The Life of a School Chaplain
By Christina Mimms, SAIS
No two days are alike. A school chaplain's schedule may include teaching classes, attending a meeting, paying a pastoral visit to a student in the hospital, leading a worship service, or even coaching a team. Sometimes all of the above occur on a single day. Sometimes work bleeds into the weekend. The work of a chaplain is a sacred trust and a deeply valued position that is also unlike any other on campus.    >>Read more.  
It's OK to Go Up the Slide 
By Heather Shumaker
Reviewed by  Payton Hobbs Head of Lower School, Ravenscroft School, Raleigh, NC 

When I finish reading a book, one of my first questions is often, "Who should read this next?" I had high hopes that It's OK to Go Up the Slide would be a new book for me to share with a friend and a new resource to recommend to parents and educators in my social and professional circles >>Read more.
Stephen P. Robinson Collaboration Grant Report: Episcopal School of Baton Rouge 
In the upcoming issues of SAIS HeadLines, reports from the 2016 Stephen P. Robinson SAIS Collaboration Grant recipients will be published. These reports detail the programs funded by the grants.

By Justin Fenske,
Director of College Counseling

There are many talented and bright young students throughout the state of Louisiana. Yet, it is costly, if not impossible, for most colleges and universities to recruit many of these strong and diverse students. For these reasons, the Episcopal School of Baton Rouge sought a collaboration with schools across Louisiana to bring diverse, high-achieving students and selective colleges together at a spring college fair. With the help of the Stephen P. Robinson Collaboration Grant, a successful fair was launched in March of 2016. Over forty colleges and universities participated in the fair, which was attended by over four hundred students and parents from partner high schools. Collaborations such as this can potentially help other schools in similar "fly-over" territories across the country to help connect students and the selective colleges that would love to have them . >>Read more.  
2nd Annual Athletic Directors Conference
By Christina Mimms, SAIS
On January 12-13, SAIS welcomed 60 attendees to the 2nd annual Athletic Directors Conference, held in Atlanta. 
With general sessions and breakouts targeted to their work in athletics, attendees discussed change management, tying athletics to admissions, global citizenship, the parent-coach relationship, how to evaluate coaches, marketing and branding, and legal issues surrounding sports controversies. 

Here are some comments from attendees: 
  • "It was my first time attending and I will definitely return and recommend to other ADs."
  • "I really enjoyed interacting and getting insight from other ADs with similar schools and issues."
  • "The conference was well organized and informative."
  • "The most important part of the conference was networking with fellow ADs as well as a few takeaways from each and every session."
Save the dates - January 16-17, 2018, for the next SAIS Athletic Directors Conference! 
SAIS Wants YOUR Session Proposal by March 31

Proposals are currently being accepted for  breakout sessions for the  2017 SAIS Annual Conference   October 22-24 in Atlanta.  The deadline is March 31. Please submit your proposal  using  this form

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.

SAIS @ NAIS  RSVP for the SAIS reception now!
March 2-3 | Baltimore 
Heads Leadership Retreat  Registration open! 
April 3-4 | Andaz Savannah Savannah, GA
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
Institute for Heads  Registration open! 
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

SAIS Institute for Heads

Take advantage of a unique opportunity for heads of school and spouses at the SAIS Institute for Heads, June 27-30, 2017  at the Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa in Manalapan (Palm Beach), FL.  This engaging, energizing, and nurturing retreat offers an opportunity for thoughtful dialogue and engagement with colleagues on key issues facing school heads. 

Featuring Rob Evans and Michael Thompson , heads can dig into the topics that only other heads of school can understand. "In this particular setting, we come together and talk about what really matters," said Arch McIntosh, head of Charlotte Latin School in Charlotte, NC. "No event has a greater impact on my personal and professional life, and it's the only thing I attend where my wife feels like an equal partner."
As part of the Institute for Heads, heads and their spouses may attend optional sessions that look at the personal side of leadership: the challenges of being the "first couple," the particular burdens for spouses, partners, and children of heads, and more. Spouses also may participate in a panel discussion and Q&A.  
"I always leave this event feeling like I received twice the value for the investment of time and money - three days of a good conference and three days of good therapy!" McIntosh said. "The timing is great and allows me perspective at the end of each school year."
Registration now open! Join us in Palm Beach, June 27-30, 2017!  
>>More information. >>Register here.

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 
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

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 .

Book Review
Collaboration Grant Report
Coverage from Athletic Directors Conference
Call for Proposals
2017 SAIS Events
SAIS Institute for Heads
Tweets of Note
NEW! SAIS Surveys
SAIS Featured School
Lake Mary 

Lake Mary Preparatory School in Orlando, FL, has been educating students since 1999, and has found a wonderful place to call home right in the center of Lake Mary. We are committed to providing our students with opportunities to be challenged and stretched academically and at the same time offered exciting options in fine/performing arts, athletics and extracurricular activities, all in a nurturing and caring environment.
>>Read more.

Would you like to be an SAIS Featured School? Contact
Blogs of Note
David Cutler, teacher at Brimmer and May School in Chestnut Hill, MA, encourages introverts to collaborate.

Jay Watts, assistant athletic director at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, offers solid advice.   

Matthew Arend, principal at Sigler Elementary in Plano, TX, writes about building empathy among students. 
Martha Guarisco, teacher at Episcopal School of Baton Rouge, LA, takes on the Reading Without Walls challenge.   
Tweets of Note

Service learning projects, STEM, 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! Contact Damian Kavanagh at for more information. Both surveys can be delivered with the Value Narrative Survey or as stand-alones.