Letter from the President
Kirk Walker, Ph.D.

If I ... can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge ... but do not have love, I am nothing.
 
Love has been on my mind lately. While I have read numerous mission statements over the years, rarely have any of them mentioned the word love. But from my perspective, love is the unstated driver in all our schools. Love binds our communities; love of students motivates our faculties to give, and to give even more of themselves. And there is a good chance that it was love of others and the desire to serve that led each of you into education.
 
I am thinking today about the school that recently lost an entire family in a plane crash. I could as easily be thinking about dozens of other tragic situations over the years. None of our schools are untouched by loss and sadness. But what all of us have also witnessed has been the outpouring of love from our communities: love that supports; love that heals; love that unites. We have all witnessed the power. Each time a crisis arises, our communities respond, not just within our individual schools but across the entire network of schools. Sometimes we provide physical assistance; sometimes we offer words of encouragement and the wisdom of experience (even through a listserv). But in any case, we never hesitate to reach out and to give of ourselves.
 
In fact, we are a web of caring (even loving) communities, and, moving forward, that may be our greatest value.
Let the Games Begin
By Christina Mimms, SAIS
 
Shaking up the regular school routine benefits students and faculty alike: a non-uniform day, a field trip, or some background music in the classroom can add some fun and interest to an otherwise typical day. But what if you turn two days upside down for team-building games and activities that really test students' abilities?  >>Read more.  
Kindergarten: Ready or Not? 
By Carrie Spector, Executive Editor, Stanford Benefactor, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 
 

Stanford researchers weigh in on kindergarten preparedness

It's that time of year for families of preschoolers: kindergarten enrollment. This milestone can be fraught with uncertainty for parents who question whether their child is prepared - socially, academically or otherwise. What does being ready for kindergarten look like? Researchers at Stanford Graduate School of Education (GSE) have investigated this issue from all angles, offering strategies for parents and teachers to help make the transition a smooth one.   >>Read more.    
Q&A with Deans

SAIS recently surveyed deans of students to find out more about their work in schools. Some wear multiple hats as dean/teacher/coach, and typically all serve as the responding administrator in a student disciplinary situation, sometimes with interesting results. >>Read more. 
Submit Your Session Proposal for the Dean of Students Symposium 

Proposals are currently being accepted for  breakout sessions for the NEW SAIS Dean of Students Symposium, June 19-21 in Atlanta.  The deadline is May 1. Please submit your proposal  using  this form

Leadership for Green Schools  
By Dr. Lisa Kessler and Dr. Cynthia Uline

Reviewed by  Matthew Bruner principal of lower school at Lee-Scott Academy, Auburn, AL
Forget what you thought about the term "green schools." This book is about more than a niche program that exists within some select schools to act as a magnet or serve the passions and interests of a leader or governing body. Instead, this book guides all teachers and leaders on ways schools should (and future schools will) operate to responsibly meet the needs of their learners and community. >>Read more.
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 12   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 22-24, 2017, in Atlanta. New trustees will begin their terms on January 1, 2018. 
The word Events in cut out magazine letters pinned to a cork notice board. Events may refer to news
2017 Calendar of Events

SAIS offers a variety of affordable, accessible, and relevant professional development programs for independent school leaders.


June 19-21 | Emory Conference Center | Atlanta, GA
June 19-21 | Emory Conference Center | Atlanta, GA
June 20-21 | Emory Conference Center | Atlanta, GA
June 21-23 | Emory Conference Center | Atlanta, GA
June 21-23 | Emory Conference Center | Atlanta, GA
June 27-30 | Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa | Palm Beach, FL
July | Charlotte, NC | Nashville, TN | Atlanta, GA
July 13-14 | Atlanta, GA
October 22 | Crowne Plaza Ravinia | Atlanta, GA
October 22-24 | Crowne Plaza Ravinia | Atlanta, GA  

See the full SAIS calendar of events at www.sais.org/events

On-Site Board Workshops
 
SAIS President Dr. Kirk Walker is available to visit your campus and conduct on-site governance workshops.
  • Trusteeship for Independent Schools
  • New Trustee Orientation
  • Becoming an Outstanding Board
  • The Changing Landscape of Independent School Governance 
   
WANTED:
Your School's Logo 
 
Does your school's logo appear in the SAIS Online Member Directory?  If not, please send your school's logo to anna@sais.org.

A blue nametag sticker with the words Hello I Am Retired to illustrate that you are done with your career and are living off a pension or 401k or other retirement savings
Retiring in 2017? 

If you are a  head of school who will be retiring at the end of the 2016-17 school year , please let us know so we can induct you into the  SAIS Legacy Club , a group of retired heads of school who gather annually. Please complete our  Legacy Club bio form .
 

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
Middle School Games
Delaying Kindergarten
Q&A with Deans
Dean of Students Symposium
Book Review
Call for Nominations
2017 SAIS Events
Tweets of Note
SAIS Surveys
QUICK LINKS
SAIS Featured School
Trinity School 

Trinity School in Atlanta, GA, was established in 1951, and everything we do is designed to help students ages three through sixth grade flourish. From the walking trails in Discovery Woods, and natural light and flexible learning spaces in each classroom to the cutting-edge media center, and design and makerspace known as the iHub, the School's 43-acre campus was made for exploration and inquiry. In 1963, Trinity became the first racially integrated private school in Georgia. As an inclusive community, we celebrate diversity, multiculturalism, and the value of every individual.
>>Read more.

Would you like to be an SAIS Featured School? Contact christina@sais.org
    
Blogs of Note
 
Rabbi Ari Leubitz, head of Atlanta Jewish Academy, shows some teacher appreciation. 

Jill Cross, director of teaching and learning at Maclay School in Tallahassee, FL, ponders "improvement." 

The Importance of Field Trips
Erik Kreutner, head of Mason Preparatory School in Charleston, SC, writes about the benefits of taking students on a journey. 
 
Your School's Digital Magazine: More Than Just a PDF
Caitlin Garzi, associate director of digital marketing and communications at Cheshire Academy in Cheshire, CT, shares ideas for online publications.

Tweets of Note

Fun in math and Latin, service projects, teacher humor, and more!   
>>Read tweets here.

The  SAIS Value Narrative Survey is a school culture and climate survey that helps schools understand the important beliefs of stakeholders and the perceptions of how well the school is delivering on its mission. More than 150 schools have used the survey and more than 100,000 responses have been generated.
 
NEW! SAIS is piloting TWO new surveys: 

The Self-Determination Survey is for faculty and students and helps the school measure and understand the critical relationships between these two groups. 

 

The Board Governance Survey is aligned with the SAIS Governance Training and measures the board and the head's commitment to the SAIS five domains of governance.

 

Both of these are available in pilot phase and at no cost, for now! Email surveys@sais.org for more information. Both surveys can be delivered with the Value Narrative Survey or as stand-alones.