPUTATION MANAGEMENT: A NEW LENS FOR INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS 

The reputation of an independent school constitutes its single most valuable asset. Yet, there is still a genuine lack of robust evidence and coordinated responsibility in schools to build, manage and evaluate reputation. This interactive session gives a school wide framework for reputation development. It will provide a robust and proven approach to shape reputation and build word of mouth.

Friday, February 2, 2024; 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
EARLY CAREER TEACHER COHORT LUNCH AND LEARN ~ Assessments and Feedback

Meeting on the first Friday of every month during a virtual luncheon, the cohort will engage in discussion based on the month’s asynchronous learning experience.

Sunday, January 28, 2024; 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
TRUSTEE ENRICHMENT DAY

NJAIS' annual Trustee Enrichment Day is a benchmark event for new and experienced Trustees. This is a valuable  opportunity for administrators and Trustees alike to experience a broad range of speakers and workshops to support strong governance for our schools. This experience features a keynote presentation from Michelle Woo, President of Sweet Briar College

Sunday, January 28, 2024; 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE
BUILDING BLOCK III: SERVE

This session of the 2023 - 2024 Leadership Institute will explore the role of governance in schools, examining the question, “What is a Trustee and how do trustees serve our schools?”

Thursday, January 25, 2024; 4:30 - 7:00 p.m.
WHAT THE TECH IS GOING ON?!
RAPID FIRE HIGHLIGHTS OF INNOVATION AND INSTRUCTION IN SCHOOLS

NJAIS Technology Steering Committee is pleased to bring back this beloved rapid-fire highlights of  innovation and instruction in our schools. This experience is intended to foster collaboration and sharing of creative instructional initiatives - with or without technology. The afternoon will include a showcase of successful teaching and learning exemplars followed by a meet-and-greet. Bring your questions, projects, and curriculum ideas to discuss with your colleagues. Cocktails and light refreshments will be served.

At The Pingry School - POTTERSVILLE CAMPUS

Thursday, January 25, 2024; 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
AI SUMMIT

As AI continues to evolve, so must our instructional design and teacher engagement with this tool.  During this experience, participants will hear from speakers about the opportunities - and obstacles - that AI brings to our school communities.  There will also be time to engage with professional affinity groups to test and to troubleshoot using AI for teaching and learning.

At The Pingry School - POTTERSVILLE CAMPUS

Tuesday, January 23, 2024
ACADEMIC LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE

This day-long experience serves to bring together Academic Leaders from across the association to connect, to collaborate, and to engage with topics including Purpose and Independent Schools, Teacher Recruitment and Retention, and Professional Learning Plans.

At Gill St. Bernard's School

Thursday, January 11, 2024
CONFERENCE FOR MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS PROFESSIONALS

This experience will bring together MarCom Professionals to collaborate, to learn, and to expand professional knowledge and networks. Topics will include AI in MarCom, Social Media Strategy, Strategic Thinking and Planning, and designing leadership pathways.

At Delbarton School

Tuesday, December 12, 2023
LEARNING SPECIALIST SUMMIT

This experience serves to bring together learning specialists to engage in learning and collaboration.  In addition to time together as a whole group, the day will offer breakout space by grade (lower, middle, upper school) and/or specialty (reading vs. general learning specialist).

Thursday, December 7, 2023; 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
FUTURE THINKING: AI AND EMERGING TECHNOLGIES

This presentation aims to synthesize the latest findings about trends in innovation, exploring the research on several major trends in innovation that will be making large impacts on society and the workforce and what this means for us as educators and academic leaders. Topics included in this investigation include: the world of work in the future, the vastness and opportunity of big data, AI assistance and collaboration, Metaverse, AR, and VR, and other big themes that emerge as the session date approaches.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023
WELLNESS SUMMIT

This full-day, in-person experience, in partnership with ADVIS, serves to support healthy and well school communities with sessions that offer strategies and action steps for students, faculty, and staff.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023; 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
STUDENT-CENTERED, DATA-DRIVEN DECISION MAKING FOR SCHOOL LEADERS

This session outlines how school leaders can use quantitative and qualitative data to drive goal setting and decision making,   leveraging faculty, staff, and student data to design, redesign, and implement yearly division goals and initiatives.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023; 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE
BUILDING BLOCK II: INSPIRE

This session will engage in topics relating to leadership pathways, school finance, and intentional leadership plans.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023; 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
STUDENT-CENTERED, DATA-DRIVEN DECISION MAKING FOR TEACHERS

This session will explore the benefits of embracing a student-centered approach informed by data to shape your instructional practices. It will also provide insights and strategies, such as utilizing assessments, using data to inform class instruction and interventions, and fostering a supportive classroom environment for all learners.

