Conference Presentations

Mission Skills Assessment: One Approach to Assessing Non-cognitive Skills - Katz & Levinson
Independent school mission statements frequently identify non-cognitive attributes or skills that are deemed to be essential in the education of today’s young people, but traditional approaches to assessment -- such as the ERBs and SATs -- have focused almost exclusively on cognitive attainment. This workshop will explore a newly developed tool, the Mission Skills Assessment (MSA), which attempts to assess six critical non- cognitive areas: teamwork, creativity, ethics, resilience, curiosity, and time management.

Developing a Successful Project Entitlements Team and Strategy
Long before you can realize your school's dream for a new facility you will need to successfully negotiate the complex entitlements process, which entails obtaining the approval of public agencies and outreach to community groups
-- individual neighbors, neighborhood associations, and the occasional anti-development/anti-school activist. This session will bring together experts from the fields related to the main components of the project entitlements process: a land-use attorney, a community outreach consultant, an architect, and a school leader.

A New Approach to Accreditation - Damon Kerby

Enterprise Risk Management for Independent Schools -- A Best Practices Approach - Denise Gutches
Independent schools are faced with a broad variety of complex risks within their institutions from both in- ternal and external sources. Challenges presented by the economy, the school’s financial model, and critical insurance and risk management issues can have significant impacts on long-term sustainability.

Technology: Strategic IT Planning, Risk Assessment, and Asset Protection - Denis Gutches
In today’s environment, with tech budgets continually expanding, a school’s investment in technology seems to be unending. A school’s ability to effectively plan, protect, and support technology is essential given the multiplicity of the IT matters it faces: supporting and enhancing curriculum; SMART technology; 1-to-1 laptop and iPad programs; software upgrades and licensing; websites; servers, cloud computing and storage; bandwidth-fiber, cable, wireless, and additional issues.

Health and Wellness Planning and Design of Facilities-Denise Gutches
Physical education and athletics are an integral part of school programming -- numerous studies demonstrate a direct correlation between physical activity and academic achievement. Combined, these programs and the facilities needed to support them, represent many of the following facets: health, wellness, fitness, training, skill-building, recreation, and sports.

Reverse Musical Chairs - Chad Tew
California independent schools are increasingly caught in a game of musical chairs played in reverse. Each new school year, there are fewer children that are filling the existing number of student desks. Missing such a shift in a school’s market could negatively impact budgets, revenue projections, and enrollment plans.

What Independent Schools Need to Know About the Affordable Care Act - Heather DeBlanc
The Affordable Care Act imposes new obligations on independent schools. This presentation will provide an overview of the procedural and substantive responsibilities placed on independent schools by the Affordable Care Act. It will cover documentation that must be provided to all employees, reporting requirements, and new anti-retaliation provi- sions that apply to every school, whatever its size. The workshop will also explain in detail the potential penalties that schools with over 50 full-time employees will be exposed to starting in 2015. The presentation is designed to inform Heads of School and Board members about the main provisions of the new law and to allow for a thoughtful discus- sion of options going forward. (MCLE credits will be available to attorneys attending this workshop.)

Annual Legal Update - Michael Blacher & Donna Williamson
It’s that time of year: come see what the legislature and the courts have done this time around. This workshop will provide a review and analysis of the most significant legal developments from around the country. It will focus on the statutes and cases of greatest impact for California independent schools. This session will also explore how Heads of School and Board members can be proactive and protect their schools from potential liability. Come prepared to ask questions and share experiences. (MCLE credits will be available to attorneys attending this workshop.)

The Design of the Partnership - Judith Glickman
This workshop is especially designed for new trustees. The focus will be on clarifying the roles and responsi- bilities of the individual trustee and on clarifying the roles and responsibilities of the full Board in partner- ship with the Head of School, in accordance with best governance practices. Case studies will be used to illustrate frequently occurring issues and dilemmas facing leaders in independent schools today, and there will be ample time for questions and discussion.

Triple Bottom Line: How Green Schools Save Money, Promote Health, and Improve Achievement
Why should schools develop a culture of environmental sustainability? With increasing environmental challenges in recent years, the “triple bottom line” applied to schools can help to save money, promote health, and improve achievement.

Pioneers and Trailblazers: The Experience of Female Heads of School
The vast majority of teachers and others on the traditional track to headship in NAIS independent schools�are women; yet, startlingly barely 30% of them attain the position. Using the metaphor of Navigating a�Labyrinth, this session will focus on the findings of a doctoral study on how women attained headship�and what sustained them in the position.

Schools Going Green: California�s Pioneering Role - Paul Chapman
California�s independent schools are leading the way in the movement to grow greener, more environmentally sustainable schools. This workshop will showcase the efforts of several CAIS members that have achieved systemic changes at their schools.