Professional Development > Conferences and Workshops


2017 Annual Conference

November 9 - 10, 2017

Marriot Marquis Chicago
Chicago, IL

Save the Date

Blazing a Trail to Learning

Dates & Times
Thursday, November 9 and Friday, November 10: 9:00 am - 4:15 pm

Conference Location
The conference will take place at the new Marriott Marquis Chicago, 2121 S. Prairie Ave, Chicago, IL 60616. The hotel will be opening August 2017.

Conference Brochure
The Annual Conference Brochure will be posted in mid-August. Member schools will be receiving brochures in the mail.

Keynote Presenters

  • Amy Blankson – named a Point of Light by two Presidents, she is the co-founder of GoodThink, where she has partnered with Google to make positive psychology strategies stick and create positive sustainable change
  • Michael Horn – co-founder of the Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, he is the author or co-author of multiple books including Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns

Featured Presenters

  • Michael Thompson – consultant, author and psychologist. He co-authored the New York Times best-selling book, Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys as well as Speaking of Boys: Answers to the Most-Asked Questions about Raising Sons and Best Friends/Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children
  • Lisa Miller – professor of psychology and education at Columbia University, Teachers College and is founder of the Spirituality Mind Body Institute, the first Ivy League graduate program in spirituality and psychology. She is the author of The Spiritual Child; The New Science of Parenting for Health and Lifelong Thriving
  • Ned Hallowell – child and adult psychologist, a NY Times bestselling author and leading authority in the field of ADHD
  • Dan St. Romain – a national educational consultant who presents on topics impacting school climate, brain-based instruction, developmentally appropriate educational practices and the connectedness between educational practices and student behavior
  • Cris Cullinan – a national consultant in best practices for recognizing, preventing and/or dealing with challenges to equity and inclusion and hiring for cultural competencies
  • David Jakes – chief design officer at David Jakes Designs, an expert in the relationship among education, schools and change
  • Sam Chaltain – partner at WONDER, a global design studio that helps schools and communities reimagine the future of learning at the intersection of space, culture, story and developing optimal learning environments
  • Tim Jordan – a developmental and behavioral pediatrician, international speaker and author, he demystifies the behavior of tween and adolescent girls
  • Lisa Van Gemert – national consultant and “Ambassador of the Gifted” she translates research into strategies for best practices in meeting the needs of the gifted

Check back for additional speakers!

Speaker Recommended Pre-Conference Reading
ISACS will post pre-conference readings shortly.

Site Visits to Chicago area schools on Wednesday, November 8
As a courtesy to ISACS members and to encourage sharing among schools, we will be compiling a list of Chicago area schools interested in hosting colleagues traveling to Chicago for the ISACS Annual Conference. Check back in the summer for a list of schools available for site visits for ISACS members.

Trustee Day: Thursday, November 9
ISACS will be hosting a workshop designed specifically for trustees in ISACS schools on Thursday, November 9 at the Marriott Marquis. For more information and to register, visit the Trustee Day webpage. 

If you plan to attend the Trustee Day on Thursday and also register to attend the Friday portion of the Annual Conference, please contact the ISACS office to receive a coupon code for registration. You will need to register separately for both Trustee Day and the Annual Conference.  

Hotel Accommodations
ISACS has secured discounted hotel rooms at the Marriott Marquis Chicago. Please note that the Marriott Marquis Chicago is a brand new hotel opening in the summer 2017 and is not yet accepting reservations.  ISACS will contact member schools and post reservation information once the hotel starts accepting reservations.

The ISACS discounted rate at the Marriott Marquis Chicago, 2121 South Prairie Avenue, Chicago, IL is $205/night plus tax for single or double occupancy. The rate includes complimentary access to the gym and is valid until Monday, October 16, 2017 or until the room block reaches capacity. There is an additional fee for Wi-Fi in the sleeping rooms, but if you are (or become) a member of the Marriott Rewards program, you will receive complimentary Wi-Fi in your sleeping room.

Air Travel
Both Midway and O'Hare airports are easily accessible to the Marriott Marquis Chicago. Please note that Midway is slightly closer to the hotel if Midway (Southwest Airlines) is an option for you.  The hotel is accessible by public “L” transportation) and would take 30 minutes – 1 hour.  

Ground Transportation to/from the Airports

  • Midway Airport: Taxi service takes about 20 minutes and costs approximately $35 each way based on light traffic.
  • O'Hare International Airport: Taxi service takes about 30 minutes and costs approximately $58 each way based on light traffic.
  • Shared Taxi Program: There is a Shared Ride Program available for those flying into O'Hare and Midway and taking a cab from one of these airports to either McCormick Place or downtown.

Public Transportation
In addition, you can also take public transportation (Chicago Transit Authority or the "L" service to/from Midway or O'Hare to the hotel. The Marriott Marques Chicago is conveniently located just a few blocks from the Cermak-Chinatown Red Line Station as well as the Cermak-McCormick Green Line Station. You can also take the CTA to downtown to enjoy Chicago’s attractions and restaurants outside of conference sessions.  For more information, visit      

The CTA "L" trains provide service to Downtown Chicago and McCormick Place from both international airports for $2.25 each way (additional charges for O’Hare).

  • From O'Hare International Airport: The CTA "Blue" line provides service to and from the airport. Take the Blue Line from O’Hare and transfer to a south-bound Green Line train at Clark and Lake. Note, in the Loop the Blue Line is a Subway Train and the Green Line is an elevated train, a free transfer is available at Clark and Lake. ($5.00 to/from O'Hare)
  • From Midway Airport: The CTA "Orange" line provides service to and from the airport. Take the train to the Roosevelt Street Station (Subway) and transfer to the elevated Green Line. Continue on the southbound Green Line train for 1-stop to the Cermak-McCormick Place station.
  • The Cermark-McCormick Place Station is 2 block (0.15 miles) walk from Marriott Marquis Chicago.
  • Metra Train and CTA Bus Map

Valet Parking at the Marriott Marquis Chicago 
Overnight valet parking for ISACS attendees is $65/night for overnight parking for hotel guests (which will be billed directly to your hotel room bill) with in and out privileges. 

Self-Parking at the Marriott Marquis Chicago 
Overnight self-parking is $24/night for hotel guests with in and out privileges.

Chicago Information
For information on Chicago, visit

Registration Fees

Registration fees are as follows:

  • $160 per person (ISACS member) for 1-day registration
  • $250 per person (ISACS member) for 2-day registration
  • $200 per person (non-member) for 1-day registration
  • $300 per person (non-member) for 2-day registration

Registration includes a banquet lunch. Register online and select sessions and lunch. 

Registration will open in August 2017 when you can register online and select sessions and lunch attendance. You must register before Wednesday, October 18, 2017. There is no on-site registration.

Registration Confirmation

  • Once registered, an automatic email will be sent to the contact person identified during on-line registration.
  • By October 1, ISACS will send a confirmation email to each registrant, which will include conference details and a list of pre-registered sessions.
  • Approximately one week prior to the Annual Conference, ISACS will send a FINAL email confirmation with pre-registered sessions.
  • If you do not receive a confirmation email, please contact the ISACS office at 312-750-1190 as we may have an incorrect email address in our system.

Cancellation Policy
ISACS cannot offer refunds for the Annual Conference after Wednesday, October 18. Cancellations must be received in writing prior to Wednesday, October 18 to receive a 50% refund. Registration may be transferred to another member from the same school until October 18.

To contact ISACS, please email or 312-750-1190. 





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