Friday, December 1, 2023; 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
EARLY CAREER TEACHER COHORT LUNCH AND LEARN ~ Belonging, Engagement, Choice, and Relationship Building

Meeting on the first Friday of every month during a virtual luncheon, the cohort will engage in discussion based on the month’s asynchronous learning experience.

Thursday, November 16, 2023; 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
RE-THINKING EXISTING CURRICULUM

Particularly in our post-COVID teaching, curriculum may need to be modified to respond to the changing needs of our students and many other reasons. As we seek to increase student engagement, to maximize learning for all students, to more intentionally create opportunities for interdisciplinary connections, to update instructional methods/technology being used, or any other reasons, this session provides a framework to re-think the existing, perhaps inherited curriculum in order to best support student learning.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023; 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. 
PROJECT-BASED LEARNING (PBL) WORKSHOP

A Project Based Learning (PBL) unit allows students to experience independence and autonomy over their work, supporting purposeful learning and growth. In this session, an overview of Project Based Learning and its pedagogy will be provided. Participants will then get to work, starting the planning process for their own unit. The session will specifically look at scaffolds that can be implemented in order to help students stay on track and for teachers to provide formative assessment during this learning experience while also outlining how SEL and PBL are inextricably linked.

Thursday, November 9, 2023
THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE OF REVENUE MANAGEMENT:
A Program for Admissions, Advancement, and Finance Professionals

Inspired by an article written by CASE, this day-long experience will bring together the three sides of the revenue triangle in schools - business managers, admissions, and advancement officers. 
For: Admissions, Advancement, and Finance Officers

 

Wednesday, November 8, 2023; 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
DESIGNING NEW CURRICULUM

In learning, there exists a responsibility for educators to design their curriculum in a way to promote success among all students. This session will focus on designing curriculum for a diverse group of learners, starting with the end in mind, and building standards that are accessible for all students.
 

Monday, November 6, 2023; 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
TEACHING EVERYTHING ALL AT ONCE

In this session participants will experience how careful design can deliver these objectives simultaneously. By experiencing a lesson, attendees will see how deep, critical inquiry often enacts--or is a ready partner to--the kinds of practices and competencies described in powerful DEI and SEL learning.
 

Friday, November 3, 2023; 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
EARLY CAREER TEACHER COHORT LUNCH AND LEARN ~ School Culture and Community

Meeting on the first Friday of every month during a virtual luncheon, the cohort will engage in discussion based on the month’s asynchronous learning experience.
 

Thursday, November 2, 2023; 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 
HELPING TWICE EXCEPTIONAL STUDENTS TO THRIVE

This session will frame a strengths-based approach to supporting neurodiverse students, particularly those identified as twice-exceptional (2e), gifted children who may also have a learning difference or disability.  The instructional approach provides targeted vertical differentiation to support 2e students’ intellectual, emotional, and social intensity. Participants will engage in conversation to learn about the 2e student profile, enduring understandings, and objectives that were used to build the curriculum, and will learn how this type of program benefits the whole child.

 

Monday, October 30, 2023; 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
TRAUMA AND LEARNING DIFFERENCE: A PRIMER AND TOOLKIT

How can trauma and learning differences interact? How does it impact a student’s education, as well as their home life? Come join us for this introduction to the role that trauma plays in the brain’s ability to learn and gain a strategies toolkit for supporting students who have BOTH trauma and learning differences. Information about how educators and outside professionals can collaborate will also be included.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023; 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
WHAT EVERY COLLEGE COUNSELOR NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT FAFSA SIMPLIFICATION

Tectonic changes are coming to the college funding and financial aid landscape due to the full implementation of FAFSA Simplification. This comprehensive webinar will equip you with the necessary information on what lies ahead so you can effectively guide your families - and reduce their anxiety and manage expectations as well.

