Professional Development > Conferences and Workshops


ISACS Annual Conference - Blazing a Trail to Learning 2
Keynote Speakers Beverly Daniel Tatum & Ron Clark

November 8 - 9, 2018

Cobo Center
1 Washington Boulevard
Detroit , MI

Save the Date!

Registration will open in August. Check back periodically for updates.

Dates & Times
Thursday, November 8: 9:00 am - 4:15 pm
Friday, November 9: 9:00 am - 4:15 pm

Conference Location
The conference will take place at Cobo Center, 1 Washington Blvd, Detroit, Michigan

Conference Brochure
Printed brochures will be sent and will also be available online to ISACS member schools in August.

Keynote Presenters

Beverly Daniel Tatum
Author and Former president of
Spelman College

Ron Clark
Author and founder of
The Ron Clark Academy

  • Beverly Daniel Tatum Former president of Spelman College, author of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria and Other Conversations About Race, and Can We Talk about Race? and Other Conversations in an Era of School Resegregation
  • Ron Clark Disney American Teacher of the Year, a two-time New York Times Bestselling author of the Essential 55 and The End of Molasses Classes as well as Move Your Bus: An Extraordinary New Approach to Accelerating Success in Work and Life, the subject of a television movie, and the founder of The Ron Clark Academy

Featured Presenters

(as of May 8, 2018)

  • Timothy D. Walker – contributing writer for The Atlantic, American teacher based in Finland, and author of the book Teach Like Finland: 33 Simple Strategies for Joyful Classrooms
  • Dave Mochel mindfulness coach and consultant who helps increase well-being and effectiveness by teaching the practices and principles for living and working with awareness, compassion, and purpose 
  • Sylvia Martinez advocate for authentic learning using technology, co-author of Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom, which has been hailed as the “bible of the Maker Movement in schools”
  • Lisa Van Gemert known as the “Gifted Guru,” expert consult to television shows, and author of articles published in magazines and peer-reviewed journals, author of the book Perfectionism: A Practical Guide to Managing "Never Good Enough"
  • John Schumacher (AKA Mr. Schu) blogger, The Xtreme teacher/librarian, and “Ambassador of School Libraries”
  • Sam Chaltain partner at WONDER, helps schools reimagine the future of learning at the intersection of space, culture, sotry, and optimal learning environments
  • Ken Rogers educator, administrator, and trainer in strategies for effective communication
  • Dan St. Romain expert on school climate, brain-based instruction, and developmentally appropriate educational practices that connect educational practices and student behavior
  • Rodney Glasgow  speaker, facilitator, trainer, and activist in the areas of diversity, equality, and social justice, chair of the NAIS annual Student Diversity Leadership Conference
  • Homa Tavangar author of Growing Up Global: Raising Children to be at Home in the World and speaker on global citizenship, diversity, and creating inclusive learning environments
  • Jill Walsh  researcher and lecturer who examines the way social media has altered adolescent development
  • Connie Liumechanical engineering graduate from MIT, I-Lab teacher at the Nueva School, advocate for girls in STEM, and founder of Project Invent
  • Kim Cameron - professor and University of Michigan researcher on the attributes (compassion, gratitude, trust, forgiveness, humility, and generosity) of students, leaders, and institutions that foster student and teacher flourishing
  • and many more to come.

Speaker Recommended Pre-Conference Reading
Pre-conference readings written by or suggested by speakers will be forthcoming. Check back in August.

Social Media
Follow us on Twitter at the conference @ISACSNews using the hashtag #ISACSCon to join the conversation.

Site Visits to Detroit Area schools on Wednesday, November 7
As a courtesy to ISACS members and to encourage sharing among schools, ISACS will compile a list of Detroit area schools interested in hosting colleagues traveling to Detroit for the ISACS Annual Conference. A list will be posted in August. Please contact the school directly to schedule your site visit.

Trustee Day; Thursday, November 8
ISACS will be hosting a workshop designed specifically for trustees in ISACS schools on Thursday, November 8 at the Cobo Center. For more information and to register, visit the Trustee Day webpage. 

