Together in Our Independence

December 2017
Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday season!
ISANNE Quick Links
January 2018
9-10 Business Officers Conference, The Westin, Portland, ME

9 Corporate Partner Reception, The Westin, Portland, ME

18-19 ISANNELeads All Cohorts Reconnect, Wentworth by the Sea, New Castle, NH

March 2018
MAIS Law Seminar, Portland, ME

7 Archives Conference, Fryeburg Academy

April 2018
4-5  Spring Heads Conference
Cliff House, ME

May 2018
Woodstock Inn, VT
December 2017 
Hello ISANNE Friends,  

I attended the  NEASC conference in Boston last week and have been reflecting on some of the themes and phrases offered by several speakers. Catherine Steiner-Adair, author of The Big Disconnect discussed social and emotional learning. She cited extensive data on the various ways cell phones impact student learning. She explained in detail how a phone "within reach" disrupts learning. This applies to adults as well! 

We also heard Lynn  Pasquerella, President of the Association of American Colleges & Universities. The daughter of a welder, she progressed through our educational system and became President of Mt. Holyoke College. She acknowledged the growing sentiment that questions the relevancy of a liberal arts education that is too hard to access and doesn't prepare one with 21st century skills. She challenged her colleagues to engage "in an honest assessment of our effectiveness." We need to prepare our kids to solve our most pressing problems and to work in teams with diverse perspectives.  FYI Dr. Pasquerella is the keynote speaker at the ISANNE Spring Heads conference April 4, 2018. 

We went to class with Michael  Sandel, Harvard University political philosopher and professor, who spoke about equipping students to become democratic citizens and knowing more than the structure of our government. He notes that a democratic society needs citizens to argue, reason and listen together on moral and ethical issues and currently, he claims, our society isn't very good at it. He explained how we are drifting from having a market economy to being a market society where "everything is up for sale" and where the absence of public discourse feeds public anger. His session became an active classroom with  Sandel posing ethical dilemmas and we publicly engaged in morally robust discourse reasoning each side of the issue.  Here's a clip of his classroom in action.  

The topics addressed by Steiner-Adair,  Pasquerella, and Sandel highlight some of the challenges we face in our culture. This month's blog is from Michael Buensuceso, Director of Cultural Competency at Berwick Academy. He shares his personal experience and offers strategies for how to talk with kids about race. Our way forward through these opportunities is the willingness to ask ourselves difficult questions and join with others to find solutions. Entering this holiday season, I feel gratitude for our schools and for everyone helping our students care about their communities as we all become our best selves.  

Wishing you all a meaningful and peaceful holiday,

Laurie Hurd
Executive Director
Together in Our Independence

ISANNE  unites, supports and promotes its diverse member schools in a changing world.
ISANNE Member Views

   Michael Buensuceso is Director of Cultural Competency at Berwick Academy
This month's Member View comes to us from Michael Buensuceso, Director of Cultural Competency at Berwick Academy

" Connecting the Dots: Talking about Race at Home, in School, and with Community"

I was recently at a discussion at my local public library when I recalled an interaction at my daughter Kaia's former school. She was 4 years old when she brought home a self-portrait project that was done during class. The art media utilized was recycled folders, yarn for hair, and crayons for color. The presentation of the project yielded the same quizzical look and response from my spouse and me, "it doesn't look like her." Admittedly, our expectations were not high as four year old portraits go. The yarn was black and evenly cut.  The facial features, although uneven at times, were outlined nicely with crayons, but the recycled folder used as the base was of the light manila variety. 
School Events 
Upcoming ISANNE School Events open to ISANNE members:

New England Youth Identity Summit - Waynflete School
April 6-7, 2018 - For more information email:  neyis@waynflete.org

School Safety Conference - Woodstock Academy
July 18-20, 2018 - Visit the Woodstock Academy website for more information

Welcome to Our New Corporate Partners
We are happy to announce we have two new Corporate Partners! For the full list and for more information on how to contact our partners visit our website.

Aladdin Food Services
Aladdin is a chef-centric culinary management company that specializes in providing exceptional dining experiences to Independent Schools. For more than 35 years, we have provided students, faculty and guests alike delicious menus made from fresh ingredients and in-season fruits and vegetables locally sourced to meet the needs of campus dining.

Launch Security
We help small and mid-sized organizations-those of us not in the Fortune 500-navigate the cybersecurity landscape and defend against the increasing number of threats they're up against every day. We believe in:
  • Awareness. The more informed we can be, the better we can protect ourselves. We can't defend against what we don't know. 
  • Responsiveness. The quicker we get to something, the sooner we can act on it. We can't move things forward without taking the next step.
  • Simplicity. The clearer we can see things, the more impact we can drive. We can't engage with what we don't understand.

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