 

Wednesday, October 25, 2023; 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
SUPPORTING NEURODIVERSE STUDENTS IN THE CLASSROOM

This session will engage the rich tapestry of neurodiversity, celebrating the unique strengths and talents that individuals with diverse neurological profiles bring to our classrooms and are a valuable part of human diversity. Participants will discover practical strategies for creating a welcoming and accepting environment that celebrates diversity, promotes empathy, and values the contributions of neurodivergent students.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023; 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. 
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AN ADHD DIAGNOSIS

This session offers support for educators who champion students presenting ADHD behaviors. Participants will hear the story of Aaron Daniels Henry Davis: Just Another Day at School, which details the day in the life of a student navigating ADHD. In addition to gaining clarity regarding what ADHD is and what it looks like in the school community, the session highlights strategies for students and teachers alike to support students with ADHD and define a pathway for their success.

Thursday, October 19, 2023; 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. 
UNLOCKING POTENTIAL: EXECUTIVE FUNCTION DEFICIT TRAITS AND STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS

This session will explore tactics and strategies that will help support students with executive functioning traits, covering topics such as how to reduce cognitive load without reducing rigor, how to use feedback to promote student learning, and how to use metacognition to help students set goals and self-advocate. Participants will engage in an assessment of their own executive functioning skill set, a student perspective of what it is like to be a neurodiverse in a neurotypical classroom, a presentation of research, and conclude with time for application of key concepts.

Monday, October 16, 2023; 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
 NEURODIVERSITY 101

This session will outline different components of a neuropsych evaluation, their meaning, and what they look like in student learning. With definitions to explain these neurodivergent profiles, participants will learn how accommodation plans support those students with neurodivergent profiles. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2023; 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
MEMORY AND ATTENTION

Far from being unknowable and unpredictable, human memory and attention are very predictable and rule-bound systems. During this session, we will explore key principles of both memory and attention and consider what these mean for teaching in the classroom and student at-home studying. 

Friday, October 6, 2023; 12:00 p. m. - 1:00 p.m.
EARLY CAREER TEACHER COHORT LUNCH AND LEARN ~ Independent Schools 101

Meeting on the first Friday of every month during a virtual luncheon, the cohort will engage in discussion based on the month's asynchronous learning experience.

Thursday, October 5, 2023; 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
THE LEARNING TRAJECTORY - FROM SURFACE TO DEEP TRANSFER

What is the difference between facts and concepts? How does information progress from being remembered to being utilized? During this session, we will dive deeply into the steps of the human learning trajectory. Using Learning Objectives as a through line, we will consider how to walk students from surface to deep learning and consider why it is so difficult for people to move knowledge and skills between different contexts.

Thursday, October 5, 2023
LEADING FROM THE MIDDLE:
WORKSHOP FOR DEPARTMENT CHAIRS

Department chairs play a pivotal role in educational leadership, yet as leaders "from the middle" they face unique challenges. At many schools, they are both a colleague and an evaluator, a teacher and an administrator. How does a Department Chair navigate these sometimes competing aspects of the position successfully? Using case studies as a springboard for discussion, this interactive workshop, led by current and former department chairs, will help you explore the contours of the role and identify the variety of skills required to succeed. Both current department chairs and those considering the position are encouraged to join.

Wednesday, October 4, 2023
LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE
BUILDING BLOCK I: EXPLORE

This opening session of the 2023-2024 Leadership Institute cohort will begin its collaborative journey, orient personal leadership styles, and dive into the landscape of school leadership.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023 ; 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. 
BUILDING METACOGNITION FOR STUDENT SUCCESS

In this workshop, educators will further their understanding in supporting students' academic growth to explore the fascinating concept of metacognition and its pivotal role in fostering students' academic success. Metacognition, often described as "thinking about thinking," refers to the ability to understand one's own learning processes, regulate cognitive strategies, and reflect on personal strengths and areas for improvement. It is a powerful tool that empowers students to become self-directed learners, enhancing their critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and overall academic achievement. During this workshop, participants will embark on a journey to discover practical strategies and techniques for nurturing metacognition in students of all ages. We will delve into the research-backed theories behind metacognition and explore its benefits in various educational settings. Participants will have acquired a comprehensive toolkit of practical strategies and techniques to nurture metacognition and empower students to take ownership of their learning journey.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023; 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
MAKE LEARNING STICK: UNLEASH THE SCIENCE OF LEARNING WITH RETRIEVAL PRACTICE

This session will include research-informed strategies that make learning stick, such as the retrieval practice, spacing, and interleaving. Through metacognitive instruction, participants will consider brain science to support working memory and also the connection to student cognitive load and the impact of stress.