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

2018 Annual Conference Sponsorships & Exhibitor Opportunities
ISACS offers sponsor and exhibitor opportunities at the Annual Conference. We have enhanced our offerings and hope you will consider joining us. Please review the NEW 2018-19 Sponsorships & Exhibitor Opportunities PDF and then complete the 2018-19 Sponsorships & Exhibitors Application (hosted by Survey Monkey) Monday, July 9, 2018. If you have any questions, please contact ISACS at (312) 750-1190 or

Hotel Accommodations
Westin Book Cadillac
1114 Washington Blvd
Detroit, MI

ISACS has secured discounted rooms at the Westin Book Cadillac at $165/night plus tax for single or double occupancy. To make a reservation, please call (888) 627-7150 and use the group code “Independent Schools Association of the Central States” to receive the discounted rate. To make your hotel reservation online, click here. The rate is available until 5:00 pm, Wednesday, October 17, 2018. We recommend making your hotel reservations early. Individual reservations must be cancelled 48 hours before date of arrival. The ISACS rate includes complimentary Wi-Fi in sleeping rooms and complimentary access to fitness center and indoor pool.

From the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel to Cobo Center
The hotel is five blocks from Cobo Center. ISACS will provide limited bus transportation between the Westin Book Cadillac and Cobo Center at specific morning and afternoon times. The walk is approximately 10 minutes and the People Mover is also an easy and efficient option. ISACS will provide additional bus details as the conference approaches and will be included in registration confirmation emails prior to your arrival.

Air Travel
Air travel to Detroit can be accessed via Detroit Metro Airport (DTW).

Ground Transportation to/from the Airport
Taxi service from Detroit Metro Airport to the hotel costs approximately $50 one-way and takes approximately 30 minutes during non-rush hour and 50 minutes during rush hour.

SKOOT Detroit is the preferred shuttle service to/from Detroit Metro Airport to downtown Detroit between 5:30 am – 8:30 pm. ISACS has secured a $2.50 discount off the regular one-way fee of $25. To make your shuttle reservation, please call (855) 937-5668 or (313) 230-2331 or book online at To secure the discount, please use the group code ISACS2018. Walkups available, however reservations are highly recommended. Cash and credit cards are accepted. Schedule and pricing are not determined by ISACS and are subject to change at any time without prior notice. Please call SKOOT for more information on group rates; ISACS discount available on group rates.

Valet Parking at the Westin Book Cadillac
Overnight valet parking for ISACS attendees is discountedat a rate of $20/night for hotel guests (which will be billed directly to your hotel room bill) with in and out privileges.

Daily Parking at Cobo Center
Daily parking at Cobo Center is $15/day. We recommend using the roof top parking (Lot 1). Please consult the Cobo Center parking map for more information.

For more information on Cobo Center parking click here.  

Bus Drop off and Pick Up
If your school is using a bus to transport faculty & staff, please notify ISACS at (312) 750-1190.

Detroit Visitor Information
For information on Detroit, visit

The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI has provided ISACS with a coupon for admission. Click here for more information and to obtain your coupon.

Conference Registration Fees

  • $160 per person (ISACS member) for 1-day registration
  • $250 per person (ISACS member) for 2-day registration
  • $225 per person (non-member) for 1-day registration
  • $350 per person (non-member) for 2-day registration

Registration includes a banquet lunch.

Registration will open in August 2018 when you can register online and select sessions and lunch attendance. You must register before Wednesday, October 17, 2018. 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.

On-site Book Sellers
ISACS will have an onsite selling books by authored presenters and books of educational interest.

Scholastic will be onsite selling children's books.

Hard Copy Forms
Forms will be uploaded in August 2018.

Annual Conference Frequently Asked Questions and Tips to Extend the Annual Conference Experience will be posted shortly.

Nursing Mother's Room
Cobo Center offers a MamaPod for use by nursing mothers that will be located near the ISACS meeting rooms. The pod is on a first come/first serve basis. If you will be needing access, please contact the ISACS office at (312) 750-1190 or email

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations for the Annual Conference must be received in writing to ISACS by emailing by Wednesday, October 17 to receive a refund. ISACS will determine the refund amount, if any, that can be refunded after the Annual Conference. Cancellations received after Wednesday, October 17 will not receive a refund. At any time, registration may be transferred to another member from the same school.

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

Member Cost: $250     Non-member Cost: $350
Registration Deadline:  October 17, 2018


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