Check out the latest SAIS FastStats on heads of school
SAIS President's Letter
A young friend graduated from an independent school a couple of years ago. He was a diligent student with a strong moral compass. He finished with a high B average that included AP courses. He received a nice scholarship to a strong midsize college. He left home with high hopes and solid intentions. By the following spring, it was clear that he would not be returning for his sophomore year.

While I am sure that all of you know comparable stories, the good news is that they remain the exception. A near 100 percent of independent school graduates still attend college (even in the face of stiff competition), and significant numbers will complete their college studies in reasonably close to four years. By most criteria, the traditional system seems intact. Independent schools prepare their students for admission to the next level, helping them acquire the academic skills that will be expected. And along the way, a key component of marketing has always been the concept of “preparation” ... preparation for college or at least for college-preparatory schools.

However, there has always been a disconnect between what you do to prepare your students and what colleges demand. Your schools provide environments where students can succeed; they offer a structured day, caring teachers, frequent feedback, regular communication with parents, an emphasis on character, a culture that encourages respect and effort, etc. Imagine the shock to a college freshman’s system.

It would be difficult, inappropriate, and not realistic to modify your programs to mirror all the distractions and temptations that your students will face when they graduate from your schools. Encouraging students to be conscientious about their studies and providing them with the tools to learn remain hallmarks of independent schools. What my friend was missing was a sense that he was responsible for his own learning. He was not a self-starter. I suspect that amid the steady flow of required high school assignments (designed to test his ability), he was too busy following directions to realize that he was supposed to establish his own. He only had to complete assignments on time to build a transcript that would admit him to a strong college. He was “prepared” to attend, but he was not “ready” to thrive in a very different environment.

Thankfully, he is an exception; but exceptions are sometimes worth considering. Colleges are changing quickly and dramatically. Increasingly more classes are online and require an even heightened level of self-discipline. In fact, the entire concept of college is evolving. Tomorrow’s leaders will need to possess a high degree of self-motivation and self-direction. In large measure, independent schools have historically defined what it meant to be college preparatory and built curricula to reflect that model. In this shifting educational landscape, it will fall, once again, to independent schools to lead the way in articulating what “college preparatory” will mean in the future.

Dr. Kirk Walker, SAIS President
New Strategies for New Teachers
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By Sheri Burkeen, Director of Professional Development, SAIS
Using collaboration, differentiation, and active engagement to teach those who will teach others.

For more than 30 years, SAIS has been welcoming new teachers to independent schools through the Institute for New Teachers. Throughout its history, the institute has evolved to meet the needs of member schools. Last summer introduced the first session specifically for professionals with public school teaching experience who were new to independent schools. This year will bring an engaging, learner-centered program using active learning strategies to prepare new teachers to enter the classroom this fall.
FastStats 2018: Demographic and Compensation Data for Heads of School  
By Dr. Jeffrey Mitchell, Head of Currey Ingram Academy, Brentwood, TN

As a follow-up to previous FastStats on similar topics, this article highlights recent trends regarding experience, gender, race/ethnicity, teaching duties, and compensation for SAIS heads of school.
Register NOW for 2018 SAIS Leadership Retreat: April 23-24, Louisville, KY Price increases February 26!
Pushing Our Horizons: How Do We Tackle the Big, Hairy Challenges of the Next 20 Years?
An opportunity for leaders to sharpen their skills in today’s evolving educational landscape that will go beyond “why” and focus on “how” change can best be accomplished in a setting that is often change-resistant. The program will be led by  Grant Lichtman , an internationally-recognized K-12 transformation thought leader. Register at .
SAIS Featured School: Jackson Preparatory School, Jackson, MS
Jackson Preparatory School is an independent, coeducational college preparatory day school serving grades six through twelve. Founded in 1970, Jackson Preparatory School is the largest secondary independent school in the Jackson, MS, metropolitan area.
Going to the 2018 NAIS Annual Conference in Atlanta? Stop by to see SAIS at Booth #905!

You're invited to our reception, co-hosted by Crane Marketing and Vanderbilt University-Peabody College.
Wednesday, March 7   from 5-8 PM
SkyLounge at the Glenn Hotel
110 Marietta St, Atlanta, GA 30303
March 7-9, 2018
Announcing the 2018 SAIS Institute for Heads
June 19-22, 2018
Renaissance Asheville
Asheville, NC
This 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. Featuring Rob Evans and Michael Thompson.
Topics for the 2018 institute include:

  • Preventing and Coping with Abuse and Misconduct
  • Anxious Parents, Anxious Children
  • Building and Maintaining a Strong Leadership Team
  • Talking Turkey About Performance with Faculty and Trustees
  • Being Married to the Head and the School: How Spouses Cope
  • Health, Wellness, and Mindfulness: How Much Should Schools Be Doing?
SAIS Seeks Proposals for Summer Programs

SAIS is seeking submissions for breakout sessions at our
2018 Summer Conference:
June 27-29, 2018 | Asheville, NC
Proposals will be accepted until midnight on April 1. Submit here.
SAIS Seeks Faculty for Institute for New Teachers
SAIS is seeking a master teacher to join the faculty of the Institute for New Teachers. The Institute for New Teachers is held each summer in three cities, currently Atlanta, Charlotte, and Nashville.
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