Professional Development > Conferences and Workshops

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Professional Development Series 


New Heads Network - A Year Long Program
Tom Hoerr, Donna Harris & Claudia Daggett

Monday, September 16, 2019

Chicago & St. Louis, IL

Save the Dates!

Registration for the 2019-20 New Heads Network (NHN) will open in the spring 2019. 

The New Heads Network is a year-long program supporting new heads of school. Events will take place:

  • Monday, September 16, 2019  in Chicago, IL at the ISACS Classroom
  • Wednesday evening, January 29, 2020 in Chicago, IL in conjunction with Heads Conference, Swissotel
  • Monday, June 15-Tuesday, 16, 2020 in St. Louis, MO, New City School

Who Should Attend
Heads of school in either of their first two years of headship at an ISACS school. Experienced heads new to an ISACS school have participated and found the program beneficial.

Why Attend
Being a head of school is never easy, and it’s particularly challenging at the start of one’s career. The New Heads Network will provide content, skills, and perspective on the headship as the first or second year unfolds. A mentor will be assigned, and there will be opportunities to learn from colleagues and build relationships with other heads. The NHN seeks to:

  • assist new heads in practicing and learning the craft of heading a school;
  • provide a cohort group so new heads can learn with and from one another; and
  • be fun! We will laugh with and enjoy one another!

Benefits to the School
New heads face common challenges, such as building relationships with administrative teams, the board, faculty, parents, and students. Meeting with each other three times during the year—under the guidance of three experienced heads—can help avoid pitfalls and enhance the chances of a strong first year and beyond.

Mentoring Component
Each new head will be paired with an experienced ISACS head. Mentoring opportunities will be provided during the year through telephone calls, emails, and one in-person meeting at the January Heads Conference in Chicago. 

Program Outline
The program will span the course of one year and have three opportunities for new heads to come together from September through June. 

Monday, September 16, 2019
ISACS Classroom, 55 West Wacker Drive,Suite 702 • Chicago, IL
Time: 9:30 am – 3:30 pm

  • How to survive your first year
  • Working with your board
  • Independent school finance

​Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Swissôtel Chicago • Chicago, IL
Time: 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

  • Reception, dinner, and discussion with mentors on the eve of the start of the Heads Conference

Monday, June 15 - Tuesday, June 16, 2020
New City School • St. Louis, MO
Time: 9:30 am start on June 15 & 1:00 pm end on June 16

  • Sharing of first year experiences among the group
  • Sessions on headship, development, and board relations
  • Planning for the future

ISACS & NAIS Partnership
The ISACS New Heads Network is a complement to the NAIS Institute for New Heads (INH). INH provides a week-long intensive seminar in July of the heads’ first year. NHN supports that head throughout the year through discussion of application of skills and concepts with NHN colleagues and faculty and a carefully matched mentor. Dual registration is encouraged and offered at a discounted rate.

Hotel Accommodations
Attendees must make their own hotel accommodations Hotel Information for September, January, and June will be posted in spring 2019.

Registration Fees

ISACS New Heads Network
The registration fee will be posted in spring 2019. If you have any questions, please contact Karen Zeitlina at ISACS at (312)-750-1190. The fee includes:

  • programming on 9/16, 1/29, and 6/15-16;
  • continental breakfast and lunch – 9/16;
  • reception and dinner – 1/29; and
  • two breakfasts/two lunches/two dinners – 6/15-16.

ISACS New Heads Network & NAIS Institute for New Heads
For those new heads who plan to register for both the ISACS New Heads Network and the NAIS Institute for New Heads, a discount of 25% off both programs will be provided. Please call the ISACS office at (312) 750-1190 to request the coupon code for the ISACS discount and instructions on how to receive the NAIS discount.

ISACS New Heads Network & ISACS Heads Conference
As part of the NHN, ISACS strongly encourages new heads to attend the ISACS Heads Conference in Chicago, January 30-January 31, 2020. New heads enrolled in the New Heads Network will pay a half the registration fee instead of the full fee for the Heads Conference. New heads must register for the Heads Conference separately. Registration for the 2020 Heads Conference will open in the fall, and NHN participants will receive an email when registration opens along with a coupon code to receive the discounted registration fee.

Financial Assistance
For ISACS members who are planning to register for the NHN only, financial assistance is available for under-resourced schools. Please contact the ISACS office at ISACS, (312) 750-1190.

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations for the New Heads Network must be submitted in writing to ISACS by emailing 10 business days prior to the event to receive a 50% refund. Cancellations received within 10 days of the event will not receive a refund.

Please contact NAIS regarding their policy for refunds regarding the NAIS INH.

Questions? Call the ISACS office at (312) 750-1190.



55 West Wacker, Suite 701 · Chicago, IL 60601 · Telephone (312) 750-1190 · Fax (312) 750-1193
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