I recently read an article in the New York Times about sled dog racing. Now, if you know me, you know that I love dogs so I'm a sucker for any story that has a canine component. This article especially resonated, however, because Blair Braverman discussed what she learned from her dogs about planning for the unknown and resilience.

Braverman talked about being a dedicated planner before she got into sled dog racing. Once she became a long-distance "musher," however, she realized that the only thing more stressful than not having a plan, was having one and constantly breaking it.

Sound familiar?

After years of racing, she learned that it was important to have a basic "sketch" to satisfy her planning instinct. What really mattered, though, was her reliance on the team to get everyone where they needed to be by the end of the day. Then, you repeat the whole process in the morning.

I can't think of a better metaphor for leading a school right now. Many of us are "planners" and this pandemic has reminded us that so many things are simply outside of our control. Throughout the spring and summer, we planned, reassessed, and planned some more. Throughout it all, it has been the teamwork between you and your fellow educators that have made it all work. I continue to be amazed by the things that you are accomplishing on your campuses.

The author made one additional point about resilience that grabbed my attention: the importance of the "front-load" rest. Early in a race, Braverman's team will want to run harder and longer than they should because of the adrenaline. A disciplined musher, however, requires her team to take rest time early on in the race; even when the individual team members think they don't need it. Intentional rest on the front end pays dividends when there doesn't seem to be an end in sight. Front-load rest lays the foundation for true resilience. This is one of the biggest strategic gifts that a musher can give the team. Don't wait until exhaustion sets in to recharge!


The Coronavirus Resource Page contains a curated library of articles, advisories, and webinars to help you and your school navigate the many issues that the pandemic has presented. Recently added items include:

  • CDC Guidelines for Schools
  • Information relating to the CARES Act and the Payroll Protection Program
  • Resources from the SBA on applying for the Payroll Protection Program
  • Resources from the Enrollment Management Association
  • Distance Learning resources from the Global Online Academy

Also, Heads of School can access the password-protected Heads Discussion Board for additional support and discussion. Please contact the SAES office if you need assistance.
SAES/NAES - Whose School is it Anyway?
October 8, 2020
2:00 am CST

Leading a church with a school comes with a completely different set of blessings and challenges! This joint NAES/SAES webinar will offer rectors some best practices for creating a healthy church/school relationship as well as how to support and nurture the Head of School.

School Leadership in the Infinite Game
October 21, 2020
1:00 pm CST

“Great leaders are the ones who think beyond “short term” versus “long term.” They are the ones who know that it is not about the next quarter or the next election; it is about the next generation.” Join David and Mary Katherine as they explore Simon Sinek's "Infinite Game" in the context of an Episcopal School.

David Epstein
Keynote Speaker
OCTOBER 21-22, 2021
"Range is an urgent and important book, an essential read for bosses, parents, coaches, and anyone who cares about improving performance."--Daniel Pink

"I want to give Range to any kid who is being forced to take violin lessons--but really wants to learn the drums."
--Amanda Ripley, author of The Smartest Kids in the World

David Epstein is the author of the #1 New York Times best seller Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, and of the bestseller The Sports Gene. He has master's degrees in environmental science and journalism and has worked as an investigative reporter for ProPublica and a senior writer for Sports Illustrated. His thesis explores how students prepared to be generalists as opposed to specialists are primed to excel.

The SAES Standards Committee reviews and updates the standards of the association annually to ensure that SAES is promoting best practices in all areas of a school's program. In June of 2017 the standard for financial audits, found in the Fiscal Responsibility section, was discussed at length, and the committee voted to recommend a change to the standard effective with the 2020-2021 school year. The SAES Board of Directors subsequently approved the updated standard and its timeline at the meeting of the Board in October 2017.  
The committee felt that it was prudent to announce the standard right away, giving our schools three years to adjust, budget and plan for its implementation. An announcement was emailed to Heads of Schools right away, and printed in monthly newsletters for the remainder of the school year. In 2018 and 2019 the updated standard,
F.3. Every year, the school’s Board of Trustees will engage an independent certified public accounting firm to perform an audit with an accompanying management letter. A school with an annual revenue of less than $1,000,000 may alternate annually between an audit and a review.,  
was published in the SAES Standards of the Association, along with the previous requirement, and stands alone and in effect this year.  
What happens now? The standard is required for the current school year so schools must comply beginning next year when the audits for 2020-2021 are scheduled and due, and each year thereafter. 
Thank you for embracing the new standard, for promoting excellence in leadership and management, and for supporting the work of the SAES Standards Committee. Please contact me with questions or concerns.
Jeanie Stark
Director of Accreditation


Carol Dweck on Nurturing Students' Growth Mindsets Through Protest and Pandemic
Students who believe that intelligence is fluid and can be shaped through learning tend to have higher academic achievement than those who believe intelligence is essentially fixed at birth—that they just aren't as ‘smart’ as their peers.

Back to School: In person, outside
Experts note converting existing outdoor space doesn’t always require a lot of resources, making it an option available to a variety of schools.

Burning Out
"Faculty burnout—exacerbated by pandemic-related stressors, absent childcare and school, and unrelenting or even accelerating work expectations from colleagues—poses real and serious risk for mental health challenges of unprecedented scope."

How Remote Learning's Distractions Put Extra Pressure on Students With ADHD
"A lot of kids with ADHD are spending a lot of time on screen time and video games at home at the moment but really struggling with the online lessons."

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