Thursday, September 21, 2023 ; 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
PRINCIPLES OF LEARNING

How can notetaking impair learning? Are hard-copy or digital books betters for comprehension? What's the one key to forming deep, lasting memories? During this section, we will explore several key principles of human learning and consider how each can be adapted to tweak/improve teaching and learning practices.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023; 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
FOUNDATION OF THINKING

How does the brain work to make sense of reality, and what impact does this have on teaching and learning? During this engaging and interactive section, we will explore the counter-intuitive foundations of thinking, the power of stories to drive perception, the role errors play in comprehension, and consider how these concepts tie together to drive both teacher and student practice in the classroom.

Thursday, September 14, 2023
TRUSTEE 101

This session is for the Board of Trustee members in their first or second year of service on the Board, or for those who want a reminder of the principles of good governance. You will be presented with an overview of the basic concepts and complexities of independent school governance. Case studies provide an interactive session.

Thursday, August 24, 2023
LEGAL HOT TOPICS:
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE THE SCHOOL YEAR BEGINS

This session will address questions such as:
What should our school’s admissions team prepare for this year’s application season in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision? What are considerations for employee leave? Is our HR team up-to-date on sick days, PTO, etc.? Other topics will include gender identity, accommodations, and more.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023
PROGRAM FOR ATHLETIC PROFESSIONALS: RESILIENCE AND THE SCIENCE OF TOUGHNESS

This session will host Steve Magness, author of  Do Hard Things: Why We Get Resilience Wrong and the Surprising Science of Real Toughness. Each participant will receive a copy of the book and engage in the topic of resilience and toughness. Regional in-person gatherings to allow for robust follow-up discussion is being explored as an option.

Tuesday - Thursday, August 15 - 17, 2023
INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES CONFERENCE: THE SCIENCE OF TEACHING, LEARNING, AND BELONGING

This three-day workshop for preK-12 teachers will explore the current understanding of how students learn and will investigate an array of research-informed teaching strategies and feedback techniques based on Mind, Brain, and Education science research. Participants will explore principles of effective teaching and learning, including the role of the student beliefs and mindsets in influencing that effectiveness. 

Monday - Wednesday, August 14 - 16, 2023
ADMINISTRATORS OF COLOR INSTITUTE

Independent school leaders have been called upon, with new urgency and inspiration, to transform their diversity, equity, and inclusion work with more effective and authentic practices.  This experience offers self-identified administrators of color an exploration of culturally responsive practice, leadership training, and learning together.  Topics will include investigating institutional culture, developing collaborative leadership, and navigating the needs of multiple constituencies while attending to your own. The program is specifically designed to help participants develop the tools they need to be effective change agents within their schools.

Monday - Wednesday, August 14 - 16, 2023
WHITE ADMINISTRATORS INSTITUTE

Independent school leaders have been called upon to transform their diversity, equity, and inclusion work with more effective and authentic practices.   As white school leaders of independent schools continue to commit to serving the needs of their whole student body and faculty, their own cultural competence and leadership skills need to evolve with their schools. This experience welcomes self-identified white administrators who hold any supervisory role for an exploration of equity practice, leadership training, and learning together.  Topics will include understanding racial identity, investigating institutional culture, developing collaborative leadership, and navigating the needs of multiple constituencies. The program is specifically designed to help participants develop the tools they need to be effective change agents within their schools.

Tuesday and Wednesday, August 8 and 9, 2023
INNOVATION AND COLLABORATION CONFERENCE

This two-day conference experience for all grade levels, subject areas, and instructional focus, serves to bring educators together from across the association in order to engage and play with instructional tools, collaborate with colleagues, and enhance instruction.