Letter from the SAIS President
Apart from the usual challenges that schools face during the course of the year, the past several weeks have presented a difficult decision for many heads of schools and trustees. The Parkland school shooting brought school violence and school safety back, once again, to the national stage. In some respects, the cumulative effect of so many incidents in the lives of our students (they are called the Columbine Generation) triggered both an outpouring of student response as well as a response from the adults who work with them.

But as with so many issues in our divisive world, nothing is ever as clear as it may appear. The letter that originated in New York gave rise to similar expressions in other parts of the country. Despite those letters’ attempts to find common ground, even the term “school safety” was felt by some of our constituents to be a catch phrase for an assault on the Constitution. This toxic environment made it once again a source of conflict within our schools and between heads and their boards. One head asked me what she should do: she felt personally compelled to sign a letter developed within her state; her board chair advised her against it because a major donor would be offended. Another head in a different state was encouraged by his chair to sign a similar letter, only later to have several trustees question the process by which such “clearly political pronouncements” were approved.

Whose voice speaks for the school community? Ideally, the trustees and the head of school find agreement on an issue. While it is probable that there may be many distinct voices in the board room and that some will be passionate ones, it is the hope that healthy debate can lead to a strong, single voice.  

On what basis should a decision to speak be made? Debra Wilson with NAIS recently reminded me of the one criteria that should underscore all decisions: Does this action or this statement or this endorsement reflect our core mission? That question and its answer continue to serve as our truest compass in turbulent times.

Dr. Kirk Walker, SAIS President
Parental Partners
By Christina Mimms, SAIS
The role of a parent in a school community can mean several things: an ambassador who spreads the good word about the school, a fundraiser who supports the school’s financial operations, or a volunteer for whom no job is too small. Ultimately, the school-parent relationship is a partnership that works to support students and the school community as a whole. 
Book Review of The Flexible SEL Classroom by Amber Chandler
Reviewed by Julie Reynolds, Language Arts and Writing Teacher, Christ Methodist Day School, Memphis, TN
When asked to write a book review of The Flexible SEL Classroom: Practical Ways to Build Social-Emotional Learning in Grades 4-8, without knowing it, I was about to embark on one important concept Amber Chandler discusses in her book as part of an SEL classroom: taking risks despite the fear of failure . Just like middle school students, teachers often choose lessons, presentations, and projects that are safe and easy to accomplish based on their experiences. In this chapter, the author expresses the need for teachers to “normalize” academic risk-taking and the fear of failure, so students can learn more deeply about content through discovery. This leads to many social and emotional life skills important to student growth such as “self-control, curiosity, self-confidence, optimism, and grit,” among others. 
Stephen P. Robinson Collaboration Grant Report: Providence Day School, Charlotte, NC
In the upcoming issues of SAIS HeadLines, reports from the 2017 Stephen P. Robinson SAIS Collaboration Grant recipients will be published. These reports detail the programs funded by the grants.
 
By Dr. Loren Fauchier, Director of Global Education, Providence Day School, and Patricia Shafer, Chief Catalyst and Executive Director, NewGen Peacebuilders
Nonprofit and for-profit leaders often point to the potential of youth and young adults as tomorrow’s global citizen leaders. Yet peace, the most cross-cutting of all global topics, is essentially absent from formal and informal education frameworks. When peace education is available it is typically about peace, not for peace. Providence Day School and nonprofit NewGen Peacebuilders have collaborated for five years on delivery of a comprehensive public/private initiative to provide a peace education, training, and mentoring program to high school students. The program emphasizes the role, value, and impact of young people (ages 14-24) in achieving a peaceful world.  
Register NOW for 2018 SAIS Leadership Retreat: April 23-24, Louisville, KY Price increases April 8!
Pushing Our Horizons: How Do We Tackle the Big, Hairy Challenges of the Next 20 Years?
Led by Grant Lichtman , an internationally recognized K-12 transformation thought leader, attendees will work together as they imagine futures that may look very different from the past and build a capacity and comfort with ongoing change. Participants will examine what it means to shift schools from being teaching organizations to learning organizations, which traditions are important to preserve, and which traditions hamper this shift to a long-term growth mindset. Register at sais.org/LR .
SAIS Featured School: Gaston Day School, Gastonia, NC
Gaston Day School is a nonsectarian, college-preparatory school for grades preschool through 12 with approximately 480 students located on 60 acres about 20 minutes from Charlotte, in Gastonia, NC. Founded in 1967, Gaston Day School is celebrating its 50 th anniversary this year; in fact, it was the first independent school in Gaston County. 
Join us for Outstanding Professional Development in Summer 2018!
June 27-29 | Asheville, NC
Registration fees increase May 2!
Call for SAIS Board of Trustee Nominations
Nominations for the SAIS Board of Trustees are now being accepted. To nominate yourself or someone else, please  review this information about board service . Please submit your nomination by May 11, 2018,  here .

The SAIS Board of Trustees is responsible for the supervision, control, and direction of the association. Per the bylaws, trustees must be heads of SAIS member schools. Review the current board of trustees  here .

The SAIS Committee on Trustees will process the nominations and review the nominees. The slate will be presented for approval by the membership at the SAIS annual business meeting, which takes place at the SAIS Annual Conference, October 14-16, 2018, in Charleston, SC. New trustees will begin their terms on January 1, 2019. 
Register now for the 2018 SAIS Institute for Heads
June 19-22, 2018
Renaissance Asheville
Asheville, NC
Featuring Rob Evans and Michael Thompson, t his energizing and nurturing retreat offers an opportunity for thoughtful dialogue and engagement with colleagues on key issues facing heads of school and their spouses. The number of participants is limited to foster connections and allow for contributions from all attendees.

Past attendees have said:
"I always leave the Institute for Heads feeling like I received at least twice the value of what I invested in time and money."

"With superb facilitators and impressive colleagues, the institute was a fabulous way to reflect on our roles from the '50,000-foot' perspective, while also recharging for the next year."

"The IH serves for me as both an excellent heads conference and three days of therapy!"

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SAIS Career Center
Job postings are free and unlimited for SAIS member schools. The SAIS Career Center is easy to use and allows you to post, manage, and edit jobs right from your desktop.
SAIS Seeks Session Proposals for Annual Conference

SAIS is seeking submissions for breakout sessions at our 2018 Annual Conference, October 14-16 in Charleston, SC.

Proposals will be accepted until midnight on April 13 . Submit here.
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